212A. PIGEON Jim.


Who is Jim Pigeon??, only mentioned at page six of Lasseter's Diary where Jim prints the alphabet and capitalises his name at the bottom of the page, the writing is not in Lasseter's excellent copperplate, but well practised none the less. there's a sense that this is a whitefellow name bestowed on an Aboriginal.

The numerals 1 to 12 at the top of the page are written in Lasseter's confident hand and this is probably connected with his notes at page 30 and 31 of the diary, "I tried one day to teach a piccaninny the numerals on a watch dial & he got so he could point to them and repeat them", judging by Jim's handwriting there would be no need to give him counting lessons to twelve. Jim's contemporaries feel like Rolfe Entata, Paddy Tucker, Buttons and Johnson Breadon, Hermannsburg educated or influenced.

Jim, if he ever existed, and to put him in context, apparently noted the diary somewhere in the Petermanns, this of course is impossible by all accounts, but not so if he is Rolfe Entata's unnamed Aboriginal companion  when they and Paul Johns arrived at Illbila on the last day of August 1930. the three men spent several days with the C.A.G.E. expedition and Jim appears in the same set of pages that contain Lasseter's remarkably accurate Aboriginal to English dictionary, this was very likely written from Rolfe's interpretation and translation of the Sandhill men's dialect when visiting Illbila.


R.Ross. 1999-2006

Lasseter's Diary 6,30,31.