Kurdaitcha (known also as Kurdaitcha man) is a ritual ‘ executioner’ in the culture of the Australian Aborigines , in particular the Arrernte people of Central Australia. The job of a Kurdaitcha was to avenge the death of a person by killing the enemy of the deceased, often with the use of magic. Stories are told of how the execution is carried out, and though there is a certain amount of truth in these tales, other parts are believed to be based purely on the imagination.
When is a Kurdaitcha Used?
The Aborigines of Central Australia supposedly believe that there is no such thing as a natural death and a person’s enemies could use magic to cause his/her death. When magic is suspected to be the cause of death, a Kurdaitcha party may be arranged to avenge the person’s death.
The first step of the process would be to identify the person who is guilty of causing the death. The identity of the culprit may be revealed by the dying person to a Railtchawa, or medicine man . If this is not done, there are other means of finding out the killer’s identity. For instance, a burrow being made by an animal on a particular side of the grave may be interpreted as showing the direction of the killer’s habitation. The identity of the guilty party may take some time to be revealed but it is believed that it will eventually be known.
Identity of the person to blame may be revealed by the dying person to a Railtchawa, or medicine before the Kurdaitcha does his task. (Rafael Ben-Ari / Adobe)
The Process of a Kurdaitcha
Once the culprit is identified and revealed, a council would be held, consisting of the old men of the group to which the deceased belonged. If it is decided that his/her death be avenged by a Kurdaitcha, the person who is to perform this role would be chosen.
One of the most distinct features of a Kurdaitcha is his shoes, which are also referred to in English as Kurdaitcha. This footwear consists of a thick pad of emu feathers matted together with blood drawn from the arm of a young man and a network of human hair strings made from the hair of a living person on the upper surface. The shoes are so evil that when they are not in use they are hidden from the sight of women and children.
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Man wearing Kurdaitcha equipment, Central Australia. (Fæ / CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Before the person selected to be a Kurdaitcha can go about his work, however, he has to have one of his small toes ritually dislocated. This is achieved by having a stone heated and then applied to the ball of the toe. Once the joint is softened, the toe would be pulled outwards with a sudden jerk, thus causing it to dislocate.
How is the Victim Killed by the Kurdaitcha?
There are several ways in which a victim is killed by the Kurdaitcha. One of these ways, which is approved by the council of elders , involves the Kurdaitcha being accompanied by a medicine man on his mission, while the other, which is not sanctioned by the council of elders, but far more popular, involves the Kurdaitcha acting on his own. In both instances, the victim would first be killed, then brought back to life, then allowed to return home. After a short time, however, the victim would fall ill and die, and apparently nobody would be able to trace the deed back to the Kurdaitcha.
Yet another method that a Kurdaitcha may use to kill a victim is through a ceremony called bone pointing. The bone is pointed on one end and covered with a lump of resin on the other. By muttering curses over it, the pointing bone is endowed with magical powers , which could then be used to curse a victim in order to kill him/her. The ritual has to be done properly in order for it to have the desired effect.
Australian Aborigines - Kurdaitcha using a pointing bone. (Fæ / CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Belief in the Kurdaitcha and the power of curses still persists even into modern times, though perhaps less so than before. In 1952, for instance, it was reported that several Aborigines at the Granites gold field had died mysteriously after being visited by the Kurdaitcha, while in 2004, bone pointing was used to place a curse on former Australian Prime Minister John Howard by Australian Aborigines, who were dissatisfied with his decision to scrap a top Aboriginal body. Additionally, the Warlpiri people believe in the existence of the Kurdaitcha even today, though their Kurdaitcha is a sort of malevolent spirit, rather than a man tasked with ritually killing people .
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No idea of natural death—Death of one individual must be avenged in the normal condition of the tribe by the death of another—Organisation of a Kurdaitcha party—The ceremony of dislocating a toe before a man becomes entitled to wear the so-called Kurdaitcha shoes—The Kurdaitcha man accompanied by a Medicine man—Decoration of the two men—Killing the victim and operations of the Medicine man—Another form in which the Kurdaitcha man goes alone—The shoes do not serve to hide the tracks, and can only prevent who made them from being known—The Illapurinja—A form of female Kurdaitcha—The decoration of the woman—How the enemy is killed—Object of the Illapurinja is to punish a woman who has not mourned properly on the death of a daughter, blood or tribal—The Atninga or avenging party—Account of the proceedings of a party—Offering the use of women to the party—Agreement between the avenging party and the old men of the attacked party to kill three of the latter—A special fire is built at each camp—Spearing the victims—The actual slayers must not touch the bodies—Seizure of a woman—Immirinja who actually slew the men and Alknalarinika, the on-lookers—Return to the home camp—Precautions to prevent the Immirinja being injured by the spirits of the dead men—The women strike the shields—The spirit of the dead man assumes the form of a bird which must be watched for as it flies over the camp, otherwise it will produce paralysis.
AMONGST the Central Australian natives there is no such thing as belief in natural death however old or decrepit a man or woman may be when this takes place it is at once supposed that it has been brought about by the magic influence of some enemy, and in the normal condition of the tribe the death of one individual is followed by the murder of some one else who is supposed to be guilty of having caused the death. Not infrequently the dying man will whisper in the ear of a Railtchawa, or medicine man, the name of the man whose magic is killing him. If this be not done then there is no difficulty, by some other method, of fixing sooner or later on the guilty party. Perhaps when digging the grave a hole will be found leading out of it on one side, which at once p. 477 shows the direction in which the culprit lives or this may be indicated, perhaps as long as a year after the death, by a burrow made by some animal on one side of the grave. The identity of the guilty man is always revealed by the medicine man.
When it is known who the culprit is a Kurdaitcha party may be arranged to avenge the death. This custom is, so the natives say, much less frequently carried out at the present day than in former years, and in the southern parts of the tribe seems to have died out altogether. 1 When it is decided who is guilty, a council of the old men of the group to which the dead man belonged is held and, if it be decided that vengeance is to be exacted by means of a Kurdaitcha party, then the man who is to play this part is chosen. The name Kurdaitcha is applied to the latter 2 and he wears the shoes to which by white men the name of Kurdaitcha shoes has been given. In the north the native name for them is Interlinia and in the south Intathurta.
These shoes have the form of a thick pad of emu feathers matted together with human blood drawn from the arm of some young man. They are so ingeniously made however that the use of anything like blood in their construction would never be suspected indeed it is difficult to detect, even with the shoes in one's hands, how the feathers are matted into such a compact mass without apparently the use of anything like stitching. On the upper surface is a network of human hair string made from the hair of any living man or woman—it does not in the least signify who the individual is—and in the middle of the network is a hole through which the foot passes and across which stretches a cord made of several
strands of hair string twisted together. As we have said, it is is by no means an easy matter to make the shoes and, as usual, in the manufacture of any special article, there are certain individuals who are famed for their skill in making them. No woman or child may see them and they are kept wrapped up in skin or else placed for safety in the sacred store house along with the Churinga. It is said that they may be used more than once, but the nature of the shoe is such that it could not last more than one journey over the hard ground characteristic of the interior.
Before a man may wear the shoes he has to submit to a most painful ordeal. A stone is heated to redness and then applied to the ball of the small toe of either foot, it does not matter which, until, as the natives say, the joint is softened when with a sudden jerk, the toe is pulled outwards and the joint is thus dislocated. There is no doubt that some such ordeal as this is passed through, as we have examined feet of men who claim to be what is called Ertwa Kurdaitcha at Charlotte Waters, Crown Point on the Finke River, Owen Springs and Alice Springs amongst the Macdonnell Ranges, all of which show the remarkable peculiarity of the dislocation. In correspondence with this is the fact that the true Kurdaitcha shoe has, at one side, a small opening made in the hair network through which the toe is thrust. 1
Each Kurdaitcha man when going on his errand is accompanied by a medicine man and the two men are rubbed over with charcoal—black being in the Arunta tribe the colour associated with magic—and decorated with bands of white down. The hair of both men is tied up behind and a small conical helmet of twigs is fastened on with hair string. The Kurdaitcha himself has lines of down passing across the front of the helmet, down the side of the face and front of the body and legs as far as the knees. The medicine man has a median line running from the top of the helmet to the tip of his nose another curved line meeting this at both ends encloses
the eye of each side and on the body a broad band of charcoal runs across from shoulder to shoulder and downwards till, at the level of the sternum, it divides into two, one passing on either side of the mid line and so on as far down as the knee. The bands are outlined with white down, and, as the pattern is a constant one, the Kurdaitcha man can always be distinguished from the medicine man.
Both of the men wear the Interlinia or shoes which, when thus in use, are decorated with lines of white and pink down, and, while they are being put on and attached to the feet and legs with human hair string, the Kurdaitcha sings
“Interlinia turlaa attipa
which literally translated means “Interlinia to me hold fast, interlinia hold fast.” There is not, either at the making or at the putting on of the shoes, anything in the way of an incantation beyond this simple one.
Like the man who is on any particular occasion acting as a Kurdaitcha, the doctor himself must be an Ertwa Kurdaitcha who has qualified by passing through the ordeal by fire in which the toe is dislocated. Both men carry shields and spears, and also one or more Churinga, which are supposed as usual to impart to them strength, courage, accuracy of aim, and also to render them invisible to their enemies, and in addition they act as charms to prevent their wearers being wounded. Around his waist each one wears the Kirra-urkna, or girdle, made from the hair which has been cut from a warrior after his death and which is supposed to add to the wearer all the war-like virtues of the dead man.
Followed by the medicine man the Kurdaitcha takes the lead until the enemy is sighted. Then the medicine man falls into the rear while the Kurdaitcha stealthily creeps forward towards his quarry and suddenly rising up, spears him before he is aware of the presence of an enemy. Both medicine man and Kurdaitcha have meanwhile put the sacred Churinga between their teeth and when they are thus armed the spear cannot fail to strike the victim. As soon as this is done the Kurdaitcha man goes away to some little distance from the p. 481 fallen man and from which he cannot see the operations of the medicine man who now approaches and performs his share in the work. By aid of his magic powers and by means of the Atnongara stones he heals the victim. These Atnongara stones are small crystalline structures which every medicine man is supposed to be able to produce at will from his own body throughout which it is believed that they are distributed—in fact it is the possession of these stones which gives to the medicine man his virtue. Into the spear wound he rubs a white greasy substance called Ernia which he obtains by pressure of the skin glands on the outside of the nostril. After all external traces of the wound have disappeared he goes quietly away and, together with the Kurdaitcha man returns to his own country. Having been touched by the Atnongara stones, the victim returns to life, but is completely ignorant of all that has taken place. He returns to camp and in a short time sickens and dies. His death is attributed to Kurdaitcha or to some other form of magic influence, but no one will be able to trace the tracks of the Kurdaitcha.
Another form of Kurdaitcha which has not the sanction of the council of elders but is said to be the more favourite method of procedure is for the Kurdaitcha to go alone without the medicine man accompanying him. After killing his enemy he allows the body to lie out in the sun for an hour or two and then he makes an incision in the tongue through which he sucks away the blood which is supposed to have accumulated internally. Then he plugs up the spear wound with the Alpita (a rat tail tip ornament worn as a conventional covering) and leaves it there a short time while he sings a magic chant. Then the Alpita is removed and a small fire stick is held close to the wound so that the skin contracts and the wound closes up and heals. Sometimes instead of sucking the tongue, the Kurdaitcha catches a special kind of slender, smooth bodied lizard (Rhodona bipes) which frequents the roots of Mulga trees and inserts the head of the animal into the wound through which it is supposed to suck up all the blood. Finally he either bites the tongue of the victim or else presses a charmed bone p. 482 called an Injilla under it, the effect of either of which actions is to cause the victim to completely lose all recollection of what has taken place when, a short time afterwards, he comes to life again. The man who has thus been killed returns to his camp having no idea of what has happened, and soon sickens and dies.
