Howitt and Fison Papers






+ the Warajeri tribe was located

[crossed out - It was divided into four principal Hordes as follows] The local organization was as follows: (1) the [Naraudra?] - the prickly lizard (2) Kūtamŭndra - the river turtle(3) mŭing-būlla - Two bark canoes.

At each of these local divsions (Hordes) there was a Headman or "master" (Bidja-Bidja). -

As in other cases these Hordes were subdivided into numerous lesser groups each each with its own hunting grounds.

The Wirajuri tribe was adjoined in the west by the Eta-Eta tribe, commencing at Hay, on the north west of the[Ba-gun-Ge?] (Barkinji?). On the north by the Wong-i-bon tribe (1) on the north east by the Ngŭna-wal. In the south east by the Bura-bura-ba which adjoins the Eta-Eta tribe

[Left margin note] (1) For particulars see Mr [?] paper

[Line across page]

The Kamilaroi [crossed out - tribe] speaking tribes occupied a tract of New South Wales which may be defined as being nearly the whole of the Pastoral district of Liverpool Plains, north of the Gwydir River up to the Queensland boundary. [crossed out - and] On the Darling River, from Walgett to Bourke it is [Kamalaroi/Kamilaroi] & Wolleroi mixed. In the Castlereagh district it is Kamilaroi and [Warradjeri?] mixed.

But in all this great tract of country the organization, the customs & beliefs of the tribes is practically the same.

The subtribes occupied each its own taurai or food ground for instance (1) Singleton to Muswell Brook (2) Muswell Brook to Murrurundi (3) Murrurundi to [Queriundi?] [Quirindi](4) [Querindi] to Gunnedah (5) Gunnedah to Bogabri (6) Bogabri to Narrabri (7) Narrabri to Pilliga (5) Pilliga to Walgett and there was also a subtribe at [Barraba]].

Last edit 4 months ago by ALourie


Kamilaroi [underlined]

One of the best known Nations [crossed out - was] [term?] [is?] [for?] is that of this Kamilaroi speaking tribes who occupied a considerable extent of northern New South Wales/NSW up to the boundary of Queensland. The following details will serve to define approximately the boundaries of their country (1)

[Left margin note}(1) from Mr [Warby?] of Maitland New South Wales/NSW and who for 50 years lived in the Kamilaroi country.

Up the Hunter River from Singleton up to Murrurundi; thence it follows the Dividing Range to the foot of the mountain above Tamworth thence to Manilla, Barraba, Cobbedah, Bingera/Bingara and down the Gwydir/Gwydir River,[crossed out - Rivers and] Barwon Rivers to Walgett; thence by a line a little [below?] of Baradine and Coonabarrabran to the Dividing Range near the sources of the [Talbrager?] Creek and the Goulburn River - in short nearby the Pastoral District of Liverpool Plains.

North of the Gwydir up to the Queensland frontier [crossed out - and] on the Darling/Darling River from Walgett to Bourke it is Kamilaroi and Wotheroi mixed. In the Castlereagh/Castlereagh River it is Kamilaroi and Wiradjuri mixed.

The Kamilaroi nation was comprised of tribes each occupying a definite tract of country which it claimed

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as its "taurai" or food ground. Thus [crossed out - these] they occupied the following tracts (1) Singleton to Muswell [brush?]. (2) Muswell [Brush?] to Murrurundi, (3) Murrurundi to Quirindi, (4) Quirindi to Gunnedah, (5) Gunnedah to Bogabri, (6) Bogabri to Narrabri, (7) Narrabri to Pilliga, (8) Pilliga to Walgett; there being one subtribe at Barraba and or in over the rest of the Kamilaroi country.

The boundaries of the tribes and subtribes were well defined and none must pass beyond them in search of food.

Last edit 14 days ago by Christine

hw0139 John Fraser to Howitt 26/4/1882


7 the Police officer who was here waiting for him. He was taken to Maitland for trial and [was - crossed out] acquitted the man who brought the charge against him being severely reprimanded by the Judge - I mention this to show the confidence the poor black placed in me. Now in reply to your printed appendixI will try +answer the questions as fully as I can.

(1) Gosford a Post [?town?] - The Greengai tribe under a chief or "Nooragine" Boundaries Eccleston on the North. Paterson South Dungog East + Singleton West - (or there abouts)

(2.) For the most part Kumbo. Some of the Ipais amongst them

(3.) The woman about to be married makes a fire and a camp when the man is lead to the spot by his Father or any old man ofthe tribe, after camping together the ceremony is complete and considered final. The woman is chosen if possible from a neighbouring tribe - no relations are allowed to marry. Not even cousins

(4.) The descendants of the Royal family are always looked up to they are called Kumbo or Ipai according to their descent

(5.) Father "Beeungar" Mother "Kinger" Brother " "Bingi" Sister "Naneen"Uncle "Cowan" Aunt ["Cum?ing"] Cousin "Keeparrah".

