Presland Account of Kulin Nation

Gary Presland is a respected historian whose works focus on Indigenous people of south eastern Australia.

From Presland, Gary 1994, Aboriginal Melbourne, Penguin, Victoria, 38-39.

At the time of European invasion, a large part of central southern Victoria was owned by a loose confederation of five language groups who identified themselves as the 'Kulin' nation.

In traditional Koorie society the most common day-to-day group was the foraging band, composed generally of one or two families, plus visitors. The most important social group, however, was the clan. The clan was the land-owning unit in traditional society and was also the group with which an individual Koorie would firstly identify herself or himself. All members of a clan spoke the same language and identified with a particular area of land, or estate, which they regarded as their own. In traditional Koorie society a number of clans who spoke the same language and had adjacent estates made up a larger group usually referred to as a tribe. The tribal territory was the total area of the clans estates.