Australian Search Party - A Record Of Discovery, Geography, And Adventure By Charles Henry Eden

 -   She said that
they must have crossed over to the main-land, for every place had now been
searched.  We - Page 70
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She Said That They Must Have Crossed Over To The Main-Land, For Every Place Had Now Been Searched.

We were in despair, when Abiram Hills said -

"Baal bora ground been sit down along of Hinchinbrook, Lizzie?"

A "bora ground" is a particular place to which the blacks are in the habit of resorting at certain seasons of the year, to hold "corroborries" or dances, and also to perform divers mysterious rites on the young people of both sexes attaining the marriageable age. What these solemnities really are, is but little known, and they seem to differ widely in each tribe. In some, the young girls have a couple of front teeth knocked out; in others they lose a joint of the little finger; and at that time the hideous lumps with which the men embellish their bodies must be raised. These curious ornaments are formed by cutting gashes in the flesh three-quarters of an inch long, and stuffing the wound with mud, which prevents the edges from adhering, and when the skin grows over, leaves a lump like an almond. The number, proximity, and pattern of these adornments are according to the peculiar tastes of the family, and vary considerably, but the breast, back, shoulders, and arms are usually pretty thickly sown, giving the appearance of a number of fresh graves, placed close together in a black soil field.


Abiram's question was one of those lucky inspirations that sometimes strike one, changing, as by magic, obscurity into distinctness, and pouring in a flood of light where no ray could be seen before.

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