Howitt and Fison Papers


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I of A. T. 6AThe third illustration which I take of the local organization is the extreme case of the Kurnai tribe of Gippsland. In this case theclass system had entirely disappeared, the totems only survived as [the - crossed out] names of animals which were inherited by [the - crossed out] sons from their fathers. The local organization had remained, and having the whole field to itself regulated marriages in the lines of the old customs of the two class and four class and totemic organizations.

This tribe occupied the whole of what is now Gippsland excepting [the greater - crossed out] that part of the country Croajingolung which lies inland from the coast. This great area of tribal country ___ miles in length by ___in width lies between the sea coast and the Great Dividing Range, extending also in a narrow coast strip from the Snowy River mouth to Twofold Bay.

[written in left side margin to go above "This great area of tribal---"]This exceptional hard even now a wild mountainous country mostly covered with dense [?trees?] and almost impenetrable scrub [?hosted?] a small jungle tribe the Biduelli of [unknown?] men elsewhere

It was divided into five areas which were inhabited by five clans of the Kurnai. These five clans spoke dialects of the same language which in the extreme east and next/west were almost unintelligible to the respective speakers. The following table will observe details of this local [?] of this tribe.

[Left margin not - Insert pp 7A & 7B here]

[Table of 6 columns]

LocalitiesRow 1 Column 2 - Coastline of Croajingolong and extending to entrance of Gippsland LakesColumn 3 - Coastline between Gippsland Lakes and the SeaColumn 4 - Central Gippsland between [?] & [?] Column 5 - West GippslandColumn 6 - South west Gippsland

Row 2Column 1 - names of clansColumn 2 - Kranat-ŭn-galŭng[Belingiry?] to the eastColumn 3 - Tatŭn-galŭng[Belingiry?] to the SeaColumn 4 - Bra-bra-lŭnjManly-belinjiry to ManlyColumn 5 - [Bra-ya?][?] [Belingiry?] to the westColumn 6 - [Brata?][Belingiry?] to

Row 3Column 1 - Language spolenColumn 2 - Thang-guai Broad speechColumn 3 - Variation of Thang-guai Column 4 - Muk-thangExcellent speechColumns 5&6 - Nūlit

Each of these clans was subdivided into lesser local groups, each of which had special names which in some cases was derived from the principal locality while in others it gave the local name. For instance a large selection of the [crossed out - ? many of the] western men lived in the Upper [crossed out - pog] waters of the Avon

Last edit 25 days ago by ALourie


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

Last edit 8 months ago by Christine



on such elevated plateaux were located certain tribes where the elevation was such within the region of perpetual sun during the winter months, as [crossed out - but such was the case with the Omeo tribe]: at Omeo in Victoria and Maneroo in New South Wales: But even in such cases the mountain tribes usually occupied some of the higher River valleys which [crossed out - lay any?] [prohibit?] the plateaux from either side, or where the tablelands were inaccessible during the winter months, [crossed out - in summer] the tribes which claimed them had their winter quarters in lower lying country.

Thus [crossed out - The Omeo tribe] on the Gippsland side one branch of the Baiaka clan, the subdivision named [Kŭtbŭru-taura?] or Fire carriers? whose headquarters were on the Avon River [crossed out - at the] in the [above - and [??]] foothills bordering the plains, during the summer time ascended the spur of Mt Wellington where at a height of 5000 ft then reached the southern edge of [crossed out - the] a plateau now called the Snowy Plains; which extended northward between the deep valley of the Macalister and Wonangatta Rivers a distance of _____ miles to the Great Dividing Range.

Similarly from the oppposite side the tribe which occupied the valley of the [crossed out - Upper Ovens River and its tributary the] Buffalo River ascended during the summer, [crossed out - the latter] then almost isolated Plateau called the Buffalo Mountain, [crossed out - and the] and was therefore the distant and hostile neighbour of the Braiaka. [crossed out beneath - former the ???? tableland now known as the Dargo High Plains.]

Beyond [crossed out - these] and still following the Great Dividing Range to [crossed out - the] north Eastward lies the vast tableland out of which at successive elevations rise the sources of the Mitta MittaRiver, known now as the Bogong High Plains, and Omeo.

