Howitt and Fison Papers


Search for Kūlin* Kulin* "Kulin Nation"




KulinMen of the Woeworung people ? then camps. Crosse out a camp some in the following manner lately ? Berak's (Berak) wilaui (hut) as use starting point.

Diagram 2( (1) Beruk, (Berak) wife 1 died(2) Beruk ?(Berak)ditte(3) Beruk (Berak) father 2 mothers1( (4) Beruk (Berak) wife ? jail 2 weeks(5) Victoria for the Bunrung tribe(6) young men camp5( 6(

The camp to suppose to be in Beruk (Berak) country and at ? nearby each hut faces the east that of the percuily ? stuck wife to behind? a ? camps the heel of Berak father between people the Bunwrung ?camps side head of the country which is the northward.? Men who are young men were furthest from the main people.?

Last edit 6 months ago by Kurnai





[Wiradjuri?] tribe a search [then? or where?] of [the?]There is a Headman who is the oldest man of the[name?]. Important messages such as those to the Initiations ([Būrpŭny?]) are sent by a Headman. The messenger must ([Jederin?])be of the same totem as the sender and the message is sent to the oldest man of the same totem in the locality in which the messenger is told to go. The oldest man is head of his totem at the place

[Paragraph below inserted here]

The message is then sent on by men of the [place?] [When? or Then?] from place to place a [themessenger is safe from harm in such a mission.

[Paragraph to be inserted above]

In one case within my knowledge a messenger relatingto the [Burbruj?] was sent by a Headman who was [two words crossed out] of the [Kulin?] sub clans? and the Red Kangaroo. When This messenger was of the same sub clan as them. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------All kinds of news and messages are sent in this manner Such messengers are regarded as sacred and may safely travel anywhere so long as they possess the proper sign or emblem of their office. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8.

[Left hand margin: KamilaroiThe fracture of the Kamilaroi tribes may be taken from [that?] of the tribe which inhabited the country now near Maitland, [rest of line crossed out]In each clan there is one man who is herald and has an official [des?tion?]. He is well known in all the adjoining tribes and can go safely between them even when they are at war. When sent as an envoy to the enemys cam he might have to wait a night to bring back a message from them. While there he makes a camp by himself a littledistance from the encampment. These Heralds being well known did not need to carry any badge or emblem of office but if a black is employed as a whitemans messenger, the message is written on a piece of paperand fastened in a stick split at the end. Carrying this before him he may pass safely throughan enemys country because he is seen to be the white mans messenger, and if any harm were done to him the tribe of the white man would be very angry. [Rest of line crossed out]As a curious parallel & this [tribes man?] of messenger a white man of my note that when returning into South Australia [words crossed out] a young man of the [Yaurorka?] tribe who had attached[First part of line missing] them to a stage beyond

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie


[Most is a repeat of page 6]

[two words corssed out] of the [Kulin?] [sub clnas?] as the Red Kangaroo totem[?] messenger [?] of the same sub clan as when -------------------------------------------------------------------------

All kinds of news are sent in this manner Such messengersare regarded as sacred and may safely travel anywhereso long as they possess the proper sign or emblem of their office. 8.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Left hand margin: Kamilaroi ]

The fracture of the Kamilaroi tribes may be taken from that of the tribes which inhabited the country now near Maitland, [rest of line crossed out]In each clan there is one man who is herald and has an official [?nation?]. He is well known in all the adjoining tribes and can go safely between them even when they are at war. When sent as an envoy to the enemys camp he might have to wait a night to bring back a message from them. While there he makes a camp by himself a little distance from the encampment. These Heralds being well known did not need to carry any badge or emblem of office but if a black is employed as a white mans messenger, the message is written on a piece of paper and fastened in a stick split at the end. Carrying this before him he may pass safely through an enemys country because he is seen to be the white mans messenger, and if any harm wermy [?]e done to him the tribe of the white man would be very angry. [Rest of line crossed out]As a curious parallel & this [?] if a messenger a white man of [such?] note that when returning into South Australia [rest of line crossed out] a young man of the Yaurorka tribe then had [attached?] himself to me accompanied the [part?] and [words crossed out] to a stage beyond [offical limits?]

