Notes on Kurnai 150 pages

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Transcription - Page 56


Nunga Nunga
In 1856 a black boy called Brenny was with McAlpine
as stock rider. A girl called Sally was in the house as servant.
They ran away together to Snake Island + remained away
6 weeks. When they returned there was a great row. When
McAlpine went down to the camp hearing the disturbance
he found Brennie standing naked about sixty
yards off. He had only a turnmung in his hand. A number
of his friends were standing behind him at a distance.
There were a number of women beating rugs.
Old Morgan Darby + others were at the camp
facing Brennie + the others with him. Much
speechifying went on. Old Morgan made an oration,
an old woman followed him, then Old Darby spoke then
another old woman and so on for nearly two hours.
Then several men stood out each having one spear and
one boomerang. Each man in succession threw his spear
and then instantly his boomerang at Brenny, who
however warded off or dodged all. When all had been
thrown the matter ended. Brennie was allowed to keep
the girl. Brennie was Darby's tribal brother;
the girl was the tribal sister of Darby's wife.
Both were born at the same place - the Tarra.

Taking Fat
McAlpine saw Morgan + Darby take fat from the inside of
a dead Kurnai, roast it over the fire on a stick and eat it.
It was to make them strong, but they were very much enraged
at his having seen them doing it.

Witchcraft + taking fat
McAlpine had a young man in his service. This man one morning said
"I shall die - some blackfellow has done something to me." He lay down
in his camp and in about six weeks died.
"[?Poldue?] Johnny" also died under the belief that some
one had taken his fat out while he slept.

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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.