Here lived formerly a mountain tribe which was divided into two great local groups. One was the Theddora Mittŭng (1) occupying the [Cobungra - crossed out] the Mitta Mitta River and its tributaries [from - crossed out] upwards from about the [Gibbo?] mountain, the Upper Kiewa River and the Ovens River above the Buffalo Mountain, thus being the neighbour of a number of lowland tribes in the northern half of the Dividing Range, among which was the Buffalo tribe which was claimed by my Woeworung informant as [the outlying member of the - crossed out] belonging to those who had the ‘names’ (classes) Bunjil and Wang (1)

[Left margin notes]Theddura Mittung

Mittung = a number of people; also = a number, many. this word particularly appears in Mitta-Mitta River in reference to its rise & number of tributaries.

(1) see p.-----psee also as to the [??] also of the [??] & Omeo with some Kurnai ch us. p.

Last edit 18 days ago by ALourie

hw0404 Notes on Kurnai 150 pages



41886 per Billy WoodYanūn- Blackwood E. [acacia] melanoxylanWitchun- an edible orchidTarawŭn- water lizardJū-wŭn- Pteris aquiline Bracken [Pteridium aquilinum grown in the northern hemisphere Bracken Fern]Kata katak- E. obliqua [Eucalypytus obliqua - Stringy Messmate]Mattingara- E. Suberiana [Tuberous]Yau-ŭt- [Tuberous]Kūram-brŭk = Mountain Tibra- Leptospermum sp.?Lauaberi- putty colored snakeGarŭk- Alsophele Australis [Phragmites australis (Common Reed)]Tŭmŭng- E. Capitellata [Eucalyptus Capitellata (NSW)] Bŭt-ki-wattŭn- the Paps of JuraKára-keŭn=Black stone tomahawkGué -ŭn = light colored tomahawkThese were obtained as pebbles in the river gravel where Avon flows over the Upper Devonian beds - andchipped and ground down in a dayTūngarŭk-black snakeThūrūng- brown snakeGe-lŭng- tiger snakeorNaia bŭnDar-ŭr-in - Billiarderia Scandens [apple berry or apple dumplings]Gūrnŭng-Kangaroo apple [Solanium laciniatum]Ngāt- River TurtleDanglewŭn- a fungi - "the Whitefellows brought the [common - crossed out] mushroom".-Yabbenbŭr-Brachychiton populneum [this tree is known as the Kurragong NSW]- this is a Brajerak name - the Brajerak showed the Kurnai how to eat them.Dekkil- a tree fern - Garŭk - alsophila australis [Phragmites australis]Kakaura- a tree fernGūnking- a tree fernJonŭng-ain- a fungi which grows on a treeBekŭlaorGūrmŭt Wattle GumKŭtwŭt- pigface (eaten raw)

Last edit 25 days ago by ALourie


83Billy Wood - a Braiaka of Kŭtbuntaura

Heyfield = Kluiŭng-wŭrŭk - Kluiŭng=coughYau-ŭn = Acacia MelanoxylonEdible Wit-chun = An orchid (-look up sample)Edible Mlang = "yam" (look up sample)Edible Gūl Kan or Gūng Kan = an Edible fernor [Gūl Kong - crossed out] Gūn Kan - ?Davallia[Water - crossed out] Tára-wŭn= water cycadBálat = Exocarpus capressiformisTartīn = Blue egretMelli = CassiniaTali-yai ŭng = morass [?curk?]Katakátak - E. obliquaMatingára = Yau-ŭt = E. SieberianaKŭrambrŭk = Leptospermum at Morass Ck.Tūmŭng = E. capitellataBinak = E. viminalis, E. gunii, E. stuartianaGew-ŭn = Pteris aquilinaLau a beri = Putty colored snake (?name)Tūnyarūk = Black snakeThūrūng = Brown snake[Gai- crossed out] Ge-lŭngNgiabŭn = Tiger snakeBŭtki-wótŭn = the Paps of DuraNigathorūk = Mt Wellington[Willandūk - crossed out] Welwendūk = Ben CruachanKára-Ke-ŭn = Tomahawk of porphyriteor [?ptrnie?] of dusk colorGweŭn = Tomahawk of light color stone[These - crossed out] The stone for these was foundin the shingle of the Avon River + Ben CruachanCk in the Up Devonian area being fragmentsof prophyrite worn flat by the river action.