Whilst there is much of a mythical nature about the Kurdaitcha it is quite possible that there is a certain amount of truth underlying a good deal that is, of course, a matter of pure imagination. It is very possible that the shoes, if not actually used at the present day, have been used in past times for the purpose of aiding in secret killing and, to the present day, the fear of the Kurdaitcha man lurking around is always present with the native. We have met several Kurdaitcha men who claim to have killed their victim and many more men who are perfectly certain that they have seen Kurdaitcha One group of men will tell you that they do not go Kurdaitcha but that another group does do so, and if you then question the latter they will tell you that they do not, but p. 483 that their accusers do. It is in fact a case of each believing the other guilty and both being innocent. At the same time many will at once confess that they do go Kurdaitcha, when as a matter of fact they do not.
As to the question of tracking, the idea which has been generally held, that the shoes are used to prevent the tracks being seen will not be regarded as at all satisfactory by those who are acquainted with the remarkable power of the Australian native in this respect. They will neither hide the track nor, though they are shaped alike at each end, will they even suffice to prevent any native who cares to look from seeing at a glance which direction the wearer has come from, or gone towards. Any even moderately experienced native will, without the slighest difficulty, tell from the faintest track—from an upturned stone, a down-bent piece of grass or a twig of shrub—not only that some one has passed by but also the direction in which he has travelled. The only way in which they can be of use in hiding tracks is by preventing it from being recognised who was the particular individual, and in this way they might be of service, for when once an experienced native—almost incredible though it may sound to those who have not had the opportunity of watching them—has seen the track of a man or woman he will distinguish it afterwards from that of any other individual of his acquaintance.
Most probably the explanation is, not that the native cannot follow the track, but that either he persuades himself that he cannot, or, what is still more likely, that the fear of the magic power of the dreaded Kurdaitcha causes him, if he catches sight of such a track, to avoid as much as possible the spot where he has seen it, in just the same way in which an ordinary European peasant will avoid the spot haunted by a ghost.
Our impression with regard to the Kurdaitcha is that at the present day it is merely a matter of myth, though at the same time every native is firmly convinced that some other native does actually “go Kurdaitcha,” and is quite prepared, as a general rule, to allow others to think that he himself does he will even go to the length of suffering the pain of having his toe dislocated in order to “prove” that he is a genuine Ertwa Kurdaitcha. p. 484 To those who are personally acquainted with the Australian native there will not appear to be anything at all improbable in this. He delights in mystery, and for the purpose of standing high in the estimation of his fellow men will submit to inconveniences and discomforts which perhaps appear to a white man to be ludicrously out of all proportion to the advantages to be gained, but to him it is far otherwise, and the mystery which surrounds and lends importance to the individual who has actually, for example, “gone Kurdaitcha,” is just what appeals to the imagination of the Australian native. At the same time it is not by any means improbable that at some time past some such custom associated with secret killing was even largely practiced, and formed a kind of endless vendetta. Possibly some old Oknirabata whose superior wisdom had gained for him great repute (just as it would do at the present day), perceiving the endless deaths which it entailed, introduced the curious and painful ordeal of dislocation of the toe as a means of checking the practice.
During the Engwura which we witnessed a special ceremony was performed which had reference to the Kurdaitcha custom. This was called the Ininja, the word being the name applied to a small party of men sent out by the older men of any group to kill some special individual. The ceremony was in the possession of the Alatunja of a group of Ullakupera (little hawk) men and had been received by him from a group of natives living out to the east. In connection with the performance five men were decorated with bands of charcoal edged with white down, a line of the latter running straight from the top of the helmet along the bridge of the nose and then over the upper lip and beard, which was tied back upon the face with hair string. A semi-circle of white down, each end of which touched the median line surrounded the eyes. Every man carried a shield, and was either armed with a spear-thrower or boomerang, while one of them carried a long spear, the pointed end of which was decorated with down.
One by one the men ran out with exaggerated high knee action from the group of natives who were assembled at one side of the Engwura ground. Crouching down in various spots, each man lay on the ground with his shield over his p. 485 head and his body huddled up so as to occupy as little space as possible. They all lay perfectly still while an old man armed only with a fighting club came and walked about, wandering here and there as if he were looking for some track. Then the Kurdaitcha men arose and one after the other crept stealthily up to him from behind. Suddenly he turned round and caught sight of the Kurdaitcha who were just about to kill him with a boomerang or spear. Then a mock fight took place, in which the Kurdaitcha was always worsted and tumbled down, the old man each time giving him a final tap with his club, which particularly pleased the audience, for in these performances there are certain conventional actions which must be observed by the actors. One after another the Kurdaitcha men came up, and each was worsted in his turn. When apparently all had been killed the old man still went wandering about, and the same performance was again gone through. After about fifteen minutes had been spent in this way the old man leisurely walked back to the group of spectators, once more killing each of the men before he got there. When close home a combined attack was made upon him, but with no success, as he killed them all and the performance ended with him standing, brandishing his club over their dead bodies, which were heaped together in front of him. The actions of the old man and of the Kurdaitcha men might have been copied from a stage fight.
Tradition relates that the incident to which the performance refers actually took place in the far past when a noted warrior slew five Kurdaitchas who followed him as he went out tracking animals for food.
THE CUSTOM OF ILLAPURINJA
Illapurinja, a word which means “the changed one,” is the name given to a woman who may be spoken of as, in a modified form, a female Kurdaitcha, and whom we may regard, at all events at the present day, as being entirely a mythical personage, whose existence in the mind of the native is concerned mainly with the observance of certain p. 486 customs in connection with mourning for dead relatives. The natives' idea with regard to her is as follows.
On very rare occasions a woman may, at her own request, be sent out by her husband to avenge some injury done, or supposed to be done, to one of her own kindred. There is no such thing as any consultation of the old men in connection with this in fact, if they knew of its being prepared, they would prevent her going, so that the affair is a secret one, known only to the woman and her husband. It seems as if the Illapurinja has never been a very popular form of avenging an injury, and is very rarely mentioned except when a medicine man discovers that one of his patients, who has been seized with sudden and unaccountable illness, is suffering from the attack of an Illapurinja. As usual, the natives when questioned on the subject said that though they knew all about it, yet it was a custom which they did not practise, or, rather, had not practised for many years, but that it was prevalent out to the east. It is only a few years since a man was out hunting euros near to Alice Springs, and was attacked by an Illapurinja who had come from an outlying group. He was picked up insensible (the day was a very hot one, and in all probability the case was one of sunstroke), and brought into camp in a dazed condition. Under the treatment of an able medicine man, whose services were fortunately available, he recovered, after the extraction from his body of a number of pieces of a wooden Churinga.
When being prepared, the Illapurinja is rubbed all over with grease and red ochre and decorated with white down, which is fixed on to her body with blood drawn from her husband, this being the only occasion known to us on which a woman is thus decorated. Her head is ornamented with head rings and tufts of tail tips. In one hand she carries a long fighting club, the ends of which are decorated with down, and in the other a large wooden Churinga, which has been specially made for the occasion by her husband.
When the decoration, which is done in perfect secresy, is complete, no one but just the man and woman knowing anything whatever about it, the husband takes one of her digging p. 487 sticks, fixes it upright in the ground, and ties on to the upper end a small tuft of Alpita or rat tails. This he carefully watches while she is away. Should she be killed, then the Alpita at once falls to the ground of its own accord and p. 488 the husband, understanding what this means, will immediately destroy his camp and everything in it which belonged to the Illapurinja, and move to a new spot, leaving, however, the digging stick and Alpita untouched.
It is always night time when the woman sets out, and after having been decorated, she first of all lies down in the camp as if nothing unusual were about to happen but when her husband is asleep she steals quietly away quite alone, and goes to the place where she hopes to find the man or woman whom she is in search of. It it be a man, then she lies down concealed, and waiting her opportunity, which comes when his attention is occupied in stalking a kangaroo or emu. If a woman be her quarry, then she hides close to some favourite “yam” ground, and when the former is busy digging up the tubers she creeps up. In either case the Churinga is thrown from behind so as to hit the victim's neck, when it enters the body, becoming, as it does so, broken up into a number of small pieces.
The victim at once becomes insensible, and remains so for some little time, and, when consciousness is once more recovered, suffers great pain. In the case of an old woman death is sure to follow, but in that of a man or younger woman, recovery is possible with the aid of a clever medicine man, who, after much trouble and by dint of long-continued rubbing and sucking, may succeed in extracting the broken bits of Churinga from the patient's body.
If successful, the Illapurinja returns at once to her husband's camp, always waiting, however, till it be dark before she comes close up to it. During her absence he has made, and kept burning, a small fire at some little distance. By the side of this she lies down quietly until her husband discovers her presence, when he goes and takes her by the arm and leads her into his camp, where both of them sit down without speaking a word, while he removes all traces of the decorations and rubs her with fat and red ochre. The woman then takes up the stick to which the Alpita is tied, and sits down, while the man asks questions to which she replies, but she must not volunteer any information.
The special breach of custom, with the punishment of which p. 489 the Illapurinja is associated, is the omission of a Mia to cut herself as a mark of sorrow on the death of an Umba, that is, a daughter blood or tribal. Such an omission is a grave offence against a dead Umba, and the dread of punishment at the hands of an Illapurinja must act as a strong inducement to secure the proper carrying out of the ceremony. If one Mia omits to cut herself, then some other one will go in search of her, and, failing the chance of killing her, will strike one of the offending woman's brothers. There is now living at Alice Springs a man who was thus injured by an Illapurinja, and whose life was only just saved, so the natives believe, by the exertions of a medicine man. When his death does occur, it will undoubtedly be attributed to this attack, certain parts of the Churinga—so it will be said—not having been extracted.
This is the only case which has come to our knowledge in which a woman is decorated with down fixed on with blood, and in which she actually handles a Churinga. The latter, of course, is not one of the ancestral Churinga, but it is regarded as being a sacred stick, and is spoken of as a Churinga just as are certain other similarly shaped sticks which are used in various ceremonies, for which they may be specially made. All that the woman is told is that the stick has been sung over, and is what is called Arungquiltha, that is, charged with magic and evil influence.
The whole affair is a superstition kept alive to make some women believe that they, or their brothers, will suffer if certain ceremonies are not duly attended to, and it is worthy of notice that in this instance the victim belongs to the same group as the avenger.
THE ATNINGA OR AVENGING PARTY
Very often one group of natives, that is, the members of the tribe inhabiting a particular locality, will quarrel with the members of some other group either belonging to the same or to some other tribe. The quarrel is usually due to one of two causes: either some man has stolen a wife from some other group, or else the death of a native is attributed by the p. 490 medicine man to the magic of some member of a distant group. When this is so, the aggrieved party will arrange to make an attack upon the men who are regarded as the aggressors. Most often the attackers, armed with spears and spear-throwers, boomerangs, and shields, will march up to the enemies' camp, and the quarrel will be confined to a wordy warfare, lasting perhaps for an hour or two, after which things quieten down, and all is over but in some cases a regular fight takes place, in which severe wounds may be inflicted. In other cases the attacking party will steal down upon the enemy, and, lying in ambush, will await an opportunity of spearing one or two of the men without any risk to themselves.
The following incident which happened recently will serve to show what often takes place.
The men living in the country round about Alice Springs in the Macdonnell Range were summoned by Inwurra, that is, properly accredited messengers carrying Churinga, who had been sent out by the Alatunja of the group to assemble for the purpose of making war upon the Iliaura tribe, which occupies the country between eighty and a hundred miles to the north of the Ranges.
