Notes on Kurnai 150 pages

Page 50 of 150

Transcription - Page 50

2 27
When a girl ran away and returned
after a time with her husband
she was "pummelled" by the women
with yam sticks - but did not usually
make much defence. The young mam
had to submit to ordeal by waddy.
[In a - crossed out] But the case was different when
the woman was married. He remembers
a woman of about 40 running off with a
young man of 25. She was caught and
brought back and the young man
had to stand out and defend himself
against spear throwing - he was speared
through the body and was then free but
he was looked down upon - partly
for having run off with a married woman
and partly for having not defended
himself well. The woman was promised
by the Old Headman who was the
tribal brother of her husband - therefore
her tribal husband. He cut a piece
out of the calf of her leg thus laming
her permanently. When remonstrated with
the said that she was a very bad woman
for leaving her husband and that he
had only done in accordance
with the blackfellows customs.

Old Morgan was a great fighter, an orator,
a great singer and a great wizard
and had an immense power over
the young men. In the old days when
perhaps fifty or sixty younger men were present
they ate without looking up or speaking a [word - crossed out]
word - but listened carefully to all the old
men said. Old Darby was most respected
and was a mostly honest man. Old Nanny
was much looked after. She lived
several years by herself before she joined

[written in left side margin]

Ordeal of
He does not
remember a single
instance where a man
got a wife except by
elopement - except
where a widow went
to a new husband.

Page 50 of 150

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.