Search for Materi* materi*
of the opposite classes, and might lawfully marry, if they were of the noa groups. A diagram will show how this works.
Diagram No 3.
(I) Materi-emu kamari (4). f. Kararu-cormorant
(2) .f.Materi-emu kami (5) .f.Kararu-cormorant
(3) .m.Matei-emu noa (6) .f.Kararu-cormorant
i, 2, and 3 are mother, daughter and grand son. No I and 4 are in the relation of kamari, that is brither's wife Their children are kami-mara and therefore forbidden to marry. Were they of the Ngabana tribe they would, under the rule of that tribe, be nupa to each other, and marriageble. Nupa is the equivalent of the Dieri [?]. The alteration of the relation of kamari to kami, by the kindred is merely a reversion to the older rule.
In order to show the noa rule in practice I refer totable A p.. As I there said the men 1.2.3. on the first line in A, have obtained noa wives by the exchange of sisters. The several couples I/4, 2/5, 3[?] have been born into the noa relation with eachother, and have become specialised by betrothal. All the children of these couples are kami-mara, and have therefore to obtain husbands and wives from other groups which are noa-mara to them, and to [?] the men of I0, II I2 belong, as the husbands of the sisters of the former. It is the children of the couples 7/I0, 8/II, 9/I2, who are noa-mara to each other.
The rule deduced from diagrams, compiled by tracing back the descents in a number of Dieri families, may be stated as follows, and can be traced out in tabe I.A.
was divided. [crossed out - As to this marriage rule]Each class was = [crossed out - even perhaps] now = exogamic and [two wrods crossed out] intermarried with any of the three other classes. The old men of the tribe were quite clear as to this and the oldest of them who was apparently about 70 years of age insisted that it was so in his youth. He was Wiltu - Wortu (Eaglehawk-wambit) and his wife was of the same class and totem. The following table affords some evidence in support of this [exceptional?] [?]. South Australia was settled in 1804, [crossed out - that is after] and of these men one was [crossed out - who had [?] of them] [crossed out - being] born before that time and the others of a [?] years later [crossed out -[?] after and] are therefore competent to [?] of these old [clans?] under which their grand parents & great grand parents lived and to which still [control?] in force long after the [?] of the [council?] and under even still govern the remnants of the tribe in spite of the missing influence in that district.
[Left margin note] Where was [2 words crossed out]SA [suited? or situated?]1834 not until [18??] tribal [Gov.?] arrived.
[Table -4 columns]Name - Clan - Married - Children areKing Tom aged 60 - Kari - Wietu - KariHis father - Kari - Kari? - KariHis grandfather - Kari - Wiltu - KariCorporal Joe (50) - Wilthutha - Kari - WilthuthaHis father - Wilthutha - Wilthutha - Wilthutha?Harry Richards (45) - Kari - Kari - KariHis father - Kari - Kari - KariHis grandfather - Kari - Kari - Kari[Underlined end of Table]
The only restriction upon marriage therefore depended upon nearness of Kinship [crossed out - kindred], and descent [crossed out - was] of the these class names was from father to child and [not as?] with the tribes of the Materi-Kararu classes from mother to child.
The Kindred who were forbidden to marry were (ii brother and sister and this as [?] explained in the chapter relationship the classificating & explain of Relationships includes the children of two brothers (clan or tribal) and of two sisters (clan or tribal), But the children of these were sometimes permitted to marry,
[Crossed out 36] 37
[Left margin note]Bidwel [Biduel?]-mitŭng
[Table of 2 columns]
Class system of the Wolgal tribe
[Row 1][Column 1 heading] Class divisions[Maliaro?] - Eaglehawk
[Column 2 heading] Totems1 Banda - Kangaroo2 Nūron - Emu3 [crossed out - Yubai] Ebai - Hawk4 [Niari? or Mari?] - Dingo5 Wūthering - Flying Squirrel 6 Belit-belit - Lyre bird
[Line under row]
[Row 2][Column 1 heading] Class divisionsŪmbe - crow
[Column 2 heading] Totems1 Megindang - Wombat 2 Natjauajau - Bat 3 [Maralang?] [crossed out - Wajnalang] - Brown snake 4 Bringal - Star (Venus) 5 Waniyūk - Bandicoot 6 Wandeli - Porcupine
[Line under table]
The law of the class divisions the ususal one. But that of the totems was said to be that the totems would marry as placed in the above lists. For instance another Wolgal man Maliau-Ebai (3) [crossed out - would marry] married Umbe-marakang [crossed out - Wearalang? and to] (3) and the children take the class and totem names of their mother. This I give with reserve. yet this old man - [Mr Agula?] - was so far as I knew him a trustworthy informant, and a perfect mine of songs both festive and ceremonial (Bora) of this tribe.
