Search for Bruthen*
It was not the whole of the body that was eaten but themuscle of the arms and legs and the skin of the thighs andof the sides of the body.
An instance [which - crossed out] occurred long before the white men came into Gippsland was handed down in the tribes. A large number of the Brabrolung, Krauatalung and Tatungolung had gone up towards the Maneroo tableland in a war party. [At Gellingall, about - crossed out]On the Buchan River west of Gellingall they left theirwomen and following up the River to [Fann where - crossed out][Fanwick now is - crossed out] a place called Fanwicktheir spies surprised two Brajerak (see p._), an old man and his son. The former was killed, but the latter escaped. The skin of the slain man was eaten andhis legs cut off and carried to their camp, where the old men roasted the meat and shared the flesh among the boys, in order that “when the old men were dead, the boys might know what to do”.
[On an - crossed out] When the Kurnai were on anotherexpedition under their Head man Bruthen munji to attack their Enemies the Omeo Theddoraon the Upper Tambo River, they surprised a camp thenkilled [some of the - crossed out] the men and some children, but kept [keeping -crossed out] thewomen. The skin of these Brajeraks was flayed from the thighs and from the sides and was roasted and eaten.
Women were not permitted to see this or to participatein the feast [??] of the spoils of the slain.
[In this instance- crossed out] Tankowillin the [?taster?] of the last mentioned was an actor[also - crossed out] in this [cannot] case and was one of the spies whodiscovered the two Brajeraks.
In the Kurnai tribe age was held in revenge, and a mans authorityincreased with his age. If he even, without being aged, had naturally intel-ligence, cunning, bravery beyond his fellow, he might become a man ofnote, weighty in council and a leader in war, but such a case was excep-tional and as a rule authority and age went together. the authority belong-ing to age also attached to certain women, who had gained the confidenceof their tribes people. Such women werre consulted by the men and had greatweight and authority in the tribe. I knew two of them who were elderlywomen at the time when the country was settled, and who therefore, and wor-thily, represented the promitive conditions of their tribe. Together withthe old men they were the depositories of the tribal legends and customs and they kept alive the stringent marriage rules to which I have referredelsewhere (p ). Thus they influenced public opinion very strongly.
When Gippsland was setled in 1842, there were twpo principalHeadmen who were recognised as their "Gweraeil-kurnai'' Great-men. One lived in the northern and the other in the souther part of thedistrict. These men were the recognised leadsers in peace and war of thenorthern and southern divisions into whichthe tribe hed naturally fall-en through locality and language. There were also Gweraeil-kurnai inthe local divisions of the tribe, and it is significant thatsome of these men gave their names to the divisions of which they were the Headmen. (p )
How a man gradually increased in influence by reason of years,is shown by the case of the last Gweraeil-kurnai of the Kurnai.He was the man Bunbra whom I shall refer to in speaking of the expia-tory combats later on in this question. I have watched this mans careerwith interest during many years. Since the time of that expiat(?????)the old men who successively were the leaders of the tribespeople, dieduntil Bunbra became the oldest man left. The common name by whichapart from his English name he was known was Jetbolan that is the Liarbut by reason of age hebecame the Gweraeil-kurnai, . During the same timetulaba the tribal son of the former Gweraeil-kurnaiBruthen-munji, hadalso grown into age, and consideration attachedto him in his twofoldcharacter, as one of theelders, and as being a worthy son of the formerrenowned Headman. During this time the pressure of our civilisation hadbroken down the tribal organisation, the vices of the whitemen which theKurnai had acquired, had killed off a great number of them, the rem-nant had been gathered into the missions and only a few still wanderedover their ancestralhunting grounds leaing in some measure their oldlives, and having apparently abandoned their tribal customs. When how-ever it was decided, as I have mentioned in chapter (p ), that the
women at the time when the country was settled, and who therefore, and wor-thily, represented the primitive conditions of their tribe. Together withthe old men they were the depositories of the tribal legends and customsand they kept alive the stringent marriage rules to which I have referredelsewhere (p ). thus they influenced public opinion very stronly.
