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Title: Papua or British New Guinea
Author: J. H. P. Murray
* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 1202531h.html
Language: English
Date first posted: July 2012
Date most recently updated: July 2012

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Papua or British New Guinea
J. H. P. Murray


G.C.M.G., C.B., D.Sc, LL.D.





There have been many books published of late years about Papua, and my only excuse for adding to the number is that none of the authors deal with the subject from the same point of view as I have done, nor do any of them cover exactly the same ground. Miss Grimshaw's fascinating work, "The New New Guinea," treats, as its name implies, only of the recent development of the territory; Dr. Seligmann's learned "Melanesians of New Guinea" is occupied with the ethnology of a few tribes; and the Rev. Mr. Chignell's admirable "Outpost in Papua" is almost entirely confined to a description of life in a single village; and in the same way the older books, valuable and interesting as they are, generally deal with some particular aspect of Papuan life rather than with Papua as a whole. It seemed to me, therefore, that there might be room for my book in spite of the number that had already been written.

I am fully conscious of my numerous disqualifications for the work that I have undertaken. I do not know anything of ethnology, geology, botany, or indeed of any other science, but having given some of the best years of my life to the administration of the government of the territory, it appeared to me not improbable that I had acquired a certain amount of information which might be of use to others, though at the same time I wish it to be clearly understood that I do not presume to dogmatise about any of the points upon which I have touched, for I fully admit that others, equally well qualified to judge, may very well entertain opinions diametrically opposed to my own.

It may appear strange that I have said nothing about Papuan missions. I have intentionally refrained from dealing with this subject, not from want of sympathy, but from want of knowledge, for I do not Know enough about any of the missions to justify me in commenting upon them. I have, of course, a general knowledge, and I trust a full appreciation, of the work which they have done, but I am not sufficiently acquainted with the details of their administration to make any remarks of mine on the subject of any value or even of any interest. So far as one may judge from the ordinary conversation that one hears in Papua, the feeling of the European community is not favourable to missions, and I wish, at the risk of appearing eccentric, to say that I do not share in this feeling. The civilising influence which the mere presence of a missionary has upon the native population, and the fact that all the native schools in Papua are conducted by missionaries, together with the devoted assistance which the missions have given in combating the epidemics with which the territory has been visited, constitute in my opinion a sufficient answer to the contention that the missionaries have done no good, but, upon broader grounds, I think not only that missions do good, but that they are absolutely necessary to the development of backward races. An uncivilised people who come into contact with Europeans will inevitably be led, sooner or later, to abandon their old customs and beliefs, many of which are admirable, and have served as a guide for generations of men and women in the past, and, when these are gone, the "native" (as we call him) is lost, unless some one is there to put some form of religious teaching in their place. The Government obviously cannot do this, and it is not likely that the majority of the settlers will, and, unless the missionary is there to help him, the native is left like a ship without a rudder, and will run a great risk of being wrecked in the sea of an alien civilisation. This is one reason why I think that missions are necessary, and another is that Christianity is an integral part of our civilisation, and when we are imposing that civilisation upon a people who would perhaps much sooner be without it, we should at least impose it in its entirety, and not leave out what many persons would consider the best part. This, again, cannot be done without missionary teaching.


These considerations are, of course, quite independent of the question whether Christianity is true; personally I believe that it is and this may perhaps induce me to form an exaggerated estimate of its influence, but I cannot help thinking that, even if I did not believe as I do, I should, from a purely administrative point of view, entertain exactly the same opinion as regards the necessity of some form of missionary teaching at the present stage of the Papuan's evolution.

Having lived so long in the territory, I have an uneasy feeling that I am too close to Papua and the Papuans to see them in their true proportions, in which case I am not likely to have succeeded in my attempt to describe them to others, but I shall not have written in vain if I can excite a sympathetic interest in the little-known but often attractive inhabitants of a beautiful and fertile land.

In conclusion, I wish to thank the many residents of Papua who have assisted me with suggestions and advice, and also those to whom I am indebted for the photographs which will probably form the most interesting part of the book, and my acknowledgments are also due to the proprietor of the Empire Review for his permission to reproduce the chapters on the geography of Papua and the administration of justice which have already appeared in that periodical.

Port Moresby.
January 24, 1912.





General description—Owen Stanley Range—Northern rivers—The Mambare and the Gira—Buna and Yodda District—From Cape Endaiadere to Collingwood Bay—Hydrographer's Range—Cape Nelson—Milne Bay and Samarai—The islands at the East End—The Trobriands—D'Entrecasteaux Group—Woodlark Island—Louisiade Archipelago—The South Coast westward to Port Moresby.


The Papuan capital—View from Tapaharti—The Astrolabe Range—The Rona Falls—Galley Reach and Mekeo—Mountains behind Mekeo—The road to Mafulu—The Valley of the Upper Venapa—The Boboi District—Lopiko and Mount Yule—Gulf of Papua—The Lakekamu and the Tauri—The Purari Delta—The Kikori—The Turama bore—The Fly and Western Rivers.


First discovery of New Guinea—Isla del Oro—Origin of the name Papua—The name New Guinea first applied to North Queensland—Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch navigators—Dampier—Captain Cook—McCkire of McClure Gulf—Explorations of the coast of Papua—Blackwood, Yule, Owen Stanley, Moresby—Dr. Lawes at Port Moresby—Discovery of gold—Annexation by Queensland not recognised—Protectorate proclaimed—Ceremony at Port Moresby—Criticism by Mr. Bevan—Sir Peter Scratchley—The Honourable John Douglas—Annexation—Sir William MacGregor—Native policy—The Tugeri—The Dutch boundary—Murder of Mr. Green on the Mambare—Corporal Sedu—Sir George Le Hunte—Negotiations over the Tugeri outrages—Murder of Chalmers and Tompkins—Transfer of Papua to the Commonwealth—Provisions of the Papua Act.


Papuans, Papuo-Melanesians, and Papuasians—Melanesian immigration—The Binandeli—Murders on the Northern Goldfields—Red Creek natives and other inland tribes—Gaggara and Neneba—Kokoda mountaineers—Cannibals on the Musa—Hydrographer's Range—Alleged web-footed men of the Agaiambo tribe—Cape Nelson the meeting-place of Papuan and Melanesian—Cape Nelson totems—Tribes inland of Cape Nelson—Doriri and Yabura—Collecting allies for a raid—Government station at Cape Nelson—Human sacrifice at Paiwa—Chad's Bay.


The Islands—Trading expeditions—Dr. Bromilow at Dobu—The D'Entrecasteaux Group—Fcrgusson Island cannibals—Fishing with kite and obweb—Sim Sim in the Lusanyay Group—Trobriand Islands—Families and otems—Funeral customs—Creation of an—Rain-makers—Exports—Arms—Shield, description of—Chiefs—Sorcery and murder—Woodlark Island or Murua—Crocodile as the agent of sorcerer—Early missionaries on Murua—Nada or the Lachlans—Rossel Island—Wreck of the St. Paul—Fate of the 326 Chinamen—Administration of justice on Rossel—Language of Rossel a Papuan language—Language of the women—Island of Loa—Manufacture of native money—Rossel Island canoes—Cannibalism—Totems—Sud Est—Effect of white settlement—Poisoning on Sud Est—Funeral customs—Civilisation of the Sud Est natives—Misima—Panaieti—Teste Island.


Chalmers at East Cape—The "Man Catcher"—Government station at Abau—Murder of Captain Webb and his wife, and of Messrs. McTier and Rochfort—Aroma villages—Keapara—Kalo massacre—Hula refugees from Aluguni—Sinaugolo—Tabu feast—The Koiari—Natives of Port Moresby, Motu, and Koetapu—Village of Hanuabada—Origin of the Motu of the Koetapu—Character of the Port Moresby natives—Naval prowess of the Motu—Hiri or expedition of the Lakatoi—Sorcery—Babalau—Manu Manu, Kabadi, and Doura—The Queen of Nara—Roro and Mckeo—Spear vcrstis bow and arrow at Rarai—Club-houses—The Ibitoe—Trade and markets—Natives inland of Mekeo.


Papuans of the Gulf—Initiation of youths—Elema and Namau—Moviavi and Motu Motu—The Kukukuku—Cannibalism in Namau—Vailala and Hakeko—Men with tails—Orokolo—Namau villages—The Ravi—Kaiaimunu—Confession of Avai of Baimuru—Namau labourers—Trade in Namau—The Koriki confederation—Attack on Messrs. Buchanan and Charpentier—Naval battle on the Purari—Tribes west of Baimuru—The Urama—The Paia tribe—Goari Bari—Recovery of the remains of Chalmers and Tomkins—Long houses at Goari Bari and neighbouring villages—Agibi—Dancing mask or Awoto—Cannibalism—Natives of the Kikori—Bamu natives—Mr. Jukes at Bebea—Beheading knife and carrier—Kiwai Island—Wabuda—Fly River—Parama—Mawatta and Massingara—Tribes to the west of the Massingara.


The Central Court of Papua—Native magistrates' courts—Native regulations—"Spreading lying reports"—Adultery—Sorcery—dictable offences—Murder—"Paying back"—The insignia of the assassin—Ritual murders—Burying children alive—Murder as a relief to the feelings—Nobo House—Vata—Cannibalism—Poisoning—Sorcerers as poisoners—Other crimes.


Procedure—Arraignment—Payment as a plea—Credibility of witnesses—Mistakes in identity—The vicissitudes of Imiri—Interpretation—Circuit of the Central Court—Punishment of murderers—Raids upon unoffending villages—Prison life in Papua—Escapes—Crocodiles in league with the Government—Armed constabulary—Unpopularity with certain tiibes—Village constables—Dangers of increased civilisation.


Difficulties of Papuan exploration—Transport—Living on the country—Exploration by miners, missionaries, and Government officers—D'Albertis in Yule Island and Mekeo—Difficulties with his coloured assistants—Methods of pacifying the Mekeo native—Trip up the Fly in the Ellangowan—Alleged buffalo and rhinoceros on the Fly—Second expedition up the Fly—The Alice River—D'Albertis's theory of the two races—Mummies found on the Fly—Embalmed head—A Massingara wig—Third expedition up the Fly—Attacked near Alligator Island—Death and desertion of native assistants—Return to Thursday Island—Expedition of Captain Everill up the Strickland—Explorations by Mr. Bevan—Dangers of the Gulf of Papua—Ascent of the Kikori—The "Burns" and the "Philp"—Gleeson Falls—Piastre Island—Colours'of gold found—Report by Government geologist of New South Wales—Exploration of the Purari Delta—Ascent of the Purari or Queen's Jubilee River—Second expedition confirms the results of the first—Large village in Paia Inlet—Visit to Kivvai—Mr. Bevan's considerate treatment of natives—Contrast to some other explorers—Explorations in the Astrolabe Range near Port Moresby—Hostility of natives—Ascent of Mount Obree.


Sir William MacGregor's explorations—Ascent of Mount Victoria—Mount Musgrave and "Goodwin Lodge"—Mount Knutsford—Dry, bright climate—Description of the summit of Mount Victoria—Not an isolated block—The Owen Stanley Range—Expedition up the Fly—Estimate of volume of water coming down the river—First contact with natives—"Sambio" and "Magisio"—"Pu"—Colours of gold found—Attack by natives—Junction of the Palmer and the Fly—The Palmer followed—Six Hundred Mile Camp—Tobacco—A native blockhouse—Victor Emmanuel Range, Mount Blither, and Mount Donaldson—Natives seen at the highest point—Return to Kiwai Island—Commercial possibilities and climate of the Fly—Expedition up the Purari—Biroe tribe—House with three storeys—Arrow-proof walls—Description of the people—Visit to lai and Kairu in the Delta—Trouble with the Koriki—Battle of Kairu—Discovery of coal—Expedition across New Guinea—Start from the Mambare—Inhabitants of the Chirima District—Ascent of Mount Scratchley—Continuous cold wet weather—Gold on Mount Scratchley—Description of the summit—Wild dogs—Ascent of Mount Victoria—The old camp—Cold and wet weather—Descent via Gosisi at the foot of Mount Knutsford—Arrival at Koni and the coast.


Last expedition of Sir William MacGregor—Miners beleaguered by the Goromani on the Upper Venapa—Relief expedition from Port Moresby—Arrival at Suku—Difficulties with the carriers—Village of Iritumuni—Camp of the miners relieved—History of the blockade—Description of the district—Suitability to Europeans—Three camps to be moved across the Main Range—Sufferings of the carriers from cold—Scarcity of life on the mountain-tops—Ascent of Mount Scratchley—Arrival at Tamata station—Exploration since Sir William MacGregor—Ascent of Mount Albert Edward by Mr. Monckton—Large tracks of a cloven-footed animal—The "Devil Pig"—Cold on the summit—Expedition of Mr. Monckton across the island—The MacKay—Little expedition from the Purari westward—Discovery of coal—Mr. Smith's attempt to cross from the Kikori to the Strickland—Deaths among the carriers—Causes of the failure of the expedition—Mr. Little's expedition from the Kikori to the Purari and back—Attack by natives.


Variety of Papuan resources—Tardy development—The Maria—Early traders in the Louisiades—Chinamen at Aroma—Pearlbuying industry—Discovery of gold in the Louisiades—Sud Est —Misima—Prospecting on the mainland—Murder of Clark on the Mambare—The Gira River—Woodlark Island—Rush to Port Moresby in 1897—The Yodda Field—Trouble with the natives—Expedition of Messrs. Armit and Crow—The Aikora—Gibara and Keveri Fields—The Lakekamu Field—Total yield of gold for each year—Total from different fields—Other minerals—Copper—Coal—Petroleum—Pearl-buying at the Trobriands.


Ignorance of the resources of Papua—Land Ordinance of 1906—Papua Royal Commission—A land "boom"—Native claims to land respected—Crown Land claimed by natives—Supply of labour—Imported labour not admitted—Compulsory labour—Recruiting—Terms of "Contract of Service"—Payment of wages—Objections raised to the present system—Estimated maximum number of labourers available—Possible danger if too many natives recruited—Treatment of native labourers—Epidemics— Government recruiting—Suggestion that wives of labourers should accompany their husbands—Development must be gradual—Summary.


Trade statistics—Progress of Papua under Australian rule—Effect of European settlement upon ttie natives—Condition of the natives before settlement—Future development as affecting the natives—Necessity of encouraging habits of industry—Native confidence in the Government—Murder on a Government road—Civilising influence of settlers—Spread of the English language—Papuan idea of responsibility—Punitive expeditions—Extension of Government influence—Method adopted in Papua—Visits to new villages—Timidity of natives—Necessity for care and patience—Papuan antiquities—Stone figures—Pestles and mortars—Population before arrival of Europeans—War, pestilence, and famine effects upon the population—Reasons why population does not increase more rapidly—Epidemics—Smallpox in Hanuabada—European clothes—Sanitation of villages—Savagery in unsettled districts—Conclusion.


12a AU



By Sir William MacGregor, G.C.M.G., C.B., D.Sc., LL.D., etc.

I have been invited by Mr. Murray to write a few words of introduction to his book on Papua. As I spent the best ten years of my life—less six months on leave of absence—in that country, it will naturally always possess an interest for me. I therefore welcome Mr. Murray's work, because he has had opportunities of seeing into the heart of things in New Guinea in a way that no previous writer on that country could ever lay claim to.

I understand that Mr. Murray's book deals in considerable detail with the history of Papua. History seldom reaches a full analysis of the kernel of things; and, so far, none of those best acquainted with Papua have written otherwise than officially regarding it.

My attention was first called to New Guinea in 1878, by a private letter from the late Lord Stanmore, then in London on leave of absence from Fiji, begging me to use my best efforts to prevent the officer then performing the duties of High Commissioner from proceeding to Port Moresby to deal with the state of affairs that had arisen in consequence of the discovery of gold some short time previously.

In April, 1883, I was studying in Berlin under a tutor who had formerly been a professor in the University there, but was then an editor on the National Zeitung. His first news to me one morning was that Queensland had annexed New Guinea. I said at once that if not previously sanctioned by the Imperial Government, it would certainly be disallowed. He was able to go at once and write a leader on the subject.

In 1885, while performing the duties of High Commissioner for the Western Pacific, I was directed by the Imperial Government to issue a commission to Sir Peter Scratchley as Special Commissioner for New Guinea. The death of that fine officer before he had really settled down to work was a very great loss to the Protectorate. There can be no doubt that Sir Peter Scratchley would have been a just and enlightened ruler had his life been spared. His memory is preserved in Mount Scratchley, a magnificent mountain mass over 12,000 feet high, round the great base of which were found gold and the rare and very precious mineral osmiridium.

When I first came to the Pacific, in 1875, Great Britain could probably have annexed, without protest, every island in it not already in possession of a foreign Power. There were many statesmen in Australia that could see the importance of taking advantage of this state of matters. The best papers on the subject, dealing specially with New Guinea, are reports by the Agents-General, and by Sir Arthur Gordon, respectively, strongly urging annexation. These representations failed to rouse the Imperial Government to action.

In 1883 Sir Thomas MacIlwraith sent my old and revered friend, H. M. Chester, J. P., then Resident at Thursday Island, to annex the eastern half of New Guinea. The world is now marked out in claims by the Great Powers in such a way that it would be hardly possible to have another annexation of primitive new territory; and it may therefore be interesting to record here how this was done in the case of New Guinea. This will be learned from the following copy of Mr. Chester's instructions, received by him by telegraph, March 20, 1883:—

"Immediately on receipt of this message man The Pearl with a sufficient crew and proceed to New Guinea and take formal possession in Her Majesty's name of the whole of the Island with the exception of that portion in occupation of the Dutch. Leave Mr. Duff in charge during your absence. The Premier leaves to your discretion to determine on what part of the coast to land, but in carrying out this duty it is expected that you will do all in your power to conciliate the natives, for whom you had better take a supply of the usual trade. When Moresby took possession of Hayter Island he rigged a flagstaff on shore, and read the following proclamation: 'I John Moresby Captain in the Royal Navy commanding Her Majesty's ship Basilisk having discovered three (3) considerable Islands, from henceforth to be known as Moresby, Hayter, and Basilisk Islands, off the east coast of New Guinea, together with various groups of detached Islets and deeming that possession of these islands may hereafter prove of considerable importance, do hereby take possession of all the aforesaid islands and islets lying within certain latitudes and longitudes which are given in proclamation in the name and on behalf of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria Her heirs and successors, in token whereof I have hoisted and saluted the British flag on the shores of these Islands. God Save the Queen. H.M.S. Basilisk, Possession Bay, Hayter Island, August twenty-fourth (24), eighteen seventy-three (1873).' After reading this proclamation the jack was then run up on the flagstaff and saluted and three (3) cheers given. A similar mode of procedure I presume it will be necessary for you to take. After these formalities you will return on to Thursday Island and fully report to the Colonial Secretary what you have done.—ROBT. GRAY."

The reasons for this step were given afterwards by Sir Thomas MacIlwraith in these words—

"Federation among the Colonies was the first step towards the confederation of the Empire. On that account he looked back with pride on the action that Queensland had taken (with regard to New Guinea). It did not spring from a paltry desire to get more land, for they already had 400,000,000 acres, with a population of only 300,000; nor from a wish to get niggers to work on the sugar plantations, because they knew that the natives of New Guinea were not fitted for the work, but simply for the purpose of preventing bad neighbours from coming near them, and in order to become part and parcel of the British Empire."

It is true that a Prime Minister of Queensland stated later on in a parliamentary debate, that New Guinea was annexed because it was sought to secure there a territory fit to receive the overflow of population from a filled-up Australia. But Sir Thomas MacIlwraith was a man that was always well acquainted with his own mind, and knew perfectly well that the weak point of Australia will for many generations to come be the want of population.

We went to New Guinea solely and simply to serve our own ends, and this fact should never be forgotten in dealing with the natives of that country.

The Queen's sovereignty was finally declared over British New Guinea by the First Administrator, September 4, 1888, with the usual formalities, to whom the oaths of office and allegiance were administered by the present Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Sir Hort Day Bosanquet, G.C.V.O., K.C.B., &c., then in command of H.M.S. Opal, which had been ordered by Admiral Fairfax to transport the Administrator to Port Moresby.

The Queen's sovereignty was thus declared over a new country with a superficial area exceeding 90,000 square miles, without a single soldier or policeman to support the new administration. The guaranteed revenue was £15,000 a year. This may, perhaps, be regarded with some right as the first political example of "peaceful penetration."

Captain Bosanquet was a sailor, but he understood perfectly the position of a government that existed only in a proclamation. The position of the Administrator was not unlike that of a man dropped into deep water with his hands tied behind his back, and is worth recalling on account of some winged words of Captain Bosanquet, who frankly informed me he was specially instructed to not land any men for police or similar duty in the possession; "but," he added, "if I see you fellows beset anywhere with your back to a wall, I shall not look on with indifference." I shall always remember those few words with sincere gratitude, and treasure them as worthy of a British sailor.

The great tasks before one were: First of all to consider the form in which legislation should be initiated and carried out, so that when the proper time came New Guinea should become part of federated Australia, with a native population intact, without which the possession would be useless. There was, of course, no legislature to begin with. The most important laws were those that dealt with land. The Land Law was drafted by me, but was very carefully revised by Sir Samuel Griffith, with whom, on this fundamental question, I was in complete accord. It is the palladium of Papau. I understand that it is claimed that the Land Laws as now modified in Papau are held up as being a model, on liberal principles. It may reasonably be doubted whether land laws that do not grant titles in fee simple are liberal or not. But that is a mere matter of academical detail compared to the security of native tenure provided by the original Land Law of Papua, for which the natives of that country owe a debt of gratitude to the Right Honourable Sir Samuel Griffith, without whose concurrence it could never have been passed. I understand that in certain quarters it is now thought the native had too much consideration in that settlement, and that he now begins to take full advantage of his position. If that is so, it may be regarded as a pleasant proof of vitality in the race, and a dawning power to look after their own interests. For my part, I am bound to say I had no difficulty in obtaining any land required in the possession.

The Land Laws were buttressed by others that were absolutely effective against liquor, opium, &c. In recent years I have had many applications for copies of the native code of laws prepared in New Guinea.

The establishment of courts, of a constabulary, of Government departments, were all matters of some difficulty and anxiety. There was also much labour in preparing the twenty or thirty native dialects that were printed during the first decade of the administration. This will be understood from the fact that I spent three days in a new tribe before I could find out in their language the words "What is that?"

It has, I am informed, become customary to regard exploration as the characteristic of the first decade of the existence of Papua. Exploration as apart from administration was indulged in only once. It has been shown by experience that exploring expeditions, sent from Australia or elsewhere, too frequently ended in collision with the natives, and it was decided that a Government expedition should proceed to the top of Mount Victoria, which it was thought would put a stop to others from outside. This had the desired result. All other explorations were on an administrative basis, but administration does not appeal to the imagination like exploration. The best work of an administrator is seldom heard of, because it is not spectacular. I have often received thanks and congratulations for the accomplishment of tasks that required force; but only once have I been' thanked by a Secretary of State for peacefully composing trouble that threatened to develop into civil war.

Mr. Murray, with characteristic modesty, does not discuss the question of missions in Papua, because he professes to not have sufficient detailed knowledge of their working. I cannot advance that plea.

The two finest and best institutions I left in New Guinea were the constabulary and village police, and the missions. The great distinguishing feature of the four missions of Papua is the division of the country into four specified working areas. The fundamental ideas in that were: to prevent overlapping; and to not confuse the native mind by conflicting doctrine and practice. No attempt at encroachment was ever encouraged or facilitated by the Government, which was, however, always ready to procure land required for any new settlement, without regard to Church or sect. To encourage mission work in every possible way was considered a sacred duty by the Government. To not do so would, indeed, have been a complete departure from the principles on which British or English colonisation first originated.

British New Guinea was indeed fortunate in her early missionaries. No book on New Guinea would be complete without the names of such men as the intellectual G. W. Lawes, D.D., of Glasgow University, and of the Rev. James Chalmers, both of the pioneer London Missionary Society.

The active, courageous, earnest, and versatile Bishop Verjus, of the Sacred Heart Mission, deserves to be remembered. He was succeeded by the large-minded Dr. Ginocchi, a most enlightened man, and perhaps the greatest scholar I have known.

Then came the Church of England Mission, represented by the Rev. Albert Maclaren, a man that read a portion of his Greek New Testament every day; a man whose large heart brought him into direct sympathy with the native. His early death was a great loss to New Guinea.

Last to arrive was the Methodist Mission, under the permanent chairmanship of the Rev. W. Bromilow, D.D., of Aberdeen University, a splendid administrator, a devoted Christian teacher, and a strong man.

Perhaps no missionaries did more good in New Guinea than Mrs. Lawes and Mrs. Bromilow, two ladies that should always be remembered with affection by the natives of Port Moresby and Dobu.

It has always been to me a great consolation that during the first ten years of administration in British New Guinea, no missionary, white or black, male or female, ever lost his or her life through violence. I do not even remember of one having been attacked by natives. [*]

[* It may be mentioned in this connection that in all the journeys made by me in New Guinea we never lost a human life. True, we had some twenty or thirty men wounded in encounters with different tribes, but none killed, though the constabulary and others had at times to face hostile hordes armed with spear, club, and bow and arrow. Perhaps the most formidable of all were slingers, when posted on vantage-ground, as on the north-east coast, and once on Goodenough Island. As to this last place it may be noticed that there have been lately several amusing articles in English newspapers on an expedition sent out to explore that island, which is represented as practically inaccessible to Europeans. The truth is that a tribe of the Goodenough Islanders did once, a good few years ago, show fight. But they never gave any trouble after the constabulary went behind them and camped for some time on the top of the island, whence was procured the finest collection of beetles obtained in any part of New Guinea. The expedition will probably be surprised to find some good Christians on Goodenough Island.]

No Governor was ever served by a more loyal or more willing and capable staff of officers than I had in New Guinea. What Papua owes to some of them now, alas, dead and gone, may some day be put in black and white. I fear too much of their work has been put to my credit.

I cannot but add a word of appreciation of the natives of the country. They are at first shy, but when they are won over they are absolutely faithful. They soon learn to trust a European, and, when they do so, they will freely expose their life for him. The bravest man I have ever known was a Papuan. Their capabilities for civilisation are great. In short, they are the most valuable asset of Papua.

That they will receive fair and just treatment so long as Mr. Murray rules over Papua, I fully believe. Had it been otherwise I should never have written this introduction.


General description—Owen Stanley Range—Northern rivers—The Mam bare and the Gira—Buna and Yodda District—From Cape Endaiadere to Collingwood Bay—Hydrographer's Range—Cape Nelson—Milne Bay and Samarai—The islands at the East End—The Trobriands—D'Entrecasteaux Group—Woodlark Island—Louisiade Archipelago—The South Coast westward to Port Moresby.


The island of New Guinea has been compared to a huge bird hovering over the North of Australia, and, following out this comparison, the British territory of Papua may be likened to the bird's tail—and an enormous tail it is. The greatest length from east to west is something over 800 miles, the greatest width about 200 miles, and the coastline is stated as 3,664 miles—1,728 on the mainland of New Guinea and 1,936 in the adjacent islands. The total area is estimated at about 90,540 square miles, of which 87,786 are on the mainland; it is thus rather larger than the Australian State of Victoria and more than half as large again as England.

Papua is bounded on the west by Dutch and on the north by German New Guinea; in the north-west it extends to the 5th parallel of south latitude at its intersection with the 141st degree of east longitude, and in the south-east to the intersection of the 12th parallel and the 155th degree, for it includes Rossel Island and Sud Est and all other islands in the neighbourhood which lie between the 8th and the 12th parallels. A range of mountains runs along the German boundary and down to the extreme south-eastern point of the island, with the result that the western part of the territory consists for the most part of low-lying lands, with, as a rule, no mountains until you get back near to the German boundary, while in the east as soon as you get to any distance from the sea—sometimes even from the water's edge—the country is, generally speaking, a mass of mountain peaks precipitous almost to inaccessibility. This range is locally known as the "Main Range"—a vague term which is used, for want of a better, to include all the great mountain heights of the interior. The name Owen Stanley Range, which is now often used to denote the whole of the central mountain system, was originally limited by Sir William MacGregor to the range of which Mount Victoria is the eastern extremity, and which runs without any break to Mount Griffith and Mount Scratchley, and farther west to Mount Thynne and Mount Lilley. This range is separated by a number of low-rounded hills from the range in which Mount Obree is situated, so that it would be, according to the strict view, quite wrong to speak of Mount Obree as being in the Owen Stanley Range. However, the term is now used in a less restricted sense, and is generally taken to include Mount Obree, and to even extend beyond Mount Brown to some undetermined point in the south-east.

Mount Albert Edward, the highest mountain in Papua (for it is said to be a few feet higher than Mount Victoria), stands outside and to the north of the Owen Stanley Range, with which it is connected by a lofty range, never less than 10,000 feet high, called the Wharton Chain after Admiral Wharton, Hydrographer to the Admiralty.

Both Mount Victoria and Mount Albert Edward are over 13,000 feet, and there are many others which rise above 10,000; Mount Scratchley, for instance, is 12,860, Mount Essie 12,108, Mount Dickson 11,584, Mount Chamberlain 11,229, Mount Chapman 11,876, Mount Yule 10,380. Mount Victoria has been ascended twice by Sir William MacGregor, and Mount Albert Edward once by Messrs. Monckton and Money, and most of the other important peaks have been climbed either by Government parties or by prospectors. There has for some years been a regular mail service between Port Moresby and the Government station of Kokoda on the other side of the range crossing the Gap at a height of nearly 7,000 feet, but the nature of the country is such that it will be long before a road in the ordinary acceptation of the term can be constructed across the territory.

It might be thought from this description that the western part would be that which would prove most attractive to settlers, but the reverse has really been the case, partly, it would appear, from the uninviting nature of most of the western country with its swampy coast lands, partly from the difficulty of landing in the Gulf of Papua during a great part of the year, but principally perhaps from the fact that, until the discovery of the Lakekamu Goldfield in December, 1909, nearly all the discoveries of gold had been in the eastern part of the territory and north of the Main Range. For most of the early settlers in Papua have been miners, and not all the difficulties of the Papuan mountains have been able to keep back the rush for gold.

The territory has been divided for administrative purposes into nine divisions. These have not always been made with much regard for geographical reasons, but they may be usefully referred to in giving a more detailed account of the configuration of the country.


Starting, then, with the Mambare and Kumusi Divisions on the north-east, which include the country from the mouth of the Gira to Oro Bay and inland as far as the Main Range, one finds low-lying and often swampy ground on or near the sea-shore rising gradually to the mountains some 20 or 30 miles inland. This district has a good rainfall and parts of it are extremely fertile, though so far it has attracted little attention from settlers; it is watered by the Waria, Gira, Mambare (or Mamba), Opi, and Kumusi Rivers. Part of the Waria is in British territory, but it runs into the sea north of the German boundary. The Gira lies entirely in British territory, except its mouth, which is just over the German border. It rises on the slopes of Mount Albert Edward, and runs generally in a north-easterly direction. In its upper course, where it is known as the Aikora, it is a swift mountain torrent, but it loses this character as it approaches the coast, and for some distance before entering the sea it flows through almost level country. Inland for about 10 miles from the coast the country between the Gira and the Waria is generally flat, with sago swamps along the course of two smaller intermediate rivers known as the Eia and the WuWu; farther inland are low hills which rise rapidly to the rough and precipitous foothills of the Main Range. Gold is found both on the Waria and on the Gira and Aikora. Whether the richest gold is to be found on the British or German part of the Waria—or, indeed, whether there is any more gold to find there at all—is a matter of dispute. A fair quantity has been found on the upper and lower Aikora, as well as farther down, chiefly in the neighbourhood of Lindon's Creek, a tributary of the Gira.


The track to the lower Aikora from the Government station at Ioma, on Tamata Creek a few miles above its junction with the Mambare, passes over two native bridges of simple but ingenious construction. A line of twisted vines, cut from the neighbouring scrub, forms what in an ordinary bridge would be the flooring, while about 4 feet above this and a little to the side is another line of vines which serves as a handrail. One line is attached to the other so as to prevent the two from swaying apart, and the whole is kept steady by guys, also of vine, attached to either bank. The bridge thus presents something of the appearance of a ladder placed from bank to bank and laid aslant. These bridges are rather terrifying in appearance, and the progress of one who crosses for the first time is apt to be somewhat deliberate, the irresistible temptation being to clutch the top line with a grip which is only slowly relaxed. So long, however, as the bottom line is strong there is little danger, and some of the older hands merely rest their hand on the upper line and trip along with a nonchalance which personally, I have never been able to attain. Should the lower line become rotten, disaster is inevitable; but where the bridge is used for regular traffic, as in the case of those leading to the lower Aikora, the magistrate of the division takes care that the vines are constantly renewed, and even on similar bridges beyond the sphere of Government influence there is, with ordinary care, but little danger, and accidents are practically unknown.

The Mambare, the next river to the Gira, rises in the Main Range much farther to the south. It flows first in a northerly direction, and then turns to the north-east and runs almost parallel to the Gira, entering the sea about 10 miles to the southeast of the Gira mouth. This river is formed by the confluence of the Yodda and the Chirima, which flow round different sides of Mount Scratchley, and join together to form the Mambare; the Chirima coming from the north of the mountain, the Yodda from the east and the south.

The Mambare is navigable for small vessels of 4 or 5 feet draught as far as Tamata Creek, about 40 miles by river from the sea; the principal difficulty is to cross the shallow bar at the mouth. The vegetation along the banks is most luxuriant, especially in the lower reaches, and parts of this district are considered admirably adapted to the cultivation of sugar-cane, but the Mambare is far from Port Moresby and Samarai, and as yet there are no plantations on its banks. The scenery along the river is occasionally picturesque, especially where the monotonous dark green of Papuan foliage is enlivened by the huge scarlet blossoms of the D'Albertis creeper; but it is a tedious journey, especially if one has to camp at one of the riverside villages, where the ground consists principally of mud and the air of mosquitoes.

The coastal country does not change much in character to the south of the Mambare until beyond Cape Endaiadere. It is generally densely timbered and flat for some distance inland, with a solitary hill to break the monotony of the view near the mouth of the Opie, a pretty stream which runs into the sea between the Mambare and the Kumusi. This hill is called Gumboro, or more correctly Duwera, and though it is of no great height commands an extensive view over the low-lying country in the neighbourhood.


The Kumusi mouth is about 10 miles south of the Opie, and 4 or 5 miles farther on is Buna Bay, the site of a Government station. From Buna there is a track leading across the Kumusi to another Government station at Kokoda about 60 miles away by road, and to the Yodda Goldfield about 8 miles farther on. The road passes through flat and fertile country nearly all the way to Kokoda, more particularly between the coast and the Kumusi crossing.

Kokoda Station, on the banks of the Koko Creek among the foothills of the Main Range, is one of the most picturesquely situated dwellings in Papua, and it has also what, for the tropics, must be considered a cool climate. However, neither the station nor the Yodda Goldfield, where the conditions are much the same, bears a good reputation for healthiness, though mosquitoes are rare at both places; probably, so far as malaria is concerned, the explanation is that it has been contracted in the lower country and brought by the sufferers with them to the station and the field.

To the north of the Yodda are two smaller fields known as Finegan's and MacL'aughlin's, and a track leads through these fields across the Chirima to the Upper Aikora and thence to Ioma and Tamata. The country traversed is very rough, though the track, which has to a great extent been marked out by white men, is less deplorable than might be expected. The views are occasionally superb, as, for instance, up the valley of the Aziba, or Ajibara, a stream which afterwards joins the Chirima', with the village of Neneba in the distance. As a rule the foliage is too dense and the air, except in the early morning, too misty to allow one to see far in the Papuan mountains, but the only time I passed this way we had a good view from the neighbouring village of Samori, though our appreciation of the beauties of Nature was somewhat modified by the proximity of the corpse of a baby which was elevated on a post or platform, loosely wrapped in leaves, with one malodorous hand and foot protruding.

Samori is about midway between the Yodda and the Upper Aikora; there are two other villages on the track—Bida nearer to the Yodda, and Gaggara farther on towards the Aikora. These villages have been in the habit of supplying the miners with native vegetables, and some of the natives bring in loads from the Kambisi country on the Wharton Range to the Upper Aikora, a distance of three or four days. The prices were fixed at a high rate in the early days when food of all kinds was dear, and the natives, with a true trading instinct, have refused to reduce them, so that now native vegetables are at least as expensive as rice; the miners, however, continued to buy them so as to give a change of diet to their "boys." The best sugar-cane I have seen was at the village of Gaggara; the canes were often over 20 feet in length, the juice ran out like water, and to judge from the taste the percentage of saccharine matter must be very high indeed. Sugar-cane is the most refreshing thing in the world after a hard tramp, so that after some years of Papua! one becomes something of a connoisseur, and my companion, Mr. Bell, of the Department of Native Affairs, agreed with me that the Gaggara cane was the finest we had tasted. Cultivation in the Gaggara District would not pay, even if land could be found that would not be washed away by the heavy rainfall so soon as it was cleared of the scrub that binds it together, for the distance from the coast is so great that carriage would more than eat up any profit, but Mr. Bell brought 20 or 30 feet of cane back with him, and some of it has been planted in one of the Government nurseries. It will be interesting to see the result, for some of the best cane in the Queensland plantations has come from Papua.


The mountains come nearer the coast to the south of Cape Endaiadere, and the north-eastern division consists, generally speaking, of a mass of mountain ranges rising sometimes to a height of over 10,000 feet, and covered for the most part with dense jungle. Still, there is plenty of good land in this district. In the south-east, between Paiwa (Goodenough Bay) and Waiuan, on the Kwagila Creek (Collingwood Bay), large tracts of pastoral country are reported, well grassed and watered by many small streams; in the Upper Musa and Adau Valleys there is the same sort of country, as well as good agricultural land, and good land is also found on the lower Musa, especially on the Barigi flats, and on the coast in Collingwood Bay. The best land of all, however, appears to be in the Hydrographer's Range; an official description of this district by Mr. Hennelly, A.R.M., in the Annual Report for 1908-9 is as follows: "A few miles farther north on the Hydrographer's Range some really splendid land can be obtained. This is beautiful country, the scenery being the finest I ever saw in the division. The climate is mild and bracing, with a generous rainfall. Almost any, form of tropical cultivation would have an excellent chance of success here. The soil ranges from a strong chocolate volcanic to black vegetable mould. The subsoil is clayey conglomerate on the slopes, but more often the basaltic rock is found outcropping plentifully. It is in the valleys that the best land is met with. One or two of those on the tableland of the ranges contain the richest and best soil that I saw in all Papua. It is within a day's march from the coast and is easily accessible."

Some of the scenery in this division is magnificent, especially in the Hydrographer's Range and in the neighbourhood of Cape Nelson, the site of the Government station, where the coast-line is intersected by, a number of deep fjords running inland between precipitous banks, something like the interstices between the fingers of an outstretched hand. A little to the west of Cape Nelson is the burning cone of Mount Victory, rising to a height of nearly 5,000 feet, with clouds of smoke hovering over its summit, and from the Government station the boldly defined peaks of Trafalgar and Britannia can be seen, the former on the right, the latter on the left, with Téméraire in between. These names, commemorative of England's naval glory, were given by Admiral Moresby, and the same distinguished officer called two mountains which faced one another in German New Guinea after Gladstone and Disraeli; it is said that the latter statesman, on hearing of the compliment, expressed a hope that he and his great rival would agree together in New Guinea better than they did in the House of Commons.

A large snake, called Baigona, lives on Mount Victory. Baigona appeared the other day to a native of one of the coastal villages, and accused him of killing snakes and alligators. The man had to admit that the charge was well founded, and Baigona warned him to discontinue these practices. "If you will promise," continued the snake, "to kill no more snakes and alligators, I will show you a plant that will cure all kinds of sickness; if not, look out for yourself." The man readily promised, was shown the healing plant, and then proceeded up the coast to spread the new teaching. All who heard him believed, until he reached the Government station at Buna Bay, where the police were somewhat sceptical, three of them even going so far as to fire at an alligator. That evening, however, the guilty three were on the beach, and an alligator rose from the water. "You tried to shoot me this afternoon," he said; "never dare to do such a thing again. Snakes and alligators are not to be molested." The most philosophic doubt would hardly be proof against a speaking alligator, and the policemen were not philosophers; they believed, and when they told their tale the rest of the detachment were converted also, so for the time being snakes and alligators are held inviolate along that coast.

After Cape Nelson comes Collingwood Bay with Mount MacGregor (12,000 feet), and the peaks of the Maneao Range in the background, and then, a little to the south of Cape Vogel, the Eastern division begins. Here, in the neighbourhood of Bartle Bay, the headquarters of the Anglican Mission, is a stretch of dry, country, with a rainfall which, for this part of the world, is very small. Hills of curious shape, some flat-topped as though the summit had been cut off with a knife, others with peaks of the quaintest and most fantastic contour, rise in some places almost from the water's edge, in others with a narrow space of plain country intervening between them and the sea. Cattle, to judge from the mission herd, would do well on these grassy slopes and flats, but the scanty rainfall would make the cultivation of native gardens a difficult matter were it not for some ingenious irrigation works which have been constructed entirely without European assistance. The interior of this district has rarely been visited; the rainfall inland is, however, certainly greater than on the coast.


This dry belt comes to an end in the neighbourhood of Awaiama Bay, and a little farther on, round the beautiful promontory of East Cape, is Milne Bay, one of the most fertile regions of the Papuan coast. There are several plantations and a Government nursery on the shores of Milne Bay, the soil is rich and the rainfall abundant, and the district possesses all the advantages of accessibility.

Round the south point of Milne Bay is China Strait, in which is situated the pretty little island of Samarai, a perfect gem of tropical loveliness, with its brilliant green and its crotons of dazzling brightness. Samarai is the trading centre of the east end of the territory, and is the site of the Government station for the Eastern Division; much of the attraction of the island is due to the taste and care of a previous magistrate, Mr. A. M. Campbell, now Government Secretary. "Campbell's Walk," which encircles the island, may surely challenge comparison with anything of the kind in the Southern Seas. Once a hot-bed of fever, Samarai is now one of the healthiest places in Papua; the change has been effected by filling in a swamp, which once existed in the middle of the island, and used to serve as a breeding-place for mosquitoes.


East, north-east, and south-east of Samarai innumerable islands of varying size and shape are scattered over the seas from the Trobriands and the Lusangay group in latitude 8° 30', to Rossel Island and Sud Est, 3° farther south. The Trobriands consist of four principal islands, Kiriwina, the largest, Kitava, Kaileuna, and Vakuta, and are thickly inhabited. They are fertile and enjoy a plentiful rainfall, the gardens of Kiriwina being perhaps the best in the territory. Kiriwina, Kaileuna, and Vakuta lie low in the sea; Kitava has a narrow strip of flat country on the coast, but a steep wall of coral rises close to the shore, and the largest part of the island is a plateau between 200 and 300 feet high. All the Trobriand group is of coral formation with a surface soil, generally of no great depth, but lying occasionally in deep, narrow pockets. Yams of various kinds are the vegetables chiefly cultivated, and it is not very uncommon to see a yam 10 or 12 feet long and hardly thicker than a stick; it has been forced to conform with the outline of the pocket in which it grew, and this queer shape is the result.

The D'Entrecasteaux group to the south of the Trobriands is of very different appearance, being for the most part steep and mountainous. Goodenough, the most northerly island of the group', rises to 8,000 feet above the sea; and though the islands of Fergusson and Normanby do not attain the same altitude and contain more level country, still they never present anything like the low flat surface of Kiriwina. The scenery of these islands is beautiful, and it would be difficult to find anything to surpass the charm of Moresby and Dawson Straits, with the bright green hills of the islands sloping down to the water's edge. On Dobu at the east end of Dawson Strait, on the neighbouring point of Fergusson, and also at Seymour Bay, on the west side of the island, there are numerous hot springs, which are still used by the natives for the purpose of boiling their vegetables, and, it is said, not very many years ago were found useful for cooking any prisoners who were captured in the village warfare, which was the normal state of these people.

Ubuia, a pretty little island at the west end of Dawson Strait, is the headquarters of the Australian Methodist Mission, and farther down the coast of Normanby is Sewa Bay, an extensive harbour of circular shape and almost entirely landlocked. The mouth of the bay is occupied by the island of Sisiba, and one could pass it repeatedly without suspecting that there was a harbour there at all; on each side of Sisiba there is a passage, hardly 100 yards wide, leading into the bay, which, surrounded on every side with lofty hills, presents all the appearance of a mountain lake.

Woodlark Island, or Murua, farther to the east, is well known as a goldfield, and is the only place in the territory where reef mining is carried on. It is generally of coral formation, mountainous and thickly wooded, the lower part being covered with a dense growth of mangroves. Hills of quartzite are found on the island, and provided the material for many of the native adzes which are so highly prized in the east end; the quarries can still be seen from which these adzes were obtained, but their manufacture has been abandoned. Kulamadau, Busai and Karavakum are the chief mining centres, and carry a population of about one hundred and fifty Europeans, The rainfall on Woodlark is very heavy, but the formation of the island ensures a good drainage, and it is not unhealthy, mosquitoes and consequently fever being rare, at any rate on the high ground, for the Customs Station at Bonagai, which is situated near the landing on Kwaipan Bay, has rather a bad reputation. The headquarters of the Resident Magistrate for the South-Eastern Division are on the island, on the heights of Kulumadau.

There is another goldfield on the island of Misima or Saint Aignan, in the Louisiade Archipelago, about 80 miles to the south of Woodlark. Misima rises almost immediately from the sea, and reaches an altitude of over 3,000 feet; it is heavily timbered, and is famous among the natives of the east end as being the most fertile of betel nut among the islands. Gold was found here in 1888, a few weeks after its discovery in Sud Est.

Sud Est or Tagula, about 50 miles to the southeast of Misima, is the scene of the first discovery of gold in Eastern Papua. The island is about 40 miles long by 8 wide, and runs nearly north-west and south-east; its highest point is Mount Rattlesnake, which rises to 3,000 feet. There is a reef all round with occasional openings, the best known of which is the curious S-shaped channel known as the Snake Passage. The gold workings, which were principally on the west side of the island, were entirely alluvial; nuggets were found up to four ounces in weight, but though there are many barren quartz reefs, nothing like a gold-bearing reef or lode was ever discovered. At one time there were four hundred men working on the island, but mining is now almost entirely confined to the natives, who collect small quantities in the creeks and old workings, and exchange what they find for goods at the local store. These natives carry scales to weigh their gold, and the currency is "weights" and grains instead of pounds, shillings, and pence. It is possible that the field might be made to pay if worked on an extensive scale, and the same may be true of Misima, where the prospects at the present moment seem more promising than they have been for years. The native population is not very large. A writer who visited Sud Est in 1888 speaks of the villages as perched on inaccessible heights for fear of Brooker Island head-hunters, and it is interesting to note that, with the establishment of a settled government, the natives have moved down to the coast, though the coconuts still show the positions of the old villages upon the hills.

Farthest east of all the islands of the territory is Rossel or Yela. It is much smaller than Sud Est, rugged and densely wooded; its highest point is over 2,000 feet above the sea. There are only four or five Europeans on the island. The native population has been estimated at fifteen hundred, but their villages are so scattered and so numerous that this estimate can hardly be taken as more than a conjecture. Colours of gold were found on Rossel in 1888, but the island was not thoroughly prospected.

Nivani Island, to the south-west of Misima, was the old Government headquarters for this division; it is planted with coconuts, and there is another coconut plantation of some ten or twelve years' standing on the Conflict group nearer to Samarai, and plantations of more recent date are to be found on many of the other islands. There are numerous islands throughout the Louisiades and elsewhere which are suited for coconuts, but as a. rule they are required by the natives, and are consequently not open for settlement. On Woodlark, however, there is available land, some of which has been taken up for coconuts and rubber, and there is good cattle land on Sud Est, though it could hardly be hoped that a cattle run would pay so far from a market, at any rate until means of communication are vastly improved. Woodlark is a regular port of call for the mail steamers, but the only means of reaching the other islands is by taking advantage of the traders' cutters or the visit of one of the Government vessels. The scenery in the islands, for instance along the Calvados Chain and throughout the Louisiade Archipelago generally, is of the type made familiar to every one by descriptions of the South Seas. The blue of the sky and the still deeper blue of the sea, varying as the depth decreases to pale green, the transparency of the water, and the brilliant colours of the coral and the seaweed, the dazzling white beaches, the groves of coconuts, and that most graceful of palms, the betel—all this is beautiful, but the same thing may be found in a hundred places elsewhere. It presents nothing that is typically Papuan, and consequently seems, to some at least, to lack the peculiar attraction of the more distinctive scenery of other parts of the territory.


To return to the mainland of New Guinea, a reef extends along most of the south coast to the west as far as Redscar Bay, beyond Port Moresby, affording a welcome shelter for small craft, and rendering the bays of this part of the territory comparatively safe, even during the worst of the south-east season. There is abundance of good land for 200 miles along this coast, both in the mountain valleys and on the coast, wherever the hills, which are often steep and heavily timbered, do not approach too closely to the sea. The soil on the hill-sides is also good, but the steepness of the declivities would often be an obstacle to effective cultivation. The Saggarai Valley, Orangerie Bay, Cloudy Bay, and the valley of the Kemp Welch are the districts which on this part of the coast appear to have been most favoured by settlers. There has been no settlement in the interior, except on the Gibara and Kiveri Goldfields, inland from Milne Bay and Cloudy Bay respectively; both these fields have been practically abandoned.


The Kemp Welch is a fine stream flowing almost due south from the main range into the sea about 50 miles east of Port Moresby; most, if not all, of the available land on its banks has already been taken up, principally for rubber. On the right bank is a Government nursery and plantation, which is connected by road with the Government station at Kopogoro, in the Rigo District, about 15 miles away; from Kopogoro the road continues past the plantation of Mr. English, a pioneer of Papuan agriculture, and the London Missionary Society's training college at Vatarata, to Kapa Kapa, a coastal village about 4 miles distant. The climate at the Government station is dryer than on the Kemp Welch, and a nursery has long been established there for plants, such as sisal hemp, which do not require a heavy rainfall.

Rigo is, thanks to the London Missionary Society, one of the few districts in Papua from which it is possible, without excessive labour, to penetrate a fair distance into the interior. There is a station of this mission on the Kemp Wielch at a place called Kalaigolo, about 18 miles from Kopogoro, and from here a good road has been constructed by the Rev. PL P. Schlencker leading across the river in a north-easterly direction to another mission station further inland at Boku. Boku lies a. little to the east of the Henty Range, and almost due south of the sugar-loaf mountain known as the Baron, not far from Mount Obree and Mount Brown.

About Kapa Kapa the dry belt begins, which continues along the coast to about 50 miles westward of Port Moresby. Most of this district, though somewhat sterile and uninviting in appearance, seems to be admirably suited to the cultivation of certain tropical products such as sisal hemp and cotton, and a considerable area has already been taken up. Throughout the dry belt the rainfall increases as one leaves the coast. Inland from Tupusileia and Port Moresby are deposits of copper which perhaps have hardly been worked sufficiently to justify a definite statement as to their permanence and extent, although all indications are extremely favourable.


The Papuan capital—View from Tapaharti—The Astrolabe Range—The Rona Falls—Galley Reach and Mekeo—Mountains behind Mekeo—The Road to Mafulu—The Valley of the Upper Venapa—The Boboi District—Lopiko and Mount Yule—Gulf of Papua—The Lakckamu and the Tauri—The Purari Delia—The Kikori—The Turama bore—The Fly and Western Rivers.


Port Moresby, the capital of Papua, is situated on the east shore of the bay bearing that name, between two hills called Paga Hill and Tuaguba, and extends across the narrow isthmus which separates the waters of the Coral Sea from those of the bay. In the dry season it is, it must be admitted, a dry, barren-looking place, swept for eight months of the year by the full force of the south-east trades, and scorched by the almost vertical rays of the sun. It is, however, healthy as tropical places go, and, as elsewhere in Papua, if the thermometer never falls very low, it never rises very high, and the port has in the eyes of many a beauty of singular fascination. When a smoky south-easter is blowing the prospect is somewhat dreary, but, when the air is clear, the wonderfully varied shapes of the surrounding hills—brown in the dry season, but covered with a vivid green so soon as the rains of the north-west monsoon have freshened up the grass and herbage—the varied colours of the shoals on the reef, and the blue waters of the harbour, combine to make a picture of exceptional beauty. But the true glory of Port Moresby is its sunsets. Possibly one is inclined to idealise the surroundings of one's home, but nowhere else can I remember having seen such brilliant combinations of colour as from the eastern shore of Port Moresby, or better still from Tuaguba Hill.



About a mile and a half from the township, the official name of which is Granville East, though it is almost always called Port Moresby, is the building called somewhat grandiloquently Government House, and a little farther on is the London Missionary Society's station; On the shore between Government House and the Mission are built the native villages of Hanuabada or Poreporena, Tanobada and Kuriu. Elavara, another native village, is situated on an island close by, and is connected with the shore by a native structure which may by courtesy be termed a bridge, and which resembles so many other native structures in looking so absolutely impossible for any but the lightest of feather-weights, and in being, in reality, so much safer than it looks. Another village is situated on the island of Tatana in the middle of the harbour. From the extreme end of Port Moresby a very narrow opening leads into a second harbour almost as big as the first, called Fairfax Harbour, which bends round to within about a mile of the coast at Idler's Bay to the west of the entrance to Port Moresby. The expanse of Fairfax Harbour adds largely to the picturesqueness of the view as seen from the neighbouring heights.

"I have seen Switzerland," says Mr. O. C. Stone, who visited Port Moresby in 1875, "with its grand and magnificent Alps, the white-capped Pyrenees, the wild Scandinavian Ranges, the noble Caucasian chains, besides many others of scarcely less grandeur, but I was never before so much struck with any mountain scenery as when I first beheld that of the eastern peninsula of New Guinea from the heights of Tapaharti." Tapaharti is a hill between 700 and 800 feet high at the back of Hanuabada, and though Mr. Stone's comparisons certainly sound rather extravagant, there is a very fine view from Tapaharti, and that from Ugava, where the Motu women go to watch for the returning Lakatoi, is perhaps as fine. The waters of Port Moresby are deep, and the entrance through the reef presents no difficulty in the daytime, but should not be attempted at night by any one not well acquainted with the coast.