For a long time the northern groups of the Arunta tribe had been in fear of the Iliaura, who had been continually sending in threatening messages, or at least it was constantly reported that they were doing so, for it must be remembered that imagination plays a large part in matters such as these amongst the natives. Several deaths, also, which had taken place amongst the Arunta, had been attributed by the medicine men to the evil magic of certain of the Iliaura men. When the messengers and the men summoned had assembled at Alice Springs a council of the elder men was held, at which it was determined to make a raid on the Iliaura, and accordingly a party was organised for the purpose. Such an avenging party is called an Atninga.
When all was prepared the Atninga started away for the north, and, after travelling for several days, came upon a group of Iliaura men, consisting of about a dozen families, near to whom they camped for two days.
As usual on such occasions, the Iliaura sent some of their women over to the strangers' camp, but the fact that the use of the women was declined by the visitors at once indicated that the mission of the latter was not a friendly one. The women are offered with a view of conciliating the Atninga men, who, if they accept the favour, indicate by so doing that the quarrel will not be pursued any further.
In the Iliaura community were two old men, and with them matters were discussed by the elder men amongst the Arunta at a spot some little distance from the camp of the latter. After a long talk extending over two days, during which the strangers set forth their grievances and gave the Iliaura men very clearly to understand that they were determined to exact vengeance, the two old men said, in effect, “Go no further. Our people do not wish to quarrel with your people there are three bad men in our camp whom we Iliaura do not like, they must be killed. Two are Iturka (that is men who have married within the forbidden degrees of relationship) the other is very quarrelsome and strong in magic and has boasted of killing your people by means of Kurdaitcha and other magic. Kill these men, but do not injure any others in our camp, and we will help you.”
These terms were accepted by the Arunta, and it was agreed between the old men of the two parties that an attempt should be made to kill the three men on the next day. At daylight the old men of the Iliaura went some little distance away from their camp, and there made a fire, and called up the other men of their party. This special fire, at which it is intended to surprise and kill the men who have been condemned and handed over to the tender mercies of their enemies, is called Thara (the ordinary word for fire being Ura). At the Atninga camp another fire, also called Thara, was lighted at the same time. Shortly after daylight a number of the Arunta, led by an old man, went over to the Thara of the Iliaura, all of them being unarmed, and here they took special care to engage the condemned men in conversation. The remainder of the Atninga party in full war-paint, with whittled sticks in their hair, their bodies painted with red ochre, carrying spears, boomerangs, and shields, and each one p. 492 wearing the magic Kirra-urkna or girdle made of a dead man's hair, crept up unseen and, suddenly springing up, speared two of the condemned men from behind. The third man—one of the two Iturka—had grown suspicious during the night and had accordingly decamped, taking his women with him.
A large number of spears were thrown into the bodies of the men who were killed. When they were dead the Atninga party danced round the bodies, and taking the whittled sticks or Ilkunta from their heads, broke them up and threw the pieces on to the bodies. These Ilkunta are always worn by certain groups of the Northern Arunta when they really mean to fight, and amongst the same natives also under these circumstances little curved flakes are cut by means of flints on their spears about a foot from the pointed end.
The Iliaura men looked on quietly while the killing took place, and when all was over, the spears were taken out of the bodies by the men of the Arunta who had acted as decoys, and were handed back to their respective owners. It is supposed that if the latter themselves removed them some great evil would befall them, as the body and anything in contact with it of a victim killed in this way is strictly tabu to the killer.
When this had been done, the Arunta went to the main camp of the Iliaura and took the Unawa of one of the dead men, and she became and is now the property of the old man who seized her, she being a woman of the class into which he could lawfully marry. One girl child was annexed by one of the younger men, who carried her on his back for the greater part of the return journey for about a hundred miles. The two women who belonged to the Iturka man were away, but no attempt was made to capture them, as being themselves Iturka, they would not be taken as wives by the men of the avenging party. They would when captured meet with severe punishment at the hands of the Iliaura men and in all probability would be put to death. Had they been the proper Unawa of the dead man, they would, if present, have been appropriated by men of the Atninga party to whom they were also Unawa. The special name of Immirinja is given to the men who p. 493 actually took part in the spearing, those who acted as decoys and who thus merely took a passive part, being called Alknalarinika which means “onlookers.”
Travelling back to the Arunta country, the Atninga party separated into various contingents, each of which went to its own locality, upon arrival at which certain ceremonies had to be observed. The Alice Springs contingent, which will serve to illustrate what took place in each instance, halted some distance away from the main camp and decorated their bodies, painting them all over with powdered charcoal and placing on their foreheads and through the septum of the nose small twigs of a species of Eremophila. As soon as they came in sight of the main camp they began to perform an excited war-dance, approaching in the form of a square and holding and moving their shields as if to ward off something which was being thrown at them. This action is called Irulchiukiwuma and is intended to beat off the Ulthana or spirit of the dead man.
The Immirinja men were in the lead and, upon arrival within sight of the camp, they separated from the others and formed a single extended line with spears at rest and their shields held in front of them with the convex side outwards. Not a word was spoken and the Immirinja stood perfectly still looking straight ahead. The Alknalarinika men, who now formed an irregular square in the rear, shouted out, with evident enjoyment, the result of the expedition. Then a number of old women approached carrying fighting clubs and performing, as they came along, a kind of exulting skip movement. Each one with her club struck the shield of every one of the Immirinja, and when this had been done the men who did not go on the expedition followed suit, using their boomerangs.
The striking of the shields is called ulquita atuma (ulquita shields, atuma to strike). This is a ceremony of very considerable importance, and every one listens intently to the sound which is produced by the blow. It it be hollow (atalya), the owner of the shield is under some malignant influence and he will not live long if, on the other hand, the the sound is firm and strong (elatilkima), then he is safe and is not a victim of magic.
After the shield striking was over the women and children returned to their camp and the Atninga party marched to the corrobboree ground, the Immirinja men remaining perfectly silent. There, all sat perfectly silent, the Immirinja in the front and the Alknalarinika behind them. After singing and beating of boomerangs had gone on for some time two of the Immirinja jumped up and, making a wide circuit of the gathering, ran round with exaggerated knee action and went through a performance in which they imitated the different attitudes of attack and defence. They then halted with spears at rest and shields held as before, until all of the men who had not been with them came up and struck their shields with a boomerang, after which they walked back to the party and sat down. The same performance was passed through by all the Immirinja two at a time. It is supposed to be very effective as a means of frightening the Ulthana, that is the spirit of the dead man. One of the shields gave out a hollow sound at which all appeared to be much distressed, while some shouted out telling the man to hold it straight up. After slightly altering the position it was again struck and to the apparent relief of the listeners gave out the right sound. While this ceremony was in progress the Alknalarinika men were vying with each other in relating the details of the expedition, only stopping to listen when the shields were struck.
Shortly afterwards the men separated and went to their respective camps. During that night, and for some days afterwards, none of the Immirinja would speak of the incidents of the expedition, and they continued to paint their bodies with charcoal and to decorate their foreheads and noses with green twigs finally they painted their bodies and faces with bright colours and became free to talk about the affair. Their troubles were not yet over however. The Ulthana or spirit of the dead man is supposed to follow the party in the form of a little bird called Chichurkna and is constantly on the look-out to injure the Immirinja. While flying it makes a noise like a child crying in the distance, and, should any one of the men fail to hear this, he would become paralysed in his right arm and shoulder. At night time p. 495 especially, when the Chichurkna is flying over the camp, they have to be wakeful, and, when lying down, are always careful to conceal the right arm and shoulder lest the bird should look down upon and injure them, and every man wears Alpita in his hair which is supposed to help him to keep awake, the rabbit-kangaroo from which it comes being a nocturnal animal and so acts as a charm against his being surprised by the Chichurkna. When once the voice has been heard there is no further fear, because the Ulthana recognises that it has been watched for and detected and is therefore powerless to do any harm.
Some little time afterwards the shields of all the men were again tested to see that they were sound.
This killing of Iturka men by strange blacks belonging to other groups has been a common practice amongst the tribes. When a case of this kind arises, the old men of the group to which the offender belongs hold a meeting to discuss the matter, and if all of them vote in favour of the death of a man or woman, a neighbouring group is asked to come and carry out the sentence. Sometimes it is agreed that the offending parties are to be punished in some less severe way, perhaps by cutting the man's legs or by burning the woman with a fire-stick, and then if after this the two still continue to live together, the death penalty will be carried out.
Sometimes, but only rarely, a man is strong enough to resist, but even if he be successful his life is at best a miserable one as he dare not come anywhere near the camps, but is forced to live in inaccessible parts in constant fear of being surprised and put to death. At Charlotte Waters, for example, there has been in recent years a case of this kind. One of the finest men of the group carried off a woman who was not his lawful Unawa, both the man and the woman belonging to the Purula class. 1 For two or three years the two led a wandering life away from the usual haunts and several attempts were made to kill them, the woman being very severely wounded
on one occasion. The man, however, was a formidable antagonist of well-known prowess, and after having killed two of the men who attempted to punish him and nearly killing the proper husband of the woman, it was thought best to leave him alone, though up to the present day when quarrels occur in which he is concerned he is often taunted with being Iturka.
477:1 An excellent account of the Kurdaitcha custom as it formerly existed in the southern part of the Arunta tribe has already been published by Mr. P. M. Byrne, Proc. Roy. Soc., Victoria, vol. iii. (new series), p. 65. Various accounts have from time to time been published with regard to the so-called Kurdaitcha shoes associating them with “rain-making,” etc., but the most accurate and reliable account is that given by Mr. Byrne, and quoted subsequently by Dr. Stirling in the Anthropological Report of the Horn Expedition. An interesting account containing various ideas with regard to the shoes is given by Mr. R. Etheridge, jun., Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W., 1894, p. 544.
477:2 In the Urabunna tribe the same custom prevails, but the name Kūthi is given to the man.
478:1 A considerable number of these shoes are made apparently more for models than for use, and such are usually much too small to be worn on a native foot, and do not have the small hole, though probably this is not made until the time of actual use.
495:1 They were, according to our terms of relationship, cousins. Their mothers were the daughters of the same woman by different husbands.
I’m Not Afraid To Wave My Dildos Of Truth At The Deep State
According to Wikipedia: Kurdaitcha (or kurdaitcha man) is a ritual “executioner” in Australian Aboriginal culture (specifically the term comes from the Arrernte people) who points the dildo of truth at the bad man.
Among traditional Indigenous Australians there is no such thing as a belief in natural death. All deaths are considered to be the result of evil spirits or spells, usually influenced by an enemy. Often, a dying person will whisper the name of the person they think caused their death. If the identity of the guilty person is not known, a “magic man” will watch for a sign, such as an animal burrow leading from the grave showing the direction of the home of the guilty party. This may take years but the identity is always eventually discovered. The elders of the mob that the deceased belonged to then hold a meeting to decide a suitable punishment. A Kurdaitcha may or may not be arranged to avenge them. The practice of Kurdaitcha had died out completely in Southern Australia by the 20th century although it was still carried out infrequently in the North. The practice, in regard to bone pointing by itself, does continue into modern times albeit very rarely.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Executioners prefer to engage the enemy as closely as possible. This ensures victory and glory for their Astartes.
They are unafraid of battles of attrition or mutual destruction, relying on the abilities of their Battle-Brothers to overcome and endure anything the enemy can throw at them.
At times this has proven to be a flaw, as the Chapter has a predilection to fight on once engaged where its better strategic judgment might have otherwise prevailed before its bloodlust was roused.
Understanding Of Indigenous Creature's/Spirit's.
