tribal council, or the secrets of the initiation ceremonies to women or
the uninitiated. (1)
Offences against the moral code would be intercourse with
a woman of the murdu, or who was too nearly related to the accused (p )
Interference with the wife of another man would be merely a matter to
be revenged by the injured husband or by kindred, by a fight.
My own experience is much in line with the statements of Mr.
Gason as to the Dieri. It was only after I became one of initiated (???) that
I was present at councils of the old men at a place apart from the general
camp, at which matters of tribal moment were discussed.
The place where these meetings are held is called "jun" by the Wotjo
balluk. (????) (and "Katir-than" by the Coast Muring. The way they are announced
to the men may be as (??) by the principal man there picking up a light
ted stick from his fire and looking round at the other men before
walking off to the place of meeting.
In the Tongaranka tribe one of the Itchumundi nation, authority
was in the hands of the Headman and the eldermen who have much to say
in the management of affairs, such as the allotment of wives,
festive meetings, ceremonies for making rain, and such like. (2) (???)
In the Wumbaio tribe a Headman must have age, personal prowess,
talents as a leader, and talking powers. If a man had magical powers, he
might be feared, but he would not be thereby a Headman. In one of the tribal
councils the old men spoke first, after them younger men then the old men
directed what should be done. There were also meetings of the whole
community who might be camped together. At a (tribal) meeting of that kind
all the men sat in a circle at some place near the camp.
The old men and the young men were mixed. Most carried something in their
hands such as a club. On such an occasion which occurred about the year
1850, one of the oldestmen named "Pelican" went into the ring with spear
and shield. He exhibited an imaginary combat, (fight) - (crossed out) (???)
to explain to the young men how to fight. This old man had not any
special claim to authority, except that he was old and skilful in
fighting. At times, in the evening and old man might rise up in his camp
holding his spear in his hand, or some other weapon, make an oration on
some subject. Once when they feared another tribe might come up against
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