Howitt to Fison 12 July 1880

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Transcription - Page 2

5. Is it customary for a wife to be married
by the exchange of some female relative.
6. When a female captive is obtained (say
in war or otherwise) is she the property of
the man who captured her? If not then
to whom is she allotted and in accordance
with what rule?

Like a ladys postscript my last paragraph
contains the most important point.-------

I seem to see that [capt crossed out] Marriage by
Capture has probably existed even
with the commune for she would then
be incorporated with the other cowives.
It exists side by side with the exogenous
community for she would be incorporated
with the class analogous to hers. Bunda naals
case of the woman of Britt Britta proves this,
and that of the Brakolung who killed the
Dargo men and took their women is
also in point. These cases are strong because
we have them [existing crossed out] arising where individual
marriage is already established - but they
are still under the old rule.

Marriage by Capture co exists with individual
marriage and the pairs family -
and it co exists or co existed now or
very recently in Ireland. You remember
the ludicrous [??] [of- crossed out] in Handy Andy
of the abduction of a wife for Shan More
I think her name was. This was of course
not true but it represented the customs.

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Document Details

Date 12 July 1880
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 tip70-10-34-3
Medium Letter
Region Gippsland
Locality Sale
Summary A.W. Howitt advises L. Fison, that he has written to almost forty correspondents on the subject of marriage by capture, in order to obtain further information and lists the questions he posted.
Physical Description Handwritten in ink, signed and dated. Additional annotation top of first page.