Notes on Kurnai 150 pages

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Transcription - Page 84

After receipt of this information I took occasion to consult
Tūlaba, Charley Rivers, [Jack Hayes - crossed out] Billy Clark, Charley Blair, Big Joe and Long Harry
on the subject of message sticks. They all positively denied that any such
message sticks were used at their end of the country, but they said they
did not know what "these Tarraville fellows" did. On repeating to
them Mr McAlpine's statement as to the messenger being sent. They were
of opinion that the "stick" prepared by Darby might have been a
"Murrawun" sent by him as a "token". Tulaba said for instance
that if he sent a message to anyone he might send his "bamarark"
"tūrnmung" or "murrawun" to him by the messenger. Big Joe
remarked that "before he was an Englishman" he always carried
his "murrawun" and spear as described and Torlaba
added "he would be fool to carry his spear point upwards
to get it broken by boughs". They also stated that the sending
of a spear as a token and the sending of a "bridda budda"
was learned from the Omeo Brajerak. They then described
and illustrated the arrival of a messenger. Rivers was chosen
to represent him; the [rem- crossed out] others sate about the camp with
ridiculously studied unconcern. After a time Rivers
coming up struck two pieces of wood together with a sharp sound.
Instantly all the Kurnai sprang to their feet. Blair was
the first and being so it was his duty to hasten to meet
the stranger. The following dialogue took place:-
Blair Who are you - where do you come from - are you Bunjil Wallung?
Rivers [I have brought a - crossed out] I am Bunjil Baul.
Then Rivers came forward to the camp. I did not observe any
unusual [??] any more than I observed when Bobby Coleman rehearsed the arrival of a Lewin for my information
There did not seem to be any of the ceremonious behavior
recorded of other tribes.

They explained that on leaving camp if they desired to leave
behind them a directon to guide some friend, an "ōbal" would be
made and stuck in the ground pointing in the direction in which they
had gone. An obal might be made of anything - a piece of stick

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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.