The spirit of dead person which is supposed to hover round the tree grave and at times visits the camp, if it be that of a man, to see that the widows are mourning properly; occasionally also it can be heard making a low kind of whistling sound. When the brother thinks it is getting near to the time for the final ceremonies he goes to the tree, and, addressing the spirit, says, "Shall I go away?" If the latter says "Yes," he goes back to his camp at once, knowing that the time for the ceremony has not yet come. It is often only after several such questionings that the spirit tells the man that it wishes the period of mourning to come to an end.



  • Spencer, Sir Baldwin. (1904). Northern Tribes of Central Australia. London: Macmillan, p. 530.

This article incorporates text from Northern Tribes of Central Australia (1904) by Sir Baldwin Spencer, which is in the public domain.