Howitt and Fison Papers


Search for Mundi*

XM21_ICDMS_lowres Charles Barrett to Howitt 28 September 1907



Telegraphic AddressPooncarieMallara StationWentworth, NSW

Sept 28th 1907

A W Howitt Esqr Metung

Dear SirYours of Sept 16th to hand I am close to Police reports as to numbers of blacks in Wentworth + Pooncarie districts i.e numbers of blacks on the Lower Darling in the original state. Old Mrs McLean of Poliatold me she had seen them 1200 strong going down on their annual tour to Lake Victoria. The blacks died off from small pox. The blacks told me at that time they died so fast that the living were not able to bury the dead a great many died at another time from measles. The Blacks at the Rufus + Lake Victoria Ihave no idea but rumour says there was 700killed at the fight on the Rufus of which you no doubt know the particulars. I know a Black named Warra wonna who what [sic] in the fight. Question No. 3 you will see in the Police reports. The blacks have seen to have intermarried all round. There are orwas Lubras from Cobham Lake Mundi

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie





the boundaries of these subtribes were well defined and no one must pass beyond them in search of food.

[Line across page]

West of the Darling River and extending to the Barrier/Barrier Range and Grey/Grey Ranges Ranges in the west, the the Warrego River in the --- and having a frontage to the Darling RIver from about 50 miles north of the junction of the Warrego & Darling to about ---[not named in text] [?] [?] Wilcannia there were at least ten tribes which divided the country between them, being themselves divided up into still smaller groups (Hordes).

But in the other hand some of these ten tribes may be arranged in two larger groups to which the term "nation" is not inapplicable. The tribes 1. 2. & 4 constituted the [Itch-u-mundi? or itch-u-nundi? ] Nation and the tribe 9. and 10. were the [Kara-mundi?] Nation.

[Left margin] Itchunundi [with brackest to 1, 2, 4, 3]

1 - (1) Wilya, [underlined] occupying the country about the Grey Ranges and having its head quarters at Endeavour Lake. 2 - (2) Kongaita [underlined] - North and South of [?] Range and having its head quarters at Cobham Lake 4 - (3) [Boolali?] [underlined] occupying the Barrier Range Country and having its head Quarters at Poolamacca and Sturts meadow3 - (4) Tongarauka [underlined] occupying the country including Momba Tarella, Wonominta and Yandarlo, also the Daubeny Range and having its head Quarters at Momba and Tarella The name means a "hillside" or "under a hill".

[Left margin note] Karamundi [with brackets to 5, 6, 7, 8]

5 - (5) [Milpultho?]. [underlined] The Darling River frontage from Wilcannia down to ---- [no place written] 6 - [6&7 overwritten] - (6) Nanalko. [underlined] The Darling RIver frontage sfrom Wilcannia up to about 70 miles below Bourke. 7 - (7) [Gūerno?] Thence up the River to Bourke 8 - [arrow from 6 to here] (9) [Bŭrumbinya?] [underlined] From Bourke up to the Barwan River 9 - (9) Badjeri. [underlined] The tribe extends up the Warrego River from a point about 50 miles north of the junction of the Warrego/Warrego River with the Darling/Darling River and up the Warrego/Warrego River to ---- [no place recorded]

Last edit 5 months ago by Christine

hw0404 Notes on Kurnai 150 pages




Languages There are three languages in Gippsland(1) Thángūai which was spokenby the Krauatun at the Snowy River and to the Eastward.(2) Mukthang which was spoken bythe Braha and the [Bialaua - crossed out] Baiaka includingthe Dargo [?Mountains?](3) Nūlīt spoken by Brataūa andTatŭng.King Charley speaks Mukthang,Thanguai, Twofold Bay languageand Ngarego

Blue Mt ParrotBlue Mountain Parrot - Blēn mūrūk

E. Oblique = Laú-ŭn-gerŭt - the largeE. goniocalyx is calledBūnjil Binak

LanguageLook at that = Deála mundattiLook at that child = Deálla leet mundittiSit down here = Būnŭngali ditta

Last edit 6 days ago by J Gibson

hw0143 McRae to Howitt 13/3/1882



Barrington April 18th 1882

Dear Sir,

In replying to yours of the 19th March I have to apologize for not answering it sooner but I was anxious to glean all the information I could from the Blacks, in order to furnish full particulars to each of your queries, This has occupied some time and hence the delay. With the assistance of Mr H.J. Foreman our School Teacher (who took notes while I questioned the Blacks, and who is kindly carrying on this Correspondence for me), I elicited the following informationwhich may prove useful and interesting. You will see that one or two of your questions are somewhat vaguely answered, this arisesfrom the fact that the ancient customs of the aboriginals are fast fading away, and as you say unless placed on record now will soon be buried. in oblivion. I will now rewrite your questions and append the replies to each.

1st. What is the name of the native Tribe?Answer. "Yookala" or "Mundi Gootart" signifying Big Mob.

2nd. What are the boundaries of country claimed by this tribe? Answer. From the head of the Barnet River to Karnah River North and South, and from the Source of the Myall River to Mt. Royal Range E. I West.