*THE BUNYIP, or kianpraty, is a large mythical creature from Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes
*GREAT HAIRY MAN Aka Yowie "Doolagahl" They are hairy, naked ape-like forms--a male of about six feet tall, a female and juvenile male five feet tall. They have a bad smell like off meat or fish and they can be good and bad.
*The YARA-MA-YHA-WHO- This creature resembles a little red man with a very big head and large mouth with no teeth. On the ends of its hands and feet are suckers. It lives in fig trees and does not hunt for food, but waits until an unsuspecting traveler rests under the tree. It then drops onto the victim and
drains their blood using the suckers on its hands and feet, making them weak. It then consumes the person, drinks some water, and then takes a nap.
*TALL MAN/WOMEN-Back in the dreamtime there was a tall spirit man and a tall spirit woman called Charnok People. The Charnok woman had long white hair down to her back. In the darkness of the dreamtime, the spirit woman saw a small pair of eyes looking up at her. She picked up this little being. It was a spirit child. She did not want to part with this child so she placed it in her long white hair and the child held on tight. As she
travelled she collected more and more of these spirit children. As she crossed a large valley that the Waugal created, which we now know as the Swan River, she left her footprint. We know this place today as Blackwall Reach. Tall man can also be good (protectors) and bad and Tall man appear in some area's with a trench coat and cowboy hat.
*MIN MIN LIGHTS- is the name given to an unusual light formation, the lights sometimes follow or approached people and have disappeared when fired upon, only to reappear later on.
*POINCIANA WOMAN- the malicious
spirit of a young Aboriginal (Indiginous Australian) girl who was brutally murdered. Now her spirit inhabits the Poinciana trees, If any male is foolish enough to call her name three times, they will see a her and branch like claws
and will take the male and either kill or they will disappear.
*FEATHERFOOT MAN-A featherfoot is usually a bad spirit who kills people. In most traditional Indigenous beliefs, there is no such thing as a natural death. Every death is caused by evil spirits or spells. It is usually because of an enemy, who wants revenge for something. A featherfoot is so named because they are believed to have supernatural powers, including the ability to
fly. He wears special shoes made of feathers (usually emu) and hair, stuck together with human blood. Scholars say that the shoes leave no tracks
* QUINKANS- quinkan's are such powerful supernatural
spirits. They lurk in caves and other dark places and come out at night. The Quinkan we were seen as menacing. As a Quinkan woman whose arms were raised above her head and her knees were bent, as if she was jumping up and down.
"She's an Imjim Quinkan, sometimes called Anurras,".
*KURDAITCHA (or kurdaitcha man) THE MAN WHO POINT'S THE BONE, is a ritual "executioner" in
Aboriginal culture.All deaths are considered to be the result of evil
spirits or spells, usually influenced by an enemy. Often, a dying person will whisper the name of the person they think caused their death. If the identity of the guilty person is not known, a "magic man" will watch for a sign, such as an animal burrow leading from the grave showing the direction of the
home of the guilty party.his may take years but the identity is always eventually discovered. The elders of the mob that the deceased belonged to then hold a meeting to decide a suitable punishment. A Kurdaitcha may or may not be
arranged to avenge them.
*Mokoi- ("evil spirit") is an evil spirit who
killed sorcerers who used black magic. Also known to kidnap children at night to eat them. The Murngin believed that death was rarely caused by old age and instead it was the work of a mokoi, who would bring about some sort of disease
or fatal accident
* Muldjewangk- is a water-creature in Australian
Aboriginal mythology that inhabited the Murray River, particularly Lake Alexandrina. It was used as a deterrent for Aboriginal children who wished to play near the riverside after dark. Sometimes they are portrayed as evil merfolk
(half man half fish), or times as a gargantuan monster.
feed on the bodies of the dead and the blood of the sick. They are able to locate sick people by smell, and upon finding a victim will make themselves
invisible and suck the person's blood without leaving a wound. As the sick person weakens, the Papinijuwari makes itself small enough to enter the body
through the mouth and drinks up the rest of the blood from the inside
*Thinan-malkia- is an evil spirit in Indigenous mythology that captures victims with nets that entangle their feet.
Are there skinwalker stories among Australian aborigines or African tribes?
If such a thing is possible, why would it be limited? Is there any possible "scientific" explanation such as a disease or even a mutation? I can think of no way shape-shifting could be accounted for by any means but odd-looking people (maybe something as harmless as albinos) do exist and maybe sadly get called monsters and then maybe sometimes due to isolation become them.
Australian Aboriginals do:
Kurdaitcha (or kurdaitcha man) is a ritual "executioner" in Australian Aboriginal culture (specifically the term comes from the Arrernte people). The word is also used by Europeans to refer to the shoes worn by the Kurdaitcha, woven of feathers and human hair and treated with blood. The indigenous name for the shoes is interlinia in Northern Australia and intathurta in the South. Other spellings of Kurdaitcha are Cadiche and Kadaitcha.
Among traditional Indigenous Australians there is no such thing as a belief in natural death. All deaths are considered to be the result of evil spirits or spells, usually influenced by an enemy. Often, a dying person will whisper the name of the person they think caused their death. If the identity of the guilty person is not known, a "magic man" will watch for a sign, such as an animal burrow leading from the grave showing the direction of the home of the guilty party. This may take years but the identity is always eventually discovered. The elders of the mob that the deceased belonged to then hold a meeting to decide a suitable punishment. A Kurdaitcha may or may not be arranged to avenge them. The practice of Kurdaitcha had died out completely in Southern Australia by the 20th century although it was still carried out infrequently in the North. The practice, in regard to bone pointing by itself, does continue into modern times albeit very rarely.
An Illapurinja, literally "the changed one", is a female Kurdaitcha who is secretly sent by her husband to avenge some wrong, most often the failure of a woman to cut herself as a mark of sorrow on the death of a family member. Believed to be entirely mythical, the fear of the Illapurinja would be enough to induce the following of the custom
The name Kurdaitcha is also used by Europeans to refer to the oval shoes worn by the Kurdaitcha. The Indigenous name for the shoes are interlinia in Northern Australia and intathurta in the South. The shoe is basically a mat of feathers mixed with human blood in such a way that the blood can not be detected and even a close examination does not reveal how the feathers remain stuck together. The upper surface is covered with a net woven from human hair. An opening in the centre allows the foot to be inserted. It is taboo for any woman or child to see them and when not in use are kept wrapped in kangaroo skin or hidden in a sacred place. Although they may be used more than once they usually don't last more than one journey. When in use, they are decorated with lines of white and pink down and are said to leave no tracks.
Before the shoes can be worn a secret ritual must be performed. A stone is heated red-hot and then placed against the ball of the small toe. Once the joint has softened the toe is jerked outwards, dislocating the joint. Although the ritual has never been observed, examinations of the feet of men who claim to be Kurdaitcha have all shown the same peculiar dislocation. Additionally, the genuine Kurdaitcha shoe has a small opening on one side where a dislocated little toe can be inserted
The expectation that death would result from having a bone pointed at a victim is not without foundation. Other similar rituals that cause death have been recorded around the world. Victims become listless and apathetic, usually refusing food or water with death often occurring within days of being "cursed". When victims survive, it is assumed that the ritual was executed faultily. The phenomenon is recognized as psychosomatic in that death is caused by an emotional response—often fear—to some suggested outside force and is known as "voodoo death." As this term refers to a specific religion, the medical establishment has suggested that "self-willed death," or "bone-pointing syndrome" is more appropriate. In Australia, the practice is still common enough that hospitals and nursing staff are trained to manage illness caused by "bad spirits" and bone pointing
In 2004, Indigenous Australians who disagreed with his policies ritually cursed the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard by pointing a bone at him.
Answerable only to the White House, Stony Man handles anti-terrorist and anti-crime missions that are beyond the capability of established agencies like the CIA, NSA, and FBI. This usually means a mission that the U.S. Government can disclaim any knowledge of if it goes sour, or something that is just too dangerous for regular agencies to handle.
Operating out of a former CIA training facility located in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, Stony Man was created to tap into the expertise of Mack Bolan, a.k.a. the Executioner, for a covert war against terrorism. Bolan was the perfect choice to lead this new war because of his successful campaign against the Mafia. In his new identity of Col. John Phoenix, U.S. Army (Retired), Bolan undertook several campaigns against terrorists and the KGB, sometimes leading either Able Team or Phoenix Force. In the novel Stony Man Doctrine, he led both teams against a massive terrorist campaign against the United States. All their missions were successful.
However, Mack Bolan and Stony Man would learn that success came with a price.
A KGB-sponsored mercenary team led by a former Green Beret named Al Miller assaults the Stony Man compound in an effort to wipe out the organization. The team is dealt with, but not without casualties. The Stony Man computer expert, Aaron Kurtzman, is permanently paralyzed from the waist down. Andrzej Konzaki, Stony Man's weaponsmith is killed in the attack. The most painful casualty for Bolan was the death of his lover, April Rose, who was Stony Man's mission controller. Ms. Rose deliberately steps in the path of a bullet fired by Captain Wade. The Captain, head of Stony Man security, was also a mole for Al Miller and his cohorts. Wade had killed Miller to keep from being exposed and tried to assassinate Bolan, but Ms. Rose's sacrifice prevented this. Stony Man was attacked three more times subsequent to this attack, once by Jared Quillian, a renegade industrialist, the second time by a leftover Russian KGB agent who posed as a Stony Man Blacksuit and used an investigative reporter seeking to make a name for herself as an unwitting accomplice, and the third time by forces from the Nazi organization COMCON.
In another blow to the organization, Mack Bolan, in his identity of Col. John Phoenix, was framed for the assassination of Damien Macek, labor leader and anti-communist dissident, by the KGB, resulting in him being labeled a dangerous, unstable renegade by all law-enforcement and intelligence agencies. In an effort to clear his name, Bolan discovered the plot was conceived by Maj. Gen. Greb Strakhov, head of the KGB's Department 13 executive action unit. Strakhov had masterminded the Macek plot in revenge for the death of his only son, Kyril Strakhov, a test pilot Bolan had killed during a mission in Afghanistan to recover a top-secret attack helicopter called Dragonfire.
During his quest to clear his name, Bolan uncovered evidence that Lee Farnsworth, the director of a rival agency called the CFB (Central Foreign Bureau), was Strakhov's mole inside America's intelligence apparatus. After giving the evidence to the President of the United States, Bolan executed Farnsworth in the Oval Office itself.
After this confrontation, Bolan initiated a one-man war against the KGB, working from a master list of all major KGB agents that he obtained during a mission in Moscow days earlier. He also struck out at other terrorist groups and resumed his war against his old enemy, the Mafia.
After this lengthy one-man war and some soul-searching—not to mention the kidnapping of Hal Brognola's family by the Mafia and renegade CIA agents—Bolan entered into an arms-length alliance with Stony Man, working with his former comrades, but not rejoining the organization outright.
Gold Eagle combined the two Executioner spin-off books, Able Team and Phoenix Force, to create the Stony Man series of novels, which are still being published as of 2008.
Able Team has been assigned to handle anti-terrorist missions inside the United States, but sometimes operates in the lower Americas and Mexico. Its members are Hermann 'Gadgets' Schwarz, Carl 'Ironman' Lyons, and Rosario 'Politician' Blancanales.
Phoenix Force has been assigned to handle anti-terrorist missions outside the United States, but sometimes has handled missions inside U.S. borders if they had international implications. Its current members are David McCarter, Gary Manning, Rafael Encizo, Calvin James, and T.J. Hawkins.
In their fight against criminals and terrorists, Mack Bolan, Able Team and Phoenix Force would be supported by a cadre of loyal allies, some of whom have associations with Mack Bolan from his first Mafia war.
