A. L. P. Cameron Esq Murrumbong NSW My dear Sir I observed your address in "Nature" the other day and avail myself of the knowledge to again write to you. I have during the last twelve months been working almost constantly at my long projected work on the Australian Aborigines and anyone will understand, points crop up from time to time for which I require further information. Such a case is the marriage laws of the four classes, or as I now term them the four sub-classes. I have been trying
I take the Dieri tribe (central Australia) as my example with Diagram I and Diagram II shows the analagous case of the Wiradjeri tribe. The former is drawn up from the marriages, descents and relationships of actual individuals. The latter is drawn up from the marriage + descents provided for the law of the subclasses:
Diagram I Diagram II (4) Grandfather Grandfather (8) (4) Ipai Kuthi (8) Grandmother Grandmother (3) Mothers mother (Mothers mother) (7) (4) Kubbitha Ipatha (7) (2) mother mother (6) (2) [Kubitha -crossed out] Watha Butha (6) (1) man noa nara woman 5 (1) Kulbi Ipatter (5)
What I desire to learn is whether [the - crossed out] Diagram II represents the same rule a Diagram I. That is whether the [man (1) is permitted to marry or ?? proper - crossed out] the woman (5) is the usual and proper wife of her mother's (6) mothers (7) brother's (4) daughters (2) son (1). Assuming that this is so then I should expect to find that the father of (5) promised her to (1) - unless the Kamilaroi practice is that of the Uradjuri
I am also in difficult with the list of marriages which you sent me some year back. The names of the children of the several subclasses are much to be wished for - can you supply them? In the hope that you may be able to do so I enclose a list as to what the following questions suggest themselves.
every where I could think of to obtain the information I required but so far unsuccessfully. I often thought of you as the man who could supply or find out what is required but did not know where to address you. Overleaf I explain what it is I desire to learn. My work is now roughly in shape, and I am correcting and [?reviewing?] my first draught. I hope that it will prove satisfactory when finished; at any rate I am putting my best work into it and am not altogether dissatisfied. Should you come to Melbourne on the occasion of the meeting of the Aust. Assoc. Adv. Science in January next, we should then renew out acquaintance which would be very pleasing to me. Yours faithfully A W Howitt