When Gippsland was setled in 1842, there were twpo principalHeadmen who were recognised as their "Gweraeil-kurnai'' Great-men. One lived in the northern and the other in the souther part of thedistrict. These men were the recognised leadsers in peace and war of thenorthern and southern divisions into whichthe tribe had naturally fall-en through locality and language. There were also Gweraeil-kurnai inthe local divisions of the tribe, and it is significant thatsome of these men gave their names to the divisions of which they were the Headmen. (p )
How a man gradually increased in influence by reason of years,is shown by the case of the last Gweraeil-kurnai of the Kurnai.He was the man Bunbra whom I shall refer to in speaking of the expia-tory combats later on in this question. I have watched this mans careerwith interest during many years. Since the time of that expiat(?????)the old men who successively were the leaders of the tribespeople, dieduntil Bunbra became the oldest man left. The common name by whichapart from his English name he was known was Jetbolan that is the Liarbut by reason of age hebecame the Gweraeil-kurnai, . During the same timetulaba the tribal son of the former Gweraeil-kurnaiBruthen-manji, hadalso grown into age, and consideration attachedto him in his twofoldcharacter, as one of theelders, and as being a worthy son of the formerrenowned Headman. During this time the pressure of our civilisation hadbroken down the tribal organisation, the vices of the whitemen which theKurnai had acquired, had killed off a great number of them, the rem-nant had been gathered into the missions and only a few still wanderedover their ancestralhunting grounds leaing in some measure their oldlives, and having apparently abandoned their tribal customs. When how-ever it was decided, as I have mentioned in chapter (p ), that theJaraeil ceremony should be revived for the instruction of the youngmen, I observed with much interest, that the old tribal organ-isation arose again, so to say, out of the dust and became active.Bunbra who at the time whenBruthen-manji directed the procee-dings at the Nungi-nungit, against him was a comparatively young manand without any consideration in the tribe, was now (???) its Headman, to whomall matters werer referred. To him messengers were sent. He gave ordersas to time of assembling and the others obeyed them. Indeed whithout himthey would not have moved at all.
On the morning on which we were to fight, we were all ready,and were painted with pipeclay, because we were very angry at our twomen being killed, and also to frighten our enemies. These werepainted with redochre (naial), vbecause they had killed our men. We wereseated in a long row withour spears on the ground ready. Our women werein front beating their 'possum rugs. Nukong was at one end just behinfour row. Bruthen-munji was standing at the other end of the row just be-hind me. It was about noon. He looked up at the sun and said "We will eat first". The enemy were not in sight but were not far off. Then a Brabralungman came to us, he was a messenger, and was snt to us, but weknew him and he was our friend, and the husband of Old Nanny (p ). He said"there are not many of you". [Bruthen-munji]] replied "Nevermind how many,we will see". He then ordered the women to go back out of danger. he madea great speech. he told us that we would beat them. Then we fought andwhen Billy the Bull's father speared a Kutbun-taura man they ran away.There was a running fight as they ran off and left all their things behindthem. Bye and bye I shot one man and others were spared. Several of theirwomen were caught. Some of the Brabralung young men from Swan Reachran down a Brt-britta woman. They could n ot however keep her because theywere too near to her, like brother and sister, and as she wanted to haveme her Breppa-mungan (p ), gave her to me. He could do this because shehad been caught in a fight, and was not a young girl. This was how I gotmy first wife from Brt-britta".
This must have been about fifteen years after the settlement ofGippsland, and a little more than fifteen years after that time, it wasthat Bunda-waal gave me this account. During that time the old men of thetribe had mostly died off and the tribe was almost broken up.
6A[Table][Title]The Kurnai Tribe
Column 1 - Clans, row 1(i) Krauat-ŭn-galŭngfrom Kanat = east; galŭng= a possessive [postfix?] = of or belonging to the sea coast from near Cape Everard to the Snowy River, all that river with its tributaries up to about [Willis?]; the sea coast from the Snowy River to the Entrance to the Gippsland Lakes with all streams flowing into Ewings Marsh and [Ru?yers?] -
[Column 1, row 2](2) [Brabralung?] - from Bra-bra manly and (ga)lung = if or belonging to all the [crossed out - country waters of the] drainage areas of the Tambo, Mitchell, and Nicholson Rivers with the [?] tributaries to their extreme sources, also to the weir on the Mitchell River to Providence Ponds, with a corresponding frontage to the Gippsland Lakes.
