"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 15, 1926 : Explorators Camp/Tombe Village

October 15

We got up this morning under a bright blue sky; a cheerful contrast to the weather of the last two days. The soldier is feeling much better and has appointed himself chief cook. We have pooled our resources and had a very successful breakfast. At about 10 o'clock four pygmies who had gone with le Roux returned on the back trail to Agintawa, so we presume le Roux reached Tombe last night. They did not have anything to eat with them excepting a couple of potatoes each for their own mid afternoon meal. During the afternoon Stan and I went down into the gorge and took a number of pictures which may not be good as it is very dark down there. At three in the afternoon the transport came from Tombe whence they had started early this morning. There were six Dyaks and two convicts. They had very little food for themselves let alone us. {p. 292} It appears that the high water has prevented the canoe transports coming upstream below and no food was available at Head Camp for the last transport to bring up. They brought a little tinned stuff but no rice, and the supply of rice at our Tombe camp is now exhausted also. This hits the Dyaks and convicts pretty hard as rice is their staple food. We will try to get an early start tomorrow so that the carriers can return on the line as quickly as possible.

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