Howitt and Fison Papers

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XM107_ICDMS_lowres A L P Cameron to Howitt 8 September 1880

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MuluruluVia BalranaldN. S. W. Sep 8th 1880

A. W. Howitt Esq Sale Gipsland

Dear SirYou will be surprised not to have heard from me for so long a time but I have been prevented bymany things from writingand merely write now to say that it is not from wantof inclination. I have leftthe district from which I wrote last and am managinga station in this District(Balranald ) where I believe the blacks belong to the Barkinjee tribe but

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie

XM105_ICDMS_lowres Letter to Howitt 13 June 1880

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CanobleMossgiel June 13th 1880

A.W. Howitt Esq Sale Victoria

Dear SirYours as the 7th is to hand.By this mail I return againthis form filled upon as neatlyas I can but there is considerabledifficultly as I find they callseveral of the relationshipsby the same name - For instancethey have 020 distinct wordssignifying Brother in law, son in lawfather in law etc, thus a man would call his brother's wifeWoopau (wife).

In reply to some of your questionsthe father gives the child a name without any ceremony, but when this child becomes a young man he attends a

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie

XM106_ICDMS_lowres A L P Cameron to Howitt 4 July 1880

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Cameron Mossgiel NSW July 4th 1880

A W Howitt Esq Sale Gipsland

Dear Sir Yours of the 11th July [crossed out] June isto hand some time sinceI regret that pressure of other business has pre-- vented my reply my former no's have [?] able to fill in and return your circular relationships, but will do so as soon as possible The Unghie tribe inhabitedthe tract of country lying,say, between the Maranoa and Warrego Rivers the

Last edit over 1 year ago by ALourie

XM118_ICDMS_lowres A L P Cameron to Howitt 3 August 1882

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Mulurulu Balranald[July-crossed out] August 3rd 1882

A.W. Howitt EsqSale, Gipsland [sic]

SirYours of 22nd ult. is to hand as well as the M.S. for which accept my best thanks.I read the latter great interest and as youasked me to express my view freely I will do so.

My essay was finished before I receivedthe M.S. but it would not have altered anyviews I had formed because in most of whatyou say I concur. As you are aware I alwayslooked upon the sub divisions into four classesas an extension of a reformatory movementhaving for its object the prohibition of consan--guinous marriages and this I have mentioned in my paper. I scarcely think it canbe showed that the cause of prohibitions of intercourse between son in law and mother in law arises in the manner indicated in yourpaper. You commenced your argument by saying "I take first the more ancient system having onlytwo classes with uterine descent"; but yourargument is confined to this system as youdo not refer afterwards to any other system.

[written perpendicularly at top of page]Do you think thatthe legend concerningthe Bukumuru isconnected withthe totem systemI have an idea that certain groups saykindred havingtotem names believethat they are descendedfrom an ancestorwho at the generaltransformationwas changed into the animal wholse name theynow bear.

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie

XM121_ICDMS_lowres ALP Cameron to Howitt 14 August 1883

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MuluruluAug 14th 1883

A W Howitt Esq

Sale

Dear Sir

I am in receipt of your note of the 4th kindly offering to take the reconstruction of my paper in hand. I very gladly avail myself of the offer. I thoughtwhen sending if that much of the matterwas unsuitable for the anthropological Institute, although it might meet the case when a paper was required onthe aborigines generally. I have had such autumn time up here for many months that I have found it very difficult tobring my mind to bear on subjects one -earmarked with business, nor can I work much now as shearing commences today.