[Column 1, row 3](3) Bra-yak-(g)alŭng = him Bra = man, yak = west - all the country west of Providence Ponds watered by the Avon, [crossed out - River]] Macalister [crossed out - and] Thompson and Latrobe Rivers down to the junction of these into [?] & thence [?] valley the eastern bank of the Latrobe to Lake Wellington thence - eastward by the [?] to [somewhere?] near [?], thence northward to Providence Ponds.
Column 2 Title - Lesser [?]Row 1 - a) Ben – Sydenham Inletb) Dūra – 12 miles up the Snowy River from the seac) Wūrnŭng-gattung – Lake Tyersd) Brt-bitta (= a hollow in the ground)– Jimmy’s Point – entrance to Gippsland Lakes
Row 2 - (e) Bruthen, in the Tambo River(f) Waiŭng = widgeon - near Bairnsdale in the Mitchell River(g) Wŭk-wŭk = Lindeman Flat. Mitchell River(h) Mŭnji = on the north shore of Lake Victoria= There! or "the place of" e.g. -?(i) Dairgo - on the Dargo River
Row 3(k) Kŭtbūn-baura from Kŭtbūn = to have or carry and baura = fire. The name also of a hill or the upper Avon River.(l) Bŭnjil Nŭlŭng - the country between the Avon River and the Eastern boundary of the clan, south of Stratford - Bŭnjil = personal appelates of the older men-Nŭlŭng = mud. Named after the Head man of the division at the time when Gippsland was settled by the whites -(m) Bunjil-clan - the country between the Avon and the Macalister Rivers. Dan = emu - the name of a Head man -(n) Bunjil-Kraura from Kraura = west wind [Northern?] country of the clan west of [north?] to them almost impenetrable forested scrub in west Gippsland from the name of the Headman.
Column 3 title Wives fromRow 1 a) wives from b c d and Mallagoota Inlet and Twofold Bayb) wives from c a t and [p. 13] Bina-jera (the long strip of sandy and swampy country lying between the Gippsland lakes and the sea as far as the Entrance to the Lakesc) Brüthen – on the Tambo River – Waiūng Widgeon – near Bairnsdale Mitchell River and Kŭbbūn laura – Upper Avon Riverd) b and Bina-jera (see b) or is it I = Būnjil Nŭlŭng – between Avon River and eastern boundary of clan south of the Stratford
wives toa) b c d k Twofold Bay Mallagoota Inletb) c e g t Bina-jerac) Bruthen Waiūng Widgeon Kŭbbūn laura and Bina-jerad) b or I and Bina-jera
O of A.J. 7
River and were called [Kutbriu-taura?] or Carriers of 'fire' their country being also so named - the prefix "Wurk" = 'carried' being understood. For instance the Brabra clan [underlined] munji subdivision [crossed out - The large secondary] was [crossed out - again] divided and
[left margin note - the BraBra clan inserted after secondary]
subdivided, each section occupying its own tract oo hunting or food ground until the unit [crossed out - of this] [crossed out - local organization] was a small group of kindred - frequently merely an old man with his married or unmarried sons; the wives and grandchildren.
Such an existence was that of the Bunjil-baul or men of the Island a small family which lived in Raymond Island in Lake King and which claimed all the swans eggs laid in that island as their own and exclusive property. The males of this family also - inherited the name of ---- or in English was -----------, evidently a survival of a onetime totem. [5 lines crossed out ]
[Left hand margin note - Insert after Adja-dūra tribe]
[Crossed out - Bruthen coast tribe] I might refer to every coast tribe from the Adjadura far up into Quensland of whichI have information as examples of these [crossed out - which and may term] the [crossed out - abnormal] same kind of social and local development. But it may suffice to give two more instances which are stretching examples of the direction which this development of the local [crossed out - organization] at the [expense?] of the local organization has taken place.