As I could not see my [?] to bring him further I sent him back greatly to his sorrow. To ensure him good treatment by any whitemen he might encounter in his [?] journey I wrote him a sort of certificate which I folded up and stood in the split end of a stick. I explained to him all it was & when he started in his long journey he had its [?] in his hand in front of himself as a [?] if [?].

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie




The organisation of Australian tribes

I use the word tribe as meaning a number ofpeople who occupy a definite tract of countrywho recognize a common relationship [and - crossed out]who have a common speech or at least dialectsof the same. The tribes people recignize somecommon [bod - crossed out] bond which excludes otherneighbouring tribes. Usually there is a tribalname, which may either be the word in theirlanguage signifying man (that is an aborigine of Australia), as the Kurnai ofGippsland, or the Wotjo of the Wimmera River, in the case of the latter usually prefixed to theword "ballaiull" meaning "people". Or the name may be derived from the word in thelanguage signidying either "yes" or "no"but more frequently the former as the Woë-worung of the Yarra River, the[??] signifying "lips" or hence "speech".

But while the individual tribes thusdistinguish themselves from others there isusually a word, often that [wor- crossed out] for "man" -which is common to a [larger - crossed out] group of kindredtribes as for instance the word Kūlin = manwhich [marks - crossed out] extends over most of the Eastern halfof Victoria excepting Gippsland.

The distinction is drawn between [the - crossed out] atribe and [the - crossed out] alien tribes by some termsapplied to the latter either in contempt or fear. Thus while the Kurnai speak of themselves as men they give the name of Brajerak from Bra=male=man and Jirak=rage or anger or ferocity to their neighbours to the Eastward namely the Theddora of the Omeo Tableland, the

Last edit 6 days ago by ALourie



Eaglehawk and lived in the Ovens River near Wangaratta and from the Wŭdthau-worŭng speaking people who lived at Geelong. While [crossed out - they] women camefrom these places as wives, their sisters went to their places as wives also.

[left margin note - Faira? Creek]

(or tabulated-thus)Table showing the intermarriage of the [Kulin] clans and tribes

Name of the tribe - (1) Urŭnjeri Ballŭk Locality - KewClass - WaangLanguage - Woë-wor-ŭng

Name of the tribe - (2) Būllŭk-wilŭmLocality - CranbourneClass - WaangLanguage - Woë-wor-ŭng

Name of the tribe - (3) Nira BallŭkLocality - Kilmore, BendigoClass - WaangLanguage - thagŭng-wor-ung

Name of the tribe - (4) Kūr-ŭng-jang BallŭkLocality - WerribeeClass - WaangLanguage - Woë-wor-ŭng

Name of the tribe - (5) Yau-ŭng-ilŭm BallŭkLocality - Between Mt Macedon, Kilmore, HeathcoteClass - WaangLanguage - thagŭng-wor-ung

Name of the tribe - (6) Būn-worŭng BallŭkLocality - Cape SchankClass - WaangLanguage - Būn-wor-ung

Name of the tribe - (7) Ngarūk-ilumLocality - DandenongClass - BunjilLanguage - Woë-wor-ŭng

Name of the tribe - (8) Būn-worŭng Locality - MordiallocClass - BunjilLanguage - Būn-wor-ŭng

Name of the tribe - (9) Gūnŭng illum balluk Locality - Mt MacedonClass - BunjilLanguage - Woë-wor-ŭng

Name of the tribe - (10) Būthera balluk Locality - SeymourClass - BunjilLanguage - thagŭng-wor-ung

Name of the tribe - (11) Waring ilum balluk Locality - Yea RiverClass - BunjilLanguage - thagŭng-wor-ung

Name of the tribe - (12) Yiran-ilum-balluk Locality - Goulburn River, Seymour to BenallaClass - BunjilLanguage - thagŭng-wor-ung

Name of the tribe - (13) Ngūr-ai-ilum-balluk Locality - MurchisonClass - BunjilLanguage - ngurai-wor-ung

Name of the tribe - (14) Ben-ben-dora-balluk Locality - MorupnaClass - BunjilLanguage - ?