(6.) The tribe is governed by a chief or king (who must be an aged man before he is thought much of) which office they hold by descent the govt. is not in the hands of Drs or wizards -

(7.) Consists of the oldest and (as a rule) [the - crossed out] most intelligent men of the tribe. I once came suddenly on a group of these old fellows sitting in a circle in deep deliberation and was told by one of them in a whisper not to tell the other Blacks what I had seen . Those men are thought a great deal of by the members of the tribe -

8. Any offence of a serious nature is punished thus or rather the offender. He is obliged to stand at a distance with a shield or Hulamanwhilst a certain number of spears (varying according to the enormity of the offence), are thrown at him - if he can defend himself well and good [??] he is either killed or seriously wounded - Individuals fight it out with any weapon present at hand -

9. There is a messenger attached to every tribe who is a sort of "flag of truce" and can go safely from one tribe to another The red net worn as a band round the forehead is used as an emblem for calling the tribe together. Nothing is known here so far as I can learn of message sticks. When a messenger appears in sight, a peculiar cooee is given when all in hearing assemble to hear what he has to say but not a word is spoken to the messenger till he thinks proper to unburden his message. and some times he sits quite silent for a long time - but when "the spirit moves him" his eloquence is wonderful and listened to with the greatest attention.

Last edit 8 months ago by ALourie

hw0146 Howitt notes of the Gringai



Port Stephens Gringai tribe


RusdenE W Boydell?Donald McRae

The boundaries given for these tribes are as follows:Geawegal - The territory claimed by them may be defined as being part of the valley of the Hunter Riverextending to each lateral watershed, and from twenty to thirty miles along the valley of the River andeach side of [??] x The Gringai occupied country bounded by Eeclestin in the northPaterson in the South, Dungog in the East and Singleton in the west x [The Dungog br- crossed out] To the westward of the Grangai there was a tribe the name of which I have not learned, myinformants speaking of it merely as the "Dungog tribe" from its headquarters; its boundariesappear to have been roughly speaking a strip on either side of the Williams River aboveand below Dungog? But this area is overlapped by the country occupied by people whocalled themselves Tukala, or Mundi-gutart meaning "big mob", that a large tribe, or tribal divisionIt is evident these boundaries over lap each other but taking the tribal groups mentionedas representing the occupants of the country [of the Gri- crossed out] the Hunter and Manning Rivers, there remainsunaccounted for only the upper part of the former, the lower part of the latter and the tribes of the immediate coast down to Newcastle. Of those whose headquarters meet at Port Stephensthe only information I possess is derived from the work of Dawson and are as follows[The upper Hunter and the Dividing Ranges and fall inland therefore were occupiedby the Kamilaroi tribe (p-)] o A section of the Kamary occupied theupper sources of the waters flowing into the Hunter River, and the fall [into the - crossed out]from the Dividing Range inland. (1) They extended down coastwards to where it came incontact with the tribes I have mentioned. The Dividing Range between the Munmurra andTalbragar sinks down so that a traveller would not think he was crossing theboundary between any waters, much less those which divide the Darling waters fromthose of the Hunter River o The [Gringai - crossed out] Geawegal [and the Gringai - crossed out] were alwaysin dread of war with the Karnaroi, who intruded down the heads of the Hunter acrossfrom the Talbragar to the Munmurra waters, and even occasionally made raidsas far as Jerry's Plains (o----o Transfer to here)

(1) [?Vasely?](2) G. W. Rusden p.

Last edit 4 months ago by ALourie


The Gringai tribeJ W Boydell Gresford

Tribe boundariesA This tribe occupied country bounded by Ecclestonin the north, Paterson in the south, Dungog in theEast and Singleton in the west.Most of the Gringai were named Kumbo butthere were some Ipai among them. Thereis one family of the Kubbi class who take B their name Kubbi from the father andnot from their mother. (on Saturday I had avisit from two of the Port Stephens blacks a man andhis gin. They are part of the Gringai tribe to which Mr Boydell's blacks belong and yet the man is Ipai and his wife Kulbitha and sheknows of the Matha class and that implies the existence of the Muri class - Mr Fraser 5/6/82)One man told me that a Kubbi must marry aKubbitha and that their children are of theKumbo class and there is a family herebearing the name of Kumbo whose fatheris a Kubbi and mother a Kubbitha.Totems C There are totem families in thistribe. 4 totem families - Black snake, Black crow, EaglehawkStingaree J.F.Marriage2 The woman about to be married makes a fireand a camp when the man is led to the spotD by his Father or any old man of the tribe. Aftercamping together the the ceremony is completeand considered final. The woman ischosen if possible from a neighbouring tribeNo relations are allowed to marry, not evencousins.

There are many instances of marriage by elopementand capture.

[written in left side margin]I think that the boundaries will befound much moreextensive that this J.F.

Class names

See note at end

One gin call herself"Stingaree sucking Meg"

Last edit 8 months ago by ALourie
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