XM591 Chapter 8 Beliefs



that the [Dade?] the sky like a vault [rests?] is clear. The [Malthe-malthu?] [legend?] p -) sects the [Mirra muira?] -, having killed a kangaroo stretched out its skin as the [vault?] of the sky, having first [pinned?] the edges in the ground, and having found the [?] [?] satisfied and a new [?] when came after us can walk about without [?].

Chapter 8 Beliefs -------------------------$1. The Universe, The earth, sky, sun, moon, stars [xct?] $2 The human spirit, ghost [xct?] $3 The whiteman as a ghost $4 Burial practices $5 The sky-country,it's inhabitants [xct?] (a) ghosts (b) supernatural beings $6 The tribal All-father [Line crossed out] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------S1 The Universe -------------------------There seems to be a widespread belief that the earth is a flat surface, surmounted by the solid vault of the sky. [1 1/2 lines crossed out] The [Ūri-ūlū?] [Good?] (?) tells him after the holding of the [Wilyarū?] ceremony they went on their wanderings, and finally what may briefly termed a beyond the mountains passed through what may briefly termed a "hard darkness" into another country, whence looking back they recognised what they had passed through was the edge of the sky. The [Kapiri?] legend (p - ) shows this (Here other evidence from [?] [?]).

Left hand margin and to be inserted here: the earth is supported the [?] [nature?] the [maia nusea?] - ? having [se?] its bounds to the north which is wandering (There [A djaitum?] [?]

A [Wotjoballuk?] legend runs that at first the sky rested on the earth and prevented the sun from moving, until [Gorŭk?], the magpie ( ), propped it up with a long stick, so that the sun could move and so since then she(2) has gone round and round.


that the earth is flat, and the [Jajaurung?] that the earth is flat and was in darkness until the sun was made by [Pupperinbuk?], who was one of the race who inhabited the earth at that time, and whom they called the [Nurrumbung-utt?] [?] 2. (see p ).

The [Worworŭng?] also believe ["that the flat earth" to be inserted here] that the sky was propped up with poles where it rested on the mountains in the north-east.

Before the "whitemen came to Melbourne", a message was passed from tribe to tribe, that the props were becoming rotten and that unless tomahawks were at once sent up to cut new ones the sky would fall, and [burat?] and all the people would be drowned. (4)

This same belief is mentioned by Buckley/William Buckley, but in a different form, namely that the earth was supported by props, which were in the "charge of a man who lived at the end of the earth" (5).

A similar message which the [wimera?], having been passed down the River Murray, from tribe to tribe. It was [?] the props which supported the earth were rotten and unless tomahawks were sent, to cut fresh ones, the earth would fall down and every one would be killed (4) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------(I) The life and adventures of William Buckley by John Morgan Hobart 1852

(2) The [?] a [wimare?] - fee for. (3) [?] p 201 (4) [?] (5) J Shaw

Last edit 29 days ago by ALourie



which its path was directed were gathering together for war.

Their neighbours the Wolgal thought that the Aurora showd [sic] that the blacks a long way off were fighting and that a number of them were killed. According to the Wotjoballuk the rainbow causes a person's fingers to become crooked, or contracted if he points with a straight finger at it, so that he will not be able to use his hand for making the markings with which [are used for ornamenting- crossed out] the opossum rugs are ornamented. Therefore when pointing towards a rainbow the fingers must be turned over each other, the second over the first, the third over the second and the little finger over the third, by which the evil is avoided.

The Coast Murring believed that the thunder is the voice of Daramulan. The Gringai had a great dread of thunder, and believe it to be the demonstration of the anger of some supernatural being rebuking them for some impropriety. As is shown at (p ) this being is Cooin.

The Wiradjuri call the Milkyway Gŭlar, by wich [sic] name [they - crossed out] is also [called - crossed out] that of the Lachlan river. The stars α [illegible] centauri are two young men Kūnŭndra and Bŭragin who are going to kill an Emu which is sitting on its nest. The emu is the Southern cross. The Corona Australis is Kūkūbŭrra the Laughing jackass, and a small star in Argus is the Bidjerigang, the Shell Parrakeet.

The seasons are reckoned by the Bigambul according to the time of the year at which trees blossom. For instance Yerra is the name of a tree which flowers in September, hence that time is called Yerra_binda. The Apple-tree (I), which blossoms about Christmas, is Nigabinda. The Ironbark (3) about the end of January which they call Wo-binda. They also call this time which is in the height of summer "[tinna-koge-alba]]", that is to [say?] the time wen [sic] the ground burns the feet. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------(2). In Mr Maiden's work the following trees are noted as being called Ironbark in New South Wales and Queensland. Eucalyptus leucoxylon F, V, M. E. siderophloia Benth., E. largiflorens F.V.M. -. E. melanophloia F.V.M. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(I) "Angophoras are called appletrees in the colonies from a fancied resemblanceto those trees", J.H. Maiden The Useful Native plants of Australia, London and Sydney 1893.

Last edit 4 days ago by ALourie


Another tribe [Dieri?] the sun came up out of a hole too see (2).


There was connected with the Kulin belief in a flat earth, of limited extent, another belief . They thought that when the sun disappeared in the west, it went into place which they called [Ngámt?], which has been described to me as like a hole out of which a large tree has been burned by a bushfire.

