"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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October 4, 1926

October 4

Last night was again cold and we were glad for our hot drinks this morning. The trail continued to rise until we crossed the highest ridge en route. We then made a long descent, arriving at noon at the junction of two good sized streams which probably form a branch of that big tributary river I have called the "Jasper", which is crossed on the Rouffaer trail. {p. 279} We followed down this stream until we reached a huge overhanging rock evidently much used by the pygmies as a shelter. This is by the hidden mouth of a small stream up which the trail followed for a short distance and then started steeply up the spur of a mountain. According to our guides, Agintawa is on the other side of this mountain. We had hoped to reach the village today, but six o'clock found us at the stream at the foot of the mountain with all hands well tired out and the carriers unable to proceed farther. We made a wet camp and prepared to spend the night. Our two guides went on to the village to sleep. (Another man from Damuneru caught up with us this noon from behind and joined us, probably having been sent by the one who returned). The village is evidently quite close but we have gone the limit today and anyway evening is a poor time to arrive.

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