Need not be returned - copy retained
The Gournditch=Mera Tribe
The following information has been kindly furnished
to me by the Rev. J. H. Stahle of the Church Mission
Lake Condah, Western Victoria.
The territory claimed by this tribe may be defined
as lying between Portland, [Lyons], Hotspur and Macarthur
Its members described themselves as Gournditch - mera [crossed out] above Gournditch is mera = man]
from Gournditch = Lake Condah and Mera = Man.
It was divided into four classes namely Kerup (water)
Bum (mountain) Dirck (Swamp) and Gilger (river)
There was no exogamous rule as in almost all other
Australian tribes. Hence a man for instance of
Kerup might marry a woman of Bum, Dirck
or Gilger and vice versa. Wives were also taken
from other neighbouring and friendly tribes. The child
belonged to the fathers class and spoke his language
and not that of the mother when she happened to be
of [crossed out]- a strange another tribe. There was Individual
marraige by exchange of sisters (not of daughters) and
the consent of the [crossed out] - womans] girls parents was necessary.
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