"By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" Accounts of the 1926 Smithsonian-Dutch Expedition to New Guinea

Interpretive Essays

Browse Photos and Film

Expedition Source Material

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expedition source material

Annotations to the Journal of Matthew Stirling

Date of Note/View Entry Keyword(s) Note

June 5, 1926 "Tuan Panjan"

Tuan is Malay for “owner, master, sir”; panjang means “long” in standard Indonesian but in eastern Indonesian dialects (where local languages sometimes do not distinguish the direction of length) the same word is used for both “long” (horizontal length) and “tall” (vertical length). Thus this phrase should be translated “the tall gentleman” (or more precisely, in this colonial environment, “the tall White Man”).


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