Howitt and Fison Papers


tip70-10-33-18 Howitt to Fison 20/9/1878



Yeerung including all males - Djeetgun includingall females. Is it possible that among the Biduelliall men are Merrung - and all women Yuckembrackand that the classes do not affect the marriage?I cannot certainly make it fit. As to group relationshipsyou will find among the Kurni that all men are brothersbecause they are Yeerung; that all women are sistersbecause they are all Djeetgun. It is a common sayingthe Yeerungs are the men's brothers - the Djeetguns are the women'ssisters. All those who have been initiated into manhood atthe same time are brothers - I said to my friend Toolebar-"all Brogan like it brother" he replied "All Brogan arebrother". You call boy belonging to me leet (child) - and youcall myan belonging to me - my andown (my wife). This is thefact - since I was first made Brogan two years agoTooleba's old wife always salutes my with "good morningBrarbittel" (my husband) - I gravely reply "good morning my andown"When ascertaining from the Darling blackfellow his classnames, I explained what I wanted by saying "I ammungaller (Lizard) belonging to MÅ«quaa (Eaglehawk)belonging to Cooper Ck blackfellow." He immediately replied(mentioning his class name) "then you and me all same asbrothers". This was a relationship in the class - for histribe and the Cooper Ck are totally unconnected.I will look this up and [?quote?] separately for you.No doubt it has struck you -but I may point outperhaps - that we ought to find among some tribesterms equivalent to cousin - and as we findseparate terms designating elder, younger brother, elderyounger sister, we might expect to find similarterms for various cousins - paternal and maternalI find that the Kurni of Gippsland haveapparently stopped from the consanguine[terms - crossed out] system + terms - brothers + sisters - past the intermediate

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