9764 4703
editor1@rlcnews.com.au

Aborigines

The Kulin People

The Bunerong and the Wawoorung clans of the Kulin nation were the original inhabitants of the Rowville and Lysterfield district. The white settlers referred to the Bunerong people as the Western Port tribe and the Wawoorung people as the Yarra Yarra tribe.

There are stories here of the first European encounters with the aborigines. Rev James Clow, in particular, established very good relations with the tribespeople and was a strong advocate on their behalf. You will read of their customs and beliefs as well as of their everyday lives as they moved in and out of the district in their endless search for food.  

BELIEFS OF THE ABORIGINES PART 1

William Thomas was one of the Guardians of the Aborigines in the early years of settlement in Melbourne. In this article he relates the beliefs of the tribes people with whom he lived. In the July 1998 edition of the R-LC’ News, an article entitled “Brief Account of the Aborigines of Australia Felix” appeared. The article was a reprint of part of a report by William Thomas, one of the government-appointed Guardians of Aborigines, whose special concern was the welfare of the members of the Yarra and Western Port tribes. Thomas lived with the tribes (who often passed through the Rowville area) and from his daily observations and questioning gained a considerable knowledge of their culture and beliefs.

The following is an account of the Australian deities and the stories of the creation of Man and Woman as told to Thomas. It was published by the Public Library of Victoria in 1898 in “Letters from Victorian Pioneers” (pages 86-87).

Australia Deities    The Australian aborigines believe in two principal Deities, viz:- Punjil, the maker of the earth, trees, animals, and man. Punjil, they say, had a wife named Boi Boi, but he never saw her face. She, however, bore him two children, one a son named Binbeal, and the other a daughter named Karakarook. (Binbeal is a god that has a face that encompasses the earth, and has a lubra that always accompanies him. Binbeal is the rainbow, and his lubra is the reflection which may be seen occasionally.) To Binbeal is committed the sovereignty of the heavens, and to Karakarook the incidental occurrences on earth; while great Punjil stalks like a “big one gentleman” in the clouds, on the earth, etc., always carrying a “big one sword”.

The Australian’s next Deity is Pallian, brother of Punjil. Pallian made all seas, rivers, creeks and waters; also all the fish in the ocean, seas, rivers, etc. He governs the waters; was always in the waters, walking, bathing, and going over the seas.

Creation of Man   Punjil one day cut, with his large knife, two pieces of bark, mixed up a lot of clay, and made two black men, one very black and the other not quite black – more like a dirty red brick. He was from morning till night making them; it was not bright day then, but the sun was like blood all day. He began to make man at the feet, then made legs, and so on to the head. He then made the other in like manner, and, smoothing them both over with his hand from the feet to the head, he put on one’s head curly hair and named him Kookinberrock; on the other straight hair and named him Berrookboorn. After finishing the two men, Punjil looked on them, was pleased, and danced around them. He then lay on each of them, blowing into their nostrils, mouth, and navel, and the two men began to move. He bade them get up, which they did (young men, not like pickaninnies); he told them their names; he showed his brother Pallian the two men he had made.

Creation of Woman    The next day Pallian was in a creek paddling and beating in the water, in which he used to indulge. After some time the water got thick like mud, so that he could scarcely move; he plucked off a small bough from a tree that hung over the creek, and looked through the bough at the water, and said, “name you”. He beat harder and harder, and saw near him come up four hands, then two heads, and so on, till breasts, and two human figures complete appeared. Pallian exclaimed, “like my brother Punjil, me make two Bagrooks”. He beat again the waters, and the two lubras came above the water and fell on the land, but they could not move; he carried one and then the other to his brother Punjil, who breathed into their nostrils, mouth, and navel, and Punjil gave them names – to one Kunewarra, to the other Kuurook. They gave each koolin a lubra. Punjil put a spear in each koolin’s hand, and Karakarook, daughter to Punjil, put in each lubra’s hand a kannan (woman’s stick). Punjil, Pallian and Karakarrok go out with them some days, showing them how to get their food. The two men were taught to spear kangaroos, emus, etc., and the two lubras to get gum, roots, bandicoots, grubs, etc. One morning when they awoke, they “no see Punjil, Pallian and Karakarook”; “they had gone up above.” The blacks say that all this took place “very far, far away” to the north-west, not where “now blackfellows all about here sit down,” alluding to their belief that man and woman were created in other countries. All agree (I mean different tribes) in stating that country was “far, far away”, beyond what they know to the north-west, overseas. If the point they direct to be correct, it tallies with our position of the western part of Asia.

