Notes by Howitt on Kulin from Barak

Page 75 of 103

Transcription - Page 75

Western port

William Bairuk says that in Western [Port]
the Initiation is very easy and short.
It is called Tállangŭn. The boy is
taken at some single mans camp and
thence to another where part of the growing
beard whiskers and moustache are pulled out but
not all. Ringtail possum bands are placed round
his arms – a net máragalŭn raddled is
tied round his forehead and a reed necklace
placed round his neck. He is invested
with a branjep (front + rear one) – and has
a [lon - crossed out] bone (ilijéri) in his nose. This being
done he is a young man and is gradually
made free of forbidden food by having the
various animals +c given to him in small
cooked pieces.
The Marine beck
(Bad Country)

When a new comer is to be made free of
the Marine Beck – say at Tarwin (Blacks).
The old man plucks most of the newcomer’s beard
out. Runs a streak of raddle over his head and
down his back and down his front to the Branjep.
A wide white streak is drawn like a pair of
braces from the back to front on each side.
He is then taken to a certain place where
he is fed with Eels which are caught with
a Jag spear and roasted for him.

He must also learn the Būnwūrŭng
language which is spoken there and
which is the language of Lohan who lives
at Wilson’s promontory and who made this

The Waang & Bunjil sticks

In the time before whites came when
some wang (waa) & Bunjil people were
camped around the same fire each one had
his own stick to stir it with or to cook the food.
He must not touch the stick of any other
man - specially one of the opposite name
under the chance of his fingers swelling.
If so he would have to go to the [M old man - crossed out] Wira rap
who would draw the piece of wood out.

[written in left side margin]

in Nulit
language of Gippsland

When at dawn the newcomer
{hears sees (say) a laughing Jackass making a
noise at him he must turn towards
him and spit (or splutter) loudly
at him - to [indicate - crossed out] drive off the
bad influences for the birds when they
do this are saying “what did you
come here for?”

Page 75 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.