Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/109

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
II
83
THE TRIBAL ORGANISATION

these tribes by birth. When a child was born among the Yuin, its father pointed out some hills, lakes, or rivers to the men and women there present as being the bounds of his child's country, being that where his father lived, or where he himself was born and had lived. It was just the same with a girl, who had her mother's country, and also that in which she was born. Besides this the father took the country where his child was born, if away from his own locality, and the mother took that where her daughter was born under similar circumstances.

A leading man of the Snowy River Krauatungalung, who acted as my messenger to the Yuin, concerning the holding of a Kuringal, was born in their country and therefore claimed it as his; his mother was a Ngarigo woman, and therefore he claimed her country. He was the accredited messenger between the Krautun Kurnai and the Ngarigo and Yuin.

The son of one of the headmen of the Theddora was born in the Ngarigo country, to which his mother belonged. It was therefore his country, and, as he put it, it would be just the same "for any one who was born there." One of the old men of the Wolgal said that "the place where a man is born is his country, and he always has a right to hunt over it, and all others born there had also the right to do so."

Of the coast tribes between the Shoalhaven River and Newcastle I know but little. All that I could learn from the Coast Murring was that the tribes, so far as they knew, were Katungal, and had Bunan ceremonies like theirs.

Collins, in his description of the natives of Botany Bay and Port Jackson, says that "each family has a particular place of residence from which is derived its distinguishing name. This is formed by adding the monosyllable 'gal' to the name of the place; thus the southern shore of Botany Bay is called Gwea, and the people who inhabit it style themselves Gwea-gal. Those who live on the north shore of Port Jackson are called Cam-mer-ray-gal, that part of the harbour being distinguished from the others by the name of Cam-mer-ray. Of this last family, or tribe, the settlers had heard Ben-nil-long and other natives speak (before they were