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Kinship

Family and kinship relationships.

"The Kaurna people were an affiliated group of clans that stretched from Mid North to the Fleurieu Peninsula. The Adelaide Plains lie at the centre of Kaurna country. The Kaurna people believed they were the children of Munana who, long ago in the Munaintya (the Dream Time), had climbed up into the sky from his home in Pindingga (associated with Kangaroo Island). To the west, Wongayerlo (the water where the sun sinks - Saint Vincent Gulf), flowed past Mudlangga (the place of the nose - Lefevre Peninsula) which was separated by a sea creek from Yertabulti (the place of slumber - now the Port Adelaide district), believed to be where the birds flew each night to sleep."
(Manning Index of South Australian History)

"Families travelled to visit families tied to them through their kinship system. There were blood relations with neighbouring families, which enabled trips to the Coorong, Yorke Peninsula and the Mid North area. The journey south was educational because not only did it involve story telling of the Tjilbruke dreaming, but also created an opportunity for older members of the group to teach the younger members about protocols for travelling, about food and water collection, about the landscape, about kinship ties, about survival and social structures, and about navigation skills necessary for day and night journeying."
(Kaurna Cultural Heritage Survey)

"You could not cross your moiety for the birthing of children. If you messed with the big law, look out for you, you'd end up dead. They didn't kill you,  they ostracised you, you lived on the outskirts of the tribal boundaries - your family could see you and talk to you, but you weren't allowed to come back in, ever. In the old days you could marry out a certain level of relationship (like 4th cousin) and then you get to a point when you can marry back in again, and then you get to a point that you can't go in and you have to marry on the outer rim or outside the group. So that was why your number system was the way it was, you looked after certain things in your number system. It went deep, lots of layers set out according to north, south, east and west. The sun was important not just for light, but also when the seasons moved and what we could grow and the songs for gathering and food. It was a system, we had a system for social and government. It was to do with interactivity with the land - came from the land, to us and we passed it back to the land. Invisibility space is the spiritual journey our people could take, to reach that level of the human condition. Not everyone could do it, not everyone wanted to do it. People would be born with gifts and it comes out of that system of marrying numbers."
Georgina Williams

"Veronica Brodie's great grandmother, Lartelare Rebecca Spender was born near this site in 1851. She passed her cultural knowledge to her children and grandchildren, telling stories of walking from Port Adelaide to their winter camps in the hills following the watercourses like the River Torrens (Karrawirraparri). They knew all the sacred sites where corroborees and meetings took place, bypassing them because “that was like sacred ground, nobody could stay on that”, continuing their passage through to Tarndanyangga (Victoria Square) where another Kaurna camp was located. Lartelare’s family lived along the Port River amongst the mangroves but there were also people living in the sand dunes over the Jervois Bridge in the Glanville and Ethelton areas. Wurlies were pitched in the dunes where the Kaurna would walk from their camps into the Port area to work. Lartelare would visit the families camped in the dunes but always go back to her people amongst the mangroves."
Kaurna Cultural Heritage Survey

"We could have multiple wives, but a lot didn't - you didn't have to. The rule was you had to be able to look after them. The same as children, they didn't have a lot of children, two or three was normal. The women managed birth control, I don't have the detail because it's women's business - but there are certain berries. That's how they discovered the birth control pill, testing those berries. Our mob didn't fight much, maybe over women but they were skirmishes and it came down to an agreement about swapping women between groups. It helped because we weren't allowed to marry too close."
Lewis O'Brien

"The Port area was always very significant for the people of Point Pearce because of blood relations between the Narungga and neighbouring Kaurna families. As a result, there was constant movement of Indigenous people between the missions and the Port. There were Kaurna people living in the West Beach area and along the River Torrens, but their lifestyle was different to that of the people in the Port area, mainly because the Port River offered different resources and food."
(Kaurna Cultural Heritage Survey)