Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls. Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names

Arnold R. Pilling, Norman B. Tindale
1974 Ethnohistory  
QUEENSLAND 164 NEW SOUTH WALES 191 VICTORIA 203 SOUTH AUSTRALIA 210 NORTHERN TERRITORY 220 WESTERN AUSTRALIA 240 PART III: A LTERNA TIVES, V A R IA N T SPELLINGS, AND IN V A LID TER M S List of Alternatives, V ariant Spellings, and Invalid Terms 265 Appendix: Tasm anian Tribes by Rhys Jones 317 Bibliography 357 IN D EX ES General Index 389 Tasm anian Tribes Index 40° Acknowledgments D uring the fifty years of my inquiries into the distribution of A ustralian tribes, I have become indebted to m
more » ... come indebted to m any people for d a ta and help. First and foremost I pay tribute to the several thousand people of A ustralian aboriginal descent who have contributed from their direct knowledge, great or small, of their own and their neighbors' territories, and thus have laid the foundation for the present study. M any of their nam es appear in the dozen or more folio volumes of genealogies preserved in the South A ustralian M useum that form an unpublished background for this work. D irectly an d indirectly, the continuing series of expeditions organized through the Board for A nthropological Research of the U niversity of A delaide for the study of the aborigines have been supported by the South A ustralian governm ent and by the several research foundations th at are interested in recording p rim ary d a ta on the developm ent of m an and his institutions. T hey include the Carnegie C orporation of New York, the G uggenheim F oundation, the N ational Science Foundation, the Rockefeller F oundation, an d the W enner-G ren Foundation for A nthropological Research. T he lastnam ed organization twice m ade direct grants, enabling me to check d ata in the field. T his support has continued up to the tim e o f publication. So far as has been practicable, the help given by other researchers has been directly linked with the reference section attach ed to each tribal listing, but the influence of general discussions cannot be overlooked, although it would be impossible to record m ore than a portion of the general contributions. In m entioning the following names, I realize th a t they reflect only a cross section of those who provided stimulus and d ata. Because of the long period involved, a quasi-historical arrangem ent would have been best, perhaps, to outline the contributions of other research workers. M any have continued their help up to the present tim e, but some of those who first influenced and encouraged me have since passed away and their nam es can be m entioned now only as tributes to their memories. Com m encing with W alter Baldwin Spencer, who gave me instruction to assist me in fulfilling my first assignment of a year and a half on G roote E ylandt in 1921-1922, the list of those who have directly helped, inspired, or debated with me virtually represents a catalog of the more notable contributors to knowledge in the field of A ustralian anthropology. M y first teachers were H enry K enneth Fry, the social anthropologist, J . F itzherbert in linguistics, and Douglas M awson in the geology of the Pleistocene and Recent. of their efforts I was able, a year later, to lead into the field, with Birdsell as my associate, the H arvard-A delaide Universities Anthropological Expedition of 1938-1939. Although interrupted by the outbreak of W orld W ar II, one outcom e of the expedition was the appearance in 1940 of a prelim inary edition of a T ribal M ap, published by the Royal Society of South A ustralia, defining the territorial limits and proper names of the tribespeople we had encountered, together with a prelim inary assessment of the available literature on areas we had not been able to cover. After a decade of interruption, our work together was resumed with Birdsell as leader of the U C L A -A delaide Universities Anthropological Expedition of 1952-1954. Areas in northwestern A ustralia and the N orthern T erritory, neglected or unknow n earlier, were covered. T h e associations with Birdsell have continued to the present day in shared field d a ta and discussion. A lthough we have consciously tried to keep our results independent for the better furtherance of our several aims, I acknowledge with great pleasure the avenues of help and the stim ulus of his discussions, both in private and in joint seminars at the U niversity of C alifornia in Los Angeles. Roy T . Simmons, a