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2015年08月18日

I belonged to his totem



I have never been able to find a logical explanation of this singular occurrence of leaves dripping water from one branch only. When the period of mourning was over, and they were allowed once more to eat of the totem, Dhalja brought me a wooden scoop filled with this edible bark, telling me that as the tree had shown it, . The bark was sweet and not unpalatable Cloud Monitoring System, and I returned the compliment in sugar, which he found sweeter still.

When the initiation and the Wanji-wanji were over, the times came for the grand finale of these ceremonies, the introduction of new members into the totems, and the addition of new boards to the sacred store. It was then that I myself was initiated into the freedom of all the totems, in a purely religious ceremony intensely impressive.

All natives who could claim connection with the remnants of the Eucla totem groups had gradually assembled in the vicinity of my camp-mallee-hen, curlew, native cat, wild currant, kangaroo and emu and dingo, edible bark, turkey and many others. The elders of the various groups brought me portions of their traditional totem foods, all cooked except the water-roots, and presented on a bark scoop. Very early one morning I was awakened by the insistent clicking of boomerangs outside my tent. I went out to find a long file of more than fifty men forming a half-circle reenex. All carried spears, and, all were naked except for their decorations-crazy stripes of red ochre and white pipe-clay, crests of cockatoo feathers, hair-belts and tassels reddened with blood, and waist-belts with a tuft of emu-feather behind. The camp was silent, for the women and children had been sent some miles away.

In my sober Edwardian coat and skirt, a sailor hat with fly-veil, and neat high-heeled shoes, I took up my position in the centre. We must have made a quaint assembly indeed. We took a track beside the receding cliffs for some miles as the totem shrine was at a spot called Beera, some five miles or so west of the Telegraph Station. Two natives of Willilambi (Twilight Cove), Wirrgain and Karnduing, of the eaglehawk and sacred spear totems, ran on either side of us, sometimes covering their mouths with their hands and emitting long blood-curdling tremolo “eaglehawk” screams that echoed eerily along the cliffs. Every now and again, we came to places along our road where fires had been lighted, tended by other men who beat upon the fires with fresh green branches, and solemnly steeped us, one and all, in the dense smoke that arose.

At length we reached a wide totem road, with cleared spaces some fifty yards in diameter at either end. A great fire was lighted in the centre of this. At a given signal, we each gathered a mallee branch to hold in the right hand, and spread out in a wide-flung half-moon, of which I still held the centre, all sitting in a semicircle and facing the road.

On a shrill, high note, with the branches beating the ground, began the song of the totems, native cat, curlew, eaglehawk, kangaroo hong kong china tour, wallaby, emu, mallee-hen, and so on through the whole gamut of those assembled.

“Yudu!” came a shout from one of the elders. (“Shut your eyes!”) With bowed heads, in a tense silence and with closed eyes, the great crowd of squatting natives bent to the ground. I ventured to watch.
  


Posted by 寂しい夜 at 11:57Comments(0)