At any rate the Wolgal as thus defined would touch upon if not include some of the Wirajuri speaking people when class system differs materially from the above, being of the familiar being Kind to us under its Kamilaroi Form.
Before proceeding further into New South Wales it is necessaryto say something of the coast tribes beginning with the Biduell/Bidwel-mitŭngwho have have just mentioned. This small tribe was not counted among the Kurnai although the Krautŭn clan of that tribe occupied the sea frontage from the Snowy River mouth to Cape Everard thus cutting off the Biduell/Bidwel from the [sea - crossed out] actual coast frontage.
Their country is one of high mountain ridges descending from the coast range, which is the edge of the great Maneroo table land, and of lower usually sandy country extending to the coast. The whole country was covered with forests and most with dense scrub which were made
The Dieri [unreadable]p XX of 35(i) p.
marriage it is shown (1) how in the Dieri tribe a man though he is entitled by birth right to marry in any of the [crossed out - totems] of the other clnss, cannot claim all the women in them as his Piraurus - p 41. [Nurreri-Kumbo?] tribe [??]
There is a strong feeling of fellowship between all those of the same totem. On the arrival of a visitor at a camp he is entertained by his relatives, or in default of men by his "murdu" "Those of the same totem keep together, eat and sleep together and lend each other their women. Even strangers from [crossed out - as] distances of 3 - 400 miles are thus hospitably entertained. The first question is "[Muira?] Murdu?" that is to say "which is your totem?" The surrounding and distant tribes have [crossed out - to say] some totems different to those of the Dieri but there can always find out which are equivalent. ([??] ) - p 41i
According to Mr Gason the two principle totems of the Dieri system are Warugate (Emu) and Talara (Rain) and he [sais?] that this always a matter of ambition with parents to marry their children into one of these "Murdus". This of course means that the Kararu people would desire to marry into the Talaramuri in, and the materi people with the Warugate murdu. Such premium of a totem above its fellows would, are unable [??] [crossed out - for] tend towards hereditary chiefs then [?]. p 40 -
"The Dieri T.[??]from
The Kūnandabŭri [underlined] tribe occupied about one hundred square miles of country at Mount Howitt on the eastern side of Coopers Creek, being some hundred miles eastward of Yantruwunta/Yandruwandha tribe.
Mr O'Donnell derives this name from Kūnan = [?ment?] but it seems to me far more probable that the name may be Kornandaburi, from Korna = a man and buri = of - and belonging to. This would then be strictly analogous to other tribal names as for instance, Narinyeri/Narrinyeri, from Korna and man and inyeri = of or relating to; or even the tribal name of the Gippsland blacks, namely Kurnai = men.
I have observed that the tribes of which the Dieri [crossed out - as the] call them the general name for men i.e. black men was Kurna in Korna, and I have elsewhere suggested that itmight be used to designate all this group of tribes as their Kurna Natives (1) -
[Yandaikunga?] [underlined]materi [linked to]1 Kūrara - Eaglehawk2 [Tautani? or Tantani?] - Cormorant3 Kopri - Iguana4 kadui - A lizard5 Mŭdla - Dog 6 Wadnamura - an insect 7 Wŭrangi - The mulga tree 8 kirki - Night hawk 9 [Kūth?]mŭra - Bull frog
Kurara [linked to]1 [Aupala?] - cloud 2 Wa'ralo - crow 3 Arkaba - Red ochre 4 Thalka - A rat 5 Kokola - [br? is this brown?] wallaby 6 Waranwati - Emu 7 Kūrarū - Musk duck 8 Wanbŭra - A snake
The [Yandairunja?] call the classes and totems Mūrdu
tip70-10-5-1 Fison to Frazer 29/8/01
2were the ancestors of the Dieri. But the fact remainsthat the Mura mura were veritable black fellows, differingno whit from the other blacks, excepting in that they had greater magical powers. Andrew Lang will get no comfort outof Howitt. Miss M. E. B. Howitt also has written a mostinteresting paper on "Legends of some Lake Eyre Tribes", + thisalso Howitt went over with me to my great delight. Isuggested that it should be sent to you for your perusalbefore it goes to the Folk-lore Society for whom it is intended,+ to whom you would forward it. This is to be done, + youwill be delighted with it. It deals with the Mura muraamong other things, + completely settles the question as tothe Good Spirit - at least as far as these tribes areconcerned.Howitt's book would have been ready for the printer ere now if he had not allowed himself to be persuadedby the Government to continue in office for "a littletime", which little time has lengthened itself, + wouldcontinue so to do indefinitely if he would let it. But hehas put his foot down at last, + swears by the Nine Gods that he won't go on longer that to the end of the year. He has allhis materials ready, some of the chapters already done +others nearly complete. The book will be about the size of Spencer + Gillen's which Macmillan published.Spencer has been sending to David Syme, proprietor ofthe Age + Leader - the wealthy man who gave £1000 for the presentexpedition - occasional [crossed out - papers] articles + illustrations whichare intensely interesting. A sudden thought came into my head the other day, + I called upon the great David - oneof the crabbedest mortals on earth - to ask him to send youcopies of his papers containing Spencer's articles. His digestions washappily in good order just then, + he jumped at my suggestion, +
tip70-10-24-6 Taplin to Fison 22/9/1873
another route, - he recognized the individualnatives and they recognized him - So they must have migrated downthe Darling.I have read the Hon L H Morgan's pamphlet on Australian Kinshipfor which receive my thanks. I haveperused it carefully. I am very sorryto see such evidences of materialisiticideas contained in it. Certainly wecannot believe that thought is theproduct of brain altho' Mr Morgansays so. But I feel deep interest inhis pamphlet nevertheless. I thinkthat we shall find that the wholesubject of kinship will throw lighton the course of migration. The factof similarity of kinship shews thatthe same original ideas, and moral principles in man, brought aboutsimilar results in similar cir-cumstances. There was the moral notion that it was wrong forbrothers and sisters to marry, andcertain individuals of a division [crossed out - position] of the human race adopted similarregulations for the avoidance of whatwas repugnant to their moral sense.There is our Shemitic system ofkinship. What is the Japhetic?And what the Hamitic? Are therethree systems? I do not believe in the Japhetic origin of thecauscasian or Aryan races. I regard
tip70-10-41-5 Gould to Fison
The third schedule I am returning for my cousinMr C. Harper of the De Grey River, who is at presentpearling somewhere on the coast, but who I expectto see in every day. There is a large tribe onthat river + their dialect differs very materially fromthat used by the tribe on this the Harding River
I am sorry you should have been unableto decipher my caligraphy + can assure you youare not the first who has found difficulty on thesame score. I will therefore adopt your suggestionof spelling Native names with the letters separateaccenting the syllables according to their pronunciationThus Pal or Balyahry (considerable differenceof opinion exists here as to whether P or B isthe letter used by the Natives for many of their wordssome calling water pap-pa + some bab-ba)Kimĕra (not Kimēra) Porongha, and Bannaker:
If you will explain by an example the exactsense in which you use the term reduplicationas applied to Polynesian languages I will seewhat instances of it occur here.
By "Totems" I conclude you mean "chiefs" butas far as has come under the notice of all I haveasked + of all I have seen myself nothing whateverin the shape of chieftainship or personal superiorityexists among the Natives of this country + anopinion advanced by a woman or child is as likelyto influence the rest as that of the oldest orbiggest amongst them.
hw0402 Howitt to Miss Benson 14/08/1899
Since I posted my letter to you on the 7th inst. Ihave had a matter in my mind which I hopewill consider my my justification in troubling you again.It arose out of the Ipatha woman's statementthat the Moorawari tribe extended down theRiver to Bourke.[A statement was made - crossed out] An account has been published some time back[that the - crossed out] about a tribe which [extended from - crossed out] is called Kurnuand which is said to extend down the Darling for 80 milesbelow Bourke. [Does Ipatha- crossed out](1) Does Ipatha know of that tribe - and is [the -crossed out]Kurnu the name of it?(2) The class-names given are said to be the following.Muk Kungurra Murruri Kilpurgurra IbburiKubburi NgumburiDoes Ipatha know of these names?
