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Yagan (Yagan Memorial Park)Print Page Print this page

03-May-2014
03-May-2014

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The Memorial Park has been created to commemorate the life, death and spirit of the great Nyoongar leader and warrior, Yagan (c. 1795 - 11 July 1833) and as a Burial site for Yagan's repatriated Kaat (head).

The park officially opened in 2010 brings to an end a long campaign by the Noongar people to reunite the head of the warrior Yagan with his body, which is believed to have been buried at the site in Belhus. Following a private traditional Nyoongah burial ceremony, Premier Colin Barnett dedicated the park as a memorial to Yagan. The Park also represents a new beginning in the acknowledgement and understanding of Noongar people.

Yagan, a famous Aboriginal from the nomadic Noongar tribe in Western Australia, was shot dead by brothers, William and James Keats. Nineteen year old William Keats who fired the gun was killed by Yagan’s friends whilst James escaped via the Canning River. Yagan had a thirty pound bounty on his head and he had speared a number of Britons to death during the Noongar resistance to British claims over their land and he is considered a hero in Indigenous folklore. His head was cut off after he was killed and his back was skinned in order to obtain his tribal markings. It was common practice amongst settlers to behead Aboriginal warriors and send the heads to Britain for study and display. This also occurred to Yagan. Badly deteriorated, the skull was ultimately buried in Everton cemetery in 1964, and his tribe fought for decades to have it exhumed and returned to Australia in 1997.

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.`

Location

Address:West Swan Road & Great Northern Highway, Belhus, 6069
State:WA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.780512
Long: 116.017663
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Indigenous
Actual Event STart Date:11-July-1833
Approx. Event Start Date:
Actual Event End Date:11-July-1833
Approx. Event End Date:
Monument Designer:Peter Farmer, Kylie Ricks, Sandra Hill and Jenny Dawson (artworks)

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 10th July, 2010
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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