Howitt and Fison Papers


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hw0164 Notes on the Maneroo and Ngarigo



John ORourke re AboriginesOld Lawsons Gin and snake - A few years ago old Mrs Lawson had a tame brown snake. Old Munday he believes told him that as long as she kept it safe she would not die and that if she was sick it would cure her and that if she got hurt it would cure the wound by licking there. Of this Charley Alexander said “I have often seen old Mrs Lawson’s brown snake. It was quite tame and she kept it inside her dress. She has taken it out and held it out by the tail towards me to frighten me.Classes of Ngarego tribe – Old Munday gave these to O’Rourke as follows:-Two classes four classes totemsMerūng nil Nadjat-e-jaw-batEaglehawk Būllinger- Lyre BirdGūlit berūk – cuckoo?Bragūrgūr nil Būrū - Kangaroo(Small greyhawk)Sparrowhawk Tchūteba – Rabbit ratYū Krembrek - Crow

Marriage of totems – Munday said any totem can marry any totem but not with itself. If a Merūng man of some totem ran off with any female of a Merūng totem there would be a great row – he would be punished an [sic – I think it should be and, but it could also be as or also or] receive a severe thrashing – then all would be right. The woman would be severely beaten – the man had to fight with one or two of her men. Elopement – In the case of elopements there was the ?? ?? ?? [looks like for or per, promise, of premise and noites, or notes or writes]Betrothal – The infant daughter was betrothed by her father – to some one it might even be to an old man. When the time for marriage came the father took the girl to her husband and left her there. Munday said that wives were not lent to friends –Note: As to the classes – there seems to be a contradiction between Mundays statements that “A totem may marry any other” and “that if a Merūng woman there would be a row”. In connection with this “Mickey’s statement is important:- This two principal totemic names are Tchūteba and Nadjalejan the other Master”. – He is Tchūteba and he says that his father was Nadjalejan and his son would be Nadjalejan. This being the case it follows that Tchūteba and Nadjatejan are two intermarrying totems and that the other four totems will be found arranged in two doublets. Mickey said that Old Nuking was Nadjatejun and Young Nuking Tchūteba.’

Last edit about 1 year ago by ALourie


11 Ngarego tribe per Mickeyyeyo= yes Mūrū= NoMickey was born at Mūtong near Buckleyscrossing at Rutherford’s old place – it is his country.

Names of Languages His language is called Ngarego, that of Gippsland he calls Kūngela. Wild blacks are called Bŭdara. The Omeo language is called Kŭndūng-orūr. White men called = Mūgan.

Classes [?? next to this section] Of the classes all he knows is that he is Tchuteba = rabbit rat. His father and mother were Nadjatejan and his children would be Nadjatejan. He also says that Old Nūking was Nadjetejan andthat Charley Nūking is Tchuteba .

Ball play When they played at Ball – made of ‘possum skin – Tchuteba played on one side and Nadjatejan on the other. Sometimes when there were not many people there, women and children of the proper names joined.They also sent the ball as a friendly greeting.

Possum fur string String of possum fur is called Kūmil

Initiation Mickey said he was made a young man at Mūtong. Old Munday and others were there and knocked out his tooth. During some of the ceremonies he and the other boys were covered up with rugs so as not to see. One of the ceremonies was as follows: - a man say as old as Charley Alexander (25) to (28) was buried flat in a trench and covered with earth; on his breast was planted a green wattle tree, roots and all which he held with his hand and shook slightly when the boys were brought to see it. The boys were not allowed to eat somethings, Mickey remembered that they might eat Ringtail; but not other possum. If they eat forbidden food it was supposed to make them ill.The youths who had their teeth knocked out were called Nŭrmŭng or Kūringŭn. His tooth might not come back to him till he was an old man.

[written in left side margin]Youth – A boy before tooth out is called – Brue-bŭl. He does not know about Drŭmŭlŭn and is not a man and is not allowed to be married.

[written in right side margin](mūra = ghost = dead man in the Tūsla [could be Tunla] language)

Last edit 21 days ago by ALourie


Maneroo NSW17 Informant Charley Nuking. Born at Reedy Flat Maneroo NSW. His father Old Nuking a Maneroo Black his mother Kitty from the Murray. Does not remember his own native name nor the name of the tribe to which he belongs.

Class names and totemsMeroong YuckemberokHe is Nabdjanadjan - bat Bellit Bellit LyrebirdWonga Wonga = Pigeon Nadjan common possumKowunga Black possum Tchudugung black snakeGooroombuging Magpie Budalook – IguanaDjewilba Kangaroo Djinoong – Kangaroo ratMandja – scrub wallaby Brinyoo – Paddy melonWayal – rock wallaby Toonee Tooneet Morepork Ngooim Emu – native catTundeya - monkey bearBungadey - WambatButbi – Ringtail

He says that when he was ‘made a young man’ and had one of his front teeth knocked out he received the name of “Naldjana djan”He thinks his father was YukimbūrkHis mother was Miroong. Cannot remember rules regulating marriage.

Property –When a man died absolutely everything belonging to him was buried with him. They did not like to see any thing of his lying about nor did they talk of him again.

Country – Reedy flat belongs to him because he was born there – it would belong to anyone else who was born there as well as to him.

Cousins – Another Natdjanadjan would be to him not as a brother (Tidjang or Kookung) butGornan = cousin ie mothers brothers son

Last edit 5 months ago by ALourie
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