Notes on Kurnai 150 pages

Page 86 of 150

Transcription - Page 86

The Kurnai
Imported Corroboree
Billy the Bull and Jambi heard
the following corroboree at Sale some
years ago - Melbourne blackfellows
brought it over. It was said to have
come from Yass to Tumut, thence to
the Murray and to Melbourne.
Mr Bulmer heard it at the Junction
of Darling + Murray in 1860.

It was sung by a man who stood
facing a line of men (audience) so that
the fire light shone on him. In his
hand he held the message (corroboree)
stick - which was about 30in long
by 3 wide and sq 1/4in. thick, marked by
diagonal bands of alternate red ochre
and pipe clay. In his other hand
he held a bough which he waved
over the stick as he sang thus:
When Mr Bulmer saw it
the stick was round
with diagonal bands.
The words as follows:-
The meaning of the word is unknown.

Kŭrnai= a man - Brūk-a-Kurnai - head of a man
Thūnakan, ma, Kŭrnai make = speak to the man
Yūajeak ma Barndan make = give the meat to the dog
Kŭrnai batā wrūkŭt= the man and the women
gree ma Lambi = Lambi's canoe

[written in left side margin]
Was this a "message stick"?

Page 86 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.