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Tatati Pūrbŭng - according to Bobby Napier

About 1870 the Tatati sent a Wirigar messenger to the Wotjobaluk to call some of them to attend their Pūrbung at Euston. [Bobby's brother's son was taken to be intiated - crossed out] On reaching Euston under the guidance of the Wirigar, the old men decided that the ceremonies should be held next day. Before day break the people were all ready - there were present Tatati, Wati Wati, Letchi Letchi - and they waited for the sun to rise. Three boys were to be initiated. Each one sate in his camp together with his mother and father. The old men and the other initiated men were at their talking place. When the sun rose they all ran up to the camp shouting; each boy was seized by his ngierep (wife's brother sister's husband) who dragged him by the arms into the crowd of men. The boy's father remained in the camp. (1.) The boys mother lay in the camp covered over by a rug. The others were collected together in one place.

The ngierap holding the boy by placing his arm under the boy's right arm and his hand over his left shoulder led him about two miles away. The crowd of men surrounded the boys playing all kinds of antics and saying all kinds of funny things to make the boys laugh - which the boys had been instructed by their ngieraps not to do on any account.

Meanwhile some of the men had been busy digging a number of holes in a row, one for each boy. The boy was placed sitting in the hole which came up to his waist. His neirep held him against his breast with a hand over each eye, and his face held upward.

The men were all round dancing. The Medicine Man (Bā-ngal) came running up with a wooden chisel in his hand and a stick about a foot long, [in the other - crossed out], with a knob at one end in the other. He placed the chisel in the boy's tooth and struck it a blow with the stick to loosen it - or sucked it out: my informant could not say which. The boy had to swallow the blood from his gums in order to become strong. If it ran out on the ground he would become weak. This being done the boys were taken to a camp where a bush screen had been made and here the men danced all night and imitated kangaroos, dogs +c to amuse

[written in left side margin] (1.) This may perhaps have been because he had never been initiated. Such is the case with Biduelli men mentioned at p-

Last edit 4 months ago by ALourie
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Tatathi Initiations. 2

the boys.

That evening or the next evening the men took the boys back to the camp to show them to their mothers. The women stood in a row. All the men came up in a crowd with the boys hidden in their midst. A fire had been lighted of green boughs and on this the boys stood covered by a rug, and each put his fingers into his nostrils to prevent himself being smothered. Then each ngierep took his boy and placed him in front of his mother, so that she could see him, and then immediately drew him back into the crowd. All the boys having been thus shown, the men took them away to the bush where the boys remained for five weeks with all the young men, who took care of them, instructed them, amused them, and fed them (with water and grubs). After this the boys still remained away for a time and were only allowed to eat the males of opossums.

This should follow the Wiradjuri ceremonies and add this.

This account of the initiations of the Tatati, Wati Wati & Litchi Litchi raises this particular type of ceremonies across [the - crossed out] New South Wales from Sydney to near Wentworth.

It appears to have been peculiar to tribes of NSW but to have been participated in by the [River - crossed out] Victorian tribes on the south side of the Murray River - that is among the northern tribes of the Wotjo nation - and the tribes which farther up the Murray River were situated between it and the Kulin tribes.

Umbara the tribal bard of the Yuin in speaking to me of the ceremonies of the tribe (see p-) These go all the way down the Murray River on this side (stretching out his right hand) but on that side - stretching on the left - there is nothing.

From what I shall now say of the ceremonies of the Victorian tribes - Wotjoballuk and Kulin - my old friend Umbara was [?informant?] and [??] for he had been down that river as far as [??]

Last edit 4 months ago by ALourie
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The Tatati Purbung.

As I have before said thre was a group of tribes which down stream from the Wiradjuri, extended to the upper tribes of the Waimbaio. That is from above the junction of the Murray + Murrumbidgee Rivers to [ to some distance above the junction of the latter with the Darling River p-. this group composed of the Ithi Ithi, Watti Watti, .............

Last edit 4 months ago by ALourie
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Last edit 8 months ago by ALourie
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