(3) It is said that the man Mukkungurra-Murrurican marry the woman Ibbundyerra (the sister of [Ibburi - crossed out] the man Kilpungurra- Ibburi - alsothe woman Kilpungurra-ngummun dyerra, [+c - crossed out][Does Ipatha know about these - crossed out][he also can marry the woman- crossed out]Does Ipatha know these names + the above marriages?(4) Can she tell me how many of the Kurnu tribeare now living and where they live?(5) If she does not know the Kurnu tribe then which tribe lived below Bourke? and did it have the above clannames - or Ipai-Kumbo Murri-Kubbi?
[written in left side margin]I am slowly working out the material for a communicationto one of the [American - crossed out] Anthropological Societies and I shallhave to thank you for important contributions
hw0414 Notes on Mukjarawaint with a map
hw0436 Notes by Howitt on Omeo 'tribe' and letter from Bulmer
been with the old man, that he had joinedhis two wives who went before him but thatshe had mastered both of them and stillretained her position of wife.
3. Do the dead eat too. I fear I cannot givea certain sound here for though I haveseen the alone old woman take foodand leave it in the bush for the old manyet the Blacks said it was becauseher mind was wrong, as I never metany other case where it was done. Ifear the evidence is against it. Thatthe Blacks think their departed friendssee their grief I dare say is correct asthe women on the Lower Murray so oftenvisited the grave of their husbands anddeposited a plaster cap they hadbeen at great trouble to collect materialfor + to make, thus I have seen manysuch caps at a grave. No doubt theythought this would be gratifying to theirfriend who would see he or she werenot forgotten. I say her or she but Ithink it would be only he for asa rule the poor women were notmourned over, at all events morefuss was made over a man, andno plaster caps were left at thegrave of a woman.
4 I have tried to find out the ideas ofthe Blacks with regard to the loweranimals having (Mraats) but allhere say they do not think so as
hw0390 Notes by Howitt on the Kulin Nation
It is almost always distinct[?] [2 words illeg] in shades of yellowish green. In its [...]formation it has preceeded quartz and may be seen extruding into the quartz filling the centres of the cavities (Fig)Quartz. Quartz has been also very exclusively[?] separated in the decomposition and [...] of the [...[ of the [...]Black[?] Basalt. It is formed either as clear crystals as [...] filling cavities as calcium? , or as jasper veins traversing the rocks. It seems to have been one of the latest constituents to crystallise among the [2 words illeg] and the crystalline varieties are if often mached[?] by great numbers of minute fluid cavities. Other inclusives in quartz excepting chlorite are very rare and are mostly of some form of urin – probably the opaque vault[?] of Hematite[?]Hematite [...] and Hematite. The more highly oxidised forms of iron are [2 words illeg] in there[?] Basalt. As I have shown [...] occurs more rarely than might have been expected from the microscopic vein of the rocks. When the powder samples are examined with the [...] it is [8 words illeg] [2 words illeg] with warm[?] Hydrochloric – acid[?] the solution [...] rapid[?] and [...] yellow and the [...] when washed and dried examined under the microscope is seen there last a great part of the black colouring material.
hw0174 Press cuttings on Wampangee tribe
The Aboriginal Tribes on the Darling River - No. II
[By S. Newland.]
