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Personal life

Post  kosovohp on Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:19 pm

Minnie was born in the early 20th century near Utopia, Northern Territory, 300 kilometres (190 mi) north-east of Alice Springs, Northern Territory.[3] Utopia was a cattle station that was returned to Indigenous ownership in the late 1970s.[4] It is part of a broader region known as the Sandover, containing about 20 Indigenous outstations and centred on the Sandover River.[5] Minnie was one of the traditional owners of Utopia station recognised in the 1980 Indigenous land claim made over the property;[1] her particular country was known as Atnwengerrp.[3]
Pwerle (in the Anmatyerre language) or Apwerle (in Alyawarr) is a skin name, one of 16 used to denote the subsections or subgroups in the kinship system of central Australian Indigenous people. These names define kinship relationships that influence preferred marriage partners, and may be associated with particular totems. Although they may be used as terms of address, they are not surnames in the sense used by Europeans.[6][7] Thus "Minnie" is the element of the artist's name that is specifically hers.
Estimates of Minnie's birthdate vary widely. The National Gallery of Victoria estimates around 1915;[2] Birnberg's biographical survey of Indigenous artists from central Australia gives a birth date of around 1920;[8] The new McCulloch's Encyclopedia of Australian Art suggests around 1922;[3] Elizabeth Fortescue's biographical essay in Art of Utopia offers a range between 1910 and 1920.[9] The uncertainty arises because Indigenous Australians often estimate dates of birth by comparison with other events, especially for those born before contact with European Australians.[10] Minnie was one of six children, and had three sisters: Molly, born around 1920, Emily, born around 1922, and Galya, born in the 19

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