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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.’
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)