Relates some observations on expression among Australian aboriginals and encloses answers to CD's queries from other observers. [These include letters and observations from: J. A. Hagenauer, 28 May 1868; Archibald Grahame Lang, 17 June 1868; H. B. Lane, 24 June 1868; Templeton Bunnett, 25 June 1868; J. Bulmer (1868). (See introduction to Expression.)]
Herewith I have the honor to forward for the information
1. The Reverend M
It was my intention to have visited Coranderrk; and to
have made observations as closely in accordance with M
``Jim Cane'' a very lively and intelligent full-blooded Aboriginal came from Warrnambool t<o> see me—as the < > in reference to the removal of his children to the school <at> Lak<e> Condah.
I ex< > <rest of line missing> with questio<ns of> gr<a>ve impor<tance> < > made a f< >
When laug<h>ing the skin o< > < > eyelids wr<in>kled < > head was bent forward—the <shou>lders were elevated—and <the> hands were removed from the body—the fingers gathered t<o>geth<er> as if picking up fruit; and again the hands were drawn backwards—lightly touching the hips.
When trying to remember a word he had forgotten—the body was bent forward—the head thrown slightly backwards—and the eyes were half or nearly closed.
The upper eyelids quivered.
I showed Jim Cane a mass of silver in a glass case—beautifully mounted, and bearing a slight resemblance to the form of a sheep—a thing surprising and singularly attractive to a Black fellow.
His curiosity was excited. The upper lip was slightly drawn together, and slightly protruded, and all the muscles about the corner of the nose worked rapidly.
Something being named on which he felt strongly (the injustice done him as he conceived by the removal of his children) he threw his half opened hand up to his he<ad> and spoke very rapidly.
When shewn a mas<s> of off<i>cial papers in a large ro<om>
<1 line missing> cluck-cluck
In endeavouring to explain any point of difficulty he turned out his hands, and exposed the flat palms—the <t>humb being bent outwards from the fingers.
Addressing me on a subject interesting to him—his face was fronting me, the eyes turned quite to the left—so as to show little more than the whites.
Thomas Bungelene—a full blooded Black—who was educated at the expense of the Government and who was for some time under my charge—showed on one occasion a complexion as nearly approaching to what we understand by paleness as could well be conceived in the case of a very Black fellow.
He was angry and much frightened—and almost a death like pallor was exhibited.
Jemmy had never been in a theatre before, or indeed, in any
lar<ge> Hall. When he saw the place he did <n>ot wish to go any
fu<rther> <1 or 2 lines> an assemblage <
When he saw two little boys turning head over heels very quickly he was much astonished and expressed his feelings by protruding his lips and making a noise with his mouth as if he were blowing out a match.
R Brough Smyth
Flemington, | 13
%%A Mission Station, Lake Wellington %%D May 28, 1868. %%S Sir
It gives me great pleasure to forward to you the answers to the Queries of Expressions of the Aborigines here and in my neighbourhood and I hope that it will be satisfactory to you for the purpose required. I have done my best in the matter, but not being a scientific man < > I may not have expressed myself clear en<ough> although I follow<ed> closely to the questions with <2 lines> not much <3 or 4 words> the Queries
Some of my notes had < > taken for some time back for a Photographic Artist near Melbourne, <bu>t I am glad to be able to send them complete to you.
I have the honour to be | Sir | Your obedient Servant | F. A.
R. Brough Smyth Esq
Answers to Queries about Expressions
No 1. Astonishment is very often expressed by the eyes and and mouth being opened wide and the eyebrows raised.
No 2. I have never seen anything like a blush, but I have seen them looking down to the ground in account of shame.
Answers to Queries about Expression
No 1 It is a difficult matter to astonish the Aborigines but when they are astonished they raise the eyebrows and make an exclamation `Kooke' to do so the mouth is drawn up as if going to whistle
No 2 I have not been able to detect anything like shame in the adult Aborigines, but I have noticed in the children when ashamed their eyes present a restless watery appearance as if they did not know where to look
No 3 In anger I have found that the mouth if firmly closed nostrils distended and the man picks up the first thing < > reach to hurl at the person against w< > angry: In deliberate < > I find <1 line missing> head <1 or 2 lines missing> which we do. < > rem< > <2 or 3 words> stupidity if unable to find the matter < > a rule they are incapable of mental exe<rtion>
No 5 A Black in low spirits I find shews it <by> a sullen silence mouth closed eyes sle<e>py looking and not inclined to walk about, but will if left to himself roll himself up in his rug
No 6 A Black in good spirits shews it by his sparkly eyes and a grin which shews his teeth all the face in a smile. As a rule Blacks are very impulsive they are like children very easily pleased and its opposite. When a Blk's wants are all supplied and he has health he is generally in good spirits.
