"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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June 6, 1926 : Albatross Camp (Base Camp) ; Mamberamo River ; Airplane Flights ; Papuans of Bisano

June 6

Today Hans and Prince repeated yesterday[']s two flights, carrying the same load. Hans made the 2nd take-off at Albatross camp downstream as there was a little wind blowing from the north. The plane seems to take off better each time. The Ern in two days has made 4 round trips and deposited 1286 kilos of food at Batavia camp. After they had returned to Albatross camp from the 2nd flight, our Papuan friends from Bisano arrived in their canoe full of excitement over having seen and heard the plane in the air. When Hans and Prince {p. 115} were pointed out as having been in her, they were observed with awe and much clucking of the tongue and shaking of the head. Prince took a series of pictures from the air and at Batavia camp.

"...I was afraid we would not be able to get fine air pictures without a special air camera."

Dick developed them and they are excellent. I am particularly pleased as I was afraid we would not be able to get fine air pictures without a special air camera. Dick has rigged up a box for the Contessa-nettle, for air work, and as Prince has demonstrated, it works perfectly. He got one picture of the canoe transport just entering the Edi rapids (the worst on the river) that is particularly interesting. Tomorrow we are going to bring the Papuans down to watch the plane take off, and Dick will try to get some movies of them watching the operation. All of my old friends - Kanagua, Masuka, Komeha, Red and Skillibooch were on hand with the others to greet me this evening and incidentally beg some tobacco. We traded them some rice for a couple of cocoanuts and for some singing which they donated free into the bargain, we gave them a round of peanuts, and then had some difficulty getting rid of them when we wanted to go to bed.

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