Howitt and Fison Papers


Search for Woradjeri* "Woradjeri mittŭng"





WotjoThe arms and legs of Enemies when killed were cut off, cooked and eaterNo other part of the body was used. In cases suchas the raids and attacks spoken of by the Wotjothe slain were this eaten - [??] humanflesh was considered good food.

Wolgalfrom Mragula They did not eat those killed in a battle or ceremonial set fight who were left to be buried by their friends. But they eats [sic] parts of those they murdered – the skin, hand and feet – this was accompanied with expressions of contempt for the person murdered. The persons whom they murdered were their real enemies – Those with whom they had ceremonial fights – were their friends (clans men) or those of a tribe with which their [sic] intermarried and with whom they had quarrelled.Bulmer.’

YuinThey did not eat any part of the people they killed, but would rub their kidney fat on their Būndi (spear?) or gūdjerū or other weapons. This would be just the same if they killed wildblacks such as the Woradjeri.Ienbin.

Adelaide tribeThey smashed the victim's skull with stones and clubs, secured his fat, and eat him carryingabout with them the more portable bones.Dr McKinlay

Last edit 26 days ago by ALourie

hw0149 16/11/1881 Hobbes, Merriman to Howitt



1/Division of Tribes + Sub Tribes - correct"Katungal = means Sea coast - i.e. Twofold Bay to Sydney - andnorthwards - includes 90 mile beach to South."Murrin - means Sister in law - and country inhabited by them isas described - extends to Gippsland - beyond this in the moun-tains men are called Gundunrook [Gundunrook is underlined] -"Bimeringal and Gundanrook - almost identical in meaningthe former extends from Parramatta and round the limits of the Murrin or Marriwan country Woradjeri - the name of the tribe - Kunamildan (meaning "come inthe night" being the name of the sub-tribe - this people onlycame down to the coast, sneakingly not boldly at night - Kill a Murrinman and go away again directly, Merriman's father - named Ugaridgeroo - (meaning Flood-tide) was thus killed, he was Biambun(old man, or King) of Wallaga tribe of MurriwanYuin - is a general tribal name of aborigines from Sydney to Merimbula = beyond this to Cape Howe - [?Maru? - could be Mairu] [Maru underlined] but all areKatungal"In the Katungal country the names of animals +c are thusKangaroo - Booroo Bream - Buri* Bush rat or Bandicoot = Merrijigga Mullet - WarigilaCrow - Wa go-ow Wild Duck - WombaraFisherman Jack - Birimbamin Native Dog - MerriKongwari [Gunimbil crossed out] is a general name for dogs of all kinds wild aswell as tame = Gunimbil is not known" names of animals were not general amongst the YuinMerriman can only remember two - one a Broulee man namedWarrigal [Warrigal underlined] (native dog) and another Murrira [Murrira underlined] (Emu) other nameswere Burruwalwa [Burruwalwa underlined] (one who know s everything) Ouwiti [Outwiti underlined] (canoe) Kumbo(marrow) Nyerriwang (thunder) Bulleer [Bulleer underlined] (dust) Kayan [Kayan underlined] (very top peak ofthe Dromedary) Mundu pira (stone tomahawk) Merriman's name is

[written under a line drawn at the bottom of the page]* The other names in your list are alike

Last edit 8 days ago by ALourie

hw0153 Precis of information as to the tribe of Aborigjnes inhabiting the country between Mallagoota Inlet Victoria + Shoalhaven NSW



2and the Nelligan River [sic]; the Kŭrial from the NelliganRiver [sic] to the Shoalhaven River; and the Bimeringal livinginland about Braidwood. But this latter name seemsto have been applied also generally to the people who livedinland and in the mountains while the term Katŭngalwas applied to the residents of the coast itself.-

More distant tribes who occasionally made warlikeraids over the mountains were called Woradjeri orKūnamildan.

The men living between the Turon River + [?Caujola?] Riverwere also called Yūin.

There seem to have been in this tribe as in other Australiantribes class names, (or family names) of which the followinghave been given me as examples among the Yūin.Kaualgar = Kangaroo Gūragūr = Kangaroo ratWŭngali = Bushrat Mŭnyŭnga = Eaglehawkwa-go-ra = crow Gŭrŭngaba = PelicanBirimbamin = Cormorant Bŭmaga = IguanaMŭrŭmbŭl = Brown snake Bŭrimi = BreamGūmbera = Black snake merigongKongwari = wild doggūnimbil

My informant could not state the various classesor how the various names were permitted to intermarryor how the names were inherited. I therefore giveover leaf two tables showing [crossed out - the] a typical example- namely that of the Kamilaroi tribes - in which thetwo primary classes, the four sub classes, and the family names(totems) are given together with the law of marriage and descents.Can you complete those of the Yūin?