Name of the tribe - (15) Wŭdtha-wurŭng-balluk Locality - GeelongClass - BunjilLanguage - Wudtha-wor-ung

[14 insert here]

Column 5 - Remarks - Urŭn = white gum treeballuk = people a number ofWoë = noWillŭm or ilum = campNira = cave or hole in a bankthagun = noyan-ŭng = stone būn = nongarūk = stones

A My informants stated that the people were either bunjil and waaug as far as the Avoca River [crossed out - where] beyond which the people were [Ganulih?] and [Krokitch?]. To the north eastward along the flanks of the mountains and up the rivers as far as the Buffalo River Bunjil and Waaug also extended. [Similar?] they extended to [crossed out - about] near Colac.

To this I may add that [Gamuch?] & [Krokitch?] extended over the extreme north west of of Victoria [?] Mt [Gambier?] (1) On the upper Ovens, the Kiewa, the Mitta Mitta Rivers I have found that the classes were [Matiau?] (Eaglehawk) and Yuthembrŭk (crow) thus [?] in [law?] confirming the statements of my Kulin informants.

Last edit 4 days ago by Stephen Morey



Mr [??] Cameron kindly made enquiries for me in the tribe about Mortlake in the Western District and found that it had the following "classes", [Crossed out - Krokage = white cockatoo with red] crest [Crossed out - Kubitcha = Black cockatoo] Krokage = white cockatoo with red crest

[Left margin note] Is this Krokaj?[Karperap?] =Pelican[Krokaje and Karperap are bracketted together]

Kŭbititre = Black cockatooKatŭk = Whip snake

[Kŭbititre and Katŭk are bracketted together]

he said that Kaiperap is "supplementary to Krokaje and Katuk to Kubititre & Krokaje may marry either Kŭbititre or Katŭk and Kŭbititre may marry either Krokaje or Karperap and the children belong to the mothers class." These are clearly four of the "classes given by Mr Dawson, and it is evident that the "[Kunrokutch?]" [?] have "krokaje" and also that "Krokaje" is a dialectic form of [crossed out - the] Kroki of the Buandik and [Krokilth?] of the Wotjoballuk which Kappatch is [Kubitche?] or Gamutch.

The boundaries given by Mr Dawson of the [crossed out - tribal] country occupied by [crossed out - his] the tribes he describes extends northwards to Mt William and Ararat and therefore joins to the country of [crossed out - the Wotjoballuk or ?] one of the sub divisions of the Wotjoballuk.

[Crossed out - While] The whole "nation" [??] by the community if class and totems may be said to have extended from the boundary of the Narrinjeri tribe which was at Lacepede Bay in the west coastwards to somewhere about Colac in the East and in the north as far as Maryborough: But taking the [??] [??] to denigrate themselves as "men" then [he?] [find? or found?] it broken up. "Wotjo" extended over the north west, "Mara" over the South East while Kuli [Crossed out - n of Kulin] or Guli was in the Eastern parts, and denote not only a variation in language but as to Kuli a kindred with a [orderly?] extended Nation of tribes which compound the country to their Eastward of [the?] Wotjovballuk Nation

Last edit 24 hours ago by Christine



[crossed out - to] as far as the Ovens River above Wangaratta, the source of the Goulburn/Goulburn River, and Yarra/Yarra River Rivers and the Western Port district to the boundary of Gippsland.

[Left margin note] This Nation may be [further?] spoken of as the Kuli in Kulin for the word communityused for "man"[underlined]

But little has been recorded as to the classes and totems of these tribes and it has only been possible for me to obtain information from the survivors of those of the [?] tribe, namely the Woeworung of the River [Yarra?] watershed, the Thagŭn worŭng of the ---- and the Galgal Bullluk of the Avon River.

A list is given of [crossed out - these] tribes with their loations and other particulars at p - . I now subjoin the class system [crossed out - as] of the Woeworung and Thagun worung which appears also to have been that of the Bunworung and other neighbours of the two former. As to the other tribes of this nation all [??] I can say is that they had [word crossed out -?] the classes Bunjil and Waang/Waa and that no totems were known by my informants other than the ones given below.