Harold Brognola is the Stony Man project director. He is responsible for assigning missions to both Phoenix Force and Able Team, as well as providing them with intelligence, weapons, transportation, and anything else they may require to conduct their assignments. Brognola enjoys chewing on expensive cigars.
Hal is most frequently seen chomping down large amounts of antacid tablets and is almost never without a roll or two in his pockets. Being a high-ranking Justice Department official, Hal frequently shuttles back and forth between Stony Man and Washington, D.C. (which he frequently refers to as Wonderland or Wonderland on the Potomac).
Started his law-enforcement career as a police officer in Washington, D.C., then went on to become an FBI agent, eventually leading the task force assigned to bring in Mack Bolan. After briefly chasing Bolan for some time, Hal came to realize that the Executioner was doing a public service and secretly assisted him in his anti-Mafia campaigns. He would later move on to the Sensitive Operations Group, the covert operations section of the Justice Department, which would later have the Stony Man organization under its auspices.
Stony Man's ace pilot, Grimaldi is often called on to assist in situations which require the use of air assets. Grimaldi is competent with all aircraft, both fixed-wing and helicopters.
A Vietnam veteran, Grimaldi once flew for the Mafia until he encountered Mack Bolan, who converted him to his cause. Until Stony Man was assembled, Grimaldi served as Bolan's mole, giving the Executioner information on the travels of high-ranking mobsters. Grimaldi would later undertake his first mission for Stony Man when he rescued Mack Bolan during a mission in Panama.
In the series, Jack Grimaldi pilots the Dragon Slayer, a high-tech transport helicopter with attack capabilities. The Dragon Slayer is outfitted with a 7.62mm minigun and an array of missiles and rockets. It is fast and highly maneuverable, not to mention comfortable for the pilot and passengers.
Kurtzman is the computer expert of the Stony Man farm. His role is to obtain intel from other government agencies and process it. Kurtzman lost the use of his legs in an assault on Stony Man Farm, and has since been forced to use a wheelchair. He has made several attempts to regain the use of his legs.
Aaron is called "The Bear" because of his physical makeup, sort of like a bear.
Aaron is best known for his coffee, which he always has brewing in Stony Man's computer annex. His coffee, which he serves in ceramic mugs, has often been referred to as swill. It has often been said that the most gutsy thing a Stony Man personnel can do is to drink a cup of Aaron's coffee.
Taking over from April Rose, Barbara Price serves as Stony Man's mission controller. At the request of the President, she assisted with the security clearances when Stony Man was initially set up. She and Mack Bolan are friends and sometimes lovers. She was married to Washington, D.C. defense attorney Kevin Shawnessy for four years, but divorced him because of his countless affairs with other women.
Used to work for the NSA as a mission controller and operated under the secret identity of Canary. Had a second cousin on her mother's side who was a member of Greenpeace until the 1970s, when he was thrown out for advocating violence.
Taking over from the man who replaced the traitorous Captain Wade, Buck Greene serves as Stony Man's chief of security and leads the Blacksuits, a security force maintained by Stony Man to provide security for the Farm. Greene once worked on the embassy security detail for the United States Marine Corps. Reports directly to Barbara Price.
A former Vietnam veteran and ex-Marine, Charlie Mott is the second Stony Man pilot, behind Jack Grimaldi. Even though he prefers to stick to pilot duties, he has often had to do commando work. Listed as being Canadian in the novel Stony Man V.
Taking over from the murdered Andrzej Konzaki, John 'Cowboy' Kissinger serves as Stony Man's weaponsmith. Kissinger first worked for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the predecessor to the DEA. After the dismantling of the BNDD, Kissinger went freelance, offering his talents to companies like Colt, Beretta, Heckler & Koch, and IMI.
The CIA considered hiring Kissinger, but he met Aaron Kurtzman, who recommended him to Brognola. Thus began his career as Stony Man's weapon specialist. He invented his own handgun, the QA-18 Stealthshooter, whose design was stolen by his crooked partner, Howard Crosley. He was able to recover his invention during an Able Team mission in Alabama, selling the patent shortly thereafter. Since joining Stony Man, Kissinger's talents have been to the benefit of Mack Bolan, Able Team and Phoenix Force, including instances where he has improved on Konzaki's designs. Has often participated in Stony Man field missions. He was once asked his full name to which he replied "you will never believe it." This was because of the last name Kissinger.
A former cybernetics professor at UCLA, Huntington 'Hunt' Wethers was recruited by Aaron Kurtzman for his expertise in computers and cybernetics. While Kurtzman looks at computers as a means of leveraging information, Wethers looks at computers as a science.
Of Japanese extraction, Akira Tokaido is an expert computer hacker and the youngest member of Stony Man's cybernetic team. He listens to rock music on his headphones, which are often attached to a cassette player or CD player, claiming that it helps him focus on his work. At times, he is unconventional in his thinking and is cocky. He is an expert in kanji and has a deep interest in learning about his Japanese heritage.
Like Mack Bolan, Rosario Blancanales and Hermann Schwarz, Leo 'The Pussy' Turrin is a Vietnam veteran and former Green Beret. His association with the Mafia came because of connections his family had. He rose up through the ranks and became a capo, involving himself in various criminal activities. However, his Mafia associates were unaware of his most important—and most dangerous—secret:
Leo Turrin was a federal agent.
Code-named Sticker, Turrin was assigned to infiltrate the Mafia at the highest levels by Hal Brognola. During his undercover assignment, Turrin became head of the Mafia's prostitution racket during his stint with the family of Don Sergio Frenchi in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Mack Bolan's hometown. In this capacity, he was inadvertently responsible for the Executioner's sister, Cindy Bolan, becoming a prostitute to help her father pay off the debt he had with Triangle Industrial Finance, Frenchi's loan sharking outfit.
Unaware of Turrin's dual role, Bolan targeted him for execution in one of his first battles with the Mafia, but his execution attempt was thwarted by Turrin's wife, Angelina. It was only later that Bolan became aware of Turrin's true mission. Since then, he and Turrin became allies and close friends, a friendship that became stronger when Turrin's family had been kidnapped by Mafia soldiers.
When Turrin's role in the Mafia ended, he became a high-ranking Justice Department official under the name Leonard Justice. To this day, his Mafia associates think he is semi-retired but available for special matters related to the mob.
Of Vietnamese and Mongolian extraction, Lao Ti was brought in to serve as Stony Man's communications and computer specialist after the death of April Rose during the attack on Stony Man Farm. Even though she was originally Aaron Kurtzman's technical assistant, she often joined Able Team in the field. During an Able Team mission involving Maria Blancanales, the youngest of two sisters of Rosario 'Pol' Blancanales, Lao Ti was severely wounded during a shoot-out and took an extended leave of absence from her Stony Man duties. Was contacted by the State Department, who offered her a position with the U.S. Embassy in Taipei, Taiwan.
As the first mission controller and overseer of Stony Man Farm, the organization's headquarters, April Rose would at first seem an unlikely choice to become part of a counter-terrorist organization. She had started out as a pacifist, disapproving of war and its violent nature. She first met Mack Bolan during the closing week of his first Mafia war, when Hal Brognola had assigned her to drive the Executioner's War Wagon, which was a surprise to Bolan when he first met her. In response to that surprise, April challengingly asked him the following question:
You don't like what you see?
His reply did not come until a mission involving a renegade Japanese industrialist (Executioner #53: Invisible Assassins) when he replied, "I like what I see, April." Standing over her grave, Bolan would later say, "Yes, April, I love what I see."
Hal once said of April, "This woman could be the love of Mack's life," describing her as "having a super model's figure." It is presumed that Hal recruited April as an inducement to get Bolan to join Stony Man. April's biggest desire was to be "Mrs. Bolan."
As a pacifist, she had disapproved of Bolan on ethical and personal grounds when they first met, even though she had found herself attracted to the big man in black. That all changed when the Executioner saved her life during one of his missions against the Mafia. She abandoned her pacifist ways and became loyal to Bolan and his cause.
This loyalty would motivate her to fight alongside Bolan during his stint at Stony Man, including his mission against Paradine, a freelance mercenary Bolan believed dead in a previous mission. During a firefight in his second encounter with Paradine, April was severely wounded. In the first attack on Stony Man Farm, April's final act of loyalty was to step in the path of the bullet fired by the traitorous Captain Wade. She is buried alongside the late Andrzej Konzaki on the grounds of Stony Man Farm.
Her favorite song was On The Road Again, sung by Willie Nelson.
Before John Kissinger came along, Konzaki was the first weaponsmith for Stony Man. He served in Vietnam as the leader of his own platoon. During the Tet Offensive, Konzaki led his platoon to the rescue of a unit that had been ambushed. During the mission, Konzaki was himself ambushed by a sniper who had shot him in both legs. He earned a Silver Star for his actions, but lost his legs.
He was recruited by the CIA for his expertise as an armorer and weapons expert, assigning him to their Special Weapons Development branch. When Stony Man was first assembled, Konzaki was unofficially attached to the organization. His talents proved helpful to Stony Man, including his re-engineering of Mack Bolan's Beretta 93-R machine pistol. His most well-known Stony Man innovation is a specially modified Atchisson Assault Shotgun he made for Carl Lyons.
He became the first casualty in the attack on Stony Man Farm, and Lyons would call his modified shotgun the Konzak to honor him.
In their fight against evil, Stony Man and Mack Bolan had allies who were not members of Stony Man, yet were very helpful.
A native of Arkansas, James Crawford is a retired brigadier general of the U.S. Army, and was Mack Bolan's commanding officer in Vietnam. He oversaw the creation of both Stony Man and the Central Foreign Bureau, the agency run by Lee Farnsworth. In Executioner #62, Day Of Mourning, Crawford, like the President, hoped to work out a compromise between the two agencies. His daughter, Kelly Crawford, was the girlfriend of Grover Jones, a.k.a. Damu Abdul Ali, an associate of Al Miller, but broke up with Jones after he used her as a shield in a confrontation with Bolan.
Born Giuseppe Androsepitone, Tommy Anders is a stand-up comic known as the Ethnician, so named for poking fun at people's ethnic preconceptions and prejudices, with the Ranger Girls serving as his back-up act. His association with Mack Bolan began when he ran afoul of the Mafia, incurring their wrath by refusing to associate with Mafia-affiliated promoters and booking agents. It was some time after that Anders secretly became a federal agent, joining Carl Lyons and the Ranger Girls in Hal Brognola's SOG.
Serving as the back-up act for Tommy Anders, the Ranger Girls were a group of female multi-talented musicians led by Toby Ranger, the girl for which the group is named.
Introduced in Vegas Vendetta and reappearing in Hawaiian Hellground and Detroit Deathwatch, Toby Ranger was Bolan's most frequent companion, and his only repeat engagement, until the introduction of April Rose.
The other girls were Georgette Chebleu, a French-Canadian, Smiley Dublin and Sally Palmer. Mack Bolan became acquainted with them during his first Mafia war, when Toby risked her life to help him during a mission in Las Vegas. It was only after the end of the mission that Bolan discovered that the Ranger Girls were federal agents. Before Stony Man was founded, the Ranger Girls, Carl Lyons and Tommy Anders worked with the Executioner on many missions, including a mission in Hawaii to bring down an alliance between the Mafia and Communist China.
Currently, there are only three Ranger Girls still involved in crimefighting. The fourth Ranger Girl, Georgette Chebleu, was tortured and mutilated by Mafia turkey doctor Fat Sal, prompting Bolan to give her a mercy bullet. The Executioner would later avenge her death.
