Notes by Howitt on Kulin from Barak

Page 18 of 103

Transcription - Page 18

William said he thought that the Wirarap could
send his mūrŭp (spirit) out in sleep to injure
people or to talk to the spirits [that - crossed out] of [Kulin - crossed out] sleeping Kūlin
that are roaming about.

Besides these ways of injuring people which were
peculiar to the Wizard it was believed that any one
could injure people. For instance it was believed that
a person could be killed taking a Mŭrawŭn
(throwing stick) tieing on to it a piece of the intended
victim’s hair, with some fat, preferably of Emu.
This was then set up in front of a fire as it was
roasted and the stick destroyed the victim became
ill and died. This was called Kalbŭne –
or “broken throwing stick” —

The Kūlin at Geelong (Wŭdthówrŭng) were
believed to carry in their bags (nŭlba) the seed
vessels of the She oak for the purpose of blinding people.
William explained it thus “These people used to
put them in the fire so that when you went near
it the smoke of the thūr-rang (she oak) would
get into your eyes and you became blind”.

The May met at Echucha [sic] are said by
William to have invented a fearful “mūng”.
They mixed up with tobacco some of a dried up rotten
body – [it was - crossed out] this was called Thandal. Then they put [in - crossed out] it
in a bag and if any one smoked it "it got into his
stomach and he swelled like a woman with child.
No Doctor can cure him. They do this now”. ——

Another much dreaded means of compassing
the death of a person was by the Bŭr-[r - crossed out]ŭng
which was made of the sinew of Kangaroo tail (Bŭrtjin)
and the small bone of a Kangaroo leg (Ng-yellŭng).
The sinew cord had a loop at the end and the
pointed bone at the other. It was supposed that

[written in left side margin]
note practice of

Page 18 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.