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie

hw0150 Notes on the Guyangal and Kurial



43When a man dies and his friends do not knowwhat killed him the Gommera is called in.[The Go - crossed out] [He climbs up a - crossed out] The dead man is wrapped upin a possum rug. His corroboree things are with himstuffed under his head or any where there is room. A sheetof bark is rolled round him and corded tight. Hisweapons have been given to his real friends. TheGommera then climbs up the tree which must be alarge [bushy one - crossed out] branching one. All the men thenpresent whether relatives of the dead man or notthen climb up after him into the branches.

The Gommera then shouts out "Kai" and looks up in the air. Then they all listen carefully for the voice of the deadman's tūlūgal (ghost).At length it is heard answering a long wayoff "Kai". If [the - crossed out] voice of the tūlūgal is clear and distinct he has died of some sicknessbut if it is dull and choky then he hasbeen caught with Jo-e-a. The Yūin alsothought that some deaths were from [sickness - crossed out][like - crossed out] colds like whitefellows sickness.

The Gommera could then tell them who had caught him. Ir if it were known that he hadbeen at some place before he died, for instance if a Moruya man had been to Bodallathen his father or brothers and a Gommerawould sneak down to that place and look outfor some blacks. It would not matter which onehad [done - crossed out] killed their man. If they could catchany one it would do as well. I remember ina case of this kind that Tumut or Goulburnmen [people - crossed out] came over and killed 25 Braidwoodpeople men, women and children. They putsome "gūbbŭrra" in their grog, and as they were having a drunken spree and allsucking out of the same bottle they all died.

If they killed these people they would not eatany part of them, but would rub their kidney faton the Būndi or gūdjūrū or other weapons.This would be just the same if they killedwild blacks such as Woradjeri.

[written in left side margin]See marginal noteon last page42

31tūlū = hole = cavegal = belonging to



Last edit 9 months ago by ALourie

hw0164 Notes on the Maneroo and Ngarigo



Ngarego Tribe

The boundaries of this tribe are well defined bythe limits of the Maneroo tableland; being bounded to the West by the Thed-dora of Omeoabout the Cobboras; the Kurnai aboutGelantipy; to the South West by the Biduelliat the Coast Range, and by the same range to the south from the Coast tribes(Murring). To the East they are boundedabout Bong Bong by [othe- crossed out] some tribe.To the North their neighbours were the Wolgal.

The word Ngarego is the name of thelanguage they spoke - the distinctive nameof this tribe being Murring = men. Thisword however includes the Coast tribesand the Wolgal.

While this [Ngarego was- crossed out] tribe called theirlanguage "Ngarego", they called the languageof the Theddora, Kŭndūng-orūr and thatof Gippsland Kūngela. Wild blackswere called Bŭdara and white menmūgan.

The names of the tribes bordering the Ngarego wereNgai-mŭthc-mittăng at Queenbeyan [sic]; Waral-mittang at Bega; Bondi mittŭng at Bondi;Biduell-mittang at Bendoc; Woradjeri mittūngat the Tumut River; the men along the coast were called Katŭng-gal and thosefurther up than Bega - Kŭrial. TheNgarego-mittang were as far as Cooma.The open plains country is calledBimŭng.

[in left side margin at top of page, next to title]yes = yeyono = mūrū

Last edit 8 days ago by ALourie


(Ngarego Mickey) 2 12Doctors, Wizard A Doctor was called Mŭrimalŭndra.A Wizard was called Būdjan-belanThese men made use of white stones Thagū= Kūrha_Kūri bong (Thagū Kūrha= white) and black stones Thagūk Kūribong (Thagūk= black)

Ghosts A spirit was called Mai-ŭl. A ghost was called Birek-bang.

Burial A dead person was tied up tight – the hands placed on either side of the face = open and the knees drawn up to the head. All was tied up tightly. The grave was sometimes like a round well, sometimes had a side chamber. The lower part of the grave was filled in with wood and stones and the the [sic] upper part with earth.

Dreams A dream was gŭng-ŭng mūn = nūng-ya. It was believed that they could see ghosts (Birek-bang) in dreams.

Bogong moths The Ngarego used to go up the mountains to eat Bogong moths= ngū-e-ang - at the Murumbidgee [sic] and the Queenbeyan [sic] blacks went with them. The moths were found among the rocks.