The Ranger Girls once aided Bolan in an escape from the Mafia by attracting attention with a "wild go-go routine." Go Go routines were extremely popular in those days. This author remembers Toby by a catch phrase when she was attempting to get Mack to help out with one of their missions when she said, "We're soging it." Soging was a made-up word out of the acronym for the group - Sensitive Operations Group or SOG for short.
Johnny Gray is Mack Bolan's younger brother. Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, he was the only survivor of the murder-suicide that occurred in the Bolan family home while Mack Bolan himself was serving in Vietnam. It was he who revealed to his older brother that their sister, Cindy Bolan, had become a prostitute to help her father with the debt he incurred from Triangle Industrial Finance.
After he began his war, Mack Bolan left Johnny in the care of a former lover, Valentina Querente. The Mafia learned of Johnny's connection to the Executioner after Querente enrolled him in a private Massachusetts school that had the child of Harold 'The Skipper' Sicilia, Boston's capo, among its students. Sicilia and his men kidnapped both Johnny and Querente to use against the Executioner, but his scheme backfired, because Bolan not only rescued them but also brought down Sicilia's empire.
Years later, Querente would marry federal agent Jack Gray, and the two would raise Johnny as their own, giving him the last name of Gray, with Bolan as his middle name. Johnny would join the Navy and participate in a mission in Lebanon, which would be his first taste of combat.
When Bolan became Col. John Phoenix, Leo Turrin and Hal Brognola led Johnny to believe that he had died. It was only after he moved to San Diego that he learned that his older brother was still alive. The two would meet and go head-to-head with San Diego's godfather, Manny 'The Mover' Marcello, and his daughter, Angelina. During this mission, Johnny's fiancé, Sandy Darlow, became a victim of the Mafia's turkey specialists, like the late Georgette Chebleu.
At the end of the mission, Johnny proposed the idea of a support base where Mack Bolan could get some R and R and be safe from harm. Operating out of a secluded home in Del Mar, California, the support base would be called Strongbase One and contain the latest weapons and technology for the Executioner to use in his war against evil.
Johnny Gray is one of the few people outside of Stony Man who knows intimate details about the organization without having visited it. Often provides intelligence to Stony Man and Mack Bolan. Also, he participates in some of his brother's missions, much to the Executioner's misgivings.
Nino Tattaglia's association with Mack Bolan goes back to his first Mafia war. Tattaglia was an underboss for Don Carlo Nazarione, head of the Mafia in Baltimore, Maryland. However, during his Mafia career, he was captured by federal agents for a double homicide. He was given a choice: become a government informant, or face the electric chair.
He wisely chose the former option, operating under the code-name Sticker, like Leo Turrin before him, and in fact replacing Turrin as the primary source for inside information on the mob. His information came in handy on an Executioner mission in Baltimore, when he notified Bolan on the Nazarione family's attempt to take over the Baltimore Police Department with the help of one of its high-ranking officers, Capt. Harley Davis. With Nino's help, Bolan ended the plot and dealt with Nazarione once and for all.
During his time as a mole, Tattaglia underwent some private changes. He was no longer the evil criminal he once was and was now committed to the cause of justice. He would pay a terrible price for that commitment, as his double role was discovered by the Mafia, causing him to be executed by the mob. To this day, his presence is missed by Bolan, Brognola and Turrin.
The only Ranger Girl to be killed in action during a tour of duty with the Justice Department. A French-Canadian, Chebleu became acquainted with Mack Bolan during his Las Vegas mission. During another Bolan mission in Detroit, Michigan, she was captured by Mafia soldiers and brought to Fat Sal, the Mafia turkey doctor. She was severely tortured and mutilated before Bolan came to rescue her. Unwilling to let her continue to suffer, Bolan shot her at point-blank range through the head. He avenged her death by killing those involved. Chebleu would, therefore, not have a chance to become part of Stony Man.
Stony Man has locked horns with the most dangerous enemies to freedom and justice. They range from organized crime syndicates and terrorist groups to private companies involved in criminal activity.
Criminal organizations Edit
After the losses they suffered at the hands of Mack Bolan during his war on organized crime, remnants of the Mafia formed alliances with the Unione Corse, the Colombian cartels and the Mexican Mafia to form MERGE. Phoenix Force uncovered the existence of the organization while investigating the assassinations of two American officials in the Bahamas.
They would later come across MERGE again in San Francisco while tracking the perpetrators of an attack on officers of the U.S. Coast Guard off the California coast. This time, however, they discovered that MERGE had locked horns with its Oriental counterpart, a syndicate called TRIO. They would also discover that TRIO was responsible for the attack on the Coast Guard officers.
MERGE would later resurface in the Los Angeles area, where they kidnapped a scientist who was involved in the Strategic Defense Initiative and held him for ransom to either the United States or the Soviet Union. In this encounter with MERGE, Karl Hahn stood in as a replacement for Rafael Encizo, who was recovering from the injury he received on a mission against ODESSA in France.
Their last known confrontation with MERGE was down in Colombia, involving one of its kingpins, a Bolivian drug lord named El Tiburon. His organization, known as El Dorado, had an association with the Colombian cartels and had been selected by MERGE to handle their latest enterprise: coordinated attacks against law enforcement teams dedicated to stopping the drug trade. To this end, El Tiburon formed an alliance with a Cuban military officer named Major Pescador. Phoenix Force invaded El Tiburon's lair and ended the scheme. During this mission, Rafael Encizo found his long-lost younger brother, Raul Encizo, who had become a Communist and was helping Maj. Pescador in his work with MERGE.
An Oriental counterpart to MERGE, TRIO was made up of the three most powerful organized crime groups in the Far East.
The Yi-chyun Hai Shee, or Black Serpent Society (which should more properly be "Hei She Shehui"), was the Chinese part of TRIO. It was one of many tongs formed in the 17th century to combat the tyranny of China's Manchu overlords. Under the command of its leader, Wang Tse-Tu, the Black Serpent Society was one of the few tongs to go international, establishing branches in the United States and Western Europe.
The Hebi Uji, or Snake Clan (which more properly should be "Hebi Ichizoku" as "uji" translates as "maggot"), was the Japanese part of TRIO. It was one of the countless Yakuza organizations that had roots in feudal Japan, where they were described as being "thieves with honor." Led by Shimo Goro, the Snake Clan already had established a foothold in America by the time Japan became a player in international trade. Like most Yakuza organizations, the Snake Clan became involved in gambling, prostitution and gunrunning.
The New Horde was the Mongolian part of TRIO. Under the command of Tosha Khan, the New Horde was involved in counterfeiting, white slavery, drugs, assassination and professional thievery. Born Altajin Illyvich Dzadgad, Tosha Khan claimed to be a descendant of Genghis Khan, the famed Mongol conqueror. Even though its activities were widespread and had a lot of manpower, the New Horde did not have the connections and influence he needed to be a player in organized crime. Therefore, he had it join forces with the Black Serpent Society and the Snake Clan.
Phoenix Force first learned of TRIO when it was investigating the aforementioned attack on the Coast Guard officers off California. It was during this mission that Calvin James got Phoenix Force in touch with John Trent, his old friend from his days in the SFPD. To help Phoenix Force, Trent turned to his uncle, Inoshiro Nakezuri, who had by this time become part of another Yakuza clan, the Kaiju Clan. The information Nakezuri gave to his nephew was of great value to Phoenix Force.
Phoenix Force would later confront TRIO again in the Philippines, where they were investigating the disappearance of a Colombian ship carrying priceless treasure from Colombia. They would discover that TRIO attacked the ship and joined forces with the New People's Army, the Filipino Communist terror organization. They also learned that Lt. Robert Ferris and Lt. Daniel Mitchell, two American Naval Intelligence officers in charge of a contingent of U.S. Navy personnel assigned to protect the ship, had assisted TRIO in taking the ship in exchange for money to pay off severe gambling debts. With the assistance of Mahmud, a Filipino native and friend of David McCarter, Phoenix Force recovered the treasure.
In an unusual situation (Phoenix Force #27: Weep, Moscow, Weep), Phoenix Force would join forces with the KGB to recover a biological weapon stolen from a Russian laboratory by the New Horde as part of a campaign of blackmail against the nations of the world.
The last Phoenix Force mission against TRIO involved their old friend John Trent, who Stony Man believed had been responsible for the assassination of an executive for a Japanese automotive company. For this mission, they went to Col. Ken Ikeda, a Kompei officer they worked with when Keio Ohara was part of the team. They would learn that Trent was innocent of the crime. Trent and Phoenix Force would work with the Green Tiger Clan, a Yakuza clan that rivaled the Snake Clan, to bring down TRIO once and for all.
Terrorist organizations Edit
First appearing in Phoenix Force #41, Amazon Strike, this terrorist group is a neo-Nazi organization that was based in the Amazon jungle of Brazil. Its leader was Kurt Mohn, German industrialist. He was the son of Maj. Joachim Mohn, an SS officer, and Anna Kaufmann, a retired German showgirl. All his life, the young Kurt Mohn was indoctrinated into the beliefs of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. When his father died, Mohn inherited his company, Mohn Industries, which the former SS major founded with a substantial amount of cash he had accumulated during World War II.
To finance the New Order's activities, Mohn established a cocaine smuggling ring in the Amazon, buying highly placed officials in the Brazilian government. This prompted a Brazilian police officer, Lt. Louis Farrango, to go to his DEA contact first, followed up by a secret visit to the Brazilian president, who told Farrango that he suspected that a secret cabal in his administration was consorting with an outside enemy group, later revealed to be the New Order.
For this mission, Phoenix Force and Stony Man chief pilot Jack Grimaldi joined forces with Farrango and his informant, a drug user named Jorgio Cavantes. However, during the mission, Cavantes betrayed Phoenix Force, leading them into an ambush, resulting in Katz, James and Manning getting captured by Mohn's men. Cavantes would later expose Louis Farrango to his New Order masters, resulting in the Brazilian policeman getting captured and tortured. Encizo and McCarter, the only members of Phoenix Force not captured, came to his rescue, but were too late to save his life.
During their captivity, Katz, James and Manning discovered that Farrango's partner, Emilio Santoro, who had infiltrated Mohn's organization, had been uncovered by the New Order and exposed to a lethal bacteriological weapon developed by the New Order. Called the Armageddon Virus, Mohn intended it to be used in a campaign of terror against the world's major nations, believing it would pave the way for a New Order takeover. However, Phoenix Force and Grimaldi, with the help of captured members of a Brazilian Indian tribe, ended Mohn's twisted scheme, destroying the data regarding the virus and obliterating the complex. Mohn escaped in the confusion, and has not been seen since.
This mission is a pivotal incident in Stony Man history, because it is when Jack Grimaldi first used the Dragon Slayer, Stony Man's first operational combat helicopter.
Foreign intelligence agencies Edit
The Russian KGB was a recurring antagonist in the history of Stony Man. As the most famous and important intelligence agency of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the KGB attempted to spread Soviet influence, and Communism in general, wherever and whenever the opportunity arose. This was often accomplished using less savory methods.
The KGB's credits include sponsoring terrorist activities, assassination of Western diplomats, theft of prototype nuclear missiles, kidnapping American researchers, and various other dastardly acts. Many of their plots have been foiled or brought to a halt by swift action from either Mack Bolan, Phoenix Force or Able Team however, on one occasion (as noted previously), Phoenix Force has actually cooperated with the KGB to prevent a stolen Soviet biological agent from falling into undesirable hands.
Despite their frequent failures due to the intervention of Mack Bolan and Stony Man, the Kremlin was not easily deterred by failure, and the KGB continued to conduct further covert warfare against the West until its demise in 1991 as a result of the end of the Cold War.
