7

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7
A. They said that that thunder was "Kootchie
growling" i.e. angry F. J.

(an evil spirit much talked of and
dreaded by them) away. A The cooing
of wild pigeons at night was also attributed
to Kootchie and caused great alarm.
To break a branch of a quandong tree
was a grave offence amongst them, and
they disliked cattle running on their
country because they broke down and
ate the branches of those trees, beside
eating and destroying many other
edible plants. The stock making the
large rainwater holes muddy and thus
killing the fish was another well founded
grievance. The annual expedition
down the western plains for red ochre
was one of the most important duties
of the whole Diere tribe. Some 70 or 80
of the pick of the fighting men of the
tribe used to go on the trip, well armed,
and fight and slay all the hill
blacks who dared to oppose them.

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