Notes by Howitt on Kulin from Barak

Page 62 of 103

Transcription - Page 62


Balaiyang (the Bat) is the brother of
all the men. A long time ago the whole
country was covered with tall grass so that
people could not walk about. Bunjil said
to the Bat – "Come with us onto our side”
The Bat said – “In yours is a very dry ground
– you should come to me” Bunjil said
“All right - very well I will leave you alone.
He then sent his two men Djŭrt-djŭrt
and Thara (buff shouldered hawk & quail hawk)
to burn the whole of the Bat's country and he himself went
with all his children to near Mansfield
to where there is a place called the Cathedral.
There he put all of them in a safe place
with stones all around them. The Bat
was out side but not far off. Bush fires
were all around. The country was burned
up to the Murray River. Bunjil said to
Djurt-djurt and Thara when you have burned
all the country you can stop there and be
stone. They all now turn to stone near Berwick
– you can see Djŭrt-djŭrt carrying Thara.
None of Bunjil's children were hurt but
the Bat and his children were scorched.
That is why the he is so black and why he grins so.

Nari- barm-gorŭk is a bird like a
small morepork that lives in holes in trees.
It was once a woman and went up to
the sky – the stars which white people
call the 5 Virgins.
Wourn-gūrk = (the Blue wren) is
the women's sister. They will not let any
one hurt it. If anyone did so the women
would grumble and hit him.

[written in left side margin]
The Bat

The old people always
said to us –
“don’t hurt the Bat
– let him play about”.

When the blackfellows
wanted plenty of
Kangaroos they
used to go to this
two stones and taking
a bough strip off the
leaves – throw them
down in front of [the
stones - crossed out] Thara and
Djurt Djurt and
then lay the twigs
on the leaves. After
doing this they would
catch plenty of Kangaroos.

Page 62 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.