The headquarters of Stony Man is known as Stony Man Farm because it appears to the world as a working farm and its proximity to Stony Man Mountain, located in Shenandoah National Park. Stony Man Farm got its name because of its proximity to Stony Man Mountain where the face of the mountain resembles a dour-looking Indian chief.
Australia's Native Massacres - neocolonial genocide
The Red Kangaroo and Emu that support the shield are the official animal emblems of the nation. They owe this recognition to the fact that they are native Australian fauna (found only on this continent).
. and then we go and massacre them.
The 2008 Belconnen Massacre - lest we forget
We are reminded of the brutal belconnen massacre of 500 kangaroos yesterday two years ago on 19th May 2008, followed shortly afterwards with another 4000 or so kangaroos massacred at the Majura Army training area. "Kevin Rudd or Environment Minister Peter Garrett declined to stop the killings. It was supported by the RSPCA's Micheal Linke." ['Two years since the shameful Belconnen slaughter in Canberra']
Then around this time last year Australia's Defence Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon MP, approved a similar kangaroo massacre at the same place on Saturday, 9th May 2009. [Fitzgibbon's Massacre - 9th May 2009]
These wildlife massacres reflect a prevaling backward colonial attitude by our government towards native animals. Native animals were regarded as vermin by early colonists. This attitude prevails.
Labor's Big Ecological Lie
At the time, outright propaganda lies were told by government officials and politicians that the kangaroos were starving and the kangaroos threatening native grassland and three threatened species on the site, the striped legless lizards, golden sun moths and Ginninderra peppercress. Read More
Such propaganda is right out of Joseph Goebbles "Big Lie" technique based on the principle that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses. Goebbles' propaganda attacks on the Jewish population culminated in the Kristallnacht assault of 1938, an open and unrestrained pogrom unleashed by the Nazis all across Germany, in which scores of synagogues were burned and hundreds of Jews were assaulted and murdered. [Source]
The truth at Belconnen is that the government wanted new housing estates to go up where the kangaroos lived, so they slaughtered the kangaroos. Simple and brutal as that.
Colonist Australia - a history of slaughtering native Australians
The truth across all of Australia through its colonial history right up to recent times, is the government wanted the land where Aborigines lived, so they slaughtered the Aborigines. Simple and brutal as that. Today's 21st century official slaughter of Australian native animals is no different to the official slaughter of Australian native people by European colonists, who treated Aboriginal people as vermin.
The following massacres are shocking testament. Such truths of Australian history remains excluded from the Australian school curriculum. Such truths of Australian ecological present remain excluded from the Australian school curriculum.
1790 Botany Bay Genocide In December, Governor Arthur Phillip issued an order for "a party. of two captains, two subalterns and forty privates, with a proper number of non-commissioned officers from the garrison. to bring in six of those natives who reside near the head of Botany Bay or, if that number shall be found impracticable, to put that number to death".
1824 Bathurst Massacre Following the killing of seven Europeans by Aboriginal people around Bathurst, New South Wales, martial law was declared and many Aboriginal people were killed.
1828 Cape Grim Massacre On 10th February in the North west of Van Diemen's Land, now known as Tasmania, four shepherds with musket guns ambushed over 30 Tasmanian Aborigines from the Pennemukeer band from Cape Grim, killing 30 and throwing their bodies over a 60 metre cliff into the sea.
1830 Fremantle Punishment Raid The first official 'punishment raid' on Aboriginal people in Western Australia, led by Captain Irwin took place in May 1830. A detachment of soldiers led by Irwin attacked an Aboriginal encampment north of Fremantle in the belief that it contained men who had 'broken into and plundered the house of a man called Paton' and killed some poultry. Paton had called together a number of settlers who, armed with muskets, set after the Aborigines and came upon them not far from the home. 'The tall savage who appeared the Chief showed unequivocal gestures of defiance and contempt' and was accordingly shot. Irwin stated, "This daring and hostile conduct of the natives induced me to seize the opportunity to make them sensible to our superiority, by showing how severely we could retaliate their aggression." In actions that followed over the next few days, more Aborigines were killed and wounded.
1833-34 Convincing Ground Massacre of Gunditjmara On the shore near Portland, Victoria was one of the largest recorded massacres in Victoria. Whalers and the local Kilcarer Gunditjmara people disputed rights to a beached whale carcass.
1834: Battle of Pinjarra In Pinjarra Western Australia, official records state 14 Aboriginal people were killed, but other accounts put the figure much higher.
1838 Myall Creek Massacre 10 June: 28 people killed at Myall Creek near Inverell, New South Wales. This was the first Aboriginal massacre for which European settlers were successfully convicted. Several colonists had previously been found not guilty by juries despite the weight of evidence and one colonist found guilty had been pardoned when his case was referred to Britain for sentencing. Eleven men were charged with murder but were initially acquitted by a jury. On the orders of the Governor, a new trial was held using the same evidence and seven of the eleven men were found guilty of the murder of one Aboriginal child and hanged. The successful prosecutions resulted in pacts of silence becoming a common practice to avoid sufficient evidence becoming available for future prosecutions. Many large scale massacres were to go unpunished due to this practice.
1838 Waterloo Creek Massacre A Sydney mounted police detachment attacked an encampment of Kamilaroi people at a place called Waterloo Creek in remote bushland.
1838 Faithfull Massacre Benalla -In April of that year a party of some 18 men, in the employ of George Faithful and William Faithfull, were searching out new land to the south of Wangaratta. Then, in the vicinity of, or possibly on, the present townsite of Benalla, it is alleged that a large number of Aborigines attacked the party's camp. At least one Koori and somewhere between eight and thirteen Europeans died in what became known as the Faithfull Massacre. Local reprisals lasted a number of years, resulting in the deaths of up to 100 Aborigines. The reason for the attack is unclear although some sources claim that the men took shots at local Aborigines and generally provoked them. It also seems they were camping on a hunting ground
Additional murders of these people occurred at Warangaratta on the Ovens River, at Murchison (led by the native police under Dana and in the company of the young Edward Curr, who could not bring himself to discuss what he witnessed there other than to say he took issue with the official reports) Other incidents were recorded Mitchelton and Toolamba.
This "hunting ground" would have been a ceremonial ground probably called a 'Kangaroo ground'. Hunting grounds were all over so not something that would instigate an attack. The colonial government decided to "open up" the lands south of Yass after the Faithful Massacre and bring them under British rule. This was as much to try and protect the Aboriginal people from reprisals as to open up new lands for the colonists. The Aboriginal people were (supposedly) protected under British law.
1839 Campaspe Plains Massacre At Campaspe Creek, Central Victoria in May-June saw the genocidal slaughter of the Daung Wurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung people.
Mid 1839 Murdering Gully Massacre Near Camperdown, Victoria saw the genocidal "wiping out" of the Tarnbeere Gundidj clan of the Djargurd Wurrung people.
1830s—1840s Wiradjuri Wars Clashes between European settlers and Wiradjuri were very violent, particularly around the Murrumbidgee. The loss of fishing grounds and significant sites and the killing of Aboriginal people was retaliated through attacks with spears on cattle and stockmen. In the 1850s there were still corroborees around Mudgee but there were fewer clashes. Known ceremony continued at the Murrumbidgee into the 1890s. European settlement had taken hold and the Aboriginal population was in temporary decline.
1865 The La Grange Expedition was a search expedition carried out in the vicinity of La Grange Bay in the Kimberley region of Western Australia led by Maitland Brown that led to the death of up to 20 Aboriginal people. The expedition has been celebrated with the Explorers' Monument in Fremantle, Western Australia.
1868 Flying Foam Massacre - Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Following the killing of two police and two settlers by local Yaburara people, two parties of settlers from the Roebourne area, led by prominent pastoralists Alexander McRae and John Withnell, killed an unknown number of Yaburara. Estimates of the number of dead range from 20 to 150.
1874 Barrow Creek Massacre - February (NT): Mounted Constable Samuel Gason arrived at Barrow Creek and a police station was opened. Eight days later a group of Kaytetye men attacked the station, either in retaliation for treatment of Kaytetye women, the closing off of their only water source, or both. Two white men were killed and one wounded. Samuel Gason mounted a large police hunt against the Kaytetye resulting in the killing of many Aboriginal men, women and children - some say up to 90. Skull Creek takes its name from the bleached bones found there long after.
1876 Goulbolba Hill Massacre In Central Queensland thre was a large massacre involving men, women and children. This was the result of settlers pushing Aboriginal people out of their hunting grounds and the Aboriginals being forced to hunt livestock for food. A party of Native Police was sent to "disperse" this group of Aboriginals. This led to the deaths of over 200 Aboriginal people including all the women and children.
1880s-90s Florida Station Massacre In Arnhem Land a series of skirmishes and "wars" between Yolngu and whites occurred. There were several reported massacres at Florida Station. Richard Trudgen also writes of several massacres in this area, including an incident where Yolngu were fed poisoned horsemeat after they killed and ate some cattle (under their law, it was their land and they had an inalienable right to eat animals on their land). Many people died as a result of that incident. Trudgen also talks of a massacre ten years later after some Yolngu took a small amount of barbed wire from a huge roll to build fishing spears. Men, women and children were chased by mounted police and men from the Eastern and African Cold Storage Company and shot.
1884 Battle Mountain Massacre 200 Kalkadoon people killed near Mount Isa, Queensland after a Chinese shepherd had been murdered.
1887 Halls Creek Genocides In the Kimberly, colonist Mary Durack suggests there was a conspiracy of silence about the massacres of Djara, Konejandi and Walmadjari peoples about attacks on Aborigines by white gold-miners, Aboriginal reprisals and consequent massacres at this time. John Durack was speared, which led to a local massacre in the Kimberley.
1890 Speewah Massacre In Queensland early settler, John Atherton, took revenge on the Djabugay by sending in native troopers to avenge the killing of a bullock. Other unconfirmed reports of similar atrocities occurred locally.
1890-1920 'The Killing Times' - East Kimberleys: About half of the Kimberley Aboriginal people massacred as a result of a number of reprisals for cattle spearing, and payback killings of European settlers.
1906-7 Canning Stock Route Massacre : an unrecorded number of Aboriginal men and women were raped and massacred when Mardu people were captured and tortured to serve as 'guides' and reveal the sources of water in the area after being 'run down' by men on horseback, restrained by heavy chains 24 hours a day, and tied to trees at night. In retaliation for this treatment, plus the party's interference with traditional wells, and the theft of cultural artefacts, Aborigines destroyed some of Canning's wells, and stole from and occasionally killed white travellers. A Royal Commission in 1908, exonerated Canning, after an appearance by Kimberley Explorer and Lord Mayor of Perth, Alexander Forrest claimed that all explorers had acted in such a fashion.
1915 Mistake Creek Masacre Seven Kija people were alleged to have been killed by men under the control of a Constable Rhatigan, at Mistake Creek, East Kimberley. The massacre is supposed to be in reprisal for allegedly killing Rhatigan's cow, however the cow is claimed to have been found alive after the massacre had already taken place. Rhatigan was arrested for wilful murder apparently due to the fact that the killers were riding horses which belonged to him, but the charges were dropped, for lack of evidence that he was personally involved.
1918 Bentinck Island Massacre In 1918 part of the Mornington Island group, Bentinck Island was home to the Kaiadilt clan of just over 100 people. In 1911 a man by the name of McKenzie (other names unknown) was given a government lease for nearby Sweers Island that also covered the eastern portion of the much larger Bentinck Island. Arriving on Bentinck with an Aboriginal woman and a flock of sheep, he built a hut near the Kurumbali estuary. Although the Kaiadilt avoided contact and refrained from approaching McKenzie's property he is alleged to have often explored the island, shooting any males he found while raping the women.