I have already mentioned the Woeworung tribe of the Yarra River and again take them as an instance. Here we find the old two clan system existing under the familiar names Eaglehawk (Bunjil) and crow (waaug). but the [?] [crossed out - the] totems there was only one named (Thara) (Eaglehawk?). All others if they ever existed had died out - and that these were totems at one time maybe inferred not only from
To the southward the Kandangora came in contact with the Brabralung clan of the Kurnai in the Tambo River and it is worth noting the old [crossed out: line of] road from Omeo to Bruthen was along the [crossed out: back] [written above: line of country] which the Omeo and Gippsland Blacks followed respectively into each others country. To the East their boundary was about the Cobberas mountain and thence down the Indi River to about Tom Groggin then [????iburns?] on that side being the Ngarego tribe.
[Left margin note - ?]
Very little is known as w the class system of the Omeo tribe. That country was discovered and [something crossed out] settled by McFarland about 1842. In 1852 gold was found at Livingstone Creek and [the -crossed out] a great rush of [diggers - crossed out] miners set in to the "Omeo Diggings"; in 1862 there remained only [on - crossed out] no more than four or five of the once numerous Omeo tribe.
All that I can say as to their classes and totems [??] the latter were [Tebuteba?] - (Rabbit rat) and [Najabejan?] (Bat) which also occur in the [weyliborung?] [crossedout - half] Ngarejo tribe with which also the Omeo tribe intermarried. That these two totems were on the opposite sides of the system is shown by [crossed out - them] this, that when the tribes people plaid at ball (1) Tebuteba plaid on one side and Najatejan on the other.
[Left margin note](1)A kind of ''football'' which was plaid in many parts if not eveerywhere in Victoria & South of [??] the ball either being made of strips of pelt tightly rolled up or as in popular if the scrotum of an "old man" Kangaroo stuffed with grass.
The Colonials in South AfricaCapt John Stirling-----------------------------------------------In Gum fruit on [?] [there?] are E. [?]; E. rubida, E. muzzlewoodon sedimentary rocks - E. [amyg.] when[Good?] loam?], E. pauci., E. rubida[Banksia [spin?]
Gums [?] [road?] at the same to "[Muz? abutt?] [?] - by many - boxE. albens, Yellow Box - E. pauci.E. gunii; at the mine - E. globulusE. Rubida, at the creek in thefern forest common also [word crossed out] Yellow box, E. albens, -
At the mine they use for props 1. E. [macrorhyncha?], E. obliqua, [word crossed out]E rubida, E. [amyg.] hard leaf - there are [?] in them [?]
of merit. [E. vim?] is brittle -----------------------------------------22 May 1907paid Cusack 9/-up long gully - E. vim. in creek E. globulus - in places up gully E. rubida, E. albens - In full bloom. E. vim, E. albens.--------------[Near?] Muzzlewood in bloomat [Dargo?] [Bruthen?] --------------------------------------------------------------W. H. [Blakeby?] & co.115 Collins StreetMelbourne-----------------------------------------23 May[?] [hill?] [?]--------------------------------------------24 may[Misery?] [Ck?]
28 May -----------at Noy ang [?] up I [rang? or ran?] also from Mt Strezlecki Ckto where the old road came down into it Felsite all the way [in?] [?] [one?] place reticulating granite. Several strong felsite [another?] also [numerous?] [branch?] [?].
Called at - [Solution?] -;on the way back came on [?] river at [central?] of felsite & [?] - about half mile (or less) above crossing.
1/28.5.05 11111111 [underlined]-----------------------------------------------------------------Two Bridge [Hill?]Yertchuk
Ned Walsh is [cruel?] - [country?] Euc. Muelleriana------------------------------------E. muelleriana - about8 miles from Bruthen------------------------------------------to Bruthen----------------------------------------29 Maypaid Davison -
Bruthen [Kuthi?]------------------------------------------[Kan?] [Kumta?]
[Collius?] [?.3.04]Gna-noong ___________[writing crossed]nose boning ._____________
People [collected?] gradually for 25 day 1795 5 e [Feby?]when people from Cam-mer say as [much?]. [?] of ceremony at [word crossed out] Farm [cove?]. Place cleared of grass & stumps [trees?] [and?] oval of 27 X 18 feet - - is called [Yor-lahng?] when Boys then bring - out [?] from [their?] friendshead of [Yor-lahng?] when [H?ai?] [?ted?] head hanging down. [word crossed out] [?] [word crossed out] - [Boys?] [cra/?]
what did the Jajau -think od them. Why didmen not like them to bekilled. ---
(6) Did they ever hear of men running down [????]men Juia on foot - or othermen like Bruthen Munji?
