round them - The Kabos told their charges that
this was to show them that they must no longer consort
with children and play at childish games, but for his future
act as men.

Other performances represent hunting incidents.
At all these stages the pantomimic representation is
accompanied by dancing on the part of the men generally. The
dances usually perform their part standing in front of the novices,
so as to leave a small space open, and into this rushes one
of the medicine men (Gommeras) who while dancing sinks
down almost to the ground, and, often with fearful contortions
exhibits between his teeth some substance which he is supposed to be
able to bring up from his inside at will, and which is believed to
be of terrible magical power, the medicine man is supposed to be
able to injure or even to kill anyone by invisibly throwing such
a substance at them (1)

Here then the novices witness for the first time the actual
exhibition of these magical powers of the old men of which they have heard
since their earliest years (2) They have been told how these men
can produce from within themselves certain deadly things
which they are then able to project invisibly into those whom they desire
to injure or to kill, and now the boys see during the impressive
magical dances these very things as they express it "pulled out of themselves
by the medicine men.

There was a succession of theese performances, and the
accompanying dances until the scene of the main ceremonie [sic]
was reached which was in a small open gully near
the summit of the mountain where there was a naturally clear
ground space of about an acre, surrounded by a rocky ridge
erupting on one side where the ground fell steeply into another
gully, to which there was access by means of a cattle track
which wound down the rocky slope for about two hundred yards.

Throughout the whole course of the procession
to this spot the singular "inverted speech" was used
and among other devices for impressing on the novices
the absolute necessity of obedience by them to the directions
of the old men, saplings growing in the line of route were
bent over into arches, under which the novices pass, sometimes
being obliged even to crawl on the ground to do so. All this
time during the march the novice is clearly attended by his
guardian, who are, one or the other engaged in earnestly instructing him

[written in left side margin]
(1) The Gommera or head man
is believed to obtain these
substances from Daramūlŭn
nb the most potent of all is the
crystal of clear quartz which is inherently
connected with him (see "Camp
of Baiama +c pp.) Other magical
substances which the Gommeras express
"from their internal consciousness" are
like sinew, like flesh, like intestines
like chalk, like black stones, or pieces of bone +c

(2)Speaking of these matters
with a young man of the Coast
tribe he said "When I was a
little boy people used to tell me that
the old men could kill people
with things they pulled out of
themselves, but I hardly believed that
When I was taken and made
gumbang - ira (raw tooth - ie
initiated) I saw the old men
bring those things up - how could
I distrust them."

Page Notes

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page