Dollypot, Greenhide and Spindrift:

a journal of bush history

Vol 3. No. 4

Australian Aboriginal Cannibalism. An eyewitness account.

 This account certainly knocks the ‘ritual’ aspects so often promoted. It is from Fisher’s Colonial Magazine, vol.2, page 144, 1843.

Mr. Bromfield, of Geelong, gives a deplorable account of one of these tribal feuds, which, if the aborigines be so few in number as govern­ment functionaries represent, may be the more easily prevented

“On the 31st of May last, (writes this gentleman from his residence, Ion Court,) two parties of aborigines encountered each other within a mile and a half of my station – part of the Barrabool Hill natives, and part of the Mount Rouse tribe, who immediately gave battle, but were defeated with the loss of three men and two unfortunate young women. On the Wednesday morning, the few natives immediately belonging to my neighbourhood arrived, bearing this intelligence, evidently in a state of great excitement, and dreadfully afraid to return to their encampment without the protection of myself and servants, who were to be well armed. Directly after breakfast I started, accompanied by the natives to within a short distance of their huts, where they all remained, and I proceeded forward by myself, and on reaching the spot found their report to be perfectly correct. Such a disgusting scene can scarcely be imagined, the whole encampment deluged with blood ; first lay the body of a middle-aged man named Codjajah, speared through the breast in many places, his bowels taken out and the fat drawn off them, and a few pieces cut out of his thigh. The next body was that of a woman speared in many places, quite dead. A short distance from her stood a young lubra with two spears through the belly, the whole of her intestines hanging to the ground – she was perfectly sensible, and it would ave been a charity to have shot her then, but she departed this life in the evening. Besides these three, within a short distance of the huts lay the bodies of two more men, known by the names of Jim and Big-one Tom, they were partly eaten, their fat being taken by their Christian brethren ! These are civilized aborigines, who have been well instructed by our assistant protectors, and certainly have profited no little by the time and expense that have been lavished upon them.”