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52
J McAlpine
Messages +c
South Gippsland (Tarraville)

The messenger would be one of the young men. The
message stick could not be sent without the sanction
of the Leading men of the tribe (Elders). For before
any act of consequence was [?done?] they held
a meeting. These meetings were only attended
by the old men. The meeting was held at the
camp of the "Head man" which as rule was apart.
The elders assembled at his camp and consulted.
The women were not present, even the wives of the
Chief head man took no part but if present went
about their household duties. After the old
men had held their consultation the old women
would join in conversation with them respecting it.
After the elders had consulted and determined,
one of the Elders called a young man and during
the time he was being brought one of the old men
would then be marking on the stick and the
young man would always come ready for
travelling. I saw a stick marked on such an
occasion. Morgan was the Headman at that time.
Darby marked the stick and [the - crossed out] he said that
he made the marks for "wants to yabba along an
other one blackfellow." There had been a fight
between the Lakes Blacks and those of Tarraville.
The stick was about 2 feet long. I think cherry tree -
[marked - crossed out] painted white at one end and red
at the other. The stick was notched at one end
but not the other. I do not remember which end.

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