The Kuringal (1)
I have already, when speaking generally of the Initiation ceremonies and the manner in which [crossed out - they are] the tribes [?apart?] are assembled for them, described the proceedure as [??] the Kuringal of the coast Murring [crossed out - and] (p.) I have also enumerated the tribes who attended it (p) But it may be well to [crossed out - briefly] again briefly state these particulars in order to give as perfect a picture as possible of these important ceremonies of which I am able to speak not only by personal knowledge but also from the exhaustive description given me of preceding Kuringal ceremonies by the old men of the Murring tribes who were at this one I attended.
The coast Murring are [crossed out - divided into] in two main geographical divisions (2) firstly the Gūyangal or Southerners [crosssed out - along the coast] from Twofold Bay ([?possibly?] from Cape Howe Cape Howe is crossed out] Mallacoota Inlet) to Moruya. Second the Kŭrial [crossed out - in Sout] or notherners from Moruya to the Shoalhaven River and both these divisions were again divided each into Katŭngal (3) or Seacoasters and [crossed out - ?Bemeringal?] [?Kiandra?](4) there who use the tomahawk , [??] for climbing trees. Finally the more distant people, that is kindred tribes who attended the Kuringal were Bemeringal (5) or mountain [??], such as those living on the Maneroo tableland or about Braidwood.
As in other tribes (see Chapter ) these [??] Head men in all the local divisions great or small. [crossed out - These men] A Headman was called Gommera and I shall use this term in describing the Kuringal ceremonies. As elsewhere there was a principal Gommera in each of the two great divisions and it was he who called a Kuringal together, and he did this after consultation with other old men. It was his messenger (6) who went out to gather together the community and he did this by the authority of of [sic] a Bull roarer (7) which the Head Gommera had given
[footnotes at bottom of page] (1) Kuring = forest, bush. gal = of or belonging to on some Australian ceremonies of initiation. Anthrop. Inst May 1884 p 2 (2) see chapter 11 p. (3) Katung = (In Gippsland Gatchin) = sea, gal = of or belonging to (4) [?Panen?] = stone tomahawk (7) called the coast Murring "[??] (5) Bemering = mountain mūrūnga or [?Bŭdjamba?] (6) gūd-[?jin?] also [?Jerei - in?]
2 The points of his message and the number of local groups he was to call together were impressed upon his memory, or perhaps better his memory was aided to retain them by a tally [crossed out - with the] of so many thongs of a mans kilt (1) which he carried with him. In addition to the Bull roarer he also carried wrapped up in a skin of one of [?those?] animals a belt made of opossum fur cord (2) armbands of Ringtail opossum pelt (3) and a forehead band (4). When he arrived at the place where the Gommera was to whom he was sent, he opened his bundle in the Council place - the Wirii-wirii-than (5) and then delivered his [crossed out - speech] message exhibiting to the Gommera the Bullroarer, and the above article. Holding the kilt in one hand he would take the strands [?serialim?] and say "this tail is for so and so, naming a gommera, and so on until he had named all the gommeras of the local groups he had to assemble. The Gommera then announced the message to the men at the council place and after consideration fixed the time when he and his men would start for the Kuringal place.
[crossed out - It was af] I may at this place mention the steps which were taken to all the Kuringal at which I was present. I had known for many years a medicine man of the Wolgal tribe (p -) one Yibai- Malian (Eaglehawk) and through him became acquainted with one of the principal [crossed out - head men] Gommeras of the coast tribe. On several occasions I discussed the Initiation Ceremonie [sic] with YibaiMalian and he found that I knew about them and as I produced to his surprise several bullroarers and could explain their meaning he came to consider me as one of the initiated and as such spoke freely and unreservedly of the othermore forbidden topics.
