bride, but they, in their curiosity, opened the gourd and let night out prematurely.
The myths which have been reported deal mainly with the sun as a person who shines, and at fixed intervals disappears. His relations with the moon are much more complicated, and are the subject of endless stories, all explaining in a romantic fashion why the moon waxes and wanes, whence come her spots, why she is eclipsed, all starting from the premise that sun and moon are persons with human parts and passions. Sometimes the moon is a man, sometimes a woman, and the sex of the sun varies according to the fancy of the narrators. Different tribes of the same race, as among the Australians, have different views of the sex of moon and sun. Among the aborigines of Victoria, the moon, like the sun among the Bushmen, was a black fellow before he went up into the sky. After an unusually savage career, he was killed with a stone hatchet by the wives of the eagle, and now he shines in the heavens. Another myth explanatory of the moon's phases was found by Mr. Meyer in 1846 among the natives of Encounter Bay. According to them, the moon is a woman, and a bad woman to boot. She lives a life of dissipation among men, which makes her consumptive, and she wastes away till they drive her from their company. While she is in retreat, she lives on nourishing roots, becomes quite plump, resumes her gay career, and again wastes away. The
- Contes Indiens du Bresil, pp. 1–9, by Couto de Magalhães. Rio de Janerio, 1883. M. Henri Gaidoz kindly presented the author with this work.
- Brough Smyth, Aborigines of Victoria, i. 432.