Last edit 24 days ago by ALourie

hw0406 Notes on Eucalypt names from Gippsland Aboriginal people



Names of the Eucalypts given to them by the Gippsland Aborigines---------------------------------------------------------------------------Kurnai names for the Eucalyptsin the Mŭk thāng Dialect (2) ------------------------------------------------------------E. Amygdalina - [tick] ChūnchŭkaAmygdalina - (b) Katalalak or Yertchukamygdalina - (c)-------------------------------- wang-ngara (2)Botryoides - [tick] BinakCapitellata - [tick] [crossed out Dūmŭng Gūyŭn-gūyŭn] [dūmŭng?]Eugenioides - [tick] [crossed out Dūmŭng] yangūraGlobulus - [tick] [crossed out Binak] (Balūk) - wang njara (2)([Brataua?])Goniocalyx - [tick] BálūkGunii - [tick] Gūra binak Hemiphloia - [tick] Dēn or Dérn [word crossed out]Leucoxylon - [tick] Yirik or BwŭrawiMacrorhyncha - [tick] [Káta katak?] or [(Yūróka)] (3) [Thang quai?]Melliodora - [tick] DárganObliqua - [tick] Káta katakOdorata - [tick] DarganPauciflora - [tick] Bŭndagra3 -Piperita - [tick] YángūraPolyanthema - [tick] Den (or Dern)10-Pulverulenta - Bindŭrk [(word crossed out)]

[On LHS Bindŭrk (Mukthang)

Sieberiana - YauŭtStellulata - YīmbitStuartiana - Bŭt BŭtTereticornis - Yūro5- Viminalis - Binak

11- [four lines bracketed crossed out] wang-ngara

[Line crosssed out]

Tristania laurina - Gūyŭr

[circle with dot] Mŭkthang (i.e. Excellent speech) was spoken by the [Brabolenj? or Brabolung Kurnai whoinhabited the country [upon?] Mitchell, Nicholson Tambo River; [near? or the?] Kruatun Kurnai camp[?] [try?] [Dr?]. camp & spoke the [word crossed out] Thang-quai or " broad speech"; the[Brayakalung?] Kurnai inhabited the south of the Avon, Macalister, Thompson [fl?] River & spoke the Muk Thang or variations of it with Bratàua [two words crossed out]--------2------and Tatung Kurnai who inhabited the country between lakesand the sea in South gippslandsea [Nulit?] spoke the Nūlit

[writing on LHS]

(2) E amygdalina is [Erica?] [rest of line crossed out]The bark of the tree is extremely tough and can be stripped up the bole in long stripes. That of E globulus

is not so tough but hangs at times when falling off from the limbs & [trunk?] in long strings from which [perhaps?] the South Gippsland black called it Wang ngara. [rest of line crossed out]

But wanj = bark and ngara = string or tough [as?] [?] [ngarang]] = sinew the application of such a term is much [more?] [appropriate?] E amygladina [(4)?] than to E globulus.

Last edit 25 days ago by ALourie




The Classes of the Kurni1. Kroatungolung The whole of the Snowy Rv +Buchan River[Boggy Ck - crossed out]Lake TyersEast coastKroat=East - Lung= Mūngan = Father (man?)divisions and boundaries wanted

2. Brabrolung Bra=man the whole of the MitchellRiver 3 mobs (see Toolibar's account) Nicholson + TamboRivers

3. Tatūngolung = Ta= south Between Lakes+ SeaAll the land lying between the Gippsland lakes and the seaextending also west to Buckleys river, thence by that rivervia Bayles or Baileys morass to junction of Thomson + Latrobethence by Latrobe to Lakes. Also all the islands in the Lakes except Flannigans Island which belongs to the Brabrolung.Divisions - Binnajerra near Boul Boul (pronounced as in Fowl)Gnarrawut Lake VictoriaYūnthur The remainder to the westMarriage forbidden in the division maybe in among otherdivision or in any other class.

4. Bratowlung [South - crossed out] Fall to sea from the --- Range[Western boundary of the Tatūngolung - crossed out]Boundary by Buckley's River the to range at head therein nearjunction of Latrobe + Thomson Rivers. Thence by the saidrange [towards - crossed out] westward to the Great scrubs and extendingwestwards to [the - crossed out] near the Tarwin River thence to the sea coastwest of Wilsons Promontory.Divisions Yowung Kutwut DelinWarrigal ck Wilsons promontory Buckleys River

5 Briakolung Latrobe, Thomson Mcalisterand Avon RiversBoundaries

[written in left side margin]where is meaning ofBenTūraWūrunngattyBinnajerraGnarrawutYunthurYowungKutwutDelin

are thesenames of birds?

Last edit 6 days ago by ALourie
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