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Naylon, Maudie Akawiljika (c. 1885 - 1980)

Born
c. 1885
Simpson Desert, Australia
Died
1980
Birdsville, Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Traditional Aboriginal Custodian

Summary

Maudie Naylon was the last fluent speaker of the Ngamini and Yarluyandi languages.

Details

Maudie Naylon Akawiljika, of Wangkangurru and Arrernte descent, was born in the Simpson Desert in c1885. Despite her exceptional traditional knowledge and the fact that among Wangkangurru and related groups women shared in practically all ceremonies, anthropologists never asked her for information - only men were asked to sing or relate traditional matters.

Although her main language was Wangkangurru, she also had a command of Yarluyandi, Lanima, Ngamini and Jauraworka. With her death in Birdsville in 1980, Ngamini became extinct and Yarluyandi lost its last fluent speaker.

Sources used to compile this entry: Horton, David (ed.). The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, Vol. 2, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1994, pp. 768-9.

Leonarda Kovacic and Barbara Lemon

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