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ghosts that he obtained replies to questions concerning events passing at a distance or yet to happen, which might be of interest or moment to his tribe." Mr. Howitt prints[1] an account of a spiritual séance in the bush. "The fires were let go down. The Birraark uttered the cry 'coo-ee' at intervals. At length a distant reply was heard, and shortly afterwards the sound as of persons jumping on the ground in succession. A voice was then heard in the gloom asking in a strange intonation 'What is wanted?' Questions were put by the Birraark and replies given. At the termination of the séance, the spirit-voice said, 'We are going.' Finally, the Birraark was found in the top of an almost inaccessible tree, apparently asleep."[2] There was one Birraark at least to every clan. The Kurnai gave the name of "Brewin" (a powerful evil spirit) to a Birraark who was once carried away for several days by the Mrarts or spirits. The conception of Brewin is about as near as the Kurnai get to the idea of a God; their conferring of his name on a powerful sorcerer is therefore a point of importance and interest. It is a belief with the Australians, as, according to Bosman, it was with the people of the Gold Coast, that a very powerful wizard lives far inland, and the Negroes held that to this warlock the spirits of the dead went to be judged according to the merit of their actions in life. Here we have a doctrine

  1. Page 254.
  2. In the Jesuit Relations (1637), p. 51, we read that the Red Indian sorcerer or Jossakeed was credited with power to vanish suddenly away out of sight of the men standing around him. Of him, as of Homeric gods, it might be said, "Who has power to see him come or go against his will?"