Harry Daramung han [sic] for Thundung a bird called Gliun (the Porp melanotis). When he was a small boy his father said to him "That is your Thundung, you will have it when I die". Do not killbit [sic] Big Charley's Thundung is twofold being both of the Congereels. The Burra which is the smaller one and the Noy-yang which is the larger one. He eats both of them. King Charley is also of these totems and could also eat of them. Tulaba's Thundug [sic] was the Jira (kangaruu) [sic]. Big Joe's was the Thurung the Tiger snake. Billy Jumbuck's was the Thurung the tiger snake. Old Timothy (Bunjil barlajan) was ?

When Mr Bulmer was with Billy Jumbuck in the bush, the latter was walking along side of a tiger snake which was wriggling along beside of him. Mr Bulmer said "What is that?, Billy replied "That one belonga me", and was very angry because Mr Bulmer killed it.

Those cases of natives both men and women, who had tame anija [sic] show that they were their totema for instance Bunjil Bataluk, who had a tame Iguana, Old Lawson''s wife who had a tame native cat, of another who had a tame snake and so on.

Last edit 3 months ago by ALourie


Merriman is at the Aboriginal Station at Tilba Tilba - Waloga Lake. Larry says that the Kurnai had certain animals, birds, fish&ct which were called the Thundun that is elder brothers.

His father when Larry was a small boy, say eight years of age pointing to a small birk [sic] which frequents the shores, "that is your budjan, do not hurt it. He has never injured one, nor would he eat it, and would be very sorry if any one did so in his presence. This bird is called the Blit-burring.

Larry belongs to the Malagoota Krauatun Kurnai, who also claimed by the Yuin, as of their tribe. The term Budjan is a Yuin word but is the same as the Kurnai term Thundun, as being the "totem".

Billy the Bull is a yalmerai (shark). When there are too many about the Lakes entrance he sends them away by singing to them. He belongs to Lake Bunga.

Last edit 12 days ago by J Gibson


The Kurnai have no class or subclass names and therefore no social organisation as I use that term but they have unmistakable indications that they [had totems and therefore - crossed out] must have had all at some former time.

Each individual had a thūndung or elder brother, [not only in their sex totem Yürung or, - crossed out] [Djütgun but also in some - crossed out] being some marsupial animal, or bird, reptile or fish. It is the [They however have no influence upon marriage - crossed out] [which is regulated by kinship and local exogamy- crossed out] [and survive as the merely as the elder brother and - crossed out] [and also as in so far the -crossed out] protector that in [some cases such as Kangaroos + birds- crossed out] it gave [notice of - crossed out] danger, and [also -crossed out] has also invoked songs in cases of [??]

They [thundung - crossed out] are also spoken of as jiak or flesh as in other tribes.

The [jiak - crossed out] totem was told by a man to his son when about eight or nine years of age and by a woman to her daughters. [For instance a man might - crossed out] point out his totem to his son and say ["see there that is your thundung; yu must - crossed out] [not kill it!" - crossed out]

As these names are perpetuated from fathers to sons, the daughter having also the same, descent is clearly in the male line, and they would be necessarily prepetuated in the locality to which a man belonged. A good instance is that of the Bunjil-baul who lived in Raymond Island in Lake King and whose jiak was [the Gluin - crossed out] a bird the Gluin, whence their name of Gluin-Kong, the Glui's beak.

[The Australia - crossed out] [These Thundung- crossed out] [The totem and its human brother are - crossed out] [These toems and their human "younger brother"- crossed out] [which are younger - crossed out] [brother - which are sill in the relative of- crossed out] [protected + protector - they the form here the - crossed out] [two classes with which we now I feel certain they- crossed out] [have at one time I feel [??] [??] at where- crossed out] [they preceeded - crossed out]

(1) I am much indebted to the Revd John Bulmer further investigating the Kurnai Thundung confirming my own endeavours, by obtaining a [which - crossed out] of [the - crossed out] old people which abundantly exhibited of male descent.

[written in left side margin] If I am correct in believing that these "thundung" were at one time [consistent with the two primary - crossed out] [?? class divisions - crossed out] part of a two class system then we have here an instance of the peculiar [??] of these coast tribes. The totem which [??] to my view preceeded the class agnate [??] exist, while it has been replaced by rhe local [?agnate?]

Last edit 4 months ago by ALourie


In the extreme East of [the Kurnai country- crossed out] Gippsland where the [people claimed to be - crossed out] Krauatun-Kurai [sic] living on the border of the Yuin tribes were claimed by them as being akin to them. The [thundung of the - crossed out] form spoke of their thundung as being the same as the budjan of the latter.

Last edit 3 months ago by ALourie


the totems (Bai-Kain) of theKongalu tribe descend from mother to child. The [usual - crossed out] proper question in inquiring for the totem of an individual of this tribe is "ye ngundi uno bai kain"?" that is "of what flesh is your totem?

While linear the descent of the totem, as well as of the class and subclass is from mother to child that of the father is used by the male child as its Bu-in, and [that - crossed out] is the name by which it is addressed by the young people. But this is not the [personal - crossed out] group totem - which is the Bai Kain.

Here we may perhaps recognise one of the steps which have led to the [transfer- crossed out] introduction of male descent.

The thundung gave warning of danger to its bunang younger brother who had some song perculiar to himself by which he [??] his elder brother when sick. Such was the song of [one man - crossed out] the man figured in illustration here whose Thundung is Yalmerai or shark. The song is as follows (1) Thurwaang ngarndok - clean your teeth, ngurka bunda [the open sea, There - crossed out] [last two words mean- crossed out] Ngurk is the back of anything as ngurka-wurka - a ridge or hill - or a wide space as in this case the wider or open sea.

The Revd John Bulmer, who kindly made further enquiries for me, said that the term "clean your" teeth refers to the Shark's teeth which were tied to the forehead of the patient when this song was sung.

In the game of Dilk [that is ball play - crossed out] the ball was thrown to a person of the same "Jiak" or flesh, that [otherwise the - crossed out] was of the same totem.

[written in left side margin] Girrornbah Queensland Dec 28 1895

? J Bulmer

Last edit 12 days ago by ALourie
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