(7) Ask Captain about marirne Bek.
(8) What is the meaning of Koyung-bortGardniers Ck.
(9) Does William know the Kurnai call the bullroarer - shew him a [?].
Who is Miman-gurkAsk [crossed out - major] Captain about [Jalathi?], muthi-muthi Wathi wathi, Kuramin - are Wembaio [helping?]to one of men - which?
Then boundaries:-(11) Did the Ja-jau have the bŭrbŭng?If not what?
hw0404 Notes on Kurnai 150 pages
Head menThe gwerael Kurnai were the old men.People always listened to an old manbut they would listen to any man whocould fight well and was strong and alsoif he could talk well.
Brūthen mŭnji was an old man and could talk well - Billy Tūlaba has histalk from him - Bruthen Mŭnji wasvery strong and could fight well. He usedto run after Brajerak and catch them withhis hands and then Bembrukil his brotherwould come up and knock them onthe head.
Billy the Bull would be a Headmanand was much listended to years ago even-it was because he was so strong and could fight and talk.
In the olden time Lewin was sent by wordonly. The Baiaur carried the words butdid not carry any think [sic] like a stick.I think the Kurnai learned from the Brajerakto send Boomerangs and spears.When a Baiaur brought word that some one was deadhe would say when coming into the camp "Father, (as thecase might be) of that one (pointing to some mother) is"Tŭrde-gatū būlū lūndū. Tŭrdegatū = Deadbūlūt = above - lūndū= there or he might
[written in left side margin]an [?? - unable to read this section] might sit down nearthe camp tell his friend next to him - took him tohis camp and gave him food. Then all beingassembled the Baiain sometimes told his message to all - sometimes to persons to whomhe was sent who in a loud voice repeated it to all.
Kangaroo [?Bruthen?] Jirah Shark - [Yalmai - crossed out] Yalmri - not eatenBlack Wallaby Therogang Thakwan om Whale [Bāwang - crossed out] ganda yesRed Wallaby Kniara - om Seal Bithaui - yesPaddymelon - Baui om Lobster - Derndang [Howitt has crossed out the r and a, indicating a u should be used instead - Dendung] - yesKangaroo Rat [?Bruthen?] Bri om Emu Maiaura (see note)Bandicoot Menak om Native Companion Kūragan (when old man)Common Rat [Mes- crossed out] Biak Biauk - om ow Crane Karlo - any oneWambat Narūt om ow Swan Gidai - any onePorcupine Kauern not young men [?leave?] [?him?] Black duck [Wrang - crossed out] Wreng [?Where? ??]Native bear Goola - om Teal yes Natath or BarūkDog Bān never eat from Wood Duck yes Yellan nandik Djellan ngetetIguana Bathalūk - can eat Widgeon yes Kūrtgan Lizard Keratŭng can eat from Pelican no one eats from only old man Būran [Howitt has, over the a, written ŭ over it]Black, snake Tūnyarak [Howitt has crossed out the second and written ŭ over it] can eat crow yes NgarūgalSnake Laue-beri can eat Wonga yes wauk wakauOpossum Wadthan - old man Bronewing - yes [Tappak - crossed out] TŭbbŭkBlack opossum Brak not till made [?Jerail?] Lyrebird yes Wūrail [Howitt has crossed out the a and written e over it]Water rat Tūra [a crossed out] blany never eat from only some old men White cockatoo yes [Brēk - crossed out] Bre-ekPlatypus Barlajan Ganggang yes Keran [a crossed out and ē written over it]Native cat - [Brŭmbin - crossed out] Yūrn - [om -crossed out] not like that [??] Black cockatoo yes nganak [both a's crossed out and é and ŭ written over them respectively]Tiger cat Bindhalang yes - Musk duck yes Tūk Tūt bring - muk KŭrnaiRing tail possum Blāng - om Robin Redbreast [Bululwrang - crossed out] Būliswreng[Flying squirrel - crossed out] Tuan Yit gatti or Tuan can steal from men geese - yes NathLarge Flying Squirrel Wernda - old men give it Spoonbill no! Duck [?mate?] waiūngFlying mouse [Tūan - crossed out] ? mountain duck Kaia - quark [a crossed out at end of Kai and u written over a in quark]Bream - Kaian - yes Quail yes Ūro bi gwannŭngPerch - Tambūn - yes Water hen yes Nirlūng [r crossed out]Flat head Brindjat Frog no one eats it - else rain Tiddelek [i crossed out and e written and last e crossed out and u written]Large mullet [Pertpiang - crossed out] Brŭt baiang Bull frog BlūkSand mullet Krinyang [ya crossed out and nŭ written] not a Muk Kurnai Sting ray no one eats him BäälangūrkSea salmon ?Sea trout Billin Grub yes KrŭngSchnapper [Narbūgang - crossed out] gūrnŭn - porpoise - can eatLeather jacket - Ngat Golden perch Lūderak
[written at bottom of page and linked to Frog]Bunjil willŭngsings aboutthe [??] [??]