If however it is not too much to askit will be a great kindness to me to doas you say in connection with the essay and you should not trouble to send me drafts as I am sure any arrangement you may make will beperfectly satisfactory to me

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XM122_ICDMS_lowres A L P Cameron to Howitt 20 October 1883

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Rpd10/11/83

MuluruluOct 20th 1883A W Howitt EsqSale Gippsland

My Dear Sir

I received the [essay?] on your notes[? ] last week. The work of taking to pieces reconstructing and rewriting must[have?] given you a lot of work for whichI need not say how much obliged: I cannotobtain any fresh information for the blacks all seem to have deserted this district and are gone I know not where. I have given what answers I could toyour notes in any matter that neededelucidation. I am perfectly satisfied with the paper on it now [?] ; You say that if I desired the portions relating to Mr Hardieseems as to usual [?] of [ ] tribes befrom Clunes could be added but of courseit is not necessary. I notice you haveomitted the parts relating to Infanticideand Cannibalism; would it not have been as well to let them appear? butyou know best what is most suitable

Last edit about 2 months ago by ALourie

XM123_ICDMS_lowres A L P Cameron to Howitt 26 December 1903

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LochaberBourkeDec 26th 03

My dear Mr Howitt

Yours of the 15th is to hand. My experienceis that among the Wonghibone tribe which I regard as a branch of the Wiradhurie a man would not kill or eat his totem. I cannot say what he would do under great pressure from hunger but the general law was that they would not eat it. As you know there were [instructions?] in many tribes with regard to what might be eaten at certain ages but I remember years ago being out with "two?" lads of the Unghi tribe in Western Queensland. We were some time without food where we killed a carpet snake which was interdicted to young men. At first they would not hear of eating it, but after seeing it cooked and being eaten by myself they partook of some after obtaining my promise that I would not tell anyone. So that possibly a man would eat his totem under similar circumstances.

I am glad to hear that you have brought your work so near completion and trust you will be able to get some information from the Aborigines Protection Board though am afraid that the Board is not a very reliable source inasmuch that they dont seem to travel [?] themselves much

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[....]

Boorall MaryboroughSeptember 30th 1882

A.W.Howitt Esq.Sale - GippslandVictoria

Dear SirI beg to acknowledge yourletter dated August 1st asking for in-formation about the aboriginesI shall be most happy to answer yourquestions & [....ally] to afford any in-formation I can, your questions Iwill answer at an early date for thefollowing reasons - for the last 10 yearsthe customs & habits of the aborigineshave completely changed & altho thereare a great many here now of the [young? ........]know what were the habits & customs of their fathers, therefore I must get someof the old hands & work out the information.

Last edit about 2 months ago by ALourie

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Replied10/11/83

BoorallOctober 29th 1883

A.W.Howitt Esq.Sale - Victoria

SirI have to thank you for twopamphlets duly received I have also receiveda printed circular asking for informationabout the aboriginals, having been away from home rather much lately correspondencehas been unanswered hence my silence.To answer the printed circular properly it would take more time & applicationthan I am disposed to give, but as I shall be passing through Melbourneabout next March I shall - if you thinkit worth while - come to Sale & give youall the information I know of & I amconvinced there are very few that have

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P.S. Pleaselet me know ifthis letter comes tohand

Boorall MaryboroughSeptember 28th 1899

A.W. Howitt Esq.Commissioner of AuditMelbourne Victoria

Mr Dear SirI must apologise for not answeringyour two letters sooner & trust my informationis not be too late for your purposes.I have answered them - the questions - as I knowor can remember I believe that although thecountry & customs I and Mr. Petrie know do overlap they are different as far as I know. I claimto know the customs & habits of the natives roundhere better than any white man living or even ofany native or aboriginal as all the old ones thatused to practice these rights & customs are deadI do not question Mr Petrie, he is correct, but heis a long way south from here, even Bundabergonly a short distance north of here, are different,As for "Mr. Lays" statement re sacrificesI do not hesitate in saying its pure invention& is quite on a par with the bushmans yarn yougive of the "Bunga feast" & the killing of a [......]