A good road leads inland for about 18 miles from Port Moresby to Sapphire Creek, a tributary of the Laloki River, and is being continued on to the Astrolabe Mountains, an offshoot of the Main Range which rises to di height of about 3,000 feet. A little beyond Sapphire Creek the road divides into two. One of them continues along the left bank of the Laloki, which it crosses above a waterfall known as the Rona Falls, the other crosses the river some distance below the falls and leads up Hombrom Bluff, a commanding eminence some 1,600 feet high, and along the heights on the right bank of the Laloki. Both these roads will shortly be open to wheeled traffic; they lead to fertile districts, much of which has already been taken up. The view from the top of Hombrom Bluff is a marvellous one. Looking straight down from the top into the valley of the Laloki one can trace the course of that river, the Brown, and the Goldie, as on a contour map; the native villages, perched sometimes on almost inaccessible peaks, though miles away, look as though one could drop a stone on them; Mount Lawes and the other hills on either side of the Laloki seem almost at one's feet, and far away one catches glimpses of the sea. A similar view can be obtained from the heights of Warirata, on the other side of the Laloki, which command perhaps an even more extensive view, especially towards Bootless Inlet and Tupusileia.


The Rona Falls, a fine view of which may be had from either road, are a magnificent sight, especially in the wet season when the river is in flood. The Laloki here plunges over a. sheer drop of some 200 feet high and sweeps on through a narrow and precipitous gorge to the level country near Sapphire Creek, offering a spectacle of picturesque grandeur which few places in Australasia can rival. Altogether, with its cool climate and its wonderful scenery, the Astrolabe Range is one of the most attractive places in Papua.

The Laloki River, which passes within 10 miles of Port Moresby, enters the sea at Redscar Bay; it will, perhaps, one day be the source of water supply to the Papuan capital. There is fertile scrub and forest country along its banks, but most of the land at a little distance from the river is of a poorer class and suited apparently to sisal hemp and other cultures which do not require a rich soil or a heavy rainfall.


About 30 miles to the west of Port Moresby, at the head of Redscar Bay, Is the district of Galley Reach, which, though geographically within the dry belt, enjoys a good rainfall, and is one of the most fertile places in Papua. In addition to these advantages a labyrinth of streams, large and small, affords abundant means of intercommunication, and it is therefore not surprising that most, if not all, of the available land is already occupied by settlers.

Farther still to the west, opposite Yule Island, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Mission, is the rich Mekeo plain, watered by the St. Joseph River. The soil of Mekeo is certainly fertile enough to grow anything, but it has rather a dense native population, so that the land available for settlement is less than might be imagined, and part of it is liable to inundation in the wet season. The Government station is at Kairuku, on Yule Island, the old station of Mekeo, about 20 miles from the coast, having been abandoned about seven years ago. There are many good native tracks in the district, and in the dry season one can ride over nearly the whole of it on a bicycle, but in the north-west season travelling is very difficult. One particularly wet January, about six years ago, a native came down to the coast at one of the Maiva villages, and reported that the whole plain was under water, and that he had had to dive for his breakfast as his garden was completely submerged. Asked if the bridges were still standing, he said that he thought so, because, as he was swimming over what he thought was the course of a stream he had struck his foot against something that he took to be the handrail of a bridge, and if one still held there was no reason why the others should not. Intending settlers need not, however, be unduly alarmed by this incident; the season was certainly exceptionally wet, and the native, perhaps, exceptionally imaginative.


The district which is administered from Kairuku extends right back to the German boundary. A great portion of it has never even been visited, though of recent years flying trips have been made across the more remote portions by Mr. Monckton, when Resident Magistrate of the Northern Division, by Dr. Strong, when Assistant Resident Magistrate of Mekeo, and by members of the Roman Catholic Mission. The district may, roughly speaking, be divided into the Kabadi and Nara districts to the east, the Roro and Mekeo districts opposite Hall Sound, and the Maiva or Waima district towards Cape Possession in the west. All these are on or near the coast. Inland are the districts of Lopiko towards Mount Yule, of Kuni to the east on the higher branches of the St. Joseph, and the district of the Boboi tribe in between. Farther inland than Kuni is the district known as Mafulu, the inhabitants of which speak a language which appears to extend eastward across the Venapa River towards the Wharton Range. Beyond Mafulu again is Ambo, but Ambo, though it has occasionally been visited, cannot be considered as being under control, and is too far from Kairuku to be regularly and effectively policed.


A good road, made by the Roman Catholic Mission, leads from the coast up into the mountains of the interior. Leaving Bioto, a small village on the creek of the same name, at midday, Epa may be reached at about six o'clock in the evening. It is possible, of course, to sleep at Bioto and to go on in the morning to Epa, but the traveller is strongly advised not to do so, for, of all the mosquito-infested places in mosquito-infested Mekeo, Bioto is, with the doubtful exception of Rapa, the worst. These pests swarm there even in the dry season in the blazing midday sun, and the imagination staggers at the thought of what they might be at night. I for one have never passed a night there, and trust that I never shall; D'Albertis, however, did. "Such a night," he says, "is terrible, and one can only contemplate it with horror...If Dante had ever passed a night like mine upon the Bioto he would certainly have added all I went through to the torments of hell."

From Epa, where one finally takes leave of the mosquitoes (for they are rare in the mountains), the road rises to Ike Ike, lo or 12 miles distant from Epa, at an elevation of 1,500 feet. Ike Ike is situated on the farther side of the Kubuna, or right-hand branch of the Aroa River, which flows eventually Into Redscar Bay. From Ike Ike the road proceeds by easy stages to Madiu, Dilava, Deva Deva, and Popole or Mafulu. Dilava and Mafulu are stations of the Roman Catholic Mission, and are situated at a height of 3,000 and 3,800 feet. At Mafulu the road ends, and a comparison with the native tracks which lead farther into the mountains conduces to a fuller appreciation of the labours of the roadmakers.

The scenery of this district, as indeed everywhere in the mountains, is magnificent. Beyond Mafulu there is a peak nearly 6,000 feet high called Pitzoko, which commands a view of exceptional grandeur. It is rather a severe climb to reach the summit of Pitzoko from the valley of the Aduala, a tributary of the St. Joseph, which flows between it and the mission station, but one is more than repaid by the panorama which is spread out before one. There are no trees on the top, and there is consequently nothing to obstruct the view, which is particularly fine towards the east, where most of the mountains are much lower, and one can follow a spur, called Auga, which rises gradually up towards the range separating the valley of the St. Joseph from that of the Venapa, a large but little-known river that flows into Redscar Bay, and the country traversed by Sir William MacGregor on his expedition to relieve the beleagured miners in 1897. Up the Auga spur runs a track by which one can reach the Venapa Valley, and indeed one of the missionaries at Mafulu made the journey to the village of Onuga or Onunge on that river in three days. They must, however, have been strenuous days, for he accompanied a party of natives who were going to a dance and who were afraid that they would be late for the distribution of pigs, and those who know what a pig is to a Papuan will realise that the pace must have been a "cracker."


Native tracks lead from Ike Ike through Lapeka to Mekeo and to Epala in the Boboi District. One Government party which was sent to inquire into a case of murder which had been reported from Boboi could only cover a distance marked on the map as 8 miles after three hard days' travel of nine hours each; and though this may certainly be taken as exceptional (for the Boboi rather complicated matters by erecting chevaux de frise of felled timber in the most difficult parts of the track, where even under the most favourable circumstances progress was impossible except on all-fours), still there is no doubt that the country of the Boboi, as well as parts of the Lopiko District, is very trying. That is, it is trying to a white man, for the mountaineers can generally trot along easily enough even with a load, just as one often sees carriers in the northern divisions carrying a mat of rice up a mountain as steep as the side of a house, playing gaily on a Jew's harp the while.

The track to Lopiko from the lowlands leads past the village of Inaverena at an altitude of between 3,000 and 4,000 feet, along the valley of the Inawafanga, a tributary of the Biaru which rises on the slopes of Mount Yule. After leaving Inaverena the road is occasionally too steep even for native tastes, and frame-works of bamboo are erected here and there, along which one proceeds rather gingerly if one happens to be well above the middle-weight limit, though they are probably at least twice as strong as they look. The Lopiko District has been visited several times, and a party consisting of Dr. Strong and the Rev. A. M. Fillodeau of the Roman Catholic Mission reached the village of Amenofo about 5 miles in a straight line to the north of Mount Yule. The top of Mount Yule, the height of which is estimated at 10,380 feet, was reached by Mr. George Belford in 1890. Dr. Strong, on his return from Amenofo, passed round the base of this mountain, but there has been no attempt, since that of Mr. Belford, to reach the summit.


The next river of any importance to the westward of the St. Joseph is the Williams or Lakekamu, which runs into the Papuan Gulf near a large village, called Toaripi or Motu Motu, about 20 miles to the west of Lese, where there is a station of the London Missionary Society. The Lakekamu is navigable for small craft drawing 4 or 5 feet for a distance of 90 miles; but, like all the rivers of Papua, it has a difficult bar at the mouth. Quite close to it—in places less than a mile away—runs the Tauri, which flows into the sea about 8 miles from the Lakekamu bar. The two rivers are connected by creeks, so that there is no difficulty in getting from the Tauri to the Lakekamu, which is a matter of some importance, for the entrance to the Tauri is protected by a spit of land from the south-east trades, while the Lakekamu mouth is exposed to their full force; and it is, therefore, often possible to enter the former when it is impossible to enter the latter.

The difficulty of getting across the river bars must prove a serious obstacle to the development of the Gulf country. During the south-east trades all approach to the coast is, in most places, unsafe, and it is only possible to cross the bars by hanging about and waiting for an opportunity, and even then it is generally a case of battening down and bumping over, while all hands hold on to avoid being washed overboard. In the north-west the entrances are generally safe enough, for then what wind there is blows off shore and the sea is smooth; but even in the north-west one must be careful. I speak with some feeling on this subject as I lost a whaleboat at the Tauri, and nearly lost a launch at the Lakekamu and my life at the Vailala. There is no projecting reef in this part of the territory, and the shore slopes so gradually that the Merrie England, the Government steamer, drawing 14 feet 6 inches, has sometimes, even in calm weather, to lie almost out of sight of land. Of course all these difficulties can be surmounted in Papua as they have been surmounted elsewhere, but in the initial stage of settlement they are disheartening.

The Lakckamu River rises, apparently, to the north of Mount Yule, flows in a northerly direction towards the main range, then eastwards, and finally southwards to the sea; its most important tributary is the Tiveri, which comes in from the north-east. The upper part of the Lakekamu was explored by Mr. Monckton in the course of an adventurous journey from the Waria to the Gulf, and afterwards by the prospecting party, under Messrs. Crowe and Pryke Brothers, who discovered the Lakekamu Field.

Up the Tiveri, at its junction with a river called the Arabi, is the landing for the Lakelcamu Goldfield; the field itself is about 10 miles farther inland. The country as far as the landing is flat and often swampy, but the hills begin to rise between the landing and the field and increase in height towards the German boundary. With the exception of occasional native pads, which start from nowhere in particular and come to an end as suddenly, the rough and difficult country towards the boundary is a trackless wilderness intersected by numerous mountain torrents, some of considerable depth. It is said that the natives of this region cannot swim; if so, it is difficult to understand how they get about, for in the course of a week's patrol only one bridge was seen. This was exactly the same as those on the Aikora and led to a small native village.

The character of the country on the upper waters of the Tauri is similar to that at the head of the Tiveri, but on the former river the mountains come much nearer to the coast and are reached after a journey of about 20 miles by river from the sea.


A few miles to the west of the Tauri mouth is a rocky promontory known as the Cupola, and round the Cupola is Kerema, the Government station for the Gulf Division. This is one of the prettiest stations in Papua, but soon after Kerema the scene changes, and a more complete contrast to the eastern parts of Papua it would be difficult to imagine. As far as Orokolo, a populous village to the west of the Vailala, groves of coconut-trees relieve the monotony of the coast-line, but after Orokolo the Purari Delta is reached and the typical Gulf country begins in all its repellent gloom.

In spite of its repulsiveness there is still a curious fascination about this part of the territory, though it is hard to say in what it lies. A dense growth of vegetation clothes the low-lying shores, the mountains retreat farther and farther inland, and the country for miles back from the coast presents nothing but a succession of swamps and mudbanks, intersected by a network of waterways, some of them fine, open stretches of water, others tortuous and narrow channels, consisting principally of mud, crabs, and alligators. Forests of sago sufficient to feed a vast population are found in some places, in others nothing can be seen for miles but nipa palm, varied, nearer to the coast, by forests of tall mangroves, rising to a height of 50 or 60 feet.

At most places in the Gulf of Papua there is a sort of retaining wall of slightly higher country along the sea-shore, with lower and swampy country immediately behind, which, for a distance of perhaps 10 or 20 miles or even more, does not rise above the level of high water. This swampy country, which is covered with mangrove, nipa palm, and sago, is being built up gradually through the agency of crabs, which, as Sir William MacGregor points out [*], perform in Papua the work which is done by earthworms elsewhere. These crabs, says Sir William, excavate underground passages and chambers, and bring up the mud to make little towers, often from 20 to 30 inches in height and 10 to 12 inches in diameter; there is a passage up the centre of the tower and the crab sits on top. The excavations below are always to some extent filled up by deposit from the mud-charged waters of the river, so that the tower never quite resumes its original level, and the surface of the ground is therefore gradually raised.

[* "British New Guinea: Country and People."]


One solitary hill, known as Aird Hill or Neuri, breaks the monotony of the landscape. This hill is situated on the lower reaches of the Kikori River, westward of the Purari, and is between 900 and 1,000 feet high. It was first ascended by Sir William MacGregor. A Government party camped for a couple of nights on the summit of one of the peaks in February, 1910, after a somewhat laborious ascent from the south side involving a swim across a mangrove swamp; it was found afterwards that the best way to reach the site of the camp would have been from the north-east. A space was cleared on the top for the purpose of prospecting the surrounding country. To the north the course of the Kikori was obscured by mist, but otherwise the prospect was clear, and the view was strangely interesting to any one who was familiar with the district. Far away to the north-east could be seen the high mountains on the upper waters of the Purari, with some lower ranges in the middle distance, but, with the exception of these and some inconsiderable peaks up the Kikori, all that could be seen was flat and evidently swampy country covered with nipa, sago, mangrove, and similar vegetation. Here and there, in all sorts of unexpected places, glimpses were caught of stretches of water many miles from the sea; these were the waterways which alone make it possible to travel through the district, and which afford a passage from the west point of the Purari Delta, near Vaimuru, possibly as far as the Bamu and even the Fly. Some are so narrow as to be hidden from view by the vegetation on their banks, others are broad streams; some are so shallow as to be impassable at low tide, in others there is no bottom at 7 fathoms. This part of the territory can never be a home for Europeans, but the waterways will be of use in recruiting labourers from the surrounding villages.

As one ascends the rivers of the Gulf one comes of course eventually to higher land, the distance to be traversed increasing, after Kerema, as one goes farther west and the mountains recede farther from the sea. The Vailala, for instance, flows through solid ground right down to the mouth, and high land is found a comparatively short distance upstream; some of the finest timber in Papua grows upon the banks of this river. Then coming to the Purari a little farther to the west the whole of the Delta, before the bifurcation, about 20 miles from the coast, is flat and swampy; in fact, at high tide most of it is under water.

The Purari at the bifurcation is a magnificent stream, about half a mile wide and in places more than 7 fathoms deep. Above this point the banks are high, but below, from the bifurcation down to the five mouths through which the Purari enters the sea, they are low, muddy, and so thickly overgrown with sago, nipa, and other vegetation that it is impossible even for a native to get about by land, and almost all the travelling is done by water in canoes. These canoes have no outriggers, but consist of a hollow log plugged up near the end with mud. The crew of twelve or more stand up and paddle in these cranky craft, except that sometimes one man sits down in the bows facing inboard so as to keep out the rush of water which the feeble barrier of mud would perhaps be unable to check. No trees of any size are to be found on the Delta, the timber for the canoes being obtained from higher up the river. Such trees as do grow there appear to be very young.

An exploring expedition, under the leadership of Messrs. Donald Mackay and W. J. Little, ascended the Purari in 1908 as far as latitude 6° 30', and crossed about a third of the way to the Strickland, with the very important result that an extensive coalfield was discovered between those two rivers. The field is difficult of access but of very great extent; it will be visited shortly by an expert, whose report will be interesting.

The next river system, that of the Kikori, or as it is usually called the Aird River, Delta, presents characteristics similar to those of the Purari for a still greater distance inland. The Kikori, which is known by various names in its lower branches, consists of two main streams called by the explorer Bevan the Burns and the Philp, but of which the native names have been given as the Sirebi and the Kikori. Ascending the Sirebi, the easterly branch, one reaches first some low limestone hills and farther on a higher range, also of limestone. Beyond this the stream is too shallow for a launch and too swift for a whaleboat, but a few days among the hills showed that the river came flowing first from the west and afterwards from the north, probably from the coalfield discovered by Messrs. Mackay and Little. A tributary flows into the Sirebi from the east, and it was hoped that this stream might afford a passage through the range to the north, but after an ascent for a couple of days in a whaleboat it appeared that the direction tended rather to the south, and the attempt was therefore abandoned. It is a shallow stream, and progress even in a whaleboat was difficult.

Going up the Kikori past Bevan's farthest point, which he called Gleeson Falls, the current was found, after about 20 miles, to be too swift even for a launch doing 7 knots. The country at the point of return was hilly, but no mountains of any great size were visible. Gleeson Falls are really rapids; the launch made two ineffectual attempts to pass them, but the third was successful. The descent was somewhat exciting, but luckily the water was sufficiently deep, for, a touch might have involved the loss of the launch.

The Kikori flows in a south-easterly direction from somewhere in the neighbourhood of the mountains marked on the map as the Sir Arthur Gordon Range; it appears to be joined by two tributaries known as the Mobi and the Susamiro. It is a swift tumultuous river with dangerous rapids. The Turama and the Bamu, which flow, so far as can be judged, in a direction more or less parallel to the Kikori, run through more level country.

The most remarkable feature about the Bamu is the bore which ascends the river with the incoming tide, and which is said to reach sometimes a height of 11 feet. There are bores also on the Turama and the Fly; the following account of the Turama bore is given by Mr. H. L. Murray, who visited that river in 1911.

"Ours was the first party to ascend the Turama since Sir William MacGregor visited it, and we had been warned of the danger of the 'bore,' which, our informant said, occurred with each change of tide, both inward and outward. It was against all our theories about bores that one should come down the river, but, as emphasis had been placed on this fact by our informant, we left nothing to chance, but made all preparations for such a one, which, of course, did not come.

"Our first experience of the bore was at nine o'clock at night, near the right bank of the river at the south end of Umaidaia Island. We remained in the whaleboat, which had been secured head and stem to trees on the bank, with her bow downstream. At eight o'clock we judged that we should not have long to wait for the disturbance as the river had fallen 7 or 8 feet, and our whaler was on the bottom, a fact which caused us some concern, as she would not have the same buoyancy to rise to the big wave. We had with us an old ex-policeman who had made the ascent of the river with Sir William, but he was not of much use or comfort to us, as he assured us that the boat would certainly be 'broken' and ourselves drowned when it came.

"It was quite dark when we heard the noise of the approaching bore about a mile away. As it came nearer the noise was like that of several express trains running side by side, and turned out to be the most alarming feature of this particular one. Just before it was upon us we had a momentary glimpse of a white streak of foam and bubbles, stretching right across the river, travelling at about 5 or 6 miles an hour, and, on this occasion, but little over a foot high. The current continued to run down the river until the very moment that the bore passed us, when it changed and ran upstream after the bore at about 5 miles an hour. The whaleboat strained at her moorings, but they held, and beyond shipping some spray and a little water, and narrowly escaping entanglement with the bough of a tree, nothing untoward occurred. This was a small bore, however, and the creation of an ordinary tide; but its force and pace were sufficient to warn us that we should have to contend with something much more severe if we were on the river at any time about full moon, which, on that particular visit, we were not.

"A couple of months afterwards I was again caught on the Turama, and became acquainted with quite another bore. This was also encountered at night, during a thunderstorm and in blinding rain. We were in the middle of the river, at the point marked Wariada on the map, and were coming downstream. Our launch had broken down, and was fast in the mud of the river, and, beyond anchoring her securely and turning her head downstream, we could do nothing with her. We in the whaleboat rowed slowly to meet the approaching breaker, this time 4 feet high. The river was still running out, and the bore was on us in a moment. The whaleboat met it squarely on the bow, rose almost perpendicularly, and was on top, with only a few bucketsful of water taken on board. The noise was deafening, and mingled with it were the shouts and yells of triumph of the native crew as they found that we were rising to it all right. In his relief the feelings of our bow-oar so overcame him that he seized our makeshift fireplace—a kerosene tin—and beat it with a rowlock, adding to the pandemonium.

"Hard as our six natives could row against the current, it was still carrying us upstream, and we were soon back near the launch, where we managed to anchor. The launch, which was a very seaworthy one, had shipped some water, but had otherwise fared well.

"For one who is used to the sea the sensation during a bore is rather remarkable, for, after rising 4 or 5 feet to this white breaker, one involuntarily braces oneself for the descent into the trough on the other side; but there is no trough, and no descent. The boat simply stays up where she has climbed, the water following the bore being on a plane several feet higher than that in front.

"The bore on the Turama seems to have a range of about 40 miles above the north end of Morigio Island. We saw nothing that would lead us to suppose that it exists below or above that section of the river. It is true that, at a village called Genawa, much higher up than the section of the river mentioned, we were warned by the villagers that the bore was particularly severe, and would wreck our boat and drown us all, if we camped for the night anywhere in the vicinity of their village. We asked what height the bore reached at that point, and they indicated the roof of a house about 30 feet high. This was obviously an exaggeration, but we were inclined to believe that the bore was severe in this locality, and to move farther against the current upstream, till we happened to learn that this was just what the Genawa people wanted us to do. They had only seen white men once before, and that many years ago, and were naturally rather suspicious about them. We relied upon the Goari Bari guide, who told us of their ruse, and remained where we were for the night. Needless to say there was no sign of the bore, though the current changed and ran upstream for a few hours."


The Fly, which was explored by Sir William MacGregor for about 600 miles, is reported by him to flow, for the last 400 miles of its course, through land which lies too low to permit of European occupation 5 but 500 miles from the mouth the surrounding country is said to be hilly and very, picturesque, and the climate exhilarating'.

The Fly is by far the largest of all the rivers of Papua, and has more than twice the flow of water of the Purari, which is the next largest; at its mouth it opens into a vast expanse of 50 miles or more, but the approach is difficult, as the channels are uncertain and shifting.

In the estuary of the Fly is the thickly inhabited Island of Kiwai, an uninviting spot rising but a few feet above the sea, but one which produces a great variety of native vegetables. Sir William discovered growing on the island no less than twenty-six different kinds of bananas, twenty-five varieties of sago, and ten of sweet potatoes. Farther west, right on to the Dutch boundary, the general character of the country is much the same, though good pastoral land has been reported up the Oriomo River, which enters the sea opposite the Island of Daru, the site of the Government station for the Western Division, and similar land is, it is said, to be found upon the Wasi Kussa farther to the west. The Mai Kussa and the Wasi Kussa (Kussa means "river ") are the west and east sides of a loop of the sea that surrounds Strachan or Wasi Island. The Wasi Kussa, which is the larger, is about 30 miles long, and is navigable and gives off many branches, and on the highest of these branches there is said to be good pastoral land, consisting of grassy plains with scattered eucalyptus.

The other rivers of this part of the territory are the Pahoturi, to the east of the Mai Kussa, and the Morehead and Bensbach to the west. Nearly all the country on the coast seems to be low lying and swampy, the exception being the solitary hill of Mabadauan, at the mouth of the Pahoturi, an elevation of 200 feet, granitic, with fresh water and some extent of land suitable for planting.

The last description that I have seen of the district of the Morehead River would make that part of the territory appear even less inviting than the Purari Delta. "The river is most difficult of access, and impossible for any but shallow draft vessels. The coast, especially in the south-east, is a dangerous one on account of the shoal water extending seaward for miles. It is about 200 yards wide at the mouth, and for about 50 miles the banks are low and 'waterlogged.' Higher up there are higher banks, and in places grass plateaux of some extent. The timber is poor, and the soil is but third-rate. I should say it is one vast swamp in the rainy, and parched up in the dry season. About 90 miles up the country seems to be better. There is country suitable for occupation, but decidedly not tempting, and there is little or no labour to be obtained. At the farthest point I reached the river is about 30 yards wide, and the current is hardly perceptible. There are quantities of kangaroo, geese and ducks. The river swarms with huge fierce alligators. The country is practically devoid of population, but there is nothing to induce settlement, nor would I ever advise any one to go there." [*]

[* Report by Mr. Beaver when Acting R.M. of the Western Division, cited in the Annual Report for the year ending June, 1909.]

It is possible that further investigation may disclose the existence of agricultural land in the Western Division similar to that found elsewhere, but great disadvantages will always remain in the lowness of the seaboard and the necessity of going far inland to get high dry country.


First discovery of New Guinea—Isla del Oro—Origin of the name Papua—The name New Guinea first applied to North Queensland—Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch navigators—Dampier—Captain Cook—McClure of McClure Gulf—Explorations of the coast of Papua—Blackwood, Yule, Owen Stanley, Moresby—Dr. Lawes at Port Moresby—Discovery of gold—Annexation by Queensland not recognised—Protectorate proclaimed—Ceremony at Port Moresby—Criticism by Mr. Bevan—Sir Peter Scratchley—The Honourable John Douglas—Annexation—Sir William MacGregor—Native policy—The Tugeri—The Dutch boundary—Murder of Mr. Green on the Mambare—Corporal Sedu—Sir George Le Hunte—Negotiations over the Tugeri outrages—Murder of Chalmers and Tomkins—Transfer of Papua to the Commonwealth—Provisions of the Papua Act.

Half of the undiscovered area of the world was given by Pope Alexander the Sixth to Spain, and half to Portugal; each party was anxious to show that its share included the Spice Islands or Moluccas, but this was a question which was rendered somewhat difficult of decision by the circumstance that the starting-point for the division was not agreed upon. The anxiety about the Spice Islands gave an impetus to exploration in the Malay Archipelago, and it was this that led to the discovery of New Guinea.

The name of the particular navigator who first sighted the shores of the island is a matter of little importance at the present day, but it appears probable that this distinction was achieved by two Portuguese, Antonio Abreu and Francisco Serram, who are supposed to have seen the New Guinea coast in the year 1511. Many of the islands to the west and north-west of New Guinea appear to have been known to the Portuguese at this date, or even earlier, under the collective name of Os Papuas, and on a chart drawn probably between 1511 and 1513 the name Papoia appears applied to the island of Halmahera or Jilolo; and it was perhaps on one of Os Papuas that the Portuguese Governor of Ternate, Don Jorge de Meneses, was driven in 1526.[*] Sir C. Markham, however, regards Meneses as the actual discoverer of New Guinea, and the island of Versija, on which Meneses remained waiting for the change of the monsoon, is located by the same authority near the most northern point of New Guinea, now known as Cape Good Hope.[**]

[* "First Discovery of Australia and New Guinea," by George Collingridge, p. 3.]
[** "Royal Geographical Society's Supplementary Papers," Vol. I., Part II., 1884.]

"Isla del Oro" or "Island of Gold" was one of the first appellations bestowed upon New Guinea. This name was applied to it by the Spaniard Alvaro de Saavedra, a relation of Herman Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, who was sent out from Mexico in search of the missing expedition of Loyasa, which had sailed from Corunna in 1525. Two of Saavedra's vessels were lost, but Saavedra himself with the third succeeded in reaching the Moluccas. In 1528 and 1529 he made two attempts to return to Mexico, coasting on each occasion along the northern shores of the island, and it was the traces of gold which he found all along the coast that suggested to him the new name; strange to say, this part of the island has never been worked for gold, and it is impossible to say how much justification there may be for the title so bestowed upon it.

Saavedra died in the East, and what remained of his squadron returned to Spain without accomplishing anything further in the exploration of New Guinea. But in 1536 two ships, under Grijalva and Alvarado, were dispatched from Mexico to Peru carrying reinforcements to assist the Spaniards against the Incas. All that is known for certain of this expedition is that Grijalva, after landing the reinforcements, crossed the Pacific and spent some time about the northern shores of New Guinea, especially in the neighbourhood of Geelvinck Bay, where he discovered an island to which he gave the name of "Isla de los Crespos" or "Island of the Frizzly Heads." Here his crew mutinied and murdered him, the survivors being rescued and brought to the Moluccas by the Portuguese Commander Antonio de Galvano, author of the "Discoveries of the World." The description given of the natives of New Guinea by the remnant of this expedition has no doubt had much to do with perpetuating the name of Papua: "The people on all these islands are black, and have their hair frizzled, whom the people of Maluco do call Papuas."—the word "Papua" being a corruption of the Malay words pua pua, signifying curly or woolly.[*] Galvano gives rather a quaint description of the cassowary: "There is heere a bird as big as a crane and bigger; he flieth not nor hath any wings wherewith to flee; he runneth on the ground like a deere. Of their small feathers they do make haire for their idols."[**]

[* O. C. stone, "Two Months in New Guinea," Preface, p. ix.]
[** Collingridge, p. 15.]

The name of New Guinea was given first, not to the island which now bears the name but to part of what is now North Queensland. It happened in this way. De Retez, a Spanish navigator, cruising round the north-west of what is now New Guinea in 1545, continued his voyage to the Australian continent, thinking that it was still part of the same island, and it was really upon the north coast of Queensland that he bestowed the name New Guinea, which has since been transferred from this part of Australia to the great island in the north. De Retez took possession of the north coast of what is now Dutch New Guinea in the name of the King of Spain. Other early visitors were Luis Vaes de Torres, who visited the east end of the present territory of Papua, and made a chart of Milne Bay in 1606, Schouten in 1616, and Tasman in 1643. The Dutch had now taken the place of the Spaniards and the Portuguese, and were in their turn rivalled by the English, the first Englishman being Dampier, who was sent out by William III. in H.M.S. Roebuck, and in 1700 sailed round the east end of New Britain, and discovered that island to be separated from New Guinea. The strait between New Britain and Rook Island was afterwards called by his name. It is said, but I have been unable to verify the reference, that it was Dampier who criticised the natives of New Guinea on the lines of the French couplet—

>Cet animal est très-méchant;
Quand on l'attaque il se défend,

for he describes them as a fierce and intractable race of savages, who, when fired upon, did not scruple to retaliate.

Captain Cook landed in Dutch New Guinea in 1770, but the natives received him badly. They threw "darts, very ill-made of the reed or bamboo cane, and pointed with hardwood in which there were many barbs...possibly they might be shot with a bow, but we saw no bows among them"; his impression was that they were "spears cast with a throwing-stick as in New Holland. The natives also let off "fires." What these fires were, and for what purpose intended, we could not imagine; those who discharged them had in their hand a short piece of stick—possibly a hollow cane—which they swung sideways from them, and we immediately saw fire and smoke exactly resembling those of a musket and of no longer duration." The hollow canes were almost certainly bamboo-pipes, and the "darts" were with almost equal certainty discharged from bows.

The East India Company founded a colony at Restoration Bay in 1793, but it was short lived, the survivors being removed the following year with the help of McClure, an Indian Marine Surveyor, after whom the McClure Gulf is named, but who, for love of a maiden of the Pellew Islands, had resigned his commission in the Indian Service. He was at Macao, where he had gone from Pellew for views of the outer world, when Captain Hayes, of that service, arrived and informed him that he had just planted a settlement in New Guinea, and asked him' if he would call there with provisions; this McClure promised to do after he had called at the Pellew Islands and embarked his family. On his arrival in New Guinea he found the settlement in a most miserable state, for many of the settlers were dead, and the survivors were anxious but unable to get away; his assistance enabled them to leave, and he himself eventually reached Sumatra. From Sumatra he sailed for an unknown destination, and was never heard of again. His story, which is an interesting one, may be found in the paper of Sir C. Martin, already referred to.

Geelvinck Bay had been discovered and named (after his ship) by Jacob Weyland in 1705, and in 1793 Captains Bampton and Alt, of the East India Company's service, had explored as far as the head of the Gulf of Papua, so that, by the beginning of the nineteenth century, the general shape of the island was fairly well known.



Explorations of the coast of what is now known as Papua were carried out by Captain Blackwood in H.M.S. Fly, who examined the estuary of the Fly River and the western side of the Gulf of Papua in 1842, by Lieutenant Yule in the Bramble, who continued the survey on to Redscar Bay, by Captain Owen Stanley in the Rattlesnake, who examined the Louisiade Group and the south-east end of the territory in 1849, and Captain (now Admiral) Moresby in the Basilisk in 1873. Admiral Moresby, in addition to his discovery of Port Moresby and Fairfax Harbour, was the first to ascertain the true shape of the east end of the island of New Guinea and to fix the position of the D'Entrecasteaux Group, which had previously been sighted by the navigator whose name it bears when he was looking for La Pérouse in 1793. Captain Moresby also examined the northeast coast from East Cape onwards as far as Astrolabe Bay.

Lieutenant Yule took possession of the southern part of New Guinea as early as 1846, but, unfortunately, his action was never ratified or acted upon in any way. This officer came into conflict with the natives at Cape Possession, and might easily have come to a disastrous end, had it not been for his successful appeal to their sense of humour by dancing along the beach clad only in his shirt, which at length enabled him to reach a place of safety, in the ship's boat.

By this time a few traders had been attracted' to what is now Papua, and in 1874 Dr. and Mrs. Lawes, of the London Missionary Society, took up their residence at Port Moresby. Dr. Lawes's early accounts do ample justice to the commercial spirit of the Motu tribe; the children insisted upon being paid for learning the alphabet, and a detected thief declined to restore the stolen property without payment. "The people," Dr. Lawes wrote, however, soon after his arrival, "seem kindly disposed and have perfect confidence in white men; so far as our lives are concerned we feel tolerably safe;"[*] though he seems, for what reason I do not know, to have changed his mind upon this point later on, and in an address delivered at Exeter Hall in 1879, while recognising the domestic affection existing among the Motu, their comparatively humane treatment of their women, and (what is perhaps somewhat surprising) their industry as agriculturists, he declared that "the sanctity of human life is unknown." [**]

[* "W. G. Lawes of Savage Island and New Guinea," by the Rev. Joseph King, p. 96.]
[** "W. G. Lawes of Savage Island and New Guinea," by the Rev. Joseph King, pp. 136-8.]

The year 1877 was a notable one in the history of Papua, for in that year gold was discovered near Port Moresby. According to the account given by Dr. Lawes in his diary, the distinction of being the first to find the precious metal belongs to one Jimi, New Caledonia; he kept his discovery to himself for a time, and then, hearing that the crew of the Bertha, a schooner that had been chartered by the Mission, had gone inland, and knowing that some of them were old miners, he told Mr. Goldie, a naturalist who had been for some time settled at Port Moresby. The news was not long in spreading to Australia, with, of course, the exaggerations which inevitably, accompany the reports of the discovery of new goldfields; but, fortunately, the influence of the Press was sufficiently great to check anything in the nature of a big rush. Still, a large number did land at Port Moresby, and of these a considerable proportion succumbed to insufficient nourishment and fever, and the number would have been far greater had it not been for the efforts of the Mission. Ruatoka, one of the teachers, among other good services, hearing on one occasion that a sick miner was lying five miles away on the Laloki Road, went out alone at night from Port Moresby, hunted about until he found him, carried him in on his back, and nursed him to health again. It is satisfactory to know that Ruatoka's efforts were recognised, not only by the miners themselves, but, officially, by the Government of Queensland.

So far as the gold-mining industry was concerned, the Port Moresby rush was a failure, for nothing payable was discovered; but it was of importance in stimulating the movement for annexation, and in accelerating the proclamation of the Protectorate. Even before this annexation was "in the air" and had been discussed by a deputation of the Anti-Slavery Society, which waited upon the Earl of Carnarvon in 1875, but matters were precipitated by the action of Sir Thomas MacIlwraith, Premier of Queensland, who dispatched Mr. Chester, Police Magistrate at Thursday Island, to New Guinea, with instructions to take possession in the name of the Queen. Mr. Chester arrived in Port Moresby on April 3, 1883, and the following day hoisted the Union Jack. Had this act been ratified by the Imperial Government, German New Guinea, as well as Papua, would now be British; unfortunately, however, the Earl of Derby was unable to recognise the annexation by Mr. Chester, and, as a result, a fourth of the island of New Guinea was lost to the British Crown. It is strange to note that the two great British missionaries were opposed to the annexation. "We had much rather not be annexed by anybody," was Dr. Lawes's statement of the case, and Chalmers, who had been in New Guinea since 1877, wrote: "Derby was right in leaving room for Germany. The colonies are angry from ignorance." [*]

[* "James Chalmers, his Autobiography and Letters," by Richard Lovett, pp. 235 and 261.]

However, the following year the Imperial Government took action, and a Protectorate was proclaimed, avowedly for strategical reasons, to prevent the southern and eastern coast from being used as a base for attack upon Australia. Through a misinterpretation of his instructions the Deputy-Commissioner, Mr. Romilly, had hoisted the flag before the arrival of Commodore Erskine, who was commissioned to proclaim the Protectorate; but his action was ignored, and the flag was again hoisted on November 6, 1884. German New Guinea was annexed ten days later, the German flag being raised in Kaiser Wilhelm's Haven on November 16th; the boundary between British and German New Guinea was agreed upon in the following year.

The scene in Port Moresby when the flag was hoisted must have been an impressive one, as no less than five men-of-war were present—the Nelson, the Espiegle, the Raven, the Swinger, and the Harrier—though the ceremony had already lost some of its novelty for the Port Moresby natives, as this was actually the third time that they had seen the same thing done within the last two years.

The actual hoisting of the flag was performed, appropriately enough, by an Australian, Lieutenant Gaunt, who was flag-lieutenant of the Nelson at the time. The day before an assembly was held on board the Nelson, which was attended by Boe Vagi, described by Mr. Musgrave, Deputy-Assistant Commissioner, as a "mild-mannered but wholly useless elderly native," who for want, apparently, of a more suitable man, was recognised as head chief of the Port Moresby tribe, and an address was delivered by the Commodore, in which he explained the meaning of the ceremony which was to take place next day.

This address was translated into Motu by Dr. Lawes, and has since (in spite of the subsequent annexation) been regarded as a fundamental part of the Papuan Constitution, which is not to be altered by legislation. Its material parts are as follows:—

"I desire on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen to explain to you the meaning of the ceremonial which you are about to witness. It is a Proclamation that from this time forth you are placed under the protection of Her Majesty's Government; that evil-disposed men will not be able to occupy your country, to seize your lands, or take you away from your own homes. I am instructed to say to you that what you have seen done here to-day on board Her Majesty's ships of war, and which will be done again to-morrow on shore, is to give you the strongest assurance of Her Majesty's gracious protection of you and to warn bad and evil-disposed men that, if they attempt to do you harm, they will promptly be punished by the Officers of the Queen. Your lands will be secured to you, your wives and children will be protected."

The words "your lands will be secured to you" have been construed as a pledge for all time that native land, even though obviously not used or required, and never likely to be required, by the owners, should not be compulsorily purchased, except for public purposes, and thus gave the natives an opportunity, of which they, fortunately, did not avail themselves, of blocking white settlement. The exception of resumption for public purposes was probably made for the sake of convenience, for the words "your lands will be secured to you" have no qualification, and, if they constitute a pledge, must constitute an absolute one.

The ceremony, as has been said, was no doubt an impressive one, but, like everything else in this world, it may be regarded from more points of view than one, and the unofficial standpoint is represented by Mr. Bevan the explorer, in his book "Toil, Travel, and Discovery in British New Guinea," at p. 15. Mr. Goldie, an old resident of Port Moresby, and other respectable traders, says Mr. Bevan, resented, not unnaturally, the implication conveyed by the term "bad and evil-disposed men," and the gifts of tomahawks, calico, and tobacco were almost the only thing about the proceedings, according to him, that the natives really understood. "At night," he says, "they had been childishly frightened by displays of limelight, electric light, and fireworks from H.M.S. Nelson, and scared especially by blasts from the big ship's foghorn; for (mistaking it for the barking of a great dog) they all ran away into the bush to hide, panic-struck. Boe Vagi, a Mission native, who had no real influence, had been constituted titular 'King,' and was given a naval officer's uniform and a staff of office. It was, of course, very ridiculous to see a person so accoutred come crying up to one, with bare, black feet, for a 'bit of tobacco.'"

The flag was hoisted and the Protectorate explained at various places along the south coast, and in the Louisiade Archipelago. An affecting incident occurred at Moresby Island. Twenty-six natives were returned to the Protectorate who, it is said, had been entrapped and carried off to Queensland under false pretences. Seventeen of them belonged to Moresby Island, but there were others who had gone from the island and who were not returned, and all, including the seventeen, had been given up for dead.

"The revulsion of feeling," says the Commodore in his report, "when it became known that seventeen of those who had been given up for lost had returned may be imagined, and as the Espiegle anchored an old native, the chief of Moresby Island, was seated on a hammock gazing earnestly at the shore, and presently a canoe, containing a man and a boy, approached the ship. A recognition occurred instantly, for it afterwards transpired that the man in the canoe was the chief's brother; and when the canoe came close to the ship and its occupants boarded the vessel tears from the three natives flowed copiously, and, rushing to meet each other, they fell one upon the other's neck, rubbed noses, gave expression to loud wailings, and manifested other signs of joy and sorrow.

"The natives said to Chalmers, 'Where are the other boys?' One native, who has a son in Queensland, implored Captain Bridge to bring the boy back to his home. 'Now,' he entreated, 'go today, and we will fill the ship with pigs.' Efforts were made to induce this man to stay on the ship in order that he might see the Commodore, but at the first movement of the screw he was out of the porthole 'for fear that there was to be an attempt to take him away by force.'" [*]

[* See "James Chalmers," by Lovett, p. 251.]

General Sir Peter Scratchley was appointed Special Commissioner of the Protectorate, and arrived in Melbourne to take up his duties at the end of 1884; he was delayed, however, from various causes and did not arrive in Port Moresby until August 22, 1885. One of his first duties was to investigate the murder of six white men during the preceding two years; in these particular cases he was able to find that there was provocation, either directly by the ignorance or misconduct of the victims, or indirectly through the evils of the labour traffic. It would, however, be extremely rash to argue from these six cases that there was provocation for all, or nearly all, the murders committed in the early days in New Guinea, and any idea of this kind will be readily dispelled by a glance at the interesting "Approximate Return of Outrages and Massacres," compiled by the Honourable A. Musgrave when Assistant-Deputy-Commissioner; [*] but the interesting point is that the Special Commissioner arrives at a conclusion with which I think all who are acquainted with the conditions of Papua will heartily agree, and which has, fortunately, been acted upon ever since. "Men-of-war," he says, "are not suited for the purpose of administering justice and punishing outrages on the New Guinea coast; under the peculiar conditions for which they are required they combine the least amount of efficiency with the greatest display of force." [**]

[* Annual Report for the Year 1886, p. 39.]
[** Report by Mr. G. Seymour Fort, p. 13,]

Mr. Fort's report is also interesting as laying down the main lines of Sir Peter's policy as regards the native population, lines which have been to a great extent adopted by his successors. After dealing with the strategical reasons for proclaiming a Protectorate, he continues: "The next point which demands attention is the responsibility which rests with the annexing powers with regard to the protection of the natives. Probably in no country and at no period of history was there a more favourable opportunity for successfully adjusting the mutual interests of European and blacks than in British New Guinea...The following statement with reference to this question appears among Sir Peter Scratchley's notes: 'The only hope of making New Guinea pay is the employment of the natives, who can, by patience and care, be trained...' The future of the country depends largely upon the attitude of the natives. 'If they are rendered either hostile or corrupt, then it will continue to be the hunting-ground of needy adventurers or desperate speculators; if, on the other hand, they learn confidence in their rulers, then settlement in many parts is possible, and the country may become the regular source of supply of tropical products to the Australian markets.[*] On this point, therefore, the duty of the Government and the interest of the speculator coincide, and if, in the scheme for the administration of the country, the positive protection of the natives be comprehended, the introduction of European capital will materially benefit them, will create in them a useful and willing instrument, and thus be the first means towards rendering financial success ultimately possible."

Sir Peter Scratchley did not live to carry out the work he had begun; he died on December 2, 1885, and Mr. Deputy-Commissioner Romilly assumed the office of Special Commissioner until February 27, 1886, when the Honourable John Douglas, Government Resident at Thursday Island, was appointed.

Mr. Douglas, like his predecessor, deprecated the use of men-of-war for police purposes, though on one occasion at least during his administration the services of a man-of-war were invoked, with, however, the want of success which must generally attend such operations in a country like New Guinea. This was in connection with the well-known Craig case, when Captain Craig, of the schooner Emily, two other white men, and five Malays, were murdered by the natives of Joannet Island in the Louisiade Archipelago, and their vessel seized, plundered, and burnt. Captain Clayton, of H.M.S. Diamond, visited the scene of the massacre, but could do nothing, for the offenders had taken to the bush.

An interesting indication of the sound policy which even from the earliest times has been pursued with regard to the natives of New Guinea occurs in connection with this case. The officer who was dispatched to bring to justice the murderers of the master and crew of the Emily was successful in recovering a great portion of the arms and ammunition that had been stolen, and concluded his report with an expression of confidence "that the islanders in the neighbourhood who had been subjected to bandit treatment by the natives implicated in the murders would probably, now that these marauders had been deprived of some of the rifles and nearly all the ammunition, pay them back in their own coin, and help to reduce a tribe whose reputation was of the worst character." Mr. Douglas's comment on this pious aspiration is worth setting out in full. [*]

[* See Annual Report for 1887, p. 45.]

"I feel bound to observe on that portion of your report in which you express a belief that the neighbouring tribes will avail themselves of opportunities further to weaken the Joannet Islanders, that it can never be my duty, or yours, to permit strife between neighbouring tribes. It may be necessary to visit offending natives with exemplary and judicial punishment. In the case now under discussion, the natives of Joannet doubtless richly deserved punishment, and I do not take exception to the fate which, at your hands, befell some of them, when the arms and ammunition were recovered from them; but the gratuitous burning of villages, even though those villages were deserted, I entirely disapprove of.

"It is necessary that the white man should, under proper limits, assert his power, and I should not myself hesitate to take life in order to vindicate justice, but I am most desirous to avoid not only the appearance but the reality of practices which are as barbarous as those of the natives themselves."

The declaration of the Protectorate was obviously only preliminary to formal annexation. The original arrangement for the costs of administration was that £15,000 should be paid by all the Australasian colonies, including New Zealand and Fiji, the share payable by each being reckoned on a population basis at the date of the last census. This arrangement, however, proved unsatisfactory, and in April, 1887, at a conference held in London, it was agreed that if the colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland would assume responsibility for the whole amount, the Imperial Government would advise Her Majesty to assume sovereignty over the territory; this agreement received legislative sanction in Australia, and on September 4th of the following year the territory was annexed.

Dr. (afterwards Sir William) MacGregor, who was appointed Administrator of the territory, gives the following account of the proceedings:—

"I left Cooktown in H.M.S. Opal on September I St, and arrived here on the 4th.

"At four o'clock of the afternoon of the same day there were assembled at Government House, Captain Bosanquet with the officers and men of H.M.S. Opal, the officers of the Protectorate, and the European residents of the place, and about two hundred natives, of whom the larger portion belonged to Port Moresby District. In the presence of these I read a proclamation declaring the protected territory to be from that time a British possession. I then read the Letters Patent, at the conclusion of which I briefly drew the attention of the audience to the importance of the event, and directed the Royal Standard to be hoisted, which was saluted by H.M.S. Opal with twenty-one guns. I then read my commission, and took from Captain Bosanquet, as the senior officer then present in the Queen's service, the oath of allegiance and the oath of office as Administrator."

It is easier to praise a man when he is dead than while he is living, and Sir William is fortunately still amongst us, so I will content myself with saying what will bear the endorsement of all who have any knowledge of New Guinea, and that is, that the British Government were singularly wise or singularly lucky in choosing as the first Administrator a man who, in addition to his eminent services as an explorer, was so well fitted to grapple with the problem which the local Government has always considered to be of first importance; that is to say, the problem of showing how a backward, and in many respects a savage, population, can find a place in our civilisation, and how the coming of the white man may be made a blessing to such a people instead of a curse. Good work had been done by his predecessors in this direction so far as their brief terms of office had allowed, but it was to Sir William MacGregor that we owe the fact that this humane and enlightened native policy became a recognised part of the Government programme.

It was more by his general administration than by any acts that one can particularise that Sir William showed his recognition of the rights possessed by the native population, and of the necessity of maintaining them. The keynote to his policy, as set out in a dispatch to the Governor of Queensland, contained in Appendix I. to the Annual Report of 1897-8, was throughout "to deal righteously and justly with the natives, to pacify the country, and develop it into a British colony." Thus the Crown Land Ordinance, passed in 1890, deals with transactions in land entered into with the native owners before the Proclamation of the Protectorate, and provides the machinery for investigating the circumstances under which the transaction took place, and for the issue of a grant only if it is shown that "the purchase and sale were understood by the parties to it, that the land is not necessary for nor used by the native owners, and that the area is not an unreasonable one for the purposes of the purchaser or for the price paid." Native titles are recognised throughout, but all reasonable facilities are afforded to Europeans who desire to take up land for settlement. And the Native Labour Ordinance of 1892 is on much the same lines, as regards the protection of the native labourer, as that which is in force to-day.

"Nothing," to quote the Annual Report for 1897-8, "shows better the march of events in the possessions during the last decade than the progressive employment of natives." At the date of the annexation there was not a single native in the regular employment of the Government, even the boat's crew in Port Moresby being composed of coloured men from Queensland, who were paid £8 a month, and who soon increased their demands to £14. "A very modest vote," says Sir William, "was proposed by me for native employees in submitting the first estimates of expenditure, but this was struck out in Queensland as an absurdity." At the end of ten years one-fifth of the total expenditure was spent in payment for services rendered by natives. One of the great weaknesses of the Papuan character all through the territory is a lack of self-confidence, and there could be no surer way in which the Government could remedy this than by taking the natives into its employ and so showing its confidence in their loyalty and ability.


The Armed Constabulary were created during Sir William's administration. They first consisted of a dozen Solomon Islanders recruited in Fiji in 1890, in charge of two Fiji non-commissioned officers. Only eight Papuans joined during the first year, but afterwards recruits became more numerous, and the force gradually became a purely native one, applications being numerous, and the commandant being able to select some of the best men in the country. They numbered in 1898 110 men, and were assisted in their duties by the village constables, who then numbered 202, and who were appointed as a substitute for the tribal chiefs who practically do not exist in Papua.

The years of Sir William's administration, that is, from 1888 to 1898, were a period of almost continuous exploration, as a necessary preliminary to the occupation of the possession by European settlers; a detailed account of these explorations is given elsewhere.

It was during this time that the Dutch boundary was finally settled, and that a serious check was given to the Tugeri invaders. The Tugeri were a tribe living some 40 miles on the other side of the Dutch boundary, who had for years been in the habit of making periodical raids into British New Guinea, burning the villages, laying waste the country, and collecting the heads of the inhabitants They had also a custom, not found, I believe, in British territory, of carrying off captives, especially women and children, the usual custom in Papua being to massacre all that can be caught. The result of these constant raids was that the country, for some considerable distance on the British side of the border, was filled with remnants of broken tribes, who had been reduced to a state of desperation which rendered them dangerous of access even to those who sought to be their friends. A few more years of the Tugeri would probably have reduced the country for 50 miles this side of the boundary to the condition of a desert, and they were a difficult tribe to deal with from the fact that they lived in Dutch New Guinea, and therefore could not be followed to their homes by the British police.

The Tugeri are described by Sir William, the only man who has had much to do with them, as being as fine a body of men as any he had met with in New Guinea. "In one tribe on the upper Fly River," he says, "there are men as muscular and equally capable in appearance, but those of the Tugeri met with are probably the best men of their tribe. Many of them are of a light-brown colour. They are armed exclusively with bows and arrows. They propelled their canoes—clumsy in build, 35 to 40 feet long, and without outriggers—by means of poles made of the mid-rib of the sago palm leaf."

In 1892 these people crossed the boundary and raided the possession as far as Mabadauan, but they escaped into Dutch territory before the force dispatched from Port Moresby could reach them. Their camps were found, however, and their numbers estimated at three hundred; Sir William found where they had planted bamboos to serve them as utensils and weapons in a subsequent raid—an obvious proof of their intention to return.

In 1896 a dozen Tugeri canoes were met in the channel between New Guinea and the Talbot Islands. Some of these were captured and their occupants driven ashore upon Matakawa Island, where they were not followed, for Matakawa, though on the New Guinea coast, is Queensland territory. The remainder escaped and joined the main body on the Wasi Kussa, where they took refuge on a rock, flanked at each end by mangroves, abandoning their canoes, which were collected at the base. From the nature of the position it was open only to a frontal attack, and a frontal attack was consequently, made, the launch steaming towards the bank and casting off the boats as soon as she had approached as near as she safely could. Four white men and twenty police took part in the attack, but such was the élan of the police, and the swiftness with which they dashed over the canoes and up the rock, that the fight was over and the Tugeri dispersed before the white men could fire a shot. Considering the reputation and prestige of the Tugeri—they had in 1884, in spite of rifle-fire, captured and burnt Captain Strachan's vessel on the Wasi Kussa—and that the Tugeri outnumbered them at least twenty to one, this feat of arms was highly creditable to the police, most of them recruits from the Western Division. Forty-eight canoes were captured on this occasion, and the loss and suffering of the Tugeri on their retreat by land to their home in Dutch New Guinea was so great that the territory had a long respite from these raids, and nothing on the same large scale seems ever to have been again attempted.

