Yagan`s Grave SitePrint Page Print this page

Grave site of Aboriginal resistance leader who was killed and dismembered.

Yagan was a notable leader of Aboriginal resistance to European Settlement in the early years of the Swan River colony.

Yagan was shot dead on 11 July 1833 by a youth of eighteen named William Keats, who was a servant of Lieutenant Bull. Shortly after killing Yagan, Keats was himself speared to death by the Aborigines, but his brother James aged thirteen, who was with him escaped by swimming the Swan River.

Before Yagan was buried, near where he fell, his head was hacked from his body by one of Bull`s servants, and preserved by smoking in the hollow trunk of a gum tree. It was then sent to England where it was exhibited as a curio and subjected to phrenological examination. The rest of his remains were buried not far from the scene of his death.

The dismemberment of Yagan, illustrates how the remains of Aboriginal people were often treated as curios and as suitable objects for public display. The Perth Gazette at the time of Yagan’s death noted his conciliatory skills and stated ‘among the more thoughtful elements of the community there is regret and misapprehension`.


Address:West Swan Road & Great Northern Highway, Yagan Memorial Park, Belhus, 6069
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.78
Long: 116.021944
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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