Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/234

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
208
CH.
NATIVE TRIBES OF SOUTH-EAST AUSTRALIA

handed over to all comers for that night, and her cries were not heeded.

"Women were lent to friends, or to friendly visitors from a distance, but it had to be with the consent of the woman. If, however, the husband consented, the woman submitted to his will.

"A female captive would be the property of her captor, if she were of the proper class-name; but in any case he must be a noted fighting-man to be allowed to have more than one wife. If the woman did not belong to the proper class, he had to give her back to her relations.

"If a man among the Kamilaroi took a woman to wife contrary to the tribal laws, her kindred would complain to the local division to which he belonged, and they were bound to take the matter up. If they did not do this, a fight would be sure to arise between members of the two sub-classes concerned. In some cases, however, if a man persisted in keeping a woman as his wife who was of one of the sub-classes with which his sub-class could not marry, he was driven out of the company of his friends. If that did not induce him to leave the woman, his male kindred followed him and killed him. The female kindred of the woman also killed her,"

The Kamilaroi of the Gwydir River appear to have been exceptionally severe, for the penalty of death was inflicted by the tribe upon a man who spoke to, or had any communication with, his wife's mother.[1]

To the west and south-west of the Kamilaroi are the Wiradjuri, whose class system is almost identical with that of the former, and is given in Chapter III.

I have not been able to obtain a full statement of the intermarriages and the descents of all the totems given for the southern branch of this tribe. Those which I obtained are noted in the following statement, and were given me by one of the Wiradjuri, a man of the Murri sub-class and red kangaroo totem.

  1. Cyrus E. Doyle.