"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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September 10, 1926 : Explorators Camp/Tombe Village

September 10

This morning a big group of new Pygmies from another village back in the hills came to visit us and to trade. They were around from sunrise to sunset and had a day of marvels to entertain them. We put on a "sleight of hand" show in the afternoon for their benefit, and gave an exhibit of rifle shooting which impressed them immensely. On the advice of the more sophisticated, they are getting to be keener traders all of the time, and now always ask more no matter what is offered. This group brought several women with them, the first women we have seen here, aside from the ones who live in this village. Probably because the villages are all small and the woman do not travel so much, we see few women in comparison to the number of men who are about. They are quite vivacious and the small girls act more naturally, or more like European children than the boys, who are very quiet and generally inactive. All of these visitors stay in the village of Igoon, which makes this the tribal headquarters while we are here. They all like to gather around closely while we eat and watch the process. They enjoy very much having their cigarettes lighted by matches as they enjoy seeing the matches struck. {p. 250}

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