Bone pointing is an ancient curse used by the aborigines of Australia. The vengeful person takes a kangaroo bone, carves a point at one end, and drills a hole through the other. He then passes a single strand of the victim’s hair through the hole and ties it in place. In a usually public display of hatred, he points the bone at the victim, who almost immediately falls down and becomes sick. Within a few days, they are always dead. A first-hand account of this ritual is given by Dr. Herbert Basedow in his book The Australian Aboriginal, publishing in 1925:

“A man who discovers that he is being boned by an enemy is, indeed, a pitiable sight. He stands aghast, with his eyes staring at the treacherous pointer, and with his hands lifted as though to ward off the lethal medium, which he imagines is pouring into his body. His cheeks blanch and his eyes become glassy, and the expression on his face becomes horribly distorted...He attempts to shriek, but usually the sound chokes in his throat, and all one might see is froth at his mouth. His body begins to tremble and the muscles twist involuntarily. He sways backwards and falls to the ground, and for a short time appears to be in a swoon; but soon after he begins to writhe as if in mortal agony, and covering his face with his hands, begin (sic) to moan. After a while he becomes more composed and crawls to his wurley (hut). From this time onwards he sickens and frets, refusing to eat, and keeping aloof from the daily affairs of the tribe. Unless help is forthcoming in the shape of a counter-charm, administered by the hands of the "Nangarri," or medicine-man, his death is only a matter of a comparatively short time. If the coming of the medicine-man is opportune, he might be saved.”

Although widely practiced and bafflingly effective, bone pointing is not murder by Australian Law.


Zerotime says re Bone pointing: There's only been one case of someone surviving a bone pointing, and IIRC, he's been on the run for the last few decades.

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