How Man First Came in Possession of Fire     They say that “long time after Punjil made man and woman, blacks had no fire, were very cold, and eat all flesh raw”; that some lubras went out to get food. They were with their kannan digging up murrar (piss-ants’ eggs), when several snakes of all kinds came up out of the earth where they were digging; that they were terribly frightened; kept beating the snakes but could not kill them. To their relief came down Karakarook with a large kannan, and two young men named Tourt and Tarrer; that Karakarook and the lubras fought the snakes for a long time, when the end of Karakarook’s stick broke off; from the piece broken off arose smoke. A bird – (by their account of the same kind as a crow, only of a large size – as large as an eagle) – flew down and ran off with the fire. Tourt and Tarrer immediately flew up in pursuit of the crow, while Karakarook remained with the lubras. The crow flew to a mountain named Nun-nur-woon, where it was overtaken by the two flying young men. Tarrer returned with the fire safe, having pulled off bark from one tree and another to keep it from being exhausted. “Tourt no more come back”; he was burnt to death on a mountain named Munnio, where he had kindled a small fire lest what small quantity he had should be lost, and Punjil, for Tourt’s good deed, turned him into a large star that always looks like fire. Karakarook showed the lubras her stick, and, having examined the qualities of it, bade them never to be without fire. Tarrer afterwards directed them to where the stick might be found, and showed them how to make fire; disappeared, and was no more seen.

First published by the Public Library of Victoria in 1898. Republished in the September 1999 edition of the Rowville-Lysterfield Community News.

Comments    comment From Hanne Munk (02 Aug 2006)  Having read the novel “The Idea of Perfection” by Kate Grenville and living far from Australia in Denmark, knowing very little about Australian geography, I wonder – Is there a real place called Karakarook in New South Wales or is it “just” a referral to this old legend that lies behind the choise of name for the place where the novel takes place? Best greetings Hanne. 

BELIEFS OF THE ABORIGINES PART 2

In the September 1999 edition of the R-LC News I published an account of some of the beliefs of the aborigines who frequented the Rowvile Lysterfield area. These beliefs were recorded by William Thomas, Assistant Protector of the Aborigines, who lived with the tribes of the Woiworong and Bunerong people of the Kulin nation.
Thomas’s accounts of the aborigines were first published in Bride, Thomas (Ed.). Letters from Victoria Pioneers, Public Library of Victoria, 1898.

Notions of the Flood
The blacks say that after they had fire they were all marnumuk (meaning comfortable) and increased to great numbers; and after many, many years “blackfellows get very bad (wicked), when Purijil (1) and Pallian (2) big one sulky(3).” “PunjiI come down with his big one knife and cut the earth all over like blackfellow cut up damper, and come up water, and Pallian drive all big one water from sea on land; then like great guns come up koor-reen (storms) and pull up all trees, and come up water everywhere, and very bad backfellows drowned, and that great many not very bad, Punjil take up and make stars of, and that Punjil when all gone water, send another very good man and woman, named Berwool and Bobinger, and take and cut up one kangaroo and other animals into small pieces and they became a great number.” Karakarook(4) and Tarrer(5), directed by Punjil, again descend and make Berwool and Bobinger acquainted with the way to provide themselves with food and fire, but stop “only little time” and then leave them.

Tradition of the Dispersion of Mankind
The blacks have also a tradition of the dispersion of mankind over all the earth. They say that mankind, after many years, got very many and again very bad, fighting, killing, and eating one another – “no work, blackfellows only beat and make lubras get ‘em tunanan (victuals); blackfellows all sit down only one country; Punjil come down again with his big knife, big one sulky, and cut into pieces all men, women, and children, kangaroo, and all living animals, but they not die. Then come up a great storm (koor-reen), followed by many whirlwinds (pit-ker-ring), and take up all the pieces and carry them everywhere – far, far away – and drop them in every country; then blackfellows in all countries; no blackfellows in all countries till then; and blackfellows no more see’em Punjil; he too much sulky. Black doctors sometimes dream of him.”