then send Mŭk Kūrnaimaybe rain[??] [??] [?mouth?]
hw0397 Bulmer to Howitt 12/April/1899
AW Howitt Esque
My dear Mr Howitt
I have found it rather difficult to get the various members of the Tuleba family located as the Yankees would say I hope I have got it so that you will be able to spell it out. Of course you will see that geneaolucal [sic] trees not my forte however having done my best I am sure you will excuse. I have tried to put the various branches of the family as near to each others as I could I dare say you will be able to put them in order.
You will see that while Bimbingall was the father of Tuleba Bruthen munjie being his brother also claims him as his son. I see you call that tribal father which I dare say is a very convenient term, a man of course could only have one father but he might have 1/2 doz tribal fathers and so withmothers. I dare say you will remember in my giving evidence before the Royal Commission. The late Sir W Stawell was very much struck with that arrangement, he seemed to think we might copy this from Aboriginal [sic] in that respect, as there would thenbe no desolate orphans,
hw0401 Howitt to Bulmer Howitt to Bulmer 18/April/1899
Mr Bulmer 18/4/99Thanking him for the great trouble which he has taken. I think with a little more the table will be just [the comparative table - crossed out] what I want for comparison with one taken from a central Aust. tribe. I shall feel very much obliged if he will give the following information:- For the present to simplify matters I have separated the different “descents” and can join them together when completed.
(1) What dou [sic] you imply when you say the Yallung was a “companion wife” to a man called Birraark who also had Mary the mother of Kangaroo Jack?What is a “companion wife”? Was Mary the [“companion "wife” - crossed out] actual wife (not tribal wife) of Birraark – or his “companion wife”? Was not this Birraark called “Mundanan"?
(2) as to Table A. Can you [give me - crossed out] find out the name of a sister of Bembuikil and her descendants [of Bem - crossed out]
(3) Table B. Who was Mary’s first husband – before Tulaba – the own father of Charley Blair and Emma? [I an - crossed out] Was Jenny (the wife of old Kangaroo Jackthe [brother of Ch- crossed out] sister of Charley Blair and Emma.
(4) Table C. Who was the first wife of Dick Cooper?
The reason why I am so desirous of having this table complete is for the purpose of showing by comparison the nature of the relationship + marriages with those in similar lines of descent in a central Australian tribe. This [K - crossed out] central Australian tribe has “group marriage” – the Kurnai had individual marriage, yet both have much the same kind of system of relationships. Finally when I have the table complete I shall [??]?ableall the relationship – distinguishing between “own” and “tribal” which is a very important matter.
