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Aboriginal Twins Pose Problem At Darwin
CANBERRA, Aug. 13.
Aboriginal twins have been horn at the Darwin Hospital for the first tiim since the war— but their mothei
wants only one of them. Annie, a Millingimbi native, gave birth to the twins, who are named William and Bob, last week. Bob weighed 4 lb., and William 3 lb. The bigger baby is seriously ill and doctors are fighting for his life. Annie told a sister at the hos pital that she would only keep one. Asked what should happen to the other, she replied. 'Give it to white man.' If both babies survive, the Na tive Affairs Department will have to look after the unwanted child. The survival of twins among aborigines is rare. Among more civilised natives several cases nave been re ported, but bush natives never
allow both babies to live. The weaker twin is usually, killed at birth. This i&done for purely economic reasons. A nursing mother could not supply enough milk for two chil dren while living on bush foods. In her nomadic state a mother would never be able to carry both children as well as camp gear, yam sticks, a dilly bag and spare spears. Most native women, however civilised, would not consider keeping both babies. Annie, al though a mission native, is no exception.