The native doctors have many modes of alleviating suffering, some very simple and effective. That of applying the heated leavesof plants to the parts of the body affected iscertainly beneficial, operating much the sameas our hot fomentations and the application ofhot flannels. I have seen the eucalyptusleaves used in this way with apparently verygood effect. But in the so-called doctor's craftthere is much humbug and imposture. The patient must be streaked over with lines ofpaint in a grotesque manner. The practice ofsucking various articles from the suffering partis common to many tribes of the Australianaboriginals, as well as North American Indiansand the Zulus of South Africa. I have seen the practitioner apparently draw out abullock's tooth, the bottom of a tumbler, apiece of the jawbone of a sheep, a fragments of]pitcher, &c. Useless to denounce him as animposter, the patient declared he or she felt thething going from them, and the pain was re-[illegible] They did not require any more of thewhiteman's castor oil, but a pot of jam wouldexpedite the cure. Sometimes the things ex-tracted were buried, at others carefully kept asrelics of the skill of the operator. Sicknessesof this nature were generally attributed tosome blackfellow having a grudge against theinvalid and "making a bone." This is done by cutting and shaping a bone ina peculiar way which gives its possessor thepower of striking with disease any one he chooses. One of the same people is often accused of doing this, and even glorying in it, though his life may be frequently threatenedby his terrified tribesmen. On one occasion anold warrior, like a modern Don Quixote, hada hard struggle with a whirlwind. They arevery frequent on the Darling in the summermonths, but this was an extraordinarily strongone. It came slowly across a flat towards thestation, twisting boughs off the trees andtaking bushes and grass up in a columnof dust. Then appeared Don Quixotein full war panoply, paint, weapons,and feathers. He placed himself near thestore, the building most menaced by the foe,and danced, stamped, and gesticulated in aperfect frenzy of heroism and excitement.Nearer came the whirlwind and wildergrew the dance, the stamping, and the gew-tures. It caught hold of some empty casespiled up at one corner of the store, and flungthem about; but it was the last attack. Thewarrior stood his ground, the building wassaved. I had witnessed the whole thing, andwell remember the triumphant smile withwhich the exhausted veteran came to claim hisreward. This old man had many of thecharacteristics of the famous Don, his sim-plicity, conscientiousness, and herosim. As apeople, I believe them by no means want-ing in courage; indeed, I never knewbut one coward among them, and hewas abject enough not even to be ashamedof it. They could use their weapons withadmirable skill and protect themselves undera shield possibly 6 inches whide by 2 feet long.On many occasions I have been supplied withnumerous weapons and told to aim them at awarrior who simply defended himself with ashield in one hand and a waddy in the other. I might rain spears, waddies, or boomerangsat each apparently unprotected portion of hisbody, that narrow strip of wood ever inter-posed where danger threatened. At a game of that sort you at first naturally fear, youropponent appears so exposed, that you cannothelp hurting him, but after a bit you warminto exasperation at the ease with which yourefforts are foiled, and pitch compunction to thewinds in your frantic attempts to drop thatgrinning black demon behind his miraculousshield. But it is not use, and when your storeof missiles has been three or four times col-lected and expended, as well as every avail-able stone, you realise this, and retire feelingthat only for the invention of gunpowdercolonisation would be attended with greaterdifficulties than you have hitherto supposed.
They are by no means devoid of humor. Irecollect one night there being a great row inthe camp, and, out of patience at last, goingout and handcuffing the principal offender toa post. In the morning, from my room, Icould see the prisoner lying apparently fast asleep in his blanket. After a while, thinkinghe might be set at liberty, I went out, and there lay my handcuffs on the top of a figureenveloped in the blanket. He had slipped hishands out directly I left, and, leaving a dummyrepresentative, rejoined his companions in theircamp, who thought it a great joke. All tribes,so far as I know, hold to the old barbaric law,"an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth".Several instances of this came under my observation. A young woman (Nougo) waskilled by her husband (Mallee) in a barbarousmanner. He at once bolted up the river foranother tribe. A party of four was imme-diately sent after to kill him. All were rela-tives of the murdered woman; one, herbrother, was a cripple, but, having the right ofthe first blow, he accompanied them. They tracked him up for three days, and thenkilled him. Another case. A blackfellowstruck his lubra a sudden blow with a waddyquite in the ordinary way, and killed her. He offered his bent head to the avengingkinsman to be struck as hard as he pleased.According to aboriginal law this was con-sidered to be all the justice that the casedemanded. A furious blow was administeredsufficient to kill a bullock, and the law wassatisfied. Long-standing quarrels were also fre-quently settled in this way by the injurer bowinghis head to the smiter. I never heard of theseblows ending fatally, though certainly givenwith a will; but if they did the skull fracturedwould probably be held more in fault than theoperator. It has frequently been assertedthat they practice cannibalism; but this, I be-lieve, is in no sense true. They have to meinvariably expressed the greatest detestation ofthe idea. They, however, do practice infanti-cide, and justify it on various grounds.The mother is too young, or notstrong enough, or has not sufficientmilk; but the usual excuse given to me -and I have known several instances of babies[next column]being killed - has been tht they were de-formed or imperfect in some way. There canbe no doubt that a crippled child was notallowed to live; that is, if crippled at birth.It must be admitted that there was muchsound philosophy in such a course in a peopleof roving habits. Apart from considerationsof the deterioration of the race there was thesterner obligation of self-interest, as each help-less creature increased the difficulty of moving,besides beign another mouth to feed. If notdestroyed at the birth they became too muchattached to them subsequently to do it.
