Posted on 01 Sep 2019

Mukata known as pretty mary agsa

Mukata, also known as ‘Pretty Mary’, was one of the four wives of Murlawirrapurka, a Kaurna Elder. Murlawirrapurka translates as dry forest old man and was an indication of the esteem in which he was held. He was also known as ‘King John’, as he was a skilful warrior, or Onkaparinga Jack.

In 2003 Hindmarsh Square was renamed Hindmarsh Square/Mukata to honour this Kaurna woman and to recognise that this square was an important meeting place for Aboriginal Elders and members of the Aboriginal community to convene, connect and resolve disputes.

The square is also named after Sir John Hindmarsh (1785-1860), the first Governor of South Australia, and is home to the tallest tree in the city, an Araucaria bidwillii or Bunya Bunya Pine. This 1838 portrait of Mukata by female colonial artist Theresa Walker is currently on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Celebrating 125 years of women's suffrage in South Australia.

Image: Theresa Walker, Australia, 1807-1876, Mukatta, commonly known as Pretty Mary, 1838, Adelaide, wax 9.2cm (diam.), 19.8 x 19.8 cm (frame); Bequest of Sir Samuel Way 1916, Art Gallery of South Australia Adelaide