Howitt and Fison Papers


XM703_ICDMS_lowres Childbirth



InfanticideMūkjara waintChildren belonged to their grand parents but his parentshas the care of them. If for instance a boy was bornand then a girl the father's parents might take themor the mother's parents and so on with another couple of children. Say then that another was born, if one of thegrandparents took it it would be kept. If not it waskilled, as being too many children. The grand parents hadto decide whether a child was to be kept alive or notIf not then either the grandfather or the father killedit, by striking it against the mother's knees. and thenknocked in the head. Then the child was roasted andeaten by their grandparents, their brothers and grandchildren -but its parents did not eat of it. Occasionally friendswere invited to the feast.The father could not order the child to be killed for if sothe grandparents would raise a mob against himand he would have to fight with them.

Maraurasspeaking(Wembaio)I found infanticide prevalent. The women said that theold men ordered it and it had to be done.Infanticide was indiscriminate both as to boys + girls.

TurribulHalfcaste children were killed by themidwife.Thos Petrie

Geawe-gal Infanticide was I hav ereaso [sic] to believe, permitted by theGeawe-gal tribe, thouh [sic] I never knew an instance. They alleged that whiletheir food was abund nt [sic] and their habits were simle [sic], it wasat [sic] least unmuncommon. They were very fond of their children, so far as I couldobserve.

Last edit 3 days ago by ALourie

XM88_ICDMS_lowres Letter from John Bulmer 26 October 1881



[right column]

male of any kind, and the Kulong is merely expressive ofa male, so the word altogetherwill mean men of the eastwhen they intend women theysay Kroatun Worcut orYactun Worcut, women of theeast or the west as thecase may be. Blacks I findalways speak distinctly asto genders. They speak ofBrajeracks & Lowajeracksthey seem to have no wordequal to our Mankind toexpress men & women butmen are spoken of separatelyand so are the women.This I think you may safelytake as the true meaningof Kroatunkolong or itsopposite.

[left side of the page, on side]

You ask if I refer to the Kurnai when I speak ofa lot of men sitting around a rude figureof a man on the ground and singing some one who is is obnoxious to them. This only refers to the Kurnai. I do not rememberif the Waimbio did so.

With kind regards to Mrs Howitt in whichMrs Bulmer joinsI remainfaithfully yoursJohn Bulmer

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie

XM97_ICDMS_lowres Bulmer 6 July 1880



Omeo Maneroo Yaitmatang Waimbio

My Wife Maandu Maandu NongyMy mothers sister Maandu Maandu ---------Wife's Brother's Wife Kallan Kallan ------------Brother's Wife Mangarung Mangarung ---------------------------------Husband Maandu Maandu MaaliHusband's Brother Mangarung MangarungHusband's SistersHusband Jemogang Jemogang

Sister's Husband Marrian MarrianElder Brother Dejung Dejung KackweakYounger Brother Kookong Kookong PerlweakElder Sister Namang Younger Sister Kallan Kallan Katagga or *Kattarri

*This sound is pronounced with a Northumbrian burr so that g largely represents the sound it is sounded first as the Geordies would sound if it were written r in it.

Last edit 3 months ago by ALourie

XM581_ICDMS_lowres Notes about Messengers



[14 - crossed out] 13In the Wembaio tribe -A messenger of death, on nearing the camp walked in a dejected manner [carr- crossed out] holding his spear in one hand and letting it rest in the hollow of the other arm. When close to their camp he [says - crossed out] said "Dau" twice, which is the formula suitable to the occasion. His face [is] was painted with a little [white colour- crossed out] pipe clay. He [walks- crossed out] walked through the encampment repeating the word Dau at each hut before he [sits- crossed out] sat down, apart from the others, - waiting until some friend [brings- crossed out] brought him food. After a time he [goes] again went into the camp and delivered his news.

It was always possible to tell by the appearance of the messenger what [the- crossed out] kind of news it was whether of death, or for war or of elopements.[Dr MacKinlay- crossed out]

[written in left had column][Wembaio- crossed out][Maraura - crossed out][Dr MacKinlay- crossed out]

Last edit 10 months ago by ALourie

XM690_ICDMS_lowres The organization of Australian tribes



[written in left side margin]Is this indicative of the evolution of subclasses?


In the class system there are familiar and yet also strange [crossed out - peculiar] features. The two class system is there with related totems called by the Wotjōballuk "mir". My principal Wotjōballuk informant, an old man who had seen his tribal country occupied by the white man, said in speaking of the classes Gamutch and Krokitch, that when he went to the River Murray into the country of the Tati-tati tribe (1) he was told that being Krokitch he was also Kilpara and that Gamutch was the same as muk wara. The same statement as to the equivalence of the [crossed out - totems] classes was also made to me by a man and his wife of the Wembaio tribe as well as by others of the Wotjoballuk.

But the new features are very numerous secondary totems attached in groups to the totems of Krokitch and Gamutch respectively.

It seems as if the ordinary totems of the two class systems had advanced into the [?positions?] of sub-classes but the marriage law of the two class system still maintains. A Krokitch of whatever totems may take as a wife any Gamutch girl of any of the totems of that class, always [?] that there is no disability arising out of nearness of Kin.

A peculiarity [crossed out - of] in these totems which I have not found [?] is that some of them have a [crossed out - second ?] [synonym?]. For instance, Ngaui-na-gŭli has a second name Gartchuka which one of my informants a Ngaui man claimed as a second name of his 'mir', the fact that both Ngaui and Gartchuka were his "names". [crossed out - mir (totem)]. But he further said that Ngaui was especially his name and that Gartchuka "came a little behind it". On the other hand another informant who also claimed to be both Ngaui and Gartchuka, said that he was especially Garchuka and that Ngaui came a little after this other name. Wherein the difference lay I was quite unable to ascertain, but it seemed to me that Ngaui and Garchuka are in fact very slightly divergent branches of the same totem. This [suggestioned?] is I think strengthened by the burial direction which is the same as for both Ngaui & Gartchuka [crossed out- a removal made by each informant is to] [crossed out - these secondary totems. Krokitch that is] Gamutch-babjanjŭl has also a second name, which however is more a name than a totem. Its members are called "[Darau-yau-ŭn-ngau-ŭng]" or " we are warming ourselves", a name it is said given to them because

Left margin notes]Certain as[?] [?]p 61[underlined]

(1) see Cameronspaper -

Is this indicative of the evolution of sub classes?

Last edit 3 months ago by ALourie
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