The claims of the Dutch to the western part of New Guinea rested partly on their right as suzerain of the Sultan of Tidore, and had been extended eastwards to protect the Spice Islands (always a centre of interest in this part of the world) against what might be considered a dangerous competition, until they were eventually recognised as reaching to the 141st meridian. An imaginary boundary was obviously objectionable when there was a question of dealing with a tribe like the Tugeri, and in 1893 Sir William MacGregor, Mr. Cameron, M. Bensbach, Resident at Temate, and Captain Van Afferden of the Dutch warship Java, agreed to a new boundary beginning at the middle of the mouth of the Bensbach River in longitude 141, 48 east, proceeding on the same longitude until the line meets the Fly River, thence following the Fly until it reaches the 141st meridian, and thence along the 141st meridian to the point where the British and German boundaries meet. The advantages of this arrangement were that a vessel, either British or Dutch, could be placed in the Bensbach to keep the marauders in check; and the necessity for some such action had been recently made apparent by the fact that the Tugeri had attacked the Dutch officer who had been stationed in one of their villages, wounded him with two arrows, killed one of his men, and injured ten others. It was absolutely essential to the safe navigation of the Fly that the whole river should be in British territory; hitherto the bend or loop which that river forms to the west had been Dutch, and a divided jurisdiction would be of the greatest inconvenience if settlement ever ascended the river.

The Tugeri were inhabitants of Dutch New Guinea; the only real difficulty that was experienced from the natives of what is now Papua was in the Mambare District near the German boundary in the year 1897. Five miners and their boys were murdered by the natives on the lower Mambare between January 7th and 12th, and on the 14th Mr. Green, the Government Agent, four police, and four other natives were killed at Tamata about 40 miles up the river, the Government station was burnt to the ground, and the rule of the Papuan was once more established throughout the district. Scattered in small parties, inadequately armed, and totally unprepared, the miners could make no headway against the storm of native violence, and sought refuge as best they could; a small band of three who were at the Mambare mouth took possession of two canoes, got into one themselves, placed their boys in the other, and attempted to make their way to some place of safety by sea. The white man's canoe drifted up the coast to German New Guinea, and the party eventually reached a German settlement from which they were returned to Samarai; the canoe which carried the boys was never heard of again.

In March and April Government parties arrived upon the scene, and in a short time comparative peace was restored, though not without the necessity of inflicting some loss upon the insurgent natives, who, however, could offer no serious opposition to the organised force of the constabulary under European leaders. It appeared that the natives had decided upon conceding part of the coast to the Government, and had put up boundary marks to show where their territory ended and that of the white men began; but they had every intention of retaining possession of the station, for they had cleared and planted additional land, evidently in the anticipation of making it a permanent residence. Order was not finally restored until a year or two afterwards, and then only by the assistance of local natives who had been taken prisoners some two years before, after the murder of Mr. Clark, the well known prospector, and had been sent back to their homes as village constables. Since then, though there have been isolated murders, there has been nothing in the nature of a general rising.

In connection with the murder of Mr. Green, the conduct of Corporal Sedu may be of interest to those who consider the Papuan incapable of courage and loyalty. Mr. Green and Sedu were building a house some little distance from the Government station, and Sedu, who had reason to be suspicious of the local natives (he was himself a Westerner), wished on the fatal day to take arms and ammunition with him. Mr. Green, however, ordered him to take the arms out of the boat, and told him further that if he was afraid he might stay behind. Sedu obeyed the order, but insisted on accompanying his officer, and the party went on their way absolutely unarmed, except that Mr. Green carried a revolver. When the attack was made Mr. Green had taken off his belt and revolver and was on the roof of the house, so that he fell an easy victim; Sedu, however, was some distance away on a ridge from which he could see all that happened, and from which he had, if he had cared to avail himself of it, an easy escape to the station, for he was very fleet of foot and would have had a considerable start. However, he preferred not to desert his officer, and went down, unarmed, to certain death.

Sir William left the territory in September, 1898, and was succeeded by Mr. (afterwards Sir George) Le Hunte, who arrived early the next year. Negotiations were still going on with the Dutch Government on the subject of the Tugeri, who had not yet given up their habit of occasionally crossing the border, though they appear to have lost much of their dash since their defeat on the Wasi Kussa, and in the year 1900 M. J. A. Kroesen, Assistant-Resident at Fak Fak, in the north-west of Dutch New Guinea, was sent in the cruiser Serdang with instructions to place himself in communication with the British authorities. The Serdang and the Merrie England met at Daru on October 31st, and the Honourable G. C. Murray, R.M., of the Western Division, proceeded with M. Kroesen to the scene of the raids with a view of collecting evidence. They first visited the islands of Saibai and Boigu, and then went to the mouth of the Morehead River, but in the meantime Mr. Murray's police had gone on to the Morehead and arrived there first. This circumstance rendered further search for evidence unnecessary, for the police were attacked by the Tugeri, whom they defeated somewhat easily, and succeeded in capturing their canoes, in which were discovered three heads freshly severed from their bodies. The pursuit of the defeated Tugeri by Messrs. Kroesen and Murray was unsuccessful, but cumulative proof was found of Tugeri atrocities, for the headless bodies of fifteen men and women were discovered near the village of Tugaribio, 60 miles up the river, where a hunting party had been surrounded and massacred. Fully convinced of the reality of the Tugeri raids, M. Kroesen agreed to the payment of £150 as compensation to the relatives of the persons who had been killed, and undertook to search for any British captives who might be in Dutch territory, and to deliver them up to the British Government; every effort has, no doubt, been made to find these captives, but so far without success.

In 1901, on Easter Monday, April 8th, the Rev. James Chalmers, whose name had been so long and so intimately associated with New Guinea, was murdered at Dopima on Goari Bari Island, together with his colleague, the Rev. Oliver Tomkins, a chief of Kiwai Island, and ten mission students. What actually happened and how the murders were perpetrated will never be known for certain; the Gaori Bari people told me that Chalmers was killed in the large house and that Tomkins was shot with an arrow outside. A generally accepted theory among those who know the Gulf of Papua is that some feast, of the nature probably of that which, farther west, is known as Moguru, was being celebrated at Dopima at the time of Chalmers's visit. Strangers are never admitted to this ceremony, and every effort was made to induce the visitors not to land; then, as they insisted upon coming into the village, it was decided to kill them. It was a sad end to a noble life, but possibly it was the death which Chalmers would himself have chosen.

Of course the perpetrators of an outrage of this kind must be severely punished, and they were severely punished accordingly, with the loss of many lives and the destruction of much native property; there were, as usual, no casualties on the side of the Government. Since then, with the exception of a regrettable incident, which occurred in 1904 and cost more lives, there has been peace on Goari Bari.

Sir George Le Hunte relinquished the Lieutenant Governorship in June, 1903, and Mr. Justice C. S. Robinson, who had been appointed Chief Judicial Officer in succession to Sir Francis Winter, assumed the administration. After Mr. Justice Robinson's death in the following year. Captain F. R. Barton administered the Government until he went on leave in 1907. I then became Acting Administrator, having been appointed Chief Judicial Officer in 1904. Twelve months later Captain Barton resigned his position, and in November, 1908, I was appointed Lieutenant-Governor.

During the interregnum the Commonwealth of Australia finally assumed control. Already in 1902, by Royal Letters Patent under the Great Seal, the general' authority over the affairs of the possession, which, by the Letters Patent of 1888, had been conferred upon the Governor of Queensland, was transferred to the Governor-General of the Commonwealth, and in 1905 the Commonwealth Parliament passed the Papua Act, under which what was once the protectorate, and afterwards the possession of British New Guinea, became the territory of Papua. This Act came into force by Proclamation on September 1, 1906, so that there are now two days that are kept sacred in Papua—September 4th, on which the country became a part of the British Empire, and September 1st, on which it became closely connected with, though not a part of, the Australian Commonwealth.

The Papua Act has hitherto not been amended, and still forms the Constitution of the territory.

Under this Act the government of the territory is administered by a Lieutenant-Governor, who holds office during the pleasure of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and who "shall exercise and perform all powers and functions that belong to his office according to the tenor of his commission and according to such instructions as arc given to him by the Governor-General." He is assisted by an Executive Council, not exceeding six in number, who are appointed by the Governor-General, and there is also a Legislative Council. The Legislative Council consists of the Lieutenant-Governor and the members of the Executive Council, and a certain number of non -official members which is never to be less than three and which is to increase as the European population increases; these nonofficial members are appointed by the Governor-General, or by the Lieutenant-Governor in pursuance of instructions from the Governor-General. They hold office for six years, and may be reappointed.

In addition to the Lieutenant-Governor, the Governor-General has power to appoint an Administrator, a provision that has created the greatest confusion, even in Australia and among persons who are fairly well acquainted with Papua. The Papua Act makes the matter plain enough by going on to provide that the Administrator is to administer the Government only during "any vacancy in the office of Lieutenant-Governor or when the Lieutenant-Governor is absent from the territory or unable by reason of illness to perform his duties," but no one reads the Papua Act, and the difficulty that most people feel in realising the possibility of an Administrator who does not administer is apparently insuperable. It is perhaps a pity that anything was said in the Act about an Administrator, for the term will cause confusion till the end of time, although, as a matter of fact, the title is dropped while the Lieutenant-Governor is in the territory, and is only assumed in his absence; the same powers are, failing an Administrator, conferred upon the senior member of the Executive.

Subject to the Act the Legislative Council has power to make ordinances for the "peace, order, and good government of the territory." The Governor-General may disallow any ordinance within six months of the Lieutenant-Governor's assent, but all ordinances take effect as soon as they are assented to by the Lieutenant-Governor, with the exception of ordinances dealing with certain subjects which must be reserved for the Governor-General's pleasure. The most important of these subjects are: Divorce, Crown lands, native lands, native labour, supply of arms, ammunition, explosives, intoxicants, or opium to natives, and the introduction or immigration of aboriginal natives of Australia, Asia, Africa, or any island in the Pacific.

There is a Central Court of Papua with unlimited jurisdiction both civil and criminal; an appeal lies from the Central Court to the High Court of Australia.

The Act also contains provisions prohibiting the supply of intoxicating liquor to natives, and providing that, though the number of licences for the sale of liquor which were in existence when the Act came into force may be reduced, it cannot be increased. No freehold estate may be granted in land, the rental of the land must be assessed upon the unimproved value, and a sum equal to lo per cent, of the revenue arising from the lease of Crown lands "shall in each year be appropriated for the maintenance and welfare of infirm or destitute aboriginal natives (including half-castes) of the territory." It has been impossible to find any "destitute" natives, and this sum has therefore been expended on native hospitals; a fact which, I think, speaks volumes for the kindly disposition of the Papuan natives and the care which they take of the aged and the weak. In no white man's country that I know of would a search for the "destitute" have been in vain.

Financially, Papua is treated with far greater liberality by the Commonwealth Government than was British New Guinea by the three Governments of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria; from the three contributing colonies a subsidy was received of £15,000 a year, the Commonwealth has increased this until at present it amounts to a grant of £25,000, and a yearly loan (for five years) of £5,000 to be expended upon Government plantations, and to be repaid out of the accruing profits. There are three of these plantations, one on the Kemp Welch River, another at Orangerie Bay, and a third upon Mudge Island, near Samarai; they will be planted with rubber and coconuts, and, it is to be hoped, will not disappoint the confidence placed in them by the Commonwealth Government.


Papuans, Papuo-Melanesians, and Papuasians—Melanesian immigration—The Binandeli—Murders on the Northern Goldfields—Red Creek natives and other inland tribes—Gaggara and Neneba—Kokoda mountaineers—Cannibals on the Musa—Hydrographer's Range—Alleged web-footed men of the Agaiambo tribe—Cape Nelson the meeting-place of Papuan and Melanesian—Cape Nelson totems—Tribes inland of Cape Nelson—Doriri and Yabura—Collecting allies for a raid—Government station at Cape Nelson—Human sacrifice at Paiwa—Chad's Bay.

"Two races [that is, a yellow and a black race], in my opinion, have unconsciously striven for the possession of New Guinea. The yellow race possesses the east and the black the west; but both have reached the centre." Thus D'Albertis wrote in 1880, and he also stated, as the result of his experience, that the yellow race appeared to preponderate in the centre.

Substituting "brown" for "yellow" and omitting the word "races," always a dangerous word to use in these days when the ethnological critic is abroad, quaerens quem devoret, D'Albertis's statement corresponds fairly well with the result of more recent explorations. Sir William MacGregor, for instance, speaking of the fine physique of the Gosisi people at the foot of Mount Knutsford, says: "I am aware that this cannot be reconciled with the theory of writers on this subject, who inform us that the natives of the interior are less robust and are black and squat. No more can the fact that the lightest-skinned people we have met with were in the centre of the island, where the British, Dutch, and German boundaries meet." At the same time, Sir William, who ascended the Fly even farther than D'Albertis, does not agree with him as to the existence in that district of separate races. "I have seen no evidence," he says, "of the existence of a race in the interior different from the coast tribes. Those seen at the boundary between British and German New Guinea were of a lighter colour, but that may not signify much...They [the inhabitants of the Fly] differ greatly in type and size, but not more so between Saguane [on Kiwai Island] and the German boundary than between Saguane and Daumori, the first 60 miles of the river"; and the differences of language were, in Sir William's opinion, more than counterbalanced by similarity in manners and customs.

The languages of Papua are divided into Melanesian and non-Melanesian. The non-Melanesian languages are called Papuan, which is rather an unfortunate use of the term in view of the adoption of the name "Papua" for the territory; so far as investigation has gone at present, it appears that the Papuan languages differ widely from one another, and all differ equally widely from the Melanesian. The Melanesian languages, on the other hand, are structurally similar to one another, and are related to the common stock languages of Oceania.


A Papuan to "the man in the street" means simply a "native of Papua," but not so the ethnologist; to him a Papuan is a non-Melanesian native of any part of New Guinea—that is to say, a native belonging to a stock which has not been influenced by the Melanesian immigration, to be mentioned later on. Thus a Motu native of Port Moresby is not a Papuan, but a native of Kiwai Island or of the Mambare River is; there is, so far as I know, absolutely no reason for supposing any connection, racial or linguistic, between the Kiwai islander and the Mambare native, but they are both called Papuans for the purely negative reason that they are not Melanesians. I may add that this strict use of the word is not generally observed except by ethnologists, and I do not claim to have observed it myself; the context will, I hope, serve as a guide; and there is, unfortunately, no other word (except the somewhat barbaric "British New Guinean") to include all the natives of Papua and no one else, as the word "Papuan" in its colloquial use undoubtedly does.

"Papuo-Melanesians" is the name chosen for those who are not Papuans, and "Papuasian" for all natives of New Guinea without distinction. Thus, to take the instance already given, the Motu man is a Papuo-Melanesian but not a Papuan, the Kiwai and the Mambare natives are Papuans but not Papuo-Melanesians, and all three are Papuasians. Professor Wallace [*] speaks of the Papuan as "joyous and laughter loving," but the Papuan with whom one is most familiar in the territory—that is, the Western Papuan, as found, for instance, on Kiwai Island—is about as gloomy a person as can well be imagined. Even D'Albertis could not succeed in banishing the dejection of these natives. "Their melancholy," he says, "was more apparent than their fear," and must have been most disconcerting to him after the uproarious success he had met with among the Papuo-Melanesians of Mekeo. D'Albertis is corroborated on this point by Sir George le Hunte, who visited the island of Kiwai in the year 1900, and says: "I do not think I heard a laugh that week except from our own men." The next most melancholy men in the territory are, curiously enough, the inhabitants of Rossel Island, right at the other end of the territory. Rossel is the only island of the archipelago which is inhabited by people who speak a purely Papuan language, and a very depressed and depressing people they are.

[* "Malay Archipelago," p. 450.]

D'Albertis was of opinion that this "yellow race," which would include the Papuo-Melanesians of modern terminology, were the aboriginal, or at any rate the most ancient surviving inhabitants, but in the view which is entertained at the present day the Papuans are the aboriginals and the Papuo-Melanesians, or Melanesians as we call them for convenience, are the immigrants. If so, it would appear that the immigration could not have been by way of Torres Straits (for there is no evidence of Melanesian immigration in the west), but was probably through the islands in the east and northeast. The languages of the Bismarck Archipelago and of the islands to the north are Melanesian in character, and the theory advanced, first, I believe, by Mr. Ray, and now generally accepted, is that the stream of Melanesian immigration flowed from the north and down the north-east coast of the territory, embracing all the islands except Rossel; it then turned to the west and advanced along the south coast of Papua, the immigrants penetrating some distance into the interior, and intermarrying with the existing inhabitants, upon whom, as for instance the Sinaugolo of the Rigo District, they occasionally succeeded in imposing a Melanesian language. Sir William MacGregor extends what he calls Polynesian influence as far west as the Fly River and right into the centre of the country to the east of Mount Yule, and even up the Purari River, where, he says, he found a tribe speaking a dialect which closely resembled Motu, the language of Port Moresby.



More immigrations than one are, I believe, considered necessary to account for certain facts that have been observed, but of course the whole theory of the immigration is purely tentative, and may at any time be displaced by evidence. The tendency of the population to-day is from the interior to the coast, which can hardly have been the case in the days of the immigration, or the immigrants would not have found a footing; the coast-line, when they arrived, was probably unoccupied, or so scantily populated, and with so much land lying vacant, that in many cases no opposition would be offered to their settlement.

So much for the Papuo-Melanesians. As to the Papuans, one may simplify matters very much by stating at once that no one knows anything about them. They are certainly not Melanesians; there is, I understand, some faint evidence, but I believe by no means sufficient, to connect some Papuan languages with those of Australia, and there seems to be nothing whatever to support the theory (at first sight a somewhat fanciful one) which would connect the Papuans, or some of them, with the inhabitants of the Andaman Islands. One fact that must strike the most casual observer in Papua is the difference that exists between the natives of the east and those of the west and the north, and, again, between all of these and the natives of the interior. The Papuan of the western coast is almost a black man, usually of the so-called Semitic type of features, often tall, with long limbs and powerful arms, though inclined to be flat-chested and weak in the legs; he is generally a morose and sullen person, but is often a man of strong character, who knows what he wants and is capable of making a determined effort to get it, and is in almost every way a complete contrast to the smaller, lighter, and more vivacious inhabitants of the coastal districts of the Central Division and of the east end of the islands, and differences, though perhaps not quite so marked, distinguish him from the natives of the interior and of the north coast. Many of the mistakes that are made about Papua are due to the fact that persons, who know a particular district well, are not always able to resist the temptation to apply to the whole of the territory conclusions which are perhaps only true of a few villages.

In the north-east of the territory a large and powerful tribe, if the term may be applied to so loosely connected a group of village communities scattered over a considerable area, extends along the coast from the German boundary to the southern shore of Dyke Acland Bay and some 20 or 30 miles inland. These people speak a Papuan language known as Binandeli. The white settlers generally call them quite incorrectly Orokaivas, Orokaiva being, I believe, a word of frequent use in the Binandeli language to imply or suggest agreement or approval; the cry by which strangers are greeted when they drive at a friendly village is generally "Oro" or "Orokaiva," and the northern miners, being used to the expression, adopted it for the northern natives to distinguish them from the Gosiago, as they call the natives of the east and of the islands, and the Kiwai, which is the name for all natives west of Goari Bari.

The Binandeli are a sturdy and courageous race and make good police, but they do not seem particularly intelligent, and have not as yet shown that they possess the same capacity to control others as has been found among the Kiwais, Less stolid than the Westerners, they are nevertheless not easily thrown off their balance, and accept changes of fortune with philosophy. I remember sentencing to death two policemen, natives of this district, after a somewhat prolonged investigation, which necessitated a lot of travelling from place to place in search of evidence. The two accused made their appearance each time the court met, armed with a rifle and a bandolier full of cartridges, and carrying a billy-can in one hand and the remainder of their worldly goods in the other-ready for any emergency; they took the death sentence quite unmoved and with their usual air of courteous attention. Shortly afterwards the Government steamer was to leave for Port Moresby, and it was discovered that the two prisoners were not on board, but in response to much shouting and whistling they arrived, in a state of breathless agitation, and explained to me that they had quite forgotten that they had been sentenced to death and were going to Port Moresby to be hanged—otherwise they would never have thought of going so far away from the steamer. I am glad to add that on arrival at Port Moresby it was found possible to reduce their sentence to very short terms of imprisonment.

It might be easily imagined from this anecdote that they are stupid people, but I do not think that this is so, though they are certainly not so clever as some of the other tribes. Their social organisation does not stand very high—that is, they seem to be unable to organise themselves into large communities, and most of their villages are very small. They have fairly good gardens and cultivate a great deal of taro; sago is present in parts in great abundance, but they do not make very much use of it. The unmarried women on the Mambare used, before the Government influence was established, to go about absolutely naked, the only instance, I believe, of such a practice known among the tribes of the territory, though in other parts the men are unclothed, and, on the Kumusi River, the young girls used to wear nothing. In this the inhabitants of the Mambare offer a striking contrast to those in the neighbourhood of Port Moresby, for instance, where even the smallest girl wears a grass petticoat or rami; of course this practice has no relation whatever to the state of morality prevailing among the tribes, and there is no reason to suppose that the standard on the Mambare is not as high as anywhere else.

From a variety of causes the pacification of this part of the territory did not proceed so smoothly as elsewhere. There is always danger when settlement gets ahead of the advance of Government influence, but in the case of a goldfield in a remote district like the Mambare it was impossible for the few Government officials to keep pace with the rush; and individual miners were often prospecting in districts where they were surrounded by natives who had perhaps never seen or heard of a Government officer in their lives, and were certainly not in any way under Government control. The result was the murder of isolated and often entirely unsuspicious white men, and consequent expeditions to effect arrests, which, while absolutely necessary, still left behind them a feeling of bitter hostility, which died away but slowly. It is sometimes suggested, especially by those who have no knowledge of either the white or the coloured inhabitants of Papua, that the miners brought their trouble upon themselves, and that, had they treated the natives fairly, they would have been fairly treated in return; a study of the official reports, however, does not bear out this theory, and the fault of the miners seems to have been that they had treated their murderers too well and trusted them too far.

Take, for instance, the case of Messrs. Champion and King, who were murdered on the Kumusi about January 1, 1901. Their undoing was directly due to their having placed an excessive confidence in the natives. They, and another miner called McClelland, were working in some gullies about 20 miles above Bogi on the upper Kumusi, and they got to be on such friendly terms with the natives that the latter appear to have been allowed to come in and about the camps as much as they liked. McClelland remonstrated against this, but without effect. At last, one day, when they were working at different places out of sight of one another, their rifles were seized, and King and Champion (were speared, carried off alive, and eaten in one of the villages near the right bank of the river. McClelland, with the aid of his revolver, which he had fortunately kept with him, succeeded in making his way through the bush to an old mining camp, and so saved himself and four carriers. In the punitive expedition which followed, Asepo, the principal chief, and, it was said, King's actual murderer, was shot, with twenty-eight others. McClelland shortly afterwards died from fever and exhaustion.


The arms of the Binandeli are the spear and the club. Some of the inland tribes are archers, but no tribe has bows and arrows on the north-east coast, or, except very occasionally, on the south coast, until beyond Cape Possession.

An interesting custom peculiar, I believe, to these natives exists on the Mambare. In addition to the usual dances, which, however, in this part of the territory are rather more lively and spirited than elsewhere, they have a kind of farce which they act among themselves. Only men take part in these plays, disguised, when the case demands it, as women. The Rev. Copland Kipg, of the Anglican Mission, who has worked for years among these natives, described to me the nature of these performances; I have never seen one myself. It appears that a post is painted with various colours and hollowed out inside, and into this a man gets to represent something, I suppose, in the nature of the spirit of the wood. Then two men come along, one of them personating a woman, and carrying a bundle of wood which represents a child. The spirit steals the child, the man and woman look about for it in vain, finally other persons come out, acting the part, I believe, of some more spirits, and the child is found. Then there is a general scrimmage, and the child is finally rescued.

This account was given to me merely as an instance of the kind of play that is performed; there are others dealing with a variety of incidents, and J have seen, in the Mambare villages, wooden representations of fish and crocodiles, which, I am told, are some of the "properties" used in these performances.

The people here referred to as Binandeli are so called partly as a matter of convenience, and partly because they all talk dialects of the Binandeli language, but it does not, of course, follow that they are racially connected. The Binandeli, it is supposed, have been moving southwards, conquering and destroying or assimilating the various tribes with whom they came in contact, and it is probable that the Binandeli-speaking natives of to-day comprise a mixture of races; though in one case at least, at the village of Usi on the Gira, it is said that there are still two parties, of which one claims descent from the original inhabitants and the other from the invaders. Both parties, however, speak the Binandeli language.

Inland of the Binandeli is a congeries of smaller tribes, some of them almost nomadic in habit, who live among the foothills or on the slopes of the Main Range. The Red Creek native, the very small remnant of a once numerous tribe who, but for the advent of the Government, would in a short time have come to an end through mutual slaughter, have alone given trouble of recent years. They adopted the irritating practice of robbing the miners' camps, and the roughness of the country was such that it was with the greatest difficulty that the officer in charge of the district succeeded in coming into contact with them. At last, after long and painful effort, he succeeded in capturing a youth who was supposed to have been concerned in the robberies, but the boy not only declined to speak, but, under the impression that he was to be fattened for the magistrate's table, absolutely refused food, and it was not for some considerable time that he became reassured as to the intentions of his captors. Finally, through his mediation, relations were established with the tribe; and though, if I remember rightly, the actual offenders were never punished, the more important end was achieved of inducing them to fall in with the policy of the Government and abandon their life of brigandage. The result was that the tribe took up a permanent abode in the village of Seragi, near the Aikora or Upper Gira River, and settled down as market gardeners, finding a ready market for all they could grow in the miners' camps in the neighbourhood.

Nothing is known of the natives to the north of Red Creek, and it is probable that this part of the territory is not thickly inhabited. There is a village called Gagara to the west or south-west which has often been visited, and where there is even a village constable, and higher up on the Wharton Chain is the Kambisi tribe, some of whom occasionally come down to the miners' camps and even to Tamata, but, with the exception of Samori, Neneba, and Bida, there are no more villages of which anything definite is known along this line of country until you come to Kokoda. There is frequent communication between Gagara and the Kambisi tribe and the villages on the Venapa River, which enters the sea on the south' coast to the west of Port Moresby. When I visited Gagara I found that the people knew all about a recent Government patrol in the Venapa Valley, and a comparison of vocabularies shows that there is close resemblance between the dialects of Gagara, Kambisi, the upper Venapa, and the district called Mafulu, in the mountains at the back of Mekeo. The Vice-Consul of Gagara, however, told us that he could not talk to a Mafulu man, and only knew a few phrases of the Mafulu language, which he had learnt from a man whom he had met at dances on the Venapa. Chalmers [*] speaks of trade between the north-east and the south coast, and Sir William MacGregor mentions that he found a native at Koni, a village quite close to the south coast, who had actually been to Neneba. Koni is near Kabadi, and it appears that corn has reached. Neneba from that district, having travelled faster than the white man, and carrying its own name with it. This is not infrequently the case, for we found maize under the name of "kaun" in the Lopiko villages, where no white man had been, and the same thing, I am told, is found in the Kagi District in the Main Range at the back of Port Moresby.

[* "Work and Adventure in New Guinea," p. 152.]

The inhabitants of these villages are of the usual mountain type, short sinewy men of active build. They lack the muscular development of the Binandeli natives, but, as might be expected, are far superior to them as carriers in the mountain districts of their home. Some of their women wear the grass petticoat, others a strip of native cloth, or a wisp of grass, which they pass between their legs and fasten to a belt; the difference probably distinguishes the married from the single.

At Samori and Gagara, and probably in the other villages, they bind up their dead in grass or leaves and expose them on platforms or sometimes place them on the ground in, it would appear, an upright position.

They have good gardens and seem to be well nourished, and are probably healthy; their houses are wretched hovels, but, being devoid of ventilation, serve well as a protection against the cold rain which falls probably nearly every night. These people have, as a rule, been well disposed to white settlers, as, indeed, the Papuan generally, but by no means always, is, if well treated, so soon as he has got over his first surprise and terror; but they are not sufficiently numerous, nor, I fancy, sufficiently enterprising, ever to be a considerable addition to the labour supply of the territory.

In the neighbourhood of Kokoda are the small tribes of Koko and Ausembo, who, in spite of the fact that they, especially the Koko, are not infrequent visitors at the Government station, seem to have found an unusual difficulty in accustoming themselves to the irksome bonds of civilisation. They are not in any way hostile to Europeans, but are apt to weary occasionally of the humdrum routine of a peaceful life, and to burst out into murder and cannibalism; much the same may be said of the Biagi, who live farther in the Main Range, having emigrated originally from the western side, except that the Biagi have shown themselves very much more hostile to Europeans, although they have, I believe, never been cannibals.

The Koko and Ausembo are of the mountain type, and differ both in appearance and in language from the Binandeli-speaking natives of the plain, who themselves are divided into many smaller tribes, such as Wasida, Sangara, Eororo, and Kukurundi. The Wasida and Sangara have been particularly active in forming markets along the road which leads from Buna Bay to the Yodda Goldfield, and in supplying, carriers with taro and other food in exchange for articles of trade, such as tobacco, and glass bottles, which are much prized for the manufacture of razors.

None of the northern rivers, that is to say neither the Mambare, the Opi, the Kumusi, nor the Musa, are at present very thickly populated, and one does not wonder at it after reading an account by Sir William MacGregor of an experience of his on the Musa.

Sir William was encamped on the right bank of that river when "there suddenly began to appear in sight with the first dim grey dawn of the day the leading war canoes of a powerful native armada. They came on up the river out of the semi-darkness with swift and steady strokes of the paddle, with a silence and regularity that was almost spectral...In one large canoe near the middle of the flotilla were two big men, each standing erect in the hull of a fine war canoe, one at each end of the square platform...Every other person in sight paddled as regularly, as industriously, and as silently as if he had been a piece of machinery; all faces were turned steadily up the river...Nothing could be more mysterious and impressive than the sudden appearance at such an hour of this great force of men, evidently so eagerly intent on some high purpose of their own that they had neither a moment of time, a word, nor a look to devote to two solitary white men and a boat's crew of Papuans."

The nature of this "high purpose" became clear when Sir William met them afterwards and examined their canoes. "It would appear that the marauders had already captured probably some ten or twelve people. There were, on as many separate canoes, four adult undivided dead bodies; on another there was the body of a little girl of seven or eight, still' tied by the hands and feet to the pole on which her tender little body had been carried to camp." The village of Endari, which the Government party had visited only two days before, had been raided, and the canoes were full of plunder: pots, adzes, clubs, and a host of miscellaneous articles had been collected, all of which were lying about in the canoes, with here or there a human hand or foot protruding.

"A nearer examination would then show that the member was detached, that it had been clumsily and unskillfully hacked from the body by an inexperienced hand, and that it was already half cooked, probably in order to keep it longer sweet. On the platforms of the canoes were also little neatly made-up parcels and packets of human flesh, deftly enveloped in leaves and tied with bark. On some of the platforms were large and small uncovered pieces, some cooked and ready for the table, others apparently the remains left over from an interrupted meal. One of these was a large portion of the back of a child half cooked, and corresponding exactly to what is known to the cook as a 'saddle.' In the holds of some of the canoes were coils of human intestines, sorted as one folds a fishing-line, with a stick through the coil supporting it by resting on the edges of the canoe, so as to let the coil fall into the hold but without the lower end reaching the bilge-water in the canoe." [*]

[* Annual Report, 1895-6, pp. 27, 28.]

The Hydrographer's Range, inland from Dyke Acland Bay, is occupied by some powerful and rather unruly tribes, who have only recently been brought under Government influence. These people have a curious custom, rather disconcerting to the officers who have to patrol their country, of moving their villages bodily from' one place to another for a distance of many miles. Thus a village of sixty or seventy houses which has been visited by the magistrate on one trip will be found on the next occasion to have absolutely disappeared, and to have been transported perhaps to the other side of a mountain range.

Inland from Ketakerua Bay, which is to the north of of the Musa mouth, are the Agaiambo, a tribe who have been driven by their enemies to take refuge in a swamp, where they "live principally on waterfowl and fish. It appears that they have also pigs. "The Agaiambo," says Dr. W. M. Strong, the Resident Magistrate of the division, in his report of his last visit to these people, "have surmounted the difficult question of keeping pigs in a swamp by also building pigstyes on piles (as well as their own houses). The small pigs are put in the styes and are said never to leave them except for an occasional wash." There are two Agaiambo villages, both very small; the larger has only nine houses. These people were a few years ago the subject of quite a cycle of legends; they were web-footed, it was said, and could swim after fish and catch them in their own element—in fact, they had every accomplishment and peculiarity that the most lively imagination could bestow. As a matter of fact there is no difference between them and any of the other natives of the district, except that the muscles of the foot and leg are not well developed and that their feet are very soft; this, of course, is what one would expect in people who rarely walk and spend nearly all their time in a canoe.

The Musa River runs in Dyke Acland Bay, and the promontory of Cape Nelson, which forms the southern boundary of the bay, marks the point where Papuan and Melanesian meet. All the languages on the coast to the south of Cape Nelson are Melanesian, with the exception of that spoken by a small community calling themselves Pem on the northern shore of Collingwood Bay; for though the inland tribes speak Papuan dialects Pem alone have succeeded in reaching the coast or maintaining their position there.

Cape Nelson itself, where the Government station is, is held by the Korapi, who, with the Mokuru, are the advanced guard of the Binandeli. The advanced guard of the Melanesians are the Kosiraba and the Arifamu; the territory of these two last named tribes is farther up the coast than Cape Nelson—that is, nearer to the Musa mouth—so that the advanced guards have overlapped, the Korapi and Mokuru having got in between the Kosiraba and Arifamu and the main body of Melanesians.

The natives of Cape Nelson, like their neighbours the Binandeli, are of good physique and make good policemen, though, like the Binandeli, they have hitherto been less successful as non-commissioned officers. Dr. Poch, of Vienna, who lived for some months at Cape Nelson, in 1905 found a form of totemism in existence among some of the tribes. Some of the totems were the tern, the turtle, a fish, and the black cockatoo. The totems are paternal. The husband adopts the wife's totem in addition to his own, and the children share to some extent in the totems of both, though the father's totem is the one which really counts. A man may not kill or eat his totem, but I was informed that he could marry within it, very much to the disgust of a Western sergeant who was with me, and who evidently looked upon the practice very much as we would regard the worst form of incest.

An incident occurred some years ago at Cape Nelson which shows how advantageous it is to know something about the habits of the natives with whom one has to deal—though it must be admitted that it is often very difficult to get information, for natives, not unnaturally, are often unwilling to discuss these matters with strangers, who, they suspect, may be unsympathetic with their beliefs. There were two officers stationed at the time at Cape Nelson, one of whom was ill; his companion wanted to make him some soup, and ordered one of the police to shoot some cockatoos, which were the only birds available—they are, it is true, not much of a delicacy, but they are a change from tinned meat. Now the cockatoo, though the officer did not know it, happened to be the policeman's totem, and so there was a conflict of duties; but discipline won the day, for after what must have been an agony of doubt and indecision he sighed as a member of the cockatoo totem but obeyed as a constable of police and shot the birds. Telling the story afterwards he said that he cried all night, and I have no doubt that his grief was sincere and that he expected punishment in the form of disease or death. Fortunately, no evil effects followed.

The country inland of Cape Nelson has been traversed several times of late by Government parties, but is not yet well known. It is inhabited by numerous, generally turbulent, tribes, who have now been pretty well pacified; and in passing I may remark that "pacification" is not the New Guinea equivalent to the old North Queensland "dispersal." It is generally a bloodless process, and simply means that the tribe is induced to give up its practice of raiding and to live in peace with its neighbours, relying upon the Government for protection against hostile attack.

There were some people on the upper Musa called the Doriri (unless, indeed, Doriri be a generic name given indifferently to all mountain tribes, or such of them as come down raiding to the coast), who gave a lot of trouble for a number of years; but even the Doriri have now calmed down, though their place has, to a certain extent, been taken by the Yabura, who live in the Keveri Valley. The Keveri Valley is situated in what may be called a loop of the Main Range, for the Main Range surrounds it on all sides. It is nearer to the south than to the north-east coast, but as its waters flow eventually into the Musa it is generally reckoned as belonging to the North-Eastern Division. Some time ago it possessed a store, and was the centre of a small goldfield. The natives of the Valley know that there are white men on the south coast, but have not yet realised that there is a Government station to the north of the range. They go hunting on the slopes of the Suckling, Goropo, and Maneao Ranges, and sometimes reach the hills behind Collingwood Bay, and of course if they meet a coast native they kill him.

The people to the north of the range live in terror of the Yabura, as they formerly did of the Doriri; they are not "men," they say, but "ghosts," and they live like birds on the tops of rocks and trees. It is difficult to get a guide to their country from the north, but their pacification from the south should be easily effected.

But although the people in the interior of the North-Eastern Division are now reasonably well behaved, there is as yet but little known of their habits and customs. Some appear to be cannibals and others not, and of those that are cannibals some, at any rate, seem to regard human flesh as merely an ordinary article of diet, just as we regard beef and mutton.

"We boil them," said a witness; "we cut them up and boil them in a pot. We boil babies too; we cut them up like a pig. We eat them cold or hot; we eat the legs first. We cat them because they are like fish. We have fish in the creeks and kangaroos in the grass—but men are our real food."

In the course of another case in the same division I came across evidence of a practice to which I have not yet found any analogy anywhere else in Papua. A man called Oreya wished to get several villages to join him in a raid, so he killed a pig, cut it to pieces, and sent it round to the neighbouring tribes; this was a signal that he wanted assistance, and every village that accepted and ate of the pig was bound to help him in his foray.

The only similar instance I have met with was on the south coast, where a man's wife had been killed by "bushmen," and he summoned the neighbouring villages by sending round hair cut from a certain part of her body; the effect was magical, and people simply swarmed in to his assistance, but when I wanted to inquire further, in order to find out if it was a usual custom, I ran against the brick wall which so often awaits the man "who wants to know" in Papua. "We don't know why he did it," said the witnesses; "we think it must have been because he was a fool."

Other ways of invoking assistance are to kiss the person of the man whose aid is sought, or to send him a present of food piled up in a dish, with the head of a club underneath; if he accepts the former (which he is pretty certain to do), etiquette forbids that he should refuse you the service of the latter. What Oreya did seems to be an extension of this custom.

The station was established at Cape Nelson in the year 1900 for the purpose of holding in check the inhabitants of the surrounding district, who were too far away to be controlled either from the Mambare or from Samarai. Incidentally, the site chosen proved most suitable for the rescue of deserters from the northern goldfields, who, mostly natives of the D'Entrecasteaux Group, were making what they considered the best of their way home, via the hinterland of Cape Nelson, and would inevitably, have been eaten to a man had there been no Government station where they could take refuge. Even after the establishment of the station the runaways had rather a bad time, and gruesome stories are told of deserters who were found penned up in coops in inland villages, and were being carefully fattened for an approaching feast. However, there was, it appears, one tribe, the Kairi Kairi tribe, who, more mercenary or of milder mood than their neighbours, invariably brought their captives into Cape Nelson and handed them over to the magistrate (of course for valuable consideration), so that if once a deserter reached this kindly tribe his safety was assured, though the fruits of his enterprise in running away would be entirely lost, for he would surely be returned to his employer.

The next promontory to the south of Cape Nelson is Cape Vogel, and just to the south of Cape Vogel, in Goodenough Bay, are the Paiwa villages, which are said to have been the scene of a human sacrifice upon the occasion of an epidemic of whooping-cough, a youth having been offered up, it is said, to the Spirit of Evil. This is the only instance of human sacrifice in Papua of which I have definite information, though similar sacrifices are alleged in the Gulf and west. [*]

[* See Annual Report, 1900-1, p. 13.]

Farther on towards East Cape is Chad's Bay, where Captain Ansell, of the Star of Peace, was murdered towards the end of 1888. The motive of the crime was alleged variously as a wish to "pay back" for the boys who died in Queensland, as a protest against the teaching of the Mission, and as a desire for plunder. The last was no doubt the true cause, as it has been the cause of so many similar crimes in New Guinea. The capture of the offenders was no easy matter, but eventually arrests were effected and four of the murderers were hanged, one at Samaria, one at Abioma in Milne Bay, and two at Chad's Bay.


The Islands—Trading expeditions—Dr. Bromilow at Dobu—The D'Entrecasteaux Group—Fergusson Island cannibals—Fishing with kite and cobweb—Sim Sim in the Lusangay Group—Trobriand Islands—Families and totems—Funeral customs—Creation of man—Kainmakers—Exports—Arms—Shield, description of—Chiefs—Sorcery and murder—VVoodlark Island or Murua—Crocodile as the agent of sorcerer—Early missionaries on Murua—Nada or the Lachlans—Rossel Island—Wreck of the St. Paul—Fate of the 326 Chinamen—Administration of justice on Rossel—Language of Rossel a Papuan language—Language of the women—Island of Loa—Manufacture of native money—Rossel Island canoes—Cannibalism—Totems—Sud Est—Effect of white settlement—Poisoning on Sud Est—Funeral customs—Civilisation of the Sud Est natives—Misima—Panaieti—Teste Island.

The languages of the islands at the east end of Papua are all classed as Melanesian, with the exception of Rossel Island, the language of which, is considered to be Papuan. There is, and was even before the Government had established peace on the sea, a considerable amount of trade and intercourse between the different islands. Regular trading expeditions, for instance, were sent out between the D'Entrecasteaux and the Trobriands, between Woodlark and the Louisiades, and between the different islands of the Louisiades. This constant communication enabled, in many cases, the inhabitants of one particular island to specialise and to devote themselves to a particular form of industry, so that, for instance, canoe building was followed as a regular profession at Murua and Panaieti, the manufacture of stone adzes was carried on at Murua, pot-making at the Amphletts, the manufacture of wooden bowls and ornamental limesticks at the Trobriands, native money at Vakuta and the Louisiades, and armshells on the coast of the mainland. As a result canoemaking reaches its highest development in this part of the territory, and that Panaieti canoe, which is perhaps the best of all, is really a good seafaring vessel—not hollowed out like the ordinary dug-out of the mainland, but built up with plank's from a keel of hard wood.

The islander of to-day is commonly a mildmannered, law-abiding citizen, often industrious, and not infrequently a regular attendant at church; but at first these people were particularly wild and intractable, and even now, in some parts of the D'Entrecasteaux Group, and to a less extent on Rossel Island, they are not entirely under Government control. The island of Dobu, for instance, at the east of Dawson Straits, which lies between Normanby and Ferguson Islands, was inhabited by a very fierce community of warriors, determined cannibals who, it is said, drank the blood of their captives, and were the terror of the surrounding islands; but eventually Dr. Bromilow, the head of the Wesleyan Mission, fifter years of labour, and at the frequent risk of his life, succeeded in gaining their confidence, and now the people of Dobu are as law-abiding a class of natives as any in the territory.

The great obstacle in the case of Dobu appears to have been that the natives could not realise thiat any one who did not belong to their tribe could be anything but an enemy, and therefore could not understand the position of the missionary. Eventually, however, after about two years, they compromised matters by adopting Dr. Bromilow into their tribe, allotting him three coconut-trees for himself and his family, and conceding him the right to receive, in his turn, the shell ornaments which were regarded as the badge of chieftainship. They also taught him the sign of peace, which is made, rather grotesquely, by seizing the nostrils with one hand and placing the other on the navel, the very gesture which is described by Admiral Moresby as bcjing made by a native on the deck of the Basilisk, but the meaning of which was, of course, incomprehensible to the white men.

Dobu and the D'Entrecasteaux Group generally are one of the chief sources of labour supply for the miners of Woodlark and other parts of the territory. These natives arc industrious and intelligent, and that they are not destitute of the gift of humour may be inferred from the following incident: A man of Dobu was a noted sorcerer, and in other ways had given offence to the Government, and determined efforts were made to effect his arrest, but for a long time without success. At last, however, when he was very hard pressed, a man came to the Government camp and gave himself up, weary, he said, of the continual pursuit and the uncertainty of his life. He was taken off to Samarai for trial, but on his arrival it turned out that he was not the man at all, but some absolutely inoffensive person, who had to be released at once and returned to his home, while the real offender escaped beyond the possibility of capture, chuckling, no doubt, at the trick he had played on the confiding European.

The other case occurred on one of the larger islands of the D'Entrecasteaux Group. There, too, was a noted criminal whose arrest was eagerly desired, but he also had long evaded capture. At last a determined effort was made to run him to earth, and a strong Government party landed on the island for that purpose. While they were seeking information of the whereabouts of the offender, a mild-mannered youth, speaking a little English, offered himself as a guide. He knew, he said, where the man was, and would be dehghted to help the Government, for he was sure that the man in question was, as he put it, "a very bad boy." His services were accepted, and under his guidance the pursuit continued for some days, and every evening he would come and condole with the white officer on his want of success. "He bad fellow boy," he would say. "Master, suppose you catch that boy you shoot him?" "No," the white man would reply, "we won't shoot him; we'll take him to Samarai." "Master," said the guide, "suppose you catch that boy more better you shoot him; he no good; he bad fellow boy." The search was without result, and it was not until some time afterwards that the officer discovered that his guide was the very same "bad fellow boy" of whom he was in pursuit.

The D'Entrecasteaux Islands were the scene of some of the Hopeful atrocities, when so many of the New Guinea natives were kidnapped for the Queensland plantations, and in the Annual Report for 1891-2 a story is told of how an old man, clad in a hat and skirt, introduced himself by the name of "Missionary" to a Government party who were visiting Fergusson Island, and offered his services as a guide, and how Missionary and his friends all refused to go beyond a certain spot because they were afraid of being taken off to "Tisilan" (Queensland) or shot.

The island natives are, as a rule, short, but they have more strength and endurance than one would give them credit for. On Fergusson Island there are some very small people; two prisoners whom I measured were 4 feet 7 inches and 4 feet 10 inches. They cannot be classed as pygmies, but may possibly be the result of a cross between Melanesian immigrants and some smaller aboriginal race. They are fierce and intractable little cannibals, and they carry a short spear, which they wield with some dexterity. The prisoners I have mentioned were implicated in an attack upon a body of highly respectable natives, village constables and others who had approached them with a proposal to buy betel nut. "Why," said the Fergusson Islander, drawing himself up to his full height of 4 feet 7 inches, "why should I sell you betel-nut? I am going to eat you." And eat them he did, or at least he ate one of them who fell in the stampede to the canoe, which, not unnaturally, followed the truculent mannikin's announcement, and who was speared before he could regain his feet.

Some observers have noticed a difference between the natives of Goodenough and those of Fergusson and Normanby, and a resemblance between the former and the inhabitants of the Trobriand Islands and lassi lassi on the mainland; there is certainly a difference in their arms, for while the men of Fergusson and Normanby carry only the spear and the club, the national weapon of Goodenough Island is the sling, and a singularly ineffective weapon it is, though the noise which it makes as the cord cracks when the stone is discharged, and which resembles somewhat the report of a rifle, might perhaps inspire terror into a feeble-minded opponent. The stones, however, I am told, always fly too high, and, though no doubt they would hurt, they very luckily seldom or never hit.

Mica is found in these islands, but not, it is said, under conditions which would render it profitable to work, though the natives have found a use for it, and, in certain parts, carry about small pieces which' serve as mirrors. Like other Papuans they show their cleverness principally in the manner in which they catch fish, for which they have a curious and ingenious contrivance, well known, I beheve, in some of the Solomon Islands, and in other parts of the world. To a kite which flies from a canoe a fishingline is attached, and at the end of the line is a piece of cobweb rolled up into a ball. This floats! on the top of the water, and when a fish seizes it his teeth are entangled in the web, so that he cannot release himself, and is caught exactly as though he were hooked in the ordinary way. The kite is made of palm leaves. I have seen a hook concealed in the web, but generally there is no hook, and the fish is captured through' his inability to disentangle the web from his teeth. There are many other ways of catching fish in the islands; the most common methods are to stupefy the fish with a plant called tuva, otherwise known as New Guinea Dynamite, to use the ordinary line and a hook of thorn, wood, or tortoise-shell, or to let down a net fashioned into a trap and weighted with a ball of stone, or to catch the fish by hand in the crevices of coral.

To the north of the D'Entrecasteaux Group, and to the west of the Trobriands, is the small island of Sim Sim, one of the Lusangay Group. When I first went to Sim Sim I was surprised to see numbers of apparently wild sea-birds circling round in the air and occasionally alighting on the heads and shoulders of the natives who had come down to the shore to welcome us. On disembarkingi we found tame cockatoos and other birds hopping about the place, and discovered that the sea-birds which we had seen were tame also, but were allowed their freedom when they liked to take it. It was thought at firlst that these birds must be connected in some way with the totems of the Sim Sim islanders, but it appears that this was not the case, the totems of Sim Sim being the same as those of the Trobriands, that is, the white pigeon, two parrots, and the fish -hawk. Asked why they kept these birds instead of eating them, their answer was a cross-question, "What for you no eat cat?" On Sim Sim we were struck by the leanness of the men and women, and the sleekness of the pigs, and learnt that the pigs are the property, not of the Sim Sim people, but of the natives of Kaileuna in the Trobriands, and that it is the duty of the Sim Sim people to fatten them and to keep them fat. No young people were seen on Sim Sim, and we were told that the young men and girls all lived together on a neighbouring island, leaving Sim Sim for the married people and the children.


About 35 miles due east of Sim Sim are the Trobriand Islands, 3. thickly populated group containing between nine and ten thousand inhabitants, industrious workers, and among the best agriturists in Papua. Some years ago they suffered terribly from venereal disease, but 3. hospital has been established on the island since 1905, and the percentage of cases has been reduced from over 10 to between 1 and 2 per cent. The usual difficulty was at first experienced in getting the natives who had been infected to submit themselves to treatment, and in this instance it was increased by the fact that the natives were absolutely ignorant of the nature of the disease, which they did not in any way connect with its real cause, but considered to be due to sorcery, or to the breach of some of their totem laws. By degrees the tact and perseverance of the magistrate, Mr. R. L. Bellamy, added to, his successful treatment of the cases which he undertook, triumphed over the fears of the sufferers.

As soon as the islanders realised the true cause of the disease the danger of reinfection was very much lessened. How the disease ever reached the islands is not clear; it seems, however, that it has been there since times anterior to white settlement, and has been contracted from the sailors of passing ships, such as whalers and others who visited these waters before there were any Europeans resident in the territory. It is a matter of congratulation that syphilis is rare, not only in these islands, but throughout Papua.

Nearly all our knowledge of the Trobriand islanders is derived from Mr. Bellamy's contributions to the Annual Report, and it is to him that I am indebted for almost the whole of the following account.

There are four great families in the Trobriands—Malasi, Lekwasisiga, Lukuba, and Kulobuta, each of which has its own totem: Malasi the Torres Straits pigeon (Bubuna), Lekwasisiga the green parrot (Karaga), Lukuba the fish-hawk (Muloviaka), Kulobuta the small red-breasted parrot (Gegila). Each family, with the exception of Kulobuta, is divided into chiefs and tokai, or commoners. Kulobuta consists entirely of commoners.

The family again is divided into a number of clans. Thus, to take one of the instances given by Mr. Bellamy, some of the clans of the family of Malasi are Tabalu, Karaibida, Molailaua, Kalaguma; Tabalu being the clan of the chiefs of the family Malasi of the totem Bubuna. Associated with each of the totem birds is an animal and a tree; these are not themselves totems, but are connected with them in some way which is not at present understood. The following is a list of the associated families, totems, animals, and trees:—

FAMILY.     TOTEM.    ANIMAL.            TREE.
Malasi      Bubuna    Bunuka (pig)       Kiaula
Lekwasisiga Karaga    Urigoa (alligator) Girigiri
Lukuba      Muloviaka Kauku (dog)        Meku
Kulobuta    Gegila    Kailavasi (iguana) Butia

The totem is maternal in descent; marriage between members of the same totem are not allowed; a man will not eat his totem. There is no connection between any of the totems and any particular locality, but members of all the totems are found living: together in all the villages. No person has more than one totem.


Of late years instances have been found where a man and woman of the same totem live together as man and wife, but it appears that their conduct exposes them to a certain amount of ridicule and contempt, and no doubt if any untoward consequences resulted from the union they would be attributed to a breach of the totem laws. In the same way, Mr. Bellamy states that he has seen a hungry man cat his totem, but, he adds, "should this man, within the course of the following month, become sick from any cause but accident, his friends would tell him that it was on account of the pigeon he had eaten on such and such a day."

There is, however, nothing like a worship of totems, and though a man will not eat his totem he will readily kill it. I remember once when we were walking across the island of Kiriwina a wallaby, chased by a dog, ran into our party, and, after nearly knocking me oflf my legs, escaped into the bush. In that part of the island the pig is eaten, but the wallaby is not, while in the other part the reverse is the case, and one of the natives tearfully remonstrated with me for not killing the animal. I said, "What would be the use of killing it—you could not eat it?" "No," he said, "I could not eat it, but I could exchange it with the other people for a pig." The wallaby is not a totem, and is not even one of the associated animals, but apparently the attitude towards the totem is much the same. My informant told me that if he ate the wallaby his bones would fall out.

The Trobriand islanders are skilful wood-carvers, and are fond of carving birds, fish, and animals on their lime-sticks, canoes, houses, and in fact everywhere where there is space for them, but Mr. Bellamy has never found any representation of any of the totem birds, and, though they practise tattooing, the totem design never appears.

The four families by no means stand on an equal footing as regards social and political importance; first comes the Malasi family, then the Lekwasigiga, then the chief's family of the totem Muloviaka, and last the Gegila families. This gradation seems to be invariable, and does not depend upon success in war; one Moliasi, of the Lekwasigiga family, in quite recent years defeated the reigning Bubuna chief, and destroyed his village, but this in no way affected the comparative position of the families.

Identity of totem constitutes to some extent a bond between individuals, but will not prevent two individuals from fighting with one another, and in the old days of village warfare all hands would turn out and do battle for the community, irrespective of the totems of their opponents. The totem has, however, a very important influence in village life, and regulates many matters even down to the most trivial details. For instance, only the Bubuna are allowed to decorate their houses with cowrie-shells, and only they and the Karaga may wear them and' there is a black and red representation of a fish, called Udauwaga, which only the chiefs' clan of those two totems can put upon their houses.

