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Stated Meeting, November 18, 1898.
Vice-President SELLERS in the Chair.
Present, 15 members.
Letters were read from President Fraley, Prof. Hilprecht, Mr. Rosengarten, Mrs. Stevenson, and R. H. Mathews, of Queensland, Australia.
Dr. Frazer presented the proceedings of Officers and Council.
The paper by R. H. Mathews on “The Divisions of the Queensland Aborigines,” was read by title and referred to the Secretaries.
Pending nominations 1432, 1464, 1469, 1470, 1471, 1472, 1474 were read, and new nominations 1475, 1476, 1477, 1478 and 1479 were read.
On motion of Dr. Frazer the resolution approved by the Officers and Council regarding the International Floating Institute was unanimously adopted (see minutes of October 21, 1898).
On motion of Dr. Frazer, it was ordered that when the Society ad journs, it adjourn to meet November 25, 1898.
DIVISIONS OF QUEENSLAND ABORIGINES.
(With Map, Plate XIII.)
BY R. H. MATHEW, L.A.
(Read November 18, 1898.)!
In an article on the “ Initiation Ceremonies of Certain Tribes of Australian Aborigines,” published in the PROCEEDINGS of this Society, Vol. xxxvii, No. 157, pp. 54-73, I established the boundaries of the different organizations spread over the whole of New South Wales. In the present article it is intended to show the limits of the aboriginal nations inhabiting that portion of Queens
land lying between the northern boundary of New South Wales and the nineteenth parallel of south latitude.
Each of these nations is composed of certain communities or aggregates of tribes who adopt identical section or class divisions, the particulars of which are explained under each head in the following pages, and the boundaries of the nations are accurately defined on the accompanying map. Each nation has been named after one or two of the tribes whose section or class divisions were first reported in it, and they are numbered on the map to correspond with the numbers given in the letter-press.
On the map referred to there is also represented the dividing line, AB, between the area in which circumcision is practiced, and that in which such rite is not in force. From B, this line continues in the same northerly direction till it meets the shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The continuation of this line southerly from the point A passes through the northwest corner of New South Wales, and its position is fixed on the map of that colony accompanying my paper read before this Society March 18, 1898.
No. 1. The DIPPIL NATION.
The country occupied by this nation, No. I on the map, extends from the Upper Clarence in New South Wales to Port Curtis in Queensland. On the east it is bounded by the sea-coast, and on the south, west and north by the distinguishing line marked upon the map, and includes the Brisbane, Mary, Burnett, Dawson, Upper Condamine and other rivers; together with Moreton, Stradbroke, Fraser and other islands on the adjacent coast. The following are a few of the principal and best known tribes who were formerly spread over this tract of country: Dippil, Turrubul, Paiamba, Kitabool, Kaiabara, Kooranga, Goonine, Murrungama.
The people are divided into two primary groups, called Deeajee and Karpeun ; the former is again divided into two sections, called Bunda and Derwine, and the latter into two, called Banjoora and Barrang. The following synopsis shows which sections may intermarry, and to what section the children belong :
1 In the Wide Bay district, Balcoin is used instead of Banjoora, with the fem; inine equivalent Balcoingan.
Descent is always reckoned on the female side, the children taking the group and totem name of their mother. They do not, however, belong to her section, but take the name of the other section in their mother's group, as exemplified in the above table.
The pair of sections, Barrang and Banjoora, forming the group Karpeun, invariably marry the Bunda and Derwine pair, of the group Deeajee, but the rules of intermarriage of the individual sections constituting the groups is different in different parts of the tribal territory. For example, in some districts, instead of the rules of marriage following the order laid down in the foregoing table, a Barrang, male, marries a Derwine, female, and vice versa ; a Banjoora, male, marries a Bunda, female, and vice versa. The descent of the children is not, however, affected by this variation -the offspring of a Derwinegan being always Bunda, no matter whether she marries a Banjoura or a Barrang husband. This law applies, mutatis mutandis, to the offspring of the women belonging, to the other three sections.
