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3 Mr Dawson (present and [??] of Australia +c) says positively that
there were no chiefs at Port Stephens - he then goes on to say as follows
"there are certain leading characters who have more
influence than others among the multitude when assembled
x x but no one is invested with or assumes any authority
whatever in the tribe" - p 327

4 Dawson says of the Port Stephens natives [tribe - crossed out] "each tribe is divided
with independent families which acknowledge no chief
and which inhabit in common a district within certain
limits generally not exceeding ten or twelve miles on any
side. The numbers of each tribe vary very much being greater
on the coast where they sometimes amount to two or three
hundred and I have known them in other quarters not
to exceed one hundred (p 326). The families belonging to the
tribe meet together upon occasions of festivals at certain seasons
and also to consult upon all important occasions.
But although they have a community of interests at such
meetings still each family has its own fire and provides
its own subsistance except in a general Kangaroo hunt
when the game is impounded and taken in larger quantities
when it is fairly divided (p 327). At one season of
the year they assemble at a place where they all can
procure oysters and sometimes they race to where they can
feast upon "Menmy" or gigantic lily when in season
or upon the Kangaroo (p 327)

Note 3 Chiefs
So far as my knowledge of the
Port Stephens tribe goes Mr Dawson is
correct. There were no chiefs
although certain leading characters
had great influence over the others.
NS

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