Kurdaitcha Australian Witchcraft
Having the title of “Kurdaitcha” sparks fear in most men and women that know what that title means. Kurdaitcha magick is a revengeful magick. Though it is not a practice used regularly in modern times, the title still carries a heavy weight. One looks over their shoulder watching to be sure a Kurdaitcha man is not following, though to be clear, if one sees a Kurdaitcha man, he is allowing himself to be seen.
Australian Aborigine Ritual
When people think of Australia, they think of kangaroos, warm beaches, sunshine and probably the movie “Finding Nemo”. Most don’t think about the Australian Aborigines. Just like any culture, there is a group that started it all. The Australian Aborigines are those that are the earliest inhabitors of Australia. They are thought to be hunters, gatherers, and like most other cultures that first started out, nomads. And like any other culture, each person within the group has responsibilites. There is the medicine man, the hunters, the gatherers, the cooks, etc. One job that very few are hungry for, is the Kurdaitcha man.
The Aborigines believed that there was no such thing as a “natural” death (ancient-origins.net). When a person died, someone was to blame. Revenge was sought. The Kurdaitcha man was the executioner that followed through with the revenge. When a person of their clan died, a name was whispered to the Railtchawa or medicine man, by the dying person as to who was responsible for their death. A Kurdaitcha party was then formed and a journey began.
If a name was not provided to the medicine man, the clan did not take into consideration that the person, whether 90 years old or 60 may have died of natural causes. Someone was always to blame for the death. At that point, a couple different rituals may take place. The first being if when digging the grave, a hole is found burrowed by a small animal on one side or the other of the grave, that would be the direction in which the victims alleged murderer lived. Or if a hole was not apparent, the grave would be monitored closely for the next year or so and if a hole was found on either side, the clan had their answer as to where the murderer lived.
The other ritual performed if a hole is not located, is called bone pointing. This practice uses a bone that is pointed on one end and the other end is covered in resin. The bone is then endowed with magical powers by the Kurdaitcha man whispering curses to the bone and the new victim, the murderer, is cursed to be killed. This ritual must be performed properly to achieve the desired effect.
Once a guilty party is named, a very detailed custom begins to avenge the death. The Kurdaitcha party is typically comprised of two elderly men, never women. The first being the Kurdaitcha man, and the other the medicine man (sacred-texts.com). The men have a “uniform” of sorts that they wear. Both men will wear a pair of specialized shoes known as Interlinia shoes by the natives in the north made of a thick pad of emu feathers that are held together with the blood from the arm of a young man. These shoes are referred to as Kurdaitcha shoes by white men, and Intathurta by the natives in the south. To wear the shoes, the men must go through a painful process of having the smallest toe on one of their feet, dislocated. To do this, a stone is heated until it is red hot, then it is pressed against the ball of the toe until the joint is soft, at which point the toe is jerked out of the socket. The shoes are made in a fashion that allows said toe to be thrust through a small opening. So much can be shared about the shoes alone. They are only worn once since they are so delicately made, and no woman or child may set eyes upon them. The shoes must be stored in a place that is well hidden to keep prying eyes from seeing them. The purpose of these shoes is to allow the men to track their victim without leaving a trail, allowing them to perform their revenge unnoticed.
Once the men are properly dressed, they set off on a journey to locate their intended victim to exact their revenge. On their journey, the medicine man typically follows the Kurdaitcha man until they locate their quarry. Once located, the Kurdaitcha man will stealthily strike the victim with a spear, impaling and mortally wounding the individual. At this point, the Kurdaitcha man will step back to allow the medicine man to perform his magical ritual. By using Atnongara stones, the medicine man revives the victim, healing the wound once he has performed his magick, though the victim is unaware of all that they have been through. The victim will go back to their camp and later becomes sick and dies. Their death is believed to be attributed to the Kurdaitcha man or some other magical influence. However, with the care the Kurdaitcha man and medicine man took in preparing their Interlinia shoes, their tracks are untraceable.
Fear and Respect
Tnorala, now known as Gosses Bluff, is described as the site of a massacre from ancient times believed to be the act of a Kurdaitcha party. A community living in Tnorala was found massacred after a man from the community returned from a hunting trip. He knew Kurdaitcha men were to blame for the loss of his community and formed a party from nearby areas to hunt and kill the Kurdaitcha men (narit.or.th). When visiting Australia now and speaking with natives, the Kurdaitcha men are still viewed with great respect. Though the practice is thought to no longer be active, an elder man may deny being a Kurdaitcha man one minute and accuse another of being one, and the next admit to being a Kurdaitcha man. Fear of Kurdaitcha Magick, and Kurdaitcha men can be found in Australia even in this modern day.