Page:Aboriginesofvictoria02.djvu/315

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
287
TRADITIONS OF TRIBES.

arm, short-leg, sharp-eye. Murri (Murry) is the name of the race—meaning Australian Aboriginal. Murri (Murree) is the most important of the four classes.

Rules of Descent.

1. The mother's second name descends to all her children. Thus all the children of Budha nurai are "nurai" (black snake); her sons are Ippai nurai; her daughters, Ippatha nurai.

2. The sons of Matha are Kubbi; her daughters, Kubbotha. (Matha murriira's sons are Kubbi murriira (paddy melon); her daughters, Kubbotha murriira.

3. The sons of Budha are Ippai; the daughters, Ippatha.

4. The sous of Ippatha are Kumbo; her daughters, Budha.

5. The sons of Kubbotha are Murri; her daughters, Matha.

 N.B.—Murri and Matha are the highest grade; but Matha's children are Kubbi and Kubbotha, the lowest. Again, Kubbotha's son is Murri, of the highest grade. So every family passes, in two or three or four generations, through the highest and lowest grades—a curious combination of the ideas of aristocracy and levelling; but the difference of rank is slight.

Rules of Marriage.

1. Murri duli (iguana) may marry a Matha murriira, or any Budha.

2. Murri murriira may marry a Matha duli, or any Budha.

3. Kumbo dinoun (emu) may marry a Budha nurai, or any Matha.

4. Kumbo nurai may marry Budha dinoun, or any Matha.

5. Ippai dinoun may marry Ippatha nurai, or Kubbotha duli, or Kubbotha murriira.

6. Ippai nurai may marry Ippatha dinoun, or Kubbotha mute (opossum).

7. Ippai bilba (bandicoot) may marry Ippatha nurai, or Kubbotha murriira.

8. Kubbi mute may marry Kubbotha duli, or Ippatha dinoun.

9. Kubbi murriira may marry Kubbotha duli, or Ippatha nurai.

10. Kubbi duli may marry Kubbotha murriira, or Ippatha bilba.

A man may have many wives of the names that are legally open to him, if he has the art or force to get them. But if he attempts to take one whose name is not allowed to one bearing his name in these rules, the tribe will kill him, or at least attack him with deadly purpose. The law is sacred; curses and spears fall upon him who dares to violate it.

From the above rules, it follows that generally the children of Kumbo are Kubbi and Kubbotha; those of Murri are Ippai and Ippatha; those of Kubbi are Kumbo and Budha; those of Ippai are Murri and Matha. But if Kumbo, instead of marrying a Matha, takes a Budha (with a different totem), his children are Ippai and Ippatha; and if Murri, instead of marrying a Budha, takes a Matha (with a different totem), his children are Kubbi and Kubbotha. So, in all cases, the mother's name determines that of the children.