People who know not God, but only the devil, must be very wicked. These savages show themselves to be children of debbil-debbil by their actions. They kill many of their babes, that they may not have the trouble of nursing them. Old people also they kill, and laugh at the idea of making them “tumble down.” One of the most horrible things they do, is making the skulls of their friends into drinking-cups, and they think that by doing so, they show their AFFECTION! They allow the nearest relation to have the skull of the dead person. They will even EAT a little piece of the dead body, just as a mark of love. But generally speaking, it is only their enemies they eat, and they do eat them whenever they can kill them. There are a great many tribes of natives, and they look upon one another as enemies. If a man of one tribe dare to come, and hunt in the lands of another tribe, he is immediately killed, and his body is eaten.
The bodies of dear friends—are treated with great honor, placed for some weeks on a high platform, and then buried. Mothers prize highly the dead bodies of their children. A traveller met a poor old woman wandering in search of roots, with a stick for digging in her hand, and with no other covering than a little grass mat. On her back she bore a heavy load. What was it? The dead body of her child,—a boy of ten years old; this burden she had borne for three weeks, and she thought she showed her love, by keeping it near her for so long a time. Alas! she knew nothing of the immortal spirit, and how, when washed in Jesus’ blood, it is borne by angels into the presence of God.
But though these savages are so wicked, and so wild, they have their amusements. Dancing is the chief amusement. At every full moon, there is a grand dance, called the Corrobory. It is the men who dance, while the women sit by and beat time. Nothing can be more horrible to see than a Corrobory. It is held in the night by the light of blazing fires. The men are made to look more frightful than usual, by great patches, and stripes of red and white clay all over their bodies; and they play all manner of strange antics, and utter all kinds of strange yells; so that you might think it was a dance in HELL, rather than on earth.
It may surprise you to hear these wild creatures have a turn both for music and drawing. There are figures carved upon the rocks, which show their turn for drawing. The figures represent beasts, fishes, and men, and are much better done than could have been supposed. There are few savages who can sing as well as these natives; but the words of their songs are very foolish. These are the words of one song,
“Eat great deal, eat,
Eat again, plenty to eat;
Eat more yet, eat, eat, eat.”
If a pig could sing, surely this song would just suit its fancy. How sad to think a man who is made to praise God forever and ever, should have no higher joy than eating!