Imágenes de páginas



to indicate the creative attributes of the divinity." In a plate at the end of his work he gives copies of a few of these characters.

The Rev. William Ridley* describes a Bora ground on which “there was the horizontal figure of a man roughly modeled by laying down sticks and covering them with earth, so as to raise it from four to seven inches above the level of the ground. It was 22 feet long, 12 feet from hand to hand, and the width of the body four feet." He gives an illustration of this figure on the same page.

While exploring in Cape York peninsula, Queensland, Mr Norman Taylor found on the hardened earth flats at the back of a beach some regularly drawn turtles cut out in outline.

At a corroboree witnessed by Mr W. T. Wyndham near either Barwan or Condamine river, Queensland, he saw an image made of earth and logs on the surface of the ground, which the blacks told him represented the bunyip, warway, or polgun, a water monster. I

Mr E. M. Curr thus refers to a raised earthen figured formed by the aborigines in the county of Karkarooc, Victoria : “ The work was described to me as a mound about 100 feet or yards long, I forget which, made to resemble a huge snake. Its locality was close to the Murray river, some twenty miles below Euston, but on the other side. It was said by the blacks to have been made to charm away the smallpox which raged in those parts probably about 1820 or 1830.Ş

Mr A. W. Howitt in speaking of the initiation ceremonies of the blacks about Bega, New South Wales, says: “The old men having carefully cleared a piece of ground proceed to mold in earth in high relief the life-sized figure of a naked man in the attitude of the dance

This is Daramulun." || Mr J. K. McKay informs me that upward of 30 years ago he saw a figure made by the aborigines on the right bank of Moonie river, near a large water hole in that stream, about 30 miles above Nindigully. It was apparently intended to represent a swan of enormous proportions. The body was about 15 feet long, about 6 feet wide, and 4 feet high; it was formed of bushes and leaves

* Journ. Anthrop. Inst., vii, p. 255. + R. B. Smyth's Aborigines of Victoria, 1, p292. I Journ. Roy. Soc. N. S. Wales, XXIII, p. 41.

The Australian Race, iii, p. 681. | Journ. Anthrop. Inst., XIII, p. 452.

pressed closely together and covered with a thick coating of mud; the head and neck consisted of a bent log of the required shape about 10 feet long, one extremity of which was fixed into the ground at one end of the heap of bushes, the other extremity being cut to represent the head, which was elevated several feet above the surface; the whole figure was then ornamented with daubs of white and red, the head being painted red. This figure was at a deserted camp of the natives, and before going away they had taken all the sheets of bark which they had been using for their own shelters or gunyahs and laid them over the monster to protect it from rain. There was a cleared space about 20 or 30 feet wide all round this animal, where the natives had apparently been dancing corroborees while remaining in the camp adjacent. In my paper on

The Bora or Initiation Ceremonies of the Kamilaroi Tribe "* I gave a full and detailed description of a variety of figures drawn upon the soil in various ways. In plate XXI of that paper, figure 3 represents a horizontal image of Baiamai 15 feet long and formed of logs covered with earth and raised 2 feet 6 inches above the ground. Figures 2, 4, and 16 represent two snakes, a woman, and an emu respectively, all composed of raised earth. Figures 5, 6, 7, and 8 were formed by cutting grooves into the surface of the soil along the outlines of the objects to be drawn. Figure 5 of the plate referred to is especially interesting, representing a group of twelve persons life size, their hands and feet joining the hands and feet of others.

Beside the figures just referred to, other objects were formed on the ground in a similar manner. Some of the drawings displayed the inventive, humorous, and imitative faculties of the natives. As an example, I may refer to the group representing a stump, a broken cart, a horse, and the driver, illustrating the adventures of an old king dressed in his regalia, on his way to the Bora. The raised earthen figure of a bullock, on one end of which was fixed the skeleton of a bullock's head, a crooked stick stuck in the other end for a tail, is also deserving of attention. I

In my paper on an "Aboriginal Bora held at Gundabloui in 1894 "Ş is described a gigantic figure of an iguana, about 20 feet long, composed of pieces of bark covered with earth. The pieces of bark were about 2 feet 6 inches long, chopped in the middle sufficiently to admit of their being bent at an acute angle. The two ends were then placed on the ground about 18 inches apart and about a foot high, forming a figure like the gable end of a house. A sufficient number of these were used in continuation to make up the required length of the body, and the whole was then covered over with earth. The head, tail, and legs were made of earth alone.

