Howitt and Fison Papers

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a quiet [....] to his friends that I knewall about his intentions & was quite prepared for him would ?? things being pushed further.Mr E. Palmer whom you mention is the same ...man I believe who was managing his Uncles station"Eureka" about 60 miles from Mary-borough. I heard he could talk the languagewhich is almost the same as down herethe difference being more in the accentthan in the words.

Mr. Barton gave me some questionsthat you had sent him. This is 8 or 10months ago. I said I would answerthem & I did so, he promised to call but never did & the questions & answersare mislaid. I don't know where they arenow.

Mrs. [Kehlet?] also writes me en-closing your letter to her asking for pretty much the same informationas you want from me.You have most certain under-taken a most difficult task for the languages change every 100 miles & theaccent is very difficult indeed. I have[... .....] of people make vocabularies& the next day or even an hour afterwriting the word they either could notpronounce it or did so in a way thatno one could understand it - how ever I wish you successYours trulyHarry. E. Aldridge.

Last edit 25 days ago by ALourie

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[see parts ... early .... incomplete yet]

Baddow Maryborough May 9th 1904

Dear Mr. Howitt In reference to your letter of the 12th of April last on the eve of your departure for England, I posted an up to date map last week I got from our local land office in Maryborough. The localities are marked in red ink as per your list which I now enclose. The number on the map correspond with yours in the list & I trust they will be in time to be useful. I am sorry I can't place any more tribes or triblets on the map of these very fast vanishing people for altho knowing them so well, I find it very difficult to remember the names of the triblets I would like to add to the list & on the map. I am looking up some of my old photos & will have them copied almost at once & forward. I may say all are gone, but I knew them well when in the flesh. There were no "[....] clothes or cabbage tree hats & brass plates" in those days, it was quite a common thing to see one thousand & upwards at one of their regular fights in those days. What few "niggers?" we have now are collected on aboriginal stations under "Missions?" & Government protectors & the laws are very strict as to their employment. The photos are not as good or numerous as I would wish but I have given away & lost a great number of old ones.

Last edit over 2 years ago by nburgess

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a deceased person was never mentioned after his death, and when a whiteman carelessly or recklessly has spoken of a dead man by name, several blacks there have been seen to hang their heads sorrowfully, while one of them would remonstrate, if he had any respect for the speaker, otherwise they would endeavour to then the conversation (1). In the tribesabout Maryborough the name of a dead man must not be mentioned andany one doing so would be told, "Do not say that." My informant's brothernarrowly escaped being killed by a friend of a deadman whose name hehad mentioned. The friend of the dead man threw his spear at him, which went through his clothes (2)

These beliefs are similar to, or even identical with XXX beliefs which are wold wide; and, bearing in mind the long isolation of the Australians in this continent, two alternative explanations suggest themselves. Either that these beliefs were brought with them by the ances-ors, or that their descendants may have evolved them since, independently of any outside source. Yet it might be, that both sources have contributed to the present condition of belief. Where two savage races are in about the same low level of culture and the same physical conditions, although entirely separated from each other by distance, from the results of mental processes are likely to be the same. The mental consitiution and and powersare the same in kind though different in degree, all reaces of man.

Thus with the Australians, their dreams could only represent the universe as it seemed to them, and as the Kurnai man said himself, they would see in sleep distant people, even those who were dead. [observing] this XXX confusion between the objective and the subjective, whichcertainly exists in their monds and to dreams, then it is easily seen how the beliefs noted in this and the previous chapter may have been developed. Yet on the other hand it must be remembered that however low inculture the Australian ancestors may have been, as low as, or even lower thanthe extinct Tasmanians, they must have had mental qualities which would more than suffice to provide the assumed starting-point. How far back inman's mental evolution this may be, I am not prepared to suggest.

Last edit 3 days ago by gsl8zj
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returned after death. The old men of the tribes about Maryborough said when they first saw whitemen "that is all right, they are the Mūthara (ghosts) come back from the island" and they recognised such men as relatives and gave them names and a family, and were quite ready to do anything for them.

About Moreton Bay makoron and mudhere signify ghost, and much of these words is applied to white men. So the Namoi and Barwan blacks also call thewhite man Wunda.

As a final instance, I may quote my own case on the Cooper's creek waters in 1862, searching for the the explorers Burke and Wills. I was frequently saluted by blacks, when in hearing distance the words "Pirri-witti-kūchi", which I think may be rendered as "wandering ghost". Even now the word kūtchi is used for any of the strange paraphernalia of the whiteman, for instance aeven a dray and team of bollocks (1). Afterwards on my second expedition,a group of the Yantruwunta (p ), who wandered southwards as far asthe Gray Range, indentified me with one of their deceased tribesmencalled Mungalli that is "lizard." [...?][...?]

Last edit 3 days ago by gsl8zj

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Among the Kamilaro the oldest Headman would be the chief of a council of the elders, and he could carry any measure by his own voice. Alldisputes were settled by the headman. In the olden time a whiteman couldnot be marked off for death but by their vooices. such a Headman had suthor-ity in his local division of the tribe, but not ahead of his totem. (3)

[The elder men of the clan in the Chepara tribe formed a council- crossed out][which acted with the Headman. In momentous proceedings such as the Bora- crossed out][(1) Mr. J. Gribble -crossed out] All important matters were settled by the council [(2) Mr. Augustus Hook - crossed out] of the Great, or Head men. A meeting would be held(3) Mr. C. Naseby at which an orator, boomerang in handwould expatiate on the rights rites and customs of the tribes.

