A similar custom prevails among the women of the American
Indians. - CATLIN. vol. ii. p. 132.]
On the sea coast, where the country is barren, and the skins of animals
cannot readily be procured, sea-weed or rushes are manufactured into
garments, with considerable ingenuity. In all cases the garments worn by
day constitute the only covering at night, as the luxury of variety in
dress is not known to, or appreciated by, the Aborigines.
No covering is worn upon the head, although they are continually exposed
to the rays of an almost tropical sun. In extreme seasons of heat, and
'when they are travelling, they sometimes gather a few green bunches or
wet weeds and place upon their heads; but this does not frequently occur.
The character of the Australian natives is frank, open, and confiding. In
a short intercourse they are easily made friends, and when such terms are
once established, they associate with strangers with a freedom and
fearlessness, that would give little countenance to the impression so
generally entertained of their treachery. On many occasions where I have
met these wanderers in the wild, far removed from the abodes of
civilization, and when I have been accompanied only by a single native
boy, I have been received by them in the kindest and most friendly
manner, had presents made to me of fish, kangaroo, or fruit, had them
accompany me for miles to point out where water was to be procured, and
been assisted by them in getting at it, if from the nature of the soil
and my own inexperience.