When a man dies the members of his totem take no part in the funeral arrangements beyond preparing the funeral feast; the members of the other totems charge themselves with all the other work, and the feast is probably a recompense to them for their trouble. Members of all the totems take part in the ceremony of wailing. The bodies are buried, but bones are often taken to make lime-sticks for the use of near relations; nails and teeth are often preserved as keepsakes, and, as in other parts of Papua, men may be seen wearing the jawbone of their deceased wife—in some instances set round with native shell-money—and I have seen on the island of Kitava a mother wearing a necklace made of the hair of her dead child. Throughout the group it is the custom for the mother of a newly born child to wear round the neck a grass garment or ornament like a lady's boa, and on her head a dress or mat of grass.

Cannibalism is not, and apparently never was, practised on these islands, though I have heard of isolated cases in which the relatives of a dead man have eaten a small piece of his flesh, either frolm motives of affection or for ceremonial reasons. The natives have, however, a legend of a monster called Dokonikon, who in the story is alleged to have been a cannibal, and who was eventually killed by a youth called Tudava.


The account current in the Trobriands of the creation of man is interesting. This important event took place at Labai, in the north of Kiriwina, and the natives, I am told, can still point out the holes from which their ancestors (or rather ancestresses, for they were women) first came out of the ground, assisted by the dog, the pig, and the iguana, who scratched away the earth and so permitted the first human beings to emerge. The first to appear was a Malasi; she appeared through the hole made by the pig, and consequently the pig is associated with the Bubuna totem to which the Malasi family belongs. So with the Lukuba and the dog, and the Kulobuta and the iguana; how the alligator comes into the story and how he comes to be associated with the Lekwasisiga is not clear.

As these first human beings were all women the natural question suggests itself how, under these circumstances, the race was perpetuated, to which the Trobriand islander has a ready answer—the women were lying on the ground when a sudden shower came, and they then gave birth to children, from whom the present race of men—or, at any rate, the Trobriand islanders—are descended.

Charms, incantations, and sorcery of various kinds permeate the whole of the life of these islanders, so far, at any rate, as they have not been influenced by Christianity. There are professional rain-makers, for instance, who still exercise their powers. We met one of them, called Kurapwaka, on one occasion, when we were walking across the island, and he courteously inquired what sort of weather we should like, to which we replied that we should like it to be fine. He agreed that it should be so, but shortly afterwards a few drops of rain fell; we looked at him reproachfully, but he assured us that he would soon put a stop to that sort of thing, and that there should be no more rain that day, and, as so often happens when one puts the power of native sorcerers to the test, there was none.

Kurapwaka once extricated himself rather skilfully from a very dangerous position during a drought that occurred about the year 1903. Moliasi, the insurgent leader who has already been mentioned, threatened to put Kurapwaka to death. "Very well," said he, "you can kill me if you like—but remember, no rain-maker no rain. If I am killed there will be no rain at all." The argument was conclusive, and his life was spared.

The export of native food from the Trobriands is very large. In the year 1908, 200 tons were sent away to other parts of the territory, and as much again was used at the Government station and hospital, and by the Mission. Other native trade is lime-sticks and pots, wooden bowls, combs, and various minor articles made out of a handsome wood like ebony known locally as gahi or gai.

The bowls are manufactured at a village known as Bwoitala in the north of Kiriwina. The people of Bwoitala are rather despised by the other inhabitants of the island; they are not allowed to enter a village, but must walk round it, and carry their spear at the trail—not on the shoulder—and they may not wear grass ornaments on their arms. Their dialect differs from that of the rest of the island in that they use the female affix for everything of whatever gender.

The arms of the islanders are the spear and club and wooden sword. Gaudily decked shields of red and white used to distinguish the champions on either side, and it was towards these shields, whose bearers fought in the front rank, that the enemy's spears were chiefly directed. It was considered a disgrace if a man allowed his spear to be split by a missile, the idea being to turn it sharply so that the spear might glance off, regardless of the feelings of the rear rank, who must have suffered more from these glancing spears than from the direct attack of the enemy.

A representation of an elaborately emblazoned shield from these islands is given in the Appendix to the Annual Report for 1897-8. On the topmost part of the shield is the morning star, with the heads of three snakes. Underneath are fish, two more snakes' heads, frigate birds caught by the snakes, a bird which gives a short, sharp call just before sunrise, the tail of the manucodia, the rainbow, and morning stars of lesser magnitude than that represented above. It will be seen that none of the totem birds or associated animals are represented.

Village warfare is now a thing of the past, and murder (except possibly by poisoning) is rare; where a life is taken payment is on a fairly high scale. On reference to my notes I find that Gomotokuna and party paid ten stone tomahawks and four armshells for a man they killed, and Gunakesi one armshell for his victim. Gunakesi's arm-shell, however, was a very good one; the best of these ornaments have names and travel in a regular circle from island to island, so far, I believe, as Panaieti and back again, being continually exchanged in regular routine from one island to the other. Gunakesi's arm-shell was one of those which have a name, and he had bought it from a trader for £5—or rather the trader valued it at £5, but Gunakesi refused to give anything at all, and threatened to spear the trader if he suggested payment—an incident which seems to show that the native is not always the one who is fleeced' in the commerce of the islands.

Frequent mention has been made of chiefs in this account, and the Trobriands are, with the exception, perhaps, of parts of the Gulf and West, the only place in Papua where the chief has any power. Another native will not stand erect in the presence of a chief, but will walk about, leaning forward and almost doubled up so as not to raise himself to a higher level. Toulu, who is the principal chief of Kiriwina, has a high seat provided on which he generally sits, so as to save the rest of the village the trouble of crouching down, and a chief will often stand up for the convenience of a man or woman who wants to pass with a load.

It is easier in some ways to deal with a people who have chiefs, but that the system is in the Trobriands not an unmixed benefit to the inhabitants is abundantly clear from' Mr. Bellamy's account, which I cannot improve upon, and therefore reproduce without alteration: "Sorcery, devil-working, whatever name you give it, and whatever form it takes, means and implies 'the power of making dead.'

"It is this assumption of power, mysterious, indefinite, and secret, which gives the Trobriand chief his great influence to-day. Behind the mystery-behind everything—lies a poison of some kind or other. It may be given in food, in tobacco, tor in a limepot, and its detection is one of the hardest things possible. Now attached to every chief is a man whose business it is to know and carry out his chief's wishes.

"Every chief looks jealously upon a commoner who by industry and thrift cultivates a large area of land and plants coconuts. Coconuts, betel-nuts, and pigs are the special privileges of the chief. Even if a commoner possesses coconuts, the chief practically claims all the nuts. In fact, he demands them as a right. Should the rightful owner show any hesitation, a message reaches him that if he is not careful he will die suddenly. It is a hard matter to trace the origin of these messages. It starts as a whisper in a village miles away, and takes a very wide circuit; but eventually it reaches its destination and produces its effect...And often enough the man who is the object of the chief's displeasure dies from sheer fright...It may be that the Trobrland islander exaggerates his danger from these things, but certainly I know from actual contact with, and experience of, him that his fear is a very real fear.

"With the passing of the old grey-headed chiefs, and their underground reputation for causing sudden deaths, together with the succession of younger men to the tribal and clan chieftainship, I believe that this fear, which tends to paralyse industry and the accumulation of wealth by any commoner, will gradually, become less and less, until it finally disappears." [*]

[* Annual Report, 1906-7, pp. 65, 66.]

Almost due east from Vakuta, the most southerly island of the Trobriand Group, is Murua, or Woodlark Island. The inhabitants of Murua resemble those of the Trobriands in language and social institutions, but the conditions of their life have become very different, as Woodlark is the centre of an important mining industry, whereas, beyond the Government station and the Mission, there is little European settlement of any kind on the Trobriands.

The natives of Murua sell a certain amount of native produce to the miners on the island, but, though they are good and intelligent workers, they have never taken kindly to mining; they are not numerous, and what they earn by selling vegetables and doing odd jobs for the Government is probably, sufficient to provide them with all that they want. They have not always been well disposed to white men, and there have been murders of Europeans on the island, some proved, some only suspected, from the days of Kickbush and Nelson of the Albatross, in 1890 or 1891, to Isaac Penny, who met his death in 1905. Tetebara and Kwama were the leading spirits in the murder of Kickbush and Nelson, and if one may believe Tetebara, the servant of the murdered men, who alleged that they had thrown him overboard and made him swim after the boat, refusing to take him in even when he was attacked by a shark, one can hardly be surprised that he availed himself of the first opportunity of avenging himself; but for Penny's murder, which was committed solely for plunder, there was absolutely no justification.

The Murua people have, of course, long ago accepted the inevitable and settled down to the monotony of a law-abiding existence; in the old days they fought with a spear, generally made of ebony wood, and a large wooden knife or sword. They also carried a shield, which bore a device, in three colours, red, black, and white, generally representing two snakes seizing on two birds.

As elsewhere in Papua, most of the fighting on Murua was for the purpose of "paying back" for some relative who had (or more often had not) been killed by the people of another village, and an interesting case is mentioned from Murua in the Annual Report for 1900-1, which is a good instance of the way in which a tribal vendetta might arise, and is also illustrative of the belief that crocodiles may be brought under the control of human beings—an idea which is common enough in Papua, but which is not often submitted to the cold light of judicial procedure. Maudega, a woman of Avetan, in Murua, had been on a visit to the neighbouring village of Nabudan, and on her return had brought back with her the daughter of Boiamai, the Nabudan chief. The child was, unfortunately, taken by a crocodile, and in revenge Boiamai, with his son and some other men of his village, killed Maudega and three of her relations, wounding another, who managed to escape with his life. On the trial the son made the following statement: "It is true we killed those people; we were wild with the devil. The woman Maudega, took my sister away to her village, and while she was there she bewitched an alligator, and made it come out of the water and takee away my sister and eat her...It is not our custom to kill so many people because of the death of one. Our custom is a life for a life. I do not know why we killed these people. I suppose it was because of the devil that was in us."

Although, like many other Papuans, they had a belief in another world, which they located in a neighbouring island called Watum, where good and bad live together under the sway of a being called Paidogo, the people of Murua certainly did not, in the early days, show themselves particularly amenable to missionary influence. The Marists were the first missionaries. Bishop Epalle and four priests of that order having arrived there in 1847. The bishop and two priests left next year for Rook Island, where the bishop and one of the priests died of fever, and in 1852 the remainder, finding their task hopeless, abandoned the mission. They were followed by a mission from the Milan Foreign Mission Society, which in its turn came to an end, according to one account by the departure of the missionaries, according to another by their massacre in the year 1855. The natives in Sir William MacGregor's time[*] had no recollection of the Italian Mission, but remembered the Marists well and could give their names. That the latter were energetic in the direction of industrial mission work would appear from the answer given by one of the natives, who, when he was asked whether he remembered anything of the language of the missionaries, replied, "Travaillez comme ca." The island is now included in the "sphere of influence" of the Australian Methodist Mission, whose efforts, under a settled Government, are, I understand, attended with a reasonable amount of success.

[* Annual Report for 1890-1.]

The glory of Murua in the old days was the manufacture of the stone adzes and ceremonial axe-blades which pass as currency in the whole of this part of the territory. These were manufactured near Suloga from a stone quarry known as Debenewatu (probably "stone ridge"), on a hill called Tabukuia ("Sacred Mountain"). The stone adzes are found scattered all round the east end of the territory, and even beyond Cape Nelson; the axe-blades, which are never used as tools, are confined, I believe, to the islands. These axe-blades were sometimes polished at Suloga and exported in a finished state; at other times they left Murua "in the rough," and were completed elsewhere, as, for instance, on the island of Kiriwina, where they were polished with sand brought specially from the D'Entrecasteaux Group for that purpose.

Forty-five miles to the south-east of Woodlark is the pretty little group known as the Lachlans or Nada, the scene of Louis Becke's story "The Mystery of the Lachlans," which. Sir William MacGregor found, was represented by the natives as being true. The Nada people are good canoe-builders and skilful sailors, who have carried the art of navigation so far as to be able to steer by the stars at night. They not infrequently pay the penalty of their seafaring habits, and in the Annual Report for 1900-1 two instances are given where parties of Lachlan islanders were blown out to sea, one to Cape Nelson and the other to German New Guinea. Both parties were, of course, rescued and returned to their homes, but the fate of those who were blown away from Nada in the old days, before the extension of European influence among the surrounding islands, may well be imagined.

The farthest east of all the islands, and consequently the easternmost part of the territory, is the island of Rossel or Yela, about 100 miles a little east of south from the Lachlans. A lonely mountainous little island, shrouded in almost continual mists and rain, Yela is one of the most interesting places in Papua. Even now the inhabitants have but little intercourse with other people except the natives of the island of Sud Est, about 20 miles to the westward, and, until recently, they married solely among themselves; and it was not until the year 1908, when a Yela woman was brought to Samarai to stand her trial on a charge of complicity in a case of murder, that a female native had ever left the island.

Rossel was visited as early as 1888 by a party of twenty-one miners, who, however, only succeeded in finding colours, and, after a very brief stay, left for other fields. Sir William MacGregor visited it about the same time, but found it impossible to get any one to cross the island with him; they were afraid, they said, that if they did they would surely be killed and eaten as soon as he had left. The natives at that time are reported as not being tattooed, as having clean villages, and dry and comfortable houses, and being possessed of adzes made of iron from wrecks, but no stone adzes; also as having no pottery, and cooking their food by means of heated stones—most of which, except as regards the tattooing, would apply to them fairly well at the present day. Tattooing is now practised occasionally, but only by the men, and consists of straight lines with no designs; they have also a few pots and stone adzes.

The next incident in the history of the island is the murder, in the year 1892, of a Frenchman called Lucien Fiolini, whom the natives seized when asleep and did to death with spears, knives, and tomahawks. The reason alleged by the islanders for the murder was that Lucien was "after their women," which may be true, but is not necessarily so because they said it. A satisfactory circumstance was that volunteers from different villages assembled to assist the police in the arrest of the murderers; they did the same thing when I visited the island on a similar errand, but whether on either occasion they were actuated by devotion to the Government, or by village jealousy, is a matter which, in my opinion, is not difficult to determine. At any rate, their arrest of one of Lucien's murderers was carried out with so much zeal that the unfortunate prisoner died before he was released from his bonds.

Originally these islanders had a bad reputation and were regarded with almost superstitious horror. The Honourable John Douglas went there in 1887, in pursuance of an agreement he had made with the Queensland Government, to return to their homes some Louisiade islanders, who had been working on the sugar plantations of the Herbert and lower Burdekin. "Rossel," says Mr. Douglas in his official report, "presented to me a sombre, gloomy, and uninviting aspect from the side on which we approached it...A noisesome smell was wafted upon us by the evening air, and the whole environment was that of primitive nature, with savagexy engraved on its frontage...I confess I felt some compunction in landing them [the returned labourers] at all, for I feared that they and their boxes might become the prey of some of the revolting-looking anthropophagi who floated around us in their canoes this morning. I was glad at 11 a.m. this morning to know that we were leaving behind us the atmosphere of this most unalluring fastness of the giant despair—the Ultima Thule of the Louisiade Archipelago."

Their ill-fame seems to have been due to the report, which was then received as true, of 326 Chinamen who were wrecked there in the year 1858, in the vessel St. Paul, and who were alleged to have been taken one by one from a small island where they had sought refuge and killed and eaten by the natives. Sir William MacGregor was informed by the islanders that the Chinese made rafts and succeeded in getting away in a northerly direction, and gives strong reasons for believing this account to be correct; I must, however, admit that when I went to Rossel in 1908, and again in 1911, I was told that the original story was true, realistic details being added which certainly gave evidence of a very vivid imagination if they are not to be accepted as facts. I was told, for instance, that the local natives, being at length surfeited with a diet of Chinamen, hawked the unfortunate survivors round the coast and sold them to the highest bidders; all except one who, from age or leanness, was unacceptable to even the least fastidious taste, and who was allowed to make his escape. This account receives corroboration from a statement in the Annual Report of 1886 that, in January, 1859, four months after the wreck of the St. Paul, the French steamer Slyx picked up the sole survivor, who said that all his companions had been eaten. The survivor was taken to Melbourne, and later on drifted to one of the Victorian goldfields, where he was arrested and charged with selling liquor without a licence; he was clearly guilty, but when his identity was discovered the magistrate dismissed the charge, thinking, no doubt rightly, that the Chinaman had already suffered enough.

The whole incident is a depressing one, and I should like to think that it was untrue, but I am afraid I cannot. Every one comes out of it so badly. First, there is the white crew, who, I fear, must have made their escape in the ship's boats and left the Chinamen to their fate, then the Rossel islanders, who were quite oblivious of the most ordinary rules of hospitality, the Chinamen, who should certainly have "put up" some sort of a fight for their lives, and, finally, even the last survivor, for he eventually lapses from grace and takes to sly grog selling.

Later, a reaction set in, and the Rossel islanders were looked upon as a particularly peaceful race of men, principally from their habit of going about unarmed; they seem, in fact, to have no weapon but a wooden club, and a very inferior kind of spear, and one sees but few of these. Further investigation, however, has shown that Mr. Douglas's opinion was not very far wrong. Murder is common enough, but is committed, not with the spear, but by smothering the victim, or by kneeling on him and breaking his ribs. The practice seems to be for a number to set on one man whom they wish to kill, to hold his nose and mouth, and either to smother him outright, or, if they wish him to die a lingering death, to kneel on him and break his ribs, and sometimes his arms and legs. They were cannibals until recently, but seem now either to have given up the habit, or only to practise it in secret.

They may, I think, be classed as having been about as murderous a lot of people as can be found in Papua, but, on the other hand, they by no means neglect the aesthetic side of their nature, and are not without sympathy with animals. For instance, they plant flowers and bright shrubs in their gardens, carry sponges about with them to wash their faces with, and have tame cats which they seem to treat kindly, instead of eating them as most natives would do; and—the strangest trait of all in their somewhat complex character—they spend much of their spare time in teaching one another English.

They have a rudimentary, and to our eyes not very logical, system of administering justice. A thief is punished by killing the woman who cooks his food-this causes great inconvenience to the thief, and the incidental suffering to the woman is "thrown in." There is a form of trial called apparently by a name which I can best represent by the letters "Mbwo." Mr. Bell, of the Papuan Service, gives the following account of this form of trial: "A man having a friend or relation murdered, and not knowing the guilty party, goes to a man who is supposed to have 'medicine' to find out. This man makes a collection of about twenty-five leaves of various descriptions from the bush, and with the soles of his feet and a little water works them up into a ball, then places them in the sun for about half an hour to dry. Afterwards he puts inside one black ant taken alive, and the head of a black slug, the body of which is from 4 to 6 inches in length, and found nearly all over Papua, the natives being very much afraid of it, as it discharges a fluid some distance which, if it reaches the eye, is alleged to cause blindness. Then he takes the ball in the palm of his left hand, and closes his fingers on it, and the people gather round and ask: 'Was it so-and-so who killed so-and-so?' Everybody's name is called, sometimes over and over again. This goes on some considerable time, the man with the leaves working the fingers and muscles of his arm, causing the latter to contract, apparently, which in time must make the arm stiff and painful. When he reaches this stage he moans, and the voice of the questioner rises, his eyes still on the man's hand. Slowly the fingers open, and the leaves are put aside, and the name of the guilty man is known. The palm is then gently pressed where the leaves have been, and smoothed out by the questioner, the fingers pulled, apparently to get the stiffness out of them, and the arm jerked several times. The man states himself his arm gets 'like stone and hot' when the guilty person's name is called. I saw the thing done, and I think the man honestly believes himself. There are a few other men on the island, I am told, who know how to do it. The practice is handed down from father to son or to relations."

The men of Rossel wear a pandanus leaf, which is passed between their legs, and is held in position by a rope of pandanus, which is passed through it and wound several times round the body; the women wear the ordinary grass petticoat. The petticoat is also worn by the men at dances, which reminds one of a similar practice noted by Mr. Bevan at Nabargadilla near Dufaure Island, where a dance was performed by "men wearing grass petticoats and women holding spears and shields." [*]

[* "Toil, Travel, and Discovery in British New Guinea," p. 128.]

A system of prostitution exists on Rossel. A number of young men will club together and buy a woman called a "jelibio," who is taken round to places where a number of men meet for dances or other festivities, and is hired out to all who wish to have connection with her. Abortion is said to be common, especially among the jelibios.

The Honourable A. M. Campbell, who visited the island in 1900-1, reports a custom which the natives have of showing their grief on the death of a chief, by killing the first person whom they meet; this, as Mr. Campbell points out, has nothing to do with the ordinary Papuan custom of paying back for a death, and must often result in the murder of a person who could not possibly have had anything to do with the death of the deceased. Indeed, Mr. Campbell states that it occasionally happens that a brother will kill, for instance, his own sister. This does not seem to be a common practice in Papua generally, though I have met with a somewhat similar case in the Central Division, where two men, from grief for the death of a favourite pig, killed the first man they came across. It was, however, a man from another village.

They have the true betel-nut and also the small kind known to the Motu as Virorro. On a visit I paid to the village of Wabiaga I found an old woman, widow of a chief, with what looked like a growth coming from the front of the upper gum, and protruding between her lips when the mouth was shut. I was informed that it came from the excessive use of betel-nut, and was called Nyorro (nyo means a tooth). It is confined, I was told, to the chiefs and their wives. On examination it proved to be, not a growth, but a mass of betel-nut and lime, which grew by continual fresh accumulations of the same materials.

The east and west ends of Rossel speak different dialects, which, however, are now becoming assimilated. The language is extraordinarily unmusical in sound; it is full of nasals and gutturals, and cannot be better described than as resembling the snarling of a dog interspersed with hiccoughs. It seems to be a Papuan language; I could find only two words on the island that resembled Melanesian, namely, "limi" for five, and "mbwomma" for pig, and the latter word was probably introduced with the animal. There are traces at the east end of the island of the existence of different languages for men and women. For instance, "nö" is the man's word for a canoe, "didi" the woman's. This is, I believe, not uncommon in the South Pacific, but I know of no other instance in Papua.

The liberty of women on Rossel is somewhat restricted; they are, for instance, not allowed to land on the small uninhabited island of Loa (Adele Island) off the east end of Rossel, and, in fact, they are barely allowed to go into a canoe at all, and when in a canoe they must not speak. The men go to Loa to fish, but they have to be careful. There are octopus on the island of Loa, of small size under normal conditions, but, if they hear the human voice, they grow to enormous proportions—"We fellow kaikai [eat] him along Yela; along Loa he kaikai we fellow." Also, they must not talk the usual Rossel language on Roa; at least they must, in some instances, use different words. They count in the same way on Loa as on Rossel, except when they come to the number seven. On Rossel "six" is "weni," and seven "viri"; but on Loa "seven" is not "viri" but "weni-wai." If they said "viri" on Loa they would incur the wrath of a spirit whom they describe as "Mary [woman] he stop along salt water," and the Mary would send a storm of rain and wind which might destroy the island.

They seem to have an idea of a deity which resides at the summit of Mount Rossel, and of a home for the souls of the dead on a mountain at the west end, which they say is really covered with beautiful gardens and houses, though we can only see rocks and scrub. On a neighbouring mountain of Yamba there is a snake which swells to an enormous size if it sees a man, and attacks and kills him. There are, however, certain men who can go up the mountain with impunity as they know how to talk to the snake; I did not meet any of these individuals, nor, though I climbed the mountain, did I see the snake.

The chief industry on Rossel is making native money, Sapi sapi, or, as it is called on Rossel, Ban, which is manufactured from a shell with a dark red edge, which the Motu call Bodea. Sapi sapi is the same as the Ageva made by the natives of Tatana Island in Port Moresby, and of Vabukori just outside. Bau was made on Rossel before the arrival of the white men, and was sold in Sud Est; a hole is perforated through it, which used to be made by putting a sharp stone like a nail at the end of a stick, and turning the stick between the hands. Ndarp—an orange-coloured flat shell—was used as money on Rossel, not, apparently, Bau.

No man ever came to Rossel to fight, they told me; in fact, no one came there at all except the people of Sud Est, and they only as friends; the Brooker islanders and other head-hunting pirates, who ravaged the coasts of the other islands, were too far away. Besides Bau, lime-sticks were exported from Rossel to Sud Est, and in return pots were imported, and also parrots, to which the people of Rossel apply a word which appears to me to sound something like "ngam." The parrots the men of Rossel give to their wives, who, when they are not working in the gardens, seem to spend most of their time gazing in mute admiration at the Ngaji (handsome birds), each perched on his mistress's hand. The women will not sell these birds for anything you may offer. "Mary he no want to sell him," said the interpreter; "he like him too much. Suppose he die Mary he cry."

Canoes are built on Rossel sufficiently strong and seaworthy to stand the passage across to Sud Est, sometimes a very stormy one. They are built up with boards sewn together and well caulked, and the ends of the canoe, fore and aft, are decked, so forming a hold, in which are stowed the pots and the parrots. The canoe has an outrigger, and the most peculiar part about the structure is a sort of platform which is built up from the canoe at an angle and affords seating accommodation for passengers. The canoe is propelled by paddles, not by sails.

When cannibalism was practised on Rossel the ordinary way of preparing men for the feast was to disembowel them and cut them up; they were then covered with leaves and cooked on hot stones. One sees here and there on the island the remains of Jaggega, or "sitting-down places," made of flat stones in a more or less circular form; these were once the scenes of cannibal feasts, and the fact that these Jabbega are falling into decay may, I think, be taken as a hopeful sign.

They made stone tomahawks on the island, though they have no knowledge of stone clubs; they use the spear (a very clumsy one) for fighting. Pigs and dogs were on the island before the arrival of the white man; presumably they came from Sud Est, but there seems to be no tradition of this, nor could I find any as to the origin of the Rossel islanders themselves, except a very tentative theory that they came from over the sea.

There are totems on Rossel, apparently adopted from Sud Est. In both islands they descend through the mother, and in both it is forbidden to eat the totem bird, and to marry within the totem. In Sud Est each man has a bird, a tree, and a snake, the combination being inherited from his mother; in Rossel it is the same, except that the snake is absent.

This long account of a little-known people may, I hope, be excused on the ground that Rossel is the only one of the Eastern islands where the original Papuan inhabitants have been unaffected by the Melanesian immigration.

Sud Est or Tagula, the nearest island to Rossel, and the site of the first discovery of gold in this part of the territory, was never quite so isolated as Rossel from the life of the neighbouring islands, and was brought much more into contact with civilisation through the discovery of gold in 1888. When the miners first arrived the islanders were cannibals, and Mr. White, a resident of the island who wrote a note on the subject of Sud Est in the Annual Report of 1893-4, says that the inhabitants of one district were afraid to go into another, so that it was very difficult for the miners to find carriers. This, however, at the time he wrote had passed away, and the natives not only roamed in security all over Sud Est but had even begun to visit some of the other islands. Only one case had occurred in which a white man had been murdered, and, though theft was common in the first days of the rush, the natives were easily brought to realise the advantages of honesty.

Whatever may have been the case in other parts of the world, there can be no doubt that the natives of Sud Est have distinctly benefited by the advent of the European. In the old days these unfortunate people were the victims, and their coasts the hunting ground, of the pirate races of the surrounding archipelago; it was useless to make good gardens, for these were raided as soon as the crop was ripe. So sago was used as the principal food (fortunately it was plentiful), only small cultivation plots were hastily scratched in the poor, infertile soil, and care was taken to build the villages at a distance from the coast and out of reach of the marauding bands. Since the white man came all this has changed. Peace reigns throughout the Louisiades, and the villages have been moved down to the coast; and, though the Sud Est goldfield has been deserted by Europeans, many of the natives still fossick round in the neighbourhood of the old workings and weigh out their findings in exchange for goods, the price of which is reckoned in grains and "weights" at the local store, kept by the widow of an old pioneer, Mrs. Mahony, known to Europeans as "The Queen of Sud Est," and, more affectionately, as "Mamma" to the native customers.

Just as smothering is the speciality of the Rossel islanders, so the inhabitants of Sud Est would seem, according to Mr. White's account, to have devoted their attention to the art of poisoning. "The natives," he says, "are in constant dread of being poisoned by each other, and on no account would any one leave the basket in which he carries his lime and betel-nut out of his possession." Whether, however, poisoning was actually practised, or whether the alleged poisoning was really some form of sorcery, is a question which may admit of different answers.

Less completely shut off from the world than the hermit people of Rossel, the men of Sud Est used to buy their canoes from the people of Panaieti; afterwards, however, they began to make their own, which, according to Mr. White, could sail as close to the wind as a fore-and-aft schooner. It would appear, however, that they are reverting to their old practice of importing their canoes, and probably most of the best now come from Panaieti.

Mr. White, the authority so often cited in connection with the natives of Sud Est, gives the following rather gruesome account of their burial customs at the time he wrote. "When a chief dies his body is laid out on a sago mat under the house below which he is to be buried, where it lies for two days before interment, with his money, &c...hung immediately over him. His wife or wives, if they have survived him, have to lie down alongside of the corpse covered with sago mats, and they must not move or look at anything during the two days until their husband is buried, when they are relieved from their horrible position, as a dead body becomes very offensive in that time in this climate.

"A brother or male relative of the deceased watches all the time that the wives do not try to look around, which, if they do, they are at once killed, and before white men came here were cooked and eaten, as their doing so was a proof that they did not care for their husband, and had poisoned him to get rid of him. Several women sit over the corpse keeping the flies off with banana leaves, wailing in a low, mournful key, while all the time new parties arrive, bringing coconuts, sago, &c., which are laid in a circle round the house where the body lies. The women on arrival make a rush to the body, and all lie down on the ground crying; the men then join in crying, but keep standing.

"When the visitors have all arrived, some of the old men make speeches in praise of the departed's virtues, &c. Then the grave is dug underneath the house; but just before burying him all his money and worldly goods are divided among his heirs in the following remarkable way:—

"A relation of the dead man takes one of the hands of the corpse in his own, and uses it as the means to present the different legatees each with their share...according to their relation or their position in the tribe.

"When a chief of the highest grade dies, his body is kept above ground for two or three weeks, and the wives and certain other relations smear themselves over with the putrid matter of the corpse, and preserve part of the skin, which they peel off as a memento of the departed. Sometimes all the village die off after such an ordeal."



The natives of Sud Est are probably among the most civilised in the territory, for they are law abiding and industrious, and so far educated that most of them can speak English. Their civilisation, which is due almost entirely to Mrs. Mahony and the miners, is, it is true, rather patchy, for they combine a meticulous regard for their personal appearance with a most unquestioning belief in sorcery. Thus I have known them refuse to go out without their morning shave, and, on the other hand, they will readily believe and be taken in by the most obvious impostor who lays claim to supernatural powers.

Off the north-west end of Sud Est is the island of Joannet, the scene of an attack upon Lieutenants Dayman and Simpson, of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, in 1849, and of the Craig massacre in 1887; and about 40 miles farther in the same direction is Misima or St. Aignan. The inhabitants of Misima are described by Sir William MacGregor as of the lowest type and as the least trustworthy of all those with whom the Government had to deal, but they now give little or no trouble. The population is larger than might be expected from the mountainous nature of the island, and has been estimated at three thousand. They have developed along much the same lines as the Sud Est natives, but not to the same extent, for they have not been quite so ready to adapt themselves to European ways. Many natives of Misima can speak English, and some of them search for gold; but neither of these accomplishments is so common as on Sud Est.

Panaieta, a little to the Avest of Misima, is the great canoe-building emporium of the archipelago. These canoes are made with a hardwood keel and the sides are built up with planks; the price was reckoned in the usual currency of stone adzes, and commercial probity had so far advanced among the customers of the canoe-builders that long terms used, even in the old days of the territory, to be arranged for payment.

On Teste Island, the most westerly of the Louisiade Group, Captain Moresby found traces of "devil worship," "a thing," he adds, "unknown in our after experience of New Guinea." It appears that the natives of this island "possessed small ugly figures carved on sticks and bowls of hardwood, which by signs they made us to understand had great power. These things are all in the keeping of the women, with whom we found it impossible to trade."


Chalmers at East Cape—The "Man Catcher"—Government station at Abau—Murder of Captain Webb and his wife, and of Messrs. McTier and Rochfort—Aroma villages—Keapara—Kalo massacre—Hula refugees from Aluguni—Sinaugolo—Tabu feast—The Koiari—Natives of Port Moresby, Motu, and Koetapu—Village of Hanuabada—Origin of the Motu of the Koetapu—Character of the Port Moresby natives—Naval prowess of the Motu—Hiri or expedition of the Lakatoi—Sorcery—Babalau—Manu Manu, Kabadi, and Doura—The Queen of Nara—Roro and Mckeo—Spear versus bow and arrow at Rarai—Club-houses—The Ibitoe—Trade and markets—Natives inland of Mekeo.

The eastern end of the territory is intimately connected with the labour and adventures of the celebrated pioneer missionary Chalmers. He visited East Cape twice, once from his headquarters on Stacey Island in 1878, and again in 1882, and gives in his "Work and Adventures in New Guinea" a graphic contrast between the state of the natives on his first visit and that in which he found them on the second occasion, when the cannibals and head-hunters of former years had become a peaceful and even a religious people. It is in connection with these people that Chalmers gives his well-known description of the weapon known as a "man catcher," which was invented, it is said, in Hood Bay, but is described by him as being the constant companion of the head-hunter throughout the territory. It consists of a handle with a loop of rattan cane at the end and a spike inserted in the handle. "The modus operandi," says Chalmers, "is as follows: The loop is thrown over the unhappy wretch who is in retreat, and a vigorous pull from the brawny arm of the vengeful captor jerks the victim upon the spike, which (if the weapon be deftly handled) penetrates the body at the base of the brain, or, if lower down, in the spine, in either case inflicting a death wound." Of this weapon Sir William MacGregor [*] says, "It is perhaps never used in the field," and it certainly seems an extremely clumsy one, but the natives maintain that it was used as Chalmers describes. I do not know that there is any reason to suppose that anything of the kind was ever possessed by the natives of the west and of the interior, among whom the practice of head-hunting still prevails.

[* "British New Guinea Country and People."]

The natives of Milne Bay, especially those of the group of hamlets known as Waga Waga, have formed the subject of a special study by Dr. Seligmann in his valuable work "The Melanesians of New Guinea." All the coastal natives in this district seem of much the same type, and, except to the professional anthropologist, offer no characteristics to particularly distinguish them from the ordinary Papuo-Melanesian of cannibal propensities as represented elsewhere in Papua.

Of the inland tribes nothing or little is known, though expeditions have at various times been made into the interior. Probably the earliest was that of Mr. Chester, the representative of the Queensland Government, and Chalmers, in 1878.

On Mailu Island, near Port Glasgow, one finds a tribe who speak a Papuan language, and who, it seems, have come down from the interior, and thrust themselves among the Melanesians of the coast. They have rather remarkable skill in carving the flooring-boards of their houses—an art of which they are particularly vain, and which, in their opinion, is conclusive evidence of their general superiority to Europeans.

A troublesome lot of savages infest the country inland of Table, Baxter, and Cloudy Bays; they have been occasionally visited, generally by police parties in search of the perpetrators of massacres upon the coastal tribes, and it must be freely admitted, in their favour, that this is not the kind of intercourse which is calculated to bring out the best traits in the character of any people. Their villages, like those of most inland tribes, are small, and are often protected by tree-houses and stockades. A Government station has now been established on the island of Abau in Cloudy Bay, and it will not be long before more friendly relations are established; at present there is really nothing definite known about these people.

Cloudy Bay is particularly notorious for the murder of the wife of Captain Webb and seven men, under circumstances which can only be conjectured, for not a single survivor was left. Captain Webb married again, and was, with his second wife, murdered at Millport Harbour in 1884 in "cold blood," says the Annual Report, "and under circumstances of great brutality."

It was on Dorma River, which runs into Cloudy Bay, that Messrs. McTier and Rochefort, two miners, were murdered in 1889. These men were well armed, and they also wore coats of mail made of ship's copper. They were murdered by the men of Merani. It was the old story of trusting the natives too much, the mistake which has cost the lives of so many brave men among the miners of New Guinea. McTier and Rochefort had been warned by a trader called Anderson of the danger of attempting to penetrate into the interior of the country, but unfortunately they persisted in carrying out their intention. The Merani natives offered themselves and were accepted as guides, and all went well until the miners were crossing a small but rapid stream, when their guides surrounded them, held their hands under pretence of protecting them against the force of the current, and so gave the opportunity to those who were following behind to dispatch them with their tomahawks. Thus the white men were murdered without the chance of striking a blow in self-defence.

Farther along the coast are the people of Aroma. They number about four thousand or more, live and work together as one community, and constitute by far the most important of all the native tribes of the east; and, as they are naturally of an independent spirit, their relations with the Government were, in the early days, occasionally somewhat strained. Matters came to a head in 1893 on the occasion of a party fight which had taken place in the Aroma community, when both sides took up the position that, whatever right the Government might have to intervene in the relations existing between Aroma and outside tribes, it could have nothing to do with the internal affairs of the community. They had, in obedience to the fads of the Government, made peace with all their neighbours, but they were certainly going to insist upon their undoubted privilege of fighting as much as they liked among themselves. The position was certainly an awkward one, for the natives apparently really meant what they said, and nothing but consummate tact on the part of Sir William MacGregor avoided a conflict and ensured the submission of the recalcitrant community.

Maopa is the most important of the Aroma villages, and a few miles to the west of Maopa is Keapara (Kerepunu), the greatest canoe-building community in this part of the territory. The timber for the canoes is found on the Kemp Welch River, and the canoe-makers work in pairs, each man facing his mate; a preference was long given to stone adzes over steel for this work, on account, I believe, of the facility with which the stone could be adjusted to any angle.

At the head of Hood Bay, farther to the west, is the village of Kalo. The language of the Kalo people is the same as that of Kerepunu, though they are probably Sinaugolo in origin, having come down to the coast in obedience to the impulse which is continually driving the inland races of Papua towards the sea. The Sinaugolo are said to be a Papuan tribe which has descended from the mountains and occupied the valley of the Kemp Welch; they now speak a Melanesian language.

Kalo is notorious for a massacre of native teachers of the London Missionary Society in the year 1881, in which the Hula, Kalo, and Kerepunu teachers lost their lives. The attack was planned by Qaipo, chief of Kalo, and was the outcome of a quarrel between his wife and the wife of a Raratongan teacher; Qaipo's wife, it appears, begged for tobacco, the teacher's wife refused, she persisted, and the teacher's wife finally pushed her off the veranda on to the ground. Smarting under the insult, she complained to her husband, taunting him with not being able to defend his own wife, and the massacre was the result. [*] It was avenged by a party of marines and bluejackets from H.M.S. Wolverene, Qaipo and three others being shot dead.

[* "James Chalmers's Autobiography and Letters," p. 499.]

The Vanigela, or Kemp Welch as it was called by Dr. Lawes after the Treasurer of the London Missionary Society, enters the sea at the head of Hood Bay, and round Hood Point is the village of Hula or Bulaa. The Hula people are refugees from the village of Aluguni, which was subject to Kerepunu. The Aluguni had no land and had to buy the garden produce from Kerepunu with fish, at any rate of exchange that the Kerepunu people cared to fix; part of the inhabitants therefore left Aluguni and settled on Hood Peninsula, where, though they are still short of garden land, they are at any rate independent of Kerepunu. The Hula men are skilful fishermen, and are, on the whole, rather a fine, vigorous lot of people.

Westward of Hula the coast is inhabited by Motu speaking tribes, though the true Motu are not reached until the village of Pari, to the west of Bootless Inlet. The marine village of Kapa Kapa, between 20 and 30 miles from Hula, is a recent Motu speaking settlement, probably from Gaile or Tupusileia, but the country immediately inland is occupied by the Sinaugolo, with the Garia, a much smaller tribe, speaking a Papuan language, wedged in among them; farther away from the sea is a fringe of semi-Sinaugolo communities merging towards the east into the widespread Koiari tribe, and towards the north and north-west into mountaineers, of whom little or nothing is known.

A leading feature among the Sinaugolo is the festival known as Tabu. I saw one of these feasts in 1908 at the village of Gomorodobu, three miles inland from Kapa Kapa, and, as the Tabu is not now very common, a description may be interesting.

On the first day of the festival a distribution of food is made to all strangers who are present. The strangers put their baskets in a row in the middle of the village, and the givers of the feast run up in a body with wooden bowls containing yams and other vegetables with which they fill the baskets. Then these baskets are taken away and others put in their place, and these in their turn are filled.

The Tabu itself is a huge structure, about 30 feet high, hung round with coconuts, yams, and taro. In this instance, owing to some local rivalry, there were two, one for each end of the village, but Mr. English, a resident of the district, who is a mine of information upon all matters relating to the Sinaugolo tribe and the Rigo district, tells me that this is very unusual.

The second day was enlivened by a dispute which arose between two youths over the right to lead in a particular dance; one claimed through the father, and the other through the mother. Eventually the matter was compromised, and the dance proceeded under the leadership of both the claimants; the dance seemed to me to be superior to others that I have seen in Papua, and was more suggestive of a religious ceremony.

Then betel-nut was brought out and put upon the ground in front of the Tabu that I was watching. That Tabu was erected by two Iduhu or divisions known as Rigo and Qalimarupu; if the betel-nut was taken up by the other Iduhu, it meant that these Iduhu accepted the challenge, and that on some subsequent occasion they would have to return the Tabu. This might be a serious matter if the ensuing seasons were unfavourable, and upon this occasion the betel-nut was not taken up.

Next came what appeared to be a comic interlude, a distribution of a nauseous-looking but pleasant tasting mess of bananas and coconuts, boys and girls running around with wooden platters of this preparation, and often thrusting it into the not unwilling mouths of their native guests.

Then two men climbed up on to the top of the Tabu, threw down coconuts to those who stood on the ground beneath, and sang in honour of Igiligabi, an ancient chief of the Bore tribe, and a great fighter, who, Mr. English informs me, is always invoked on the occasion of a Tabu, the people on the ground singing in response. A descendant of Igiligabi is still living on the Kemp Welch.

Last of all came a ceremony in which one man held a small pig in his arms, while another pointed a spear at it. The pig was not killed, and I could not ascertain the meaning of the ceremony. On this particular occasion the pig used was a substitute for the pig which really belonged to the Tabu and which had escaped, but I am told that the pig is not killed in any case.

Gaile and Tupuseleia are the best-known villages between Kapa Kapa and Port Moresby. The former is of comparatively recent origin and is probably an offshoot of the latter; the language of both is Motu. Inland are the villages of Seme, Dagota, and Senunu, apparently of the Koiari type, and speaking a Koiari dialect, and Manukoro, a colony from Mount Bride, speaking the language of the Garia tribe. Behind them again, in the Astrolabe Range, are the true Koiari, speaking a Papuan language, which, with varying dialects, seems to stretch right across the Main Range in the direction of Cape Nelson. The Koiari villages are small and ill-kept; the Koiari themselves are a very dark-skinned race, in whom Mr. O. C. Stone and others have noticed "slightly Mongolian eyes like those of the Siamese," often sturdily built, and of determined, not to say ferocious, appearance. Nor, I fear, do their looks belie them, though in these days of extended Government influence they are obliged to keep their murderous propensities under control. They are also great sorcerers; some of them, if one is to believe the statements current in Hanuabada, the principal village of Port Moresby, have the useful gift of being able to turn themselves into birds or snakes when they wish their movements to be unobserved, and it is from among the Koiari and kindred tribes that the dreaded Vata come to spread terror among the less accomplished natives of the coast.


The native inhabitants of Port Moresby, which is about 20 miles to the west of Tupuseleia, are usually classed as Mutu and Koita, or Koetapu, according to the language which they speak; Motu is Melanesian and Koetapu Papuan. The principal village is Hanuabada, about two miles from the European township. Hanuabada means "Great Village," and is the name given to the associated villages of Hohodae, Poreporena or Badiagua, Tanobada, Kuriu, and Elevara; Elevara is situated on what at high tide is an island, the others on the sea-shore. The villages contain altogether a population of about 1,700. The names of Poreporena and Badiagua are seldom used.

Hohodae and Kuriu are Koctapu, the rest are Motu. Of the other adjacent villages Tatana, on an island in the bay, is Motu-speaking, and the Baruni villages, beyond Hanuabada, are Koetapu. Outside Port Moresby, a few miles to the east, are Vabukori and Pari; the language of both is Motu, though at Pari there is also a Koetapu section. The Motu tribe proper are the Motu villages of Planuabada and the Motu-speaking inhabitants of Pari, and of Lea Lea, and also Porebada, a little to the west of Port Moresby, and Manu Manu, on Galley Reach, which were settled by emigrants from Hanuabada. The people of Vabukori and Tatana, though they speak Motu, are not considered as true Motu. Vabukori and Tatana make a native money called Ageva much as the Rossel islanders make Bau, but, more advanced than the Rossel islanders, they always, even before the advent of the white man, used a drill which they called Ibudu tipped with a hard stone (Vasiga).

The Motu trace their origin from the island of Motu Hanua in Bootless Inlet, where they say they lived at a time when the present inhabitants of Tupuseleia dwelt on a neighbouring island of Loloata; part of the Motu tribe at this time lived at Gwamo, a mountain near the present village of Gaile, which was then not in existence. Constant feuds raged between the Motu and the inhabitants of Loloata, with the result that the Motu, both from Motu Hanua and Gwamo, joined together and founded a village on Taurama or Pyramid Point; here they lived for a while, still at intermittent warfare with their old antagonists, until the end came through a dispute which arose between the two wives of a Motu chief, one a Motu woman and the other a native of Loloata. The cause of the latter was espoused by her people; the Motu village was surprised and burnt, and the remnant of the Motu tribe sought refuge from their enemy on the shores of Port Moresby, and built their village on the spot where Hanuabada now stands.

The Koita speak a language resembling that of the Koiari, and the Koiari legend is that the Koita are a branch of that tribe. They themselves derive their origin partly from a place now known as Baumana, 7 or 8 miles from Port Moresby, and partly from a tree on the banks of the Laloki River, inside which the tribe lived for some time before they emerged into the daylight, A third party say they come from the Nara district west of Port Moresby, of which they claim to have been the original inhabitants. The first of the Koita to arrive on the shores of Port Moresby is said to have been a man who had been living with his wife and children and his brother a short distance away to the west. One day, on returning from hunting, he found that his wife had been unfaithful to him, and that the destroyer of his domestic happiness was his brother. Overwhelmed with shame and grief, he left his home with his children and wandered towards the east, until he finally found himself on the waters of Port Moresby, and there he determined to live out the remainder of his days. Not long after, the Koetapu story goes, he saw the canoes of the Motu rounding the point in their retreat from their ruined village at Taurama. Contrary to New Guinea custom, which usually suggests the advisability of spearing a stranger at sight, the two parties made friends, and the Koetapu assisted the immigrants to build their village, which was eventually joined by other stray Koetapu, for the small and scattered villages of that tribe were unable to protect themselves against the predatory bands of Koiari from farther inland. The last Koetapu to join themselves to Hanuabada were the inhabitants of the neighbouring village of Koke, which was destroyed about a generation ago.


Such is the account given by those who appear to be most reliable among the Koetapu and the Motu; how much of it is true is difficult to say. It is certain that it was not a case of subjugation of the Koetapu by the Motu, and the conjunction of Motu and Koetapu, which is found not only in Hanuabada but in many other villages, was probably originally suggested by a common need for protection against the Koiari; while the fact that, roughly speaking, the Koetapu may still be classed hunters and the Motu as seamen, corroborates the account that the latter were immigrants and islanders and the former the original inhabitants of the Port Moresby district. The two tribes intermarry freely, but as a rule preserve their different languages; most of the Koetapu of Hanuabada, however, can speak Motu apparently as easily as their mother tongue, but it appears that few of the Motu speak Koetapu. Motu, probably from the fact that Port Moresby was chosen as the capital of the territory, is a dialect which is generally learnt by Europeans, and is used to a certain extent as a common language.

"At Port Moresby," says the famous missionary. Dr. Lawes, who first settled there in 1874, "the sanctity of human life is unknown, and every man is a thief and a liar"; and Mr. O. C. Stone, who visited Port Moresby in 1875, expresses much the same opinion. Assuming this to be a fair description of the natives of Port Moresby at that time, I think there can be no doubt that their habits, if not their character, have since then vastly improved. Human life is at the present day at least as safe as in any Australian or European capital, serious crime of any kind is practically unknown, and, living within half a mile of a village of nearly two thousand inhabitants, I never dream of locking up my house at night. As for their truthfulness, there are liars in Hanuabada as elsewhere, but there are also a great many people who are not, and I do not know, so far as my own experience goes, that the proportion of the two classes is so very different in Hanuabada from what it would be in any other place. Certainly their dishonesty in the early days was far more audacious than it ever is now if it often prompted them to play such tricks as that which they attempted on Dr. Lawes when they stole Huxley's "Animal Physiology" from his library, and tried to sell it to him on his own veranda.

The Motu are certainly a quick and intelligent people, pleasant, and easy-going in disposition; they seem, however, to be, even more than other natives, averse to discipline and hard work—except at sea. Thus, though they make excellent boatmen and good house-boys, they are useless as carriers, and rarely show any ambition to join the Constabulary; there are, I believe, only two Motu in the whole force of 250 men. Unable to make much headway against the Koiari on land except by combining in a large village, and then only by building their villages on the edge of the shore, or in the water, so as to provide a ready escape in their canoes, the Motu were apparently more successful in maritime warfare, and legends are told of their victories over the Roro of Yule Island and their hereditary enemies of Tupuseleia.

One triumph over the latter, though overshadowed afterwards by their final expulsion from Taurama, had an important effect upon their history. Originally the Hiri, or expedition of the Lakatoi, or large canoes, to the Gulf in quest of sago, had been entirely in the hands of Tupuseleia, but the Motu, one year, waylaying four Lakatoi on their return near Lolorua at the entrance to Port Moresby, utterly destroyed them, with all their crews, with the exception of one man. The effect of this crushing blow was that no more Lakatoi were sent from Tupuseleia, and the trade fell first into the hands of the Motu-speaking village of Boera, and afterwards into those of the Motu, and the other Motu-speaking communities, who still carry it on at the present day.

The Boera legend of the origin of the Hiri, according to which it was revealed to one of their community by a sea-god, and the complicated ritual attending it, are set out at length by Chalmers in his book "Pioneering in New Guinea," and by Dr. Seligmann in the work already referred to. The business aspect is briefly as follows. There is suitable clay for pot-making near Port Moresby, and the women of Port Moresby and the neighbouring villages are expert pot-makers. On the other hand, the soil is poor and the rainfall scanty, and the gardens consequently unproductive. The Port Moresby natives have therefore plenty of pots but little food; the people of the Gulf on the other hand have plenty of food, principally sago, but no pots. Consequently it is obviously to the advantage of both parties that the pots should be exchanged for the sago, and this is what the Hiri effects. A number of large canoes, known as Asi, formed principally of the huge trees which grow on the Purari River in the Gulf, are fastened together to form a Lakatoi; on these the pots are packed, and at the end of the south-east trades, that is, about October, the Lakatois set sail for the Gulf villages, as far as Baimuru on the western shore of Port Romilly. There they exchange the pots for sago, rebuild their Lakatois with Asi made of trees, which are felled for them by the local natives and floated down the river, and at the end of the north-west monsoon, that is, about March, the Lakatois, now entirely rebuilt, return to the villages from which they started. Tobacco, the cultivation of which had, at the time of the arrival of Sir William MacGregor, not spread along the coast, to the east of Port Moresby, was often given as a present by the vendors of the sago, and taken back in the Lakatoi on their return journey.

Stone tomahawks and tobacco, as well as food, were also purchased from the Koiari at regular markets, where the bargaining was carried on by the women, while the men of both sides stood to arms near at hand so as to be ready against any sudden attack. No such precaution was necessary on the Hiri, during which the truce was nearly always scrupulously observed.

Neither Motu nor the Koetapu, nor even the Koiari, were ever cannibals; the Koetapu and the Koiari are, however, great sorcerers, being the aboriginal inhabitants, and therefore familiar with the spirits of the country, which the Motu are not. There is a practice known to the Motu which they call Babalau (the Koetapu name, I believe, is Fei), which is a form of beneficent magic, generally for the purpose of healing wounds or curing the sick. The Babalau man often effects his cure by appearing to remove a stone from the body of the sick man, and is, therefore, and in my opinion rightly, looked upon by Europeans as an impostor. It has been suggested that the use of the stone is a form of sympathetic magic; that both the Babalau man and the patient know that the stone is not taken from the man, but think that the pretended extraction of the stone will, by some magical means, put an end to the pain. This may have been the origin of the practice, but I do not think that any such theory is nowadays present to the mind of either practitioner or patient. I remember one instance of Babalau where there was certainly conscious imposture; that was the case of a woman who, in addition to her ordinary practice, used to call up the spirits of the dead—of course for a fee. I wanted her to give me an exhibition of her powers, but, after putting me off on various excuses, she at last confessed that she had no longer any influence over the spirits since she had been so imprudent as to take a bath. I know that the effect of taking a bath is susceptible of all sorts of mystical interpretations, but I do not think that, if she believed in her powers, she would ever have taken a bath if she were thereby to run a risk of losing them.



Beyond the Motu village of Manu Manu, between the Aora River and Galley Reach, is the Kabadi District, the inhabitants of which speak a language closely resembling Motu. The Hon. A. Musgrave, Assistant-Deputy-Commissioner, gives the following account of Manu Manu and its relations with Kabadi. The people of Manu Manu, he says, formerly occupied a village a few miles to the west, but, had been driven from it by the people of Kabadi, "so they squatted on a foul and miserable sandbank," where the village now stands. Cut off from their garden land "They have," says Mr. Musgrave, "led a wretched existence for some time past, eked out by thefts from the remnant of the Doura tribe next them inland," Doura having been "reduced to a few survivors, chiefly women and children, after a joint massacre a few years ago by the Manu Manu people and a number of Koetapuans who tenant a strip of the shore to the eastward along Caution Bay." Sidelights on native history such as these enable one to realise what the effect of the white man's presence has been in New Guinea. The Doura people, in particular, seem to have had a very rough time of it. They live now on the Veimauri River, but originally their village was much farther inland on the Venapa; they were driven out by mountaineers, and, to get as far as possible from their enemies, migrated towards the coast, only, however, to fall into the hands of the people of Lea Lea, who hunted them back to their present dwelling-place, where, being weak, they became the butt of their more powerful neighbours, who robbed and murdered them at will.