At the death of any member of the tribe thecamp was moved at once. This custom renders it almost useless to build permanent huts forthem. The body, almost before the last breathwas drawn, was doubled up into as small acompass as possible, and buried immediately,in many cases much attention being afterwardspaid to keeping the grave neat. Great respectwas paid to the old men and many delicacieswere exclusively reserved for them, principally of animals, birds, reptiles, or fish that were noteasily precurable. The most esteemed of thesethe young men, women, and children were notallowed to eat. The wild turkey was one ofthese; but as the blacks decreased, and thesecreatures could be obtained more easily by thewhites man's [sic] appliances, these arbitrary lawswere relaxed. They were very fond of fat,frequently eating to surfeit of it, particularlywhen a bullock was slaughtered, as well asprofusely anointing themselves with it. Yetnothing would induce them to touch pork inany shape. Whnce came this remarkableantipathy I was never able to learn. Besidestheir implicit belief in evil spirits, they also believed that many deep holes in the riverwere haunted by a big snake called "Niche".In these holes they would not bathe or fish,and, on one occasion, when two whitechildren were drowning, and might have beensaved by some lubras who were present, theyan [sic] away, screaming "Niche!" There are manydifferent kinds of corroborees; some for bothmen and women, and others in which the menalone take part. If the women join, theygenerally stand some distance behind the menwhen dancing, and do not come prominentlyinto the light. Occasionally the "hummer"is used, but not frequently: probably because it is considered too sacred to be seen by womenor young men. When used it is taken out be-yond the circle of light, so that, through thesound can be heard, it is impossibleto see how it is produced. There isno doubt some of the corroborees terminatein a wild orgy, when practices are indulged inthat our canons of morality by no means sanc-tion. Like our own songs and music, some arelasting favorites, others are composed, tried,and quickly forgotten; and this is not to bewondered at, for they sometimes consist of buta few words of utter absurdity.
It has been asserted that the aboriginals ofAustralia have no traditions, but that is notquite correct, as a rather remarkable instancecoming under my own notice shows. To thewest of the River Darling is the MountMcPherson Range, on parts of which arehollow rocks or small caves, said by theblacks to be haunted by evil spiritsthey called the "Mullas." In theearly days they would not sleep nearthese rocks on any accont. They describethese "Mullas" as once a living people atdeadly enmity with their ancestors, wagingperpetual war, and that now they are deadtheir spirits yet roam at night searching forsome solitary defenceless Parkengee to strikewith sickness. Ofthen when I have beencamped with them they have heard at nightthe demons scream "Yahoo." Of course Icould not hear it, but that was easily ex-plained. The "Mullas" did not want me, itwas the Parkengees they pursued with suchpersistent hate and revenge. So strong wasthis fear that they often declared they hadbeen struch with illness by these nocturnalfoes. They describe the "Mullas" ashaving been low of stature, broad, andimmensely strong, with very long armsreaching nearly to their feet; but their moststriking peculiarity was a sharp broadbone like the blade of an axe growing justabove each elbow. With this they fought,striking back with the force of a kick from ahorse. Though always much interested intheir tales about these Mullas, I almostdoubted if they really believed they had everactually lived, until on one occasion whencamped with some blacks not far from therange they showed me in a depression, scoopedout on the top of a soft sandhill by the wind,a number of helmets shaped not unlike a tradi-tional dunce's cap, made of (copiga) gypsum.Altogether there were some dozens of these,many of them whole, many more in fragments.They were apparently made to put on thehead, yet were too small for any ordinaryhuman being. Up to now I have never beenable to conjecture what could be their possibleuse - what they could have been made for. Itried them on my own head, as well as on theblacks, buth they were not nearly large enoguhto fit any but a child. Some were quite 2 feetlong, others less, and all hollow. I may statehere that this "copiga" is the same materialthe river tribes use to cover their heads withwhen in mourning, as well as smear their bodies,but they in no way make anything of this kindsuch as I saw on that sandhill. Much in-terested, I enquired if the blacks could give meany explanation, and was then told that thereperished at the hands of their forefathers thewhole Mulla tribe of hunger and thirst. Theywere compeltely surrounded, and in their lastextremity those helmets were made to cooltheir burning heads. This was the revenge ofthe Parkengees for the wrongs of years, andsince that deed of slaughter the spirits of theMullas had haunted them and struck themwith sickness when away from the camp fire oralone. They added that a few miles away tothe west was hidden the skeleton of a Mullawhich they could show me. I was interestedand sanguine enough to go with them, and wesearched high and low, but withoutavail; that treasure, for such it wouldhave been, I never saw. Another dis-appointment awaited me, for when some timeafterwards I went with a cart for the copigahelmets not one could be found. The blacksdenied having taken them, but this they weresure to do, as I had ordered them not to touchone. No doubt for some superstitious reasonsthey had hidden them away; I never was ableto discover where.
