Kinship in Western Central Australia
Oceania Volume 4 Issue 4 June 1934
Henry Kenneth Fry
"The information presented in this paper was obtained during a
visit of the Adelaide University Anthropological Expedition
to Mount Liebig, the western limit of the McDonnell Ranges, in
August, 1932. News of our coming had been sent out beforehand,
and about one hundred bush natives from the surrounding districts
came in and settled temporarily near the camp of the Expedition.
The majority of these people were members of the Ngalia tribe from
the sandhill country to the north-west, and of the Pintubi tribe from
the west and south-west. Some Jumu (Luritja) natives of the
locality and a few Aranda natives from Hermannsburg also were
Lists the following relationships :-
The following records of the actual circumstances of marriages were made.
I. Mintun-Mintun, Pintubi, Tararo Tjungarai.
First wife, Maramintjini, Iparka. The mama, father, of
Maramintjini, the nunari of Mintun-Mintun, told him to
marry her, so he went and called her to his camp. She was
a little girl about knee high. Mintun-Mintun's father
called Maramintjini's father watjera.
Second wife, Koreilja, Panaka Napurula. (A kameru
marriage.) This girl was the daughter of Nalbilala,
Purukulla, who told him to take her to his camp. She was
a little girl like a small girl of four or five years of age who
was pointed out. Mintun-Mintun called Nalbilala kameru,
and his father called Nalbilala kandia, wife's brother.
Nalbilala called Mintun-Mintun's father numpana, sister's
Third wife, Mulunga, Iparka. The sister of Maramintjini,
by the same father. Ngunari, the girl's father, told him
to take her. She was a little girl like the others.
Fourth wife, Milbanga, Iparka. She was the daughter of the
same father as his first and third wives. Milbanga called
Mulunga kankoro. Mulunga called Milbanga malango.
Fifth wife, Iparka. This woman was the widow of his deceased
"elder brother," actually his father's elder brother's
son. He stated that he looked after her and her children,
but that she was not really a wife.
II Nalbilala, Pintubi, Purukula Takamara.
He had only one wife, Napaltari Purunga. When a young
fellow, he was frightened of women and kept away from
them. His nunari, Wallowaritji, Tararo Tungarai, told
him to marry this woman, who was his daughter. Everyone
told him to marry. His wife came and made a fire and a
camp ready for him, along with his people. She was a
young woman, he called her korei. Nalbilala's father
called Wallowaritji watjera. Nalbilala called Wallowaritji
nunari, and Wallowaritji called him kameru.
III Koijanu, Pintubi, Purukula Takamara.
Only one wife, Purunga Napaltari. She was promised to him
by his nunari, her father, when she was a baby. When
she was about hip-high (? six years) he took her. When
she was about breast-high (demonstrated), he began
marital relations with her. This was before her breasts
had come up. He used to sing to her to make her grow
quickly. His nunari was Kateirelba, Tungarai. It was
the custom to give kangaroo and euro to the nunari from
the time that his daughter was promised. He still did this.
When he was about breast-high (demonstrated), he used
to play with the girls in the bush, only proper ones watjerawatjera.
He would meet them by arrangement. He
would give the girl euro or kangaroo meat.
South Australian Museum
Photographs relating to journals
Provenance Dr Norman Barnett Tindale
57.'Mintun mintun strengthening mulga wood stick for a spear Mt Liebig N B Tindale photo Aug. 1932'.
One b/w photographic print, annotated by Tindale.
South Australian Museum
Series AA 346/12/7
No.11 native (male) c 50 yrs. Mt Liebig, CA. Pintubi tribe of Ilbilla. August 1932. NB Tindale'
Black, red and yellow drawing of concentric circles and a snake.
Labels by NB Tindale include: 'details of some marks not obtained at time owing to absence of translator’.
Sociological data cards (AA 346/4/14) identify the artist as Mintun Mintun.
Previously numbered 50.
Tindale Tribes: Pintubi.