recipient of most of our serological m aterial, contributed m uch to an understanding of the underlying differences between some of the several peoples both Birdsell and I have studied. W hen the urgency of obtaining additional inform ation becam e apparent, a further field support came from my own institution, the South A ustralian M useum , with the strong backing of the W enner-G ren Foundation and the help of other colleagues, notably W alter V. M acfarlane of the W aite Research Institute in A delaide and Jo h n G reenway of the University of Colorado. Fieldwork continued in the 1950s and in 1964 contacts were m ade with m em bers of the last of the hitherto unknow n W estern Desert tribes. T hey proved to be the Ildaw ongga of the vicinity of Ju p ite r Creek. In 1965 and 1966 further field contacts with another new people, who proved to be an isolated group of the N gadadjara, living near T ekateka, brought the active gathering phase tow ard a conclusion. Field checking continued with the assistance of the W enner-G ren Foundation until late in 1972 and the work then took its present form. T h e inspiration and help afforded by Ernest A. W orm s is acknowledged elsewhere in this text. T o J o h n H. C alaby I am indebted for discussions on the distribution and life cycle of the dingo and of the fox, as aid to a possible estim ate of the degree of stability of tribal distributions in Australia. G ordon Flinders Gross, acting D irector of the South A ustralian M useum , helped in supplying vocabulary and other d a ta on the A ntakirinja tribe in northern South Australia. Mrs. K. Em m erson of C hinchilla, Q ueensland, provided helpful discussion, some of which is acknowledged in the m ain text. M y daughter, Beryl R ae (M rs. R onald) George, in the course of her studies, checked m anuscripts associated w ith the early South A ustralian pioneer Simpson New land, who wrote of the E ncounter Bay, D arling, and Paroo Rivers tribespeoples. G eneral field support goes back to the m en, including the R everend H u b ert E. W arren, Alfred J. Dyer, H. L. P errim an, Jellan i of M akassar, and others with whom I shared the excitem ents and occasional perils of the detailed exploration of Groote E ylandt in 1921Groote E ylandt in -1922. I acknowledge also the help afforded me in 1922 by Constable R aym ond R. Bridgeland of L eichhardt Bar on the R oper River, and the station people of the then rem ote Elsie and Hodgson Downs ranches who provided both transport and aboriginal help in my study of R oper R iver tribes in the N orthern T erritory. J . A. H einrich at the H erm annsburg Mission in the N orthern T erritory in 1929 and other helpers since, too num erous to m ention, smoothed our way in subsequent years. A lan Brum by, my cam el team leader during travels in the W estern Desert in 1933 in com pany with Cecil J. H ackett, along with M unji and her two daughters, afforded m uch help because of their intim ate knowledge of P itjandjara ways. No acknow ledgm ent would be com plete w ithout reference to the indefatigable help afforded by the C hief Patrol Officer of the W estern Desert Reserves, W alter B. M acD ougall, who took me to places far from any existing tracks and introduced me to people such as the N akako, who had not till then known of our world. It should not be forgotten th at M urray N ew m an, an aged W udjari tribesm an, was able to link me w ith the kodja ax using past generation of the people of the Esperance district, and th at W illiam H am let, another most intelligent first generation m ixblood of the W adjari tribe of the M urchison River district in W estern A ustralia, provided some of the im portant final links necessary to our understanding of the earlier distribution of peoples in parts of W estern A ustralia. A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S XI O f m any A ustralian aboriginal helpers, my most grateful tribute is to the late C larence Long (M ilerum of the T angan ek ald tribe of the Coorong in South A ustralia) who for nearly ten years, until 1941, worked to furnish me with a detailed picture of the several peoples of the lower M urray River in South Australia. He had known my m other from the tim e they m et as children in K ingston, when he was first brought out of the bush w ith his parents to face a new life in the strange world of W estern man. In later stages of the work I was m uch assisted by lists, m ap com pilations, and direct checks m ade by Theodore George H enry Strehlow for the A ran d a