In the Wiradjuri tribes there is an assembly of the initiatemen at which the Headmen decide matters and decide what is to be done.Such matters are for instance disputes with other tribes, dealing withtribal offenders, and suchlike. In cases of abduction of women, adulteryor murder and the offender has escaped to his own local division orto a neighbouring tribe, the course is as follows. If the Headmen decidethat he's to be killed, the people with whome he has taken refuge,are required, by messanger to give him up. If they refuse to do so thereis a fight between them. If in this the offened tribe is routedno more is done, but the offender is always in danger of being killed ifpossible. J. Gribble

As to the Turribul tribe my valued correspondent tells me that"There was no regular council, but the old men met and consulted as tosuch matters as hunting or fighting, or the death of any person. Theysent out messengers when the time for making "kippers" came round, orwhen the Mullet came in or the Bunya-bunya fruit was ripe". That whichhe describes is the council of which I speak, and it falls in with otherinstances. In speaking of the "Bunya tribe"he also syas that when thecouncil of old men has met and decided on holding a Bunya fiest, theysent out two messengers to friendly tribes, and the messengers were twomedicienemen.

In the tribes within a radius of about fifty miles of Maryborough the old men pretty well made up their minds, as to the courseto be followed, inany matter, by having afternoon meetings held inprivate a little away from the camp, women and young men not daring toapproach within hearing. Those of the old men who choose attend such sectcouncils, and in the evening standing in their camps, the old men orateon the subject, some of them making fine speeches.

The old men governed the tribe, but also consulted the peopleon matters which had to be decided. Thus the old men would stand in the

Last edit 25 days ago by ALourie
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men at which the Headmen decide matters and decide what is to be done.Such matters are for instance disputes with other tribes, dealing withtribal offenders, and suchlike. In cases of abduction of women, adulteryor murder and the offender has escaped to his own local division orto a neighbouring tribe, the course is as follows. If the Headmen decidethat he's to be killed, the people with whome he has taken refuge,are required, by messanger to give him up. If they refuse to do so thereis a fight between them. If in this the offened tribe is routedno more is done, but the offender is always in danger of being killed ifpossible. J. Gribble

As to the Turribul tribe my valued correspondent tells me that"There was no regular council, but the old men met and consulted as tosuch matters as hunting or fighting, or the death of any person. Theysent out messengers when the time for making "kippers" came round, orwhen the Mullet came in or the Bunya-bunyafruit was ripe". That whichhe describes is the council of which I speak, and it falls in with otherinstances. In speaking of the "Bunya tribe"he also syas that when thecouncil of old men has met and decided on holding a Bunya fiest, theysent out two messengers to friendly tribes, and the messengers were twomedicienemen.

In the tribes within a radius of about fifty miles of Maryborough the old men pretty well made up their minds, as to the courseto be followed, inany matter, by having afternoon meetings held inprivate a little away from the camp, women and young men not daring toapproach within hearing. Those of the old men who choose attend such sectcouncils, and in the evening standing in their camps, the old men orateon the subject, some of them making fine speeches.

The old men governed the tribe, but also consulted the peopleon matters which had to be decided. Thus the old men would stand in thenight time at their camp fires and speak to all the questions under consideration. (1)

In the Kaiabara tribe the old men hold councils on allmatters of importance sitting in a circle with their clubs placed inground before them. The younger men may stand round and listen, but mustnot laugh or peak. One manat a time makes a speech while the otherslisten.

(1) H. E (?)

Last edit 6 months ago by ALourie

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It is well [crossed out - now] to notice that we have now -crossed out - be] found two forms of the two class system which are only distinguishable from each other by the different names of the two classes and the exception just noted as to totem marriage, which for the present may be disregarded. The area occupied by tribes of which the Dieri is the type is ------ miles by -------- miles; and that represented by the Wilya and other pther tribes is ------- miles by ------- miles.

On the border between these two [crossed out - organizations] great groups of tribes for which the term "nation" may be even applied the tribes meet as for instance the Yautruwunta and the Wilya although their languages differ so much as to have given [?] to [asigning?] which I heard among the Yantru wunta that the people to the South East were so stupid as to call (4) a snake "fire". This refered to the word tūrū which in the Yantruwunta language means "fire" and in the Wilya means "carpet snake".

[Left margin note]I heard an old Irishman tell a German that his people were void of intelligence, because they called a Coat a "Rock". "Very ignorant people". he said.

But it is quite clear that the organization in classes is the same under different names and the identity is recognized as I shall ahow later on by these tribes of either group which adjoin each other.

Proceeding now from the most Southern extension of the Mukurra & Kilpara classes in the Murray River, say at Wentworth, we find where the country of the Wembaio tribe of the River Murray ends in the great mallee scrub to the south that there then commences the country of and to the S tribe, named the Wotjoballuk who occupied the Wimmera and Richardson Rivers and [crossed out - their source?] the northern slopes of the Grampian Mountains. The local groups into which this tribe includes are given as [?].

The clan system of this tribe [crossed out - is extended] is of [crossed out - this] two classes with totems and it may be taken as representing tribes spread over Victoria [crossed out - from about [?]] as far East as a line drawn from Maryborough to Colac and next to at least as far as Rivolo Bay in South Australia [crossed out - boundary] - [word crossed out] to a line extending through [crossed out -from Mt Gambier] to the Murray River, (1)

[Left margin note](1) see K & K a to Mt Ganbier water also see Buanded [?] & Mr Smith

Last edit 9 days ago by ALourie
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