The Pigeon Story
Now Pigeon Start OFF him bin—I talk to you with the Pidgin English, Pidgin white man tongue, Pidgin—he bin start off got breakin in HORSES him bin SHEARER shearin sheep with a BLADE not a machine ‘cos those days they had a blade so he bin work on that one shearin blade he bin work Quanbun Noonkanbah Liveringa then he went back to Kimberley Downs he work there an he went back to p’lice camp then he start p’trol he went for p’trol look around some BLACKFELLAS inna bush he tracking (long pause)
What they done? they killed two white man in Mount Broome then p’lice went up to find him so they pick-im-up—Pigeon the outlaw they take-im in up on the range then Pigeon walk up an he got a MOB an he bring them back SOME was there right one that bin kill the white man but he didn’t know who he was—take him to Windjana Gorge tie them there they turn around tell ’im Pigeon ‘Alright you wanna get a kangaroo’ ‘For us?’ ‘We can’t jus sitting down here stave hungry on the chain’ ‘You bin bring us’ ‘So you mus FEED us’. SO—
Pigeon turn around and see boss the boss—‘I wanna get a kangaroo for these prisoners’ ‘Alright you know where the rifle’ so he went up and get the rifle ’stead of he go for KANGAROO he shot his boss in Windjana Lillimooloora that was a p’lice station—(softly) Anyhow he went there got the mob take-im off the chain an he bin go in the hill Everyone followed him up there but he the one done all the FIGHTING an this OTHERS didn’t understand him (softly) they never have-im fight.
hunting tracking sourcing searching finding fishing casting marking locating imagining translating crossing in(n) scrounging fossicking re-collecting mustering mastering constructing labouring designing cutting binding assembling fabricating fragmenting riveting re-painting sorting layering mixing re-playing recording propelling improvising and
gathering bamboo aluminium beer cans cattle bones kangaroo sinew leather emu feet feathers rubber tire tubes cable ties resin ochre gauze folding chair bush turkey feathers snake bones twine screen toys text electric fan motor motion sensor light globes tin drum kungga berry leaves words stories memory family bunuba gooniyandi walmajarri wangkajunga kartiya tagalog and other found materials
to build a single seater hybrid helicopter called Jandamarra (aka Pigeon) Crossing named after the young Bunuba folkhero who ‘flew like a bird and disappeared like a ghost’ as he lead the resistance against the invasion and pastoral occupation of Aboriginal lands in the Kimberley in the 1890s. The project revisits Jandamarra/Pigeon both as a traditional maparrn (medicine man), and as an exceptional marksman/strategist. And re-animates his sculptural improvisation in manufacturing the white man’s ammunition using found materials to propel and muster the creative spirit of resistance, in the context of the contemporary Aboriginal struggle for self-determination and emancipation
one maban blackfella witchdoctor—come from ROEBOURNE—they used to call-im ah Minko Mick—he got onto the boat in Roebourne or Onslow boat call-er name ah Koombana three funnel come right up to Derby landed—anyhow blackfella got onto mail coaches they take-im to Meda and from Meda to Kimberley Downs and from Kimberley Downs to Fairfield then he ride across with a horse horseback went to Tunnel he SLEEP one night there he didn’t go fast but next mornin they stirred-im Pigeon up so he got up to start shooting—but this bloke seen his life.
The helicopter will have the personality of Jandamarra and should send a message to people about alcohol. Use don’t abuse… Abuse alcohol: Sick Abuse Helicopter: Crash
witchdoctor told them boys ‘Alright’ ‘I know’ he said ‘ I take jus one bullet in my rifle’ he said ‘I’ll kill-im an you fellas can go…’ cut his HEAD off so this Pigeon went up aaah—Minko Mick followed the river up he got into the boab tree he look up upwards Pigeon was right on top in the cliff—so he FIRE ONE shot he knock him in his thumb—so he fell down an sing out ‘I shoot-im you can go in and pick-im up whenever you want’ very fright they said, ‘No we can’t run up to pick-im up’ ‘No—you cango in an see-im’ ‘He’s finished’ ‘Alright’ oh well they didn’t argue with im all them fellas round up there and see—sure enough Pigeon laying there smashed up’ is thumb so Minko Mick—went up there he looked’ is thumb he found a little little heart like a fish in his thumb here (shows thumb) that where he shot an pick-im-up cut his head off an that was the end of the old Pigeon story—it’s from Banjo, Pandanus Park.
(Text in italics from Howard Pedersen and Banjo Woroonmurra, Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance.)
Alwin Reamillo & Roselin Eaton, January 2003
The artists would like to acknowledge their collaborative partnership with Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency Aboriginal Corporation, Karrayili Adult Education Centre Aboriginal Corporation, and the valuable support of the following friends and agencies in the development of Jandamarra Crossing Project: Tommy May, Daisy Andrews, Butcher Cherel, and the full Mangkaja Arts membership, ATSIC, Leedal Pty Ltd, ArtsWA, Rachel McKenzie, Tamela Vestergaard, Rupert de la Cruz, Michael Borg, Bella Fernandez, Jeff Amundsen, Jimmy Pepito, Joe and Vaughan Duncan, Juliet and Kaprou Lea, Howard Pedersen, Karen Dayman and the Fitzroy Crossing community. Special thanks to Steve Barrett for his technical assistance and Greg Peterson of Wangkatjunka Community who provided bush turkey feathers and emu feet from their traditional hunting. No animals were directly hunted in the making of Jandamarra Crossing.