"By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" Accounts of the 1926 Smithsonian-Dutch Expedition to New Guinea

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Journal of Matthew Stirling
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August 30, 1926 : Overland Trail/Upper Rouffaer/Nogullo River ; Rouffaer River

August 30

We broke camp at daybreak and kept on our way. We climbed high up on a ridge and then[,] descending the cliff on the other side[,] were back to the Rouffaer at noon. We kept on nearer to the river this time, and about 2 P.M. met Anji Ipoei and 6 of his men returning from Jordans. He reported that one of the Dyaks climbed a mountain and saw a great many round houses and a rattan bridge across the river. Jordans is therefore waiting until we come up before proceeding farther. He is now about two days in advance of us. This evening we made camp by a small river entering the Rouffaer. The Rouffaer here, as all along the gorge is a wild surging stream that is spectacular to look at. At this point there is a high rock cliff of up-ended stratified granite on the east side. It {p. 228} has been another day of exhausting work and man-killing labor for the carriers. The vegetation is changing noticeably. I have seen a number of trees and fruits that I have not seen before. Birds and animal life of all sorts are very scarce. On the higher ridges there is no sign of life, not a bird cry, nor an animal track. Near the river there are a few birds some of which sing a fairly tuneful note. There is one small bird over the river with a white body and black wings, that is fairly abundant. I have never seen them before. One fact is worthy of note - leeches are quite scarce - possibly because there is nothing for them to feed on.

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