A legend in one of the tribes near Maryborough in Queensland also tells of a hole into which the sun retired at night. It says that when [Biral?] (p -) had placed the blackfellows on the primitive earth " which was like a great sandbank", they asked him where they should get warmth in the day, and fire in the night. He said that if they went in a certain direction they would find the sun, and by knocking a piece off it they could get fire. Going far in that direction they found that the sun came out of a hole in the morning and went into another at night. Then rushing after the sun they knocked a piece off it and thus obtained fire.

Beyond the sky there is another country, which for shortness I call the sky-country. This is indicated in one of the Dieri legends. It tells how warm the [Māra-māra?] [ankūritchya?] listened with his ear upturnd to the sky, [Anawotya?] "who lives in the sky" let down a long [hair-?] and by it drew up to himself all those who were with kin down below. (p ).

The [Wotjoballuk?] had a legend of a pine tree (1), which extended up through the sky, [?] [wŭrrn-nŭr?], to the palce beyond which is the [abode?] of "[morn-gorak?]" (2). The people of that time [ser?nded?] by the tree went to gather manna (3) , which implies [that?] [strips ?] [?] [?] such as the Eucalypt which in the [?]ballak country [?] the [acquired?] manna.

The [Womarun?] [?] [?] sky-country, which they called -------------------------------------------------------------------------(I) Callitris [?] R. Br. (2). [Cannot read line] [some [?] rare] (3).

{left hand margin notes] {{Dieri]] & [Tererk?] and their [?] (p -) accounting for the fossil ----found at ------ and counts them [?] [?] and tell tht the only [?] in them put [?] [?] down which [?] [?] climber for the [?] [?] 9[?]) to the earth

Last edit 26 days ago by ALourie


{Tharan-galk-bek?] (1) or the Gumtree -country. It was described to me as a land where there were trees. The tribal legends also speak of it, as the place to which Bunjil ascended with his people in a whirlwind (p -).

With the Kurnai this place is called blinte-da-nurk or freely translated "bright sky of the cloud", also bring-a nurt or "bone-of-the-cloud".

[Left hand column] (1) {Tharan-galk?] is Eucalyptus Viminalis galk = wood or tree bek = country

The Ngarigo called the sky Kūlŭmbi, and said that on the other side there was another country with trees and rivers. This belief was also held by the Theddora and Woigal. ( other [?] come in here).

$ The human [Kunacks?] spirit, ghosts &ct. [underlined]

[Left hand margin] Dieri here from p 9 add [with?] [?] [say?]

It is thought by the Dieri that when anyone dies his spirit goes up to the [Pirri-wilping?], the sky, but also that it can roam about the earth invisibly. *If the deceased was a person of any influence food is placed for many days, and in winter months a fire is lighted, so that the ghost may warm himself at it. The ground round the grave is carefully swept, and they believe that on it they can see the footsteps of the deceased. The kind of inquest held on the deceased is described at p , also shows quite clearly that the spirit of the deceased is supposed to be present and able to point out the person who is guilty of his death by magic. Should the food at the grave not be touched, it is supposed that the deceased is not hungry.* They also think that the spirit can establish themselves in ancient trees and always [speak?] of [much?] with reverence, and are careful that they are not cut down or burned.

[Left hand margin - transpose ** to p 17a]

The [Warriayeri?} thought that the spirits of the dead went up to the sky, [Wai-irre-warra?].

The belief of the [Biandik? or Bakandi?] was [?] [?] are spirits in mankind, which they called [no-one?]. At [?] one went [downward?] into the sea, and would remain a whiteman (1). The other went into cloudland". They said that the [?] [?] go "up there" [ikan-marn? or ikan nuarn?], where everything is to [be?] [found?] [?] [?] [?] [?] [?] [fat?] kangaroo [?] [said?] [to?] be like a kangaroo of the clouds" (1) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(2) The [Biandik? or is this Bakandi?] tribe of South Australian Aborigines by Mrs Jane Smith/Smith related in 1830. (1) She is ending a belief [integrated?] [?] which now - but see p. p .

Last edit 15 days ago by ALourie


When one comes to think about it, we should not feel any surprise that the Australian savages should think the earth to be a flat limited surface, and the sky a hard vault over it. We ourselves are so accustomed to speak of the sun rising and setting, that we almost disregard, even mentally, the fact of the earths rotation. Nor does our position as to the eart itself appear to us, other than that of being alway prependicular to it, and with a permanent sky over our heads. Thus we [inb?] a far perpetuate the savage belief, and more than this, there are even now persons, otherwise sane who still believe that the earth is a flat plane.

It seems that such pseudo beliefs, are an inheritance to us from our savage ancestors, and of which we are not able to free ourself.

The belief as to the stars, and the manner in which they are named, seems to throw some light on the origin of the name, and over the legends of the constellations of the northern hemisphere.

As to [savage the aras?] of a tribal country, or even of more, is only vast to compare with an individual, than the idea of [НХЦИЮКПЮХПЮ?] [КПXXNM an ..ng?] than a {XXЖХХКЮУКЖКХХ?] flat earth would not suggest itself to him

Last edit 7 months ago by gsl8zj
Records 1 – 5 of 79