Notes by Howitt on Kulin from Barak

Page 19 of 103

Transcription - Page 19

a person armed with two of these would sneak up
to the camp of his enemy during his first sleep.
If the victim snored while he slept that was the
time. The assailant [crept up - crossed out] would creep up and
place his hand carefully on the brow of the [victi - crossed out]
sleeper. [It w - crossed out] If it was cool he would not wake
– if it was warm the man waited a while.
The time being propitious for the operation the
cord was lightly passed round the [vi - crossed out] sleeper's
neck and the bone being threaded [wa - crossed out] through
the loop [the - crossed out] was pulled tight, another Bŭrŭng
was then passed [through t - crossed out] round the feet and
the victim carried off into the bush where
he was cut open and his kidney fat
extracted. It was believed that if the kidney
fat was heated over the fire he would die
in two days – but if only carried away
he would linger three or more days.
The victim coming to himself thought he
had been only asleep and dreaming.
[In the morning perhaps some clever
fellows would see him looking strange
and would say “You don’t look well” –
“Yes I have been to sleep - crossed out] William gave
another illustration. He said: -
“Some times they did this: Some pretended
friends would engage a man in talk in the
bush. All at once one would say “look at all
those whitefellows – or at those birds – or
something or other”. When the man looks
round one hits him at the back of the
neck with a [clu - crossed out] Kūjerŭng. Then they
would roll him about for a long time
to make his mūrŭp come out of him.
Then they would take out his kidney fat
and shut him up again. After they
had gone he would wake up and go home.
Some clever fellow would say “you do not
look well!” – “No, I have been asleep
over there”. You should not do that, someone
might catch you”. – Bye and bye the
man dies.

Page 19 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.