Status: Indexed

[left side of page]

of course a challenge to fight.
When a stick was sent it
was an invitation to a
corroborie [sic]. Some poet had
made a 'big fellow' corroboree
and the stick was indeed
part of it. That is it was
to be used at the dance.

Many years ago when I
was on the Murray a
stick about 3 feet long was
sent to the tribe at Yelta
it was marked with their
usual marks, and was
an object of great interest to
the tribe. I [sic] was held in
the hand of the time keeper
at the corroborie [sic] and
was struck with a bough
of a tree at intervals. The
burden of the song was
as follows. Wilpon tho

[right side of page]

Wilpon me gra. At the
gra the stick was struck
all the men held sticks in
their hands, but only the
one who taught the song
held the stick which had
travelled, the Blacks said
a very long way. Indeed
it must have travelled
far for I found the same
song was quite familiar
to the Kurnai here so that
it must have been known
all along the arms of
the River Murray and
up the Darling and
through Gippsland indeed
I have no doubt it was known
in the greatest part of N.S.W.

But it was not always
a stick that was sent as
an invitation to corroboree

Notes and Questions

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Stephen Morey

The word 'burden' means the chorus or refrain of the song. It is no longer much used in this meaning in the 21st century. There is also a reference to this song in Smyth 1878 I: 170, as well as in XM922 and the SLV Box 1053/4 (b) page 5