Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/63

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
43
Description of the Natives of King George's Sound

and the Torndirrup to the westward. They intermarry, and have each again their subdivisional distinctions, some of which are peculiar, and some general; of these are the Opperheip, Cambien, Mahnur, &c.

What I, however, consider more correctly as tribes, are those which have a general name and a general district, although they may consist of Torndirrup or Moncalon, separate or commingled. These are, I believe, in some measure named by the kind of game or food found most abundant in the district. The inhabitants of the Sound and its immediate vicinity are called Meananger, probably derived from mearn, the red root above mentioned (p. 36) and anger, to eat. It is in this district that the mearn is the most abundantly found; but distant tribes will not eat the mearn, and complain much of the brushy nature of the country[1]—that it scratches their legs. Kangaroos of the larger sort are scarce here, but the small brush kangaroo is plentiful, and grass-trees and Banskia are abundant, as is also, in the proper season, fish.

The natives residing on the right, and extending to the coast about North-West Cape, are called Murram. This country, or district, is said to be more fertile, and produces different kinds of edible roots. It affords also more ponds of water, more wild fowl, and more emus.

These tribes are also not universally divided into Erniung and Tem, and frequently infringe the rule. Adjoining them, inland, is the Yobberore. This country appears more hilly and better wooded; but we have had very little intercourse with the natives who belong to it. Next to them is the Will or Weil district, which is a very favourite country, and may probably be named from Weil or Weit (ants' eggs). In this country they mention the existence of a river which is large and deep, extends beyond their knowledge, and is only to be crossed at one spot, over a large fallen tree.

Next to the Weil district is that of Warrangle or Warranger, from warre (kangaroo), and seems to be of the same character as the Weil, which is chiefly open forest land, with a little short grass, and abounding in kangaroos, opossums, and other animals, as well as many birds, which are not found near the coast.

The Corine district—the name of which may be derived from qūur (which I believe to be the bush kangaroo), an animal I have never seen—is said to be very open and nearly free from wood, to have much fern growing about it, and several large salt-water lakes. Beyond the Corine is a river which, however, is fordable; it falls into the sea.


  1. It may be inferred, therefore, that the interior in more open and the land of better quality; for poor soils are always covered with a scrubby brush, and quite useless for the purpose either of depasturage or cultivation.—P. P. K.