Notes on Kurnai 150 pages

Page 27 of 150

Transcription - Page 27


Among the songs of the Kurnai were some
called Yēnjin; as Billy says these songs
always made the women "run away" - in
every direction. A man would sing one of these
songs continuously until at length the women
continually talking about it + him since one
woman would let him knew through some
friend of his - a male cousin of hers for instance
that "she wanted him" and then the elopement
would take place. If they escaped to some
distant place he would be safe - if he + she
were caught he would perhaps be killed
The men + women alike attacking him
the men with their weapons the women
with their yam sticks sharpened at the end
for the purpose of stabbing him in the stomach.
His own friends would endeavour to assist
him by opposing the others and a severe fight would
ensue. If the onslaught became too strong he
might have at last to escape if possible and
take to flight. The woman if caught was treated
as described in K + K - speared, cut down with
the Tundewung in the back or legs and
perhaps killed. Yet this elopement of women
married or unmarried constantly went on. This
kind of "free fight" differed entirely from the Nunga Nunga
which was an arranged "ordeal of battle".

There were many of these songs inciting to
elopement one of them thus:-
Dilbŭn Kaiŭng tūlūyanowa
Kick womans apron kicking walking
Balwŭt blappande malnarranme
going moonlight
Warige mŭlla Brabira
rousing up Brabras

One old man of Providence Ponds was from his always singing such
songs called Bunjil Yenjin. The man who ran off with a woman + who suffered in consequences was called
Būnjil Rūkŭr

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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 MS9356/404
Medium Notes
Summary MS 9356 [Series] Correspondence and notes concerning aboriginal tribes - Aboriginal tribes of Victoria. [Sub Series] Kurnai [Item Title] Notes by A. W. Howitt titled 'Kurnai. Various names of plants, language etc.'. [Summary note] Incorporates information from correspondents including Mr. McAlpine, J. C. McLeod and tribal informants. 145 pages. Box 1053 [Folder] 3(b) & 4(a) [State Library Victoria record 2018]
Physical Description Correspondence and notes.