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"Refer" to24/5/00

Boorall MaryboroughMay 10th 1900

A.W. Howitt Esq.Commissioner of AuditMelbourne - Victoria

Dear SirSome time ago you wrote me sayingthat you would not use my name as authorityfor anything you may publish on informationreceived from me unless I gave full permissionbut would only use my initials as I had requestedyou to do some time ago - I am writing this tosay I shall be satisfied that you use my nameor initials or neither, as to any information I mayhave given you re aboriginals, all I am puzzled over is the question "has it been useful?"I read the three articles you mentioned in the[?] numbers of the Review of Reviews on the "Totem"system, they are very interesting, the two by Fraser- I think that is the authors name - are a bit heavybut Andrew Lang is very crisp & sarcastic in manyparts of his criticism. I cannot follow their ar gument or theories in some places, so can not offer aproper opinion on the matter.Hoping your work is progressing, with kind regardsI am, yours faithfullyHarry. E. Aldridge

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Boorall MaryboroughNovember 26th 1902

Dear Mr HowittYour letter of the 25th October I duly received in reference to cannibalism at the Bunga feastfor fear of any mistake I wrote to Mr T. Petrie of theNorth Pine, I think about 40 miles north of Brisbane."his son?" replies for his father saying his father knewof no sacrifice among the natives, "either do I?" neitherof us ever heard of it, he writes "He agrees with you that it is "pure fiction" as far as his ex-perience goes." "flesh hunger" is absurd becauseat those feasts all sorts of game were eaten & also anyonekilled in a fight or anyone dying in good conditionand the guests had the same meals - was alwaystreated well." His expression of opinion of Mr.Petries exactly coincides with mine I have seen menwomen & children eaten but never knew of any beingkilled purposely for eating & cannot believe it. Mr. Petrieknew the Brisbane side of the Bunga & I knew the Mary Riverside. I think it impossible with our knowledge of theirlanguage & habits for them (the natives) to have practicedthese human sacrifices as described in the quotationsgiven. There was a book written about the habits &customs of the northern aboriginal by a person whosename was I believe "Lumbolt - a German?" - as I know

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie

XM9_ICDMS_lowres

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[see parts ... early .... incomplete yet]

Baddow Maryborough May 9th 1904

Dear Mr. Howitt In reference to your letter of the 12th of April last on the eve of your departure for England, I posted an up to date map last week I got from our local land office in Maryborough. The localities are marked in red ink as per your list which I now enclose. The number on the map correspond with yours in the list & I trust they will be in time to be useful. I am sorry I can't place any more tribes or triblets on the map of these very fast vanishing people for altho knowing them so well, I find it very difficult to remember the names of the triblets I would like to add to the list & on the map. I am looking up some of my old photos & will have them copied almost at once & forward. I may say all are gone, but I knew them well when in the flesh. There were no "[....] clothes or cabbage tree hats & brass plates" in those days, it was quite a common thing to see one thousand & upwards at one of their regular fights in those days. What few "niggers?" we have now are collected on aboriginal stations under "Missions?" & Government protectors & the laws are very strict as to their employment. The photos are not as good or numerous as I would wish but I have given away & lost a great number of old ones.

Last edit over 2 years ago by nburgess

XM21_ICDMS_lowres Charles Barrett to Howitt 28 September 1907

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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

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XM23_ICDMS_lowres R F Beardsmore to Howitt 14 August 1907

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No 371OFFICE OF BOARD FOR PROTECTION OF ABORIGINESSYDNEY, 14 AUGUST, 1907

Dear Sir, Referring to you note of the 17thJune last, I beg to enclose herewith, for your informa-tion, a report furnished by superintendent of Policeat Bourke, as to the number of Aboriginal Natives inthat District for the past ten years. The Board have no Local Protectors of Aborigines, and depend entirely on the police, except at a fewplaces where there are stations. I enclose copy ofthe Board's last published report for your information. Yours Faithfully R H Beardsmore

A.W. Howitt, EsqClovellyMetung, Victoria

NB Kindly excuse delay in replying,which was caused through your letterhaving been mislaid. RHB

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XM32_ICDMS_lowres K H Bennett to Howitt 9 May 1880

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Yandembah BooligalN. S. WalesMay 9th 1880

A W Howitt Esq, SaleGippslandVictoria

Dear Sir

Yours relative to the social customs of the AboriginesI rec'd a few days since - I regret to say that I cannotrender you any informationon this interesting subjectfor although when a boy some 25 years since - I acquiredto a certain extent a knowledge

Last edit about 2 months ago by ALourie

XM33_ICDMS_lowres May Benson to Howitt 1 September 1906

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1/9/07BrendaGoodoga Sept 1st 1906

My dear Mr HowittI am very sorry I was unable to send inthe papers before. Theyare certainly truly a pleasureas I am very interested+ it is lovely to have you go to all the trouble you doto explain things.

