Notes by Howitt on Kulin from Barak

Page 10 of 103

Transcription - Page 10

also carried as intimating the [foll - crossed out] intended Corroboree
a Brandjep = the man's apron made of a Kangaroo rat
skin cut into strands; a Kaiŭng = woman's apron
of strings 2 pendant 1 and djir-rŭn = reed which was
used in some parts of the corroboree. William
further said “the Wirigiri in giving these
things to the Ngŭrŭngaeta would give my Paiara
and say “Kūlin send these to you to be good
friends and not to grumble any more but
have joy and gladness”. ———

When the message related to the calling together
of the tribe for the ceremonial purposes of “making
young men”. [then - crossed out] the emblem carried was
a thin piece of wood – from the description like
a large knittting needle. It was called Kalk = wood.

Where the message was to call an assembly
for war, or for the arranged fight to expiate
the shedding of blood or the death of an individual
through magical arts the emblem carried was
the great jagged wooden war spear [with jags on one - crossed out]
[side - crossed out]. This spear was called “gō yŭn” —

The place of assembly being indicated by
name in the message which the Wirigiri carried
in his mouth, it would be necessary further to
indicate the [time - crossed out] day upon which the meeting
would assemble. This was done in an ingenious
manner by counting the stages to be made in
proceeding from it – commencing at the little finger
and then up the arm, over the head, and
down the other arm to the little finger x The
[pl - crossed out] parts of the [human - crossed out] individual used as “stages” were
the following
Little finger Būbūpi mŭrnongyi = child of the hand
Ring finger Būlūto ravel = a little [bigger - crossed out] larger
Middle finger Būlūto = larger
Fore finger Ūrnūng mellŭk = Ūrnūng = direction
Mellŭk = a large grub found in
gum trees —
Thumb Babŭng-yi = mother of hand.
Wrist joint Kra- wel
[Ngŭrŭmbūl - crossed out]
Divergence of radial tendons = Ngŭrŭmbūl = fork e.g.
The Forefinger & middle finger when separated V shape are

[written in left side margin]
Note the "spear
bearing a Bridda
(man's apron)
which came with Gippsland blacks
from Omeo on occasion
of the last battle of
the clans.

x Note the old
gentleman at
Tower Hill who
similarly described
to me stage & direction
up his own arms

Page 10 of 103

Document Details

Letter From
Letter To
Author Howitt, Alfred William
Country Australia
Colony/State Victoria
Holding Institution State Library of Victoria
Collection Name Alfred W. Howitt Collection
Registration Number MS9356/391
Medium Notes
Summary MS 9356 [Series] Correspondence and notes concerning aboriginal tribes - Aboriginal tribes of Victoria. [Sub Series] Kulin Nation [Item Title] Notes by Howitt titled 'The Kulin tribe. Informant 'Ber-uk' otherwise King William of the Yarra tribe'. [Summary note] 103 pages. Box 1053 [Folder] 2(b) & (c) [State Library Victoria record 2018]
Physical Description Handwritten notes, undated and numbered pages. Additional notations and annotations in the left hand margins; includes a newspaper article.