tribal areas, W illiam E. H. Stanner in the Daly River region, B ernhard Schebeck, A nnette H am ilton, and Nicolas Peterson in A rnhem Land, while R onald M. Berndt and C. G. von B randenstein provided sim ilar data for parts of W estern Australia. A most helpful list of languages and inform ants for northern Q ueensland was m ade available by L aM ont West, J r., and this gave very accurate checks on nam es, once we were able to come to a m utual understanding of his phonetic vehicle. J . G avan Breen provided d a ta on tribes and languages in western Q ueensland. U nfortunately his final study cam e too late for detailed consideration and should be consulted for finer details in th a t area. I am particularly indebted to Rhys Jones for providing, at short notice, a sum m ary of his analysis of d ata available on the former tribes of T asm ania. H e was able to fill the gap when it was discovered that the best available base m ap for this work was designed to include T asm ania. T he appendix, together with the short separate bibliography of the literature on T asm an ian tribes, is entirely his work. M uch new T asm anian m aterial has become available through the efforts of N. J. B. Plomley in editing the diaries of George A. Robinson, 1828-1834, hence it was considered desirable to provide prelim inary indications only by quoting the assigned English nam es currently believed to denote valid tribe-sized groups in T asm ania, pending a m ore detailed consideration of lists of possible valid native nam es for these and for the sm aller band-sized units. In my absence in the U nited States, Rhys Jones also advised the cartographer during some critical phases of the draw ing of the m ap. For the use of the base m ap, I am indebted to the D ep artm ent of N ational M apping in C anberra. T hey provided the basic drawings on which were superim posed the tribal data. T hrough the Prehistory D epartm ent of A ustralian N ational U niversity, Miss W inifred M um ford m ade the four sheet drawings of the final m ap th a t appears in this work. No special tribute is necessary, for the m agnificent result speaks for itself. In final stages of the work D erek J o h n M ulvaney and Ja c k Golson not only assisted by m aking available services in the Prehistory D epartm ent of the A ustralian N ational University, but also assisted in negotiations th a t have helped the project to reach the press. K athleen (M rs. R obert) Edw ards and V e rn a R ichardson in A delaide shared in the ordering and typing of the final m anuscript from the alm ost innum erable pieces of inform ation upon which it was based. T h eir skills in reading my handw riting were often better th an my own. M y first wife, Dorothy M ay T indale, who died in 1969, had helped in the com pilation of references, and in an earlier period, during the H arvard-A delaide Expedition of 1938-39, she had gathered m uch inform ation relevant to the views on life of aboriginal women. M uriel Nevin T indale, my present wife, has shared in fieldwork in Q ueensland and W estern A ustralia, d u ring the past two years, while I was checking d a ta gathered in former years. H arold E. Burrows of the South A ustralian M useum drew the originals of several of the detailed maps, and for figure 16 I had the skilled help of H ans E. G u nther of the H u m an G eography D epartm ent of the A ustralian N ational University through the courtesy of R. G. W ard of th at departm ent. C ontributions from the literature in confirm ation of field results in general are indicated in the appropriate places. Nevertheless it is a duty and pleasure to record in a special appreciative note the debt of all anthropologists to R obert H am ilton M athew s, a South A ustralian licensed surveyor, who, in the last years of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the tw entieth, working alone and w ithout research aid, expert direction, and the encouragem ent of any one organization, brought together prim ary d a ta on the A ustralian aborigines in more th a n 185 papers. A few years ago it was fashionable to decry his work, but my years of field survey have convinced me th a t the facts given by M athews, where they have been checked and properly understood, pass all tests. T h e m an n er in which M athew s's d a ta on tribes has fallen squarely into place, item by item, has given me a profound respect for his integrity and zeal in the Xll A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S pursuit of knowledge of the