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A P Elkin - Aboriginal men of high degree - Warner and Webb



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Aboriginal men of high degree – A P Elkin

Accounts of two makings have been recorded independently by W L. Warner and the Reverend T. T. Webb (missionary in the district). In one case, a man, who had been confined to a camp for a week with a sore hip, had a vision. Two familiars (a boy and a girl) spoke to him, with the result that he followed them out and back to camp. At night they sat on his head and shoulders and also flew with the aid of their white feathers to the tops of the trees. Next day, he found them in the bush and, catching them in the hook of his spear-thrower, put them under his arms. But they left him before he returned to camp, telling him they were two nari, familiars, and that he must not start to practice his profession yet.

Apparently, the process of getting these spirit-helpers takes some time, for Warner's informant said that during the process he went around very quietly in one place, saying nothing and eating only vegetable food. He made an old doctor his friend whom he provided with food and tobacco in return for training. Indeed, one of the spirits left the old doctor and came to him….

It is, in part, one of seclusion, quietness, and psychic practice in learning to see things inside the sick, around the dead, and at a distance; … No bodily operation is experienced.

The source of the experience

Australian aboriginal

Concepts, symbols and science items


Spirit helper


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Dietary moderation