"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 21, 1926 : Albatross Camp (Base Camp) ; Mamberamo River

June 21st

We went up the river this morning in a Dyak canoe with Ipoei and 5 other Dyaks and took a lot of pictures of Dyaks in action, making camp, handling the canoe, etc. The Dyaks had more fun than on a picnic and showed plenty of histrionic ability in their posing. We treated them to a can of pineapple and a can of spaghetti as a reward for their efforts. A couple of soldiers who went out hunting Sunday are lost in the jungle and failed to appear today. The soldiers have been scouring the jungle all day with no results. We were somewhat fearful that they had furnished a meal for the Boromeso as well as the {p. 134} soldier that failed to appear a couple of weeks ago. At 11 P.M. this evening Korteman sent for Ipoei and told him he would give him a reward of 50 guilders if the Dyaks could find the soldiers. Anji's eyes sparkled and he was gone. In an hour and a half the Dyaks were back with the two soldiers safe, if not sound. Anji did some calculating before starting apparently. Hans, Prince and Dick went with the Dyaks in the canoe in their midnight search. There was a little moon and they headed down the river. They paddled rapidly downstream for half an hour and Prince started to sing. Immediately an answering shout came from the shore. The Dyaks then shouted and headed for land. There were no more answering shouts, the men fearing that perhaps the canoe carried Papuans. On landing, they found the two soldiers in a complete state of exhaustion. One had collapsed and had to be carried into the canoe. The other soldier had carried him the last couple of miles to the river and was physically exhausted from his efforts. Prince asked Anji how he managed to go directly to his objective. Anji answered in the manner of the man who found the lost horse, "I just thought if I was a horse, where would I go? I went there, and there he was." Anji put himself in the position of the soldiers, figured they would reach the Van Gelder river, since they had disappeared back of camp, and would then follow the Van Gelder to the Mamberamo, so he went there, and there they were. {p. 135}

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