Howitt to Fison 20/9/1878

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Transcription - Page 8

married to a Gippsland black. I hope to
get full information through him - although
he has no method and has no scientific
bent of mind which would perhaps help him
to see what is wanted. At any rate he is
near and I will write - as I have done before
and put him on the track when he "gets flushed"
I think we shall be able to shew that a man
1. cannot marry in his totem for instance
Bat of Eaglehawk cannot marry Lyrebird (Eaglehawk)
2 Must marry totem of opposite class for instance
Bat marries Myowr (Emu)
3 All the men of Bat and other totems of Eaglehawk
are his cousins
4 All the men of [Myowr - crossed out] Emu and other totems of Crow
are his brother
5 From this [it - crossed out] does it follow that the Emu women are
his sisters?
I have still to put this question.

I must thank you for your head which only
arrived and which greets us from our album. I thought
I had thanked you. You must excuse my oversight on account
of Black [??] of which in [??] and eclipsed many things
Why I abused the missionaries to you I don't know except that
to me you are a much valued colaborer in Ethnology and that
I always think of you in that light. Our friend Hagenauer on the other
hand told me that whenever he got a circular (such as ours for example) he
put it in the wastepaper basket! and a narrow little Moravian
at Hindmarsh told me when I asked why some graves which were close
to the station were utterly wretched and neglected while others had
nice white palings [that - crossed out] "Oh! those are heathens!" I thought that he might
extend his views a little in degree [and - crossed out] but not vary them in kind
if he were to say about other graves "Oh these are Roman Catholics, or
Wesleyan, or Independent +c - they are left untended- but those which
are Moravian - oh we tend them". Hence [?I'll be?] lachrymose
Believe me
yours very sincerely
A W Howitt

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Document Details

Date 20 September 1878
Letter From Howitt, Alfred William
Letter To Fison, Reverend Lorimer
Country Australia
Holding Institution St Mark's National Theological Centre
Collection Name Alan Tippett/Lorimer Fison Collection
Registration Number tip70-10-33-18
Medium Letter
Region Gippsland
Locality Sale
Summary Lengthy discussion regarding their theories, customs and practices mainly of the Gippsland groups, and their forthcoming joint publication, Kamilaroi and Kurnai. Howitt has completed his first draft of about 50 foolscap pages.
Physical Description Handwritten in ink, signed and dated.