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Finding Yagan video transcript
Watch video on Finding Yagan, 4 December 2007 (MPG4 video)
(Duration: 2:48, file size 6.1mb)
Transcript of Ken Colbung talking about Yagan's repatriation
My name is Ken Colbung and I'm from the state of Western Australia and the city of Perth. We are here at the gateway to the city, which is called Heirisson Island, but the Aboriginals knew it as Matagarup. It meant knee-high to water. It was a ford. And so therefore, our people used this quite regularly to get from the north to the south side of the river.
Yagan was a man, that actually was no different to the rest of the group that was here. No-one was singled out, he was never singled out. By his own efforts, such as we have great cricketers and footballers and things like that, he excelled in various ways in the art and the use of the boomerang and the spear. And he was pretty fleet of foot, able to run down a roo and things like that. I guess he was just an ordinary person, but he was placed into prominence by the fact that when the white men came here, he understood them to be people that he could do a deal with or talk with.
Yagan actually moved around the whole lot of the northern area of the Swan River up to the Moore River. Where he met his end was in the country of Mundy which was up in the Upper Swan. And Mundy was one of his uncles and he met his end up there.
We are here now, because of the fact that this is where Yagan's head was brought back to Australia in 1997 after being held over in England for so long.
Having been over in England and discovered where Yagan was, and also getting permission from the authorities in England, I believe one of the highlights was when I came to land here in Perth and you could feel the elevation of spirit and mind and body because Yagan was satisfied, and as relatives of his we also felt the same.
Having spent quite some time, in England and in Australia, in looking for Yagan's head, I believe that I became closely attached to him and he became attached to me, in the Aboriginal way of spiritual connection. And it's a way that you can only explain if you are aware of what that spiritual connection is. It's like Aboriginals have with land.
© 2007 National Museum of Australia