No 7. In snarling at each other I find they speak with the teeth closed the upper lip drawn to on<e> side and a general angry expression of face looking direct at the person addressed
No 8 A dogged or obstinate expression may be detected by the mouth being firmly closed and a frown
No 9 Contempt is shewn in the same way as described in the circular. the same remarks will apply to No 10 disgust
No 11 During the time I have had the circular I have not seen a case of extreme fear
No 12 Laughter is often carried to such an extent that tears are brought into the eyes the Blks have a keen sense of the ludicrous. They are excellent mimics and when one is a<ble to i>mitate the peculiarities of some absent member of the tribe, it is very common <to hear> all in the <camp convulsed with laughter>
<No 13> < > he < > not p<r>event someth<in>g being do<ne> he < > merely said so and turn<ed> away as if half ashamed
<No 1>4 When the children are sulky they pout the lips
No 15 I cannot say anything about a jealous expression not having observed a case
No 16 As a sign to keep silence I have seen the person put the mouth as if going to whistle and then suddenly open it, at the same time silently uttering the word Woo lart ba worl???? which means be silent. I have also observed when they wish to stop a noise they give a sudden Yah
<No 1>7 In making a sign in the affirmative the head is nodded vertically with an expression gna which means yes. but they do not like us nod the head silently
In making a sign in the negative they throw the head a little back and put out the tongue
These are the fruits of my observation I hope I have made my remarks plain so that they may be of use to you. I may say all which I have stated I have seen among the Blks and if you think that the modes of expression is nearly similar to European expression, I can only say I think the Blk < > <w>ild state would express himself just th< > < >uld. N< > be anything which I ha< > <1 line missing>
fai<thf>ully yo<urs> | J. M. Bulmer
- f1 6314.f1Smyth's letter and its enclosures were sent to CD by Edward Wilson (letter from Edward Wilson, 14 October 1868).
- f2 6314.f2Smyth refers to Friedrich August Hagenauer. Gipps Land: Gippsland, a region in Victoria, Australia.
- f3 6314.f3Archibald Grahame Lang and H. B. Lane have not been further identified.
- f4 6314.f4John Bulmer.
- f5 6314.f5Coranderrk was a station in Victoria for aboriginal peoples; it was established in 1863 (Barwick 1972, p. 24). See also Correspondence vol. 15, letter from Ferdinand von Mueller, 8 October 1867 and nn. 7 and 8.
- f6 6314.f6Gowen Evans was Wilson's representative on the board of the Argus newspaper in Victoria (Wilson, the proprietor, had moved back to England in 1864; see Aust. dict. biog. s.v. Wilson, Edward).
- f7 6314.f7An Anglican mission was established at Lake Condah, Victoria, in 1867 (Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia). Jim Cane and his children have not been identified.
- f8 6314.f8CD quoted Smyth's remarks about Bungelene's pallor in Expression, p. 294.
- f9 6314.f9The `Central Board' was presumably the Board for the Protection of the Aborigines. Thomas A. Hickey and Jemmy Barber have not been further identified.
- f10 6314.f10CD quoted the last part of Smyth's remarks on Barber's expression in Expression, p. 285.
- f11 6314.f11Hagenauer also answered CD's questions in his letter to Ferdinand von Mueller, [12 September 1867] (Correspondence vol. 15).
- f12 6314.f12CD quoted Hagenauer's remarks in Expression, p. 321.
- f13 6314.f13See Expression, p. 194.
- f14 6314.f14See Expression, p. 292.
- f15 6314.f15See Expression, pp. 262--3.
- f16 6314.f16CD quoted Lang's reply in Expression, p. 321.
- f17 6314.f17Lane wrote his answers on a handwritten copy of CD's queries about expression that was probably made in Australia. Where the text is damaged in this and the questionnaire following (enclosure 4), missing words have been supplied based on other handwritten questionnaires.
- f18 6314.f18Lane's answer has been reconstructed based on CD's summary of responses in DAR 186.
- f19 6314.f19In other lists of queries, this phrase reads, `General remarks on expression'.
- f20 6314.f20The copyist or another person has scored out all but the `6' of `6 or 8 months or even a year to any single one of the foregoing questions' and interlined `weeks'.
- f21 6314.f21The gentlemen have not been identified.
- f22 6314.f22Bunnet, like Lang, wrote his answers on a handwritten copy of CD's queries about expression. The questionnaire is in the same hand and contains the same divergences from the usual text as Lang's (see nn. 19 and 20, above).
- f23 6314.f23Bunnet's answer has been destroyed: in DAR 186: 6, CD noted by Bunnet's name under this question: `A chapfallen expression observed no g muscle'. See also Expression, pp. 178--9.
- f24 6314.f24CD quoted Bunnet's answer in Expression, p. 269.
- f25 6314.f25CD quoted from Bulmer's answer (writing `Korki' instead of `Kooke') in Expression, pp. 285--6.
- f26 6314.f26CD quoted Bulmer's answer in Expression, p. 321.
- f27 6314.f27CD quoted Bulmer's answer in Expression, p. 252.
- f28 6314.f28Missing sections in Bulmer's answer to question 12 have been restored from CD's quotation of it in Expression, p. 209.
- f29 6314.f29CD quoted Bulmer's answer in Expression, p. 275.