Legends of the Kulin, Kurnai, Wotjoballuk and Yuin

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Transcription - Page 1

As a comparison with the [Legend- crossed out] beliefs in the Mura-mura
[of the Lake Eyre tribe - crossed out]. I know of no better example than those
of the [Kurnai - crossed out] Kulin and Kurnai tribes of Victoria.
A numbers legends [sic] have been published by different authors taken
from their folk lore (1) [and of the - crossed out] of which I note [versions which - crossed out] several different versions (1)
[I collected myself and which have been from - crossed out] from Woeworung + Kurnai narrators collected originally myself
As the Kurnai were an offshoot from the Kulin stock, the
explanation which I am able to suggest as to the legends of the
former may be applied to the analagous legends of the latter.

[I have - crossed out] Legends [relating to- crossed out]
[I have not been able to learn of the ceremonies appear to be - crossed out]
[few - crossed out], I am not aware of any beliefs or legends relating to the
initiation ceremonies of the Kulin, and the reason may be that
those ceremonies [were merely the- crossed out] did not have the sand or secret character
of the Bora at the Kuringal. But with the Kurnai there was
one legend relating to the Jeraeil. As to [the number - crossed out] legends recording
[the - crossed out] wanderings they also are few, those relating to the sky-country
are more numerous, but in most of these [relate to the actions - crossed out]
the actors are [anoth - crossed out] beings who combine the human and
the animal element.

A few instances will illustrate these several classes
of which I have quoted from the work of my daughter in the Folklore
and legends of some Victorian Tribes (1) - [The other instances are - crossed out]
The Wotjoballuk legend - see reverse of
The Kurnai legend relating to the [Init- crossed out] Jeraeil ceremony is the

(quote this)

The Woeworung legend of Lohän is that he when he was [baking eels in- crossed out] cooking eels
at the Yarra River a Swan's feather was carried by the south [wind - crossed out] breeze
and fell on his breast. Walking in that direction he at length reached
[the sea the - crossed out] Westernport Bay where the Swan [was - crossed out] lived. There he remained until
they migrated Eastward, where he followed them, and at last came to Corner Inlet
where he made his home in the mountains of Wilsons promontory, watching over
the welfare of the people who followed him into the country he had found (2)

Another legend relates to the [early - crossed out] wanderings of the [ancestors - crossed out]
Kurnai predecessors. Bunjil Borŭn the first Kurnai marched across
approched from the north west until he reached the sea at the Inlets
where Port Albert now is. On his head he carried his canoe in which was
his wife Tūk. Bunjil Borŭn is the Pelican & Tūk the musk duck.

[Upside down]
June (see over) 80 Days 1889

[written at top of page]
and the
Alcharinga ancestors
of the Arunta

[written in left margin]
1. Thomas
Brough Smyth
Langloh Parker

A legend of the Wotjo tribe gives an account of the
wanderings of the two Brambramgals [who were the - crossed out] in search of their sister's son Doän
(the flying squirrel) who had been killed and eaten by Wembulin (tarantula); [afterwards they - crossed out] and
[went - crossed out] afterwards further meeting with various adventures and naming these places where they
occurred, until the younger of the brothers died. [The elder brother + their mother sought for him - crossed out]
Then the elder 'shaped' part of a tree into the form of a man and by his magic it became alive + called him elder brother
United once more the Brambramgals travelled far to the west where they lived in a cavern, but no one knows where they have gone (p. )

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Document Details

Letter From
Letter To
Author Howitt, Mr Alfred William
Country Australia
Holding Institution Museums Victoria
Collection Name Alfred W. Howitt Collection
Registration Number XM 521
Medium Notes
Summary Content of the draft notes compares beliefs and legends related to Lake Eyre, Arrernte, and Victorian groups including Wotjobaluk, Kulin and Gunnai/Kurnai, and the Yuin in NSW. Identification of similarities. References to Murra-muras, Alcheringa, and Bunjil Borun. The notes are for part of Chapter VIII of Howitt's 'Native Tribes of South-East Australia' published in 1904 and were therefore drafted sometime before 1904.
Physical Description Draft. Handwritten in ink, undated. Some annotations in margins and corrections throughout. Vertical line through each page. Five foolscap sheets, six pages. Condition: good.