They also tell the story of a great calamitythat befell the back country tribe with whichthey intermarried. In a fearful drought, whennearly all the waters failed, the tribe in questioncollected upon the Perie Springs, situated inthe Mount McPherson Range, about 50 milesfrom the Darling, some disease came amongthem and more than half perished. Theygenerally attributed this to the malevolence ofthe "debbie, debbie," as usual, but oneof the most intelligent told me he thought itwas caused by the bad water. He showed methe spot that tradition pointed out as the siteof the camp where nearly the whole of hispeople died, leaving them ever since but aremnant of their old numbers. From what hesaid it probably occured two or three genera-tions before the country was settled by thewhites. It has been suggested that this sick-ness was smallpox, as traces of it are to befound among them, but at this distance of timeit is impossible to determine. They alsowould be likely to confound smallpox with askin disease they are much affected with, verydissimilar in its more serious aspect, butsufficiently resembling it to render worthlessany diagnosis we can make.
Of a future state they give many accounts,but I will now only attempt to relate one.Old "Baroo" was looked upon as a greatscoundrel by the whites, consequently he wasalmost an outlaw, scarcely tolearted on anystation. He refused to shepherd, he declinedto cut wood or draw water, or in any way tobow to the "Borees'" rule. With his own people,however, he possessed boundless influence;they both feared and venerated him; some ofthem even believed he had actually visitedtheir heaven, and he told them it was in thiswise. When he was young there lived avery old mand who was Barpoo's instructorin their native lore. He could cure alldiseases, as well as cause them, and when hedied his powers descended to his disciple.Shortly before his death he told Barpoo thataflter he was dead he was to cut a piece of fleshout of his tight and eat it. This he did, andimmediately fell into a sleep in which his spiritflew away beyond the sky. There he saw theblackman's goddess in the form of a womanembodying all the charms the aboriginal covets.She received him with much kindness andshowed him all the abundance of the joys pre-pared for his people - game of all kinds,plants, fruits, and fish, so that existencewas a perpetual round of ease andfeasting. The goddess conferred herfavors upon the chosen of her followers,but there were also numerous lesser femaledivinities to welcome all. When this was nar-rated I enquired if the white man could notenter there, but I received a most emphaticnarta (no). In no other instance have I heardthe spirit wathing over them described as afemale, but the future immortal hunting-grounds are always the same; there they hunt,fish, and surrender themselves to the volup-tuous joys so bountifully provided, and therethe hated "Boree" has no place; and I don'tthink we can wonder at it when we considerwhat their experience of us has been. Theirlanguage is a poor one, as evinced bythe repetition of the same word in count-ing; for instance, "barcoola" means two,and for six rthey have only the same wordthree times repeated, or eight, four times.Also in their laments the one word "wimperi"is sang over and over again. When it comes toabuse and vituperation the vocaublry is suffi-ciently extensive, and it is questionable if theproverbial fishwife of our race could hold herown agains her untutored sister in this respect.
The various tribes had their own countryclearly defined, and that again was subdividedamong the individuals. It would appear thatthis might lead to confiusion and disputes; buteach bend in river or creek was named, aswell as every hill, palin, or the smallest water,so that once knowing these names there was littledifficulty in fixing a boundary or identifying aplace. It is really surprising how the countryof the Upper Darling is mapped out by themin this way, or rather was when the aboriginallords held away. We have looked upon themwith the lofty superiority of our race, but thehistorical student will find far more in theirlaws and customs admirably adapted to theirmanner of life and the conditions surroundingthem than is generally supposed. I have en-deavored to prepare a vocabulary of thelanguage of the tribe dealt with, but I find myrecollection is imperfect - circumstances mayadmit of some important omissions being sup-plied later.
hw0315 Flierl to Howitt 29/01/1889
Hochgeehrter Herr Howitt!
Endlich komme ich dazu Ihnen auf Ihre letzten Fragen Antwort. Aber malige lȁngere Abwesenheit von hier und die Jahreswende mit ihren Abrechnungen etc erlaubten nur die allernothwendigste [sic -allernotwendigste] Correspondenz [sic -Korrespondenz].
