Awabakal women turn to Threlkeld at times of need

Awabakal women also turn to Threlkeld at times of need. One young woman runs to Threlkeld and asks if he will go and see her bury Dismal’s deceased sister. The community’s grief is amplified by a fear of body snatching. Threlkeld finds about thirty native men and women sitting in groups with a small fire to each party. The mother and grandmother are weeping. Naked women are digging a hole in the sand…Dismal is very “sorry” for his sister. Another struggles with broken English to beg Threlkeld not to disclose where the body is laid. They are afraid that white fellow will come and “take her head away…The exposure of New Zealander’s heads for sale at Sydney no doubt is one of the causes of their fear”. (Threlkeld’s report for 3 June, quoted in Blair, 2003, p135).