Transcription

King Jackey's Funeral

Augt 20th 1833

A long neck of land formed by the junction of a creek with the river was the place chosen as that of internment, at the extremity toward the river. The Brushes on three sides, the fertility of the whole was as pretty a place for the purpose as I know of anywhere. When I approached an old man was digging the grave which a most laborious task, the ground being very hard & the only tool used for the purpose a tomyhawk or small hatchet. The form of the grave was oval and its depth when finished short of four feet.  There were about 16 savages squatting or standing around, amongst them the Father, Mother and several
Brothers of the deceased. The Parents were only Howlers in Company, the cry can be termed nothing else. Those sounds long dwelt upon give an idea of the Male's voice a_____or __ar____o_____r______  The Female's more treble  ea______ou_____u________. This noise they kept up  sans intermission.  The Body itself trussed up in as small a [compass?] as possible and wrapt up in Rugs & all the insignia of a New S Wales Aboriginal was supported by two relations about 4 yds from the grave & laying on their knees whilst they bent over it full of grief and affection. The digging part of grave being finished the Leader went to some of youngest & freshest looking trees and broke the small branches with leaves off & proceeded to line the grave with them. Which being done a Brother of the deceased was desired to try whether the grave was comfortable which he did by laying in it in the posture the deceased was to be placed, after some more slight alteration he again got into it.  And the signal given the younger Branches of the family came forward [surrounded by?] corpse, and as they lifted it up gave a great [shout?] and then as it were [conjured?] by blowing & waving their hands over the body. the same noise & blowing was repeated upon lowering the remains into the arms of his Brother who received them and & carefully placed them in the most comfortable posture and so that not a particle of ground should touch the body.

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