To the west of Kabadi is the Nara District, undulating country, lightly timbered and abounding in game. The inhabitants speak a language different from Roro and Mekeo farther to the west; it is Melanesian, but contains, it is said, a number of words which resemble those of the mountain dialect in the neighbourhood of Mafulu.

There is a Queen of Nara, the only queen, so far as I know, in Papua, though D'Albertis met one on Yule Island who appears to have belonged to the village of Mou on the mainland opposite. Koloka Naime is the name of the Queen of Nara, and her husband is Boi. Koloka's father was a great Nara chief, who saved his people from destruction at the hands of the tribes of Mekeo, and, on his death, as he had no son, the daughter was acknowledged as his successor. She had great power in the old days; the first time Chalmers saw her she was lying in her hammock directing the operations of a dozen cooks, while the rest of the community laboured in the gardens. She still has the right to the head of every pig killed in Nara, and her husband, in her name, has the privilege of putting the first thatch on every public building, such as a club-house or school, in the district of Nara.

On Yule Island, about 65 miles to the west of Port Moresby, on the shores of Hall Sound opposite, and inland on the fertile Mekeo plains, are tribes who speak languages which are closely akin to Motu, and are known as Roro and Mekeo, the former being spoken on Yule Island and the coast, and the latter farther inland. Yule Island itself is a dry spot with little good garden land, and there is only one village on it, Chiria, numbering 286 inhabitants. It is said that the Chiria people once lived at Delena, just across Hall Sound, whither they had come, at the request of the Delena people, to help them against Manu Manu and Porebada.


In appearance the Roro and Mekeo people resemble very closely those of Port Moresby; their arms are the same, the spear and the club, though the influence of the Papuan Gulf had so far made itself felt among the Roro, and even in some of the Mekeo villages, that the bow and arrow had not only become a common weapon for hunting, but was also occasionally for war as well. For instance, in the year 1891, when the people of Inawa thought to do battle with the Government, their principal weapons, according to Sir William MacGregor, were bows and arrows, but this was not usual in Mekeo, and if one may believe a story current in the district it was their ignorance of the far-reaching effects of an arrow that led to the undoing of the people of Rarai. Rarai is a Mekeo village, the inhabitants of which had a feud with some of the Roro people on the coast; the latter sought the aid of the Gulf village of Lese and invaded the territory of Rarai. The Rarai people climbed into the tops of coconut-trees and, knowing themselves to be out of spear-cast, prepared to laugh at their assailants—but only to be picked off at leisure by the archers of Lese, whose prowess they had forgotten. In time the bow would no doubt have been universally adopted in Mekeo, the inhabitants of which have in other respects shown themselves amenable to Gulf influence, but, though arrows were commonly used for shooting birds in Mekeo, the instance of Inawa is the only one I know in which a Mekeo village used the bow in warfare.

The central point of village life among the Sinaugolo and the Koita, and also, apparently by adoption, among the Motu, is the meeting-house of Dubu; among the Roro and Mekeo tribes it is the Marea or Ufu. The Marea and Ufa are, however, different from the Dubu, inasmuch as they are not only places of meeting, but, like the Eravo and Ravi of the Gulf, are also a sort of residential club of which all the adult males of the clan are members; women are not admitted to them, but the men sleep there when they please, as well as meeting and talking there at odd times during the day. "Marea" is the ordinary word for "house" in the language of the Purari Delta, rather a curious circumstance, for that language is Papuan, and has no connection with Roro.

Except at the villages of Waima or Maiva, which from their geographical position are much exposed to Gulf influence, there is nothing among the Roro or Mekeo tribes which corresponds to the ceremonial initiation of youths so characteristic of the tribes immediately to the west, though the young men of Mekeo and Roro have to go through a certain period during which they are supposed to support themselves by their own unaided efforts; a phase of their life which, perhaps, at one time was attended with a certain amount of hardship, but which nowadays, so far as it still exists, seems to consist in little more than a state of idleness varied by theft. These youths are known in Roro as Ibitoe; in appearance they are certainly picturesque, but they are a lazy lot of young "wasters," and a source of perpetual worry to the "Man of trouble" or "Tier-up," as they call the local magistrate. They will not eat before women, and are careful to lace themselves very tightly—so tightly indeed that one wonders how they survive—in order to induce the girls to think that they are men of delicate appetite, who would not demand from their wives much labour in the gardens.

Some of the Roro, and one or two of the Mekeo villages, have a sort of secret police known as Kaivakuku, whose duty it is to see that Food Tabu (which are generally imposed in preparation of a feast) are strictly observed. This is an institution which has certainly been borrowed from the Gulf, where these officials, for so they may by a slight stretch of imagination be called, are regarded very seriously indeed. Those who are curious on the subject of the Kaivakuku will find them fully described at page 299 of Dr. Seligmann's book.

A considerable amount of trade goes on between the Roro and Mekeo tribes, and there are regular markets at which fish and pots made at Chiria on Yule Island are exchanged for the garden produce of Mekeo, and for feathers and stone implements which the Mekeo men have bought from the mountaineers. A very curious and, it would seem, absolutely unbusinesslike transaction is that by which the Roro people get lime for their betel-nut. The Roro are coastal people and get plenty of shell-fish; these they sell to the people of Mekeo, who eat the fish, and sell the shells back to the Roro in the form of lime. There is also a brisk trade in puppies, for the dogs of the mountains are supposed to be better hunters than those of the plains.


However, even the Roro people, though they build canoes and do a certain amount of coastal trade as far as Kerema in the Gulf of Papua, fall far below the Motu in commercial enterprise. There seems, indeed, to have been at one time a sort of struggle for maritime supremacy between the Roro of Yule Island and the Motu, which ended, as might have been anticipated, in the victory of the latter, but it appears to have been confined on the Roro side to predatory attacks on passing Lakatoi, and never to have risen to anything like a serious attempt to seize the commerce of the Gulf. But though less enterprising than the Motu, they seem to have acquired as bad a reputation for avarice as that which attaches to the people of Hanuabada. Of them Sir William MacGregor says, "Although the tribes on the St. Joseph are the richest people in the possession so far as I know, they are as stingy and avaricious as any in the country, which is saying a very great deal."

Both the Roro and the Mekeo people have been on the whole well disposed towards white men, though they have against their records the murders of the collectors. Dr. James and Mr. Thorngren, in 1876, and of the magistrate, Mr. Giulianetti, in 1902. There seems to have been nothing whatever to provoke the former outrage, though Mr. Musgrave, in his "Approximate Return of Outrages and Massacres," published in the appendix to the Annual Report for 1886, says that he has "traced incidents occurring before the arrival" of the victims at Yule Island "which may have tended to create a feeling of hostility"; unfortunately, as regards the murder of Mr. Giulianetti, though there was nothing that would in any way justify it, there seems to have been some provocation.

Inland of Mekeo, on the higher branches of the St. Joseph, is the Kuni tribe, and inland again of Kuni the tribe known (incorrectly) as Mafulu. Fujuge, the language of Mafulu, is a Papuan language, and the word "mafulu" is a corruption by the Kuni people of the word "Mambule," which was the name of the only Fujuge-speaking tribe that they knew. Fujuge seems to be a very widely spread language, extending across the valley of the Venapa and as far as the Wharton Range, with, it is said, only small dialectical variations. Beyond Mafulu again is the usual medley of little-known mountain tribes stretching towards the German border. Nearer Mount Yule, north-west of Mafulu, are the Lopiko villages, and between those villages and the St. Joseph, the Boboi tribe.

All these tribes use the bow and arrow; but they have also spears and clubs, and it would appear that some of them at any rate, for instance the people of Mafulu, had just reached the stage of development at which the bow, hitherto used only for hunting, was being adopted as a weapon to be used in war. All except Kuni speak Papuan languages. Kuni is generally given as one of the stock instances of an aboriginal tribe that has adopted a Melanesian language; but it is very doubtful if this is so. The language of Kuni is unquestionably Melanesian, but it is highly probable that the Kuni themselves are Melanesian also, and not part of the aboriginal population. Their customs, it is said, are quite different from those of the mountaineers, and approximate to those of the Melanesians of the coastal plain, as for example in their mourning, which is far more elaborate than that of Mafulu and more like that which prevails in Mekeo.


The Kuni, before the Government and the Roman Catholic Mission took them in hand, were abominable little people addicted to all forms of abortion and infanticide; they number about two thousand, and if left to themselves would probably soon be extinct. Descriptions of this tribe by Fathers Egidi and Eschlie mann will be found in the "Anthropos" for 1909 and 1911.

Probably all these mountaineers, certainly the Boboi and the people round Mount Yule, are, or were, cannibals, and they all resemble one another in being shorter of stature and darker of skin than the natives of the plain. Out of forty-two full-grown men from the Lopiko villages, eighteen measured less than 150 centimetres, and some as little as 134½ and 138. Others, however, were comparatively tall, one in particular, a chief, measuring no less than 5 ft. 6 in., and the average height was about 5 ft. 1 in.—or 2 in. less than the natives of Mekeo. It is possible that these people may be the result of intercourse between a race of pygmies (such as have been found in Dutch New Guinea) and some taller race, but I know no evidence beyond the measurements which points in this direction.

The people of the Venepa Valley, though they speak the same or a closely allied language, appear to have many points of difference from the people of Mafulu. The natives of the upper Venapa have the distinction of living at a greater altitude than any other known people in Papua. Onuga or Onunge, which has been visited more than once from Mafulu, is said to be about 7,000 feet above the sea, and the villages of the Felora tribe on the heights of the Wharton Range are probably 3,000 feet higher.

One redeeming feature about these mountaineers is deserving of mention. Papuasians are, I understand, not musical according to our notions, but those who are entitled to express an opinion on the subject say that the people inland of Mekeo have ideas of harmony far more consonant with those of Europeans than are possessed by the majority of their compatriots who murder sleep with the incessant thumping of their monotonous drums. One of the Annual Reports even tells a story of a party travelling in the mountains who were suddenly startled by hearing the air of "Father O'Flynn" re-echoing through the hills, and, on inquiry, discovered that the strains came from a number of Paula mountaineers, who were solacing themselves with one of their national songs.


Papuans of the Gulf—Initiation of youths—Elema and Namau—Moviavi and Motu Motu—The Kukukuku—Cannibalism in Namau—Vailala and Hakeko—Men with tails—Orokolo—Namau villages—The Ravi—Kaiaimunu—Confession of Avai of Baimuru—Namau labourers—Trade in Namau—The Koriki confederation—Attack on Messrs. Buchanan and Charpentier—Naval battle on the Purari—Tribes west of Baimuru—The Urama—The Paia tribe—Goari Bari—Recovery of the remains of Clialmers and Tomkins—Long houses at Goari Bari and neighbouring villages—Agibi—Dancing mask or Awoto—Cannilialism—Natives of the Kikori—Bamu natives—Mr. Jukes at Bebea—Beheading knife and carrier—Kiwai Island—Wabuda—Fly River—Parama—Mawatta and Massingara—Tribes to the west of the Massingara.

To the west of Cape Possession there lives a very different race from the Papuo-Melanesians of the Mekeo plain—a darker, stronger race, armed with the bow and arrow instead of the spear and club, and speaking a Papuan language. On rounding the Cape one feels that one has come into a different land—a land of huge club-houses, full of strange masks and figures used for ceremonies of which white men know nothing, in which the youth of the community are taught to assume the responsibilities of manhood, and of which the Marea and Ufu of the east side of the Cape are but a faint reflection.

The following account of the initiation of youths in the eastern part of the Gulf of Papua is taken from the Annual Report of 1910-11: "The male children are formed into groups called Heatao, the first group being made up as soon as the children are old enough to make friendships or companionships. These groups vary according to the vigour of the child, so that a strong and forward child will pass into a group that may contain members twelve months or more senior to it in age, and, on the other hand, a weakly child may sink back into a group of younger ones than itself. This is an excellent natural method, providing the balance necessary for the proportionate development of each unit.

"When the boy approaches puberty (at which stage he is called Siare Sora) he is taken from his parents and placed in the Eravo, or men's house, where he is isolated for a period of some months, the time varying in different localities. The time that he shall enter upon his initiation is decided by the customs of the village, and also the preparedness of his family to provide the necessary feast.

"After entering the Eravo the Siare Sora grows his hair, which in childhood is always cropped close except for one or two tufts which are allowed to grow on the top and on the front of the head. He also adopts the perineal band, and generally prepares this decoration to emerge at the end of the period of seclusion to the astonishment of the women and children. He is at this stage called Hehava.

"During the period of isolation the Hehava is more or less under the direction of the previous year's initiates, who are called Heapo, and at certain stages the Hehava has to provide feasts for the Heapo.

"At some villages the Siare Sora is very much more mature before being allowed to enter the Eravo than at others, and the superior physique of the people of those villages is attributable to this law. Toarip (Motu Motu) is a case in point where the men are invariably fine, robust specimens of manhood, many of them being six feet and over. These people have a more advanced stage of development for their Siare Sora before allowing them to go through the initiation ceremony, thus preventing the contraction of marriages by the youths before they are fully qualified to do so. Each Heatao, after emerging into the full liberty of manhood, adopts a name, and it is said that the name once adopted designates that Heatao right along the coast, and a young man will be called by the name of his Heatao as Kevaro-Tao, Kou-Tao, etc.

"Many of the village fights and quarrels on the beaches that occur from time to time are Heatlao fights, in which it is not unusual to find brother pitted against brother. These fights are now carried out with sticks in place of the bows and arrows of the recent past.

"The adoption of the Heatao name is brought about without any authority, and seemingly comes by accident.

"The Eravo initiation shows a tendency to break down or shorten in the eastern districts, though the old men do their best to keep it up. Whether this is to be regretted or not is questionable, for although it provides that a boy shall not take upon himself the labours and duties of adult age too soon, and acts as a ban against any serious relations with the opposite sex until he has passed through his period of seclusion, and also inculcates a pride of clan and makes for solidarity, still the long confinement in the dark, for it must be remembered that the Heatao must not appear outside the Eravo during the daytime except he is covered from head to foot in a leaf or grass bag, then only for necessary purposes, makes the ordeal very trying, and is not good for their mental, moral, or physical development."

The Gulf of Papua, as known to the Motu who visit it in Lakatoi, is divided into Elema and Namau, Elcma being the part from Cape Possession to the Purari, Namau the country of the delta up to and including Baimuru on Port Romilly. No Lakatoi ever ventured beyond Baimuru. From the visits of the Lakatoi most of the villages on the coast have two names, one their own proper name, and the other the name given to them by the Motu traders as they passed along on their way to Namau. Thus the large village of Motu Motu at the mouth of the Lakekamu or Williams River is called by the inhabitants Toaripe, and Moviavi, a few miles up the neighbouring river Tauri is really Heavala.

The people of Motu Motu and Moviavi were great fighting men in the old days. Chalmers visited them in 1881, and his influence was so far successful that they gave up their constant warfare with the Kabadi people. But much of their turbulent spirit still remained, and, in 1887, a London Missionary Society teacher called Tauraki, together with his child and four natives of Motu Motu, were killed by the men of Moviavi; this, however, proved their downfall, as it brought them into collision with the Government, and, though some resistance was offered to the party who went to arrest the culprits, the collapse of Moviavi was in the end complete.

Both Moviavi and Motu Motu are now quiet, orderly villages; their inhabitants are rather a fine race physically, many of them with great muscular development. They are not noted for their industry, and rarely sign on as labourers. Both villages have gardens extending up the Lakekamu as far as they dare go for fear of the Kukukuku, an inland tribe, or series of tribes, of whom the coastal villages of Elema stand in constant dread. But little is known of the Kukukuku, who extend apparently from somewhere about the head-waters of the Lakekamu to the Nabo Range at the back of Kcrcma, from whence they used, until lately, to raid the natives on the coast, especially the villages on the point known as the Cupola, seizing their opportunity when the men were away and only women and children left in the villages. A few years ago they hunted the terrified children along the rocky shores of the point and carried those they caught off with them to the mountains. A Government party gave chase, but could not caich them, though they were hard upon their tracks, and found their camp and the freshly cooked remains of the children whom they had eaten. A girl's rami hanging on a bush was for a long time, and perhaps is still, to be seen on the point at the spot where the Kukukuku caught her.

A second raid was fortunately less successful, for the magistrate stationed at Kerema got wind of it, and one dark rainy night succeeded in cutting off the Kukukuku retreat. Unlike most Papuans, these people do not seem to be afraid of the dark, and travel all over the country at night carrying torches, and on this occasion they were marching by torchlight at about two o'clock in the morning when they fell into the magistrate's ambuscade. Unfortunately no prisoners could be taken, but the Kukukuku took to flight, leaving behind them their weapons and a quantity of human flesh which had once been part of some of the unfortunates on the coast.

Since this incident the Kukukuku seem satisfied that the Government can beat them at their own game of night-marching and ambush, and have left the coastal natives alone.

The real name of the Kukukuku seems to be larime, and they are described as a light-skinned people in comparison with the natives of the coast. They carry a smaller bow, and are therefore probably better shots, and their arrows can always be recognised from the manner in which the fastening of the point is finished, the end of the bamboo lashing being tucked into a slit in the shaft. They wear cloaks made of the inner bark of a tree, and carry shields; in some of these shields the prospecting party who discovered the Lakekamu Goldfield found flint arrow-heads, showing that these people fight with a tribe that points its arrows in this way. It is probably by the quickness of their movements and their superior marksmanship that they have instilled such terror into the hearts of the coastal people. I have only met one man who is not afraid of them. He was a native of Moviavi called Vavasua, whose father, when he was a child, was killed by the Kukukuku, and who swore that, when he became a man, he would be revenged. Accordingly, when he grew up, he went alone among the Kukukuku (a thing which I do not suppose any other coastal native would have done for any conceivable reward), waited his opportunity, and took payment of a Kukukuku life in exchange for his father's.

The district of Elema includes the Gulf country as far as the west of Orokolo Bay; beyond this is the Purari Delta, known to the Motu as the land of Namau. The people of Elema, it is said, were never cannibals; certainly the inhabitants of Orokolo profess for the practice an almost exaggerated disgust, and this disgust has proved of considerable assistance to the Government in their endeavour to induce the frankly cannibal tribes of Namau to amend their conduct in this particular. Public opinion in Orokolo was, it appears, so strongly opposed to cannibalism that the Namau people, if they ever came near Orokolo, were jeered at by the boys and called by opprobrious names suggestive of their fondness for human flesh—nor were they thought worthy to enter the precincts of the Orokolo villages. Maipua, the nearest Namau village, deeply resented this social ostracism, for the Papuan is just as great a snob as the European, and a hint that Maipua was not of as high class as Orokolo would be simply maddening to the men of Namau, just as many white men would resent a suggestion of social 'inferiority far more deeply than a charge of manslaughter. In the old days the answer of Namau would have been simple and probably complete; they had driven the Orokolo men from their old home in the delta, and there was only one reason why they should not drive them from their new home on the beach, but that reason was conclusive, for it consisted in the presence of the Government and the rifles of the Armed Constabulary. Consequently the only thing was to give up cannibalism, and this the Maipua people accordingfly did, and were then received into Orokolo society. This excited the jealousy of another Namau village called Kaimare, and they also gave up human flesh, and now cannibalism has ceased in Namau, that is, the open and avowed practice has ceased, for I have personally but little doubt that it is still practised occasionally in secret; and it has ceased, not only through fear of the Resident Magistrate at Kerema, but also through the snobbery inherent apparently in all human beings, and the desire of the people of Namau to be thought as good socially as their neighbours of Orokolo. I say socially, because I do not think that the moral aspect of the question ever suggested itself to them any more than it did to the community of Apiope, on the coast near the Aivei mouth of the Purari, who, it is said, broke off from Maipua and formed an anti-cannibal settlement out of admiration for the great missionary Chalmers, and a wish to show their admiration by imitating what probably appeared to them to be his most striking peculiarity. Nothing it seems to me is more difficult than to explain to a cannibal why he should give up human flesh. He immediately asks, "Why mustn't I eat it?" And I have never yet been able to find an answer to that question beyond the somewhat unsatisfactory one, "Because you mustn't." However, though logically unconvincing, this reply, when backed by the presence of the police and by vague threats about the Government, is generally efi'ective in a much shorter time than one could reasonably anticipate.

The principal villages of Elema are Motu Motu, Kerema, Vailala, and Orokolo or Havida. Orokolo is not a usual port of call for the Lakatoi on their trading expeditions, but the other villages are; Orokolo, however, is visited by the Lakatoi that come from the Motu village of Pari. The villages named have not all the same language, but all use the same trading dialect in their intercourse with the Motu. This is not the case with the villages of the Purari Delta; they have no trading dialect, and the Motu visitors are compelled to learn the language of Namau.

There is no large river at Kerema, and at no very great distance from the Government station one reaches country which is said to be occupied by the terrible Kukukuku—in fact, the Kukukuku gardens are visible from the station, which is situated on the shores of Kerema Bay. At Vailala, however, there is a river of very considerable size, and many natives live upon its banks, among them a tribe called Hakeko, about 50 miles from the mouth. These people are really an offshoot from the Vailala village, though the Vailala are slow to recognise the relationship, and I believe still maintain that the Hakeko have tails "like cats," as they informed Sir William MacGregor, asking him if he had not noticed this peculiarity about them when he went up the river.

This legend of tailed men is a very common one in Papua, but, unfortunately, you never meet these people, for, no matter how far you go, they are always just over the next range of mountains. A Kiwai native, who accompanied me up the Purari in 1908, gave a very graphic account of a visit he had paid to a village of tailed men up the Fly River. They had, he said, holes bored in the floors of their houses, which were elevated from the ground on piles, and through these they put their tails when they sat down, the tails thus all hanging down below. The Kiwai, when he felt inclined for a joke, used to creep under the house, take hold of each tail very gently and tie a knot in it. Then he would raise an alarm that a hostile party was approaching; the tailed men would immediately spring up to meet the enemy, the knots in their tails would catch in the holes in the floor, and they would be thrown on to the broad of their backs.

This seems fairly strong evidence, but perhaps the most conclusive testimony was that given by a native of the eastern part of the Central Division who was insisting on the truth of the stories of tailed men, and stoutly maintained that he was certain, at any rate, that there had been one man with a tail. Asked why he was so certain of this, he replied simply, "Because I eat him." There are perhaps no tailed men in New Guinea, but it must be admitted that there are at any rate men of a very lively imagination.

Orokolo, or to use the local name Havida, is a populous village about lo miles along the beach from Vailala. Any one who thinks that the Papuan is dying out could not do better than pay a visit to Orokolo, for in no place that I know, except, perhaps, at Motu Motu, does one see so many children as play along the sand in front of the Orokolo villages—fine, plump little people with their heads shaved with the exception of two tufts of hair.

The club-house system is in vogue at Orokolo as elsewhere in the Gulf and the west. Sir William MacGregor gives a good account of these houses in the Annual Report for 1892-3. The large end of the houses points towards the sea, and is closed up by movable wattled leaves, leaving only a large door. A large passage through the house is left open, the two sides are then divided off into nearly square pieces, but without closed partitions. In each stall are the oblong painted shields of its owners, unstrung bows, sheaves of arrows, bone daggers, dancing gear, sometimes mats, and perhaps a fireplace. At the large end there is a sort of hall, in which are sometimes trophies of human skulls on one side, and of the skulls of wild swine on the other, usually painted and in piles or rows on the floor.

"In this hall are also suspended masks for dancing and the performance of mystic ceremonies. In some of them they hang from the roof great elliptic, painted, carved shields of wood or of native cloth' in framework. These shields, sometimes 10 or 12 feet long, have often heads like crocodiles, with the mouth stuck full of sharp-pointed bony teeth, or they are made to represent birds."

The boys during their period of initiation are kept in an enclosure in the club-house, and, I believe, only go out at night. The masks and other ornaments are used in connection with the ceremony known as Semse, of which nothing definite seems to be known. After the Semse the masks are destroyed. The "bull roarer" is used in connection with the Semse, and at its sound the women and children disappear into the bush or anywhere out of eight of the performance.

Beyond Orokolo is Namau. There are seven principal villages in Namau—Maipua, Kaimare, Baimuru, lai or I are, and the three villages of the Koriki confederation—Ukiaravi, Korepenairu, and Kairu. Baimuru is situated just to the west of Port Romilly, and is therefore not strictly speaking in the delta, but its inhabitants arfe delta people and Baimuru is counted as part of Namau. They are all big villages, the biggest being Ukiaravi, lai, and Kaimare. No census has been taken, and it is really impossible to do more than guess the numbers of the people whom one sees swarming like ants about these villages, but an opportunity once arose of getting a fair idea of the number of able-bodied men in Kaimare. This was in 1908, when it became necessary to make an expedition, fortunately a bloodless one, to Ukiaravi, and the Kaimare people, who were at feud with Ukiaravi, turned out to accompany the Government party. Of course they were not allowed to come, for a pack of howling cannibals, hungering for blood, are about the last companions to select where an occasion might arise which would require the exercise of diplomacy, but one could form some idea of their numbers. There were between fifty and sixty canoes, some holding as many as twenty or more and some, but not many, holding as few as twelve, so that there were probably at least eight hundred fighting men present, not including those who were left to guard Kaimare. This would mean a population of between 4,000 and 5,000, making the total population of the delta at least 20,000.

The men of Namau live in large club-houses or Ravi. These buildings are from 100 to 200 feet long, tapering down from 50 to 60 feet above the floor at the entrance to about 15 or 20 feet at the farther end. The roof thus slopes downward from the entrance, which represents rather a remote resemblance to the gaping mouth of some huge monster, and from this circumstance it has been conjectured that the Ravi entrances are intended to represent the open jaws of an alligator, an animal which evidently plays an important part in the life of these people, if one may judge from the innumerable figures and other representations of alligators which are seen in the villages of the delta. Stout posts, some 50 feet or more in length and 2 or 3 feet in circumference, stand at the entrance to the ravi and support the roof, which consists of palm-leaves twisted into a framework of long sticks which are bent over in the form of an arch.

Inside the Ravi are, or rather were, for the delta is now hopelessly civilised, vast numbers of human skulls (all, I believe, the skulls of enemies who had been killed in battle), and also skulls of pigs and crocodiles, and shields and masks of fantastic shape and design, with rude pictures of pigs, crocodiles, and hideous human faces, and representations of human feet impressed upon the floor. In the innermost recess of the Ravi is a screen or curtain, and behind the curtain are large wickerwork figures from 5 to 6 feet high, something hke a cross between a pig and an alhgator. These are known as Kaiaimunu; each of them has a name of his own, and they are held in some way sacred, and are supposed to possess mysterious powers. No woman may look upon them—indeed, no woman is ever allowed into a Ravi; what would happen if a woman did go into a Ravi and saw one of these figures no one whom I have asked has ever been able to tell me. "No woman," they all say, "ever did such a thing," and they refuse to contemplate the possibility of such an enormity. On one occasion when it was necessary to burn one of the men's houses, and to carry off two Kaiaimunu (the only time, I believe, that such a figure has ever left the Ravi), we were entreated not to allow the women to see them as we went down the river—a request with which we of course complied. The figures are said to be connected in some way with cannibal feasts, but I do not know how, for the accounts which I have received are not consistent with one another; it is, I think, certain that they are consulted before an expedition as to its probable result.

The people of the delta are naturally secretive as to their religious beliefs and practices—that is, they are not inclined to discuss them with strangers, who, for all they know, might be inclined to hold them up to ridicule, and one is continually coming upon strange superstitions of which one can find no satisfactory explanation. I remember once noticing a thing in a Ravi that looked like an idol and offering to buy it. The chief (there arc two in a Ravi, one for each side), with the usual politeness of the Papuan, said, "Of course if you want it you can have it; but if you take it away we shall all be very ill."

I asked him why, but he could not or would not tell.

In the same Ravi there were a number of drums, and one of the party was idly tapping them with his hand, but when he came to one of them (it looked exactly like the others) he was courteously requested not to touch it. "If you do," said the chief, "we shall all die."

In the year 1909 I tried a man called Aval, a native of Baimuru, who was charged with the murder of Laura, a woman of Baroi, who was living at Baimuru; his statement of what had happened contained some curious details. He said: "Bai-i told us to kill the three Baroi people. He told us to get into a canoe. We did so, and caught the three Baroi people (Aimari and his wives Laura and Aipuru) in Era Bay. Kairi killed Aimari, I killed Laura, and lomu killed Aipuru. I killed her with a dagger of cassowary bone. We put the bodies in the canoe and took them back to Baimuru. I did not bite off Laura's nose; it is not the custom to bite off the nose of a person whom you have killed. If I kill a man, some one else bites off his nose; Aua bit off Laura's nose, Kwai bit off Aimari's, and Omeara Aipuru's. We bite the noses off, we do not cut them off.

"Before we go to kill any one we consult the spirit of the Kopiravi [another name for the Kaiaimuru]; the spirit come out of the Ravi to the canoe, and if the expedition is to be successful the canoe rocks. The spirit is invisible; the Kopiravi does not come out. We got to Baimuru at night and left the bodies in the canoe till morning. Then we took them to the Ravi and put them on the platform outside, then singed them outside the front of the Ravi, cut them up into small pieces, mixed the pieces with sago, cooked them, wrapped them up in leaves of nipa-palm, and distributed them. Women and children may eat human flesh.

"I eat a hand of Aipuru; I did not eat Laura, because I had killed her. It is not our custom to eat a person whom you have killed. If, after killing a man, you sit on a coconut, with a coconut under each heel, and get your daughter to boil the man's heart, you may drink the water in which the heart is boiled, and may eat a little of the heart, but you must be sitting on the coconuts all the time. Otherwise you must not eat any part of a person whom you have killed yourself. In the evening I went on to the platform of the Ravi with a torch in my hand, called out the names of the Kopiravi, and threw the torch on the ground; any of the village people could then have connection with my wife. I slept in the Ravi. My Ravi is called Kaumoro. There are ten Kopiravi in it, each with a different name—five for each side of the Ravi. The Kopiravi are never brought out from behind the screen."

I cannot personally vouch for the truth of any of Aval's statements, but I have had independent evidence of the existence of all the customs referred to, even of the particularly grotesque one which allows the murderer to sit upon coconuts and to drink the soup made from the heart of his victim.

The women of Namau have a hard life of it. It is said that the men sometimes work in the garden, but otherwise they appear to do practically nothing, except sit on the platform in front of the Ravi; you see them sitting there as you go up the river, and, if you come down again some days afterwards you find them sitting there still. Spearing alligators would seem to be pre-eminently a man's work, yet even this is done by women in Namau. The man does cut down the sago-palm and float it to the village, but then his work is done; the woman has to go through the very hard work of breaking up the trunk and making the sago, while the man sits on the Ravi platform land smokes.

The dress of the women is somewhat scanty; some wear a sort of divided petticoat, but most have nothing but a wisp of grass or fibre, which is passed between their legs and made fast to a belt. Some of the men wear nothing but a broad belt of bark; they have long, heavy faces, hold themselves badly, and have a slouching gait, though one occasionally sees powerful men amongst them. Their weapons are the bow and arrow and the dagger of cassowary bonei; a heavy spear is used for killing alligators.

The Namau people seemed at first to present rather a hopeless problem, but their pacification has been much more rapid than was expected, and some iof them now "sign on" as plantation hands or work for the Government at roadmaking in the neighbourhood of Port Moresby. I remember particularly some Ukiaravi men whom I saw a few months after they had been working on the roads, and I had great difficulty in realising that the sleek, well-fed, contentedlooking people I saw were identical with the sullen, savage-looking horrors whom I had known in the Gulf a short time before. Their ideas of roadmaking were, it is true, at first somewhat primitive. They would, for instance, when sent for a wheelbarrow make their appearance carrying it in their arms as if it were a baby, and their practice of scooping up the earth in their hands, placing it on a shovel, and carryhig the shovel in their arms to the place where they wanted to throw the earth, was, perhaps, not the most expeditious that has been devised; but they soon got into the more businesslike methods, and in a short time they were working away almost like a gang of navvies. Natives who have been at work always improve in condition, but I never saw such a difference in any natives as in these cannibals of Namau.

The delta people import their pottery and their stone adzes from Port Moresby, paying for them in sago. For a trading people they are astonishingly bad at arithmetic, and can only count up to two, or at most three, so that it would be impossible for them to calculate the number of bundles of sago they should give for a quantity of pots, though the calculation is simplified by the fact that one bundle is the price of one pot. Accordingly, what they do is to put two small sticks into each pot, one of which is taken out and kept by each party to the transaction; the Namau man then goes and makes sago-a bundle for each stick—while the Motu man stands by his pots. On the return of the sago-maker the bundles are counted by the aid of the sticks and the sale is complete.

The Namau people are the only natives of Papua who have ever looked as if they might be in any way dangerous to the Government. Elsewhere differences of language, of traditions, and of customs rendered a combination of any kind very improbable, but in Namau there was a large population speaking the same language, with the same customs, and possessing a power of social combination, evidenced by their congregation into villages of several thousand inhabitants, far superior to anything of the kind found elsewhere in Papua; for, though inter-village warfare was common enough, there was never anything in the nature of civil war in a village. Each village is divided into several Ravi, but the different Ravi of each village stand solidly together, and it would only be a slight advance from this to a general combination of all the delta communities against a Government whose new-fangled ideas and strange dietary fads could hardly be popular with a people so frankly cannibal and with so elaborate a social organisation of its own.

Evidence of their power of combination was given in the attack by the Koriki confederation upon Sir William MacGregor at Kairu in 1894, and in 1908 it looked, for a time, as if a still more formidable combination might be formed against the Government. Mr. Buchanan, an old resident of the Gulf, had received information that a village called Morahai was being literally eaten up by Ukiaravi, the people of the latter village, whenever they felt inclined for human flesh, going to Morahai and collecting as many "head" of the unfortunate inhabitants as they wanted.

It appeared afterwards that this was an exaggeration, and Mr. Buchanan, suspecting that this might be the case, did not report the matter to the Government, but went up himself, accompanied by Mr. Charpentier, a prospector who happened to be in the neighbourhood, to investigate. Their party was a small one, and upon entering Port Romilly on the return journey they were attacked by twenty-seven Ukiaravi canoes, which were apparently lying in wait for them. Then followed a headlong race down Port Romilly, the friendly village of Kaimare being the goal and the stakes the bodies of Messrs. Buchanan and Charpentier, for the pursuing Ukiaravi did not fail to remind them that, should they be caught, they would assuredly be cooked and eaten. The pursued were insufficiently supplied with ammunition, but the superior speed of their canoes—and one may imagine that the paddlers spared no effort—brought them first to Kaimare, and the race was won. Now, however, arose another question. How were they to get away from Kaimare? for the enemy were still hovering about, and would cut them off before they reached the sea. The Kaimare people were in an exceptionally virtuous mood. "You can stay here as long as you like," they said, "but we can't help you to fight the Ukiaravi. We should like to, but the Government has told us that we mustn't fight, and of course we must do as the Government tells us." Eventually, however, Mr. Buchanan succeeded in persuading them that this was an exceptional case, and one morning the whole Kaimare fleet sallied out to do battle with the blockading squadron of Ukiaravi; the naval engagement that followed must, from the description given by the white men, have been a magnificent sight, and was particularly interesting as the last that will ever be seen on the waters of the delta. It ended in the complete rout of the enemy and the arrival of the white men in safety at the sea.

Then came the turn of the Government, and a strong party left Port Moresby for Ukiaravi; and it was on this occasion that there seemed, for a time, to be a possible danger of a general coalition of the Namau villages. An embassy was even sent to Kaimare from the Koriki, but luckily the Government party was there when it arrived, and Kaimare stood solidly for the white man. Eventually, as so often happens in Papua, the disturbance was quelled and the necessary arrests effected without bloodshed.

Since then there has been peace in the delta, with the exception of an outburst on the part of the Baimuru people, who, with reckless disregard of an old proverb, had already decided by whom the local magistrate and the different members of his party were to be eaten, when their plans were frustrated by their own arrest and imprisonment in Kerema gaol. Ukiaravi, on this occasion, sent a picked body of men to assist the Government, but fortunately their assistance was not needed.

All danger of this kind is now passed, and the tendency is at present for the big villages, which came together originally for purposes of protection, to split up into smaller ones, now that peace has been established in the delta.

West of Baimuru the type changes from the heavyfaced native of the Purari to the brighter, more active, but somewhat wolfish-looking inhabitant of Goari Bari and the neighbouring coast, the intermediate tribes showing the transition from one type to the other. Not much is known of these tribes; there are some people called Urama who live on an island between Era Bay and Paia Inlet, whose villages were visited for the first time in 1909; there is the Paia tribe on the opposite shore of the inlet, and there are, no doubt, many other similar villages scattered about the creeks and concealed among the mangroves.



The Urama were described to us as a race of ferocious giants with pigs as big as ponies, but on acquaintance they proved to be less formidable. They have men's houses like those of the delta, but they have nothing to correspond to the Kanaimunu; women are not allowed into these houses, though in some of them you see cubicles covered in with bark and palm which would seem to suggest that the women sleep there with their husbands. The weapons used by the Urama are the bow and arrow and the bone dagger, and they wear the breast and pubic shell. The women, like those of the delta, wear a wisp of grass or fibre fastened to a plaited belt and passed between their legs.

In the men's houses we found enormous dancing masks and dresses ornamented with huge tails of various kinds of fibre and grass. A vast number of skulls were displayed along the walls and partitions of the houses. Some of the skulls were adorned with clay noses and artificial eyes, and others were carved with the usual fantastic markings of the Gulf; others again were merely imitation skulls made of wood. I was told, but I cannot vouch for the fact, that the skulls with imitation eyes and noses were the skulls of friends and relatives, while the others were those of enemies; and that the carving was something in the nature of a private mark of the person who had killed the individual to whom the skull had belonged.

The Paia tribe had long been marked on the map, but no one had visited their villages; in fact, no one seemed to know, even among the Urama and other neighbouring people, where the villages were. One day in 1910 we had cleared the top of Aird Hill and were sitting down looking out over the sea, identifying the various places we knew, when a Baimuru man called Kaio, pointing down to the coast, said, "There's Paia." I pricked up my ears, for I had been looking for Paia for three years, and questioned him further; he said he knew Paia and the Paia people very well, that his son was staying there, and that he would take us there with pleasure. Consequently we descended the hill, and with Kaio as our guide proceeded in the direction indicated. Pie took us up a creek, and when he had gone some distance I asked him if we were far from Paia. "What is Paia?" said he. I told him that it was the name of the village he was taking us to. "I am not taking you anywhere," he said; "I was wondering what you were doing up this creek." "Is not your son at Paia?" I said. "No," he replied, "my son is at Urama, on the other side of the bay. I never heard of Paia, and I don't believe there is such a place."

Just then we turned a corner and came on canoe loads of yelling savages in a state of the most uproarious excitemtent, who danced upon the sides of their frail canoes, fell into the water in their eagerness to bid us welcome, and cast themselves on Kaio's neck and greeted him by name. These were the people of Paia. Why Kaio had suddenly forgotten their existence I have never been able to discover.

These people are much the same as the Urama, except that some of the women wear a skirt of cloth, and that I saw no skulls in their club-houses. Their weapons are bows and arrows and a few bone daggers. Farther to the west are the people inhabiting the Aird River, generally known indiscriminately as "Goari Baris," from the island of Goari Bari at the mouth of the Omati River. The village of Dopima on Goari Bari is notorious as the scene of the murder of the missionaries Chalmers and Tomkins in the year 1901.


Their deaths had been avenged and the skulls of the white men had been recovered by Sir George Le Hunte and Captain Barton, and I was fortunate enough to recover the rest of their remains in 1908. The remains were surrendered quietly. "On entering the big house" [I quote from my report of my visit to Dopima in that year] "a bundle was brought in wrapped up in matting; I opened it and found it contained bones, which, from the size, appeared to us to be the bones of an European. We then questioned the chief as to where the rest of the bones were, and we were taken to the mound, near the place where the bodies were exposed" [the people of Dopima, like many other Papuans, dispose of the dead by placing the bodies on platforms], "which had been pointed out to us the day before, and we were told that the bones of the white men were buried in a particular part. Shovels were sent for and a number of bones disinterred and placed with the others. The whole were sent to Thursday Island for examination by the Government medical officer, who certified, as the result of his examination, that all the bones with one exception were human bones, that they had formed portions of the skeletons of three men, two Europeans and one a man of dark race, and that one of the Europeans suffered during life from a tubercular trouble. It appears that the Rev. Mr. Tomkins suffered from a tubercular complaint, so that it would appear probable that the remains are, as represented by the natives, those of the martyr missionaries. The remains were buried at Daru."

The islanders of Goari Bari are evil-looking people—more so, perhaps, than any others In Papua—but they are well built and muscular, though small, and they seem likely to sign on readily as labourers. In appearance they are a good instance of the so-called Semitic type which is still common on the western coast. Their canoes are like those of the Purari Delta, and have no outriggers; one end is generally plugged up with mud, and sometimes both, but often the bow end is left open, the water, which pours in as the canoe is driven along, being baled or rather kicked out with the feet. They have clubhouses, which they call Dubu-daimu (men's house), and also houses for women and young men called Upi-daimu and Ohiabai-daimu. The women are not excluded from the Dubu-daimu, as is generally believed; I have seen them there soon after daylight, when my coming was not expected, and at various times of the day. Thte men's houses are of great length—the one at Dopima was nearly 600 feet long, and that at Nagora on the Omati still longer; an open space is left down the middle as a passage, and there are partitions along each side. There are no Kaiaimunu, but there are (or were-for civilisation marches apace in the Gulf to-day) countless skulls and carved and painted figures called Agibi, fastened on a seat with numbers of skulls attached to them.

One sees occasionally instruments of iron and brass, evidently made from the spoils of ships that have drifted in past Cape Blackwood and been lost on the sandbanks, and there are also a few stone adzes, which are obtained by purchase either from the Namau tribes who buy them from the Lakatoi, or from the "bushmen" of the interior. There are also some pots, which were recognised by our Hanuabada boat's-crew as being of Motu make, and which had been brought from Port Moresby to the Purari, and thence to the villages where we saw them. These pots were not very numerous.

The ordinary weapons of these people are the bow and the arrow; there are a few spears of very clumsy make (the arrows on the other hand are sometimes very fine works of art), and some daggers. Their dress is the same as that of the Urama; up the Kikori (where the type changes slightly, becoming less Semitic and more robust) I have seen cloaks made of native cloth, and a garment like a sporran made of cassowary feathers—sporrans of grass and fibre are not uncommon. The pubic shell is occasionally worn, and up the Kikori one sometimes sees the breast ornament of shell known to the Motu as Mairi and the arm shell or Toia; I could not discover where the Mairi and Toia came from.

One strange dancing ornament which I have seen at Dopima is known as Awoto. It is a mask with a trunk and looks exactly like the head of an elephant except that it has a beard. An elephant is not like a squid, but the Awoto has the strange property of resembling both, and as no native of Goari Bari can, even in his wildest nightmare, have seen anything like an elephant, it is for a squid that the Awoto is probably intended, if it is intended for anything.

The natives of Goari Bari and the neighbouring coast-line are head-hunters and cannibals, but they seem to live, generally speaking, on good terms with one another, though they maintain a fairly constant feud with the "bushmen" of the Kikori River, against whom they have a curious grievance. The coast people boil the "bushmen" in pots, whereas the "bushmen" merely roast the coast people whom they kill—carelessly throwing them on the fire in a manner which the coastal natives consider distinctly "bad form." However, the coast people are not themselves without reproach in this matter, for a partly eaten corpse which I saw hanging up in the village of Baia-a on the Omati had certainly been roasted, not boiled.

The only sources of information with regard to the nativesr living about the upper parts of the Kikori are the reports of Mr. Smith's attempt to reach the Strickland, and of the search party which was sent to his rescue, and in neither instance was the occasion favourable to the collection of accurate or detailed information. Mr. Beaver, the leader of the search party, who had the better opportunity of observation, after referring to the population of the coast, says: "Thence upwards there is a distinct change in type, the people being Hghter-skinned and generally more of the mountaineer. The whole of the inland tribes are of this type, with certain differences, of course. The language spoken seems to be the same with dialectical variations, but on this point I cannot speak with certainty...I should be inclined to ascribe the inland people to the pure Papuan section."

Mr. Beaver saw nothing to induce him to believe that the inland people are cannibals; they appear to collect hands, just as the coast people collect heads. "All the people," he adds, "were of magnificent physique."

From the Aird River west the Kiwai languag'e is generally understood, though there are probably innumerable local variations. The people of the Omati and the Turama are of the Goari Bari type with the same Dubu-daimu, and, so far as can be judged, the same customs. All these people live principally on sago, supplemented by fish, crabs, and game, such as cassowary, which they get in exchange for arrows and other articles from the tribes farther inland; they have also gardens, in which they grow coconuts, sugar cane, and other native food.

On the Bamu, however, except at some villages such as Bina and Wadodo at the mouth, the people have no gardens at all and live almost entirely on sago and grubs—and, to tell the truth, they look it. A party of police who were stationed on the Bamu gave these tribes some useful object-lessons in the way of planting coconuts and cultivating taro and other vegetables, and with Government encouragement the fare of the Bamu village is likely to become more varied. They are, as a rule, a miserable-looking lot of people when they first come in to work (for they sign on rather freely), with dirty and uncouth habits, but they improve quickly under a more generous diet and conditions of regular industry.

Mr. Jukes, the naturalist of H.M.S. Fly, describes a visit which he paid to the Bamu, in the course of which the village of Bebea (now abandoned) was bombarded and robbed, and among the spoils the party "got two instruments tied together, and which," says Mr. Jukes, "we always observed slung at the backs of the natives, the use of which we could not make out. These were a cane loop with a toggle or handle, and a bamboo scoop with a handle bound round with twine, in which small beads or seeds were inserted. I afterwards saw some of these among the natives of Erroob (Darnley Island); they said the first was for twisting round people's necks and the second for cutting their heads off—which merely showed that they did not know what their real use was, as they were not at all adapted for those purposes." Mr. Jukes then conjectures that the instruments were used for making sago. As a matter of fact the information he got is fairly correct; the bamboo scoop is a beheading knife, a notch being cut in it and a slice of bamboo torn down to the notch so as to leave a sharp edge every time that the instrument is needed, and the cane loop is for the purpose of carrying the head.[*] The same knife is, or was, used on the Fly and on the Purari, and even as far east as Hood Bay; elsewhere, heads are cut off with a stone adze or tomahawk.

In the estuary of the Fly is the island of Kiwai. The Kiwai islanders are a gloomy race of men; Sir George le Hunte was there for a week and never heard a laugh, nor would he, in all probability, have heard one if he had stayed for a year. Life on Kiwai cannot, I think, be considered very amusing-the island is all mud, and is being gradually washed away—but I think that these natives are naturally of a melancholy disposition, for they do not cheer up when they are taken away and brought to less depressing parts of the territory. As may be imagined they are not very lively companions, but they are enterprising men and make good sailors and good non-commissioned officers of police; they are the best known of the western natives, and have given their name to all the inhabitants of the west, so that a Kiwai, in ordinary parlance, means, in Papua, any native between Goari Bari and the Dutch boundary. Sir William MacGregor, who visited Kiwai in 1889, describes the people as being in a transition state between the settled and the nomadic life—they had regular villages in which they lived, but occasionally a fit would take therai, and they would leave their home en masse and camp for weeks on one of the neighbouring islands.

[* See Sir William MacGregor, "British New Guinea Country and People"; and Annual Report, 1890-1, p. 53.]

The Kiwais had no native pottery, but cooked everything by roasting it on the embers; water was carried in large shells. Their arms were the bow and arrow and a short-handled heavy stone club; the strength of the bow is apparent from the fact that it was no uncommon feat to shoot an arrow right through a man. Large polished stones are frequently found on Kiwai, and must obviously have been used at one time as adzes, or possibly as in the east as a kind of native money. The Kiwais themselves can give no account of them; Professor Haddon's conjecture is that they were in use perhaps a century ago, that they were then superseded by steel implements, and that their use has now been forgotten.[*]

[* "Head Hunters, Black, White and Brown," p. 108.]

The Kiwai islander of to-day is an industrious person with an unfortunate penchant for wearing the filthiest rags imaginable. He can generally command a good wage, and is rarely met with on a plantation or in a gang of carriers except as a "boss boy." This applies also to the kindred people of the island of Wabuda and of the coastal villages to the west; the Kiwai, who is found carrying on the goldfields or doing ordinary work elsewhere, is generally a native of the Fly or Bamu River.

The people of Wabuda, near Kiwai, were notable warriors in the old days. When Sir William visited them in 1893 they were engaged in the pleasing occupation of collecting heads for a new club-house or to decorate their canoes. They are in appearance Uidistinguishable from Kiwai islanders, though Wabuda has, perhaps, a larger proportion of big men. "Wabuda," says Sir William, "can turn out about two hundred bowmen, many of them men of splendid physique, superior to any other tribe in that district in dash and courage."

For a knowledge of the tribes up the Fly one has still to rely principally upon the reports of Sir William MacGregor, who in 1890 ascended that river for about 600 miles. There is, we have seen, no reason for supposing a racial difference between the people of the interior and those of the coast, though the languages they speak may not have a word in common, and though there are great differences in size and colour. Some very large powerful men were seen about 400 miles up the river, and at the farthest point the natives seen were of a remarkably light bronze colour, but did not otherwise differ from the people seen elsewhere.

To the west of the Fly River are the coastal villages of Katatai, Parama, and Mawatta, which have furnished the best recruits to the pearl fishery at Thursday Island. At Parama, otherwise known as Bampton Island, where Sir William in 1890 found a temple containing a figure with the head of a man and the fins and tail of a fish, which, was believed to carry off disease from the island, the people have long since become Christians, find the money to build their own churches, and have even petitioned the Government to establish a school on the island so that the children may learn English—rather a change from the days of the man-headed fish, and all in much less than a single generation.

Behind Mawatta is the tribe known as Massingara. These people, like other bushmen, cultivate the Piper methysticum or Gamada, better known by its South Sea name of Kava, and sell it to the people of the coast. There was apparently no ceremonial connected with the drinking of Gamada even in the old days; the root and stem were chewed (I believe by boys, not, as in the South Sea, by girls), and then strained through a coconut-leaf into a half coconut shell.

The Massingara are looked down upon by the aristocrats of Mawatta, who actually hire them to work in their gardens, such servile labour being, I suppose, beneath the dignity of a Mawatta man on woman. But even the Massingara are superior to the hopeless little degenerates who live farther inland westward of the Fly. Such, for instance, is the Baru tribe, of which an account is given in the Annual Report for 1906-7. They are declining in numbers, and the wonder is that they did not become eixtinct long ago—or, indeed, that they ever came into existence as a tribe at all. "In my opinion," says the Resident Magistrate of the Western Division, "the most probable reasons for the apparently rapidly decrease in numbers of these tribes are: (a) there are in practice local native customs which militate against natural increases; one of these being said to be that the women smother any children born after the first child, should the practice of abortion fail to prevent the birth. I have no actual knowledge of this statement being true, but colour is given to it by the fact that I have not been able to find a family with more than one child of the same parentage. (b) The men all appear to die very young, and those that are living are much debilitated by self-abuse, caused probably by the scarcity of females; (c) thfe too early marriage of what females there are; (d) the prevalence of lung disease; (e) the continued fear of sorcery."

Similar accounts are given of other tribes where men are married to girls of from seven to ten years of age, and the marriage is consummated immediately; these tribes live on the Oriomo and in the district farther west towards the Pahoturi. Their garden land is well cultivated and food is abundaait; but, as a result of these practices, the population is rapidly decreasing. Women are scarce in some tribes, and the custom that allows a chief to have several wives has still further increased the scarcity, with the result that in some tribes a number of boys are kept for immoral purposes. They can be recognised, says the Magistrate in his Report, "by their costume, which consists in a broad cane belt and a woman's grass worn between the legs, while the upper part of the body is plastered in charcoal."

West of the Massingara are a number of broken tribes who have been driven from their homes by the raids of the Tugeri invaders; such, for instance, are the Wasi, from whom the Wasi Kussa, or Baxter River, presumably takes its name, and who speak a language called Dungerwab, remarkable for the portentous length of its words. The Wasi count by fours, but there is a Dungerwab word for ten, and that word is "Ambutondaambutondanabodand."

The terror of the Tugeri name still lives, I am told, in the islands of Torres Straits, but, in fact, all is peace now on the Dutch border; the invasions have long since ceased, and when the Tugeri cross the boundary they come as friends of the tribes whom they used to harry a few years ago. Unfortunately, however, the effect of former hostilities still continues in the state of desolation that prevails in the extreme west of Papua, where once powerful clans are scattered about in small communities where they have been driven in their flight from their implacable foes. Of the Toga tribe, on the Pahoturi River, opposite Saibai Island, who had been broken by the Tugeri, Sir William says: "It would indeed be no easy matter to find anywhere more dangerous and ferocious savages than these tribes. They have been hunted from their homes and driven to live in these inland morasses to save their lives; and they have come to regard every man as a mortal enemy."

Savages of this temper, armed with bows with an effective range of 200 yards, would be formidable opponents even to men equipped with modern rifles, and it is surprising that the Tugeri inroads did not have the effect of hurling these and other broken and desperate tribes in a mass of invasion upon their more peaceful neighbours to the east. Fortunately, nothing of the kind took place, and no resistance is offered to the spread of civilisation as the influence of the Government gradually advances towards the distant villages of the western frontier.


The Central Court of Papua—Native magistrates' courts—Native regulations—"Spreading lying reports"—Adultery—Sorcery—Indictable offences—Murder—"Paying back"—The insignia of the assassin—Ritual murders—Burying children alive—Murder as a relief to the feelings—Nobo house—Vata—Cannibalism—Poisoning—Sorcerers as poisoners—Other crimes.

