Howitt to Fison 29 October 1878

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Transcription - Page 2

understand why they regarded
the spirits of their ancestors
as visiting them. The
hand of the dead relative was
cut off and dried. It was worn
round the neck by string and
hung under the left arm. When
an evening approached it
was supposed to prick or knock
the wearer, who then took it off and
held it up by the string saying "where
are they coming from" The direction
was indicated by the hand vibrating
that way at the string's end.

When a young man ran off
with a girl for a wife he had
to give notice to the young men
of her tribe who had a right
to the girl for a day after
which she went with
her husband. This is

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Document Details

Date 29 October 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 tip70-10-33-22
Medium Letter
Region Gippsland
Locality Sale
Summary Discussion of certain beliefs and practices of the Kurnai relating to marriage and mortuary. In addition mention of possible working title for their joint publication.
Physical Description Handwritten in ink, signed and dated.