|"Myall blackfellow spear a man quick".|
IDRIESS 11. LASSETER'S LAST RIDE.
In context of the 1930's, A derogative collective used by Aboriginals and whites to include all, "wild and uncivilised blacks", and as Blakeley puts it, those, "who still live in their natural state", there's a sense of menace in the word and many evil deeds have been attributed to Myalls, the European perception fed by lurid press, wild yarns and oddly enough the Bulletins 'Aboriginalities' expert, namely Idriess. Some of the new chums on the first expedition were terrified of myalls, taken to include all Aboriginals outside the influence of Alice Springs or Hermannsburg.
Blakeley would have Lasseter sleeping in the locked cab of the Thornycroft, surrounded by firearms and ammunition for fear of those wild and uncivilised blacks, "I'm not going to be caught napping". Coote saw nefarious intent in the Aboriginal wood carvings at Warren Creek, and at Ayers Rock he had taken to sleeping with his head under the grounded aircraft to prevent nocturnal clubbing, the pilot had heard the myalls thereabouts made a specialty of that form of despatch.
Micky's fear of myalls was very deep and part of his spiritual beliefs, and at some point, not too far past Hassts Bluff, he committed an enormous trespass by continuing west with the expedition. He knew that an Aranda man caught alone in the Western Desert Lands would be executed. The men of the expedition, not understanding the profound differences between the two Aboriginal cultures made light of Micky's real terror of his Loritja brethren to the west. On reflection it was unwise of Giles and Blakeley to allow Micky to travel with the expedition, bravery can be added to the Aboriginal guide's attributes.
Tindale (1974) lists Myall as an alternative spelling for the Malawali people whose lands are south west of Winton in Queensland. One imagines they gave a good account themselves in resisting the advancing pastoralists to earn a name to be reckoned with throughout Australia in the 1930's but nowadays taken to include 'Alternative Lifestylers' and the uncouth hordes of opposition football barrackers.
© R.Ross. 1999-2006
| Blakeley Fred
Dream Millions 25,55. Idriess Ion L Lasseter's
Last Ride, 11, 54,55.