[Table of 2 columns]

[Column 1 title] Classes - [Column 2 title] Totem[underlined]Bunjil Eaglehawk - Thara = [??] Hawk Waang/Waa crow - None [underlined]

According to Mr Cameron the Mortlake tribe in the Western district know that their class Krokaje was the equivalent of the class Bunjil and that Kubith was the equivalent of the class Waang. Similarly one of the Gaigal Bulluk told me that in his tribe he was Waang and therefore also [crossed out - ??] [crossed out - the] was Gamutch in the next adjoining tribe to the west and that Bunjil was the same as Krokitch.

This the approximate western booundary of the "Kulin" Nation is fixed. In the north it extended to within a certain

Last edit 24 hours ago by Christine




Every animal has a spirit That of possum = mūrŭp. It is just like a possum- Doctors can see him - _____________________When the mūrŭp catches the [nanj kūm?] - he shows it to the Doctor -some [Erjurrim? gait?] are Doctors not all) - I am not. Doctor comes up by about 4 o'clock pm and [nanjKūm?] stand there - Doctor looks at him and says "you have a possum there - you here better [too?] quick [to?] [eat? or catch?] the possum. Doctor rubs down his

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leg and pull out a young possum.

Waa has a mūrŭp it is very good it doesnot touch any thing or hurt it. If a [waa? or man?] comes [cries?] you and cries out wa-wa-wa then you know that enemies are coming. Then you say Kūlindat [melen?]?Blacks here!

Then he says more wa-wa-wa. then we [run?]Then he flies away saying wa-wa-wa - and we run after him to escape.

Last edit about 1 year ago by Christine


Camp. A finger placed in front of [?] of other hand.

Spear. [Spear is underlined] [?] [?]a [?] [?] [?] [?] on the[?].

Shield - [Kye?] [?] out [?] - with [?] [?] [?]outline of hut)[?]

[?] black Kulin [Kulin is either inderlined or crossed out]If sign for man - [?] large [If ?] sign - [wrist?] trace [line crossed out]

------------- -------------white man

Mūrŭp - sign for snoring.


Kangaroo [unlike?] when [holding?] hand at head his -

Porcupine make a place as if it hands into [head?]it out

Emu - with hand & arm is [?] head & neck ____________________________[?] pass up to eye to hear [from?] [?] [to?] [?]

Last edit about 1 year ago by Christine




(12) Native name of Capt. Turnbull? [line drawn to] Ningūlabūlor nūng-qua-la-vol?meaning?which were the boundaries of theKūrnŭng willum tribe? of which hewas the head man. were they woewurŭng?native name of Benbow De Vilierssee (19)meaning of Yalūkūt-wilum(13) What was the tribe calledat [coast or at St Kilda - the Yalūkūt-wilum - were they Būnoorong?[yes sea ante-about and???]

(14) Were the gal-gal-ballukparrt of the Jajauwurung?

(15) what was the native nameof their ngŭrŭngaetaKing Bobbby?Native name of Malcom of theKri-balluk - in [???]

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(16) Do they know the Bangerang or Daujerang?half Kulin - Bunjil and Waang

(17) Have & [???][???] for Echucado if [???]

(18) Who was Bilibilery's fatherwho was of being [????]

Last edit 21 days ago by Christine

hw0391 Notes by Howitt on Kulin from Barak



AMy informant Bairŭk belonged to the Ūrŭndjeri Willŭm Horde whose country lay between Bunyip along the Yarra Riv and Plenty Rivers. ————The Kūlin community was divided into two classes Waa – crow to which William belonged and Būnjil = Eaglehawk. Waa has no totems while Bunjil has one Thara = small Hawk

[Margin Text:] Th is sounded so that “a” following is aspirated – th is not sounded here as in “the”.The relation between Bŭnjil and Waa is called “Béarn” – i.e a Bŭnjil man and a Waa woman were Béarn - to each other.]Marriage was only allowed between Waa and Bunjil (-Thara), not within the class or […].Descent of all children through the father. The child was supposed to emanate from the male parent only as to which William made the following statements. “The child comes from the the man and the woman is only like a nurse. I remember what old Bobberi, who was next to Billy Billary, once said. It was at Dandenong. Some boys were grumbling and would not mind him. The old man got vexed and said “why do you not listen to me – I am here – and there you stand with my body” (Indara ngarūngŭn mŭn ngŭrlik nŭnnŭn thŭmbŭn – [..]ŭrŭmbi-ek koy-ū-it wanthŭn-ara mŭrŭmbrek[Marginal Text:Indara ngarrŭngŭn – listen ?See the […] for child as made by man or woman […] - p. ]

