Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/191

This page has been validated.

maker of men and things, we are reminded of the Bushman creator, Cagn, who now receives prayers of considerable beauty and pathos, but who is identified with kaggen, the mantis insect, a creative grasshopper, and the chief figure in Bushman mythology.[1] Bun-jel or Pund-jel also figures in Australian belief, neither as the creator nor as the eagle-hawk, but "as an old man who lives at the sources of the Yarra river, where he possesses great multitudes of cattle."[2] The term Bun-jel is also used, much like our "Mr.," to denote the older men of the Kurnai and Briakolung, some of whom have magical powers. One of them, Krawra, or "West Wind," can cause the wind to blow so violently as to prevent the natives from climbing trees; this man has semi-divine attributes. From these facts it appears that the Australian creator partakes of the character of the totem or worshipful beast, and of that of the wizard or medicine-man. He carried a large knife, and, when he made the earth, he went up and down slicing it into creeks and valleys. The aborigines of the northern parts of Victoria seem to believe in Pund-jel in what appears to be his most primitive shape, that of an eagle.[3] This eagle and a crow created everything, and separated the Murray blacks into their two main divisions, which derive their names from the crow and the eagle. The Melbourne blacks seem to make Pund-jel more anthropomorphic. Men are his

  1. Bleek, Brief Account of Bushman Mythology, p. 6; Cape Monthly Magazine, July 1874, pp. 1–13; Kamilaroi and Kurnai, pp. 210, 324.
  2. Kamilaroi and Kurnai, p. 210.
  3. Brough Smyth, Natives of Victoria, vol. i. p. 423.