Howitt and Fison Papers






for a long time over it, until the spear thrower fell down into the fireand the majic complete. Some one brought this news down to the Bunwurungans some time after the man died. His friends did not say any-thing, but waited till a young man of the Echuca tribe came down to theWestern Port district and they then killed him. News of this passed fromone to the other till it reached his tribe, who sent down a mess-age to the Bunwurung saying that they would have to meet them at a place nearMelbourne. This was arranged and the old men said to the men who had killedthe Echuca man, "Now don't you run away, you must go and stand out andwe will see that they do notuse you unfairly." This messagehad been given by the Meymet (1), to the Nira-balluk (2), who sent it on bythe Wurrunjeri to the Bunwurung. It was sent in the interim,so as to give plenty of time for the meeting, which took place on theMelbourne side of Merri Creek. The people present were the Meymet,whose headman had not come down with them, The Bunwurung, with theirHeadman Benbu, the Mount Macedon men with their Headman Ningulabul, the Werribeepeople, with the Headman of the Bunwurung (of the coast Benbow) (crossed out), finally,there were the Wurunjeri with their Headman Bili-bileri.

All these people except the Meymet and the Bunwurung, were onlookers, and each lot camped on the side of the meeting groundnearest to their own country, and all the camps as was usual looked to-wards the morning sun.

When the meeting took place the women left in the campsand the men went a little way off. The Bunwurung manstood out in front of his people armed with a shield. Facinghim were the kindred of the dead Meymet man, some nine or ten in number,who threw so many spears and boomerangs at him that you could not countthem. At last a (?) spear went through his side. Just then a Headman

(1) the Woeworung called the natives by the Murray River about the junctionof the Goulburn Campaspe (??) Meymet, as they called the Gippsland nativesBerbira, thus distinguishing both from the Kulin tribes who were their friends.(2) The Nira-balluk were the tribe about Kilmore. Nira = a deep gully, balik =people, and of (?) and probably adjoining the (?) tribe at Echuca.

Last edit about 2 months ago by ALourie



of the Buthera-balluk (1), whoheard what was to take place, and hadfollowed the Meymet down from the Goulburn River, came running up andwent in between the two parites shouting "Enough! Enough! ", and turningto the Meymet said, "You should now go back to your own country". Thisstopped the spear throwing, they had had blood, and all were now againfriends, and a great corrobbory was held that night.

Buckley gives an account of a somewhat similar case which hap-pened in his tribe, the Wudthurung, and which is worth quoting in thisconnection (2).

In speaking of an elopmenet he says, of the ordeal whichfollowed it "at length this young man advanced towards us, and challengedour men to fught, and offer whcih was aceptedpractically by a boomer-ang being thrown at him and which grazed his leg. A spear was thenthrown but he warded it off cleverly with his shield. He made no return tothis until one of our men advanced very near to him, withonly a shield adn waddy (3), and then the two went to work in good earnest,until the first had his shield split, so that he had nothing to defendhimself with but his waddy. His opponent took advantage of this and struck him a tremendous blow on one side of the head, and knocked himdown; but instantly on his legs aagain, the blood however flowingvery freely over his back and shoulders. His friends then cried out "enough"and threatened general hostilities if another blow was struck. This havingthe desired effect they all, soon after separated quietly.

As a good instance of the manner in which trespasses byone of one tribe on the country of another tribe was dealt with, I takethe case of a man of the Wudthurung, tribe who unlawfully took, infactstole stone from the tribal quarry at Mt.Macedon. I give it in almost the

(1) The Buthera-balluk lived about Seymour, and were Kulin.(3} this word waddy does not belong to the Woeworung language, nor tothe Wudthurung so far as I have been able to learn, but it is a wordfrom one of the dilects near Sydney, and its in Buckley's book byMorgan shows how quickly such words are carried from one place toanother by the whitemen andtheir blackboys, to the confusion of philologists

Last edit 3 months ago by ALourie
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