I have not attepted theessay as I have been illand the Dr has ordered me away for a rest.

I am shortly going on to theNarran and will be joininga good camp of Darkies& I may possibly findout about the marriage line

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie

XM34_ICDMS_lowres May Benson to Howitt 26 September 1906

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"Brenda"Tuesday 26 9 06

My dear Mr HowittI am sending in thepapers in today's mail. Iam afraid I have keptyou waiting for them.I have really been waitingfor the tribal King to comealong as he generallyknows everything.

Don't mind sending mypapers back, because I willbe only too pleased to try& do more for you if I can. Doing the few I havehas given me great pleasure.

I do hope I have fixed

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KerundaGoodoogaJune 5th 1907

My dear Mr HowittI must explain whyI have kept you waiting for ananswer to your papers. I havebeen away for months in the"[??] Plains" and camehome only a few days ago tofind your letter awaitingand I shall be only too pleasedto do it to the best of my ability.I have an old black womanhere and will tell you whatshe has been trying to explainto me. But I do not thinkwe have quite got at whatyou want. However, I willwrite the classes down in theirrespective notation and youwill see what she has been

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(18/7/07)Brenda StationJuly 18 1907

My dear Mr HowittI will now answer yourquestions of June 21st.I Ipatha belongs to the Moorawaritribe, her age 59.II She was born at ThurulgoonaShe explained that "Thurul"stands for a creeping weed,called by us "pigweed" andlagoon, as you know, is anothername for a long stretch ofwater like a lake.III There are twelve of her tribenow living.IV The country occupied by her tribe.

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BrendaAugust 25th 1907

My dear Mr HowittIn answer to yoursof the 6th I am afraid Ihave not received anydefinite information.However, what I have found out I will let you hear

The old Ipatha says the customswere kept up till after (inher own words) the 90 floodWe had a very high flood in1890, and it was after thenshe remembers the tribebecame lax in theircustoms. The whites beganto gather them in reservesthen they [??] missionstations. Re in Brewarrina

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XM38_ICDMS_lowres

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(2)[left column]

what I thought a quite unintelligible puzzleresolve itself into avery interesting studythe only thing that wor-ries me is, that I amafraid you find mevery hard to makeunderstand.However, I willalways do my best foryou. Please remem--ber I never get tiredYou may please yourselfas regards using my name but anything I think

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BrendaOctober 20th 1907

My dear Mr HowittI am sending enclosed the paper inanswer to you of the 2nd.

I hope you will findthey are correct. Iam quite positive thatwe have the riddlequite solved as regardsrelationships. With yourhelp it has been agreat pleasure to me to gradually find

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in that block of countryabout Weilmaringle,Tago Springs, Tonelingand Brenda, andas she says they hadonly one big water, theCulgoa.These four places Ihave mentioned, ifyou look on a N.S.W.travelling stock routemap, you will easilysee they, as I have said,seem to enclose asquare block of land.and most propablymy old Ipatha is correct

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BrendaOctober 25 1907

My dear Mr Howitt

P S just receivedword which you referto the conflicting reportas regards the tribeof the "Moorawari"I have been to seemy old Ipatha againand she, as well asanother old "Goormoo"woman, still maintainingthat when they werechildren, the "Moorawari"used to live

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie

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Lake TyersApril 20th 1880

My Dear Mr Howitt

I have made enquiry of Billy McDougall and JennyCooper on the various queries proposed by you with the following results. The Blacks sometimes exchanged wives at Corroborie time. He tells me this was done when there was a great gathering of Blacks. But they also resortedto the exchange of wives to avert some fancied calamity as for instance. There wasonce a great display of the Aurora Australis or perhapssome great shower of Meteorsin the heavens, they thought

