Notes by Howitt on Kulin from Barak

Page 63 of 103

Transcription - Page 63

[A - crossed out] Native dogs kill a woman and child
I have heard my mother and my father’s father tell a
story of a time
Before the white men came to Melbourne
A man of my tribe went up to hunt for wambats
near Mt Baw Baw. He had with him his
wife and little baby. One morning he said
to her you wait at the camp while I go to
look out for a wambat. In the middle of
the day she was hungry and went down
into the creek to cut some ferntrees down to
eat. There she saw the fresh tracks of native dogs
and following them found a litter of pups
in a log. She put her possum rug and
the baby up in the top of a fern tree
and crawled into the log to get the pups.
These began to howl out and the old ones
came and before the woman could
get any out, caught her and killed her.
Then they pulled the possum rug down off the
fern tree and killed the baby. The man
returning home at night thought his wife
had run away from him but in the morning
he looked out and had found her tracks
in the creek – there he [found - crossed out] saw her
along the dog track and found her
dead and the baby dead and partly
eaten. Then he was very sad and
he went back and got his spears
and fastened sharp pieces of quartz
on them with gum. He then rubbed
himself all over mud from head to foot
so that the dogs could not smell him
and went back and climbed up
a tree near the dead bodies of his wife

Page 63 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.