aborigines. Perhaps we are more indebted to M athew s th an we realize, for even those versed in A ustralian literature m ay not have noticed how often his work was absorbed into the writings of A. R. Brown, one of his detractors, in such a m anner as to obscure the fact th a t he was quoting rath er th an reporting prim ary data. O ne of the earlier records of the m ethod of obtaining native m aps from aborigines, using crayons or pencils and sheets of paper, is given by Daisy M. Bates (1913:74). She describes in some detail results of such gatherings from a W adjari tribesm an. U nfortunately, her m aps have not been traced, but her d ata plotted on a large scaled m ap gives a p attern com parable with th at obtained by conventional inquiries in later years. M y own use of the technique, together with draw ings on cerem onial m atters, was independently initiated, in com pany with R obert H. Pulleine, am ong the Iliau ra in 1930, at M acdonald Downs in the N orthern T erritory. T he m ethod was subsequently m uch used by later-com ing m embers of the Expeditions of the U niversity of A delaide. T h e photographic plates are in two series, num bered separately. T h e photographs in color are given in the text as color plate 1 and the black and white reproductions as simply plate 1, and so on. These illustrations have been chosen for the specific purpose of describing the A ustralian tribal situation. M ost of them are referred to in the m ain text; the others app ear as illustrating aspects dealt with in the C atalog of Tribes. It was not considered desirable to place them strictly in the order of their appearance in the text but rath er to group them so th at they would tell their own story. Since this book deals with the ethnographic present in a rapidly changing society, it has been considered desirable to indicate the year, and where relevant the m onth, the photograph was taken. T h e color photographs, with some obvious exceptions, are intended to illustrate some of the ecological settings in which the people of individual tribes live. Such features are best illustrated in color. Most of the photographs used were taken by myself. I am indebted to J. C. LeSouef for access to the drawings of Pangerang aborigines shown in color plates 43-46 and for other inform ation. E. J . S tuart kindly offered the use of his photograph of Sunday Island raft users, plate 3, an d I am indebted to Professor H ans Petri for the use of the photograph of the pearl shell ornam ent shown as plate 73. B. H. S tinnear perm itted the use of two photographs taken on the A. T. W ells Geological Expedition during 1957 at M adaleiri in W estern A ustralia. O n the technical side of the production of this work, I am particularly indebted to the editor, Shirley L. W arren, and for help at all stages from Jam es K ubeck and A lain H enon. Professor W alter G oldschm idt initiated the idea of the publication of the work by the University of C alifornia Press at a tim e when I was a m em ber of the staff of the U niversity of C alifornia at Los Angeles. T h e work on the m anuscript was com pleted at M alibu, California, and given to the University of C alifornia Press on 8 N ovem ber 1971; a few additions were m ade for the Q ueensland area in Decem ber 1972. Finally, an invitation to a Fellowship in the Research School of Pacific Studies, at the A ustralian N ational U niversity, C anberra, extended to me through Professor Derek Freem an, has enabled last-m inute details to be taken care of in a most stim ulating setting and in close collaboration with my longtim e field associate, Joseph B. Birdsell, who kindly read through the com pleted work in proof form. O ctober 1973 N orm an B. T in d ale Wanman Foods Triodia grass seed [ rjotja 'warum], the main ['mai] or cereal food. Cyperus bulbs ['qalku] on flooded clay flats irrigated by rains, and lying between the parallel sand hills. Hare wallabies ['mala], the most prevalent food, killed with the throwing club ['kitibaru]. Opossum ['kuji], also called ['wigumu], the "best" or most desirable meat. Porcupines ['tjilka] desirable but rare. Cossid moth grubs ['pilku] from roots of shrubs. Pig weevil grubs (Leptops) ['tjulalu]. Lizards ['watawata] black goana, and ['walana] sand goana, ['luma] sleepy lizard. Frogs ['boboka] found in the sand hills during the times of rain. Ducks ['kunjilidja]; they came only when water lay about after big rains and were hard to kill, but their eggs were plentiful.
doi:10.2307/480950 fatcat:ow7mlkninnf6zaswino3tiypiq