Australian Folklore and Myth

 

 

 

 

 

This is a collection of beliefs, superstitions, and history from the land Down Under.

 

  • The ghost of an person who died without being buried will become a demon.
  • It was once thought in the Gold Coast region that the devil was always nearby to bring misfortune. One custom was that, every time a master vacated his seat, his servant immediately moved to it. This prevented the devil’s occupation of the master’s seat.
  • Many Australian colonists were involved in the Spiritualist movement before settling there.
  • Schamlyn- the pseudonym of a writer in Victoria who engaged a debate on spiritualism with the editor of the Collingwood Advertiser.
  • William Terry was the editor for the Harbinger of Light in Melbourne. He also organized the Victorian Association of Spiritualists, in 1870.
  • Birraark- a necromancer.

 

 

Aboriginal

Little distinction was given between Aboriginal tribes in historic texts. This will be improved eventually. For now, the lore is given basic division.

 

General

  • An aboriginal individual was called a, “Blackfellow,” in Victorian times.
  • The devil is a night-bird called the Kvingan. Explorers frequently heard its nightly cry, and no natives would accompany them to shoot the bird. The shooter was always unlucky.
  • Magical items or fetishes is always more powerful if it came from a far-away place.
  • Sticks obtained from distant locations help wives obey their husbands.
  • Debil-debil shoes- shoes made of bound emu feathers and human blood. The round shape at either end means the wearer can’t be tracked. In legend, they were wore by a kurdaitcha, who is a death-bringer or executioner.
  • Death is more often the result of evil magic than natural causes.
  • A man can become a kurdaitcha by submitting to the proper ceremony. The little toe of his foot is dislocated. He is then dressed and painted by the medicine man and adorns the shoes.

Northern

  • Mauia- small stones traded among the northern tribes that contain a powerful evil. They are wrapped tightly to protect the carrier.
  • Batman- the deity who fell to earth. According to legend, the place he landed made a great explosion that produced Mauia stones.

 

Central

  • Native magic was only practiced by a few individuals, and rarely by women.
  • Medicine men were used to investigate deaths believed to have been caused by magic.
  • Magic is never used for profit or compensation.
  • Females were generally forbidden to enter any places of magical ceremony.
  • Churingas are long, oval pieces of wood. They contain the spirits of their ancestors. These items are kept hidden.
  • Magic was normally used to increase supplies of food and water. Occasionally, it was used to injure an enemy.

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