Marriages were arranged by the old men, often when the girl was quite small. The young man she was to be married to used to give her father presents of rugs to give to her. When a meeting of the old men had arranged that the marriage was to take place they all went to the man taking the girl with them. When there and after a little time the girls brother said P/J[?]err. and all the men present responded with a deep sounded “ Wah!” The brother or an uncle father or mothers then led the girl forward and some old man would say “That is your wife. Don’t hit her or ill use her – the people give her to you”. Then to the girl he would say “If you run away from him you will be killed”. The man who receives a wife then has to give his sister (own or tribal) in exchange.[Marginal Text:2Marriage are arranged between the two fathers by themselves, but the girls fathers had talked it over with his wife before he decided. The girl being promised the old men told their people and by [2 words illeg] the great meeting council decide when the marriage should take place.]

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie


6also carried as intimating the [foll - crossed out] intended Corroboreea Brandjep = the man's apron made of a Kangaroo rat skin cut into strands; a Kaiŭng = woman's apron of strings 2 pendant 1 and djir-rŭn = reed which was used in some parts of the corroboree. Williamfurther said “the Wirigiri in giving these things to the Ngŭrŭngaeta would give my Paiara and say “Kūlin send these to you to be good friends and not to grumble any more but have joy and gladness”. ———

When the message related to the calling together of the tribe for the ceremonial purposes of “making young men”. [then - crossed out] the emblem carried was a thin piece of wood – from the description like a large knittting needle. It was called Kalk = wood.

Where the message was to call an assemblyfor war, or for the arranged fight to expiate the shedding of blood or the death of an individual through magical arts the emblem carried was the great jagged wooden war spear [with jags on one - crossed out][side - crossed out]. This spear was called “gō yŭn” —

The place of assembly being indicated by name in the message which the Wirigiri carried in his mouth, it would be necessary further toindicate the [time - crossed out] day upon which the meeting would assemble. This was done in an ingenious manner by counting the stages to be made in proceeding from it – commencing at the little finger and then up the arm, over the head, and down the other arm to the little finger x The [pl - crossed out] parts of the [human - crossed out] individual used as “stages” werethe followingLittle finger Būbūpi mŭrnongyi = child of the handRing finger Būlūto ravel = a little [bigger - crossed out] largerMiddle finger Būlūto = largerFore finger Ūrnūng mellŭk = Ūrnūng = directionMellŭk = a large grub found in gum trees —Thumb Babŭng-yi = mother of hand.Mŭring-yiWrist joint Kra- wel[Ngŭrŭmbūl - crossed out]Divergence of radial tendons = Ngŭrŭmbūl = fork e.g.The Forefinger & middle finger when separated V shape are Ngŭrŭmbūl.

[written in left side margin]Note the "spear bearing a Bridda Bridda (man's apron) which came with Gippsland blacks from Omeo on occasion of the last battle of the clans.

x Note the old gentleman atTower Hill who similarly described to me stage & directionup his own arms

Last edit 6 days ago by ALourie


7Jer-owa-bil = Belly [??] the radial muscles.Inside of the Elbow joint = Tham – bŭr = round spot Ber – bert = Biceps = Ringtail possum i.e. the place where a strip[s - crossed out] of Ringtail possum pelt is laid round on some festive occasions.Shoulder joint = wūling tr Krakerap = collar bone = the place of the bag i.e. the place where is the band suspending the bag [Gourn b - crossed out]Neck = gūrnbert = necklace (place)lobe of ear = [gr- crossed out] kŭrnagor = the end of a hill or point of a spearSide suture of the skull (sagital?) = ngarabūl = a range (Hill).tr Bŭndale = top of head the cutting place; i.ethe place where the mourner cuts himself with some sharp instrument. I have heard of a woman killing herself with a sharp tomahawk when cutting herself in an agony of grief. Tulaba’s head is all scarred with such wounds. From Bŭdaga to cut e.g. Bŭdagat-Kalk = cut the log. ———————

7 In an arranged fight – say for killing a man of the Waa class. All the Bunjil men connected with the aggressor would be collected on one sideunder their Headman and all the Waa men connected with the victim under their Headman on the other. The avengers would throw spears at the defendant until either he was killed, was incapacitated from further defence or until his Headman called out “Enough”. William said that he did not remember a case when the Kūlin had refused to obey the mandate of a [ng - crossed out] Headman on such an occasion.