In 1918 McKenzie organised a hunt with an unknown number of settlers from the mainland and beginning from the northern tip of the island herded the Indigenous inhabitants to the beach on its southern shore. The majority of the Kaiadilt fled into the sea where those that were not shot from the shore drowned. Those that tried to escape along the beach were hunted down and shot with the exception of a small number who reached nearby mangroves where the settlers horses could not follow. Several young women were raped on the beach, then held prisoner in McKenzie's hut for three days before being released.
1924 Bedford Downs Massacre a group of Kija or Gija men were jailed for spearing a bullock. On release from jail they had to walk the 200 kilometres back to Bedford Downs, where they were set to work to cut the wood that was later used to burn their bodies. Once the work was finished they were fed Strychnine, and the bodies were burned.
1926 Forrest River Massacre In the East Kimberleys in May 1926, Fred Hay, a pastoralist, was speared and killed by an Aboriginal man, Lumbia. A police patrol led by Constables James St Jack and Denis Regan left Wyndham on June 1, to hunt for the killer, and in the first week of July, Lumbia, the accused man, was brought into Wyndham. In the months that followed rumours circulated of a massacre by the police party. The Rev. Ernest Gribble of Forrest River Mission (later Oombulgurri) alleged that 30 people had been killed by the police party. A Royal Commission, conducted by G. T. Wood sent an evidence-gathering party and heard evidence regarding Gribble's allegations. The Royal Commission found that 11 people had been massacred and the bodies burned.
1928 Coniston Massacre - A WW1 veteran shot 32 Aborigines at Coniston in the Northern Territory after a white dingo trapper and station owner were attacked by Aborigines.
How Does the Aboriginal Executioner ‘Kurdaitcha Man’ Avenge the Dead? - History
Revenge is a huge part of the human experience. Throughout history and all the way to modern day, there are practices in place that operate around a principle that injustice is met with justice. Here, we detail some of the most peculiar revenge rituals to have ever existed—whether they’re to aid revenge or to somehow escape it.
10. Destroying Or Eternally Caging Churels
The churel is a South Asian demon, most readily found in Indian folklore. Its roots are arguably misogynistic as it’s the spirit of a woman who has died while pregnant or in a 40-day period of isolation following the birth. Instead of sympathetic remembrance, the deceased becomes feared and vilified.
The churel is believed to be obsessed with vengeance against those who have wronged it. Obviously, penitence for wrongdoing is relatively nonexistent. The majority of male energy is instead spent deliberating over the best ritual to prevent ghostly payback.
It’s Hindu tradition to cremate bodies. However, for high-risk churel candidates, burial was considered a safer option. One popular method was to bury the woman in a grave filled with thorns and to weigh down the lid of the coffin with heavy stones. Thus, the vengeful churel could not escape and spent eternity attempting to remain as still as possible to avoid thorn pricks.
The churel burial technique in Gurdaspur involves hammering nails through a woman’s fingers. Her big toes and thumbs are also bound together with iron rings. Mustard seed is then scattered across her grave as its scent is believed to calm the churel.
9. The Nithing Pole
The aboriginal religion of the Germanic people is filled with fascinating legend and ritual. Their most enduring and odd method of exacting revenge involves the nithing pole. It’s a big pole with a horse’s head on the end of it—simple, elegant, Germanic design.
In fairness, the pole was jazzed up a bit with the engraving of a curse written in runes and the beheaded horse’s skin would occasionally coat it. The object would then be fixed in the ground and pointed in the direction of the disliked party, which was often a Roman.
The nithing pole is still used in Iceland every now and then. In 2006, an Icelandic farmer’s puppy was run over. Seeking revenge, he erected a nithing pole with a note attached that stated he would not rest until the driver faced severe justice.
The most common targets of the modern nithing pole are politicians. In 2016, Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson was targeted. Instead of the traditional horse heads, cod heads were used.
Before Christianity was absorbed into Finnish culture, Finland’s own brand of paganism was prevalent. A common ritual was called karhunpeijaiset, which was held after a successful bear hunt.
Within the animist-based pagan belief system, the bear was revered as the living embodiment of Finnish ancestors. The original word for bear was otso and could never be spoken out of respect. Instead, bears were referred to in a roundabout way with phrases such as “browed one” and “the golden apple of the forest.” From that, the modern Finnish word for bear, karhu, was developed, which means “rough fur.”
It’s worth nothing that one of the most popular beer brands in Finland is called Karhu, meaning that images of the sacred bear are now plastered across every city in rather unpleasant settings. If undead bears make the trek from beyond the Wall over to Helsinki, Finns will only have themselves to blame.
Olden-day Finns feared dead bear vengeance to such an extent that karhunpeijaiset largely involved convincing the bear’s spirit that it hadn’t been murdered. Therefore, the bear had no reason to be angry at the hunters and so could reincarnate itself back in the forest.
Thus, the ceremony acted as a way to excuse their past behavior and eliminate the bear’s desire for revenge—through total denial. Ancient paranormal gaslighting—Finns were masters of it.
7. Hanging The Matchmaker
Alcohol is front and center in most cultures when it comes to weddings. Historically, Lithuanian weddings are a little different than the sloppy wine and cocktail wiener fests that you’re used to. Alcohol plays an even greater part. It’s sewn so deeply into the ceremony that every polite person traditionally gets totally hammered.
Throughout the day, guests yell, “Bitter!” It indicates that it’s time for all couples to gulp a vodka shot. Then they make out. The sweetness of the kiss takes away the bitterness of the shot.
Bitterness is also the theme of the oddest of all the wedding rituals that take place. In its narrative, the matchmaker (traditionally male) for the newlyweds is exposed as a dirty liar.
He has concocted an elaborate web of deceit concerning the bride’s wealth. She’s poor, and now everyone knows it. Revenge must be sought, and the most just form of revenge is deemed to be death by hanging. A little extreme, sure, but it makes total sense when you’re that drunk on vodka.
Before the actual matchmaker is hanged, the bride comes to his rescue and an effigy in his likeness is hanged instead.
6. Chickasaw Blood Revenge
The Chickasaw are the indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands. Their territory included what is now Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. Back in the day, blood revenge was a big part of their culture.
If someone had been killed, the killer must also die. This ensured that the spirit of the murdered could finally rest peacefully. It also meant that the spirit would no longer haunt those deemed responsible for seeking revenge. It was an act of cowardice not to go after the murderer. The Chickasaw believed that the spirit of the deceased recognized this and greatly resented it.
More death was simply inescapable. If the murdered person’s kin couldn’t exact revenge directly on the killer for some reason, then the Chickasaw would substitute a member of the killer’s family for the ritual. It was considered extremely dishonorable not to offer yourself up for the execution and would bring you spiritual misfortune. As a result, the ritual revenge executions largely went off without a hitch.
5. The Cunning Folk’s Voodoo Dolls
The voodoo doll is possibly the most recognizable supernatural object used in the name of revenge. Naturally, we think of these dolls as originating with the practice of voodoo. That’s not really the case. Waxed effigies, manipulated and destroyed to affect the cursed victim, were used in many places in the ancient world, including Persia and Egypt.
In England, string-based effigies called poppets were widespread. They have been used in witchcraft for centuries—often placed in chimneys so that the victim would feel the heat of the flames.
Early films have helped create the misconception of what the voodoo doll is and where it originated. Perhaps the earliest usage of a miniature human effigy that resembles the movie voodoo doll is that used by the English cunning folk. They would stick pins in the object to fight back against suspected black witches.
The cunning folk were also known to have used “witch bottles,” which helped lift curses. The concoctions inside the bottles were often made of body fluids, nail clippings, and hair of the afflicted. Therefore, it’s likely that this cunning folk practice also contributed to the modern image of what’s needed in the production of an effective voodoo doll.
4. Angry Grave Thumping
Tamil Nadu, India
In Tamil Nadu, India, honor killing is a real problem. From 2013 to early 2016, 81 honor killings were recorded. That’s not to say that there weren’t significantly more. Most are brushed off by courts of law as suicide and forgotten about.
Revenge is deeply entrenched in traditional Tamil culture. If someone does wrong by you, it’s only fair for you to take action to restore your dignity.
Some Tamil revenge rituals remain quite mysterious to the rest of India. When V.K. Sasikala angrily hit recently deceased Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s memorial slab, many were baffled. They were thought to have been on friendly terms.
It turns out that it’s an ancient Tamil practice, known as Vanjinam Uraithal, which roughly translates as “Avenging.” In that moment, Sasikala was vowing to avenge the wrongdoing that her friend had endured.
Traditionally, the Tamil would go to greater lengths in the revenge ritual. Any remaining bones and ashes of the deceased would be gathered, and the vow would be made directly over them.
3. Khakhua Consumption
Papua New Guinea
Although the Korowai of Papua New Guinea are known to eat their tribesmen, they do not see themselves as cannibals. In fact, any corpse that’s eaten isn’t really thought to be the corpse of a person at all.
They believe that a specific type of witch called a khakhua can eat someone’s insides while that person sleeps and replace the innards with ash. The khakhua then kills its victim by piercing his heart with a magic arrow. These dangerous witches live among the tribe in human form. The Korowai learn who among them is a khakhua when one of its victims, shortly before death, has a vision of who is attacking him.
The Korowai are then quick to take revenge. The tribesman who is believed to be a khakhua is killed and eaten. This is to properly eradicate his essence and thus protect the sanctity of the tribe.
When asked by a traveling journalist if they ever indulge in cannibalism for any other reasons, a Korowai tribesman replied, “Of course not. We don’t eat humans, we only eat khakhua.”
2. Pointing The Bone
Australian Aborigines traditionally believe that natural deaths rarely occur. Instead, people usually die as a result of evil or curses.
One of the most feared curses within Aboriginal culture is exacted through “pointing the bone.” It’s called that because mystical energy is stored inside a single kangaroo, human, or emu bone through the singing of ancient curses.
A ritual executioner, known as a kurdaitcha, then tracks down the person who’s to be cursed. The element of surprise is important. So the kurdaitcha sneaks up on his target, leaps into the person’s eyeline, and points the mystical bone in his direction.
Ideally, the victim is paralyzed with fear and the kurdaitcha has time to inform him of his fate. It’s believed that the victim will then perish within a month.
It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Fatalities have been reported. The scientific belief is that the knowledge of the curse on oneself creates tremendous worry. In turn, a psychosomatically induced shutdown of the body occurs.
1. Rotting A Body To Anger The Spirit
Ifugao Province, Philippines
The Ifugao people of Luzon, Philippines, are agricultural pioneers. Their rice terraces were hand-carved into mountains over 2,000 years ago. At the time, they were among the most technologically advanced in the world.
Furthermore, the Ifugao Hudhud chant, sung during rice-sowing season, has been recognized by UNESCO on their list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The list is made up of culturally rich practices that are in desperate need of proactive preservation.
Some traditional Ifugao practices are more awkward for the international community. Head-hunting is something that has progressively died out since the widespread adoption of Christianity. Before then, Ifugao culture was largely fueled by a need for vengeance. It was believed that no peace could come to someone who had been murdered until their murderer had been killed.
The Ifugao and their neighbors were at each other’s throats for centuries, cyclically killing one another as payback for a previous killing. It’s customary for the dead to sit in a chair called the hangdil for several days to ensure that the person doesn’t suddenly spring back to life. The murdered were left out even longer.
The body was pointed in the direction of the village believed to have committed the crime. Elders would intermittently rock the head back and forth, imploring the person’s spirit to go after the murderers. The body’s decomposition was intended to enrage the spirit and spur it into action.
Once vengeance was believed to have been taken, a burial march would take place, accompanied by ceremonial gongs. The purpose was to shoo away evil attracted to the act of murder and to protect the mourners and the soon-to-be-buried deceased.