As an instance take the Central Australian tribes – and their term “father’. Ergo being a Dieri blackfellow, [my - crossed out] the husband of my own mother, all his brothers, and all the "pinnai - crossed out]pirauru or accessory husbands of my own mother and of all her sisters, are my fathers. There are two forms of marriage in these tribes the noa marriage which arises through betrothal of two [person - crossed out] individuals, and the pirauru marriage which arises through the allocation of accessory husband to a woman, or accessory wives to a man. The accessory husbands have access to these pirauru - wives, so that there is “group marriage” as an existing fact. Speaking as a Kurnai would, the “accessory husband” of a woman would be the “biebba minyan” of her children. Bruthen Mungi was the bubba minyanof Tulaba, but he was only nominally the [?binbad?] of Bembuikils wife. Here is the vital distinction between the marriage system of the central Australian tribe + that of the Kurnai. For this the table are required as well as of other peoples
[written in the left side margin]PS Re Prickly Moses
tip70-10-33-15 Howitt to Fison 17/10/1877
circular and writing letters but the results areinfinitesimal. However I am becomingcasehardened and keep "pegging away"Did I tell you that I have been working outsome points in the social + domestic life of theGippsland tribe. For instance the divisionof food according to well defined rules amongthe members of the family group and theregulation likewise of the particular spotin each camp in which some member of the groupmay sleep - or the position relatively of thevarious camps. I have written a number of special letters on this subject but as yet onlyone reply. I shall carefully consider what yousay about the Gentes, and the patriarchalform of family. However I wait your paper.I do not think the "form of government" differsSo far as I know all power of government whichmay possibly exist is exercised by the old men.These old men who are the best fighters, themost cunning, the wisest or most sagaciousare the leaders. For instance old "Bruthen mungee"was a great leader among the Brabolungs- I have the account of a "Warpath" in whichhe directed operations, and the reason givenfor his great authority was that "he very strongman - no one could catch him". Toolabar
who you may remember gave us his familypedigree always speaks of Bruthen mungee ashis "father" - totally ignoring Bembinkee whoreally holds that relation to him, the former beinghis paternal uncle. In Sturts desert Ibecame friends with a tribe - or rather subtribeof the Dieri speaking blacks who insisted upon taking me to see an old man whomthey called "Pinna Pinnaroo" (Pinna = great)They treated him with the utmost reverence.I found him to apparently [sic] 80-90 years of age(covered with a thick [?fell?] of hair). He gave ordersto the blackfellows which seemed to be implicitlyobeyed. Thus I think we shall find thatthe only government among them was by theelders and was in no way hereditary. To thismust be added I think the influences of the conjurers - or rather the "Bards" who werenot medicine men i.e. Doctors. They professedto communicate with the spirits of the departedand composed songs + corroboree dances.They evidently had much influence andmay be regarded as the germ of a priesthood.The Doctors were Doctors only and professed to cure [could - crossed out]diseases by incantations taught to them insleep by their dead relatives.
tip70-10-33-18 Howitt to Fison 20/9/1878
the aggregate of divisions (the clan) the aggregate of clans (the tribe). I got some of my aboriginal friendsto give me a rehearsal of the ceremonies of intitiation andI may now say that I am a "Kurni" (name applied toall Gippsland blacks = man). I think I can shewthis:- 1. exogamy as regards the division2. endogamy as regards the tribe3 descent of boys through the father Yeerung4 [ditto] [ditto] girls [ditto] [ditto] mother Djeetgun5 All men are Yeerung, all women Djeetgun6 The initiation to manhood is a ceremony turningon the Eponymous ancestors Yeerung andDjeetgun7 The Divisions are only named from localitiese.g. Brabrolung clan - 3 divisions Bruthen Brabrolung[?Wyqung?] Brabrolung, [Wuk - crossed out] Bullumwarl Brabrolung8 There are five clans - four have two divisionsone has three divisions; all these clansform the tribe Kurni = men9 The [?Bond?] is common descent of all Kurni fromthe two Eponymous ancestors (as above), communityof [food - crossed out] language and communuty of country which iscoextensive with the language.10 [Yeerung (superb warbler) (male) - crossed out][malurus cyaneu- crossed out]Yeerung (Emu wren) male, Djeetgun (Superb warbler)(Stipiturus malachurus) (malurua cyabeus)female are probably the [class - crossed out] totem names of the first groupof men and women who faced the natural barrierof Gippsland and founded a colony. They arethe [classes - crossed out] totems [??], or are they still existing in N.S.W.?
I have now written the first draft of my contribution-when completed it will I think amount to 50pp.flscap of say 250 words each. I hope it will do whenfinished. I propose to myself to write what I might