In the tribes on the south coast of New South Wales each
tribe had its [Headman]], who in their language was called Gommera. To become a Gommera a man must be aged, be able to speal several
languages (dialects), be skilful as a fighting man and above all be able
to do those feats of magic, which the gommers exhibit at the initi-
ation ceremonies.

Magic is especially a feature at these ceremonies, and it is a
necessary adjunct to the office of a headman.

There was a Gommera in each division of the tribe. Although
there were totems, these differed from the totems of other tribes, for
instance of the Wiradjuri, in that, although they so far affected marriage
that no one might marry one of the same totem, they wereas the Yuin
explained to me "more like a joia than a name", that is more like a
magical quality than a designation. (p ).

[?] the gommera was also called biamban what may be understood as master and
in his particular locality dictated to his people. Unubara the tribal head explained it to me in this way.
A man is the biamban of his wife and childre. An old man is the biamban
of the younger men. The Gommera is the biamban of all the men, and
Daramulun is the biamban of all".

There was also a head Gommera over the whole tribe. The last
one was one Waddyman ( ) who died a veryold man about 1884. His account
of himself was that as a little boy he waas taken by the then head Gommera,
and trained by him to be a Gommera so that he might take his place,

The power of these men is rivetted on the younger men by the
impressive instructions which are given at the initiation ceremonies as
to the implicit obedience to be given to their order, and also by the
apparently supernatural powers which they exhibit thereat. But the
Gommeras also admonish their people directly, as when one of them would
stand up in his camp and tell those present about the old laws which they
must obey.

A few more instances will show the existence of Headmen in
the tribes in other parts of Australia.

In the Gringai tribe there was a Headmanncalled "[Nurjain]" who must be an aged man before he was much thought of. the office is said to


The best man in war would be recognised by them as prin-
cipal advisers, and would have authority by consent of the olders. I have
known the office to be hereditary, when the son proved himself a capable
warrior. Without such proof there was no possibility of his being accepted,

A koradji might be such a leader. In every case, however the leading (?) of man might be only primus inter pares, and be liable to be set
(?) (?) council of old men if his actions were disapproved. At this
(?) the young men that it those having been initated might
(?) would not speak. such

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