kurdaitcha

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Arrernte gadaidja.

Noun[edit]

kurdaitcha (plural kurdaitchas)

  1. (Australia) An aboriginal evil spirit; a sorcerer.
    • 1953, Arthur Upfield, Murder Must Wait, page 105,
      In the morning sharp eyes would be dilated by tracks surely made by the dreaded Kurdaitcha without his feathered feet. Those prints would be followed back to the tree, where the Kurdaitcha put on his great boots and mounted a bike to go back to Mitford.
  2. (Australia) An expedition taken to heal or avenge someone afflicted by evil sorcery.
    • 1968, Gerald Clair Wheeler, The Tribe, and Intertribal Relations in Australia, page 150,
      The “kurdaitcha” is a party consisting of a medicine-man and three others, sent by the elders of a local group to avenge a magically-caused death, the offender having been beforehand identified.
    • 1985, Ronald Murray Berndt, Catherine Helen Berndt, The World of the First Australians, page 324,
      However, the kurdaitcha (or gadaidja) and illapurinja are more properly expeditions carried out for the specific purpose of performing sorcery. (Spencer and Gillem, ibid.: 476-88) In the kurdaitcha men use special slippers of that name, made from emu feathers stuck together with blood, with an upper rim of netted hair string.
  3. (Australia) A man chosen to go on such an expedition.
    • 1987, Catherine Martin, The Incredible Journey, page 77,
      [] One day when he was going to a creek to catch fish he saw a Kurdaitcha man - one who was going out alone to kill an enemy, and he had shoes of a very strange kind.’
  4. (Australia) The boots worn by someone on such a mission, typically made from emu feathers.
    • 1964, Walkabout, Volume 30, page 40,
      Now Detective–Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte has solved his last case and laid away his kurdaitcha boots for ever.
    • 1983, Robert Drewe, The Bodysurfers, Penguin 2009, p. 152:
      The blacks crept up on their camp in their feathered kadaitcha boots to spear them.

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