3rd. Is the tribe subdivided = yes = two divisions viz (a) Myara Tribe = Red Flint(b) Mongibeet Tribe = half bred Stringy bark tree

Family names of Myara Tribe: - Mookadert = GatheringDilwall = meaning unknown Geroo = Satin bird

The family names of the Mongibeet Tribe are forgotten or unknown."Gorommit" = is the name for a young man before being made "Keepara" = the name of a man after being made.No message sticks are used nor can any of them remember them. Most of the Blacks are named after trees. The wooden instrument you [sketched?] out in your letter is somewhat different to those [?] by this tribe. theirs have notched edges but they [?] its and knew the use of it. Trusting the foregoing [?] of some little serviceI remain, Dear Sir,Yours very truly,Donald McRae

A.W. Howitt EsqSale Victoria

[P.S. in left column]P.S. Should you require a list of the native names of animals, trees, &etc. I may be able to furnish you with a long list. Dr McRae

Last edit 11 months ago by Christine

hw0144 McRae to Howitt 24/07/1882



and I very much fear the subject matter of this communication will not be of much value to you.

I have marked out the Boundary Lines of this Tribe on the map you sent and now return the same.

The words "Tookala" and "Mundi Gootart" are synonomous, both words according to my informant meaning "big Mob" and it is the same with many other words.

I regret having failed to elicit the information you require in re the Marriage & Descent Question. They all declare that no law respecting whom they may or may not marry exists among them. Their method is to steal or buy from their own or neighbouring tribes any woman they take a fancy to.

Last edit 8 months ago by ALourie

hw0146 Howitt notes of the Gringai



Port Stephens Gringai tribe


RusdenE W Boydell?Donald McRae

The boundaries given for these tribes are as follows:Geawegal - The territory claimed by them may be defined as being part of the valley of the Hunter Riverextending to each lateral watershed, and from twenty to thirty miles along the valley of the River andeach side of [??] x The Gringai occupied country bounded by Eeclestin in the northPaterson in the South, Dungog in the East and Singleton in the west x [The Dungog br- crossed out] To the westward of the Grangai there was a tribe the name of which I have not learned, myinformants speaking of it merely as the "Dungog tribe" from its headquarters; its boundariesappear to have been roughly speaking a strip on either side of the Williams River aboveand below Dungog? But this area is overlapped by the country occupied by people whocalled themselves Tukala, or Mundi-gutart meaning "big mob", that a large tribe, or tribal divisionIt is evident these boundaries over lap each other but taking the tribal groups mentionedas representing the occupants of the country [of the Gri- crossed out] the Hunter and Manning Rivers, there remainsunaccounted for only the upper part of the former, the lower part of the latter and the tribes of the immediate coast down to Newcastle. Of those whose headquarters meet at Port Stephensthe only information I possess is derived from the work of Dawson and are as follows[The upper Hunter and the Dividing Ranges and fall inland therefore were occupiedby the Kamilaroi tribe (p-)] o A section of the Kamary occupied theupper sources of the waters flowing into the Hunter River, and the fall [into the - crossed out]from the Dividing Range inland. (1) They extended down coastwards to where it came incontact with the tribes I have mentioned. The Dividing Range between the Munmurra andTalbragar sinks down so that a traveller would not think he was crossing theboundary between any waters, much less those which divide the Darling waters fromthose of the Hunter River o The [Gringai - crossed out] Geawegal [and the Gringai - crossed out] were alwaysin dread of war with the Karnaroi, who intruded down the heads of the Hunter acrossfrom the Talbragar to the Munmurra waters, and even occasionally made raidsas far as Jerry's Plains (o----o Transfer to here)

(1) [?Vasely?](2) G. W. Rusden p.

Last edit 4 months ago by ALourie


9 Mr Donald McRae writing from Barrington says as follows: - x x Tucal = big (at Presford) witten in freehand (1) The name of the tribe is xx Tookala or Mundi Gootart signifying “big mob” (2) The boundaries of the country claimed by this tribe are from the Head of the Barnett Riger to Karuah River North and South; and from the source of the Myale River to Mt Royal Range East and West. (4) [sic] The tribe is divided into the divisions - Myara =Red flint and Mngebeet = Halfbred stringybark (tree) The family names are as follows : - Written is a speech cloud in the left hand margin: most of the blacks are named after trees -

Myara {mookadert = Gathering Deliwall = (Meaning unknown) Geroin= Satinbird

Mongibeet {The family names are forgotten (5) A young man is called Gorommit before being made and Keepara after being made. (6) (Mess crossout) Aworden instrument notched at the edges is used at the ceremonies of making young men. (7) a man is not permitted to have any conversation with his wife’s mother. If he did there was not any particular punishment inflicted but he was treated with contempt by his companions. There is no apparent objection to a man having communication with his wife’s father. (8) The message sticks are used nor [sic] can any of the blacks remember them.

Last edit 7 months ago by Margaret T. Newman
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