20

OverviewVersionsHelp

Facsimile

Transcription

18
major and minor stages and the intervals are filled
in by magic dances, by amusing interludes and by
buffoonery in which all the men take part, excepting the
Kabos whose duty is to unceasingly explain and
admonish during the whole ceremony - to point the moral
and adorn the tale. The pieces of buffoonery are perhaps
some of the most remarkable features of the proceedings
If one were to imagine all kinds of childish mischief
mixed up with the seven cardinal sins represented in
burlesque, and ironically recommended to the boys for
practice on their return to the camp and ever after
it [would be - crossed out] would give a no in apt [sic] representation of what
takes place. But there is this most remarkable feature
that almost at the end of every sentence, indeed at the end
of every indecent, immoral or lewd suggestion the speaker
always adds "Yah" which immediately negatives all that
had been said and done. Indeed this use of the word
"Yah" runs through the whole conversation carried on at all
times during the ceremony, as where a man in the rear
of the crowd calls to some one in front "Hallo! there you
(so and so) stop and come back to me - "Yah". This
[gives - crossed out] gave the whole proceeding, up to the time when the
Talmaru camp [was reached - crossed out] [??] the recess of the mountain,
a sort of carnival and April fools day aspect.

The old men told me that the object of this inverted
manner of speaking, of saying things which implied the things
when the speaker intended another thing, was to break the
boys of the habit of speaking lies, and to make them for the
future speak truthfully.

The ceremonies are also intended to rivet firmly the
influence of the old men upon the novice, who from his
earliest childhood has heard tales of the freaful powers
of the Gommera, and of the Joea by which he can cause
sickness [and - crossed out] or death. At these cermeonse these "Joëas" are
exhibited and as a young man said to me after his initiation
"when I was a little boy, I did not believe all I heard about
the Joëas, but when I saw the Gommera at the Kuringal

Page Notes

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page