The Central Court of Papua is unlimited in jurisdiction, both civil and criminal; it is presided over by the Chief Judicial Officer. An appeal lies from the Central Court to the High Court of Australia. Until the year 1907 all cases were tried by the Chief Judicial Officer, sitting alone, so that he was one of the very few persons in the British Empire who had the power to sentence a European to death without the intervention of a jury; but in 1907 an Ordinance was passed providing for a jury of four persons in all cases where a European is charged with a capital offence; all persons who are not Europeans are still tried without a jury, and so, too, are Europeans on any but a capital charge.

A very simple procedure, suited to a community where legal practitioners until quite recently did not exist, has been framed for the civil side of the Central Court; but civil cases are very few and do not present any particular points of interest, being of much the same kind as in other parts of the world. Nearly the whole work of the court is in its criminal jurisdiction, the exercise of which is regulated by the provisions of the Queensland Criminal Code, which was adopted by the Government of British New Guinea in the year 1902. It very rarely happens that a European prisoner is brought before this court—for the white community in Papua is one of the most law-abiding in Australasia—but a fair number of native prisoners are brought before it each year (on an average about 150), most of them charged with some form of homicide, for the atmosphere of a Papuan criminal court fairly reeks with blood.

There is nothing in Papua to correspond to the District Courts of Queensland, but there are Courts of Petty Sessions, presided over by a Resident or an Assistant Resident Magistrate, with a civil jurisdicdiction extending to £75. The procedure in these courts is the same as in Courts of Petty Sessions in Queensland. There are also, as in Queensland, and elsewhere, numerous criminal offences of minor importance which are cognisable summarily by the magistrates, and the magistrates also deal with the preliminary stage of indictable offences, which, if a prima facie case is made out, are committed to the Central Court, the Chief Judicial Officer having the power to quash the committal if he thinks that it is unsupported by the evidence, or, if he thinks the case of too trivial a nature to be brought before the Central Court, to remit it to the magistrate to deal with it in his summary jurisdiction.

So far the administration of justice in Papua proceeds along lines which are familiar to all, but there is a form of tribunal which has been instituted for the trial of disputes between natives and of petty offences committed by them, and to which there is, so far as I am aware, no analogy in Australia. There are the Native Magistrates' Courts, which are presided over by a Magistrate for Native Affairs, who is usually, but not necessarily, a Resident or Assistant Resident Magistrate; these courts are not bound by strict rules of evidence, and there is no appeal from them. The procedure, of course, is simple in the extreme.

The proceedings in the Native Magistrates' Courts are sometimes interesting, and may serve as an introduction to the general question of the administration of justice to the Papuan native. The cases that come before them are, on the civil side, disputes, for instance, as to the ownership of pigs or coconuts, and on the criminal side such offences as petty larceny or a breach of one of the native regulations. These are regulations made by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, and deal, among other things, with the sanitation of native villages, keeping the wells clean, and otherwise preserving the health of the community, with the attendance of children at the Mission School (which is compulsory, provided that English is taught, but not otherwise), and with the care of the sick. A recent regulation, the operation of which is confined to the villages near Port Moresby, commands that all sick persons are to be brought to the hospital for treatment. It was made on the occasion of an outbreak of whooping-cough, and some of those who professed to understand the native character prophesied that their fear of the hospital as the place where men die would be too strong for their habit of obedience, but the prophecy was falsified by the event, for the morning after it was made pretty well the whole population, sick and well, men, women, and children, streamed into Port Moresby for medical advice. It is putting rather a strain on any but the most intelligent natives to ask them to take the white man's medicine, and, especially, to suggest that they should go to a hospital, for from the obvious external unlikeness of a white man to a Papuan they infer a corresponding internal and constitutional difference, and argue that medicine which will cure a white man will have no effect upon one of themselves. It was therefore rather a triumph for the cause of civilisation when the crowds of natives presented themselves at Port Moresby Hospital in obedience to the regulation, and it is obvious that the old objection is dying fast, though occasionally some native of an irritatingly logical mind will still illustrate the danger of going to hospital by reference to the number of people who die there, much as Mark Twain expatiates on the peril of lying in bed.

Another native regulation imposes a penalty for "spreading lying reports." It is an old regulation, and seems to have originally been made to prevent the spread of unfounded rumours of massacres and other atrocities by which Government officers are still occasionally misled, but its precise interpretation has never been clearly determined. The natives themselves are inclined to extend its operation rather widely, if one may judge from a story told by a magistrate of one of the village constables who came to ask his advice. "I was in the village church," said the constable, "and the teacher said that if the people did not attend more regularly they would all be burnt in a big fire. Of course if he had said this outside I should have arrested him for spreading lying reports, but I did not like to do so in church, so I have come to ask you what I should do."

Adultery and sorcery are the most common among the offences which are cognisable in the courts of the native magistrates. Both are forbidden by regulation and are punishable with six months' imprisonment, but adultery is an offence only if the woman is married. A married man, therefore, may commit adultery with impunity so long as his paramours are unmarried; but if a man, whether married or not, misconducts himself with a married woman both man and woman are equally liable; a woman who is married to a man by native custom is looked upon as his wife for the purpose of the regulation. The reason for these somewhat elaborate provisions is that in the old days, before the white man came, adultery was punished by death—that is to say, the injured husband would generally kill both his wife and her lover, and would liave been considered as acting entirely within his rights in doing so. When the Government was established this mode of procedure by club and spear was much too sudden to gain approval, but at the same time it did not seem right to leave the happy home of the Papuan entirely at the mercy of any village Don Juan who happened to pass by, and a regulation was therefore made punishing adultery with imprisonment; the reason why it is punished only when a married woman is concerned is that the gravamen of the offence lies in the fact that, according to native ideas, it is really theft, for the wife is the property of the husband, and the adulterer has stolen her from him. In fact, "to steal" is the word used by the Motu tribe at Port Moresby to signify adultery with a married woman, and the word "steal" is used in the original regulation dealing with the subject. The husband, on the other hand, is not the property of the wife, so that if he pays his addresses to another woman there is no theft, and consequently no punishment—unless, of course, the other woman is married, in which case she might be "stolen" from her husband.

It speaks well for the law-abiding character of the Papuan that since punishment by imprisonment has been substituted for the "unwritten law" of revenge there have been few instances in which the husband has killed his wife or her lover. I can only remember one such case. A native had run away with another's wife, and lived with her for, I think, two nights in the bush; then, tiring of her, he brought her back to her husband and coolly remarked, "Here is your wife; you can have her now. I don't want her any more." This man was surely looking for trouble if any man ever was, and he certainly found it, for the husband split his head in two with a tomahawk which he was holding in his hand. It was done on the impulse of the moment, and on reflection the man realised his position and remembered that the white man's law did not encourage this sort of thing, so he gave himself up to the police, and came into court evidently expecting to get a heavy sentence, in which I need hardly say he was agreeably disappointed.

Adultery is, I think, the only instance in Papua in which native custom has been directly recognised by the Legislature, though, on the trial of natives, custom often plays a very important part as regards the sentence imposed. The Papuans in their native state do not appear to have much idea of what we should call law as administered according to fixed rules and as distinguished from private revenge, though the germ of it exists, for instance, in the punishment by beating and otherwise which is said to be inflicted for breach of tribal customs in certain parts of the territory. From my own observation, I am inclined to think that in the less civilised tribes it is often the case that the custom simply never is broken, and no one could tell you what would happen if it were. Thus, some time ago I asked the natives of one of the Koriki villages on the Purari what would happen if a woman went into one of the men's houses, but all they could say was that no woman ever had done so, and a Rossel islander, when asked what the penalty would be if a woman spoke while in a canoe (a thing which is absolutely forbidden), could only suggest that if a woman did such an utterly unheardof thing, she would probably be eaten. This interesting but surely somewhat eccentric little community, who cannot even imagine the possibility of a woman talking in a canoe, are, nevertheless, sufficiently advanced to have a fixed penalty for theft, which they punish by the somewhat roundabout method of killing the woman who cooks the thief's food; and theft and arson are said to have been punished in the Trobriand Islands, the former by burying alive and the latter, appropriately, by burning. Sporadic instances of this kind could, no doubt, be multiplied, but as a rule it seems to have been left to the individual to avenge a wrong that had been done to him. Sometimes the injured persons comprised nearly the whole village, as, for instance, in the case of robberies from gardens. In the Rigo District may be seen a man whose toes look as though they had been all melted together; he was an incorrigible garden thief, who was eventually caught by a number of people from whose gardens he had stolen, and who punished him by putting his feet in a fire.

Sorcery is another offence which comes very frequently before the native magistrates' courts, for it is, under the regulations, punishable with six months' imprisonment; it may also be, but very rarely is, dealt with under the Criminal Code, which makes it an indictable offence and imposes a penalty of imprisonment for twelve months. The penalty imposed is perhaps sufficient to act, to a certain extent, as a deterrent, but it is quite insufficient as a substitute for private vengeance, and I have known cases where intelligent and civilised natives have killed a sorcerer and then given themselves up to the police, saying that they did not consider that the punishment inflicted by the Government for sorcery was severe enough, and that they were determined to exact a sufffcient penalty even at the cost of a long term of imprisonment. The difference is that the Papuan looks upon sorcery as a reality, whereas the European (as a rule) does not; to the former no punishment would be sufficient short of death, or at any rate a long term of imprisonment, either of which seems to us to be out of the question in the case of what is after all, according to our view, only an imaginary offence.

The lightness of the penalty inflicted has also the effect of preventing natives from giving information against sorcerers, for the sorcerer will, even if he is convicted, return in a few months, and will then surely wreak vengeance upon the person who betrayed him to the Government. This makes it still harder to deal with the question, which, even apart from the reluctance on the part of natives to give evidence, already bristles with difficulties, for it must be remembered that, though it is true that men are never killed by sorcery, still there are numbers who die from the fear of it, and there is no means of adequately punishing those who are really their murderers. I remember finding on Rossel Island a very intelligent native who had worked on one of the northern goldfields, and who was dying because he thought that he had been "puri puried," or bewitched. When I saw him he was skin and bone; he could not eat or sleep, and spent his time in wandering from village to village looking for rest and finding none. We took him away in the Merrie England, and succeeded in persuading him that a sorcerer could have no power on a Government ship, with the result that he began to improve, and in a short time was well again. If he had not come away he would have died, and, morally, the sorcerer would have been his murderer, though through the medium of his own imagination. Similar cases where the victim has actually died are known to every one who has lived in Papua, but we cannot legally treat them as cases of murder, and so must be content that the Papuan should regard our treatment of sorcery as one of the very few points in which the law falls obviously short of what he considers to be justice.


Of course sorcery of one kind or another pervades the whole life of the Papuan, and there are many cases in which it is quite harmless, and in which, therefore, no notice is taken of it. For instance, in many, perhaps most, districts, incantations and sorcery generally are part of the usual practice in making a garden, while no one would dream of setting out on a hunting expedition without going through the usual traditionary procedure any more than he would of leaving his dogs behind, and in cases like this it would be unwise and vexatious for the Government to interfere. Generally, however, sorcery is an evil, and the sorcerers become the tyrants of the village by blackmailing and terrorising the inhabitants.

Two very good instances are given in the Annual Report for 1910-11, one from the Mambare Division and the other from the Trobriands. In the former case I am sorry to say that the culprit was an expoliceman. He set up as a sorcerer on the Gira River, and, true to his early training, appointed two non-commissioned officers, a sergeant and a corporal, and three orderlies. The sorcerer and the non-commissioned officers were attended by familiars in the shape of snakes, and the orderlies were promised that they, too, should some day have snakes, if in the meantime they performed their duties satisfactorily. Every day the orderlies fell in and saluted the three great ones, and the custom spread to other people in the village, and then to other villag'es, until the whole community was saluting the sorcerer and his non-coms.; this would have been harmless enough, but one cannot live on salutes alone, and the great ones began to demand pigs, and to threaten that their snakes would do all sorts of things if the pigs were not forthcoming, so before long all the surrounding villages were under tribute. Then some one reported the state of affairs to the magistrate, and he as usual spoilt everything by arresting the sorcerer, non-commissioned officers, familiars, and all.

The other case was tried in the Central Court in August, 19 10. The facts were as follows: A sends a message secretly to B to say that C has made a payment to A to kill B by sorcery or otherwise (practically it would almost certainly be by sorcery). B is shown the alleged pay. B thereupon makes a payment to A to neutralise the payment of C. With B's payment in hand A now sends a message secretly to C to say that B has made a certain payment to him (A) to kill C. C is invited to inspect the payment of B as a guarantee of the truth of A's statement. C recognises the payment as formerly the property of B. C therefore makes a payment to neutralise B's. A now sends another message to tell B that C has made further payment, and invites him to icome and see. B then complained to the Government.

Of indictable offences, murder is by far the most common. Thus, to take for instance the year ending June 30, 1909, of 215 prisoners who were committed for trial no less than 118 were charged with murder; next to murder came rape and indecent assault with 21, manslaughter with 9, assaults of various kinds with 9, and attempted murder with 5. There were only four cases of larceny committed to the Central Court, most of these cases being dealt with summarily. Larceny is, however, not a very common offence except among natives who have been brought under the influence of Europeans. It would be rash to infer from this that the Papuans in their native state were in all cases conspicuously honest, for we have the authority of the late Dr. Lawes that the Motu tribe at Port Moresby were "incorrigible pilferers," and perhaps the explanation is that contact with the white man develops the cunning, as well as the intelligence, of the native, and gives him a better opportunity of exercising this cunning when it is developed. I tried one case in which a Port Moresby boy forged and uttered an order for the payment of money, but such artistic crime as this is at present fortunately very rare. The disproportionate number of murder cases in the figures just given is apt to be misleading unless one remembers that murder is practically the only crime that is heard of among the tribes on and beyond the limits of Government influence. Beyond those limits the King's writ, if it runs at all, runs but haltingly, and serious offences are the only ones in which it is worth while to try to make arrests. Murder is very common where European civilisation has never penetrated, though life in the settled districts is probably safer than in most parts of England or Australia, for murder to these outside tribes is not a crime at all; it is sometimes a duty, sometimes a necessary part of social etiquette, sometimes a relaxation, and always a passion.

Simple lust for blood is the only explanation which can be found for some murders, as, for instance, where unprovoked attacks are made upon unoffending villages, and where harmless strangers are wantonly slaughtered. I remember, for instance, a case where some natives of the Main Range, who should have been reasonably civilised, cut the throats of two runaway carriers, and could give no explanation except that the carriers "looked cold and hungry;" and even more difficult to understand was the reasoning of a "shooting-boy," or native employed to shoot game for a European, who met a sick native on the road and forthwith strangled him, giving as his reason that the sick man had asked to be carried over the river, and that he was much too heavy.

Most murders, however, are committed either to pay back for some previous murder, real or supposed, or else to comply with native etiquette, or to assure the social position of the assassin. A curious thing is that you generally find a pig mixed up in the case at some stage or other, in fact, cherchez le porc would not be a bad maxim for a Papuan detective.

When the process of paying back once commences it can never come to an end, for there is always a life to be "paid for." It is encouraged by the rooted conviction entertained by all but the most civilised Papuans that, except in the case of the old and decrepit, there is no such thing as a natural death, so that when a young man or woman dies suddenly, or even after an illness, the death is ascribed to the machinations of some sorcerer, and a life must be taken in payment. This sometimes applies even when a native is taken by a crocodile or dies from snake bite; it is true that in the latter case the man's death is regarded in some places as due to the fact that his wife did not give him enough breakfast (a theory which used to be attended with disastrous results to the wife), but it is also attributed to the malevolence of an enemy—for snakes as well as crocodiles are regarded as being under the control of sorcerers.

To return to the blood-feud. If every death must be avenged, incessant warfare is the necessary result, for when once the system of "paying back" begins it can hardly cease until one side is exterminated. Sometimes, by accident, the guilty man is killed, but of course in many instances, as for example in the case of death from sickness, there is no guilty man. I remember a case of three men who were tried by me for a murder committed at the back of the Rigo District; the wife of one of them had died, and it was therefore necessary to get payment—the only question was from whom the payment was to be taken. Fortunately (so he thought) the bereaved husband had some leaves which he had picked up from a tree in the neighbourhood, and which had the power to call up the spirits of the living and the dead, so he put these under his head and went to sleep, and saw in his dreams his dead wife and the faces of some natives of a neighbouring village. These faces looked angry, so it was clear that they were those of the murderers of his wife, and vengeance was consequently taken, not upon them, but upon some other natives of their village, for, as a rule, in Papua it does not matter much about the individual so long as you hit what you take to be the right family or community. In this case, if the Government had not stepped in and spoiled sport, there was a very pretty vendetta which would have lasted till one or other of the villages concerned became extinct or sought refuge elsewhere. As it was, the murderers served three years in Port Moresby gaol, and went back to their village with minds at least partly disabused of the idea of divination by leaf, and thoroughly convinced that murder, though attractive as a pastime, was hardly worth the candle.

Similar cases of murders to avenge the death of persons killed by Puri puri, or sorcery, are very numerous throughout Papua; the death is generally attributed to some well-known sorcerer, and steps are taken accordingly (that is, if the relatives are not too terrified to act) without further evidence, but sometimes the wizard or witch is actually seen, as recently in the east of Papua, where a man saw an old Avoman fly "all the same pigeon" into a house where she tore open his brother's breast as he lay ill and helpless, and gnawed his liver. The man killed the old dame on her return, and the brother got well. So too, also in the east end, a native saw two sorcerers place leaves in the path where his father, a vigorous, middle-aged man, was walking; when his father came to the leaves his legs failed him and he fell. His son carried him to the village, where he died, clearly from Puri puri. So the son collected his friends and killed the sorcerers; and, indeed, one could hardly blame him.

Of a similar nature was the case of a village constable in the north of the territory. He had arrested a sorcerer and was taking him up the river in a canoe to the magistrate. While they were in the canoe the sorcerer took a long string and a number of small pieces of stick, and said to the village constable, "You remember your eldest brother? I killed him. And your sister? I killed her too. And I killed your other brothers, and your father and mother, and your friends so-and-so," tying a piece of stick on to the string each time that he mentioned a murder. The village constable stood it until the seventeenth piece of stick, and then he and his crew seized the sorcerer and held him head downwards in the water till he was drowned.

In this last case I was strongly tempted to bring in a verdict of "Served him right," and indeed sorcerers terrorise and blackmail their fellow-villagers in some districts to such an extent that one is almost glad sometimes to see their victims get even with them. The sorcerer, however, occasionally finds himself between the devil and the deep sea, and one of them, I remember, complained, not without reason, of the difficulties of his position. "The village people come," he said, "and ask me to make Puri puri for them. If I do the Government gets 'wild' and puts me in gaol; if I say I won't they think' that I am making Puri puri against them and may try to kill me—so what am I to do?"

Another class of murders are those which are committed from motives of vanity, for the sake of social distinction, or to comply with the demands of local etiquette. In some districts there are certain feathers which none but homicides are allowed to wear, and these insignia are of course objects of ambition to the gilded youth of the village. It does not seem to matter much who is killed or how—to sneak round a tree and kill a baby would apparently entitle the assassin to the same consideration as to kill a man in hand-to-hand fight—but the girls are apt to discourage the advances of men who have not earned the badge of the homicide, and this fact is sometimes put forward by the accused in mitigation of sentence. I remember one case which I tried not long ago in the Cape Nelson District on the east coast, where the prisoner had killed an old woman who was drawing water from a river, and where this excuse was offered—only in that case the object of the prisoner's affections was a married woman. She had objected to his suit on the grounds that he had killed no one, so he sallied forth and took the easiest chance he could find. On my remonstrating with him on the impropriety of paying attentions to a married woman he informed me that there were no girls in the village, as they had all been killed and eaten in a recent raid. The position of a young man who found himself in a village where all the women were either married or eaten was no doubt a difficult one, and I hope that I took it into consideration in passing sentence.

Among one of the tribes near Port Moresby it is, or was, the custom for a man who built a new house to paint the posts with a mixture called Paila, made of coconut oil and red clay, but by native custom it was not permitted to use the Paila unless a man had been killed to celebrate the building of the house. This custom was the cause of one of the few murders of white men in recent years in Papua. A leading man among the Koetapu called Hariki wished to build a house at a village which he had founded, and his ambition led him to plan the death of a white resident who lived on the Laloki River, about ten miles out of Port Moresby.

The case is described as follows in my Report for the year 1906-7. "The crime was committed in April, 1906-7, but the criminals were not brought to justice till the following October, as almost the whole population of Port Moresby, official and non-official, readily accepted the theory that the deceased had been taken by an alligator, his boots, pipe and hat having been placed by the murderers near the river in order to favour that delusion. The instigator of the crime was Hariki. His accomplices joined him either from fear or because they were anxious to take part in a murder, in order that they might have the privilege of wearing certain feathers which are regarded as the insignia of the assassin.

"That they bore the unfortunate man no malice is obvious from the circumstance that, after they had killed him, they proceeded, under the guidance of one of the party who was skilled in charms, to bring him back to life. They succeeded, so they said, as far as the middle of his body, the lower part of which as well as his legs came to life, but, though they continued their incantations until nightfall, they, could not get past a ghastly wound where a blow from a club had crushed his chest, and all above that remained dead. They therefore abandoned the attempt and buried the body, took what they could find in the house, and went away, leaving the boots in a position favourable to the alligator theory, which they intended to suggest so soon as their victim was missed. They were afterwards arrested and tried, with the result that Hariki was hanged, and his accomplices sentenced to terms of imprisonment varying from fourteen years to life."

It will be noticed that the death penalty was carried out in the case of Hariki; this is usual where a white man is murdered and is necessary for the protection of the small white community. An interesting incident appeared in the evidence in this case. Before the murder Hariki had sent a messenger to a village of the Koiari tribe inviting two natives, one a middle-aged man and the other a youth, to come to the village of Baruni to "roast some sago." The two men responded to the invitation, but after they had gone some distance the younger man was sent back to get his club. "Did you go back for your club?" I asked the elder man. "No," he replied, "I had mine—I knew what the message meant."

"To roast sago" was evidently in former days a recognised euphemism for murder, but since the spread of the Government influence murder had gone out of fashion, and the younger man had not learnt the formula, though his comrade knew it well.

Other cases which have some analogy with that just described, but which rarely come into court, are what may be called ritual murders. The natives of the island of Goari Ban, for instance, in the Papuan Gulf, have told me that it is their custom to kill a man whenever they build one of their long club-houses or Dubu daimu, and evidence was given of the existence of a similar custom in the Purari Delta, in connection with canoes, upon the trial of certain natives of Baimuru. These men were charged with the murder of some fugitives from the village of Baroi who were living at Baimuru, and the witnesses stated that it was the custom in the delta to kill a man, a pig, and a cassoWary when a big canoe was launched, and that the Baori natives were killed in connection with some canoes which had been made by the Baimuru Ravi, or men's house, known as Kerne. Other reasons were also given for killing the Baroi people, but I think it probable that the alleged custom does, or at any rate did, exist.

In 1905 I paid a visit to the then headquarters of the Wesleyan Mission at Dobu, and there saw two little girls called Minnie and Marie Corelli, who had been saved by the Mission from the awful fate of being buried alive. Many other children have been rescued by this Mission from a similar doom, for it' was the custom in Dobu when a mother died to place her in a chair, tie her child in her lap, and bury them both together. There is another little girl at Yule Island who was saved by the Roman Catholic Mission from the Kuni tribe, where a similar practice prevailed, and there is, or was, a girl at Kerema in the Gulf who was rescued from the same fate by a teacher of the London Missionary Society. It seems that the practice must have been a widespread one, but it is one which would die out quickly with the spread of civilisation, and I do not know of any case that has come before the court. The idea seems to be that the child should go with the mother for company, or perhaps for protection. Similarly it is said that at Rossel Island it is, or was, the practice, on the death of a chief, to kill either one of his wives or some small boy or girl to accompany him to the next world and there cook his food.

There are, of course, numerous cases of murder and manslaughter which arise from ordinary quarrels, from jealousy, and from other causes in much the same way as among white men, but there is a rather peculiar form of homicide which occasionally comes before the court, and which is sometimes rather difficult to understand. For instance, I have known cases where a man, grieving over the loss of a relative or over some slight that has been put upon him, has set fire to his house, quite regardless of whether any one was inside, with the result, occasionally, that a child is burnt to death, and I recently tried a case of murder which was the direct outcome of grief over the death of a pig. The prisoners were brothers, and their pig bore the pretty name of Mehboma; but Mehboma died, and the brothers in their unquenchable grief went forth and killed the first man they saw. The victim had nothing to do with Mehboma's death, but the mourning brothers did not care for that—somebody had got to be killed over it. The prisoners told me that it was the custom of their village to show their grief in this way, so that their neighbours must occasionally have suffered rather severely.

Cases somewhat similar to this, where men jare carried away by a sudden fury, are not uncommon in the west of the territory. "For instance," to quote from my Report of 1908-9, "one man, irritated because a baby would not stop crying, killed, not the baby, but his own mother; and I remember a case in which a man split open the head of another because he could not find his knife—the other man had never seen the knife, but that was immaterial. So cases happen of accidental wounding caused by the habit these people have of discharging arrows at random when they have a headache or feel otherwise out of sorts." And a case is reported, also from the Western Division, where a man had a quarrel with his father and sought to relieve his feehngs by committing a criminal assault upon the first woman he met; the woman, it may be added, was an absolute stranger and had nothing to do with the dispute.

A strange practice came to light in connection with the murder of a village constable called Papia, in the Boboi District, at the back of Mekeo. Papia belonged to one of the villages in the plain and had gone to a dance in the Boboi mountains, where he was killed and eaten. When the officer in charge of the police arrived at the village where the murder had been committed he noticed the charred remains of a house at some distance from the other houses, and asked what it was. "Oh," said the villagers, "that was a Nobo house." "It seems to have been burnt down," said the officer. "Of course," was the reply; "we always burn down the Nobo house." "Well, what is a Nobo house?" he asked, and the matter was then explained to him. The Nobo house, it appears, is always built some little way from the village, and is used as a trap for unwary strangers-in this particular instance for Papia. Papia, the culprits told me afterwards, "was a fat man with a light skin, and we wanted to eat him too much," so when the conversation had turned upon feathers and plumes, one of the Boboi casually remarked that there were some very fine feathers in the Nobo house, and that if Papia would walk over there he would show them to him. The unsuspecting village constable fell in with the suggestion, and entered the Nobo house, and was promptly killed, cooked, and eaten; the Nobo house was then burnt down and a fresh one built in another place. Why this roundabout method should be followed when Papia might at any moment have been knocked on the head and eaten without the slightest difficulty is one of those puzzles which one meets with in considering native customs, where the essential seems so often to be sacrificed to the superfluous.

At the trial the witnesses repeated the account which had been given to the arresting officer, and added that occasionally, I presume when there was a dearth of visitors, they succeeded in inducing some of their own village to enter the fatal house. This seemed to me the most surprising thing of all, for though it might be easy to entrap an unsuspicious stranger, I could not understand how a native of the village, who, of course, would know exactly what the house was built for, could ever be got inside it; but the only explanation I could get was, "Suppose we say 'more better you go along Nobo house' he go all right."

One form of murder or alleged murder which should be mentioned is said to be committed by persons who in the Motu language are called Vata taudia (taudia means men); I say alleged murder because, though I have tried persons who were supposed to be Vata taudia, I know of no case of a conviction. The Vata taudia whom I have met have all belonged to the Koiari tribe, at the back of Port Moresby. They have the power of making themselves invisible by means of a certain dance which they perform with, I am told, elaborate ritual, and while they are invisible some of them enter a house, catch one of the inmates, and throw him to their friends outside, who beat him to death, not with ordinary clubs, but with a special kind of club with a very long handle. Having killed their man they proceed to bring him to life by rubbing him with their hands and muttering incantations, but he only lives for a day or two at most, and during that time he has forgotten all about the attack that was made upon him, and consequently cannot warn his friends. But after death you can distinguish a man who has been killed by Vata, because if you feel his limbs you will find that his bones have all been broken.

Vata taudia are not restricted to any one particular kind of murder; for instance, they may break into a house and hang a person to whom they have an objection, or they may kill people whom they meet on the road. The practice of bringing the dead to life is not restricted to the Koiari or the Vata, but is found elsewhere in the territory. There is one weak point about the Vata taudia, and that is that, though they are invisible, and though they can raise a wind strong enough to drown any noise they make, they still retain their odour, and so pigs and dogs can smell them and give the alarm. The clubs remain visible, which is perhaps the reason why the clubmen wait outside the house.

I have only second-hand information as to these rather diabolical people, for I have never met a native who would confess to being a Vatatauna. What truth there may be in the whole story is hard to say; murder unquestionably has been committed in the cases that come into court, but the evidence as to the practices of these people is such a tissue of monstrosities that one can form no very clear conception of what it is all about. Direct testimony is hardly to be expected seeing that the vata are invisible, but I once found a witness who had seen a party of them on the road; the explanation was that they had omitted some essential rite in their dance, and therefore could still be seen.

Cannibalism generally comes before the court as an incident to murder, but it is sometimes treated as a substantive oflence, and I see that there were four cannibals before the court in the year 1909-10. The offence is regarded as falling within a section of the Criminal Code, which was probably directed against "body snatchers," and is punishable with two years. It is, in my opinion, a mistake to regard cannibalism in Papua as invariably connected with ceremony or ritual; in some cases it is, but in others it is merely a case of food—certain natives like human flesh and do not see why they should not eat it. There are no doubt instances in which the idea of food has nothing whatever to do with the practice, as in a case mentioned by Chahners where a young man near Port Moresby was taken by a crocodile; only part of the body was saved, and "his wife, children, father, mother, and friends sat down and eat it, out of affection." Among the Koiari, who are not cannibals, the near relatives of a dead man would rub the skin off the body with red-hot stones, wrap it round their food, and eat it, and I have heard of similar cases in the Trobriands, and of a very different custom, which, however, illustrates the same point, at the village of Iwi, at the mouth of the Fly, near the Bamu River. There, I am told by Mr. Beaver, the Resident Magistrate of the Western Division, it is the custom to eat the penis of a man who has been killed in order to gain strength. These cases should not, however, be regarded as establishing a general rule, for cannibals generally give as their usual reason for eating human flesh the simple fact that Lhey like it. They generally describe it as tasting like fish, sometimes as like pig, but most seem to consider it superior to other flesh; some, however, do not care for it, and consequently do not eat it. I have already mentioned the native of the North-Eastern Division who told me that his people had plenty of wallaby and fishbut that their real food was man; and I think that that is the attitude of most cannibals, but of course it is a food that is not always easy to get, or the territory would long ago have been depopulated. Ritual and ceremony penetrate the whole of a savage's existence, but I should be surprised to discover that there is more of them in connection with cannibalism than with the other incidents of life.


An account of the subject of Papuan murder would not be complete without some notice of the question of poisons. It has been seen that sorcery frequently causes death through the effects produced upon the imagination of the victim, but competent observers are of opinion that in many cases the connection is more direct—that is to say, that the sorcerer who cannot gain his end by magic arts calls in the assistance of poison. The subject is not an easy one to investigate, for ordinarily it is hard to get a native to distinguish between sorcery which depends for its effect upon the power of the sorcerer, and a poison or drug which takes effect independently of the person who administers it. As a rule a charm, according to Papuan ideas, owes its efficacy to the powers of the sorcerer, and may be nullified by the counter'charm of a rival. In 1908 while we were waiting at the village of Kaimare, in the Purari Delta, before going on to Ukiaravi, I was presented with a small figure of an alligator in black wood. This, I was told by the sorcerer who gave it to me, was a sure charm against arrows, and so long as I carried it no arrow could reach me; asked what the result would be if there were a stronger sorcerer on the other side, my friend admitted that in that case the charm would have no effect; "but," he added, reassuringly, "you need not be afraid; none of them are as good as I am." In the result the efficacy of the charm and the reputation of the donor were fully vindicated, for I was not struck by an arrow; it is true that none were discharged at us, but, then, one does not know what might have happened if I had not had the charm. Incidentally I was informed that the little alligator had the further effect of making the bearer invisible, and that if he pointed it towards a man and walked up to him, saying, "I do this as my fathers have done it," the man might be caught without ever seeing his assailant. I did not test the efficacy of the charm in this respect, but here, again, it would have no power against a more skilful sorcerer.

There are, however, exceptions to this rule—that is to say, there are cases in which the drug or charm is recognised as having powers inherent in itself; love charms, for instance, which consist generally of leaves of different kinds, take effect by their own virtue, and, what is more material to the present subject, there are vegetable poisons which have the effect, if the root is pounded up and put into water, of stupefying any fish that may be there. These poisons, which are known among Europeans as "New Guinea dynamite," are extensively used in fishing, but I have never heard that the intervention of a sorcerer was anywhere considered necessary.

There are two plants that are used in this way, known to the Motu as Imora and Tuva; the former is said to be by far the stronger, and, strangely enough, it appears to be identical with the plant known as Tuva in the east, so that the Tuva of the Trobriand islander is not the Tuva but the Imora of the Motu. The Tuva of the east is said to contain the active principle of belladonna, and to be fatal to man if taken in sufficient quantity, but I think that the quantity would have to be very large, and, except one isolated instance, I do not know of any evidence to show that it is used in that way by the Motu or their neighbours. The case I refer to occurred some years ago, when a young wife and her lover were charged with conspiring to murder the husband by putting Imora in his tea; the husband said that he was extremely ill after drinking the tea, and shortly after the trial he died, but apparently from other' causes. It was admitted that Imora was put in the tea, but it was alleged that there was no intent to murder.

In the Trobriand Islands, where sorcery has been developed to a fine art, it is said that sorcerers sometimes used Tuva with fatal effects (though no case of the kind has ever come before the court), and that suicide by the same means is not uncommon. Tuva, however, is slow and uncertain in its effects, and when quick despatch is required the use of a fish called Soka is preferred. The gall of this fish is highly poisonous, and it also, I am told, is used bypersons who want to commit suicide and cannot brook the delay of the slower and less reliable Tuva. No case of poisoning by Soka has come before the court, but I have heard of cases of natives who have been found apparently at the last gasp, and who, on being cured, have stated their condition was due to the result of taking this poison, and at least one case has been reported of an accidental death from the same cause.

The experience of Chahners certainly tends to show that the natives were acquainted with poison,[*] and Mr. White, a former resident of Sud Est, says the same of the natives of that island, but it is difficult to be certain that their attention was always sufficiently directed to the distinction between poison and sorcery.

[* See "James Chalmers," by Richard Lovett, pp. 152, 154, 163.]

The chief difficulty in all cases where sorcery is an element is in finding out exactly what the sorcerer did. The question often arises in cases where a native is being tried for the murder of a sorcerer, and admits that he killed him but says that it was to avenge the death of some of his relations whom the sorcerer had killed. The accused has never seen what the sorcerer has actually done, and the account given is based almost wholly on conjecture, and usually resolves itself into the wildest Puri puri, such as breathing on stones, chewing leaves and throwing them at the person to be bewitched, or, of course, in getting hold of a bit of his hair or some other part of his person, or a piece of his clothes, or the food he has been eating. Nor is the account given by the sorcerer himself, as a rule, of much value. He is rather inclined—when he does not flatly deny the whole thing—to pride himself on his supernatural powers, and so to give an account in which he is actuated less by a desire to tell the truth than to magnify his own importance.

Occasionally, however, one comes across a story which, however wildly improbable it may sound, may perhaps throw some light upon the sorcerer's method of getting to work. For instance, in 1909, at Kokoda, a sorcerer gave evidence which, if it is to be believed at all, may be regarded as suggesting poison. Daimbari had killed Batinari by Puri puri; Batinari's relations, to avenge his death, had made Puri puri against Daimbari, he had killed one of them, and it was for this offence that he was on trial. Daimbari's account of how he had killed Batinari was as follows: He first got a Bau bau (a native pipe of bamboo) and put some of the bark of a tree into it, together with some pieces of coconut, and plugged up the end. Then he dug a trench, put the Bau biau into it, covered it up, and lit a fire on top; next day he removed the Bau bau from the trench and put it into a hole in a tree. He left it in the tree till night-time, and then took it out and poured the contents, which were then liquid, into Batinari's mouth as he lay asleep. Batinari never woke again. There was no doubt as to Batinari's death, and equally no doubt that he did not die by the club or the spear or any other violent death, but beyond that one could not hope for any corroboration of the prisoner's story.

In only one instance have I found anything like reliable outside evidence of the sorcerer's method of working, and even in that case the evidence was obviously incomplete. Some natives of the Gulf of Papua were tried for the murder of Ekobihi, a sorcerer, who was alleged to have killed the wife and child of Likura, one of the prisoners, by Puri puri. It appeared that one night while Likura was absent his wife and child were asleep in the house, and Ruruakure, another of the prisoners, was sleeping on the veranda outside. During the night Ruruakure was awakend by a noise, and, getting up, saw Ekobihi in the room where the woman and child were sleeping. Ekobihi had a stone in his hand and danced about from the woman to the child with his knees bent and going through the motion of underarm bowling with the stone. He did not throw the stone or touch the woman or child. Ruruakure spoke and Ekobihi left the house. Next morning the woman and child, who had slept through the whole of Ekobihi's performance, began to vomit blood and died; previously they had been in good health. If any credence is to be attached to the evidence in this case (and I saw no reason to disbelieve it), it would seem to show that, however the death was brought about, it was certainly not by suggestion to the woman and child, for they did not know what was being done; probably what Ruruakure saw was merely a final incantation, and the administration of the poison or whatever really caused the death took place before he awoke.

A priori it would seem probable that if the natives are acquainted with poisons, as in the case of Tuva and Soka they undoubtedly are, they would use them when they consider that occasion requires, yet, though there have been a few cases on the northern goldfields where "boys" have been charged with administering poison to their employers, it has appeared in each case (except once, where a very highly civilised youth put matchheads in his master's tea) that the substance administered was innocuous. This seems strange, for unless it were known to be poisonous one would not expect it to be administered at all; but only in one case could I find an explanation. That was at Samarai, where a woman had been arrested for poisoning her husband by administering a decoction of a certain leaf. The husband died, but he would have probably died in any case as the leaves were perfectly harmless. The woman was asked what reason she had for supposing that the leaves were poisonous, and her explanation was that the tree from which the leaves were taken had appeared to her and had told her that if she gave the leaves to her husband he would die. The answer is typical of what one finds in these cases; one proceeds easily enough for a time along more or less familiar paths of reasoning, and then suddenly one finds oneself up against a wall of superstition or falsehood, or both, and one can get no farther.

On the whole, I think that if the natives do make use of poisons for the purpose of removing their enemies (and it seems to me that the evidence strongly supports this view, at any rate as regards the Trobriand islanders), the practice is probably confined to a few persons in a few places, and is not widely spread throughout the territory; if it ever does spread it may be a very serious matter for the white community, for there are many "signedon boys" who would be quite capable of poisoning a whole camp if they felt homesick and wanted to go back to their village before their time was up.

Next to murder the most common crimes are sexual offences, such as rape and indecent assault, which are almost invariably committed upon married women. It has been said that this is because an unmarried woman would offer no resistance, and in any case would think so little of the matter that she would not make a complaint; but another reason was suggested by a youth whom I tried at Kairuku for an offence of this kind upon a woman old enough to be his grandmother, and who, in answer to my question why he could not leave these ancient dames in peace, replied that the young girls ran so fast that he could not catch them. Neither explanation seems to me sufficient, but the fact is indisputable so far as concerns the cases which have come before me judicially. A. peculiar form of this offence is found in the Gulf of Papua, where the men sleep in club-houses apart from their wives, whom they visit occasionally at night, and where a man who is enamoured of a married woman not infrequently takes advantage of this custom and gains access to the wife by personating the husband.

Perjury is probably common enough in the courts of Papua, but prosecutions for this offence are rare. It is difficult to bring the charge home, and occasionally it is undesirable to take proceedings, where, for instance, as has happened in one or two cases, a witness has given false evidence against a man at the police-court, and admits in the higher court that his previous evidence is not true. A prosecution for perjury in such circumstances would inevitably lead the natives to suppose that the offender was being punished because he did not persist in giving evidence against the accused.


Procedure—Arraignment—Payment as a plea—Credibility of witnesses—Mistakes in identity—The vicissitudes of Imiri—Interpretation Circuit of the Central Court—Punishment of murderers—Raids upon unoffending villages—Prison life in Papua—Escapes—Crocodiles in league with the Government—Armed constabulary—Unpopularity with certain tribes—Village constables—Dangers of increased civilisation.

The procedure on the trial of native cases is of necessity painfully irregular, and would severely shock a practitioner who was used to the ways of more civilised communities.

The prisoner has, of course, not the ifaintest conception of pleading, and is generally eager to tell the court all about the affair from start to finish, and the best way, I have found, is to let him go on, and if there seems to be the slightest doubt of his guilt, to enter a plea of not guilty. As a rule, however, he does not give much assistance in one's attempt to suggest a defence, but insists upon inculpating himself beyond all hope of acquittal. He is arraigned perhaps Math the formula, "True, you been kill that boy?" To which he almost invariably replies, "True, me been kill him." Then, perhaps, it is suggested to him by the judge that the killing was in self-defence. "I think that boy he want to kill you first time?" which generally elicits the reply, "He no want to kill mc; he no catch him spear." Then a further suggestion, "I think you no want to kill that boy?" with the disheartening response, "My word, me want to kill him too much," with, as likely as not, the addition, "Behind me kai-kai that boy" ("Afterwards I eat him"). Then comes the real crux of the case, "What for you kill that boy?" and the real defence, with its labyrinthine details of pigs, sorcery, and "paying back." In one case I had heard that the deceased had, immediately before his death, killed the prisoner's sister, but it took a long cross-examination to elicit the fact from the prisoner, who seemed to attach far more importance to the loss of a nose-stick which had been broken apparently by the same blow, and it was not until after a long discourse upon the value and beauty of the nose-stick that it occurred to him to mention the murder of his sister.

As in most primitive communities, payment is, according to Papuan ideas, a complete satisfaction in a case of homicide, and it is often very difficult to convince an accused person that such a plea is not allowed in law; sometimes I have had to give up the task in despair, and have seen a prisoner led off to gaol loudly explaining, with vigorous gesticulations, that he has paid a pig, a tomahawk, and a necklace of dog's teeth for the murdered man, and that it was a great deal more than he was worth. The price of a man varies in different parts of the territory, and, strange as it may seem, in a land where the women do most of the work, the price of a woman is always less than that of a man.

A northern native who had killed his father excused himself on the ground that "the old man was not much good," and a favourite defence to a charge of killing women and children is that "plenty more he stop" (that is, there are plenty more women and children left).

A defence which showed that all the world is akin was raised recently at Samarai, where the prisoner urged that the murdered man was a bore. "All the time he talk, he talk, he talk too much." Needless to say that his sentence was not a very heavy one.

Witnesses, of course, are often called, and my experience has been that the natives who have not been in contact with white civilisation are on the whole truthful, though there are some districts to which this does not apply. Deceit is the natural defence of inferior races, but the uncivilised Papuan does not realise this—possibly because he does not admit his inferiority.

Still, in dealing with Papuans, as I believe with all other backward races, and, indeed, with many Europeans, one must make allowance for the fatal tendency to say what will, it is thought, be pleasing rather than what is true, and most unfortunately the Papuan supposes that the object of a trial is to convict the accused at all hazards—else why this gathering of judge, magistrates, and police?—and is apt to shape his evidence accordingly.

It is said, too, and I believe with some truth, that in certain districts the inhabitants of a village where an offence has been committed will arrange among themselves that the blame shall be put on sonxe particular individual who has really had nothing to do with it, and if they can manage to induce him to take the guilt upon himself, a miscarriage of justice is not unlikely to occur.

On the whole, however, I am inclined to think that very few innocent men are convicted; after a few months in gaol the truth generally comes out, and I can only recall one case where it appeared likely that the prisoner was innocent. On hearing that there were doubts as to his guilt, I sent him word that if he liked I would reopen the case, but he took a very philosophical view of the matter, and said that he was learning so many useful things in gaol that he would sooner finish his sentence.

Absolutely wild natives are, as I have said, in my experience, generally truthful, though there are certain tribes who are decidedly not so. For instance, I fear that the very interesting though unprepossessing natives of the Purari Delta are not always deserving of implicit confidence, and I think that the same remark applies to their western neighbours of the country round Goari Bari and the Aird River. One of the latter, a native of the village of Aimaha, when bowled out in an obvious inexactitude, excused himself by saying that he found he was absolutely unable to tell the truth on a steamer (he was on board the launch at the time), though on land he was the most truthful of men.

The dangerous witness, however, is the native who has been brought into contact with civilisation just sufficiently to learn the enormous power of a lie without realising its occasional futility; evidence given by this class of witness must be carefully scrutinised, for there have even been cases where such natives have smeared themselves with blood and appeared before a magistrate with self-inflicted wounds to support a wholly fictitious charge of assault.

Of course, in addition to the danger of false testimony, there is always the possibility that the witness is mistaken, and I remember two cases in which a miscarriage of justice very nearly took place through a mistake by witnesses as to the identity of the culprits.

Strangely enough, a man called Imiri was mixed up in both affairs. He is a native of one of the Uberi villages in the mountains behind Port Moresby, and he had, at the time I first came into contact with him, already served a sentence for some kind of homicide. This man was accused about six years ago of having taken part in a raid upon a mountain village not far from his home, in which most of the inhabitants were killed. The raid took place in the daytime, and the villagers fought for some time successfully at their stockade, until one of the attacking party, who had a rifle, fired a shot, upon which they retreated panicstricken to the centre of the village, and the attacking party broke through the stockade and slaughtered them like sheep. There were, however, two eyewitnesses left alive—one who had hidden himself under a house, and another who was on his way back from his garden when the attack was made, and who had seen the whole thing from behind a tree. Both these witnesses identified Imiri as the man who had fired the shot, and stated further that, after firing, he had waved his rifle in the air and shouted, "It is I, Imiri, who have done this." Imiri flatly denied having been there at all, and called as a witness an old man, who informed me that, when he was young, he had spent most of his spare time in raiding other villages, but that he had given up the practice now that the Government had come and spoiled all the fun in the country; he still, however, took an interest in whatever fighting went on, and he assured me that Imiri had nothing to do with this affair. The old man seemed to me to be telling the truth, so I let Imiri go, and it was fortunate that I did so, for the real offender, an ex-village constable, was afterwards apprehended, and admitted his guilt. It was said that he had really called out Imiri's name, though I confess that I am sceptical on this point.

The other case, in which Imiri also figured, was that of a raid upon an Ekiri village, in the ranges not far from Port Moresby. There were two Ekiri villages, a couple of miles apart, and one night, about five years ago, one of them was attacked and burnt, and nearly all the inhabitants murdered. There were two witnesses who had escaped from the massacre-one a youth who had heard the footsteps of the attacking party as he lay awake and had wisely taken to the bush, and the other a woman. The lartiter was sleeping in her house with her husband and her baby by her side when she was awakened by a blaze of light, and found the village in flames and her house full of armed men. Her husband was killed where he lay, the baby was driven through the floor by a blow from a club, and she dashed through the wall of the house receiving a wound in the back from a tomahawk as she went. Outside, the scene was as bright as day, and she saw the war party murdering all they could find. Of course she took to the bush as fast as her legs could carry her, but she positively identified the attacking party as belonging to Uberi, and Imiri as one of them.

Further investigation showed that Imri and a party of men were absent from their village at the time of the massacre, and the case looked pretty black against Imiri, who, with some others, was arrested and committed for trial. At the trial he was quite unmoved. "You thought at first that I was in the other raid," he said, "and afterwards you found out that I had nothing to do with it. You will find that we had nothing to do with this one either; we were away on a fishing expedition. Send us back to gaol and make further inquiries, and you will find that I am telling the truth." Further inquiries were made, and sure enough it turned out to be as Imiri had said; the raid was not the work of Uberi at all, but of the Hagari tribe, who had come from high up in the Main Range in response to a challenge which had been sent to them. It appeared that a youth of one Ekiri village loved a maiden of the other, but the old men would not let them marry. On this the youth became desperate—"Suppose he no catch that girl no good that boy live, more better he die," was the way in which it was explained to me—and he challenged one of the chiefs of a powerful tribe in the Main Range to come down and fight. This he did by giving the chief an ornament called a musikaka as he passed through Ekiri on his way home from Port Moresby, where he had been to attend a dance; the musikaka is worn in the mouth when fighting, and to give it to another is equivalent to a challenge. Ekiri was a small village, and could have had no chance of repelling the attack even if the inhabitants had been prepared, which they were not, as the youth kept his own counsel. He himself was killed in the attack; the other Ekiri village where the girl lived was not molested.

In neither of these cases were the witnesses deliberately telling an untruth. The terrified woman flying from the murder of her husband and child could not be expected to take very careful note of the raiders; there was an old feud between Ekeri and Uberi, and, being satisfied that the attacking party must be from Uberi, she had no difticulty in identifying Imiri and the others.

Interpretation is often a matter of great difficulty. Papua is a regular Tower of Babel, and it is not uncommon to have two or even three interpreters. I remember one case at Cape Nelson where a man was charged with having killed and eaten a baby. The interpreters whose services had been utilised on the committal were not present when I arrived to try the case, so there was no means of communicating with the accused. Accordingly I took him with me on the Government steamer and, after some time, discovered a cook in Port Moresby gaol who apparently could speak to him; but then no one could speak to the cook. Eventually I was able, by the aid of three interpreters, to talk to the cook, so that the trial was eventually conducted with the aid of four.

In one case we had to travel for about a week into the mountains trying to find an interpreter. At last we reached the prisoner's village and tried him there; on that occasion I think only two interpreters were necessary. He was a man called Kalai-Wafu, who had killed and eaten a woman, and the people of his village, fearing that the Government would be "wild," for they had heard of the Government though they had never been visited, refused to allow him to remain, and so he was passed from village to village (each apprehensive of the "wildness" of the Government) until at last he came to a place where there was a constable, who arrested him and brought him down to the Government station. When I reached his village he had been in custody nine months, and, as it appeared that the woman had been robbing his garden and it might have been argued that he was only getting his own back again, I let him go. I have seen him several times since, though I never went to his village again; he has, so far as I am aware, eaten no more women.

In all these cases where several interpreters are employed, extreme care must be taken to ensure that the version which eventually reaches the prisoner is at least reasonably like the evidence that has been given, but, so far as I have been able to test the matter, it would appear that the translation is far more accurate than one would be inclined to think. Occasionally, however, mistakes are made; for instance, last year at Kokoda, I was trying a case in which two natives had cut the throat of another with a tomahawk, and then gouged out his eyes with a knife. "Why," I asked the first interpreter—of course in English, for by law all trials must be conducted in English—"why did they put out his eyes; to cut his throat was surely enough?" and this was translated, rather to my horror, as follows: "The Governor says they were quite right to cut his throat, but they ought not to have put out his eyes." Fortunately I knew the language well enough to understand what was said and to correct the translation, but after the evidence has got beyond the first language one has to rely entirely on native interpreters, and the best one can do is to ensure, by careful examination and re-examination, that the danger of mistake and mistranslation is minimised.

The headquarters of the Central Court are at Port Moresby, but the judge wanders about the territory, bringing what, it is to be hoped, is justice to every man's door, though all attempts to fix anything like a regular circuit have hitherto been in vain. Various means of locomotion are employed in the coastal districts—steamer, sailing-boat, whale-boat, canoe, and occasionally horseback—in fact, almost all methods except railway and motor car, neither of which exists in Papua. Inland the travelling is done on foot along native tracks, the distance being always reckoned by days. Stores, tents, and other baggage are carried by natives, and the day's walk is limited by what a loaded "boy" can do in that time, so that, for instance, a distance of four days means, as a rule, the distance that loaded "boys" can travel in four days. In flat country a day may be taken to mean anything from fifteen to twenty miles, or perhaps a little more, but in the mountains it might easily be less than a third of this, for a native track in the mountains of Papua is a sight to shudder at.

The penalty in the rare cases where a native murders a European is death; what the fate of a European would be who was convicted of murdering a native must for the present remain a matter of conjecture. Some years ago, when all capital charges were tried before the Chief Judicial Officer sitting alone, there would no doubt have been an extreme reluctance to execute a white man who had not had the advantage of a trial by a jury, though I cannot recall any case which could be cited as an instance, but the question has never arisen since the passing of the jury ordinance—not on account of the reluctance of juries to convict, but because in the only case that has been tried by a jury it appeared that the accused was acting in self-defence.

The sentences passed in native murder cases vary from seven years to twelve months, or even less, according to the degree of civilisation which has been reached by the prisoner—that is to say, he gets a heavier sentence according as he ought to have known better.

A difficult question arises in connection with the raids which are occasionally made by the wild tribes just beyond the Government influence upon their more civilised neighbours who have accepted the Government and placed themselves under its protection. The first thing that is impressed upon such a tribe is that they must give up their habits of private warfare, and in many instances they thereupon discard their fighting weapons, allow their stockades to fall into disrepair, and rely upon the power of the Government to defend them against their enemies. Unfortunately, however, the Government with its slender resources cannot watch over the safety of every community on the margin of civilisation, and the result sometimes is that the inhabitants of one of these villages wake to find their houses burning and themselves at the mercy of a blood-drunken horde of cannibals.

Some idea of the horrors of a Papuan raid may be gathered from the following description by Mr. Hennelly when Magistrate of the Northern Division of the village of Munuaga in the Hydrographer's Range, which had been raided shortly before he visited it:

"It was a large village containing forty-four houses built on two sides of a long street. A number of the houses have been burnt, but in six of them the dead were laid out. I counted seventeen bodies, men, women, and children, and in the surrounding bush there were supposed to be twice as many more. Those we saw presented a horrible spectacle, and were in a very advanced stage of decomposition...Myriads of flies hovered round the bodies, and their presence made my duty of inspection far from pleasant. I intended to cremate the bodies, but when I gave the order to do so the relatives became frenzied with grief, so I relented and left them as they were."

