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Toby, Ida (1899 - 1976)

Walgra or Carandotta Station, Queensland, Australia
Aboriginal Linguist
Alternative Names
  • Queen


Ida Toby, also known as Queen, was born in 1899 at either Walgra or Carandotta station in Queensland. She was of Warluwarra and Wangka-Yutjurru (of Wangkamana group) descent. Her 'skin' was Bilarrindji and her Dreaming was Emu; she had a black birthmark on her elbow in the shape of a legless emu. She grew up along the Georgina - on Walgra, Carandotta, Roxborough and Glenormiston stations. She was married first to Deamrah, and then to his younger brother Belia. She had two children and raised three step-children. The family travelled about Carandotta, as the brothers worked together for years poisoning dogs on the station, until they both died in c1962.
Between 1967 and 1975 Ida Toby provided valuable linguistic information on the Warluwarra and Wangka-Yutjurru languages. She also had an acting ability which helped her make up and act out imaginary conversations in those languages.
She died in 1976.

Sources used to compile this entry: Horton, David (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, Vol. 2, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1994, pp. 1081-1082.

Leonarda Kovacic

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