Howitt and Fison Papers

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Letter of 1.12.07

You have asked me to compilewhat I could of the socialorganisation I think that"Margoolah" + Boomberahwould come under thisheading. So I will give itto you as old Ipatha gaveit to me.

"Long time ago black fellowswere like Kangeroo's [sic] andIguannas [sic], then " old fellowblack fellow here comes, andcall himself "Birrah-nooloo" [Birral-mooloo -written above]4 (God) he been watch [watch - written below] Kangeroo [sic]& saw that some lay at the[and saw that some lay at the - written below]foot of the tree while others[foot of the tree while others- written below]lay further away in the[lay further away in the - written below]shade of the foliage"[shade of the foliage - crossed out]the former he called "Boomberah"[The former he called Boomberrah- written below]and the latter Margoolah[and the latter Margoolah- written below]the same way with theIguanna [sic]. One kind of Iguanna [sic][one kind Iguana - written below]will burrow under the[will burrow under the - crossed out]

Last edit 5 months ago by ALourie
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ground for a great distance[ground for a great distance - written below]before coming out - they were[before coming out - they were - written below]called Boomberah.[called Boomberha - written below]while another kind will[while another kind will - written below]burrow under ground but[burrow under ground but- written below]can be dug out in close[can be dug out in close - written below]proximity to the entrance[proximity to the entrance- written below]this is called Margoolah.[this is called Margoolah- written below]

This is all Ipatha cantell me of Margoolah &Boomberah and she doesnot seem very well versedin the other legends that Iwish to compile for youso I am sending awayfor the only living, oldMoorawarri. He is over250 miles away from hereand may keep me sometime even if he consents tocome. But will continuesending in any scraps Ican manage to squeezeout of my blacks. A black

Last edit 5 months ago by ALourie
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I

I have two separate sheetswritten. the sub classes, theirtotems, and the aboriginalwords.

As regards the totems beingdivided into sub classes,I am inclined to thinksuch is the case, as theyare divided into light anddark bloods. The light being"Boomberah" which is thinand flows freely if cut.the dark being "Margoolah"which is thick and if theperson, or animal, is cutwill only drop away fromthe wound being too thickto run out.

Class, Sub class, Totem, sub totemMerigalle, Ipai Kumbo, Kangeroo [sic], Margoolah

Class Sub class Totem sub class Pirrahwah Murri Kubbi, Iguanna [sic] Boomberah

[written in left side margin]I give a form ofthe [??] [??]-the [??] + [??]are not sub totems butdesignation 2 - what [??]the totems in calling the "totem class"

Has [??] abandoned thisold marriage rule- theBlood rules of marriage must alsobe abandoned.3

Last edit 3 months ago by ALourie
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II

I do not know if I am doingright when I put Boomberahas the word for the sub totemand substitute Pirr'ah'nah"as the class name.

But I have been talking toa Moorawarri black manand he has explained itthus.

Merigally, Bindie goin (thickblood) = Margoolah, belongsto Ipai, Ipatha, Kumbo Butha.

Pirrahnah, Nubbine Nubbine-goin (thin blood) = Boomberah.belongs to Kubbi Kubbitha,Murri Martha.

In olden times if a Merigallyblack wished to fight witha Mir'rah'nah black they usedto say Urine lenggyeugh ingarmiel= I am ashamed from you

Last edit 3 months ago by ALourie
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