Howitt and Fison Papers


tip70-10-33-10 Howitt to Fison 5/9/1874



Mr Curr also asks if we have seen whatEyre, Grey +c have written about "Cobbaand Cobbitha". This has suggestedthat the works of all the Australian voyagers by land and sea should beexamined. But I dare say you have done so.

I now proceed to note some thingsin your letter1. I believe the natives have many convertibleterms as for instance (Brabrolung)myan=wife=rookut2. new words are often substitutedfor instance (Brabrolung) a man named"Yarn" (water) died - for some time afterhis friends called "water" "nobler"- for it is not proper or lawful to namethe dead. If he had been a great manthe word "yarn" would probably have died out.3. The most intelligent of the Brabrolung nativescannot explain such terms as "NgaribilQua-abun" - their meaning I am afraidhas been lost in the change of languageas for instance the term "Dan bun

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