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Left Column: The word Natbun is noneand belongs to this language----------Witouro I cannot findin this languageIf these words appear inWallace's Australasiahe must have made amistake in patterningthem in the Gipps Landlanguage. Just the sameas he has placed theKrouathun Kaniin Adelaide. There can be no doubt thatthe Gentleman has gota little correct informationmixed with some veryincorrect

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I hope I have given you theinformation you require. I have no doubt whenyour work is published therewill be more light on thesubject of Aboriginal lifethan there has been hitherto.With kind regards to MrsHowitt + familyI remainfaithfully yoursJohn Bulmer

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Lake TyersApril 28th 1881

My Dear Mr Howitt

In speaking of sticks beingsent only as an invitationto a corroborrie I referred to the Waimbio. The GippslandBlacks seem to know nothingabout the sticks.

The message stick I sawon the Murray was aboutthe length of an ordinarywalking stick and markedspiral fashion with aband here & there. Thereseemed to the no connection between the marks & thecorroborie but I noticedthe stick went whereverthe corroboree went after

Last edit about 2 months ago by ALourie
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Murray. I have questionedJenny Cooper & Billy McDougalland they tell me they do notremember any specialstick but that one was usedin that same way as on theMurray and that the Corroboriecomes from the Melbourne sideit was first performed at SaleSending pipe clay day onlyreferred to the Kurnai. I donot remember any being senton the Murray for that purposethough they would send itas an article of exchange totribes when they had some.

The formal messagesonly referred to the WaimbioI have not seen it amongthe Kurnai but the factis the Kurnai have notfollowed their natural habits

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for many years.I will try to get all theinformation as to gesture languageI dare say it will be veryinteresting, Lamby is nothere at present, but theblankets are coming thatwill stir the old fellowup to his duties!I believe the blacks usedto have a great manygestures to express whatthey meant, though Mr Boyallseems to know very littleabout them but the oldfellows will.

With kind regards to MrsHowitt I remainfaithfully yoursJohn Bulmer

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I take it that all that fraternal terms are either targoona (elder brother)bubba (elder sister), mal-ber-der (younger brother) and muna-gun-na(younger sister). (7) [But - crossed out] The term authena includes the relativesof father's sister's children, and mother's brother's children. If so I [could - crossed out] can fillin the terms on ny-lu. But does for instance nuitrena include Father'sSister's son (9 + 11) or also father's sister's daughter (9 + 12)?

I have kept a copy of this letter so that all I needtrouble you to do will be to [reply to the several questions - crossed out] number your replies as I have numbered my questions.

I see that I have been under a misapprehension as towhere "Brenda" is. [My un- crossed out] I understand that it is now nearBrewarrina, but when I was at my brother in law's house latelyBothie showed me on the map where it really is, so that my remarksas to Kamilaroi + Wollaroi do not fit with the facts.Will you kindly mark in the [??] having theapproximate [??] of the Moorawuri + Guamo tribesAWH

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lawful for him to obtain as a wife,

To explain exactly what this rule is will require me to give an example from another tribe and to suggest the lineof inquiry which may probably yield the answer I am,and have been for many yearsin search of.

I enclose a small "essay" on the subject and beg of you that if you feelthe inquiry to be irksome then youwill, as you very kindly put it as to yourself,not treat me as a stranger, but tellme at once that you cannot seeyour way to carry out the investigation.

I remain Dear Miss BensonYours faithfully A W Howitt

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Lake TyersAugst 30th 1881

My dear Mr HowittBob Curran wishes me to tell you that he sent by Sargent Goodenougha certain article called a J-o-e-i. I suppose from his description of it aBulk and he isanxious to let you know that he sent it.Jenny Cooper is getting better so I will be able to ask her the questionsforthwithWith kind regards

Yours faithfullyJohn Bulmer

Last edit 2 months ago by ALourie
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