[footnotes at the bottom of the page] (1) Bŭrain, made of the skin of a [crossed out - Ka Wallaby] Rabbit rat (ngabŭn) or Kangaroo Rat (gūragūn), Wallaby, Native cat, cut into [crossed out - sta] strands about half an inch in width the full length of the animal and still attached by a width of about an inch at the upper end. [crossed out - It] One has fasted in front and one behind the person being pendent from the belt of possum fur string by the outermost strand being tucked under the belt in each side. (2) ŭnda or Ngorlia (3) (4) Kilŭlbŭga (5) Wirri - wirri means hasten, hurry up, be quick. Than= speech. The same word as [crossed out - Gippsland Thana in the language of Gippsland as mŭk-thang or excellent speech of the Brabralŭng , Thang-quai or Broad speech of the Krautūn Kurnai.
3 Through him it was arranged that [crossed out - one of the] Brūpin one of the principal Gommeras of the gūyangal Murring with some of his men should meet me at Bombala. At this meeting among other things the advisability of holding a Kuringal was discussed and it was decided finally that this should be done. I was greatly struck by the manner in which the two old men received a Bull roarer which I had made for the occasion. [crossed out - when] I drew it from out a small bag and secretly presented it to them [crossed out - saying this is a] saying "You know that the mūdthi was made firstly by that great one - pointing upwards - and that he order your fathers to hold the Kuringal and to make the boys into men". They each covered his mouth with his hand and looked at the bullroarer with the utmost [crossed out - respect] awe for some moments.
Then Brupin said "Yes that is it" - and he called these three men whom he had brought with him and holding the Bullroarer before him as they stood with them heads bent down he said "This is a mudthi which he (pointing to me) has brought us from far off. It is the same as that which [?we?] know of and which was given to our father by that great Biamban (1) you know of " These men looked it with every appearance of awe but said nothing and then silently returned to their fire. When we parted it was understood that I should send up my messenger to Brūpin who would consult with the other Gommeras. This was in and shortly after I send one of the Krauatun Kurnai, one of the Head men known as King Charley to the coast Murring. [crossed out - His mothers] He had the qualifications necessary for a messenger. Although his class of the Kurnai tribe had no Initiation ceremonies and did not not [sic] attend the Kurnai "Jeraeil" - he had been initiated by the [crossed out - Maneroo Ngarego tribe of Maneroo. His mother was a Ngarego woman and his wife was one of the coast Murring This he was [?free?] of the latter tribe and could attend their Kuringal. He carried from me the Bull roarer which I had shown to Yibai-Malian and Brūpin, and in delivering
4 his message to him at Bega and returing [sic] to me in Gippsland he journeyed on foot over some of the most mountainous country of South Eastern Australia a distance of about four hundred miles. A second time he made the journey before the arrangements were finally settled, which were that Brūpin would send his messenger carrying my "Mudthi" to the Principal Gommera of the Kurial who lived near Shoalhaven and ask him to bring his people to a Kuringal in the Hilly country in the northernside of the Bega River not far from the sea coast. Brūpin was then to send me word when the Murringwere assembling. [crossed out - Then at the Kuringal when I attended] As being in the position of a Gommera of the KurnaiI was to bring to the Kuringal a contingent of my men, and as I arranged it they were to leave the Snowy River mouth under the guidance of "King Charley". [crossed out - Thus when I attended at the Kuringal I was in] It is now the place to mention that the general term Kuringal includes two [crossed out - slightly] different forms of the same ceremonies, which are resepctively called from the character of the ceremonie [sic] Būnan (1) and Kadja-walūng (2). The differences between these two ceremonies and their identities will be seen from the following statements. Here it will suffice to say that broadly speaking the Bunan is distinguished from the Kadja-walūng ceremony by the former having a circular mound within with the preliminary ceremonies take place, and a small sacred enclosure at a distance connected with the Bunan by a path. This form connects the Kuringal with the Būrbŭng of the Wiradjuri [crossed out - and] the Bora of the Kamilaroi and the Dora of [?some?] Queensland tribes. The Kadja-walūng ceremonies disperse with the circular mound and the small sacred enclosure is represented
[footnotes at the bottom of the page] (1) from [?probably?] Bŭning = to knock or strike, having reference to the knocking out of the tooth. (2) Raw, or not roasted having reference to the absence of the [crossed out - Roasting] Fire ceremony which is part of the Būnan.