Tradition of the Origin of Wind
Hurricanes and whirlwinds, as well as wind, the blacks have a tradition came from an immense flight of magpies – a larger species than those at present seen. The blacks say that they came in great numbers like flights of cockatoos; that after they came a rushing wind and a number of large bags like sacks appeared in the air, at first not full; they filled as they passed along, as you would blow full a bladder, and when full “they busted, made noise like gun, and then came wind; no wind before this.” It is singular that this occurred also “far, far away,” and came from N.W.(6)

Thunder and Lightning
Thunder and lightning they believe to be the voice and fire from the eyes of Binbeal(7) when he is sulky with the elements, and will be obeyed; and when he has silenced all, he makes the sun stand before him.

Superstitious Notions of the Warmum
The blacks have superstitious notions of many places, in which, no doubt, in bygone days some awful calamity had befallen their forefathers. Warmum is a very high mountain N.W. of Gippsland and N.E. of Western Port. The blacks have a superstitious notion that whoever looks on this mountain direct will first be struck blind, and then dead; no one can look at it and live unless through some medium. The lubras veil their faces when they come within sight or put boughs and twigs before their faces. The men, when prompted by curiosity to behold it, look along a stick as white people would do through a telescope. The blacks say that “big one Punjil once sit on that mountain.”

Superstition about Consulting Bears(8)
The bear is a privileged animal, and is often consulted in very great undertakings. I was out with a celebrated Western Port black tracking five other blacks. The tracks had been lost some days at a part of the country, where we expected they must pass. We ran down a creek; after going some miles a bear made a noise as we passed. The black stopped, and a parley commenced. I stood gazing alternately at the black and the bear. At length my black came to me and said, “Me big one stupid; bear tell me no you go that way.” We immediately crossed the creek, and took a different track. Strange as it may appear, we had not altered our course above one and a half miles before we came upon the tracks of the five blacks, and never lost them after. The bear, too, must not be skinned. The blacks have a strange tale of the bears having stolen all their tarnuk (buckets) and drained a creek of water, and so bewildered the blacks that Karakarook came down, and it was settled by Karakarook, on the part of the blacks, that they would no more take the skins from the bears’ bodies, and on the part of the bears, that they would no more in any way molest the blacks in supply of water and vessel. The wombat (or warren) is also a sacred animal, and must not be skinned. Many birds are also sacred; some may be eaten by the aged only; others by the doctors only.

FOOTNOTES:
1 . Punjil was the maker of the earth, trees, animals and man.
2. Pallian was Punjil’s brother. Pallian made all the seas, rivers, creeks and waters and all the fish.
3. ‘Big one sulky’ They were very displeased.
4. Karakarook, daughter of Punjil, taught the aborigines how to find their food.
5. Tarrer was a young aborigine who could fly. He taught the aborigines how to make fire.
6. The north west.
7. Binbeal, the son of Punjil, is a god that has a face that encompasses the earth, and has a lubra that always accompanies him. Binbeal is the rainbow, and his lubra is the reflection which may be seen occasionally.
8. Koalas.

BELIEFS OF THE ABORIGINES PART 3

In the September 1999 and April 2001 editions of the R-LC News, the local history articles reproduced William Thomas’s account of the beliefs of the Aboriginal people who frequented the Rowville-Lysterfield area. William Thomas was an Assistant Protector of the Aborigines whose special duty was to care for the interests of the Woiworong (Yarra tribe) and Bunerong (Westernport tribe). Thomas’s accounts of the Aborigines were first published in Bride, Thomas (Ed). Letters from Victorian Pioneers, Public Library of Victoria, 1898.          Bryan Power

Mindye

Of all the beings most dreaded by the blacks, the principal is the Mindye. It appears to have no independent power, but by the command of Punjil(1) is sent to destroy or afflict any people for bad deeds, that is to say, when they have done very bad things, or not killed enough wild blackfellows for their dead. Its form is that of a snake, but of great size, though is can contract itself into a small compass – extend or contract as we would a telescope. The blacks give awful accounts of this being; it can make itself extend miles in length. They say that there are little Mindye; that Mindye inhabits a country named Lillgoner to the north west in this district, and resides on a mountain named Bu-ker Bun-nel, and drinks at a creek named Neel Kunun; that the ground for a distance round is so hard that no rain can penetrate it (Kulkubeek); that no wood but mullin grows near it; and that the land is covered with hard small substances like hail. A family named Munnie Brumbrum, the blacks say, have been the only blacks that have ventured to put foot on this awful country where Mindye resides, and they are the only blacks that can stay the ravages of the Mindye, or send it forth. It differs from a snake, by having a large head and two ears; it has three fangs coming from its tongue, and when it hisses out its fury the earth around is covered with white particles like snow, from which the blacks say the disease is inhaled. It often ascends the highest tree in a forest, and, like a ring tailed opossum, secures its hold, and stretches itself over a vast extent of twenty and thirty miles.
When Mindye is in a district the blacks run for their lives, setting the bush on fire as they proceed, and not stopping to bury their dead or attend to any seized. Many drop down dead on the road. When seized, pains seize them in the back, with violent retching. When they try to get up they fall down; those not seized are quite well. The celebrated Munnie Brumbrum, the blacks say, can arrest and stay the Mindye by a secret move with his hand or finger. Such is the nature of the attack of the Mindye. Any plague is supposed to be brought on by the Mindye or some of its little ones. I have no doubt that, in generations gone by, there has been an awful plague of cholera or black fever, and that the wind at the time, or some other appearance from the north-west has given rise to this strange being.

