Aborigine Songs

~Aborigine Songs~

1896 - Aboriginal Songs and Words. (By S. M. Mowle.) - I am in accord with writers in the daily press that it is to be regretted that aboriginal names of places should be misspelt and mispronounced, as they are found to be. They and the writers in the periodicals fancy that the aboriginals were so intelligent, and understood the English language so well, as to be able to say what the names of places or rivers in the native tongue meant. I saw much of the blacks in my early manhood, and made a long journey with them; but I could never ascertain so much from them.

This brings me to a statement of the late Sir Samuel Baker's in one of his books upon the Nile sources. He had shot antelopes, which he called the "Maharif,' from the answer to his inquiries—what is the name of this animal? But upon a subsequent occasion he learnt that "Maharif" was "we do not understand you." So with our natives. They could not interpret their language into our own. The aboriginal songs as under—and some of many words and names of places—I learnt in my early manhood days from the Queanbeyan (Cuumbean) blacks. That they are correct in spelling, as English can spell them, I can vouch for, from often having sung the songs with the blacks at their camps long ago, and at the Government settlement at Brungle, in 1891.

ABORIGINAL SONGS. - (A few words of their language and mis-spelt names of places.) Korindabria, korindabria, bogarona, bogarona. Iwa- riniang, iwaringdo, iwariniang, iwaringdo, iwari- niang, iwaringdo, iwariniang, iwaringdo, iwar- ingime. Iwaringiang, iwaringdoo, ilanenienow, coombagongniengowe, ilanenienow, coombagong- iengowe, ilanenienowe, coombagoniengowe, ilan- enienimme.

(2). Buddha-buddharo, nianga, boomelana, bulleranga, crobinea, narnmala, yibbilwaadjo, nianga, boomelana, a, boomelana, buddha-buddharo, nianga, boomelana, buddLaro, nianga, boomelana, bulleranga, crobinea, narnmala, yibbilwaadjo, nianga, croilanoonme, a, croilanga, yibbilwaadjo, nianga, croilanga, yibbilwaa- djo, nianga, croilanga, coondheranea, tabiabina, boor- ganmala, yibbilwaadjo, nianga, croilanoome.

"Where are you going . Undha yarra bonningya. Old man or woman . . . Djherrabung. Boy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boorbel.

Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mullingang.

Moon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Djhatu.

Sun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buggerang.

Crow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Murith.

Plover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bindharunthera.

Plover spur-wing . . . . . . . . . . Pitheriritheric.

Sheep . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ghumbuc.

Fire . . . . . . . . Winnu.

O ! Dear me . . . . . . . . . . Yaccojai.

Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Owwineya. No .Undhup.

No good . . . . . . . . . . Gutbanaatba. You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yindagee.

Give me . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Uungiadghe.

Poor fellow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comiagola.

Cold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carrata.

Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yajhong.

Opossum (ring-tailed) . . Bogarre. Opossum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Willy.

A great many . . . . . . . . . . Bulgarrabong.

Flying squirrel . . . . . . . . . . Moritchegang.

Cattle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cumbaculluc.

Native dog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mirrigang.

Bread . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dhonga.

Places. - Queanbeyan should be . . . Cuumbean. Pialigo " . . . Byalegee.

Ginninderra " . . . Ghinninghinninderra. Tinnimanbilly " . . . Tchinbinbille.

Tumut " . . . Dumudth.

Yass " . . . Yarr-r-r.

Yarrowlumla " . . . Arralumna. Colooman " . . . Cullalomin.

Boroomba " . . . Booraroomba. Bungendore " . . . Bungendow.

Murrumbidgee " . . . Murrumbidghee.

Brindabella " . . . Berindhabella. Condore " . . . Condhoware.

It would be interesting to know what the songs mean. Who can tell? I cannot, and the blacks did not know, or they could not put them into English. They only knew that they came from "a good wee," further intimated by a jerking up of the chin, the usual method of denoting distance and direction.

It was an easy matter to learn the names of animals, etc., from the natives. If one pointed to them they would give the name, and so it is I am enabled to commit them to paper, in addition to the songs.

There is a comical picture in a late number of the "Sydney Mail" of two blacks in their warpaint, shaking hands. They never met in that way. Two tribes, or members of the same tribe, meeting at a camping ground would sit apart, light their fires, and feast upon their "warmed through" opossums. After a time the leading man of the last arrived would make a remark, then a speech, when they fraternised, and the talking would become general.

I hope some one will be able to interpret the songs. I believe the Bucknell family can from what I have heard of their knowledge of the native language.

That there were dialects among the blacks is not disputed, but that they sang the same songs and understood each other from the coast to the Murray, I know from my own knowledge. - (Ref- Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907)(about) Previous issue Saturday 16 May 1896).

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