Besides which may be called the regular or normal
totems there are others which are very peculiar and
exceptional. When working out the beliefs of the Kurnai
I found that their only existing totems were two, one
being confined to the males and the other to the females.
These totems in fact divided the community into
two moities of different sexes and it was only after
I had obtained a far wider view of the class systems
of the tribes of South Eastern Australia that I came to see
that these Kurnai totems are in fact common under
other designations or under other representations of animals
to all the tribes mentioned.
In the Kurnai tribe the Emu wren (1) and the
Superb warbler (2) are respectively the "mens brothers"
and "womens sisters". The Emu wren is held to have
been among the "muk-Kurnai" or "Eminent men" (i.e.
the Ancestors) of [veneration?] when according to the phrase
commonly used by the blacks, the animals were all men" (1).
The high consideration given to the Emu wren is abundantly
shown by the fact that its name is invoked at the Jeraeil
over the novices for the purpose of infusing into them the
due amount of many virtues as the Kurnai see
these to be.
[Left margin note: (initiation ceremony)
Have respect unto the
lack of knowledge
on the part of your readers]
Taking Gippsland as a starting point I find Ifind in
the coast country extending thence toward Sydney
that the Emu wren is the man's brother but associated
here with the Bat in the same relation, while the women's
sister is the Tree creeper (2). Totems of the kind no [self?]
[Line across page]
(1) There were also at that time animals which were common
for instance the Superb warbler and the Leatherhead (Tropidorhynchus
corniculatus) whose constant chattering is appealed to by the
Kurnai in support of their statement that it was once
a woman. There are also others but these will suffice.
(2) Probably Climacteris scandens
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