Notes by Howitt on Kulin from Barak

Page 16 of 103

Transcription - Page 16

It seems according to William's statements
that death was not believed by the Kūlin
to result from anything but magic – either
the acts of man, or as the result of vengeance
by spirits.
[When a man died was - crossed out] It was supposed
that a Wirarap could by Mūng (magic)
kill a person – near or at a distance.

The Mūng [ans - crossed out] embraced many substances.
Rock crystal for instance was a common Mūng
used. The [W - crossed out] Wizard was supposed to be able to
send his mūng along the ground in the form
of a small whirlwind. William's illustration was
as follows “ When the Wirarap sends the Mūng
like a little wind, the man it catches feels chilly,
then some pain, then shortness of breath; then
some Wirarap looking at him says “Hallo
you’ve got a lot of mūng there! The [Wira - crossed out]
Wirarap or perhaps a lot of them come and
watch the man until the mūng is seen
to try and escape from him in the middle of the night. Then the
Wirarap runs after it and catches it. He then
breaks a little bit off so that it cannot get away
any more and puts it in his nŭlba (bag)
for his own use”.

Sometimes the Wirarap finds out that the
mūng has come from the Ngarang (dibble dible).
This [thing - crossed out] being is said to have a head like a man
with a big beard; and to have very hairy arms and
hands. The Ngŭrŭng were said to be very plentiful
everywhere. They were supposed to live under immense
forest trees where the ground was seen to be bulged
up round the tree. No entrance is visible but the
Ngŭrŭng can find one for himself. They came
out at night and had lots of mūng.
They are invisible to all but the Wiraraps.
The particular manner in which the Ngŭrŭng hurt people
is by putting some mūng in your knee so that you cannot
walk. This mūng the Wirarap extracts by sucking the
place. It resembles a piece of kangaroo or Emu bone or
a piece of quartz.

[written in left side margin]

thŭn-dal = Rock crystal

Note the
whirlwinds of
the Dieri and
write to Sen. C. James

note what
Buckley says about
people killing + burning

Page 16 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.