Notes by Howitt on Kulin from Barak

Page 22 of 103

Transcription - Page 22

A woman [who - crossed out] was killed in a [set - crossed out] fight between Buckley’s mob and
another [went on a visit - crossed out] – which were camped together. The corpse was thrown upon a
large fire and burned to ashes; the embers were raked together and
the woman's yam stick was stuck upright in the heap at the head.
p 33.

9 They dug two round graves with their sticks about four feet deep
then coiled up the bodies, tying them in their skin rugs, and laying them
in the holes with some boughs and filling them up with earth: a ring
being made round each place by clearing away and lighting fires.
After raking up the ashes over each, the sticks which they (the dead women)
had used for digging roots were put over them as I have already described the
spears of the men are who are killed – p 44

They have an idea that they will want them [again - crossed out] when they come to life again,
and the fire left – they think will do for them to cook their roots with.
Of this provision they generally leave a few days [fo -crossed out] supply and whenever they
pass these graves they re-light the fires. The bodies are laid on their sides
when they bury them, in the same manner as they mostly lie when living.
p 45

Buckley being almost famished during his wanderings reached a stream called
Dooangawn where he found a broken spear stuck into the mound of a grave.
Taking this he proceeded onward to Maamart where on the following day some native
women seeing him lying helpless at the foot of a large tree brought their husbands
to him. They called him Murrangurk – that being the name of the man
who had been buried where Buckley found the broken spear which he still carried
with him. Murrangurk was of the tribe to which these people belonged p 25,
and had recently been killed in a fight. To him had belonged the broken spear
carried by Buckley p 26.

Page 22 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.