Legends of the Kulin, Kurnai, Wotjoballuk and Yuin

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Transcription - Page 5

Some light seems to be thrown on this difference
by considering [what the Kurnai from the Kurnai - crossed out]
the bearing of the Kurnai evidences.

Certain Animals, Birds, reptiles have
not only each its [special - crossed out] individual name [is - crossed out]
but they are all known collectively as being
Muk-jiak that is excellent -flesh (or meat)
while other [anim- crossed out] creatures which are not of food
are merely jiak - that is flesh. Now, in
all the legendary tales in which [the actor is - crossed out] beast, bird
or reptile [take past - crossed out] it is in a his food [charact- crossed out]
human and animal character, and it
is then a muk-Kurnai, or eminent
Kurnai, thus being distinguished from the Kurnai
who form the men of the tribe, by that epithet.
The whole term may be fairly interpreted as
eminent ancestors for they were not only the predecessors
of the Kurnai but also their Wehntwin or
Grandfathers. A list of the Muk-jiak
animals is given in Appendix X, and they are also
[without exception - crossed out] either Muk-Kurnai, or Muk- wrūkŭt (1)
The Muk-Kurnai, being the same
as the Muk jiak animals, the actors in the legends, a further
suggestion presents itself, namely that they represent the former
totems. As pointed out in chapter ?, these seem
to represented [sic] by certain animal names, such as
Narūt (wambat), sea salmon ? were inherited
by sons from their fathers, and these creatures were [those of - crossed out] Muk-Kurnai.
Assuming that the Muk-Kurnai were also the totems
in this tribe [a were similar- crossed out] as the "sons of Bunjil" were totems
in the Woëworung tribe, then one can understand how
it came about that they were the actors in the
tribal legends, retaining their animal element, while in
[the the - crossed out] such cases as that of [Nureli, the but Nureli they- crossed out]
Bunjil the totemic characters was overshadowed [by that - crossed out]
and in that of [the Kurnai tribal all father completely- crossed out] Mungan ngaur
completely extinguished by the developments of the human element
into the characters of the tribal All father.

(1) Kurnai - man wrūkut - woman

[written in left side margin]
[Honorable - crossed out]

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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.