THE UNAMBAL
AN ABORIGINE TRIBE OF
NORTH WEST AUSTRALIA

The Unambal Aborigine Tribe of North West Australia

Death, Burial, and Killing by Magic

Page 5/6
 

aborigine death
The Death of Aborigines
The Aborigines believe a natural death occurs only if the person concerned was very old. If a younger person dies it is attributed to the magic influence of a hidden enemy.

The aborigines then say that the person concerned has been "sung" or had a "pointing stick" aimed at him. Therefore if a young man dies, it is considered to be murder. The murderer is discovered by placing the body in the branches of a tree, around which each man places a stone. The murderer is detected when the dead man's kidney fat drips onto a particular stone.

When the medicine man returns he can see the spirits who are waiting to eat the dead man's flesh that has fallen from the tree. The spirits tell him the name of the murderer who is then either killed with spears or sung to death. When the flesh has fallen from the bones they are divided into two bundles, one contains the long bones and one the skull.

The mother of the dead carries the bundles around with her for about a year, until they are finely deposited in a special cave. The skull is deposited at the painting of the Wandjina who was the deceased ancestor. The dead man's wife is taken over by one of his brothers, if one of them is old enough, or, if they are all too young, she is free to marry whom she likes.

The Soul after Death



aborigine
The Soul after Death
The Aborigines believe they have various souls or shadows. The one that returns to the watering place for rebirth resides in his kidneys. Another shadow resides in the shoulders and stays with the dead man's bones to guard them. The third resides in his testicles and helps him when hunting, and tugs his hair to make it grow thicker.

The realm of the shadows is in the West on a stony island, with plenty to eat and drink, which is very beautiful and always has a fresh wind blowing so is never too hot. To get there the shadow of the dead person climbs into the sky from the tree on which the corpse is lying, and goes to the land of the dead on a thin string. The journey takes one day.

In the realm of the dead it is dark at first. On arrival the soul sits down on a stone and looks around and then goes into the ground as if on steps. Beneath the earth it is bright, the dead mmon shines there; there is also a great fire there, in the smoke of which the souls of arriving aborigines cleanse themselves. Immeediately on arrival the souls of the departed rush to the new arrival and ask where it came, The soul answers, at the same time calling its mother's name. The mother 's soul forces its way through the crowd of aborigine souls, looks at the newcomer and is glad to see him. The soul then gets smaller and smaller, sheds its feet on which it walked to the realm of the dead via the string in the sky, the feet become bats and remain hanging on the rocks.

The soul becomes so small that it fits into a bark carrier, which the mother soul then carries around with her for the same length of time as she carried her child in her body on earth. From the bark carrier the aborigine soul is then born again, grows up and then lives forever in the realm of the dead.


The Unambal | Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
Watch the Bradshaw Paintings Documentary Film (featuring The Unambal)

bradshaw foundation donate help
Mailing List

Email Sign-Up
website updates

Email

First Name

Last Name

Country

Podcast
bradshaw foundation podcast
DVD
bradshaw foundation ishop dvd
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Join the free Mailing List Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Coso Range Nevada Oregon Territory Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Ian Wilson Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Portable Art Research Paper Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Tanum Rock Art Museum Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation