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THE KAMIBOROI BLACKS.

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52

[ of industry. The immediate benefit is the diminution of their misery from the winter's cold. The third advantage is the progress made at the station, with diminished expense to the Society. The aged and infirm, and the children of large and destitute families, had presents given to them with an unsparing hand. Could our kind friends witness the departure of our poor people from the station to commence a long winter's wandering, during six months of uninterrupted cold, and sometimes so intense as to be nearly 80° below freezing point, they would not say to them, “Depart in peace, be ye warmed,” &c., but they would continue to do as they have liberally done. And they will allow me to say that it is much better to afford us their charitable aid in articles that are stout, warm, and durable, if intended for winter use: otherwise, they are liable to be snatched from the Indian's poor shivering body by the trees and bushes of the first wood he has to traverse; and the sharp cold wind, intensely colder than ice itself, penetrates even a blanket, if it be not very stout, as easily as the cold air of England passes through a piece of gauze. For summer use, when the Indians travel by water, lighter fabrics are equally useful, such as stout prints, Carlisle checks, large pattern and bright colours, worsted shawls, blue, red, and white serge, and flannel of the same colours, are in great favour; also stout Guernsey frocks, and such like articles for men. This is an amendment on my former list which experience has suggested. And now we have in our new station the miserable wanderers of the still colder north, the poor Chepewyans, to care for. A boat's load of 50 cwt. might fail to supply the articles for which we could get the poor creatures to pay a diminished price by working at the land, church, &c.; and this, as I have said above, productive of a threefold benefit.' In addition to this, we have the entire support of twenty destitute children in the school, and we might quickly and greatly enlarge this number if it were prudent so to do. And last, not least destitute, the aged and infirm, all of whom we might retain at the station if we had the means.

At present we have only the children and four widows : three of these keep the school-room, &c., clean, and care for the children out of school hours.

We trust that our friends will be encouraged to persevere in the good work which they have so well begun. We have to remind them that the time is drawing near for the annual transmission of supplies to our brethren in Rupert's Land, and trust that we shall have the privilege of publishing as large a list of contributions as those which for some years past have graced the pages of the “ Church Missionary Record.”

THE KAMIBOROI BLACKS. The Australian blacks have hiterto received a more than usual portion of evil from contact with the whites, and very little of good. What could be expected from the vicinity of convict settlements ? Men considered too bad to be suffered to remain in the United Kingdom were sent to Australia. They were employed, many

of them, as stockkeepers, and came thus in freer communication with the native races than any other portion of the white population.

THE KAMIBOROI BLACKS.

1854.]

53 Their friendship and their enmity were alike dangerous to the poor blacks. If they were on friendly terms they inoculated them with their vices: if they disagreed, they caused them to suffer from their cruelty. Thus the race deteriorated: some of the tribes became extinct, and much of evil has been done to them. On the other hand, the Missionary efforts put forth have been on a small scale, and have produced but little result. These colonies are now rising rapidly in importance. Churches and congregations abound there. On the Australian continent there are several bishops of our own church, surrounded by their diocesan clergy. To the Australian churches, then, belongs the duty of labouring for the evangelization of the Australian aborigines; and we trust, as affairs in the different provinces assume a more settled aspect, that strenuous efforts will be put forth to bring these poor wanderers to the knowledge of the “ true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent.” In connexion with this important subject the following extract from an Australian newspaper will be read with interest

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THE KAMIBOROI BLACKS.

A lecture was delivered on Wednesday last, at Sydney, by the Rev. W. Ridley, on the result of a recent visit to these aborigines; the particulars of a tour performed by the reverend gentleman himself among the Kamiboroi blacks, a race inhabiting the New England and adjacent districts in the direction of Moreton Bay. His chief travels, jhowever, were confined to the country along the Barwin and Bundarra rivers. The name of the latter means, in English, Kangaroo River, the head of which is what is commonly called the

Rocky River, or upper part of the Big River. He explained that there were a great many different tribes of “black fellows” in this part of the country, and a great many different dialects spoken; but the most common dialect, and most extensively known, was the Kamiboroi. He showed, by a series of interesting facts and anecdotes, that the blacks of this colony were not really so treacherous and bloodthirsty as had been generally represented; that it only required firmness, united with kindness, to conciliate their good will, and render them subservient to some of the best usages of civilized life. The reverend lecturer here produced several neatly-executed portraits of some of the most distinguished and notable personages of the aboriginal tribes with which he had become acquainted. He endeavoured to account for the revengeful spirit that had been manifested by the blacks, by the cruelties that had been perpetrated on them by the whites. He remarked that on one occasion he saw several “ black fellows” in the bush dying from the effects of gun-shot wounds received from the whites, under the impression that these unfortunate people were about to attack the station, which, it was afterwards found, was utterly untrue, their worst fault being that they had speared two or three head of cattle. The reverend gentleman next proceeded to consider the Kamiboroi language, showing that the aboriginal language of this country was not that loose, unsystematic jargon which some people supposed, but, on the contrary, that it displayed a fineness of mental perception, and an accuracy of thought, which would do credit to some of the best intellects of the white

INHABITANTS OF RUSSIA.

race.

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(MAT, He had studied the Kamiboroi language for some time; and the result of his study, on inquiry, was such as to satisfy him of three thingsnamely, that the language admitted of a regular declension of nouns, conjugations of verbs, and systematic combination of terms. Mr. Ridley gave a variety of examples from the Kamiboroi language, illustrative of these three principles, and indicative of its scope and sufficiency for the expression either of moral or physical ideas. He also alluded to the social organization of the Kamiboroi tribes, explaining that there were four classes of men and four of women, each varying in importance. He concluded his interesting narrative by impressing on the meeting the necessity of Missionary exertion for the conversion of the aborigines generally, assuring them, from his own experience and observation, that such an event was perfectly practicable.

INHABITANTS OF RUSSIA,

serf prospers.

Our previous Numbers contained some outlines of the Moujiks, under which name is comprised the great body of the Muscovite people, the private serfs, the crown serfs, and the freedmen. It is usual with the lord to allow some of his serfs to migrate from the villages into the towns to hire themselves out as servants, or obtain work, or trade, the lord receiving from them a certain tax called abrok, which is raised as the

A serf may so prosper as to become a rich merchant, driving four horses in his carriage. He may perhaps succeed in purchasing his freedom, but this is not always the case, the proprietors priding themselves in having rich and prosperous slaves; and the merchantslave has to remember that his master may be changed, and the indulgent lord of to-day, removed by death, be succeeded by a rapacious and arbitrary heir ; "for the proprietor of these men can to-morrow order them into his scullery or kitchen, or send them as swineherds or miners to their village : so he can their children, brought up in all the refinements of luxury.'

The Muscovites are now the ascendant people of the great Russian empire. But within its limits are to be found various tribes and nations, derived from the Sclavonic, the Lithuanian, the Finnish, the Tartar, the Mongul, the German, the Jewish, the Manchou, the Armenian, and the Hindu stock, and so numerous that it would be tedious to enumerate them. · Of the Tartar stock alone there are twenty-six tribes or nations.

A little more than 600 years ago the Tartars began their invasions of Russia, which they eventually conquered, Moscow, the capital, being taken and burnt in A.D. 1345. In little more than 200 years after, the Muscovites conquered the Tartars, by whom they had been at first subdued, the city of Kazan, the capital of the Tartar, or rather Turcoman, king. dom of that name having been taken, after a memorable siege, by the Czar. Ivan IV., surnamed the Terrible, and by foreigners the Tyrant. The remainder of this subjugated people, still professing the Mahommedan religion, are to be found scattered all over the country now called the government of Kazan. In Moscow they are permitted to have one mosque, and that only on condition that the Christians have free access to it. It is described as a small and mean edifice, frequented by timid,

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dirty, poverty-stricken worshippers, who come to prostrate themselves each Friday on a filthy woollen mat, which each carries with him.

The Kazan Turcomans dwell in villages, each with its singularly-built mosque. They are different in their aspect from the surrounding races, having neither the flaxen hair and fair complexion of the Sclave, or the flat noses and wide eyes by which the Kirghes, Calmucks, and other Mongolian races are characterized. They favourably contrast with the Calmuck Tartars who wander over the vast deserts which extend between Russia and China. Groups of this people—the most peculiar, perhaps, in features and manners of all the varied inhabitants of the Russian empire-after having crossed the great pasture lands which extend eastward from the Volga into Asia, occasionally pitch their tents near the towns on the western bank, whither a market or fair-day attracts them. Ragged flowing robes, bound round the waist by a coarse dirty scarf, expose to view a copper-coloured chest. From beneath the flat yellow caps trimmed with fur their long hair hangs in thick braids on either side of countenances whose high cheek bones, low wide noses, and long narrow eyes, are of the true Mongolian type. Red boots complete their costume. Their kybitkas, or tents, consist of a frame-work of wood 56 THE NEW STATION AT CHURCH MISSIONARY POINT, (MAY, covered with felt, with an aperture at the top by which the smoke escapes. It is computed that there are about 400,000 of the Calmucks and other Mongol tribes in the Russian empire. They were more numerous until the year 1770-71, when, finding the yoke of Russian despotism too galling for them, half a million of them transferred themselves within the limits of the Chinese empire, preferring the rule of the heathen emperor at Pekin to that of the Christian emperor at St. Petersburg. By his celestial majesty they were kindly received, and the Ily country in Soongary was assigned to them as their place of habitation.

These people are strongly attached to their wandering life; and so thoroughly do they distaste the idea of settled habits, that, when angry with a person, they wish that he may live in one place and work like a Russian. They are Buddhists in religion, paying a religious veneration to the sovereign pontiff of that system at Llassa, in Thibet. They are attended in their wanderings by the llamas, or priests, who have great influence over them.

The Moravian Missionaries at Sarepta laboured diligently to bring these poor wanderers to a knowledge of the gospel; but the prospects of success were blighted by the interference of the Greek clergy, who claimed the right, according to the Muscovite laws, of baptizing all converts from heathenism. Yet the Greek church makes no effort to christianize these tribes. Contented that they should remain heathen, that corrupt system only interferes when there is danger of their becoming Protestant Christians. In heathen and Mahommedan lands there is room for the action of the gospel; but where the Greek or Romish system is in political ascendancy it is shut out. Corrupt Christianity is the greatest obstruction to the gospel.

THE NEW STATION AT CHURCH MISSIONARY POINT,

ENGLISA RIVER, RUPERT'S LAND. The locality of Lac-la-Ronge having been found'unsuitable for a permanent Missionary station, the Rev. R. Hunt has removed to a place which he has called Church Missionary Point, on the banks of the Missinipi or English River. It is fifty miles further north than Lac-la-Ronge, and has the advantage of bringing Mr. Hunt into more immediate communication with the Chepewyans who inhabit the country north of the English River. Many of these people have been with Mr. Hunt. Although no Cree connected with the station knows the Chepewyan, yet it providentially happens that many of the Chepewyans know the Cree language. This has afforded Mr. Hunt the opportunity of instructing them in the truths of the gospel. Several of them have learnt the Cree syllabic character, and, on returning to their homes, took with them copies of St. John's Gospel in that character, which they can now use for themselves, and use for others also. One Chepewyan lad has been resident at the station; and Mr. Hunt has taken advantage of this circumstance to apply himself to the language of this people, which is far more difficult than the Cree. Thus among these poor dark wanderers Missionary work has begun. May many of them find rest in Christ!

In this change of station, however, much privation and suffering have been endured by Mr. and Mrs. Hunt. Our readers are aware of the wintry climate of Rupert's Land; yet so much had to be done, and so

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