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In the Kurnai tribe age was held in revenge, and a mans authority
increased with his age. If he even, without being aged, had naturally intel
ligence, cunning, bravery beyond his fellow, he might become a man of
note, weighty in council and a leader in war, but such a case was excep
tional and as a rule authority and age went together. the authority belong
ing to age also attached to certain women, who had gained the confidence
of their tribes people. Such women werre consulted by the men and had great
weight and authority in the tribe. I knew two of them who were elderly
women at the time when the country was settled, and who therefore, and wor
thily, represented the promitive conditions of their tribe. Together with
the old men they were the depositories of the tribal legends and customs
and they kept alive the stringent marriage rules to which I have referred
elsewhere (p ). Thus they influenced public opinion very strongly.

When Gippsland was setled in 1842, there were twpo principal
Headmen who were recognised as their "Gweraeil-kurnai'' Great
men. One lived in the northern and the other in the souther part of the
district. These men were the recognised leadsers in peace and war of the
northern and southern divisions into whichthe tribe hed naturally fall
en through locality and language. There were also Gweraeil-kurnai in
the local divisions of the tribe, and it is significant that
some of these men gave their names to the divisions of which they were
the Headmen. (p )

How a man gradually increased in influence by reason of years,
is shown by the case of the last Gweraeil-kurnai of the Kurnai.
He was the man Bunbra whom I shall refer to in speaking of the expia
tory combats later on in this question. I have watched this mans career
with interest during many years. Since the time of that expiat(?????)
the old men who successively were the leaders of the tribespeople, died
until Bunbra became the oldest man left. The common name by which
apart from his English name he was known was Jetbolan that is the Liar
but by reason of age hebecame the Gweraeil-kurnai, . During the same time
tulaba the tribal son of the former Gweraeil-kurnaiBruthen-munji, had
also grown into age, and consideration attachedto him in his twofold
character, as one of theelders, and as being a worthy son of the former
renowned Headman. During this time the pressure of our civilisation had
broken down the tribal organisation, the vices of the whitemen which the
Kurnai had acquired, had killed off a great number of them, the rem
nant had been gathered into the missions and only a few still wandered
over their ancestralhunting grounds leaing in some measure their old
lives, and having apparently abandoned their tribal customs. When how
ever it was decided, as I have mentioned in chapter (p ), that the

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