Although marriages are generally regulated by the rules set out in the above table, and in the last paragraph, yet there are what I have called family or sectional regulations, under which a man may, in certain cases only, marry a woman belonging to his own section, but of a different totem to that to which he himself belongs. For instance, a Barrang Opossum might be allowed to marry a Barrangan Porcupine. Marriage between persons of the same totem is strictly prohibited.?
The totems belonging to each of the primary groups are common 1. The Kamilaroi Class System of Australian Aborigines,” Proc. Roy. Geog. Soc. Aust. (Q.), X, 23-24.
to the two sections of which it is composed. Thus, the totems attached to Karpeun are common to the sections Barrang and Banjoora, and the Deeajee totems are common to the Bunda and Derwine sections. I have found that certain totems which belong to Karpeun in a given district are reported to be attached to Deeajee in a different part of the tribal territory. It may be stated that I have observed similar local disagreements among the totems of other organizations.
In the tribes inhabiting the country on the heads of the Clarence and Condamine rivers, the following are some of the totems attached to the group Karpeun : kangaroo-rat, parrot, turtle, carpet snake, eaglehawk, codfish, sea, brown kangaroo, crow, opossum, scrub turkey and porcupine. Among the totems of the Deeajee group in the same district may be enumerated the plain turkey, red kangaroo, bat, common magpie, wallaroo, black snake, native cat, emu, iguana and platypus.
Mr. A. W. Howitt reports that in the Turrubul tribe, one of those included in this Nation, “descent is counted through the male." In another place he makes the same assertion in regard to the Kaiabara, also belonging to this Nation. There is, however, no question that he is in error in both instances, and has evidently been misinformed. I have drawn attention to the matter now, because on a former occasion I was misled by Mr. Howitt's conclusions respecting the line of descent of the Kajabara tribe. I have since, however, from personal inquiry, reported that descent is through the mother.
I have before given the Rev. William Ridley the credit of being the first to report the Turrubul and Dippil tribes from Moreton Bay to Wide Bay, whence Mr. E. Palmer traced a similar organization Port Curtis.“ I am the first to publish the existence of identical divisions on the sources of the Clarence and Dumaresq rivers ; down the Condamine, and across the country to the Dawson, including that river and its tributaries, as shown upon the map.
Journ. Roy. Soc. N. S. Wales, xxxi, 170.
The names of the groups Deeajee and Karpeun, and the equivalence of the four sections to those of the Kamilaroi tribes, have also been first reported by me.
No. 2. THE KOGAI-YUIPERA NATION.
The name is adopted from the Kogai of the Maranoa and Yuipera of Mackay, the two tribes whose divisions were first made known in this area. The immense extent of country covered by the tribes and communities constituting this nation can be understood better by reference to the map than by any description of
In a former paper, to which the reader is referred,' I detailed the original work done by the Rev. William Ridley, Mr. R. B. Smyth, Mr. E. M. Curr, and Mr. E. Palmer, among different tribes of this organization.
I have traced the same section names among the tribes of the Warrego, Paroo, Bulloo, Barcoo, Thomson, Diamantina, and other rivers, thus covering all the country in which the section or class names had not been particularized by previous writers. The following are a few out of a large number of tribes included in my inquiries: The Gnoree tribe of the Middle Warrego, the Murgoan of the Bulloo, the Moothaburra and Birria of the Thomson, the Koonkerri of the Barcoo, the Kurrawulla of the Diamantina, the Banthamurra of the Wilson, etc.
In all the tribes of this Nation the people are divided into four sections, called Woongo, Koobaroo, Bunburri and Koorgilla, or else mere variations of these names. The people appertaining to the Woongo and Koobaroo sections together form a group called Wootaroo, and the Bunburri and Koorgilla sections constitute the group Yungaroo. In my previous article already referred to,’ I gave a tabular arrangement of the groups and sections of the Yuipera tribe at Mackay, as reported by Mr. R. B. Smyth, in 1878, but as the names are slightly different in the interior, it will be better to supply a new table, as follows:
'Journ. Roy. Soc. N. S. Wales, xxxii, 78–80. * Journ. Roy. Soc. N. S. Wales, xxxii, 79.