Names of tribes The Queenbeyan [sic] blacks were called Ngye-mŭbch-mittŭng, Cooma blacks = Ngarego mittŭng.Bega blacks = Waral mittŭng Bondi blacks = Binai mittŭng ≠ Bendocblacks = Bidwell mittŭng, the Tumut blacks = Woradjeri mittŭng. Men along the coast were Katŭng-gal and those further up than Bega = Kŭrial. The open plain country was called Bimŭng

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie

hw0185 Howitt notes on the Wolgal




TotemMurray Jack's father was a Woradjeri who settledat Thelbingūng Mountain - a place noted forwambats. He married a Theddora womanHe said that his father was Waralang = Brown Snakeand his mother Tchuteba = Rabbit RatHis wife is Maralang = brown snakeHe also said that his children areboth Yibai-Malian as he is. Thereis evidently some confusion here.

MarriageGirls were given in marriage by their fathers + brothersand were prmised long before. If such a girl were to elope with some man her betrothedwould remain at his camp while her fatherand brothers would go in pursuit. If they caughtthe girl she would be brought back. Herfather would not do more than give hera severe scolding but her mother would beat her with a yam stick; she would thenbe handed over to her betrothed husband.If a brother and sister were to elope the relations would be very much ashamedand if they caught them would beat themand give the girl to her promised husband.A child of such an amour would however not be killed. When a girlwas thus brought back it was not thecustom of the men to have her in commonYibai- malian never knew such

Last edit about 1 month ago by ALourie

hw0196 Notes on the Wonghi tribe



Wonghi 2A wife was obtained by gift from [the - crossed out] her father andnot by exchange of a female relative.

No instance of elopement of unmarried girlsis recorded. Female captives were theproperty of their captors if of a class fromwhich he might legally take a wife. A Wonghiman would not persist in retaining a femalecaptive of a forbidden class, for by doing so hewould incur the contempt of every memberof his tribe. It is not certain whether he wouldbe killed or not in such a case.

assuming that an Ipai man would regard every Ipathaas his sister - how would he regard Butha? andassuming that he might regard every Matha as hiswife how would he regard every Kubbitha?A reply to this might throw some light backwards into the shadowy past.

It was not I think customary for men to xchangewives to prevent sickness or to avert a calamitythreatened.

The [Ŭnghi - crossed out] Wonghi intermarried with the Woradjeriand the Barkinghi or with any friendlytribes.

[written in left side margin]This seems to point to a system of betrothal

It will be importantto fully confirm this

If we could learn fromwhat localities, nearor distant the Wonghi menfetched their wives - itwould be an importantstep. In the Mitchell blacksbeing from Bathurst obtained awife at Regents Lake, Lachlan Rvand she understood the languagedown below Euston.

x I will make xfurtherenquiries

This opens up manyquestions. Where were these tribes all located;What were their classsystems; did theiryoung men attend the Wonghi Borasor vice versa +c +c?

Last edit 3 months ago by ALourie


Wonghi 3The youths on approaching manhood attend ameeting of the tribe. The ceremonies of initiation tomanhood are secret and at them none but themen of the tribe who have been initiated attendwith the novices. At the spot where theceremonies are to be performed a large oval spaceis cleared; the old men of the tribe conduct theceremonies. Part of the ceremonies consist inthe knocking out of a tooth and the giving of anew name to the novice. The name he hadreceived from his father as a child nowbecomes a secret name. When one tooth isknocked out, a loud humming noise is heardwhich is made with an instrument of the followingdescription: a piece of flat thin board with serratededges, a hold through one end to which a string isattached and this swung round rapidly producesa humming noise. The shape of the instrument osthis [sketch] The uninitiated are noteven allowed to see the instrument. Women areforbidden to be present at these ceremoniesand should one by accident or otherwise witnessthen the penalty is death. The penalty forrevealing the secret rites is probably the same.

[written in left side margin]How is the meetingcalled togetherand by whom?Do the Woradjeri andBarkinghi attend?

Is not the "medicine man"the Koradji themaster of ceremonies

One tooth or more? andwhich teeth?

Who gives the name?

What is the name of this instrument?It is one of the puzzles ofEthnology. The Zulususe it in their ceremoniesof initiation. Note also thatin the ancient mysteriesthe sacred "rattle" was of mysterious import.For instance see the mentionof it in the Metamorphoses(The Golden Ass) of Appuleuis [sic]The Rattle of Isis +c, +cOne of the Kurnai lately told methat he could not make me aTŭndūn because it could onlybe made by a Birraark who hadbrought it down from "that big oneup there" - pointing to the clouds. All you can learn of this subjectwill be most important - it isspecially attracting attentionWhat is the size of this instrumentas you describe it; of what wood;who makes it; who takes care ofit. In a Queensland tribe eachyouth after initiation receivesa small model of the "Bribbun" as a token.

Last edit 26 days ago by ALourie
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