Howitt and Fison Papers

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5

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Sale, Victoria,

_____________188

DEAR SIR,

Can you favor me with replies to the followingquestions relating to the customs of the AustralianAborigines?

(1.) Do the blacks in your neighbourhoodproduce raised scars on parts of their bodies?

(2.) If so, please to describe the kind of scarsand the parts of the body upon which they aresituated.

(3.) Is any meaning attached to these scars asmarks indicating the tribe, or tribal subdivision towhich the wearer of them belongs?

(4.) Are any of the marks which are madeupon the skin-side of rugs the mark or "brand"of the person making them. That is say, in otherwords, had each man or has each family a peculiarmark ?

I am, Dear Sir,

Yours very truly,

A. W. HOWITT

Last edit 24 hours ago by gsl8zj

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1215 resemblance to the Kurni. They also arrogate tothemselves exclusively the title of Men [underlined], that beingthe significance of their name, + they contemptuously brand all other tribes as Merkani, a word which has exactly the meaning of the term Brajerak used by theKurni. The designation of their "clans" are not totems like that of the Kamilaroi but names of places like those of the Kurni + they also appear tohave to a certain extent descent through the father.This information I received more than sixyears ago by the Rev. George Taplin of the AboriginalMission at Point Macleay, buthe was unable to give me the particularswhich are necessaryto fix the exact status of the tribe ← Insert. Hence I cannotsay positively what the Narrinyeri system is; but I havelittle doubt that it will be found to be a developmentsuch as that of the Kurni, though it may nothave taken precisely the same form; for the Kurni were an isolated tribe, while theNarrinyeri, as far as I know, have not been shutout from external impulse.

← Insert [3 lines crossed out]alone of all the Kurni do not join in theceremony of "initiation". Thnis seems to be afact of great importance - at least it is so if they do notjoin therein because they are not qualified [underlined].For the "Brogan" are not brothers because theyhave a common initiation: they have that initiationbecause they are brothers. They are all Yeerung; +since it seems that the Kroatungolung males alsoare Yeerung, their disqualification probablyarises from something antecedent to the separationof the two phratria.

[two lines crossed out]

Last edit 6 days ago by ALourie
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