The Courteous Savage: Yagan of Swan River


‘Yagan, an Australian aboriginal tribesman whose people dwelt about the Swan River in south-western Australia, became a legend in his own lifetime.  He was known as ‘the black Robin Hood’, he inspired both fear and respect among the white people.

His story is that of many a tribal leader whose homeland was invaded by new settlers.  He and his people welcomed with joy the first white men to come rowing up their river one spring morning in 1827.  But the early friendship could not last.  Although he was always ready with a kindly gesture towards his new white friends, Yagan was the first to fight for the rights of his people when he say these threatened by the newcomers.  And he was first to carry out the harsh age-old tribal law that demanded a life for a life.  Conflict was inevitable.  In the biography of Yagan of Swan River one can read the moving story of a truly ‘noble savage.”


*I struggle with the title of the book!

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