Notes on Kurnai 150 pages

Page 89 of 150

Transcription - Page 89

By Bobby Brown, Billy Wood, Tommy Hoddinot + Lamby

The Kŭrnai called the Aurora Australis Wirai
They believed it to be a fire and dreaded that it
would burn up the whole country. They regarded it
as the refection [sic] of a vast "bush fire". In seeing
it all the men women and children ran
together and shouted out in concert "go
away - leave us" and such like expressions.
The "guera-el Kŭrnai present such for instance
Old Morgan would like his "brett" off and
suspending it by the string between his thumb
and forefinger would say to it - that is to the
tŭrdigŭni- Kŭrnai - "send it away from us,
do not let it burn us" - then when the
Brett would swing back and forward [??] even
so as to break the string - he would say -
"there now it will go away directly."
The sun was supposed to go round by the south
after setting - by way of the water - and by
that means to reach the East. The earth
was supposed to float on the water and
that below it was another "wŭrrk" inhabited
by people, which above the sky was also
supposed to be another wurrk inhabited
by tŭrdigŭn Kŭrnai.
When the moon was eclipsed the blacks
would say some black fellow has been killed
- and this would be either supposed to be
in Melbourne – or in Maneroo country
by the position of the moon at the time.
An eclipse of the sun was supposed
to be caused by a cloud.
A comet was called ngouriwaka

Page 89 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.