"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 22, 1926 : Albatross Camp (Base Camp) ; Mamberamo River

June 22nd

Today was largely spent by Hans and Prince making preparations for leaving with the canoe transport tomorrow for Batavia camp. They have loaded all of their materials into the canoes. It will be a difficult job to make repairs on the damaged pontoon at Batavia camp as there are no facilities for working and the plane is against a mud bank. They are hoping to be able to complete the job in a couple of weeks time. The river has been rising steadily the last few days and Hans is afraid that high water will make working conditions practically impossible.

This evening Ujahn, the sheik of the Dyaks, came around to visit us. He told us he has been married only six months. He described his bride to us in enthusiastic terms, described with a rapt look on his face how long her ears were and how she wore five heavy rings in each ear. When we suggested the possibility of her finding some other man while he is gone, his confidence that such would not be the case, was perfect. This was in considerable contrast with the ideas of Ipoei, whom, be it remembered, set his wife free on coming to New Guinea, as otherwise he feared he would find her living with some other man on his return. But then Ipoei is a much older man and has had experience with nine other wives. I spent most of the afternoon making solio prints of some of our negatives. Naturally therefore, the sun did not come out all day. I can always control the weather by this method. {p. 136}

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