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Mack, Maggy Pinkie (1858 - 1954)

Lower Murray River, South Australia
Aboriginal Linguist and Aboriginal Storyteller


Maggy Pinkie Mack (Katipelvild), of Ngarrindjeri descent, was born in 1858 on the lower Murray River in South Australia. At the age of 16, she was given in marriage to an up-river man, John Mack (Telwara). She took part in ceremonies and learnt new songs and stories. After he died, she went back to her own country, and her second husband.

Pinkie Mack was a song-woman, and she recorded some of her songs on an Edison wax cylinder. She was nostalgic about the past and her people. After the death of Albert Karloan, she was the only remaining fluent Yaraldi speaker.

In later years, Mack lived in a small cottage near the river and not far from Tailem Bend, where she sometimes sold freshly caught fish to a local shop. Children, grandchildren and various relatives called in to see her on the way to other places.

Sources used to compile this entry: Horton, David (ed.). The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, Vol. 2, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1994, pp. 639-640.

Leonarda Kovacic and Barbara Lemon

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