Under these circumstances the newly civilised natives not unnaturally complain, not so much that their village has not been protected, for they realise that the police cannot be everywhere, as that the raiders are not sufficiently punished. "In the old days," they say, "we would have taken vengeance upon these people and paid back life for life; you will not allow us to do this, and when you do catch the murderers you only punish them with a few years' imprisonment instead of making them pay for the lives they have taken."

As against this argument, which might be, and in effect is, raised by the inhabitants of the villages that have been raided, it must be remembered that the raiders have really not done more than carry out the immemorial custom of their tribe, and probably have no idea that their action could be regarded otherwise than as praiseworthy, and also that the infliction of capital punishment would have the effect of making it almost impossible to establish friendly relations with the tribe in question, whereas a released prisoner is always a useful envoy, and is invariably the focus of a strong feeling in favour of the Government. Hitherto the more merciful view has been taken, and the death sentence has not been carried out in such cases. And in view of the uniform success of the native policy of the Government ever since its inauguration, it would be rash to make any drastic change without weighing very carefully indeed all the probable consequences.

No great hardship awaits the prisoner who has been sentenced to serve a term in a Papuan gaol, for the discipline is far from severe, food is more plentiful than in the villages, and the sorcerer and the raider are no longer to be feared. It was, however, a long time before the natives could accustom themselves to the idea of captivity; the prisoners "fretted, lost courage, sickened, and died," according to the official report, and the abolition of prisons and the substitution of "some form of relegation" was seriously contemplated. However, after a time things improved, the natives realised that they would be released when their sentence expired, and some even acquired a liking for prison life. There have been instances (I admit that they are rare) where long-sentence prisoners on the expiration of their time have had no desire to return to their homes; and there have been other occasional instances where natives have shown a similar appreciation of the comforts of gaol life, such las that of the prisoner already mentioned, who appeared to have been wrongfully convicted but who preferred to finish his term, and that of an original character in the Western Division who had committed no offence but wanted to be sent to gaol in order to escape from the mosquitoes. However, these cases are exceptional, for the loss of liberty and separation from friends are keenly felt, and attempts to escape are not infrequent. It is a strange thing that, although the Papuan is as a rule a bad "bushman," an escaping prisoner, who has perhaps been brought in the hold of the Merrie England from the farthest end of the territory, will almost invariably strike straight for home, and will get there, too, if he does not meet with a crocodile or a hostile cannibal on the way. "A devil came to me," one escapee explained when he was recaptured; "he said, 'You go home—your father, your brother, your countryman he dead.' The devil was like a pig, a big pig, about as tall as a man." As a rule, however, the escapee tells what I am convinced is the simple truth—"I do not know why I ran away," he will say, "but I thought of my village and I could not stop."

Crocodiles are a great danger to the runaway, and a belief is gaining ground in a part of the Papuan Gulf that the crocodiles are in league with the Government, based upon the fact that a prisoner escaping from gaol was severely lacerated by one of these creatures while crossing a river. Crawling to the nearest village constable, the disgusted criminal gave himself up to justice, bitterly disappointed at the "unsportsmanlike" conduct of the Government in making such an alliance. "No good we fight along Government now, alligator he help Government," was the way in which his complaint was eventually presented.

The Government itself is pictured by the less civilised native as a kind of benevolent but capricious monster of very uncertain temper, so that the alliance with crocodiles, though ungentlemanly, is not altogether unnatural. "Government he wild" is the usual way of stating official disapproval, and the alliance of a "wild" Government with "wild" crocodiles produces a combination with which it is as well to be on good terms. Still the crocodiles are by no means all under Government control; the great mass of them remain faithful to the sorcerers and will not attack a man unless biddeh by a sorcerer to do so. I had to cross a river once which was reputed to be full of crocodiles, and I asked an old man who was with me if he was not afraid. He said that he was not. "A crocodile won't touch you," he explained, "unless some one has made Puri puri against you—and if some one has made Puri puri against you, you are a lost man in any case-he will get you somehow—if not with a crocodile then in some other way. So the crocodiles really do not matter." Fortunately they did not matter on this occasion, as we all got across safely.

Rations of rice, biscuit, meat, and sugar are supplied to prisoners according to a fixed scale, except when native food is obtainable, in which case the rations of rice and biscuit and sometimes of meat are reduced accordingly. Native food, such as Taro, yams, sweet potatoes, coconuts, and sago, certainly suits the prisoners better, and they seem to prefer it, but it is not plentiful in the neighbourhood of Port Moresby. The outstations have gardens attached, and when the supplies from this source are not sufficient they are supplemented by vegetables purchased in the district. Fish is procurable at some stations, and at Daru, in the Western Division, turtle occasionally figures as part of the gaol diet.

New arrivals from inland are generally given light employment in the gaol or its immediate vicinity in order that they may become accustomed to the prison routine. Long-sentence prisoners are sent to the gaol nearest to their home shortly before the expiration of their term, to facilitate their return to the village when they are discharged.

The Port Moresby prisoners do practically all the manual labour that is required by the Government in the neighbourhood. They load and unload Government cargo, build and repair streets and roads, and serve as assistants to Government mechanics; they also look after the Government horses, and a special gang attends to the sanitary work of the township.

Prison offences are very rare, and are seldom of such a nature as to call for serious punishment, though I remember one case in which a Purari cannibal was alleged to have tried to eat the gaol cook. The average number of prisoners in Port Moresby gaol is about one hundred. Of course white prisoners, when there are any, are kept apart from the natives, and have a special ration.

Outside Port Moresby, at Samarai, Daru, Bonagai, and the other stations, there are probably two or three hundred prisoners in all. They are employed at various kinds of Government work; at Rigo and in Milne Bay, for instance, they work on the Government nursery, in Samarai their duties are much the same as at Port Moresby, and elsewhere they work on the roads or in the station gardens. They are also sometimes employed as carriers for Government parties. The prospect of Daru gaol seems to inspire a nameless horror in the breast of the natives of the east, but it would be difficult to say why—unless it is because it is unknown and far away—for the supply of native food is particularly good at Daru, and the prisoners being well supplied with coconuts positively shine again with sleekness.

The police force at the disposal of the Government, known as the Armed Constabulary, consists of some two hundred and fifty non-commissioned officers and men, all natives of Papua, under white officers, who are generally magistrates. They are armed with the Martini-Enfield carbine taking the .303 cartridge. The uniform consists of a blue serge jumper and sulu, with edges of red braid; a sash of turkey red is worn round the waist, and over it a belt and pouch.

The force is very popular, and there is never the slightest difficulty in getting recruits from all parts of the territory except from Port Moresby itself. There are only two Port Moresby natives at present in the Constabulary, and it does not look as if there would ever be any more. They would like, they say, to be policemen on condition that they should never leave the barracks, but they dislike the long and arduous marches through the mountains Hfhich form a large part of the duties of the Constabulary.

Every division in the territory is represented in the force, which is a great advantage for purposes of interpretation, especially on the goldfields, where native labourers are found from the most distant parts of the territory, and where a judiciously assorted police force is necessary if one is to have the means of communicating with them. There are obvious advantages in employing police in their own districts, and equally obvious disadvantages; on the one hand, they know the country and the language, but on the other they are pretty certain to favour their own friends and relations.

Recruits are sent to Port Moresby, where they are put through a course of instruction under a European officer, and are then posted to the various stations.

Drill has the effect of sharpening the intelligence of the recruits and of improving their discipline and making them easier to control. Otherwise it is of no great value, as they do not operate in drill formation when they are in the bush. Their shooting, as a rule, is rather bad, though it has proved sufficiently accurate on the few occasions on which they have had to rely upon it for their own protection, and their discipline is satisfactory—indeed, when all things are taken into consideration, it is marvellous. The Armed Constabulary have been described as "savages in serge," and so, on their first enlistment, they often are; and it speaks volumes for the mental alertness and adaptability of the natives of Papua that the recruits develop so rapidly into useful members of the force. On this point I do not think that I can do better than repeat what I said in my Annual Report for the year 1907-8: "It must be remembered that the Constabulary are only police in a very modified sense; that is, they are almost absolutely useless as regards the detection of crime—in fact, they are hardly ever employed in this way—and it is where the duties of the policeman approximate most closely to those of the soldier that they are seen at their best. As regards this part of their duty they are almost too keen; they weep bitterly when a patrol goes out and they are left behind, and there is always a risk of their getting out of hand when there is any fighting, if they are not under the immediate control of a white officer. On the other hand, there are instances where they have refrained from firing under circumstances where an armed white man would probably have shown less self-restraint, and their endurance and patient cheerfulness under fatigue and hardship appear to the white man phenomenal. There is sometimes a tendency, in dealing with natives, to forget their limitations—to expect too much from them, in fact, to expect considerably more than one could possibly get from a white man, and, in that case, disappointment is inevitable. If you take a irian who is running wild in the bush with nothing on him but a piece of string and a streak of paint, you cannot, simply by putting him in a serge jumper and sulu, give him the steadiness and disciphne of a trained soldier; but if you put him in the police barracks for a few months under a good sergeant and a white officer in whom he has confidence, you will find that you have got jnuch nearer to it than you would have imagined possible. There is one fact alone that speaks volumes for the efficiency of this force, and that is that, although they have never numbered more than two hundred, they have kept order among a savage population of very many thousands, and that it has never on any occasion since the establishment of the Constabulary been necessary to ask for assistance from outside."

Though good constables are plentiful enough, good sergeants and corporals are decidedly scarce. Hitherto the best have come from the Western Division. These natives appear to have more character than others, though perhaps for this reason they are somewhat difficult to manage. The Westerner, or Kiwai as he is often called, is frequently a big man, and is more fitted to exercise control of others than the majority of Papuans; the natives of the Mambare and Kunusi Divisions are also of good physique and should make good noncommissioned officers, but as yet they have not been so successful as the Kiwais.

The worst faults of the Constabulary are a tendency to practise extortion upon village natives, and to misconduct themselves with women, especially prisoners, without troubling about their consent; it is not so much that they actually force the women as that they treat the question of consent as absolutely immaterial, and the woman is, as a rule, too frightened or too stupid to resist. A tendency to be haughty and incivil to the general public is sometimes laid to the charge of the Constabulary, but from my knowledge of the general public of Papua I do not think that such haughtiness or incivility, if it occurred once, would ever be repeated.

On the other hand, they have to put up with a good deal occasionally, and they bear it as a rule with patience. The police seem to be no more popular with the less civilised villages than their white confrères are with the criminal classes of a European city. In 1908 I tried two men from the mountains at the back of Rigo for throwing spears at a party of constabulary; they pleaded guilty, and I explained that they must never do it again. To my surprise they then asked that they might be hanged. I asked why, and was told that the only pleasure they had was throwing spears at the police, and if they could not do that they did not want to live. Equally hostile, though more contemptuous, were some natives of Muria in the same district, who gave as their reason for attacking a police patrol that they had never seen policemen before and did not know what they were, but that they did not like the look of them and preferred to take no chances. "If," they told me on their trial, "we had imagined for a moment that you attached any value to these persons, we would not have dreamt of hurting them. But we did not think that they were any good."

The Armed Constabulary may be, though in practice they never are, employed to arrest Europeans, but the village constables have nothing to do with any but natives. This very useful body of men was established by Sir William MacGregor soon after his arrival in 1888 as a solution of one of the great difficulties in dealing with Papuans, that is, the absence almost everywhere of chiefs who exercise real authority, and whom it is possible to treat as representatives of their villages; to remedy this anarchical state of afi'airs and to supply a centre of authority for village life is the reason of the village constable's existence.

There are at present about four hundred and fifty village constables, and it is their duty to exercise a general supervision of their village, and in particular to see that the native regulations are complied with. They wear a blue serge sulu and jumper, but carry no arms.

On the whole, these men do their work well, and are certainly of great service to the Government in collecting carriers and assisting generally in the patrol of their districts. Some of them are men of considerable courage and determination, as, for instance, Angi Angi, of Amo Amo Piofa, in the Mekeo District. This man heard that a murder had been committed at Okaipu, several days' distance from his home and beyond the limits of Government influence, and went there with one companion and arrested the two ringleaders. But on the way to the Government station the men escaped; so Angi Angi went back again to Okaipu, rearrested the escapees, and lodged them safely in the gaol at Kairuku.

Many village constables are inclined, if they are not closely supervised, to extort pigs and other valuables from their fellow-villagers, and there have been one or two lapses into absolute savagery on the part of these officials, for Baruga, village constable of Baipa, in the year 1907 organised and led the most enterprising raid of the year, and Karara, a native of the Purari, who was a village constable, is described as having been a menace and a bar to the settlement of the delta for many years. The latter is, in my opinion, an instinctive criminal—a rare type in Papua in my experience—but Baruga's fall was, I think, due to sheer ennui; bloodshed was the only form of excitement he knew, and he could not live without it.

A good village constable is of course unpopular, for if he does his duties he must make many enemies, and it is sometimes difficult to induce the most suitable man to take the position, though as a rule the difficulty is not insuperable. Old non-commissioned officers of the Armed Constabulary often make good village constables, otherwise the chief, if there is one, is appointed, though he rarely has any power in virtue of his position as chief, especially in the more civilised villages. In the Trobriands the chief has real power, but it was found in practice that he did not make a satisfactory village constable, for he has a right to the labour of the commoners in the village, and it was therefore obviously to his disadvantage that they should be sent to gaol, for his labour supply was thereby diminished; consequently arrests were unknown and offences unpunished in the villages where the chief was constable.

It is dangerous to generalise about Papua and the Papuans, for the differences of race are so great that what is true of the east is often absolutely untrue of the Gulf and the west, but it would seem that the natives are on the whole a law-abiding people, and I think it may certainly be said that the Government has succeeded in winning their confidence. Outside the limits of the white man's influence massacres and intertribal wars no doubt continue to go on in much the same way as they did before the Government was established, but raids into settled territory have tended of late to become less frequent, land within that territory, which is of course every year increasing, deliberate and collective savagery rapidly disappears. Murders there still are in plenty, even in the comparatively civilised parts, but they are becoming less frequent, and will still further decrease in number as the reasons for which they are committed tend to disappear. Men will continue to murder out of revenge in Papua and elsewhere so long as human nature remains as it is, but the blood lust which is so common a cause of crime may be controlled and the insignia of the assassin may in time be deemed less worthy of admiration. Many years must pass before the belief in sorcery disappears, but sliould this ever be the case the problem of serious crime in Papua will be solved so far as such a solution is possible.

The increase in the number of offences brought to trial, which is shown by the statistics of the courts, is in itself an encouraging sign, inasmuch as it shows that more offences are being brought to light. It is frequently found in a newly settled district that the cases that come before the court are few in number, but that after a time they increase, the reason being that the natives are beginning to realise what the court is for, and that the village constables are becoming alive to their duties.

As regards less serious crime it is, I fear, likely to increase, not only because natives as they become more civilised become more cunning, but on account of the idle young men whom one sees in the Gulf, in the Mekeo District, and elsewhere hanging about the villages and ready for any opportunity of mischief. There was little room for this type of native before the white man came with his steel knives and tomahawks, which made life so much easier, and his settled Government, which banished warfare and the terror of the midnight raid; life is much less laborious now than it used to be, and idleness is as bad for the Papuans as it is for any one else.


Difficulties of Papuan exploration—Transport—Living on the country—Exploration by miners, missionaries, and Government officers—D'Albertis in Yule Island and Mekeo—Difficulties with his coloured assistants—Methods of pacifying the Mekeo native—Trip up the Fly in the Ellangowati—AWeged buffalo and rhinoceros on the Fly—Second expedition up the Fly—The Alice River—D'Albertis's theory of the two races—Mummies found on the Fly—Embalmed head—A Massingara wig—Third expedition up the Fly—Attacked near Alligator Island—Death and desertion of native assistants—Return to Thursday Island—Expedition of Captain Everill up the Strickland—Explorations by Mr. Bevan—Dangers of the Gulf of Papua—Ascent of the Kikori—The "Burns" and the "Philp"—Gleeson Falls—Fastré Island—Colours of gold found—Report by Government geologist of New South Wales—Exploration of the Purari Delta—Ascent of the Purari or Queen's Jubilee River—Second expedition confirms the results of the first—Large village in Paia Inlet—Visit to Kiwai—Mr. Bevan's considerate treatment of natives—Contrast to some other explorers—Explorations in the Astrolabe Range near Port Moresby—Hostility of natives—Ascent of Mount Obree.

Papua has been British for nearly thirty years, but half of it is still totally unexplored, and of the other half there is but a comparatively small proportion that is really well known. The difficulties of transport are great, far greater than is usually supposed by those who do not know the conditions, for everything has to be carried on men's backs-the country being much too rough to permit of animal transport—the population is as a rule sparse, and native supplies, though they can generally be found in sufficient quantities to support life, if the party is not too large, are 'as a rule not abundant.

Then the reward has not been commensurate with the toil expended; the paucity of the inhabitants makes travel less interesting, the natives that one does meet, though they may vary in type, are all more or less at the same stage of civilisation, so that in any given district when you have seen one village you have practically seen them all; the scenery is, it is true, magnificent, but then you very rarely see it, as you are tramping most of the time through a gloomy forest or thick undergrowth which effectively conceals everything at a distance of a very few yards.

"It is easier," said the explorer D'Albertis, "to ascend the highest peaks of the European Alps with an alpenstock than to cross an ordinary hill in New Guinea," and, indeed, the difficulties of travel in the Papuan mountains can hardly be realised by those who have not encountered them. There are, of course, redeeming features in that there are no dangerous wild animals and few snakes, that the nights are often cool though almost always wet, and that as you rise higher the danger of fever diminishes if, as is rarely the case, the traveller has not already got it in his system; but there is much to set down on the other side. In the mountains of Papua there is hardly any level ground anywhere, and the country is covered with an impenetrable jungle; while the hillsides are so high and precipitous that one can shout and be heard in a village which it will take a couple of days to reach. Where there are native tracks they generally go straight over the highest points, for the villages are generally perched on the topmost peaks for the sake of security, and where there are none the only means of getting on is by the weary, heart-breaking process of cutting one's way through what is often an almost impenetrable scrub. The rate of progress varies with the nature of the country, but what that country can be at its worse may be gathered from Sir William MacGregor's record of two and a quarter miles in two days when ascending the valley of the Venapa in 1889. Sometimes indeed the traveller can escape from the scrub altogether for a time if he finds a stream of which the bed lies in the direction in which he wants to go, in which case he has the prospect of wading through chilly water and scrambling over slippery rocks until the direction changes and he has to take to the bush again.

Even where there is a track the travelling is hardly less fatiguing. Mountain natives can walk up and downhill far more easily than on the flat, presumably because in their homes they rarely see any level country, and therefore can seldom exercise any muscles but those which have to do with climbing; they complain of fatigue, for instance, on the level country near Port Moresby or in Mekeo, but they do not seem to find any exertion necessary in ascending the steepest hills. A native will smilingly assure his companion that there is no more climbing to do, or, as he will probably express himself, "No more on top—on top he finish," and will then proceed to lead the way up the side of a precipitous mountain a couple of thousand feet high, for it would never enter his head that such a trifle is worth mentioning; and so, having made their tracks for themselves and not for Europeans, natives have been careful to construct them on the principle of avoiding anything like level ground. The result is that the tracks are sometimes almost impracticable for white men without assistance, and travelling along them often involves as much work for the hands as for the feet. The natives themselves do not seem to realise which parts of the track are difficult and which are not-it is all equally easy to them—and one's guide will often encumber one with help when the path is wide and comparatively level, and will leave one alone when he really might be of some use. There may be country more difficult to traverse than the mountain districts of Papua; if there is, the lot of those who have to patrol it is not to be envied.

But of course the most important matter of all is that of transport. The carriers in Papua are marvellous creatures, but, wonderful as they are, they have their limitations; they do not, I believe, carry so much as the natives of other countries, and a boy will eat his load in three, or at the outside, four weeks. That is to say, even if he carried nothing but his own food, he could not carry a supply for more than four weeks. If you are returning on the same track three weeks means a journey of about a fortnight or a little more, say sixteen days out, and five to come back, so that if you have to travel for a greater distance than three or four weeks in a direct line, or sixteen days or a little more with a return journey, some means must be devised of keeping up the supply of provisions. Numbers alone will not suffice, for it is obvious that, if each man eats his load in a month, one hundred men will, at the end of the month, have as little as one, but there are, of course, means by which the difficulty can be overcome. For instance, you may start with a great number of carriers and send them back as soon as the diminishing loads enable you to dispense with their services, you may have reliefs sent after you with fresh supplies (these reliefs will travel quicker than the first party, who had to cut their way), or you may send on ahead and form depots, or you may use any variation of these methods, or lastly you may chance your luck and decide to live on the country. If, however, you decide to live on the country, you must remember that you will have to look for your food. Suppose, for instance, that you want to go west. You must first of all estimate the distance in a straight line and make up your mind that the lay of the country will in any case drive you so far out of your course that you will have to travel three times that distance, but if you are to live on the country you may have to travel a good deal farther than that. Sago and native gardens will be your sources of supply, and it may readily be imagined that these are not always found upon the route which you have marked out for yourself; you will have to go looking for them, and if you do not go looking for them you will miss them, and far from living on the country you will have great difficulty in living at all. On the other hand, if you want to go straight for your goal, or as straight as the nature of the country will allow, you should, if necessary, by some system of lelays or depots carry enough provisions for the journey.

The best practical illustration of the way to deal with the question of transport is to be found in Sir William MacGregor's expeditions as described in the Annual Reports; the organisation of the carrier service, a breakdown of which might have meant disaster for the whole party, is, to one who knows New Guinea, the most wonderful part about his explorations.

Such are the difficulties and drawbacks of Papuan exploration. There is, however, another side to the picture; the discomfort may be great, the beauty of the scenery may be hidden by the scrub, the native inhabitants may to the ordinary man look much the same—in fact, the whole thing' may be "just New Guinea," to use a term which I have not infrequently heard used to describe new country—but to the botanist and naturalist there are still unbounded possibilities, the ethnologist has ample scope for the discovery of facts to support his own theories or to demolish those of his rival, and, what is more important from the point of view of the development of the territory, there are unlimited prospects in the direction of the discovery of minerals.

Much of the exploration of Papua has been done by men who have left but little record, or none at all, of their labours in this direction. Chalmers, for instance, did a lot of exploring, both in the east of the territory and more especially in the neighbourhood of the Purari. "The Apostle of the Gulf of Papua," as Sir William MacGregor calls him, has written books about New Guinea, but they are books of adventure rather than of exploration. "Many of his travels," to quote the Official Report of 1892-3, "have not been put on record at all; others through becoming, but unscientific, modesty have been very imperfectly related." Government officers have been and still are continually pushing farther afield, and each year adding to what is known of the territory-it is their duty, of course, to do so, and they neither expect nor receive any particular credit for it—but a body of men who have done an enormous amount of exploration in Papua, unfortunately without leaving any record at all, except a few brief accounts scattered here and there through the Annual Reports, are the goldminers. Few people out of Papua have any idea of the amount of exploration these men, often with very scanty resources and in the face of real danger, have accomplished. Inland travelling is at any time much more difficult, though not necessarily more dangerous, than exploration by sea and river, and the exploration of the miners was far away in the interior, many of them crossing the Main Range—a thing which seems easy enough of late years since a fortnightly mail has been running across the Gap, but which in the early days was something of a feat—and not a few of them meeting their death, as Chalmers also eventually did, at the hands of hostile natives.

Of those explorers of whose work we have an account, the most important are D'Albertis, who visited Yule Island and Mekeo in 1875, and ascended the Fly in 1875-6-7; Captain Everill, who went to the Strickland in 1885; Bevan, who explored the Gulf of Papua in 1887, and Sir William MacGregor.

D'Albertis was a distinguished explorer who had already worked in the north of Dutch New Guinea, and in experience and scientific attainments he was well adapted for the work he had undertaken. His coloured assistants, however, do not seem to have all shared in this opinion; at any rate, he was most unfortunate in his experiences. Four natives of New Britain whom he had with him in Yule Island deserted, taking his boat with them, and three Chinamen out of five whom he had brought from Sydney (of the other two one was dead and the other lost in the bush) disappeared into the wilds of the upper Fly and were never heard of again, and two of his three Polynesians left him on the return journey; it may have been the fault of the deserters, but it is possible that some light may be thrown on the point by an extract from D'Albertis's journal describing a transaction at Kiwai Island. "In exchange for a woollen blanket, some knives, hatchets, mirrors and glass beads, they gave me three of the skulls. It seemed to me just that I might take the other nine. The natives did not appear very well pleased; however, they let me do this, and what else I would."

The sense of justice which would prompt a man to take twelve articles when he had only paid for three might easily betray him to actions which would not be highly appreciated by his subordinates-though, indeed, it must have been something pretty bad to induce a city-bred Chinaman to prefer the dangers of the Papuan forest hundreds of miles from the coast.

It is, however, only fair to remember that D'Albertis's character was completely cleared by the testimony of the engineer, Mr. Preston, after his return, and whatever may have been his conduct to the Chinese and South Sea Islanders, he was no doubt a great explorer, though some of his methods look rather quaint in the light of our present practice in Papua. To kiss the girls is not a method of pacifying a native tribe which would usually suggest itself to either explorer or Government officer at the present day, yet it was a means that was used by D'Albertis in the Mekeo District with marked success.

At Epa, for instance, he says: "To show that I really meant to be friends with Aira and his people, I embraced and kissed him in the open place in the village, and afterwards, amidst general laughter, I proceeded to kiss all the women. The scene was certainly a very comical one; some of the most timid wanted to repel my embrace, but were urged by the others to submit. Although it was incumbent on me, in order to prove my impartiality, and to give a ceremonial appearance to the performance, to kiss all the old and ugly women, in reality I kissed the youngest and prettiest only.

"The men also wished to seal their friendship by a kiss, but I explained to them that only the chief and the women had a right to this observance."

Later on there was a danger of a misunderstanding with Aira. "I however soon succeeded in setting matters right between us, and sealed our compact by kissing Aira and all the women present—about fifteen."[*]

[* D'Albertis's "New Guinea," vol. i, pp. 300,305.]

From a scientific point of view the visit to Yule Island and Mekeo was unimportant, though it makes interesting reading to those who know the district. The explorer's principle in dealing with natives was to impress them with the idea that he was possessed of supernatural powers; this he attempted, apparently with success, by various chemical surprises and other feats, which occasionally terrified the unhappy natives out of their senses, as for instance when, after burning some pure alcohol in a shell, he pretended that he was going to set fire to the sea.

Some of D'Albertis's actions seem a trifle theatrical—the constant explosion of mines round his house must have been trying to the nerves, and the flying of a black flag to signify that no one might approach sounds like a reminiscence of Deadwood Dick—but they were successful; he recovered all his goods after his house had been plundered during his absence, and though he visited several villages such as Mou, Nikora, Epa, Bioto, and Inawabui, inhabited by what was then a savage population, he never found it necessary to resort to extreme measures. His most successful efforts were eating fire to prove that he was proof against spear wounds (rather a non sequitur it would appear to the unscientific mind), and catching a live snake in his hands. The snake Avas placed in a box, which must have seemed strange to the Mekeo natives, for they detest and fear snakes, but "when," to quote the Journal, "they saw me kiss the head of the lovely creature" (this, it should be explained, was before he had begun to kiss the girls), "they gave a howl of amazement and admiration."

D'Albertis was a great explorer and a most gifted man, but I should not like to have been the first white man to follow in his footsteps in new country; the natives would expect too much.

Any one who gathered from this account that D'Albertis was in any way a buffoon would make a most grave mistake, but his Mekeo and Yule Island experiences do not appear to have been taken by him so seriously as those expeditions by which his name is so well known in Papua—his three ascents of the River Fly.

The first of these was undertaken in the Ellangowan at the invitation of the Rev. Mr. MacFarlane, of the London Missionary Society; Mr. MacFarlane had a short time before done some exploration in the Mai Kussa District to the west of the Fly, and all sorts of exaggerated accounts had appeared describing a bird that had been seen as measuring 26 feet across the wings, stating that tracks of buffaloes had been discovered, and hinting the rhinoceros were also to be found. The bird, it may be explained, turned out to be a hornbill, and the buffaloes and rhinoceros to be pigs and cassowaries.

The Ellangowan took D'Albertis from Yule Island to Queensland on November 8, 1875, and three weeks later she was steaming out of the Albany Pass towards New Guinea and the Fly River. On board were Mr. MacFarlane, D'Albertis, Mr. Chester, police magistrate of Somerset, and six black troopers.

The party were limited in time and had to turn back on December 15th, after reaching Ellangowan Island in the Fly, so-called by them after the steamer in which they were travelling. Two attacks, neither of them serious, were made upon them in the estuary of the Fly, and both were repelled, apparently without bloodshed. The time was too short to allow of much being done on this expedition, but D'Albertis seems to have effectually disposed of the buffalo and rhinoceros myth.

"I have," he says, "diligently examined the footprints of the wild pig and of the cassowary in the forests, but although I have found some so large as to appear to belong to much larger animals, yet, after the closest investigations, I have been jforced to the conclusion that wild pigs and cassowaries only were in the case. I satisfied myself that the tracks had been impressed when the earth was very soft, that the foot had sunk deep, and in uplifting itself had much enlarged the hole made by its entrance. Then, by the sinking of the Avater the dry earth contracts, and the footprints become even larger. Rain or inundation fills them with water, and thus they remain a long time. He who lights on them by chance might wonder at the animal who leaves such marks, and may make mention of it in his story; may take measurements, and relate how one of the footprints was a hand's-breadth across. That is all very well, but it does not avail to change a pig into a buffalo, or a cassowary into a rhinoceros."[*]

[* "New Guinea," vol. ii., p. 33.]

The next expedition up the Fly was a more serious undertaking. The New South Wales Government had placed a steam launch, the Neva, at D'Albertis's disposal, and on May 18, 1876, he again left Somerset, bound for New Guinea. With him were Mr. Lawrence Hargrave, engineer, Mr. Clarence Wilcox, a young man who was engaged as assistant collector, a Chinese cook, and five coloured men. Three Papuans were picked up at Mawatta.

Flying the New South Wales and Italian flags, the Neva entered the Fly River on May 23rd, and passed Ellangowan Island on May 31st. It was found that above Ellangowan the vegetation for some days tended to diminish; here and there were patches of fine forest, but stunted trees and long grass were the usual characteristics of the country along the banks. Hostile natives were encountered on June 5th, but were easily put to flight by the puffing of the engine and the discharge of a revolver in the air, and, on the same day, the party reached some houses, the construction of which, D'Albertis says, reminded him of the forest houses he had seen at Inawabui in Mekeo. In the centre of these houses was a cleared space which he supposed (probably correctly) to have been used as a dancing place. Posts dyed red stood in the middle of this space, and "on several of the surrounding trees hieroglyphic signs depicting animals and roughly drawn human figures had been carved, and painted red, white, black, and yellow. A crocodile in the act of climbing a tree, and painted black, was rather well executed."

Proceeding up the river the party, on June 17th, caught sight of the lofty mountains to which D'Albertis gave the name of Victor Emmanuel, but on the 28th the engineer reported that farther progress was impossible, and the party found themselves forced to return to the coast. On the 20th they were at Snake Point above Raggi Island. Here there was another river running into the Fly from the north, which was explored until July 6th, when the current proved too strong for the Neva's power of steam; the river, so far as it was ascended, continued to run in a southerly direction. Sir John Robertson, Colonial Secretary of New South Wales, had requested D'Albertis, if he found a lake, to call it after a friend of his. Miss Alice Hargrave, and, finding no lake, the explorer gave the name Alice to this tributary.

Returning to the Fly the party had to face one or two hostile demonstrations, which were made with a view of cutting off their retreat, but the opposition was never formidable, and after an enforced delay at Mibu Island in the estuary of the Fly Mawatta was reached on August 7th.

So ended the second, and most successful, of D'Albertis's expeditions up the Fly. As a result of what he saw on this journey, D'Albertis formulated his theory of the existence of two races in the island, a black race and a yellow race. This, if we take the black race to mean those tribes who speak a Papuan language, and the yellow race those who speak Melanesian, is practically the theory that obtains at the present day, though ethnologically it would be difficult to maintain that all the former are of one race.

With one exception, D'Albertis was not impressed by the physique of the natives whom he met; the exception was a man, apparently from Kiwai Island, who visited him at Mawatta. This man he describes as being the finest man he ever saw—"until now," he says, "I had believed that the art which created the Farnese Hercules had surpassed nature, but today I must retract that opinion."

The well-known D'Albertis creeper was seen and described upon this expedition, and other objects of interest were found. Two mummies, for instance, were discovered on the Fly, very near the point at which the party turned back. On a platform under a roof which had been built round a tree were found two bundles of bark, with a smooth surface and colour of leather, tightly bound up with rattan; inside one was found the body of a woman. "The bones were in great part covered with the dry skin almost intact. It [the body] was of a uniform red colour, which I believe to be artificially produced with the red chalk so much used by the natives. I think—though I am not certain of this—that the flesh had been removed before the body had been preserved, leaving only the skin." The other contained the skeleton of a man; in this case, too, the flesh had apparently been removed from the bones before they were wrapped up in their cover. I have myself seen in other parts of the territory bodies which had been wrapped round in leaves and tied up, but I have never opened the covering, and so far as I am aware these mummies mentioned by D'Albertis are the only ones that have ever been found in Papua.

Other articles of interest were "a cuirasse or armour ingeniously made of rattan," which was found at the highest point reached upon the Alice, and "the embalmed head of a man with, nothing on it but the skin, from which the skull had been removed by means of a long cut at the back. The skin had afterwards been stuffed in such a way as to retain the natural appearance of the head. It has the defect of being too much stuffed." I have never seen or heard of anything like the cuirasse, but something very like the head was found by Captain Everill's party on the Strickland below Hostile Point, and also by a Government officer, Mr. Massey-Baker, on his recent expedition (1911) up that river; Mr. Bauerlein, who accompanied Captain Everill, describes what was found by that party as being the skin of a man's head stretched over a model of clay.

The "baratu" and the "indelible dyes probably produced by chemical combinations" appear to require further investigation.[*]

[* See D'Albertis's "New Guinea," vol. ii., pp. 135-7.]

While the party were waiting at Mawatta, a native of Massingara appeared with a wig "roughly made and ornamented in front with seeds. The hair is divided into long ringlets, which, when the wig is worn, fall behind on the neck and shoulders." I know of no other instance of wigs being worn in Papua, though D'Albertis, while coming down the Fly, had visited a village (the same as that at which he found the "baratu ") in which human hair was used either for wigs or clothing—it was uncertain which—and Sir William MacGregor in the north-east of the territory had found natives who wore false whiskers.

Permission having been granted by the New South Wales Government to use the Neva for a further period, a fresh start was made from Somerset on May 3, 1897, the party consisting of D'Albertis, Mr. Preston, engineer, five Chinamen, and three Polynesians. This was on the whole an unfortunate expedition. The Fly River was reached on May 30th, and on June ist a serious attack was made on the party near Alligator Island some distance below Ellangowan. The attack was repulsed with only one casualty on the side of the explorers, a Chinaman who, ducking his head out of danger, unfortunately at the same time elevated his posterior, in which he promptly received an arrow, luckily without serious result. The natives made "a willing go" of it—how "willing" may be judged from the fact that the Neva was struck by forty-five arrows, seventeen in one square foot just where D'Albertis was firing, and that one of the arrows was discharged with such force that it "went through the metal plating and penetrated the planks which were an inch and a quarter thick." This was the only occasion on which the party were in danger from natives, but as they proceeded their troubles increased. Above the Alice one of the Chinamen was lost in the bush, two days afterwards another Chinaman died, apparently from sunstroke, but, unfortunately, just after D'Albertis had beaten him, and about three weeks later the remaining Chinamen made off with the boat and were never seen again, though the boat was afterwards found some distance down the river; then the Polynesians mutinied, and finally, though not till about the middle of October, D'Albertis was forced to return, without getting to the farthest point reached the year before. On the return journey two of the Polynesians insisted on leaving the steamer as soon as they thought they could do so in safety, and on January 4, 1878, the party arrived at Thursday Island after what must have been to their leader a most trying and disappointing experience, and the trouble did not even come to an end in Thursday Island, for there followed accusations by the Polynesians against D'Albertis, refuted by the statements of Mr. Preston, and finally proceedings against the Polynesians by D'Albertis for "theft, rebellion, mutiny, and desertion."

On the whole D'Albertis had heavy odds to fight against in his last expedition, and no one but a man of exceptional intrepidity and resolution could have struggled against them as he did.

Nothing of importance was done in the Fly River District for nearly ten years, but then came the expedition of Captain Everill in the Bonito, under the auspices of the New South Wales branch of the Royal Australasian Geographical Society. The party consisted of twelve Europeans and twelve Malays, and left Sydney on June 6, 1885, ascended the Fly to the bifurcation, and proceeded up the tributary, which maintained a generally north and south direction, and to which they gave the name of Strickland, after Sir Edward Strickland, President of the New South Wales branch of the Society. The waters of the Strickland were found to be navigable for the Bonito for a considerable distance, but eventually she struck on the edge of a gravel bank, and the expedition had to be continued in the whaleboat. The river at this point is described by Mr. Bauerlen, the botanist of the party, as 800 yards wide with a raging current.

The party in the boat left with provisions for ten days, and returned in a fortnight utterly exhausted; they had reached a point the position of which they estimated as being in 5° 30' S. latitude and 142° 22' E. longitude. They reported the country as being flat, but the river as getting narrower and shallower, and they had great difficulty in getting the boat along. At their farthest point they climbed a hill some 700 feet high, from which they could see mountains; Professor Haake, who was one of the party, estimated the farthest range they saw to be of an altitude of from 10,000 to 12,000 feet. Plenty of natives were seen; "the natives there," says Mr. Bauerlen in his account (he was one of those who remained on the Bonito), "have very superior houses, with verandas running all round them, the houses partitioned off into rooms. They have also nice gardens about their houses, growing tobacco, yams, and melons." The Bonito stayed for some time on the bank where she had struck, the party subsisting meantime upon a strange and varied diet, which, however, they appear to have appreciated highly, consisting largely of "hornbills, flying foxes, and large monitor lizards." Eventually they got away, and after an exciting time at Douglas Bend, where the river was full of "driftwood, branches, and huge trees, sometimes a dozen linked together by their roots and branches dashing past us in their mad career," they reached the sea in safety, and eventually returned to Sydney in December, after an absence of about six months. This party had no serious difficulty with the natives. On one occasion above the junction of the Fly a misunderstanding arose through a mistake of the natives, who took the smooth-skinned Malays for women, but the expected attack was dispersed by means of the bell and whistle of the Bonito—simple and efficacious tactics, which, however, it is interesting to note failed entirely on another occasion, when the natives "took no notice of it as if they heard it every day of their lives."

On the whole the party was as successful as they could have anticipated, and, except after they left the Bonito and continued their journey in the boat, they appear to have been exposed to neither hardship nor danger. Residents of Papua will, however, sympathise with Mr. Bauerlen in the account he gives of the most formidable enemy he had to encounter. "Our greatest plague," he says, "was the scrub itch, a small red acarus which would get on one wherever one would go in the jungle; then it would bury itself in one's flesh and cause intolerable itching."

Mr. Bevan was in New Guinea before Captain Everill's expedition, for he arrived in Port Moresby in the junk Wong Ming on November 25, 1884, but his explorations are slightly later in date. They were suggested to him in November, 1886, by Mr. Philp, of Messrs. Burns, Philp & Co., who offered him the use of a launch for six weeks for the purpose of exploring any part of New Guinea that he might select. Mr. Bevan's choice was soon made; the bight of the Papuan Gulf had, he says, "ever remained a terra incognita avoided as by common consent by explorers," and it was this part of the island that he decided to examine. Mr. Bevan's estimate of the dangers of the Gulf, exaggerated as they seem now, were shared by others, for Mr. Goldie, an old resident of Port Moresby, writing to the Queenslander, had said, "I believe there is no part of the world that presents so many dangers as the bight of the Papuan Gulf. The water is in manyparts very shallow, with sandbanks running out as far as 5 miles to sea; and numerous rivers of discoloured water, having their origin in the great mountains, add to the difficulties of navigation." A party from H.M.S. Fly had, in 1845, ascended the Aird River for about 20 miles, returning when within sight of Aird Hill, and since that time this particular part of New Guinea has been untouched.

On Majch 17, 1887, Mr. Bevan left Thursday Island in the Victory, a small screw steamer drawing 9 feet, and entered Aird River two days later. A hostile encounter with the natives at Attack Point in Port Bevan was decided in favour of the explorers by a judicious use of the steam whistle and a few shots fired wide and high, and the party proceeded up the deep waters of the Auro or Douglas River to Aird Hill, and thence up what is now known as the Kiko or Kikori River as far as Bowden Junction. Here the river divides into two streams, which were cajled by Bevan the Burns and the Philp, but of which the napies were g'iven to me by the natives as the Kiko or Kikori and the Sirebi.

Here was seen a hill village which Bevan calls Tumu, but as Tumu in the local language merely means "bush," there is probably some mistake. I found two villages here in 19 10, both below the junction, one up a creek on the western side, and known as Murao's village, and another up a pretty little stream a little higher up on the same side known as Siaki's village, and there was also a village called Buruweyo near Aird Hill; and it is possible that the so-called Tumu natives belonged to one of these communities.

Proceeding up the Burns the party reached what Mr. Bevan calls a fall of 2 feet in the river-bed, marked on some of the maps as Gleeson Falls (it is really only a rapid which our party passed at the third attempt in a launch doing 7 knots), and, returning to the junction, examined the Philp or Sirebi in the steamer as far as Victory Junction, apparently the spot where the Cumick, coming in from the east, joins the Sirebi. Here the launch was abandoned, but 13 additional miles were traversed as far as Fastré Island, beyond which further progress was found to be impossible. A few colours of gold were found at Fastré Island.

A foad was cut for some distance along the base of the mountains, which, however, were apparently, not ascended. They are of no great height; the range on the left bank appears to be called Kuruwamu, and to form the foothills of a much larger mountain system in the interior.

The short time at the disposal of the party rendered further progress over "ranges drenched by the monsoon and swarming with ravenous leeches" in the opinion of the explorers quite out of the question, and, indeed, altogether apart from the leeches (which need not have been reckoned a very serious obstacle) it is difficult to see how, without carriers, they could have gone any distance overland, while the strength of the current made boat travelling impossible.

Five miles below Fastré Island "pebbles of waterworn metamorphic slate, diorite, also magnetic iron sand, yielding from every dish washed a few colours (less than a pin's head in size) of scaly gold were obtained." These were submitted to the Government geologist of New South Wales, who reported as follows:—

"The pebbles of slate and quartz found on the island in the Philp River are indicative of formations which sometimes contain auriferous reefs, as well as copper and other metalliferous lodes. These pebbles, though originally derived from palaeozoic rocks, may have been washed out of conglomerate beds such as occur in the cretaceous formation on the Strickland River; but from the occurrence of gold in the black sand which is found with them it is more probable that both they and the gold have been brought down by the river from the primary formation forming the mountains, which may not be more than 20 or 30 miles distant. We may therefore anticipate mineral discoveries being made in these mountains, though not necessarily richer than are found in similar formations forming the ranges in the mining districts of Australia."[*]

[* Bevan, "Toil, Travel, and Discovery in British New Guinea," p. 193.]

The Victory started down the river on April 4th, touched at the village of Tumu, and then called at the previously unknown village of Moko on the east side of the point which lies between Piort Bevan and what is now known as Pala Inlet. There was no village there in 1909, though of course there may very well have been one there at the time of Bevan's visit, but the description he gives of thte inhabitants, "people of great stature and muscular development," does not tally with any tribe that I have seen in this neighbourhood. They were naturally enough shy, and intercourse with them seems to have been difficult; possibly they belonged either to the Paia tribe, which still inhabit this point, or to the Urama, who have villages on the island which lies between Paia Inlet and Era Bay.

The Victory then went east as far as Motu Motu, and returned to explore what is now known as the Purari Delta. The five openings Avhich had been found, first, I believe, by Chalmers, between Orokolo and Bald Head had been reported, quite correctly, by natives as leading into one great river in the interior, and to explore this river was Bevan's next task. He entered to the west of Bald Head, where he met a number of natives "of unusually fine stature" (probably from the village of Kaimare), and ascended the river, which he called Stanhope, and which appears to be identical with the Kapaina, or possibly the Pie. He then visited the village of Evorra, and passed into the Baroi branch of the Purari, or, as he calls it, the Queen's Jubilee River. A vocabulary was obtained from the people of Evorra, which would be more valuable if some recognised system of pronunciation had been consistently adopted.

The Queen's Jubilee or Purari was followed beyond the head of the delta for a distance of about loo miles from the sea, but the six weeks that had been allotted were nearly up, and it became necessary to return to the coast; in any case further exploration must have been slow, as it had already been found necessary to leave the steamer and take to the boats. The return journey was without incident.

Mr. Bevan was justly proud of the work which he had done in thirty-four days' actual exploring, but unfortunately on his return a dispute arose whether he or Chalmers was entitled to the credit of the discovery of the Purari River system. The truth apparently is that Chalmers had visited the mouths of the delta before Bevan, but Bevan was the first to examine the river for any distance into the interior, which, in fact, was all he claimed.

In order to confirm Mr. Bevan's discoveries another expedition was thought advisable, and for this purpose the New South Wales Government provided a launch, the Mabel, and the Queensland Covernment the services of a surveyor, Mr. H. J. Hemmy. This second expedition left Thursday Island on November ist, and covered very much the same ground as the previous one, going as far as Fastré Island on the Sirebi, and up beyond the head of the delta on the Purari. In returning through the delta, however, a different channel was taken, and as a result the party came upon the village of Maipui, and a number of natives at the Aivei mouth.

As a result of his first expedition Mr. Bevan had reported the newly discovered regions as but thinly populated, but on the second occasion he was more fortunate in finding human habitations, especially somewhere near what is now known as Paia Inlet, where he found what he describes as two miles of continuous villages. To come suddenly, as Mr. Bevan did, upon a settlement of this size, would be a shock to the nerves of the most stout-hearted, but one's sympathy with the explorer is increased by his description of the inhabitants of this enormous town. "All that pigment could do had been done to make them hideous, and never before has any tribe been seen in such diversity or numbers. Some were marked like skeletons, and all more resembled fiends incarnate then human beings." These people mobbed the launch, and the trouble that seemed inevitable was only avoided by the exercise of considerable tact on the part of Mr. Bevan; blowing the steam whistle and firing shots in the air had little or no effect, when suddenly the thought occurred to him to back the launch and see what impression this manoeuvre would make. The idea was wholly successful, and before the amazed natives had recovered from their surprise the Mabel was away down the stream at the rate of lo knots an hour; the bafiled savages pulled themselves together and gave chase, but the Mabel lay hid in a by-channel, let the Papuans thunder past in their vain pursuit, and then proceeded on her way. The result of this second voyage was the complete confirmation of all that Mr. Bevan had previously reported, and a map was compiled by Mr. Hemmy, which, though not quite accurate, is sufficiently so to enable one to follow the course of the Mabel. Rather unfortunately on the return journey the party called at Kiwai Island—unfortunately because it would certainly appear that some evil-disposed person availed himself of the opportunity to take advantage of the explorer's eagerness for information concerning the strange tribes whom he was visiting. "When these Kiwai natives want a little amusement," says Mr. Bevan, "they indulge in the pleasures of the chase—i.e., of wild pigs or of inland tribes...In the latter event they put on their shell ornarrients (groin- and breast-plates), paint themselves red, yellow, and black), and tie on feather head-dresses. Then they depart in their canoes, and when their destination is reached take to the bush and hunt wild natives. From tree-tops they eagerly scan the horizon for signs of smoke. Their human prey is in this way betrayed by his own camp-fire, hunted down and decapitated. Jubilantly the Kiwaians return to their district, and after cooking and eating the heads hang up the skulls as a trophy."[*]

[* "Toil, Travel, and Discovery in British New Guinea," p. 258.]

This was translated and read to the natives of Kiwai on Sir William MacGregor's visit two years later. "Some roared with laughter," says Sir William in his report, "others looked at it much more seriously and said it was 'bitter language' and not true...It is not improbable that Mr. Bevan was told much more than the truth, and I may possibly have heard somewhat less. For my own part, however, I do not believe that the people of Kiwai were cannibals then; they certainly are not so now."

The return of Mr. Bevan was publicly ascribed, on what evidence I do not know, to "the special interposition of Providence," an unfortunate phrase which, for some reason, appears to have provoked a recrudescence of the Bevan-Chalmers dispute, an undignified and unnecessary controversy which could never be definitely decided either way.

Throughout his expeditions Mr. Bevan seems to have shown a consideration for the rights of the natives which, unfortunately, is wanting in some of the earlier explorations. I have already mentioned the case where D'Albertis thought it "just" to take twelve skulls when he had only paid for three, and similar instances are to be found even during the voyage of the mission steamer Ellangowan on D'Albertis's first visit to the Fly.[*]

[* See D'Albertis's "New Guinea," vol. ii., pp. 39-40.]

An opinion is sometimes entertained that "natives" have no rights of property, or if they have that those rights should not prevail against the claims of Science, where rare objects of interest, or even ordinary articles of food, are concerned. For instance, a party from H.M.S. Fly visited the Bamu River in 1845, bombarded the villages, landed, and stole two pigs and sundry other things. Mr. Jukes, the naturalist, who gives an account of the proceedings, would probably have shrunk with horror from the idea of stealing a pig from a white man, yet he relates the robbing of the Papuans with humour and complacency. Various articles were stolen, and Mr. Jukes continues: "Of these the most precious part in our eyes just at that moment were the two pigs, over which there was quite a jubilee of rejoicing when we got on board the Prince George. It was not until they were all gone that the reflection occurred to me that we had, in fact, stolen them; but I could not for the life of me feel the proper degree of contrition for so heinous an act, and I very much fear should have forgotten its enormity had we had the opportunity of stealing any more."

This seems a strange code of morals, but apart from the question of morality, the looting of villages is a cause of unending trouble to those who come after the explorer whose devotion to Science has induced him to steal the natives' food and to rob them of their heirlooms. If the party which comes next is a weak one, the danger to its members is very much increased by the conduct of their predecessors; if it is a strong one, the natives will seek refuge in flight, and it will be impossible to establish communication with them. To those whose duty it is to bring about the pacification of savage tribes there can be no greater nuisance (to put it mildly) than an unscrupulous scientific explorer with a taste for pork, especially if he be a man whose recklessness or timidity incites him to acts of violence. Fortyfive years after Jukes stole the pigs Sir William MacGregor visited the Bamu and found it still impossible to enter into friendly relation with the villages which had been plundered. No such hostile feeling was left behind him by Mr. Bevan.

D'Albertis, Captain Everill, and Mr. Bevan had done their exploring by water; inland exploration is almost entirely associated with the name of Sir William MacGregor, for, though a certain amount of inland exploration had been carried out even before the arrival of Sir William, it had not been on any very great scale, nor had it been attended with any conspicuous success.

The Astrolabe Range at the back of Port Moresby had been the goal of many expeditions; in fact, this district seems to have offered more difficulties to the explorer than any other in New Guinea, and the difficulties arose, not so much from the nature of the country, as from the hostility of the inhabitants, which is exactly the reverse of what was found elsewhere in the territory.

The miners who came over to New Guinea, attracted by the discovery of gold in 1878, had spread all over the country inland from Port Moresby; they numbered between sixty and eighty, but as of course they kept no records and wrote no account of their wanderings, it is not known how far they went. It seems certain, hoiwever, that some of them reached the head of the Goldie, and the Brown River is called after one of them, Peter Brown, who was drowned there and is buried close by. Mr. Goldie did a lot of collecting and incidental exploring on the river that bears his name during the years 1879-80, and in 1880 an attempt was made by Chalmers and Mr. H. M. Chester to ascend Mount Victoria by this route. In this attempt they failed; they had got across the Goldie, but appear then to have turned towards the Kemp Welch and to have come out at the village of Kalo.

In 1883 Mr. W. E. Armit, representing the Melbourne Argus, was successful in an expedition he undertook through the Taburi and Sogeri Districts, but in the following year Mr. G. E. Morrison, who represented the Age, met with a serious reverse. He was attacked by the Koiari of Varagadi or Ebei when he had gone only a few miles up the Goldie, and lost a great part of his supplies; he was himself wounded, and in consequence retired upon Port Moresby.

The warlike Koiari tribes were now masters of the situation; Chalmers tried to get into touch with them, but without success, and when Dr. Forbes, who with Captain Hennessy had made a natural history collection in this district in 1886, was, in 1887, placed by Mr. Douglas in charge of an expedition with orders to see "if Mount Owen Stanley could be ascended from the head of the Goldie," he could only get as far as the village of Ginianumu on the eastern branch of the Brown or Naoro River. There the natives refused to carry, and the party were eventually hunted out of the district with the loss of all their supplies.

One of the few of these early expeditions which appear to have been completely successful was that of Mr. George Belford, who in 1887 penetrated beyond Ginianumu; but unfortunately Mr. Belford wrote no account of his experiences.

In 1893 the Varagadi were emboldened to attack and destroy the village of Kava on the Laloki River about 10 miles from Port Moresby, and as a result were driven over the Venapa by a Government party under Messrs. Arnit and English; but this does not seem to have improved matters very much, for in 1896 a private collector was forced to retire from Ginianumu, losing one of his party, and, as usual, abandoning all his stores. Mr. F. A. Rochefort, a well-known miner and explorer who accompanied this party, left an interesting account of the expedition, which is attached to the Annual Report of 1897-8; Mr. Rochefort, it may be remarked, was not the leader of the party, or the result would probably have been different. Later on, however, in the year 1897, Sir William passed through the district, and succeeded in pacifying the inhabitants, and since then the village of Ginianumu, so often the scene of the white man's discomfiture, is hardly ever heard of; and plantations and gardens are dotted along the banks of the Laloki and the heights of the Astrolabe, which has long been the favourite resort of the inhabitants of Port Moresby when fagged out with the mosquitoes and heat of the north-west monsoon.