Der alte Mann, den Sie in Ihrem Briefe er-wȁhnen lebt nicht mehr, und versuchte ich die Sache mit einem andern sehr alten Mann Namens ,,Ngudupininna" Dieser Mann gehört zu dem murdu ,,kuntjeri" sein Vater war ,,karku",seine Mutter ,,kuntjeri", sein Weib ,,karku" und seine Kinder sind ,,karku".
Die zweite Frage betreffend kann ich Ihnen mittheilen, dass das ,,manyura murdu" in die Klasse ,,kararu" gehört, [dru - crossed out] darunter gehört auch ,,karku", wȁhrend ,,kuntjeri", in die Klasse ,,materi" gehört.
[English translation by Margaret T. Newman]
At last I am come to attending to the answers to your last questions. Unfortunately repeated long absences from here and the turn of the year, with its settlements etc., permitted only the most necessary correspondence.
The old man you mentioned in your letter is no longer alive. I looked into the matter with anothervery old man by the name of, Ngudupininna. This manbelongs to the murdu ,kuntjeri. His father was karku, his mother, kuntjeri,his wife karku and his children are karku.
With every sincere respect
hw0324 Gason to Howitt 3/4/1882
hw0350Draft of Howitt to Siebert 14/10/1878
14.10.98Rev M. Siebert
Sorry to trouble him but his each letter is full of Gordian Knots which I have benn unable to untie. -(1) How do you explain the fact that 17. Kuigarinaui is [Junta- Kararu]and also in some cases Junta-Materi. I am unable to see any explanation unless a mistake by your informants, (2) You mention (16) Bertha is the sister Itjana the husband of (19) Pungudu KadinaBut Bertha is Kareru and Itjana is Maleri - how can they be brother and sister? (3) How does it come about [that- crossed out] 19 Pungudu Kadina and (24) Auton can be Kaka & Turnara? They appear to me to be Kami-mara to each other.(4) How is 22 Tilimarana the Kaka of Witjibarri They seem to me to be Kamimara! (5) How does 21 Jinjamaterina come to be Ngaudri to (12) Witjibarri? (6) Please explain in what manner Kaka-tidnara = Ngandri - ngatanias in the case of 15 + 16 and 13. 14. [17. 18 - crossed out].. 20?(7) The case of Samuel has been a gordian Knot which I have been unable to untie so far. I therefore send you what I have made out which kindly correct - because I feel that I cannot have properly understood you - the following diagram shows his relationships to Bertha (16) and her daughter Sussanna (40). His true mother I take to be Judith-
[6 1/2 lines crossed out]
I extract the following from your letter:Diag A (1) "Samuel is the younger brother of Susanna" - also his mother Judith and [?Susanls?] mother(2) Bertha must be Sisters. (2) "Samuel is the younger brother of Bertha" if so he is [Kaka to Susannaand she is his Tidnara.(3) "The [?Karui?] relation was converted into the [??] in order that Samuel might not be in the difficult if being unable to obtain a noa so that his Kaka-Tidnara relation was altered to one of [??] in order that he might have a sister to exchange". If the "[Karui?]relation relates to Samuel & Susanna - then Samuel as the [??] of Bertha - must be held to be the father of Samuel the [Karui?] of Susanna - that is of himself. Diagram B - Which is the true solution? (This matter requires to be cleared up before we can get rid of the gordian knot. After all Samuel appears to have had a (tribal) sister Wonk Karin (30) - has she not
NB But map was sent 23/3/9811/5/89 Siebert Sends me map shewing tribe of SouthAustralia and the adjoining districts of [??]11/6/89 accepts my proposal to joint work. As to the map"He required in all cases to meet with personswho knew the localities in question", [?give?] what he [??]In the same letter he said theyMuknara is identical with Kararuor Tinewa - Kilparu with Kulpiri or MaleriThe aborigines as far as Fowlers Bayhave the same Murdus as the Dieri - Materiand Kararu13 Oct 1897 commenced work [?giving?] the Dieri class names Materi + Kararu24 Feb 1898 Spells the name "Yendruwonta"will prepare a map shewing the boundaries ofDieri, Yauroka, Yendruwinta. He heads the tabularstatement of this date by the words
Mr Harry E Aldridge 13/12/82