Howitt and Fison Papers






[Two words crossed out] This system of which the Dieri [crossed out - is represented by the]classes and totems + are an example extends over an immense area and only surrounding Lake Eyre butalso extending up the Barcoo River probably at least as far as ? [crossed out - Mt ?ilt] in the N. west of Lake Eyre to [no name recorded] where as [?] Spencer tells us (2) it is replaced by the four class system of the - [no name recorded] tribes. A from p 18A To the southward it extended down the Flinders Ranges [crossed out - and back] to near Port Augusta and has been recorded at Port Lincoln (3). [crossed out - overall these ext] Then the clan names Materi and Kararu cover an area -[no area given] miles - [no area given] miles. In table Appendix A are given the [identitie?] and variation in the totems of each class name for a number of tribes.

To the South East the Kararu and Materi do not extend beyond the range of the [Yantru wunta?] tribe whose limits [?] may be simply definded by the Grey/Grey Range and Barrier Ranges.

To the Eastward of the limit there is a similar great area occupied by allied tribes having a two clan organization, the classes being Muthwara and Kilpara with assorted totems.

This area [crossed out - carved by] may be defned as extendiing to the Warrego River to some distance East of the River Darling and for some distance both above and below the Junction of the Darling/Darling River & Murray/Murray River (4).

The class and totem system of these tribes are illustrated by the following [crossed out - taken from] which [?] in the Wily (1) a tribe occupying the counry about the Grey Range, Kingsgaite (2) occupying the country N & S of Cadell Ranges Būlali (5) (3) Boolati occupying the Barrier Range country, and (4) TongarauKa (6) occupyingte country about Momba, Tarella, Wonominta & [Yandarlo?] including the Dunbury Range.

[Left margin notes]+ Were it not that the word totem has been so long established in the English language and that it has a meaning wuite apropriate to the Australian facts, I [ful?]temped to introduce the Dieri word "murdu" as correct.

(2) quote this work(3)sent to [Mehelmi?](4) See as to local organization of these tribes p 14.(5) From Būlali - a hill(6) Tongarauka = Hillside or "under a hill"

[Table][Column 1] Class divisionsMūKwara[Column 2] TotemsBilyara - EaglehawkTirlta - KangarooBūrKūma - BandicootKultapa - DuckKarni - Frilled lizardYaranga - opossumKurli - dog

[Column 1] Class divisionsKilpara[Column 2] TotemsKulthi - EmuTūrū - carpet snakenamba - bonefishBauanyal - PadymelonWongarū - wallaby

Last edit 6 months ago by Christine


[written in left side margin]Is this indicative of the evolution of subclasses?


In the class system there are familiar and yet also strange [crossed out - peculiar] features. The two class system is there with related totems called by the Wotjōballuk "mir". My principal Wotjōballuk informant, an old man who had seen his tribal country occupied by the white man, said in speaking of the classes Gamutch and Krokitch, that when he went to the River Murray into the country of the Tati-tati tribe (1) he was told that being Krokitch he was also Kilpara and that Gamutch was the same as muk wara. The same statement as to the equivalence of the [crossed out - totems] classes was also made to me by a man and his wife of the Wembaio tribe as well as by others of the Wotjoballuk.

But the new features are very numerous secondary totems attached in groups to the totems of Krokitch and Gamutch respectively.

It seems as if the ordinary totems of the two class systems had advanced into the [?positions?] of sub-classes but the marriage law of the two class system still maintains. A Krokitch of whatever totems may take as a wife any Gamutch girl of any of the totems of that class, always [?] that there is no disability arising out of nearness of Kin.

A peculiarity [crossed out - of] in these totems which I have not found [?] is that some of them have a [crossed out - second ?] [synonym?]. For instance, Ngaui-na-gŭli has a second name Gartchuka which one of my informants a Ngaui man claimed as a second name of his 'mir', the fact that both Ngaui and Gartchuka were his "names". [crossed out - mir (totem)]. But he further said that Ngaui was especially his name and that Gartchuka "came a little behind it". On the other hand another informant who also claimed to be both Ngaui and Gartchuka, said that he was especially Garchuka and that Ngaui came a little after this other name. Wherein the difference lay I was quite unable to ascertain, but it seemed to me that Ngaui and Garchuka are in fact very slightly divergent branches of the same totem. This [suggestioned?] is I think strengthened by the burial direction which is the same as for both Ngaui & Gartchuka [crossed out- a removal made by each informant is to] [crossed out - these secondary totems. Krokitch that is] Gamutch-babjanjŭl has also a second name, which however is more a name than a totem. Its members are called "[Darau-yau-ŭn-ngau-ŭng]" or " we are warming ourselves", a name it is said given to them because

Left margin notes]Certain as[?] [?]p 61[underlined]

(1) see Cameronspaper -

Is this indicative of the evolution of sub classes?

Last edit 22 days ago by Christine
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