Notes by Howitt on Kulin from Barak

Page 72 of 103

Transcription - Page 72

Bad country (3)

Loh-an who was once a Blackfellow
lived long ago at the Yarra flats where he caught
eel and baked them in an oven. This oven is
there and the Kūlin called it “márine-thŭng
– the word “marine” signifying something specially
fine, beautiful or admirable; as “márine-Kūllin
a well made handsome blackfellow, [“ marine - crossed out]
– As he was watching his oven - lying on the
ground - the wind carried some swans feathers
and let them fall on him. He said to himself
“there are swans where that came from – and
travelled in that direction” – he came to the
Inlets – + Yalluk in Western port and finding so
many swans there he remained. After a
time he followed the swans to - “Wa-mŭng
- Wilson’s Promontory where he has remained
ever since watching over the [Kŭrnai who - crossed out]
Black fellows who live in the “Márine-Bek”.

The Nose boring

The perforation of the septum of the nose, called
Ilbi-jerri – is performed on the children
when they are 10-12 years old. The old men
perform the operation for the boys - the old women
for the girls. In the winter time the parents
say to the children “you must get ready your
bone – make it nice and sharp so that
the hole can be made in your nose”. After
the bone has been pushed through the nose and left
there, the child scrapes a small hole in the
ground, places in it a stone heated in the fire
covers it up and pours water on it; then it
covers its head with a possum rug and [hol - crossed out]
hold its nose over the steam until the
peg is loose and will turn round. Every
night and morning it does this till the
place is healed.

[written in the left side margin]
From [Yarra Flats - crossed out] Castellas up to Baw Baw
the river is called
Downwards including
Hobsons bay – it was
called “Kŭrnaji-berang

Blackfellows oven = mánep

Page 72 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.