18

OverviewVersionsHelp

Facsimile

Transcription

16
was divided. He was in an agony of terrors clinging to
his mother, but by the order of the Head Gommera
he was dragged out and discussed. After a few minutes
the decision was "he is too young - put him back". The
women and children were now pushed back into as close
contact as possible, with the old Biduelli patriarch
among them. Blankets and rugs were then placed all over
them so that they were not only completely hidden but were
themselves quite unable to see anything. At a signal
from Gŭnjerŭng [crossed out - each] a Kabo seized his boy from under the
covering and each one holding an arm ran him off to where
the bundles were left. All of us followed as fast as possible
and as I left I could hear the muffled sounds of the
Boys song being sung by the women.

It had been expected that there would have been
eight boys ready to be made men, but owing to the delays
and to the non arrival of the Gippsland contingent with several
boys there were only three who were judged ready for initiation.
Two were 14 or 15 years old, the other was older with a
well marked mustache.

The first proceeding at the trysting place was that
the Kabo placed [crossed out - a new blanket] on each boy naked, a new blanket, folded twice
so that it formed when fastened down the front a cone
the apex of which was over the boys head and the base nearly
touching the ground. The wooden skewers with which the sides
of the blankets were fastened to each other were so placed that
[crossed out - the boys] the boy's face appeared just above the uppermost
one. This being all arranged Gŭnjerŭng gave the signal
to start and out procession began to ascend the steep
side of the grassy hill leading up to the mountain. Some
of the old men led the way, then came the Kabos, each one
holding his boy by the left upper arm and in deep [?converse?]
with him as he went. All the rest followed as we liked, each
one carrying his bundle, and the Kabos carried not only his
own things but those of his boy likewise.

The Kabos duty is to take charge of his boy during the

[written in left side margin]
swag? [next to paragraph about the men and Kabos taking their charges and their own bundles]

Notes and Questions

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page