Howitt and Fison Papers

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carry, if he killed another it would be given to the second one, and itwas only when he obtained a heavy load that he carried anything himself.when I speak of these Headman in connection with the tribal (?) Ishall again refer to the henchmen.

The account given of these Headman given by Mr William Thomaswho was the protector of the Blacks in the years (?) , falls intoline with the particulars which have given. I have condensed his statement as follows! (1)

"Each tribe had a chief who directs all its movements, and whowherever he may be, knows well where all the members of the communityare. The chief with the aged men makes arrangements, forthe route eachparty is to take, when the tribe after one of its periodical meetingsagain separates.

Besides the chiefs they have other eminent men, as warriorscounsellors, doctors, dreamers who are also interpreters, charmers a whoare supposed to be able to bring or to drive rain away, and also to bringor send away plagues as occasion may require."

Such are Mr. Thomas's statements. Hehad great opportunitiesof pbtaining information, for as he says he was out with them for months";but it is much to be regretted that he did not more fully avail himselfof his opportunities, or if he did, he failed to record the results withthat detailwhich would have been now invaluable.

The Wurrunjeri clan of the Woeworung is a good example of thelesser tribal divisions, andof their Headmen. In order to make what Ishall say as to it more clear, it is (?) (?) (?) that (?) (?)(?) (?) (?) (?) (?) it was divided into three parts. One called Kuraje-barring, was subdiviedinto those who occupied the country from the Darebin Creek tothe sources of the Plenty River, under their HeadmanBebejern, and those who lived on the east side of the saltwater river up toMount Macedon (1) under the Headman Bilibellary. (8). the second division

Last edit 26 days ago by ALourie

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10 A(footnote continued)that one of the old fellows places his bottom toothagainst the Boombats upper tooth giving a sudden jerk in such a way that is snaps the lads tooth.On one occassion when one of the Black boyswasmade Boombat I noticed that his teeth or toothwas not broken. He said "Too crook (much strong)Old Boney nearly broke his own Thirrar (teeth) in trying - he only tried three times) letter 4/4/82Mr McRae writing from Barrington says:"A young man is called Goromit before being made a young man and Keepara after ebingmade".A wooden instument notched at the edgesis used at the ceremonies of making young men.Mr Scott writing to me about the Port Stephens blacks saysI once saw something in connection with one of theirceremonial gatherings that appeared muchlike Idol worship. A number of the blacks wereencamped at the foot of a hill. The encampmentwas in the form of a half circle round an ovalshaped cleared space say 30 to 40 ft. The adges of this space were varied about 9 [??]This cleared space was connected with the top of the hill and another space by anarrow path. the women were not allowed to go up this path or appraoch the top of the hillat all. When going to the creek for waterthey were careful to look away from the hilltopfor fear of offending the men. On more thanone occassion when riding past the campI heard the most extraoirdinary criesproceeding from the summit of the hill; akind of bellowing or booming sound continuedfor a very long time, [?] away at times(footnote contined at next page)

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie

hw0142 McRae to Howitt 1/07/1884

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Barrington N.S. WalesMarch 13th 1882

Dear Sir,

In reply to your letter dated February 3rd 1882 requiring information, as to the habits and customs of the N.S.W. AboriginalsI beg to state that I have made careful enquiries and have obtained the following statements from the Aboriginals themselves who are located in this District.

I may add I have experienced some difficulty in eliciting this information, they being adverse to talk upon the subject, probably thinking it might not be advantageous to them hereafter. But as I assured them it could not possibly be injurious but on the contrary tend to their benefit, they stated, that " It was not customary for a Blackfellow to have any conversation with his mother in law

Last edit 6 months ago by ALourie

hw0143 McRae to Howitt 13/3/1882

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Barrington April 18th 1882

Dear Sir,

In replying to yours of the 19th March I have to apologize for not answering it sooner but I was anxious to glean all the information I could from the Blacks, in order to furnish full particulars to each of your queries, This has occupied some time and hence the delay. With the assistance of Mr H.J. Foreman our School Teacher (who took notes while I questioned the Blacks, and who is kindly carrying on this Correspondence for me), I elicited the following informationwhich may prove useful and interesting. You will see that one or two of your questions are somewhat vaguely answered, this arisesfrom the fact that the ancient customs of the aboriginals are fast fading away, and as you say unless placed on record now will soon be buried. in oblivion. I will now rewrite your questions and append the replies to each.

1st. What is the name of the native Tribe?Answer. "Yookala" or "Mundi Gootart" signifying Big Mob.

2nd. What are the boundaries of country claimed by this tribe? Answer. From the head of the Barnet River to Karnah River North and South, and from the Source of the Myall River to Mt. Royal Range E. I West.

3rd. Is the tribe subdivided = yes = two divisions viz (a) Myara Tribe = Red Flint(b) Mongibeet Tribe = half bred Stringy bark tree

Family names of Myara Tribe: - Mookadert = GatheringDilwall = meaning unknown Geroo = Satin bird

The family names of the Mongibeet Tribe are forgotten or unknown."Gorommit" = is the name for a young man before being made "Keepara" = the name of a man after being made.No message sticks are used nor can any of them remember them. Most of the Blacks are named after trees. The wooden instrument you [sketched?] out in your letter is somewhat different to those [?] by this tribe. theirs have notched edges but they [?] its and knew the use of it. Trusting the foregoing [?] of some little serviceI remain, Dear Sir,Yours very truly,Donald McRae

A.W. Howitt EsqSale Victoria

[P.S. in left column]P.S. Should you require a list of the native names of animals, trees, &etc. I may be able to furnish you with a long list. Dr McRae

Last edit 10 months ago by Christine

hw0144 McRae to Howitt 24/07/1882

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Barrington N.S.W.July 24th 1882

Dear Sir,

I have to express my regret at what you possibly may think the unreasonable delay in answering yours of the 26th April last. but the fault is not altogether my own, I refrained from writing or making further enquiries hoping to be able to acknowledge the receipt of the pamphlet you mentioned as having sent, so that I could have shown the same to my informant, but in this I was disappointed as I have not yet received it.

By frequently visiting the camp and conversing with the Blacks I have endeavoured to glean the necessary information from them but there is only one (a half caste) whose evidence is at all reliable. The Blacks themselves appear to reluctantly answer questions put to them concerning their habits and customs

Last edit 6 months ago by ALourie

hw0146 Howitt notes of the Gringai

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9 Mr Donald McRae writing from Barrington says as follows: - x x Tucal = big (at Presford) witten in freehand (1) The name of the tribe is xx Tookala or Mundi Gootart signifying “big mob” (2) The boundaries of the country claimed by this tribe are from the Head of the Barnett Riger to Karuah River North and South; and from the source of the Myale River to Mt Royal Range East and West. (4) [sic] The tribe is divided into the divisions - Myara =Red flint and Mngebeet = Halfbred stringybark (tree) The family names are as follows : - Written is a speech cloud in the left hand margin: most of the blacks are named after trees -

Myara {mookadert = Gathering Deliwall = (Meaning unknown) Geroin= Satinbird

Mongibeet {The family names are forgotten (5) A young man is called Gorommit before being made and Keepara after being made. (6) (Mess crossout) Aworden instrument notched at the edges is used at the ceremonies of making young men. (7) a man is not permitted to have any conversation with his wife’s mother. If he did there was not any particular punishment inflicted but he was treated with contempt by his companions. There is no apparent objection to a man having communication with his wife’s father. (8) The message sticks are used nor [sic] can any of the blacks remember them.

Last edit 6 months ago by Margaret T. Newman
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