Howitt and Fison Papers

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XM690_ICDMS_lowres The organization of Australian tribes

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O of a T4or became extinct in the Kurnai tribe the local groups, Hordes if descent remains in the female or clans if it has been transferred [crossed out - became attached] to the male line, the exogamous law has attached itself to the local that is geographical groups which therefore regulate marriage. It is as if an English Village had determined that its children should marry beyond its bounds, possibly with the children of some one in some adjacent village, the sons bringing their wives to the village while its daughters went to the village whence their brothers took their wives.

In illustration of these statements I shall take several instances mainly those of [crossed - the case of] the Dieri and the Kurnai [crossed out - as instances] for the reason [crossed out - already stated] that they are respectively highly typical of the most archaic and the most recent forms of local & social organization of the Australian tribes known to me.

The local organization [underlined]

The Dieri tribe inhabits the country of the Barcoo delta in the west and to the west side of Lake Eyre in Central Australia. It is one of a number of tribes which have the same organization, with allied languages and [crossed out - the same] ceremonies, customs and beliefs are the same lines. These tribes to some extent [all thoroughly?] submitting, if I may be permitted to so phrase it, to the English imperium, still have their own lives and follow so far as is possible the tribal customs. That which I shall have [?] of them will however be as I knew them thrity seven years ago in their wild state before their country had been occupied for pastoral purposes. The tribal territory was occupied by five principal local divisions (1) [Pando Pinnaru] or Lake Hope [crossed out - the ?] Lake (2) Kūramina or Blanchewater (3) Kopperamana(4) [Kilalepanina?] and [Kathithaudra?] at the junction of the Barcoo Rv with Lake Eyre.

Last edit 25 days ago by Christine
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18A

The country of the Dieri tribe ends about Blanchewater [crossed out - where] where the Flinders Range of mountains and [crossed out - in the Freeling heights] [?] abruptly in the Freeling Heights. In these mountains were a series of tribes commencing with the [Murdilari?] or "Red people" in mountain areas, following the Kūyani --------- the country of the the latter ending [crossed out - west ? from Port Augusta] at Mt Eyre all these tribes were of the same great [st? ?ulients?]. had spread over the Lake eyre Basin having apparently migrated from [crossed out - the] N Eastern Australia following the course of the Barcoo natives and [?] those of the [?mantion?] also. At any rate I have traced the same organization and and class system on the Upper Barcoo at Mt Howitt in the [Rūnan dalrui?] tribe and the great ceremonies of the Dieri connected with the "mura mura" beliefs extend up to Birdsville and thus connect the tribes of the Everard/Everard River & Diamantina/Diamantina River with these as far south as the Dieri and [Murdula?] at the least.

The class system with the names Materi and Kararu not only extended from the Dieri to the most [crossed out - to Spencer Gul the surrounding ? extent of the tribes] [crossed out - But they also were in the [?] [Riveolin?] tribe.]tribes situated between [Piri?] and the Head of the Bight all of which had the classes Materi and Kararu in some dialectic form as for instance Mŭteri and kararu of the Witūrū and Hileri tribes at the head of the Bight. These class names cease for this [crossed out - any rate they did not extend beyond the boundaries] of the Mēning tribe settles about Eucla which [crossed out - must be ?] [crossed out - to be] is [?] of the West Australian State.

The class name Materi and Kararu as I have said extended down the western side of Spencers Gulf.

On the Eastern side: Yorke Peninsula separates Spencers Gulf from the Gulf of St Vincent. Here I may now [?] a long series of coast tribes which are remarkable as having in many [crossed out - ways] respects an organization which departs [crossed out - in] more or less strongly from the types which are found within the Australian continent.

The first of such tribes is that which occupied [?] and whose remnant state [?] therein.

[Left margin note]The [Augala?] tribe was [?] the Kūyani of Port Ausgusta. Thence in the extensive tract of whose bounds are approximately fixed by Pot Lincoln Head of the Australian Bight, Lake Gauwner & and the Gawler were two tribes whose common boundaries the coast at [Point Brom?]. The one east of the point Wilūrū and [the?] the west of the point the Hillerie tribe.

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie

XM692_ICDMS_lowres Chapter V Tribal Governments

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Great one" who could not come to see me. I went, and found sitting in [a hut- crossed out] one of the huts, [about - crossed out]the oldest blackfellow I ever saw. The other Pirrarus were mostly grey haired and bald but he was so old as to be almost childish and [he - crossed out] was covered with a grizzly fell of hair from head to foot. The respect with which he was treated by the other old men was as marked in them as was the respect with which they were treated by the younger men.

They told me that he was unable to walk about and that when they travelled he was carried by some of the younger men.

Such Headmen as those of the Dieri were certainly [were - crossed out] to be found in all the tribes of the Lake Eyre Basin, the Barcoo, and extending

Insert under at A [6A - crossed out]

In the Adjadura tribe the office of Headman was hereditary from father to son. The Head man [an old - crossed out] a man of probably 60 years of age] who was still living in [In the Kurnai tribe also living in -crossed out]1887, and therefore dated back to the settlement of South Australia inherited his authority from his father, and his son had at the time named already some authority in the tribe. [The above m The old men of the tribe were unanimous as in their- crossed out] [statement- crossed out] Other [old - crossed out] men of nearly the same age were all unanimous in confessing their statement as to the Headmanship.

[Text has been cut and pasted here]

tribes [wh- crossed out] such as the Dieri, but in this respect their power was perhaps more marked and their office distinctly hereditary.

Each totem class (1) that is each localised totem had its Headman called Rupulli. The office was not hereditary but the Rupulli was [electe- crossed out] chosen by the old men, [but - crossed out] yet here as in other such tribes there seems to have been a tendency to choose the brother or the son of the dead Headman as his successor.

[Left hand margin note to explain "Each totem class"](1) I use the term totem class advisedly in this case because with the naming inthe totems have become localisedas was the case with many of the coast tribes.(see p. -)

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie
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[Page a revised version of preceeding page 6]

Great one" who could not come to see me. I went, and found sitting in [a hut - crossed out] one of the huts, [about - crossed out] the oldest blackfellow I ever saw. The other Pirarus were mostly grey haired and bald but he was so old as to be almost childish and was covered with a grizzly fell of hair from head to foot. The respect with which he was treated by the other old men was as marked in them as was the respect with which they were treated by the younger men.

They told me that he was unable to walk about andthat when they travelled he was carried by some of the younger men.

Such Headmen as those of the Dieri were certainly [were- crossed out] to be found in all the tribes of the Lake Eyre Basin, the Barcoo, and extending down the Flinders Ranges to Spencer Gulf and Port Lincoln

[These were also in the two class tribes of the Darling - crossed out][River and the Lower Murray- crossed out]

According to to the account given to me by the Rev. Geo. Taplin and subsequently confirmed and extended by his son the late Mr Taplin, the Head men of the Narrinyeri coast tribe were analagous in characteristics [and in powers - crossed out] to those of the inland tribes such as the Dieri, but in this respect their power was perhaps more marked and their office distinctly hereditary.

Each totem class (1) that is each localised totem and its headman called Rupulli. The office was not hereditary but the Rupulli was [electe- crossed out] chosen by the old men, [but -crossed out] yet here as in other such tribes there seems to have been a tendency to choose the brother or the son of the dead headman as his successor.

[written in left hand margin]A

X

(1) I use the termtotem class advisedlyin this case becausewith the naming inthe totems have becomelocalisedas was the case with many of the coast tribes.(see p. )

Last edit 19 days ago by ALourie

XM145_ICDMS_lowres R Christison to Howitt

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Lammermoor Oct 31stAckd 28/1/[??]Alfred Howitt, EsqSale Gippsland Victoria

Dear SirI feel quite ashamed to write to you tis so long ago since I got your last letters. I have been most busy: closing a long partnership, selling some runs, and buying others, that I have had but little time for anything else. Dr Beddoe has gone, I regret to say he would not help me to give you the information you required. I have gone over all your queries to-day and I fear I cannot answer your questions accurately, of course I have an idea of many of your questions, but I refrain from attempting to answer them as I have my doubts as to their accuracy. However, what is in my power, and you can rely upon its accuracy, lies in the dot-tracing I have made on your map, showing the boundary lines of the various tribes in this district, and the names of them.

[next page] The only one I am doubtful of is No. 9. I think it lies more to the eastward towards the Alice and Barcoo. I feel I could an-wer more of your Queries if I met you personally and had some of my most intell-igent blacks with us, is there no probability of you coming north? Would you like a water color head of two Dalebūra male and female? I shall make another attempt and try if I can give you some more information, especially upon the Issueof relationship. The drought is still very bad, if no rain falls before Feb I fear ruin will fall upon many. Griffith’s Land Billis most damaging to Lessees, and must injure the future advance of Queensland much. I hope to go to Tenterfield N.S.Wales in December to escape the hot months here during the rainy season, if we are ever to have another.

Yours faithfullyR. Christison

Last edit 12 days ago by ALourie
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