Page:Aboriginesofvictoria01.djvu/508

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424
THE ABORIGINES OF VICTORIA:

two classes—the Mak-quarra or Eaglehawk, and the Kil-parra or Crow. The conflict that was waged between the rival powers is thus preserved in song:—

Thinj-ami   balkee   mako;
Knee strike Crow;
Nato-panda   Kambe-ar   tona;
Spear father of him.

The meaning of which is: "Strike the Crow on the knee; I will spear his father."

The war was maintained with great vigor for a length of time. The Crow took every possible advantage of his nobler foe, the Eagle; but the latter generally had ample revenge for injuries and insults. Out of their enmities and final agreement arose the two classes, and thence a law governing marriages amongst these classes.

The First Men.

The Melbourne blacks say that Pund-jel made of clay two males. This was in long, long ages past; and the two first breathed in a country towards the north-west (Oodi-yul-yul wootunno per-reen N'gervein). Pund-jel made of clay two male blacks, in the following manner:—With his big knife he cut three large sheets of bark. On one of these he placed a quantity of clay, and worked it into a proper consistence with his knife. When the clay was soft, he carried a portion to one of the other pieces of bark, and he commenced to form the clay into a man, beginning at the feet; then he made the legs, then he formed the trunk and the arms and the head.[1] He made a man on each of the two pieces of bark. He was well pleased with his work, and he looked at the men a long time, and he danced round about them. He next took stringybark from a tree (Eucalyptus obliqua), made hair of it, and placed it on their heads—on one straight hair and on the other curled hair. Pund-jel again looked at his work, much pleased (Bul-li-to monomeeth), and once more he danced round about them. To each he gave a name: the man with the straight hair he called Ber-rook-boorn; the man with the curled hair, Koo-kin Ber-rook. After again smoothing with his hands their bodies, from the feet upwards to their heads, he lay upon each of them, and blew his breath into their mouths, into their noses, and into their navels; and breathing very hard, they stirred. He danced round about them a third time. He then made them speak, and caused them to get up, and they rose up, and appeared as full-grown young men—not like children.[2]


  1. "In company with some blacks, I was looking at a brickmaker at work, near the new bridge over the Yarra (Prince's bridge), when a Western Port black, named 'Billy Lonsdale,' seeing the brickmaker smoothing the clay in the mould, said 'Marminarta, like 'em that Pund-jel make 'em Koolin.'"—The late William Thomas's MS.
  2. Some say that the first man was made at Koorra-boort, a place near Ballarat; others that he was made at Boo-err-go-en [this is the name of Pund-jel's brother], situate on the River Goulburn, about twelve miles above the town of Yea. He was formed, they say, of the gum of