[written in left side margin]

Write to Ogilviefor an account of the set fight he saw at Sandy Ck.

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie


8[The - crossed out] William received his name of Bair-ŭk= a white grub found in trees from “another father of his fathers” (paternal grandfather) when he was very small (a baby) – who named him after a son of his.

When William's father died [the - crossed out] people all told him Bairŭk you should go to your Grandfather”. This he did. The old man was a Waa.

It had been customary for the Kūlin to make “young men”; but by the time William was about 13 years of age, Melbourne was full of white people. The old customs were being disregarded and he was never formally initiated, nor was as a consequence his tooth knocked out. The only formality which he went through was that at South Yarra some blackfellows, Capt Turnbull, Billy Billary, Billy Lonsdale who wereall Ngŭrŭngaeta invested him with the Berbert = ringtail possum strands round his biceps, the gornbert = reed necklaces, the illijeri = nose peg, the mŭragalŭn = Kaiung = waiststring, and the Brandyep = apron.In fact he was invested with the insignia of manhood. He gave a possum rug in return to Billy Billary.The ceremony of initiation was called [tallŭngŭn - crossed out]tállang–gŭn. It was formerly held [at - crossed out] where are now called MelbourneGeelong, Bacchus Marsh and Mt Macedon. The same ceremony was called at Echuka Wang-Kūm.

The Tallangŭn was forbidden to eat certain food. Such as Female opossum, emu, black duck, porcupine, but was permitted to eat other animals such as the ringtail possum and the male common possum. After a lapse of time the youth is permitted to eat of the forbidden animals. In the case of Williamthe restriction was relaxed after [some time - crossed out] about a year by Billy Lonsdalehanding a piece of a female opossum to him on the point of a stick and saying "there - now you can can eat old woman possum” – At a still further period of time the man – having then a wife and children is “made free” of the Emu by going through a ceremony in which he lies naked in his camp and is rubbed over with emu fat. He then is a “Wa-gŭn-im-bēl”.

[written in left side margin]Note that Billy [??] send permission byan old man rubbing some of the fat of female possum crosshis face

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie


10It seems according to William's statementsthat death was not believed by the Kūlin to result from anything but magic – either the acts of man, or as the result of vengeance by spirits.[When a man died was - crossed out] It was supposed that a Wirarap could by Mūng (magic) kill a person – near or at a distance.

The Mūng [ans - crossed out] embraced many substances.Rock crystal for instance was a common Mūng used. The [W - crossed out] Wizard was supposed to be able to send his mūng along the ground in the form of a small whirlwind. William's illustration was as follows “ When the Wirarap sends the Mūng like a little wind, the man it catches feels chilly, then some pain, then shortness of breath; then some Wirarap looking at him says “Hallo you’ve got a lot of mūng there! The [Wira - crossed out]Wirarap or perhaps a lot of them come and watch the man until the mūng is seen to try and escape from him in the middle of the night. Then the Wirarap runs after it and catches it. He then breaks a little bit off so that it cannot get away any more and puts it in his nŭlba (bag) for his own use”.

Sometimes the Wirarap finds out that the mūng has come from the Ngarang (dibble dible). This [thing - crossed out] being is said to have a head like a man with a big beard; and to have very hairy arms and hands. The Ngŭrŭng were said to be very plentiful everywhere. They were supposed to live under immense forest trees where the ground was seen to be bulged up round the tree. No entrance is visible but the Ngŭrŭng can find one for himself. They came out at night and had lots of mūng. They are invisible to all but the Wiraraps. The particular manner in which the Ngŭrŭng hurt people is by putting some mūng in your knee so that you cannot walk. This mūng the Wirarap extracts by sucking the place. It resembles a piece of kangaroo or Emu bone or a piece of quartz.

