Notes from Bonwick's Book

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Transcription - Page 2

the faces of several were painted with red, white and yellow
clays and others had a reed or bone run through the nose. That of
the chief must have measured at least two feet.

Ornamental scars were common on the shoulders, and one was
deeply pitted as if from small pox.

Their possum rugs were marked on the skin sides by
parallel lines forming [?], [?] to and [?] with human
figures dancing.

The arms were spears with throwing sticks; shields neatly carved;
war spears barbed with white "spar" or sharks teeth. The fish spears
were pointed with the bone of the Kangaroo.

He says Food is; shellfish, wild fowl caught in traps, lizards, gnats, [etc?]
They chewed the green leaves of various plants, several of which
had a slight astringent taste and an aromatic smell p 28 et seq.

When huts were constructed of branches of trees [?licity?]
and the open side to [lee wind?]. Sometimes coarse grass is
interwoven with the branches. Fires at every entrance of huts.
They carried fire brands with them. p 28 et seq.

A straw basket made with 'tolerable neatness'
was observed.

The native of Port Phillip different from those of [?] S.W. in [?]
hairs a front tooth knocked out but "hairy then [?] perfect."
p 30.


Batman's journal as published in the "Yeoman" Aug 30/62
At Gilebrand Harbour he landed to meet the natives
who were at seven large huts. His natives stripped and went up
naked to the huts. The blacks were gone - He followed them
for 10 miles when they found an old woman and the remainer
of tribe (women & children) a mile off. He says that his natives could partially
understand them. The women all of small size & each with a
child at [breast or back?], [ex?] by any woman. Every woman had a
load of 60 - 70 lbs on her back: Baskets, net bags, native tomahawks
bones etc. He found in one bag a piece of cartwheel tire ground down
and put in a handle for a tomahawk. Since iron [?]. Since wooden

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Document Details

Date 1908 - 1883
Letter From
Letter To
Author Howitt, Alfred William
Country Australia
Holding Institution State Library of Victoria
Collection Name
Registration Number MS9356/417
Medium Notes
Summary MS 9356 [Series] Correspondence and notes concerning aboriginal tribes - Aboriginal tribes of Victoria. [Sub Series] Port Phillip (see also Wurunjerri and Kulin nation) [Item Title] Notes from James Bonwick's book 'Port Phillip Settlement', London, 1883. [Summary note] 4 pages. Box 1053 [Folder] 5(d) [State Library Victoria record 2018]
Physical Description References and notes, handwritten in ink, undated and unsigned. Numbered pages 1 to 3. Front page has annotations left hand side margin and a vertical pencil mark through half the page.