Issue Details: First known date: 2002 2002
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Notes

  • Epigraph: Of the many Aborigines who courageously resisted European settlement, most have now been forgotten, their deeds surviving only briefly in the oral epics sung by their tribal groups around campfires. The legend of Yagan is preserved because of the interest shown by three settlers: Charles McFaull, the editor of the Perth Gazette, who made his name a household word throughout the colony; George Fletcher Moore, the Advocate General, whose published journal provided a professional view of Yagan's character; and Robert Lyon, a mystic with complex and confused motives wavering between genuine sympathy, imperialistic idealism and theological nonsense, who saw Yagan as the epitome of the noble savage...
    The legend of Yagan did not end along the banks of the Swan River. The head, brutally hacked from his body, was wedged into a hollow tree stump and slowly preserved in the smoke of gum leaves. After several months the lank hair was combed, a band of possum string was wrapped around the forehead and a pair of red and black cockatoo feathers added for effect. Ensign Robert Dale acquired the trophy and took it to England where it was exhibited as the head of a Swan River Valley Chieftain.
    - Neville Green, Broken Spears : Aboriginals and Europeans in the Southwest of Australia.
  • Author note (Five Bells vol.10 no.4, Spring 2003, p.25): 'sequence...modelled on the devices available in demotic Indian poetry...'

Includes

Ma-ri / Lament i "Yagan, / though the past is as anxious as native vegetation in the suburbs", John Mateer , 2002 single work poetry
— Appears in: Loanwords 2002; (p. 79-80)
Graro-Djin! / Look Out! i "Yagan, / without you the city is a ruin of broken glass", John Mateer , 2002 single work poetry
— Appears in: Loanwords 2002; (p. 76-78)
Naiji Karnijel Wong / I am Telling the Truth i "Yagan, / your head, shipped to the Old World", John Mateer , 2002 single work poetry
— Appears in: Loanwords 2002; (p. 72-75)
My-A-Kowa / Echo (Voice of the Precipice i "Yagan, / avatar, you are that moment of deja vu,", John Mateer , 2002 single work poetry
— Appears in: Loanwords 2002; (p. 70-71)
Bal Wenin / He is Dead i "Yagan, / even if I stab a redgum you will not speak.", John Mateer , 2002 single work poetry
— Appears in: Loanwords 2002; (p. 68-69)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Loanwords John Mateer , Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 2002 Z946216 2002 selected work poetry Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 2002 pg. 67-80

Works about this Work

Language Under Language John Mateer , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Five Bells , Spring vol. 10 no. 4 2003; (p. 23-25)
Language Under Language John Mateer , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Five Bells , Spring vol. 10 no. 4 2003; (p. 23-25)
Last amended 23 Aug 2010 16:13:00
Subjects:
  • Upper Swan, Swan Valley area, Eastern Perth, Perth, Western Australia,
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