* Journ. Anthrop. Inst., XXIV, pp. 411-427. † Journ. Althrop. Inst., XXIV, p. 415. I Loc. cit., p. 416. & Journ. Roy. Soc. N. S. Wales, xxvII, p. 127.

A gentleman who has been engaged on stations in northern Queensland informs me that on the Lower Gilbert river, which flows into the gulf of Carpentaria, he saw the representation of an alligator formed by heaping up the loose earth into the required shape. It was about 25 feet long, 2 feet wide across the body, and 1 foot high. He also told me that he had occasionally

. seen similar figures formed on the ground on other rivers in that part of the country.

Mr J. W. Fawcett informs me that at Townsville, Queensland, between 1870 and 1875, he saw the figure of a man formed on the ground by means of raised earth, the head pointing toward the north. There were other figures contiguous, but their outline was broken and partially leveled by stock. The same correspondent also mentions having seen other earth-molded figures about a mile northerly from Charters Towers, Queensland. Some of these figures appeared to have been intended for emus and kangaroos, but were much trodden down by cattle and sheep.

The same correspondent, writing from Dungeness, near the mouth of Herbert river, Queensland, states that the aborigines of that place and also those of Hinchinbrook island adjacent, sometimes amused themselves by drawing figures on the beach with sticks. Some of the figures mentioned represented men, birds, lizards, turtles, canoes, etc.

Mr S. Gason, of Beltana, South Australia, states that he has seen the aborigines, old and young, amuse themselves by portraying various objects on the sand by means of a piece of stick. These drawings consisted chiefly of kangaroos, dogs, snakes, fish, and emus and other birds.

Mr C. Winnecke informs me that it is a frequent pastime of the natives in several places in South Australia, as well as in the northern territory, to select a clay-pan and on its flat surface to outline circles, squares, and other figures by means of small stones placed in a single row along the outlines of the figures to be delineated. The stones are sometimes carried to the claypans from long distances, none being obtainable in the immediate vicinity.

I will now proceed to give a detailed description, from personal observation, of all the drawings on the ground, which are shown in accompanying figures 18 to 36.

Figure 18—This is a huge representation of Baiamai, and was formed entirely of loose earth, heaped to the height of two feet. The length of the figure was 15 feet, the width from hand to hand 12 feet 3 inches, and the body was built in proportion. This raised earthen drawing was on a Bora ground of one of the Kamilaroi tribes and was situated close to the left bank of Gnoura Gnoura creek, about two miles northerly from the town of Kunopia, parish of Boonanga, county of Benarba, New South Wales.

Figure 19—This drawing, which represents Gunnanbeely, the wife of Baiamai, was also composed of the earth, heaped so as to resemble a gigantic human being extended on the ground. The length of the body was 10 feet, the width from hand to hand 8 feet, and the height above the surface of the ground 1 foot 6 inches. This figure was close to the image of Baiamai described in the last paragraph.

Figure 20— This colossal horizontal representation of Baiamai was formed on a Būrbůng ground of one of the Wiradthuri tribes and is situated near the left bank of Bulgeraga creek, an Ana branch of Macquarie river, in the parish of Wullamgambone, county of Gregory, New South Wales. It was composed entirely of raised earth, and was 21 feet 8 inches long, 5 feet 6 inches across the body, and the arms were each 7 feet 3 inches long. The height of the breast above the level of the ground was about 1 foot 6 inches.

Figure 21-On the same Būrbằng ground as figure 20 was a life-sized representation of a woman, outlined by means of a nick or groove cut in the ground about 2 inches deep and from 2 to 3 inches wide, cut out with tomahawks and sharpened sticks.

Figure 22-Not far from figure 20 was a drawing which the blacks informed me was intended for one of Baiamai's sons, executed in the same manner as figure 21. The length was 6 feet 6 inches and the width from hand to hand four feet. A grooved

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »