Howitt and Fison Papers


XM690_ICDMS_lowres The organization of Australian tribes




more impenetrable by the exuberant growth of [the - crossed out] a climbing grass (1) which often [rose up - crossed out] [?embraced?] everything [with in its ?? li - crossed out]for twenty feet above the ground. Even when in some places the country was a more open forest the river flowed with in a belt of almost tropical jungle. Moreover animal life was scarce and the whole area could only support a tribe as small as the Biduell-mittŭng who probably never numbered more in all than a couple of score of individuals. These people called themselves “maap” – men and were looked down upon by all their neighbours. They had no system of Initiation and I saw once at a [Kuriu - crossed out]Bora of the Coast-Muring [sic] that [one of these - crossed out] a Biduell man of probably seventy years of age who was then visiting them on friendly terms was contemptuously driven in among the women and children at the commencement of the ceremonies and left behind as not being a “full man”. -

The Biduell language was compounded from the surrounding languages. They had some of the class names of their neighbours, for instance they hadthe sex totem [here - crossed out] Yirŭng [cut men - crossed out], and I observed the [totem - crossed out] class name "Yukanbrŭk= crow and the totem Tchuteba = Rabbit Rat of the Ngarego and theYalonga = Rock Wallaby - of the Coast Muring [sic]. I even found onefamily bearing the name of Bunjil. Their relationship terms[are - crossed out] were also derived from the same neighbouring tribes, someterms being Kurnai and some Muring as might have been forecastfrom their composite language. The prime facie case of a mixed descent is strengthened by a statement made by a Biduell man who claimed as his country the upper valley of the [upper - crossed out] Broadribb River which flows into the Snowy Rivernear the coast and thus in the Kurnai country. He said that his “father’s father” was a Kurnai of Buchan (1) who left his country and settled in the small piece of open county known as [the - crossed out] Goungra, west of Mount Ellery. (2)His son obtained a wife from the Thedora of Omeo, the son of this marriage, my informant, married a Ngarego woman. This pedigree accounts for both Yirŭng and Yŭkembrŭk. [Such - crossed out] Another case is one where before the settlement of Gippsland by the white man, a Brabrolŭng eloped with his brother’s daughter who according to the classificatory system of kinship was counted as his own daughter. The offence againt tribal law was one of the most serious he could commit and he escaped with her. [and was not seen - crossed out]

[written in left side margin](1)

Is this Marap?

Are they not thenprobably mixedrefugees?

(1) this is not as isusually supposed aScotch name given to theplace by some of the Earlysettlers who were [mostly - crossed out] [??]from North [??] but anative word which should beproperly written Bŭkan, meaninga net bag in which the blackfellowscarried their things. The proper nameof the place is "Bŭkan-munji"or "Bag-there" or the "place of the bag"(2) Būrrūmpa of the aborigines

Last edit 18 days ago by ALourie

tip70-10-33-7 Howitt to Fison 29/12/1873



for you some tabulated relationshipsfrom the Snowy River and Buchan blacks.The Bidwelli tribe have so far eluded me.I am anxious to meet with the last remainingmembers as it is almost extinct and is interesting as having been secludedin the dense jungle east of the Snowy River and some peculiarities mayhave been evolved.

I also enclose a communicationfrom my correspondent the Revd ABrazier from Lake Condah. It isimproved but is still contradictoryand I have sent him two dozenqueries for reply which I trust willcomplete that system.

I am very glad that I havebeen able to be of some servicein your enquiries. I have takenmuch interest in everything

Last edit 24 days ago by ALourie

hw0404 Notes on Kurnai 150 pages



1KurnaiTulaba's reminiscences

First whites in GippslandWhere the whites came into Gippsland hewas the size of Gilbert (12 years)Whitemen came into Gippsland first from Twofold Bay accompanied [with - crossed out] by T. B. black.They brought cattle with them. They attemptedto cross the Lakes Entrance but not succeedingcamped their cattle between Lake Bunya ([?Leën?] bŭke) and the sea. Then being guidedby Lakes Entrance blacks they went round the NorthArm and struck the Tambo River at [?Hewlets?]Failing to cross their cattle at Swan Reach theyreturned to T. Bay. By four bullocks [??] [??]- two of which the blacks afterward killed atSwan Reach - one at [?Beeba Beeba?] andthe fourth at the Tambo River below B.B to Bruthen

Tulaba says that when Blacks firsttasted beef of a bullock which the whitemenkilled at Lakes Entrance it made themsick as it had a different taste + smell tothe meat they had been used to eat.

First arrivals of BullockLong before the whiteman came to Gippslandthe Brajerak made a raid - Killed a numberof Kurnai and took away a number of women.Of these three or four made their way back and brought news of "Bullock" which they describedas "big dogs full of hard fat". The blacks couldnot make this out at all.

First white menBefore McMillan came into Gippslandwhite men had come from Buchanto the Junction of [?Tambam? - possibly Timbarra?]+ Tambo andthen returned.

Buchan is named from Bŭkan =the large bag in which things are carriednetted of string made of fibre from young Lightwood tree.The small bags are = Battūng.

Set fightsIn set fights the offender is called Waljurkand the injured person is called Nūnja nūngi

[written in left side margin]The Bad ground iscalled by the Nūletwía-wŭk - the Mukthanguse this word for it.

Last edit 18 days ago by ALourie

hw0393 Bulmer to Howitt 22/October/1880



Lake TyersOct 22nd 1880

My dear Mr Howitt,

As Jenny Cooper has just returned from Buchan I have got the words expressing the degrees of relationship + send them to you. I am sorry I have not been able to do so sooner but I hope you have not been inconvenienced by the delay.I am collecting information about Birrararks +c and will shortly send a few rough notes of the result of my inquiry. Your book is

Last edit 2 days ago by ALourie

hw0411 Notes on Map from Frank James and Tongai-Jimmy



Bidwelli - from Tongai-Jimmy

Bidwelli 101 Class names - the tribal name2 classes + locality3 connubrium4 Headman5 Initiation6 vocabulary

man - map - white man mŭminūgawoman - kŭrgŭthead - tūdūkeye - mé or minnanose - kongtongue - tallingear - wringhair of head - mŭnajākŭlhand - brütthumb - yŭkan brütfoot - jinnungfire - mrütwater - yaansun - nowŭn or wūrinmoon - yártinmy ialli

thy ningalung 11his nungalungmy footone ko-tekitwo - bolŭngthree - [bo - crossed out] bonglalandŭk4 - bolŭng bolūng5 - yotŭt6 yotŭt10 - bolŭng gū20 bolūng ginnūng

Tongy - of Borumpa - at this sideGrandfather of Buchan mittungGrandmother from OmeoFather - born at CannMother born at Buchan Gelantipy[written in pencil - other father shot] my other father was shot at Cannand two cousins - their mother of Bruthen[of Bruthen - crossed out] Willy Bunjil'sfather of Bondi and his motherfrom BegaTongi's wife from Buroopa

Last edit 24 days ago by ALourie
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