Charmers or Enchanters
There are characters among the blacks who are supposed to possess powers according to their various qualifications. When a continuance of rain is desired, the charmer is applied to, who sings,
“Won-ner-rer Nger-wein Barm-we-are Won-ner-rer
Tin-der-buk Koo-de-are Nger-wein Koo-de-are Tin-der-buk
Kar-row-lin.”
During the time that this is sung the charmer sits in his mia-mia, and with a piece of thin bark, about a foot or eighteen inches long, continues throwing hot dust from the fire into the air, alternately mumbling and singing the above song; in fact, all the charmings are in mumbling language, not known to the rest of the blacks.
We have in the Western Port tribe a celebrated charmer-away of rain, old Bobbinary. I have known this man to be kept singing for hours. The blacks say, when Bobbinary was a child that it had been raining for some days, and “blackfellows all sad their bellies tied up to keep out hunger; that the child Bobbinary began to sing, and that sun immediately came out, and no more rain. That ever since then he has been able to send rain away.”

Doctors
The blacks have various kinds of doctors – for eyes, bowels, head, etc., and, like white physicians, are noted in proportion to the remarkable cures said to have been wrought. But the highest pitch of the profession is flying. Among the tribes who have visited the settlement there has been but one, that has come to my knowledge, possessed of this power, whose name is Malcolm, of the Mount Macedon tribe. I have known this man to be sent for 100 miles. The blacks say that he has power to soar above the clouds, and to fly like an eagle; he also can, in some cases, recover the marmbula (kidney fat) when it has been stolen. I have a most singular account of one of his aerial journeys, together with the solemnity of the encampment during his two hours’ flight, but cannot trace it now. This Malcolm (aboriginal name Myngderrar) is said to have inherited this power from his father, who was famous before him.

Murrina Kooding or Strength Lost
In the encampment south of the Yarra, on the evening of ……………(2) were Goulburn, Mount Macedon, Barrabool, Yarra, and Western Port blacks. The Goulburn lubras, quite naked, stole upon seven young men. No sooner had the women their hands on the heads of the young men than the latter appeared helpless; they cut from each young man a lock of his hair. As soon as the hair was cut the young men fainted; the women took the ornaments from the men’s heads and decamped. The young men’s friends came about them to comfort them, but life apparently could scarcely be kept in them. Their friends sat with them the whole of the night.
On the following morning, the doctors assembled; a fire was made about a quarter or half a mile from the encampment, and the seven young men were brought, each borne by two friends bearing pieces of lighted bark in their hands, to the spot; the young men were placed round the large fire at some distance, and before each was the bark brought by the friends. The doctors, mumbling and humming, with a piece of glass bottle commenced scraping off all the hair from the crown of the head to the feet, and then rubbed them from head to feet with werup (red ochre). The young men lay speechless during the whole of the time the ceremony was being performed, and every muscle of their faces seemed to be keenly noticed by the doctors. This ceremony lasted from sunrise to three hours afterwards. I understand that these young men would have died had not this ceremony been performed. Strength left them as the lock fell from their heads. (Is not this some semblance to Samson’s case?)

Footnotes:
(1) Punjil was the creator of the earth, trees, animals and man,
(2) The date was not recorded in the manuscript.

Published in the April 2002 (No 214) edition of the Rowville-Lysterfield Community News

Australia Felix:   Brief Account of the Aborigines of Australia Felix

William Thomas was one of the Guardians of Aborigines appointed by government in the early months of the settlement of Melbourne and his particular duty was to protect the interests of the members of the Yarra Yarra and Western Port Tribes. Both tribes regularly visited the Rowville area. Thomas was a conscientious guardian who lived with the tribes and thus learned a great deal about them. Despite his best endeavours he witnessed the rapid corruption of the tribes through their exposure to some of the unpleasant features of life brought to the Port Phillip district by European settlers.

