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magic among the Kurnai.[1] "Seeing a Tatungolung very lame, I asked him what was the matter. He said, 'Some fellow has put bottle in my foot.' I found he was probably suffering from acute rheumatism. He explained that some enemy must have found his foot-track and have buried in it a piece of broken bottle. The magic influence, he believed, caused it to enter his foot." On another occasion a native told Mr. Howitt that he had seen black fellows putting poison in his foot—tracks. Bosman mentions a similar practice among the people of Guinea. In Scottish folk—lore a screw nail is fixed into the footprint of the person who is to be injured.

Just as these magical efforts to influence like by like work their way into Vedic and other religions, so they are introduced into the religion of the savage. His prayers are addresses to some sort of superior being, but the efficacy of the prayer is eked out by a little magic, unless indeed we prefer to suppose that the words of the supplication are interpreted by gesture-speech. Sproat writes:[2] "Set words and gestures are used according to the thing desired. For instance, in praying for salmon, the native rubs the backs of his hands, looks upwards, and mutters the words, 'Many salmon, many salmon.' If he wishes for deer, he carefully rubs both eyes; or, if it is geese, he rubs the back of his shoulder, uttering always in a sing-song way the accustomed formula. . . . All these practices in praying no doubt have a meaning. We may see a steady hand is needed in throwing the

  1. Kamilaroi and Kurnai, p. 250.
  2. Savage Life, p. 208.