[written in left side margin]8

thŭn-dal = Rock crystal

Note the [??] ofthe Dieri and[??] - per Sen. C. James

note [??]Buckley says about people killing + burningthem

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie


149 The corpse was tied up in his possum rug and wore his full corroboree dress apron – headband – necklace +c and his “nŭtba” (bag) of a Doctor. They gave him his tomahawk but no other weapons lest when his ghost walked about it might hurt some one. The hands were crossed on the breast and the knees drawn up so that when the body was lowered with the circular pose the deceased as it were crouched in it. William remembered one case where the dead man's "Mŭriwŭnwas stuck in the grave at his right hand– [?W?] said the “old man from Dandenong“give him a mŭriwŭn in his hand for he never missed a Kangaroo”. Thedeceased was William's father's brother.The old man from Dandenong was half ngūrŭng-gaeta + half wirirap —

10 The Kūlin believed that a man’s ghost wandered about the country and occasionally returned to the grave. As William said “Bye and bye that Mūrŭp coming back to the grave looks down at it and says – Hallo! that’s my possum rug down there – there are also my old body and my old bones” – then he goes away again. Ghosts were supposed to be invisible to everyone except the wizard to whom they communicated information and corroboree songs (gūnyūrū) —

The ghosts are supposed also to be able to go up to Tharangalk (tharan = trees galk = wood) which is in fact the sky. William said the Kūlin believed there were many “cherry trees” up there and [rivers - crossed out] streams and rivers.

[written sideways in left side margin]William also said that he had heard that in some parts of the country dead bodies were rolled into a fire and burned up.

[written in left side margin]See further on

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie


17This man was a Būnjil (Thara) hisown name was Kŭrbūrū (native bear) and he got it because when once he killed a native bear its mūrŭp went with him. After that it taught him a “gūnyūrū” which was a follows: -Enagourea nūng ngalourmaThere is now cut acrossbarein gūrūkba = mŭrneintrack bloodbūrūnbai nganūng ba hurt myselflil-lira = mŭr-ing-achipped tomahawk.

of this William gave the following free translation.“You cut across my [and - crossed out] track where I wasgoing to the foot of the range and you cominghit me and spilled my heart's blood and broke your tomahawk on my head”.

A second illustration of the statement that animals have a mūrŭp as follows: -Waa (crow) has a mūrŭp. It is very good and never touches anyone to hurt them. If a Waa comes over you and cries out Wa!-wa!-wa! then you know that your enemies are about. Then you say to him “Kūlindat mela?” (Blacks – where?). Then he says wa wa wa! again over you and flies off saying still wa! wa! wa!. Then you run afterhim to escape”.

When I asked him whether the Eaglehawk (Bunjil) ever gavewarning he said: -“As to Bunjil he does not come nearus but I remember that once when

[written in left side margin]note thatWilliam is a waa himself

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie


18some women were getting Būr-rit out of the lagoons for food up near Benalla they left their babies in the possum rugs a little way off. Then Būnjil came and saw the babies messing about and caught one up in his claws and flew off to his nest. The Baby was crying out all the way. The women and men ran after, and the baby's father tried to climb up the tree with his stone tomahawk – then Būnjil flew further off with the baby and all the people ran after him but he flew away and they never saw the poor baby any more”. The last illustration he gave was this: -There is a bird called Jūnū jūnūt – it is like a morepoke – has a large yellow mouth. It is very true bird. I remember it once came very close to where some of our people were camped and began to shout out to them “Jūnūt jūnūt”. Then the Kūlin were sure that it was telling them that [enemies - crossed out] wild blacks were coming after them and sate up all night and watched. In the morning it was some of their friends who came up”. ——Djeitgun is called Worngorūk

Yeerung is called Būnjil Boroin

Bor-o-in = dark

Last edit 10 months ago by ALourie


frightened at seeing the two boys. Bunjil "said get me a possum I am very hungry. All right"there is a possum in that stump - I cannot get him – I want to [?eat?] myself. Kokum went up – went to the hole - went in he was frightened- but went down - Bunjil got a big stone and shut him up and said you shall be Kokum – a bird – no more a blackfellow.________________Tádjeri – Kūlin brother najerak brother