The following is an extract from a report written in March 1854 by Thomas and published in “Letters from Victorian Pioneers” by the Public Library of Victoria in 1898.

Australia Felix was the term used by Major Thomas Mitchell to describe the lush pastureland of western Victoria he saw in his journey of discovery in 1836. (Felix is a Latin word meaning happy or, in this context, blessed).

The Father Heads the Family

Their government is patriarchal, the head of each family having control over his household; nor is he accountable to the community for his conduct touching them, even after his children come to years of discretion, if they be unmarried. They, however, are by no means arbitrary, nor cruel; and with the children are foolishly indulgent. It is only in passion that their conduct is revolting, and then they are generally checked by one or more powerful friends arresting the angered, while others try to appease him by reason. Although the head of the family is not accountable to the community, a mother will not tamely see her child ill-used, and when a son is grown up, if his mother is ill-treated he will show fight. I have witnessed some dreadful frays between father and son on the mother’s account. Should one kill his wife, the friends or relatives of the woman will have satisfaction, when the tribes meet, the slayer must show himself naked among them, and unflinchingly await their anger.

Chiefs

Each tribe has a chief, who directs all its movements, and who, wherever he may be, knows well where all the members of the community are. About once in three months the whole tribe unite, generally at new or full moon, when they have a few dances, and again separate into three or more bodies, as they cannot get food if they move en masse; the chief, with the aged, makes arrangements for the route each party is to take. In their movements they seldom encamp more than three nights in one place, and oftener but one. Thus they move from one place to another, regardless of sickness, deaths, births, etc. They will not wait for anything when they have an object in view. I have known instances of females having an infant at night, and compelled to tramp in the morning, and the men to carry their sick from one encampment to another. In each body are a few old men, who take charge of the small community, and give instruction in the morning where they will encamp at night.They seldom travel more than six miles a day. In their migratory moves all are employed; children in getting gum, knocking down birds, etc., women in digging up roots, killing bandicoots, getting grubs etc.; the men in hunting kangaroos, etc., scaling trees for opossums, etc., etc. They mostly are at the encampment about an hour before sundown – the women first, who get fire and water, etc., by the time their spouses arrive.

Sharing All

I should have stated that besides chiefs they have other eminent men, as warriors, counsellors, doctors; dreamers, who are also interpreters; charmers, who are supposed to be able to bring and drive rain away; also to bring or send plagues among other nations, and to drive away the same, as occasion requires. Although they have chiefs, doctors, counsellors, warriors, dreamers, etc., who form a kind of aristocracy, yet these are in no way a burthen to the community. The chiefs govern, doctors cure, counsellors advise, and warriors fight, without pay. All alike seek their food, and He who is mindful of the ravens is not unmindful of these sable sons of Australia.

They hold that the bush and all it contains are man’s general property; that private property is only what utensils are carried in the bag; and this general claim to nature’s bounty extends even to the success of the day; hence at the close, those who have been successful divide with those who have not been so. There is “no complaining in the streets” of a native encampment; none lacketh while others have it; nor is the gift considered as a favour, but a right brought to the needy, and thrown down at his feet. In warm weather, while on the tramp, they seldom make a miam – they use merely a few boughs to keep off the wind; in wet weather a few sheets of bark make a comfortable house. In one half-hour I have seen a neat village begun and finished. The harmony that exists among them when none of another tribe is in the party is surprising. I have been out with them for months without a single altercation. Wherever one is born, that is considered his or her country.

Burial

They have no regular burial places; their bones lie scattered through the bush. Over the men, according to their importance, an oration is delivered, the purport of which is that they, his survivors, will avenge his death, and begging the defunct to lie still till they do so. Over the women and children no ceremony is performed. After the body is interred, the encampment breaks up, leaving a fire at the east of the grave. Orphans are taken great care of. It is considered a great honour to have an orphan added to the family.

Dances

They have various kinds, day and night. Although a stranger, after seeing one, may think the whole alike and merely a monotony of sounds and motion, such is not the case; the song and words are to the motion of the body, like our country dances and reels. One ignorant of dancing would look upon the movements as monotonous; there is as much sense in the one as in the other. If the blacks’ orchestra is inferior, their time and motion are better.

