This extraordinary book, written from material gathered over half a century ago, will almost certainly be the last fine-grained account of traditional Aboriginal life in settled south-eastern Australia. It recreates the world of the Yaraldi group of the Kukabrak or Narrinyeri people of the Lower Murray and Lakes region of South Australia. In 1939 Albert Karloan, a Yaraldi man, urged Ronald Berndt to record the story of his people. Karloan and Pinkie Mack, a Yaraldi woman, possessed through personal experience, not merely through hearsay, an all but complete knowledge of traditional life. They were virtually the last custodians of that knowledge and they felt the burden of their unique situation. This book represents their concerted efforts to pass on their story to future generations. A World That Was encompasses relations between and among individuals and clan groups, land tenure, kinship, the subsistence economy, trade, ceremony, councils, fighting and warfare, rites of passage from conception to death, myths and beliefs and practices concerning healing and the supernatural. Not least, it is a record of the dramatic changes following European colonization.