Little finger = tadjeri - hair like young possum – in holes of trees – less than native finger - lŭrnŭng – like a mouse in holes of treesmiddle next finger – yū – kope – parakeet – green … musk? forefinger – dan – tŭn – goes in mobs – blue fan – red breast – green body thumb – djŭrt-djurt – buff hawk – migrates, another hawk that hovers over the gamethumb of right hand – thara – little Hawk

He - sends jurt-jurt to see all people aredoingBunjil sent them in couplesTadgeri git mūngBunjil [??] ladgery + tūrning - and sends them to [?finish?]the ngarang - all [??] are Bunjil's boyshe sends them to all the country - to keep nyang from thepeople -thara + jŭrl jŭrl belong to Bunjil side

Kurnai Kurnainarrin - nge - ganne ganne are [at - crossed out] the peopleto whom you belong - William narrin nge KunKurnai are his Ngourmajeri - about Kew[a n - crossed out] waang stole the fire and is on ngarrangsside

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie



Called by Braika and Bratra Wea-wuk the Bad countryThe Bad country called by the Woerwurung language Marine Bek-Bek country the flush of game men Marine-qui-alp? (ji-ak of Kunan .The native men Marine barn (yarn of Kamai)

All the country between the Yarra River[from about Lilyd - crossed out] up as far as Gardner Ck - then by Gardner Ck up to Dandenong then by source of Dandenong Ck +c+c up to Latrobe River; thence by right bank of Latrobe to Lake then by Lake to Lakes Entrancethen by sea coast to mouth of Murraywas called “the bad country” ------------It included the Westernport blacks – the Bratawalung the Talungalang (called by Tommy Hoddenot Katungal)This country was regarded as very injurious to strangers. If a strange black came onto it on a visit it was necessary that he should have some one to “look after him”. It was necessary during this first visit that he should never be left alone without some one to see to him; if his guardian went hunting or fishing he deputed some one in his stead. The visitor was fed with [m - crossed out] food from the point of a stick [which - crossed out] and he took it in his teeth and not in his hands; this food of meat was smoked; water that he drank was stirred with a smoked stick; he was not allowed to sit or sleep on the ground except in a raised couch of branches and leaves which were also well smoked, to keep off the evil influence of the country. [This is - crossed out] The care of the visitor extended even to his being asleep and in calls of nature.

[written at top of page]called by [the - crossed out] Braiaka & BrahaWea-wŭk

called in the Woé-wūrŭng languagemárine Bek – (Bek = country)the flesh of game was márine-quiap (ji-ak of [Kulin - crossed out] Kurnai )the water was márine barn (yam of [Kulin - crossed out] Kurnai)

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie


49Bad country (3)

Loh-an who was once a Blackfellow lived long ago at the Yarra flats where he caught eel and baked them in an oven. This oven is there and the Kūlin called it “márine-thŭng” – the word “marine” signifying something specially fine, beautiful or admirable; as “márine-Kūllin” a well made handsome blackfellow, [“ marine - crossed out] – As he was watching his oven - lying on the ground - the wind carried some swans feathers and let them fall on him. He said to himself “there are swans where that came from – and travelled in that direction” – he came to the Inlets – + Yalluk in Western port and finding so many swans there he remained. After a time he followed the swans to - “Wa-mŭng” - Wilson’s Promontory where he has remained ever since watching over the [Kŭrnai who - crossed out]Black fellows who live in the “Márine-Bek”.

The Nose boring

The perforation of the septum of the nose, called Ilbi-jerri – is performed on the children when they are 10-12 years old. The old men perform the [??] for the boys - the old women for the girls. In the winter time the parents say to the children “you must get ready your bone – make it nice and sharp so that the hole can be made in your nose”. After the bone has been pushed through the nose and left there, the child scrapes a small hole in the ground, places in it a stone heated in the fire covers it up and pours water on it; then it covers its head with a possum rug and [hol - crossed out]hold its nose over the steam until the peg is loose and will turn round. Every night and morning it does this till the place is [?well?].

[written in the left side margin]From [Yarra Flats - crossed out] Castellas up to Baw Bawthe river is called “Marŭp-berarn”Downwards including Hobsons bay – it was called “Kŭrnaji-berang”

Blackfellows oven = manep

Last edit 9 months ago by Kurnai
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