Games

They have many, all admirably adapted to strengthen and expand the corporeal powers, as running, jumping, throwing, etc.; but the most manual wrestling; and certainly everyone who has ever seen them at this exercise has acknowledged that it is equal to any description given of the ancients, and destitute of the brutality often resorted to by the ancients, to gain the mastery. The aborigines’ is sheer, fair wrestling. They challenge each other by throwing dust in the air towards those they desire to strive with, which is answered by return; they run towards each other; on approaching, each puts his hands on his antagonist’s shoulder, and it is not till both are nearly exhausted that one is down.

First published by the Public Library of Victoria in 1898. Republished in the July 1998 edition of the Rowville-Lysterfield Community News

CUSTOMS OF THE ABORIGINES – CEREMONY OF TANDERRUM

The following is the fifth account to be published in the R-LC News in recent years relating the customs and beliefs of the aborigines of the Western Port and Yarra tribes who passed through Rowville and Lysterfield as they moved around their territory in their constant search for food.
Once again this extract is taken from the writings of William Thomas, the Assistant Protector of Aborigines, who travelled with the tribes.

Native Encampment.
Although there may be 130 mia mias (native huts) erected on the formation of a fresh native encampment, no altercation, to my knowledge, has ever taken place touching site, or trees to be barked. They know beforehand where the chief’s mia mia is to be, and the distance required for his immediate connexions – none asking his fellow permission or advice. They commence barking and building; in one half hour I have seen one of the most beautiful, romantic, and stillest parts of the wilderness become a busy and clamorous town, and the beautiful forest marred for materials for their habitation, and as much bustle as though the spot had been located for generations.
Although to a casual observer a native encampment may appear void of arrangement, such is not the case; if the whole or most of a tribe be present, it is divided into small hamlets of about six mia mias each, distant from each other five or six yards, merely sufficient to prevent the fires of one from molesting the other. The hamlets are about twenty yards from each other, or more, according to the space of ground on which they are encamped. In each of these hamlets is one married man of consequence, whose duty it is to keep order, settle differences, &c. It often happens that one hamlet may have an altercation with another; a lubra may have been seduced, or what not. The two hamlets will settle the dispute early on the following morning, the other hamlets no more interfering than if nothing was on the carpet, precisely as in some of our courts and alleys in England when two neighbours quarrel, the others take no more notice than if nothing was the matter.

Ceremony of Tanderrum, or Freedom of The Bush.
There is not, perhaps, a more pleasing sight in a native encampment than when strange blacks arrive who have never been in the country before. Each comes with fire in hand (always bark), which is supposed to purify the air – the women and children in one direction, and the men and youths in another. They are ushered in generally by some of an intermediate tribe, who are friends of both parties, and have been engaged in forming an alliance or friendship between the tribes; the aged are brought forward and introduced. The ceremony of Tanderrum is commenced; the tribe visited may be seen lopping boughs from one tree and another, as varied as possible of each tree with leaves; each family has a separate seat, raised about 8 or 10 inches from the ground, on which in the centre sits the male and around him his male children, and the female and her sex of children have another seat.
Two fires are made, one for the males and the other for the females. The visitors are attended on the first day by those whose country they are come to visit, and not allowed to do anything for themselves; water is brought them which is carefully stirred by the attendant with a reed, and then given them to drink (males attend males and females females); victuals are then brought and laid before them, consisting of as great a variety as the bush in the new country affords, if come at able; during this ceremony the greatest silence prevails, both by attendants and attended. You may sometimes perceive an aged man seated, the tear of gratitude stealing down his murky, wrinkled face.
At night their mia-mias are made for them; conversations &c ensue. The meaning of this is a hearty welcome. As the boughs on which they sit are from various trees, so they are welcome to every tree in the forest. The water stirred with a reed means that no weapon shall ever be raised against them. On Saturday, the 22nd March 1845, at an encampment east of Melbourne, near 200 strangers arrived. The sight was imposing and affecting, especially their attendance upon that old chief Kuller Kullup, the oldest man I have ever seen among the blacks; he must have been near 80 years.

This extract was first published in Letters from Victorian Pioneers, Public Library Melbourne, 1898.

———————————————————————————————————————–

Your ad here
Translate this page
Our Sponsors
Latest Articles
THE HISTORY OF THE ROWVILLE-LYSTERFIELD DISTRICT This month's edition of the New...
Williams Collection   Williams Children Fred Williams (at rear) with h...