Messrs. Chester and Chalmers had come down the Kemp Welch to Kalo in 1880, and in August, 1887, Messrs. Walter R. Cuthbertson and G. Hunter crossed that river and climbed Mount Obree. The chief difficulty of the ascent arose from the fact that the devil's village was supposed to be on the top of this mountain, and it was consequently by no means easy to get carriers for the expedition. When it came to the actual task of approaching the devil's village matters were still worse; after 5,500 feet the carriers became very timid, and at about 1,000 feet from the top there was a regular stampede, the two white men being left alone to spend the night on the summit with neither food, water, nor blankets.

Mount Obree is marked on the chart as 10,246 feet high, but it was found by Mr. Cuthbertson to be only 8,000 feet. Mr. Hunter and some of the natives who went on the expedition say that the summit of the mountain was never reached, which would account for the discrepancy. Mr. Hunter said that he had a glimpse of a peak 1,500 feet higher than the one ascended some distance to the north of it.[*]

[* Annual Report, 1888-9, P 44.]


Sir William MacGregor's explorations—Ascent of Mount Victoria—Mount Musgrave and "Goodwin Lodge"—Mount Knutsford—Dry, bright climate—Description of the summit of Mount Victoria—Not an isolated block—The Owen Stanley Range—Expedition up the Fly—Estimate of volume of water coming down the river—First contact with natives—"Sambio" and "Magisio"—"Pu"—Colours of gold found—Attack by natives—Junction of the Palmer and the Fly—The Palmer followed—Six Hundred Mile Camp—Tobacco—A native block-house—Victor Emmanuel Range, Mount Blucher, and Mount Donaldson—Natives seen at the highest point—Return to Kiwai Island—Commercial possibilities and climate of the Fly—Expedition up the Purari—Biroe tribe—House with three storeys—Arrow-proof walls—Description of the people—Visit to lai and Kairu in the Delta—Trouble with the Koriki—Battle of Kairu—Discovery of coal—Expedition across New Guinea—Start from the Mambare—Inhabitants of the Chirima District—Ascent of Mount Scratchley—Continuous cold, wet weather—Gold on Mount Scratchley—Description of the summit—Wild dogs—Ascent of Mount Victoria—The old camp—Cold and wet weather—Descent via Gosisi at the foot of Mount Knutsford—Arrival at Koni and the coast.

The year 1889 saw the beginning of Sir William MacGregor's long series of explorations. His first expedition of any magnitude was the ascent of Mount Victoria in that year.

Starting from Galley Reach his route took him up the Venapa River, across Mount Belford, and up Mount Musgrave. The distance from the western end of Mount Musgrave to the summit of Mount Victoria is only 13 miles, but the nature of the country made it necessary to ascend Mount Knutsford after arriving within 3 miles of the lowest spur of Mount Victoria, and to approach the goal from the summit of that mountain. The party left Port Moresby on April 20th, and on June 11th those who remained with Sir William stood on the north-west peak of Mount Victoria, 13,121 feet above the sea.

By poling, pulling, and dragging the boat it was found possible to ascend the Venapa for 35 miles. Here the main camp was formed, and a party sent back to Port Moresby for provisions; after they returned, on May 17th, "there marched out all told," to quote the Official Report, "forty-three persons—four Europeans (including myself), George Belford, a Samoan half-caste (a man of excellent character and well acquainted with this country who proved of the greatest use to me), five Polynesians, and 32 Papuans." Two Europeans were already too weak to go farther, and were left behind—only the strong could go forward, for every man had to be a carrier, and to take with him as heavy a load as he could manage.

The party, after crossing Mount Belford, were fortunate in finding a path which led along the crest of Mount Musgrave to a large native hunting house at an altitude of 5,000 feet. "Goodwin Lodge" was the name given to this house, which, however, offered few attractions as a residence, swarming as it did with mosquitoes and leeches—rather a strange thing at such an altitude.

A native being able to carry only three or four weeks' supply of food, it was necessary to keep sending men back to the base camp, and even to Manu Manu to bring up provisions, and by June ist, when they left Mount Musgrave, the party consisted only of Sir William, Mr. Belford, two Polynesians, and six Papuans, and the number was still further reduced to six in all, one Polynesian being disabled and three Papuans being sent back for supplies. By June 8th only six days' provisions were left, but fortunately they proved sufficient, though doubtless rations were issued on a somewhat limited scale, especially when two Polynesians and four Papuans who had been sent on with supplies became so excited at the prospect of climbing the big mountain that they dropped their loads and hurried on to join the advance party with empty hands—and, as the report pathetically adds, empty stomachs, which had to be filled from the scanty stores remaining.

In ascending Mount Knutsford the party had experienced the usual wet mountain weather and had then entered a region of fog, at an altitude of about 8,000 feet, where everything was soaking and covered with moss, and where a deathlike stillness reigned. After this, at about 9,000 feet, they came to a dry, bright climate, which seems to have lasted up to the highest altitude reached. With the fog the moss disappeared, and its place was taken by an undergrowth of bamboo growing "as close together as wheat in a field," and so high as to cover the tops of tall trees; the bamboo was found throughout the dry region of 9,000 feet and over, just as the moss accompanied the fog of the lower altitude. Two nights were spent on the top of the mountain, and on June 12th the descent began; no incident of any importance appears to have occurred during the return journey, and the coast was reached in twelve days from the summit.

Within a few hundred feet of the highest crest of Mount Victoria Sir William reports having seen a vein of quartz about 15 inches thick. There were no trees within 1,500 feet of the summit, and few bushes within 1,000 feet; the flora was disappointing except as regards grasses, and there were very few birds, "the most noteworthy being a lark, only, one specimen of which was obtained by my private collector, Joe Fiji, but to my great disappointment I learnt the day after we left the mountain that Caesar Lifu and Joe had eaten two of my three new birds obtained on the mountain, and that one of the two was the lark."

"The temperature," says the Report, "rose in the middle of the day on the tops of the peaks when the sun shone straight on them to 70 degrees; in the morning the grass was all quite white with frost before the rays of the sun reached it...The sky was blue and cloudless, except when the wind was blowing from the south-east, when there was some haze. At night there was no trace of cloud to be seen, except those that lay like lead in the great valleys below, and the stars shone out as brilliantly as in a frosty winter's night in the British Isles. From the dryness of all plants and trees on the Owen Stanley Range it was apparent that there had been no rain for several weeks, and the whole range did not show a single cataract or waterfall of any kind, nor even was there the murmuring of a mountain stream to break the deep oppressive silence that reigned on this great lone mountain. Mount Victoria is, during this season at least, emphatically a dry mountain, and the same may be said of all the other great mountains of the Owen Stanley Range traversed by us; but yet, strange to say, water oozes from some of the gigantic rocks on the crest of Mount Victoria, and only 200 or 300 feet from the top of the south-east peak I caught a small frog that was floating, benumbed with cold, in a little pool of water, where there was sufficient to enable one to say that it was running. We suffered much from the cold, as we had not sufficient clothing to protect us, so that in spite of fires a good deal of discomfort had to be endured. It seemed also to sharpen the appetites of a party already not strangers to hunger."

The mountain now called Mount Victoria had been described as a "gigantic isolated pyramidal block standing in weird loneliness detached from the Main Range," but Sir William's examination showed this description to be wrong in every particular. It is not an isolated peak at all, it is simply the eastern end of the Owen Stanley Range, "which," says the Report, "runs without any break as one continuous whole, from the south-east end of Mount Victoria until the range meets Mount Griffith and Mount Scratchley; the length of this part of the range (for it continues farther west into Mount Thynne and Mount Lilley), is about 20 to 25 miles...The Owen Stanley Range ends at the east in Mount Victoria, beyond which there are a number of low rounded hills separating it from the range in which Mount Obree is situated."

Mount Victoria is some 15 or 20 miles nearer the south than the north coast, but the north coast was visible from the top for several hours during the forenoon. Mount Albert Edward was also seen and named after the then Prince of Wales.

The next expedition of importance was up the Fly.

A start was made from the village of Odogositia, on the right bank of the Fly about 50 miles from its mouth, on December 26, 1890. The party consisted of Sir William, Mr. Cameron, the magistrate of the district, Mr. Douglas, engineer, a fireman and a sailor from the Merrie England, Mr. Charles Kowald, Mr. George Belford, three Papuans, and nine other coloured men, and they travelled in a steam launch which had two whaleboats in tow. The launch had a maximum length of 37 and a maximum breadth of 7 feet, and she was drawing, at the time that the party left her 535 miles up the river, 3 feet 6 inches. A hundred miles were covered in the first two days, the farthest spot at which the influence of the tide could be felt with certainty being reached on the evening of the 27th, about 150 miles from the mouth. Just beyond the limit of tidal influence a calculation was made of the amount of water coming down the Fly, with the following results, the river being at the time of what is probably its average volume. The average depth was 39 feet, the average current 3.25 miles an hour, and the width 600 yards; the estimate of the volume of water coming down in 24 hours was 180,000,000,000 gallons, which the Official Report states would be enough to supply twice the present population of the globe with 60 gallons a day a head.

January ist found the party at the junction of the Fly and the Strickland. D'Albertis had gon? up the Fly without noticing the Strickland, and the present expedition was nearly going up the Strickland without noticing the Fly—the one party having gone up the right and the other up the left bank. The name Everill Junction was given to the junction of these two rivers after the leader of the party which had explored the Strickland in 1885.

The first contact with natives took place on the 3rd. On the previous day canoes had been seen, and presents placed in them for their owners, and on the morning of the 3rd a native approached in his canoe, shouting as he paddled, "Sambio, sambio."

What "Sambio" meant no one of the party had any idea, but on the off-chance of its meaning "peace," or something of the sort, "Sambio" was answered from the launch. It is not always safe to repeat a word used by natives, as, for instance, in the case of D'Albertis, who being addressed with cries of "Ogo" himself replied "Ogo," thinking it some form of salutation. "Ogo," in fact, means "Be off," exactly the opposite of what he had intended to say. However, in this case the guess was successful; it seems that Sambio really does mean peace, and Sambi or Sambio proved, to quote the Report, "the Open, Sesame! of the upper districts of the Fly River." Still repeating Sambi, sambi, the native on this occasion paddled up to the party, and accepted a present of an empty bottle, a piece of red cloth, and a small looking-glass.

Hugely delighted he shouted to his friends to comie, and soon other canoes arrived and the occupants began to trade with the party in the launch. These people had no arms but the bow and arrow, and wore necklaces of Coix lacrima seeds and belts of plaited fibre; below the belt "was a string, to which was attached a tuft of grass which was pendent posteriorly, and in front supported a marine shell about four inches long, which was used as a receptacle instead of a fig-leaf."

All this time the country traversed continued low and wet, and monotonous in appearance, and it was not till January 6th, when they were nearly 400 miles from the mouth, that the party began to finally escape from the low, swampy country of the coastal district; it was about here that the first grass and the last coconut was seen.

Here the party again came into contact with natives, this time under rather curious circumstances. Rounding a sharp bend in the river they suddenly canie upon a native village, and on the bank in front of the village was marshalled a long line of natives in single file; they numbered about one hundred, all armed and dressed for battle. "As nearly every man," says the Report, "wore a head-dress of the wing and tail feathers of the white cockatoo stuck into a framework which crossed the head from ear to ear, forming a high, arched gloriole, and as many of them were painted in diverse colours, the effect produced was at once grotesque and imposing."

Cries of Sambio and a display of turkey red and other treasures had the desired effect upon some of the villagers, but the younger men, eager for war, seized their bows and arrows, leapt into their canoes, and set out to engage the launch. The influence of the elder men was, however, on the side of peace, and the war party soon found themselves without support and returned to the bank.

The elder men now paddled out with anxious inquiries of "Pu, pu?" which was interpreted correctly to mean "gun"—rather a pathetic little piece of evidence which showed that they had come into contact with Europeans before, probably with D'Albertis's party. They came alongside the launch and accepted presents, and a return visit was made to the bank, where a number of natives were assembled under the leadership apparently of two men, one painted white with lime made from musselshells, the other painted black and white.

The intercourse with these people was of a friendly nature, but it was found impossible to purchase any food. Their appearance resembled that of the people previously met with; "their hair was dressed in the same fashion, and they wore a small marine shell, or, instead of this shell, a small nut-shell a little larger than a walnut, and fastened by a string which went round the hips and was suspended to the belt." The women, some of whom crept out, apparently against orders, to see the strangers, and who on detection were immediately hunted back into the village, wore petticoats like the Port Moresby women. These people, in addition to the universal Sambio, had another word, Magisio, which also appeared to be an expression of pacific import.

The junction of the Alice and the Fly was reached on January loth; the point between these two rivers had been called by D'Albertis "Snake Point," but the name was now altered to "D'Albertis Junction," and the island just below called Morehead Island, after the Premier of Queensland. D'Albertis had not noticed this island, and seems to have imagined that the Alice ran in and out of the Fly and then joined it again as the Strickland.

On the Fly, 26 miles above D'Albertis Junction, and 486 miles from the mouth, some red hills were seen, and in the clay of these red hills some pebbles; these were the first stones seen on the river. Two days later, on January 13th, a red bank was noticed some 40 feet high, containing three layers of deposit, of which the middle one appeared to be an old river-bed and a likely place for gold. A dish was washed, with the result that colours were found, which was of course an encouragement to continue. While the search was proceeding some natives had succeeded in reaching the top of the bank unseen, and immediately let fly a shower of arrows, wounding Lario, a Malay, who was standing in the bow of the launch; the arrow struck him in the right shoulder-blade and penetrated about an inch. It was a reed arrow with a hardwood tip, and the force of the impact split the reed. The assailants immediately made off; this was the only occasion on which the party were really attacked, and it will be seen that on this occasion they had had no opportunity of trying their skill in pacification, for the hostile natives were never seen.

Above D'Albertis Junction it was found impossible to identify any points on the river with those appearing on D'Albertis's map, but it seems clear that he did not reach Macrossan Island, 63 miles above the junction, and 523 from the mouth, so called after the Minister for Mines in Queensland; this is an island three-quarters of a mile long, and a quarter of a mile broad, with permanent channels on either side of it, and it is unlikely that D'Albertis could have missed it if he had gone so far.

Two days later, on June 15th, 75 miles above D'Albertis Junction and 535 from the mouth, the current proved too strong for the launch, and any further advance had to be made by whaleboat. The launch was therefore left with nine of the party, while ten, that is to say, Sir William, Mr. Cameron, and two Papuans and five Polynesians, under the leadership of Mr. Belford, went on.

A little beyond the spot where the launch had been left the river was found to divide again into two streams, one coming in from the south-south-west, and the other from the east-north-east, and both of about the same size. The latter was regarded as the tributary, and was called the Palmer, after Sir Arthur Palmer of Queensland, and, on account of its direction, was selected for exploration, in preference to the main stream. It was tedious work ascending the Palmer, as the boat had frequently to be dragged by a rope or by hand, and on the 21st, after making about 50 miles from Palmer Junction, it was decided to lighten the boat by leaving behind everything that was not absolutely necessary, at a depot to be formed on the bank, at a distance of about 600 miles from the sea. The day before arriving at this farthest point, called by the party "Six Hundred Mile Camp," tobacco had been found growing in a native garden, a curious circumstance, as the natives for more than 180 miles below this point had no knowledge of tobacco. Seeds were taken, and were afterwards successfully grown in Brisbane, the verdict of London experts on the leaf being that it was of extraordinary value on account of its fitness for cigar wrappers. The house to which this garden was appurtenant was also of interest; it was in effect a block-house, loop-holed and arrow-proof—probably impregnable to any native attack. Inside the house, in addition to the usual assortment of things which one would expect to see, were found some flints, which the Report says were jused as knives. It will be interesting to remember that the Kukukuku, whom the prospecting party met with on the Tauri, had flint arrow-heads sticking in their shields, thus showing that the people with whom they fought were acquainted with the use of flint, though they themselves apparently are not. A huge arrow was also found in the house, 7 feet 6 inches in length.

Leaving two Polynesians and a Papuan at "Six Hundred Mile Camp," the other seven struggled on in the boat. Two miles from the camp a good view was obtained of the Victor Emmanuel Range of D'AIbertis, and of Mount Blucher and Mount Donaldson. The Victor Emmanuel Range was about 45 miles distant at its northern end, and from 30 to 35 miles at its south-west termination. It rises to a height of about 12,000 feet, and appears to lie completely in German New Guinea. Between them and the Victor Emmanuel Range the party saw a range of from 20 to 25 miles in length and about 2,000 feet high, apparently altogether in British territory; this was called Mount Donaldson in honour of the Treasurer of Queensland. In between the north-east end of Mount Donaldson and the Victor Emmanuel Range is the west end of a range the general direction of which is from south-east to northwest, and which lies partly in British and partly in German territory; the highest part, however, is German, and it was thought therefore that it should receive a German name. It was accordingly called Mount Blucher.

Five miles from "Six Hundred Mile Camp" a bar of rock prevented further progress in the boat, so two of the party remained, and the rest went on in the hope of being able to reach Mount Donaldson, which was only 6 or 7 miles away. In this, however, they were successful, and as they had no provisions they returned to camp the same day; signs were discovered of a considerable population, but only two natives were seen, a man and a youth of fifteen.

"We shouted to them," says the Report, "and made sigtials of peace, but they took no notice beyond staring at us...The youth wore a tattered-looking girdle of native cloth and carried a bow and a sheaf of arrows. The man wore a girdle apparently made of grass, and had his hair plaited into long thin pigtails with fibre, which hung down his back. He carried a bow and some arrows, and had on his back a netted bag, in which was a dead wallaby he had no doubt caught during the day. On the top of the bag, but without supporting himself by leaning on the man's shoulders, stood a fine large orangecoloured dingo...In nothing did I observe any difference in these people from those seen elsewhere in the possession, save that they were of a remarkably light bronze colour."

Heavy rain had put a fresh in the river, and the return to the launch was accomplished in a single day. The river still continued to rise, and at D'Albertis Junction it was found that there was at least four times as much water in each of the two rivers as there was when the party had passed before. The natives whose acquaintance had been made on January 7th turned up willingly to trade as the launch passed by, their haunting dread of the "pu" being easily dispelled, and 10 or 12 miles lower down some twenty or thirty men, apparently of another tribe, were discovered fishing. They were quite friendly and traded some of their fish, which were all killed with single-pointed arrows; the usual fish-arrow in Papua has several points. "Their arrows," says the Report, "were the most formidable heavy-barbed weapons we had seen. Some of them were remarkably large, powerful men."

All down the river peaceful relations were maintained with the natives, though some of them were rather doubtful on the subject of the "pu," and the inhabitants of a large temporary village of some 1,500 or 2,000 inhabitants, which had been formed on the left bank of the river, were particularly well disposed; and finally, on February 2nd, the party arrived at the Merrie England, at Kiwai Island, after an absence of five weeks. The volumes of the Fly and the Strickland at their junction were measured during the descent; the result makes the Strickland more than twice the size of the Fly, namely 106,000,000,000 gallons in twenty-four hours, as compared with 45,000,000,000; but as the flood had not yet come down the Fly the comparison is not a fair one.

On the commercial possibilities of the Fly River country, as revealed by his expedition, Sir William is not enthusiastic. Gold was found; it appeared in the bed of the Fly above D'Albertis Junction, and it was traced up the Palmer, but in the upper reaches of that river the colours became very faint. "At the highest point reached there was very little slate or quartz to be seen. We have clearly shown that gold is there. We have no reason or grounds for believing that it can be procured in payable quantities. It does not seem to come from the mountains, but more likely from a nearer range, now washed away and represented by the clay hills."

The climate was a surprise; the nights were cool, probably on account of the wind blowing over the snow-clad mountains of Dutch New Guinea, and there seemed to be no wet season, although there were daily thunderstorms at various places on the watershed of the river.

Several dififerent tribes of natives were seen, but in spite of local differences in size, colour, language, and dress nothing was found to indicate the existence of a race in the interior different from that on the coast.

An account has already been given of Bevan's examination of the Purari, or, as he called it, the Queen's Jubilee River, in the year 1887; his work was supplemented by a party under Sir William MacGregor in 1893. This expedition left the delta at the end of December, and reached the junction of the Aure, the first considerable tributary of the Purari, on January 2, 1894; the river was in flood, and there was great difficulty in ascending it beyond Bevan Rapids. No natives were seen before Aure Junction, but there a party of men were found who had come up the river to cut timber for canoes; these people called themselves Epai, and were supposed to have some connjcction with a tribe called Ipikoi, who had been met with on Port Romilly.

About I degree south of the German boundary it was found that further progress in the launch was impossible, and the ascent was thyerefore continued by boat until the 23rd, when want of time compelled the party to return. The farthest point reached was inhabited by a tribe called Biree; there were a couple of houses there, and a number of natives whose acquaintance was made in rather a sudden manner. The houses were of a very peculiar construction, consisting of a ground floor and two upper storeys. The ground floor was formed of large logs laid on one another; the middle storey consisted simply of a bare floor, and had no side walls, and the third storey was abooit 20 feet from the ground, and was reached by a ladder. The walls were lined with the leaf-stalks of the sagotree so as to be arrow-proof. Arrows with bone tips, such as are common in the Gulf of Papua, stone axes, and other articlies had been left in one of the houses, and it was just as he was giving orders for the return of some stone axes that Sir William, from a startling yell that was suddenly raised out of the bush, first became aware that the owners were watching him. Fortunately an attack was averted, and the following day it was found possible to enter into trading relations with some of the natives, who in the meantime had retired into the upper storey of one of their houses; for a long time, however, their timidity was so great that the only way of getting them to accept anything was to tie it to a cane rope, which was lowered down to receive it, and then hauled up again.

These people are described as "of a bronze colour, a few of them lighter than the Port Moresby natives, all of them lighter in colour than the Purari Delta natives. Their features were also more like the former than the latter. The nose was decidedly smaller than in the Purari and Fly River natives, the head rounder and larger looking. They are wellmade men of average size, better knit and not so loosely limbed as the Gulf men...their arms are the bow and arrow, without shields, only a very few stone clubs, and no bone daggers, and no beheading knives. There were no human skulls in the houses." These people were visited again in 1908. Evidence of cannibalism was found, a child's skull having been broken open to remove the brains; the people who were seen are deseribed as very tall in stature, very light coloured, pleasant featured, and of exceptional physique.

The most extraordinary thing about them was that, if Sir William heard aright, they speak a Melanesian language. He said to one of them, pointing to a young man who was present, "Natumu?" which in Motu, the language of Port Moresby, means "Your son?" and received the answer "Natugu," which in the same language means "My son." They also use for "no" the word "nege," which is a common form in the east of Papua. It is extremely improbable that Sir William was mistaken, but it would be strange to find a Melanesian language so far to the west; although the fact that the Motu trade so regularly with the Gulf might suggest an inference that they may originally have come from that part of the territory, instead of, as is always supposed, from' the east. Chalmers, it should be remembered, describes the Motu as "coming in past ages from the distant west," and this view is, to a certain extent, supported by the legend which connects the Cupola in the Gulf near Kerema with Taurama Point near Bootless Inlet.[*] It is, however, to be observed that the Mackay-Little expedition reached Biroe in the year 1908, and although they had with them a large number of police, and of "boys" principally from the Melanesian-speaking tribes, including many who spoke Motu, none of them could exchange a single intelligible word with any of the local natives.

[* See Chalmers, "Pioneering in New Guinea," pp. 1 and 21.]

From Biróe the party returned to the coast, and threaded their way through the intricacies of the Purari Delta to Iare, or, as it is sometimes called, Iai, a large village situated on one of the numerous passages which lead through the delta to the sea. Iare is, like the other delta villages, built upon a waste of sticky and malodorous mud, which at high tide is mostly under water. The houses are built on piles; one climbs into them by means of crazy erections of sticks, while still more flimsy structures, which must, I suppose, be dignified by the name of bridges, afford a precarious passage from one side of the numerous channels to the other—otherwise all is mud and muddy water; conspicuous by their size are the Ravi or men's houses, which rise sometimes to a height of 80 or 100 feet. "At night," says the Report, "the smell was pestilential."

Here the explorers were well received, and the following day they went on to Kairu. Kairu belongs to the Koriki confederation of villages, which consists of Ukiaravi, Kairu, and Koropenairu; thus, though it is a much smaller village than lare, it was, as a member of this confederation, at least equally powerful. Four or five hundred fighting men were estimated as being present at the time of this visit, many of whom must have belonged to the other villages of the confederation, for Kairu itself could not supply this number.

At this village there was trouble from the very first; it began, as is so often the case, with pilfering by the natives—at first of small things, but culminating in the theft of four axes, which were carried for the purpose of cutting firewood for the launch. This, of course, was a loss which could not be overlooked, and the return of the axes was demanded, but in vain, and it became more and more evident that a conflict was inevitable.

Kairu is a village of the regular delta type, and though it is less so than any of the others, that is to say, though it is not all mud, and though there is actually solid ground to be found there, even with grass growing on it, still it is not the place in which one would choose to be attacked by a vastly superior force of hostile cannibals; and, if one must be attacked, one would prefer it to be in the daytime. The main body of police, too, seem in some way to have become separated from the rest of the party, and were camped on the other side of the river, so that it was above all things necessary, if hostilities were to take place, that they should be postponed until the following day. Fortunately the Kairu men seem to have taken the same view, for they were expecting reinforcements from Koropenairu, which arrived during the night.

The following morning Kauri, the principal chief of the village, appeared. He is described as "a big, dark, middle-aged man, wonderfully cool and collected for a Papuan." Kauri absolutely refused to listen to the suggestion that he should return the axes, and was quite ready for battle. "I said to him," says Sir William in his report, "that I should fire on the first man that appeared carrying bow and arrow. To that he did not reply except by his face, which said plainly, 'Who is afraid?' As he was preparing to go, I said to him that as he was determined to fight, he might as well have the men of Koropenairu to help him, as I might conveniently then fight them both. As he rose he said, with perfect self-possession, and with Lacedaemonian brevity, 'It is much; they are here.' That, of course, I already knew, as I had seen some of them."

Then followed the most "sportsmanlike" engagement that ever was fought in Papua or probably anywhere else—an engagement of which the incidents remind one of the courtesy of the English and French Guards at Fontenoy—each side scorning to take the slightest advantage of the most obvious opportunity, or to make any attack before the enemy's arrangements were complete. Sir William succeeded in withdrawing his force in safety, the Koriki marksmanship being of the very worst, and returned through Maipua to the coast; there were no casualties on the side of the police, and not many among the Koriki. The chief Kauri Uved till 1909; he was ever afterwards well-disposed towards the Government.

Coal was found on this expedition at an island calle'd Abukuru, 30 miles up the Purari; no further search was made for this mineral until the Mackay-Little Expedition in 1908.

The year 1896 was notable for the first of Sir William's expeditions across the island. Looking at the map, and merely measuring distances, this may not seem much of a feat, but distance is obviously only one of the elements to be considered, and is by itself no test of the difficulties and dangers of the journey. To cross Papua where Sir William crossed it means travelling from sea to sea over a range of mountains more than 13,000 feet high, through a country as rough probably as any in the world, for a great part absolutely trackless and quite unknown, and inhabited (where it was inhabited at all) by tribes who were more likely than not to prove bitterly hostile, with no transport but a few Papuati carriers. To follow in his track would, even at the present day with his experience to guide one, be a laborious undertaking, and conditions are far easier now, in every way, than they were then. The route taken on this occasion was from the Mambare via the Chirima Junction, over Mount Scratchley to the top of Mount Victoria, thence to the village of Gosisi at the foot of Mount Knutsford, and down the valley of the Venapa to the coast. Mount Victoria was not on the direct route; Sir William and some of the party ascended it for the purpose of checking the latitude.

Coming from the mouth of the Mambare, the party arrived at Tamata station on the afternoon of August 7th, and left again on the 11th. Goiye, the chief of Neneba village, on the north side of Mount Scratchley, who had come on a visit to the Government station, accompanied them; most of the carriers had been sent on previously to Simpson's Store, higher up the Mambare. This store was distant about 20 miles in a straight line from the Government station, and was situated on Mount Gillies or Otovia, at an altitude of about 1,500 feet above the river-bed. It had been built by Mr. William Simpson, a miner who, with a party of prospectors, consisting of Messrs. Clunas, Bastian, Drislane, McLaughlin, Elliott, Neilson, and McClelland, had cut a road up the left bank of the Mambare from the Government station to the junction of the Chirima and the Yodda, a work which is characterised by Sir William as "by far the most important ever performed by any private person or party in this country."

Between the store and the Chirima Junction two parties of miners were met, who were returning from inland, as they considered that the wet season had already begun. A few were, however, still working, and it was feared that thesp might be made the subject of reprisals at the hands of the Neneba people if the long absence of the chief Goiye were by any chance interpreted to mean that he had met with ill-treatment at the hands of the white men. Goiye, therefore, was packed off home, not, as it turned out, an instant too soon, for his wife, thinking that he must be dead, was on the point of hanging herself from grief.

The Chirima and the Yodda, joining to form the Manibare, enclose, as it were. Mount Scratchley between them, the Chirima on the north and the Yodda on the east and south. Here a depot was formed and a halt made for about a week, friendly relations being in the meantime established with the surrounding inhabitants through the medium of Goiye. These people are described as being of a dark bronze, a shade darker than the coast people of the Central District, but much lighter than the men of the Fly Estuary; "the elders cultivate whiskers, but rigorously depilate the rest of the face, a fashion which gives them a somewhat grotesque clerical appearance. The elder men use the perineal band and girdle, made of native cloth; the young men dress in the same manner, but the great peculiarity of their costume is that the parts concealed by the perineal band anteriorly are enveloped in leaves till the whole reaches the bulk of a child's head. The object of this was not clear." Further investigation has shown that these leaves are used for the same purpose as the coronet of cassowary feathers mentioned by D'Albertis in his "New Guinea," vol. i., p. 261; probably this is the only object for which they were worn, and, as D'Albertis points out, the practice, though revolting to our ideas, really makes for cleanliness.

There was probably little or no intercourse between these tribes and the people of the lower Mambare; for tobacco, which was cultivated by the former, is absolutely unknown to the latter.

Passing MacLaughlin's Creek and the "Look Out," the farthest inland camp of the miners, situated about 2,000 feet above sea-level on one of the eastern spurs of Mount Scratchley, the party began the ascent of that mountain on September ist. The trailing bamboo mentioned in connection with the previous expedition to Mount Victoria was in evidence at about 8,000 feet, but the bright, dry weather experienced on that journey was missing, and until Doura, right on the other side of New Guinea, was reached on October 13th there was nothing but a daily succession of fog, drizzling mist, and rain. As at "Goodwin Lodge," on the previous ascent, mosquitoes and leeches were numerous in spite of the cold, but, though the mist and rain continued, the moss on the trees was much less thick after 10,000 feet; at about 11,000 feet small patches of grass were seen, and near the camp at 11,175 feet a daisy was found, "sometimes with white and at other times with pink flowers with a very delicate perfume of remarkable fragrance."

The altitude of the highest point of Mount Scratchley was fixed by the boiling-point at 12,860 feet, and by the aneroid at 12,850. The mountain undoubtedly contains gold, but Mr. Simpson, who paid the party a visit while they were camped on the top, was not impressed with the probability of finding gold on the summit.

Mount Scratchley contains about 40 square miles, above 10,500 feet, of grass-land interspersed with bare rocks and clumps of trees, and similar country was seen to extend over the tops of the Owen Stanley Range, Mount Albert Edward, and the Wharton Chain, which connects Mount Albert Edward with Mount Scratchley. Only one native village was seen, the village of Fofoana opposite Neneba on the west side of the Chirima aftluent, known as the Ajibara or Aziba, at an altitude of about 3,000 feet.

The great majority of birds found upon the summit were new, but larks, swallows, sparrows, or finches, ducks, and woodcocks were also found. The most interesting flower was a rhododendron about a foot high, bearing bunches of scarlet flowers. Wallabies were scarce—less numerous it appears than the wild dingoes, who were first heard at an altitude of over 10,000 feet. Traces of these dingoes were everywhere, but only one was seen—it was a large black animal; in view of their numbers in comparison with the wallaby it is difficult to understand what they can find to live upon.

Leaving the summit of Mount Scratchley on the 17th, the party on the same day struck the old track that had been made on Winter Height at the time of the first ascent of Mount Victoria, the first to find it being Romi, a native of Saroa in the Rrgo District, who had been one of those who cut it on the previous occasion. On the 20th the top of Mount Victoria was reached, and the camp pitched in the same place as in 1889. "The fresh, preservative quality of the climate there," says Sir William's official report, "was well seen in the fact that the ferns that served me as a bed, nearly seven years before, were not yet rotten, the charcoal left by our fires was fresh, and a pair of blue dungaree pants, left there by one of our carriers, still had the buttons attached, and did not seem to be rotten." The weather, however, was far less favourable than on the first occasion, "a strong and piercing wind was blowing, charged with dense clouds of penetrating mist or drizzling rain, and the rain was cruelly severe, especially to people provided only with garments suitable for tropical lowlands. To add to the misery of the situation, firewood was scarce and bad, and it was not found practicable to erect a tent."

The conditions on the 21st were equally bad, and as on the 22nd they were found to be still worse, a return was made to Winter Height. The old track was followed except where it led through the trailing bamboos, where all trace of it was lost. "Of all paths," says the report, "that through the trailing bamboos is the most detestable."

However, instead of following the old track all the way, it was decided to make for a village called Gosisi, which was known to exist at the south-west foot of Mount ICnutsford, opposite the kindred people of Tobiri, who live upon the north-west spurs of Mount Musgrave on the other side of the Venapa, and who had been visited in 1889. Gosisi was reached on the 29th; the inhabitants, though timid, were friendly. Sir William considered them to be physically the best-built men he had met in the possession.

The Gosisi people escorted the party to the Tobiri, and the Tobiri accompanied them as far as the Venapa at the foot of Mount Kowald, where they arrived on October 4th. Crossing the river the party followed the old track as far as it could be traced, and on October loth met a party of natives from the village of Koni, who had come out to look for them, and who brought them to their village on the forenoon of the 12th.

The following day the explorers arrived at the coast, having crossed the island in sixty-nine days. A sufficient testimony to the organisation of the expedition is to be found in the fact that on the arrival of the party at Koni they had still ten days' provisions on hand.


Last expedition of Sir William MacGregor—Miners beleaguered by the Goromani on the Upper Venapa—Relief expedition from Port Moresby—Arrival at Suku—Difficulties with the carriers—Village of Iritumuni—Camp of the miners relieved—History of the blockade—Description of the district—Suitability to Europeans—Three camps to be moved across the Main Range—Sufferings of the carriers from cold—Scarcity of life on the mountain-tops—Ascent of Mount Scratchley—Arrival at Tamata station—Exploration since Sir William MacGregor—Ascent of Mount Albert Edward by Mr. Monckton—Large tracks of a cloven-footed animal—The "Devil Pig"—Cold on the summit—Expedition of Mr. Monckton across the island—The MacKay—Little expedition from the Purari westward—Discovery of coal—Mr. Smith's attempt to cross from the Kikori to the Strickland—Deaths among the carriers—Causes of the failure of the expedition—Mr. Little's expedition from the Kikori to the Purari and back—Attack by natives.

The highest mountain had now been climbed, the largest river ascended, and the island crossed from sea to sea, and the Lieutenant-Governor was on the point of leaving for Australia when, in September, 1898, news reached Port Moresby that a small party of prospectors, under Mr. George Wriford, who had formerly been in the service of the Government as Commandant of Constabulary, had been robbed, and were hemmed in by the Goromani tribe on the upper waters of the Vetapu, a tributary of the Venapa River. Prompt action was necessary if they were to be relieved, and on September 18th a party, under Sir William, left Port Moresby for that purpose.

Proceeding by way of Morabi, near Galley Reach, and Koni on the right bank of the Venapa, the party, on Septerriber 26th, arrived at the old village of Suku on the Niaba Creek, near the junction of the Vetapu and the Venapa. Although food supplies were plentiful, this part of the journey told heavily upon the carriers, who had been recruited from the coastal districts of the Central Division and the Fly River, and were assisted by twenty good-conduct prisoners under the charge of two native warders. "The rain that fell each night left the country saturated with wet next morning, making the road heavy and slippery. When the sun rose the glens and hollows were covered more or less by fogs that were close, heavy, and steamy, unrelieved by the slightest movement of the air. A mile or two in this atmosphere told on the strongest of our raw coast carriers, and soon exhausted even our more seasoned men from the Fly District. The prisoners, heavy men and in comfortable condition, suffered so much from the close and suffocating atmosphere, and from the steepness and slipperiness of the road, that Mr. Kelly had a very difficult task every day in getting them on to the camp for the night." The coastal carriers were sometimes so exhausted at night that it was necessary to force them to put up their tents—otherwise they would, to save the slight additional exertion, which in their wretched condition appeared utterly beyond the limits of their strength, have preferred to remain lying all night in the rain.

Suku was found to be 2,855 feet above sea-level, and to command a good view of the villages of Gosisi and Tobiri, at a distance of 3 or 4 miles in a straight line. It is here that the climate of the mountains began to make itself felt in the chilliness of the fogs that enveloped the country at night.

Troublous times awaited the carriers in descending to the Vetapu after crossing the Niaba—"the descent of the mountain was extraordinarily steep. So bad was it that many of the carriers cried like children." The truth was that the relieving party had no option in the matter of choosing a route; they had to follow the track of the party whom they were going to relieve, and to travel as fast as they possibly could.

Crossing the Vetapu on the 28th, the village of Iritumuni was reached on the same day. The men of this village (which was found to be quite friendly) are described as strongly built and of a dark bronze colour; as is the case with many mountain people, both men and women wore the perineal band. Iritumuni is, so far as I know, the only place in Papua where a system of ensilage is practised; pits were found there, dug in the wet ground, about which there was running water, and in which nuts were stored to be used as food.

At Iritumuni news was received of the beleaguered prospectors, a native stating that he had seen one of Mr. Wriford's party killed, that he had been speared in the stomach, and that his head had been smashed in with a stone club; and further that the Goromani were constantly on the watch round the camp, and hoped in a short time to despatch them all. This report, which fortunately proved to be exaggerated, determined the rescuers to proceed direct to Wriford's instead of going first to the Goromani as had been intended. The first camp from Iritumuni was at an altitude of 5,000 feet, and on the next day, September 30th, the thirteenth day from Port Moresby, Mr. Wriford's camp was relieved.

Mr. Wriford's party, consisting of three Europeans and one foreigner of colour, was found to be safe. The foreigner was the man who was alleged to have been killed, but though it was true that he had received wounds from a spear and a club, he was recovering from his injuries. They had still three months' provisions left, but were so closely watched that they did not dare to go out and cut down the timber which afforded cover to the besiegers. Fortunately they were not compelled to leave the camp for water, for the rainfall provided them with a sufficient supply.

The history of the siege was as follows. It appeared that in the previous May a miner named Martin Dabney, who fell sick while prospecting, was murdered by the Goromani, the war-chief holding his hands while the others smashed in his head with clubs; then, emboldened apparently by this success, the same people had, while carrying for Mr. Wriford from the village to his camp, broken the parcels and stolen the goods, driving Martin, the man who was wounded, and two lower Venapa boys to fly for their lives. The Goromani then blockaded Mr. Wriford and Martin in their camp, and, when Martin was wounded, the position became serious, and would in all probability have had a fatal ending had it not been for the arrival of two miners, Messrs. Nettle and Peel, who were with Mr. Wriford and Martin when they were relieved.

A village visible from Mr. Wriford's camp was thought to be Goro, which I believe is the correct name of the village of the Goromani, but it turned out to be Onuga or Onunge; Goro was 4,000 feet below at an altitude of 5,000 feet on a grassy sloping ridge several miles in length.

A really brilliant dash by the police (the pace was far too hot to permit any of the Europeans to take part in the charge), under a well-known veteran named Sefa, who for his services on this occasion was promoted to the rank of sergeant, soon cleared the village of Goro, with a loss to the Goromani of seven or eight men, including, one is glad to learn, the war-chief who had held Dabney's hands while the others killed him. The chief, it is said, showed plenty of pluck, but his career was brought to an end by a rifle-bullet from the police, and a half axe wielded by the chief of Suku, who had brought his weapon all the way for the express purpose, as he himself said, of washing it in Goromani blood. Three villages were found upon the slope, but the total number of men that the Goromani could put into the field was estimated at not more than eighty or a hundred. Their weapons were the spear and the club; they had bows and arrows, but only used them for shooting birds and fish, and they also carried a cassowary bone, so shaped that it might be used as a spoon, a knife, or a dagger.

Half a dozen corpses were found in various stages of decomposition, some in cages or boxes laid upon platforms, and some standing upright wrapped round with leaves or cloth inside a circular fence; stuck into the fence, and also into the covering of the corpses, were yams and cucumbers, and also flowers. Flowers were also found as a decoration of burialplaces at the village of Iritumuni.

At such an altitude the climate is cool, and Sir William describes the district as the first that he had seen which would be suitable as a permanent home for Europeans. In the grass, which is short compared with that of the lower country, were seen forget-menots and other flowers of the temperate regions, the summits of the mountains were clad in forests, and numerous tall pines were found along the banks of the creeks. Much of the country is probably too steep for grazing, or for cultivation, but there is a considerable area that would be suitable for either; the distance from the coast, and the cost of transport, is, however, likely for many years to prove a bar to settlement. The native population is said by Sir William to be very considerable, and this is borne out by the description given by members of the Roman Catholic Mission, who, I believe, are the only other Europeans who have visited this district, which can be reached in two long days from their station at Mafulu.

A custom which, so far as I know, has nevfer been noticed elsewhere in Papua, was found among these people. "The leg-bones of deceased relatives" [I quote from the Annual Report] "are worked up into long pins, which are stuck into the mass of woolly hair over the ear, a plume of coloured feathers being made fast to the blunt projecting end. This," adds Sir William, "was to me a new use of the human skeleton." The language of the district has, I understand, been found to be similar to that of Mafulu, which is a Papuan language; this makes it interesting to note that Sir William discovered that the Vetapu, in its upper branches, bore the thoroughly Polynesian name of Wai Tabu, or sacred river.

The beleaguered miners had now been relieved, and Mr. Wriford returned to Port Moresby, leaving Mr. Nettle in command of his party. Mr. Giuliannetti, a Government ofllicer, had a fortified camp on the Wharton Range, and, as Mr. Nettle and party wished to visit the other side of Mount Scratchley, the difficult problem arose of shifting three camps across the Main Range. This problem Sir William proceeded to solve with his usual thoroughness and skill.

The cold reduced the unfortunate carriers to despair. A torrential downpour had made the top of the Wharton Range and Mount Scratchley into "one vast sponge," but still the camps were moved, and in the meantime an attempt, unfortunately only partially successful, was made to get some observations from Mount Scratchley, the chief obstacle being the fog, which came sweeping up from the Chirima Valley.

On the 27th Sir William left the summit, nearly the whole of the baggage being now across the range. But little had been discovered that was of interest from the point of view of the naturalist or the botanist. "Perhaps what struck one as most remarkable on the great mountain-tops on which we had spent three weeks was the scarcity of life there. Birds are few...Animals are rare. The wild dog, an occasional rock wallaby, rats, a stray, treekangaroo, and a long-snouted animal not yet obtained, form the bulk of the quadrupeds. Insects are numerous, but of wonderfully few kinds; and flowers are only insignificant in number compared with those of the European Alps. Land shells are very rare. There are doubtless many objects of natural history to be collected there yet, but they will fall far short of former expectations."

From Mount Scratchley the descent was made over familiar ground by way of MacLaughlin's Creek and the Chirima to Simpson's store and Tamata station. The journey across the island had taken fifty-one days, eighteen days less than the former expedition The route followed on this occasion was, of course, determined by the object the party had in view, namely, the rescue of Mr. Wriford and his party. It was a particularly rough and arduous one, and the fact that the time was so much less than in, 1896 is no doubt to be explained by the necessity for haste which was felt in the early part of the journey. The carriers suffered very severely. "One thing was seen clearly," says the Report, "that the coastmen are poor carriers generally, and that they are quite unfit and unsuitable for the high altitudes."

Since the time of Sir William there have been but few expeditions that call for any special mention. The policy has been to extend and consolidate the influence of the Government over what is already known, rather than to explore parts of the territory over which it would be impossible to exercise anyeffective control. Of course a good deal of exploration is being done every day by Government officers in the course of their ordinary duty, and much is done also by miners in their never-ending search for gold, and by missionaries, especially of the Roman Catholic Mission, which has spread into the interior more than the others, but there have been no expeditions of late years which can compare with those of Sir William MacGregor. The change is a natural result of the history of the territory. In Sir Wilham's day the problem before the Government was exploration; of late years it has been, not exploration, but consolidation and development. In one sense exploration is necessary for development, for unless you thoroughly explore a country you can never know what it contains, and it may well be that future expeditions may reveal natural resources the existence of which is as yet unsuspected; but, from an administrative point of view, an expedition which merely passes through an unknown district, and is not followed by the establishment of Government stations, means in most cases merely an expenditure of money without any tangible result.

Of such explorations as have been made of late years, the principal have been Mr. C. A. W. Monckton's ascent of Mount Albert Edward, his expedition across the island from the Waria River to Motu Motu in the Papuan Gulf, the attempts of Messrs. Mackay and Little to pass from the Purari to the Strickland, and of Mr. Staniforth Smith to cross from the Kikori to the same river, and the journey of Mr. Little from the Kikori to the Purari and back again.

Mr. Monckton, who at the time was Resident Magistrate of the Northern Division, left loma station for Mount Albert Edward on April 17, 1906; the party consisted of himself and Mr. Money, of the Anglican Mission, a corporal and ten men of the Armed Constabulary, six village constables, and one hundred men of the Mambare and Gira Rivers.

Passing by the upper Aikora, they reached a village of the Kambisi tribe, called Ginana, on the 24th, and thence followed the valley of the Chirima, crossing that stream on May 4th. They then climbed a spur running north of west, leading to where the Wharton Chain joins Mount Albert Edward, the point from which Mr. Monckton had decided to make the ascent; a large native rest-house was found near the end of this spur. Following a track the party the next day passed through a native camping-place, consisting of several houses, and arrived at "the summit of the Wharton Range.

Here a large native rest-house was found, 117 feet long, thatched with bark, heather, and grass; dried bracken and heather was piled up all over the floor, with the exception of some cleared spaces whicjh had been left for fires. Mr. Monckton reports having found here tobacco "remarkable even among New Guinea tobacco for its fragrance," heather, wild strawberries, raspberries, buttercups, and daisies. The height was found by boiling-point to be 10,877 feet. The following day a specimen was found of the skylark reported by Sir William MacGregor on Mount Victoria, and two days later the "tracks of a graminivorous cloven-footed animal were seen—one 'spoor,' not the largest, was measured by Mr. Money and proved to be 4 inches by 4½ inches. The herbage had been grazed, and moss in places turned up; excrements smaller than and slightly resembling that of a horse, but otherwise strange to me, were plentiful." This reminds one of the large herbivorous animal, the lair of which Captain Moresby's officers had, more than thirty years before, discovered near Collingwood Bay.

On May loth came the incident of the "devil pig" well known to every one in Papua. Village Constable Oia and Constable Ogi of the Armed Constabulary had been sent out to follow a track that had been seen on the previous day, and as they did not return shots were fired to attract their attention. What followed can best be told in Mr. Monckton's own words.

"At last," he says in his Official Report, "to my great relief the shots were replied to, and later the missing men were brought in, Private Ogi being carried into camp in a state of extreme exhaustion. Oia said that he and Ogi had separated to follow diff'erent tracks some 3 miles out—Avhen it was time to return home Ogi was missing, and he had gone in search of him. He found Ogi lying down, as he put it, nearly dead. Ogi had told him an amazing lie of an encounter with a 'devil pig,' and refused or was too weak to walk home. At last, in desperation, Oia cut a stick and beat Ogi till he stood up...Ogi, when in a fit state, related his adventures thus: 'After he had parted with Oia the carrier with Ogi pointed out two enormous pigs feeding on a grass patch. Ogi had gone within 30 yards and fired at one, but said that his hand was shaking so much with cold that he could not hold his rifle straight. At the report of the rifle the smaller of the two animals moved off, the larger raised its head and turned round and looked at Ogi, who perceived that there was something unusual about it. At the same time the carrier called out, "those are devils, not pigs." While Ogi was partly paralysed with cold and fright, and fumbling with a second cartridge, the animal that at first had moved off called to its mate, which at once trotted away. What took place after this is beyond me to discover; whether Ogi chased the animals or they chased him, or Ogi and the carrier fled in different directions until exhausted and found by Village Constable Oia, I don't know. The description of the beast—which is that of the police, not mine—culled from a mass of statements, is about 5 feet long, 3 feet 6 inches high, a tail like a horse, and cloven feet, black or dark skin, with pattern-like markings, a long snout, grazes on grass, turns over moss with its snout, and calls with a long shrill note...The description of Ogi and the carrier, owing to the 'funk' they fell into, is not of much value, Oia unfortunately did not see the beast. The fright of the men appears to bear out their story, as either of the men in question would assail the largest wild boar with no better weapon than a spear. I give the story as told to me...The only statement that I personally make is that the tracks of a cloven-footed graminivorous animal are to be found on Mount Albert Edward. It is, perhaps, worthy of remark in this connection that Sir William MacGregor, in his report of the Mount Scratchley expedition, makes an allusion to a 'long-snouted animal' being seen."

Such is the evidence for the existence of the "devil pig." The tracks arc the most tangible part of the story, and as regards tracks one should not forget the warning of D'Albertis, which has already been cited in connection with the alleged rhinoceros and buffalo of the Fly River.[*]

[* Page 256.]

From the Government station at loma a column is to be seen near the summit of Mount Albert Edward, looking almost as though it were the work of human hands? "This column was reached on May 16th; it was found to be a mass of rock about 60 feet high, with a diameter of about 20 feet at the base and about the same at the top. "It is not climbable," says the Report; "a solid rock, flattopped terrace extends for about 200 yards in a northerly direction from the column, the clean-cut sides of which give the whole thing the appearance of some ancient, vast church; a vein of quartz once connected the column to the terrace, but this has now decomposed and dropped away."

The altitude of the highest peak of Mount Albert Edward was found, by boiling-point, to be 13,230 feet, Mount Victoria was marked on the chart as 13,205. According to Sir William's observations, and the calculations of Mr. Cameron, it is 13,121. All these measurements are, o'f course, only approximate. Mount Albert Edward had been seen by Sir William from Mount Victoria, and its height had been estimated at 12,750 feet; however, only some 4 or 5 miles of the crest were then visible.

Near the summit were seen two deep-blue and beautiful lakes of no great extent: numerous other lakes had been seen in a valley at an altitude of 12,000 feet. It is the outfalls of these last-mentioned lakes, Mr. Monckton tells us, that "form the variable white patches on Mount Albert Edward seen from loma."

On the summit "the thermometer fell during the night to 26° F., and all water was frozen solid in the morning. The faces of the carriers, when they were ordered to chop the water required for their morning meal out of the creeks with tomahawks, were a study in expression. Some of the police and carriers stowed lumps of ice away in their packs to take back and show their relations." The most interesting among the plants that were noticed were "a plant closely resembling the edelweiss of the Swiss mountains" and "blackberries very similar to the English in appearance but devoid of flavour." The whole summit appeared to be a regular huntingground of the natives, though the elevation was too great to allow of permanent dwellings. Game seems to have been fairly plentiful, and the grass and heather appear to have been for many years burnt by native hunting parties.

Some days were spent on the higher parts of the range, and on May 21st the return journey was begun; it was without incident, and loma was reached in seven days.

This party had the great advantage of finding tracks to take them to their destination, both going and returning, and, as has been seen, even rest-houses were occasionally found in which they could camp. The difficulty they had to contend against was the cold, and on this point Mr. Monckton says, "I found again that native carriers plentifully fed on highly sweetened chocolate and pea-soup strongly dashed with 'Lemco' were, if supplied with Vaseline to grease their skins with, quite as capable of enduring cold as the clothed police, and more so than myself."

The following recipe is given for the pea-soup: Water, 2 gallons; pea-flour, 1 lb.; Lemco (Liebig Meat Company's extract of meat), 4 oz. To this the men add rice or birds, meat or pig, as can be obtained.

Two ounces of solid chocolate, Mr. Monckton says, will do a man for one day, and he adds, "Oiled calico sheets are required for carriers to sleep on when the ground is wet or frozen. Low-country men crave for salt in high altitudes. My party Consumed 40 lb. of coarse salt in six weeks."

Mr. Monckton's journey across the island early, in 1907 was a really notable achievement, but unfortunately there is no official record of it in existence. Striking west from the Waria he appears to have crossed the main range somewhere near Mount Chapman, and, coming upon the upper waters of the Lakekamu, to have followed that river to the Papuan Gulf. A detailed account of his expedition would have been of great value to subsequent explorers, and it is to be regretted that full particulars are not available.

In 1908 Mr. Donald Mackay, the Hon. W. J. Little, and Mr. Pratt, ascended the Purari beyond Biree, Sir William MacGregor's farthest point, and struck out west hoping to reach the Strickland; unfortunately, however, they were unable to cover more than about a third of the distance, and were compelled by lack of time to return by the same route to the Purari.

Mr. Pratt has favoured me with the following note of the ascent of the Purari. "We travelled from Biree up the Purari on the northern bank for about 8 miles, then crossed it, and having crossed a bend came, in about 14 miles, to what I regarded as the main stream. This we followed to its source, about 25 miles westward. A large tributary joined from the north in the bend where we had not followed the river. This Mr. Little thought must be the main stream, but we were not near enough to it to be sure of its size. The tributary shown by Sir William at Biree does not exist. The river flows around a large island, at the lower end of which the appearance is of the junction of two large streams."

This party passed over some very rough limestone country consisting of precipitous hills with huge caverns, into which sometimes a river would disappear, to come out again on the other side. They came across numerous natives, who frequently showed themselves hostile, and unfortunately succeeded in killing one of the carriers. At other times they were quite friendly, and even allowed their women to come into the explorers' camp, the men are reported to have been of fine physique, and of lighter colour than the coastal tribes. Their arms were bows and arrows, clubs, and a heavy spear or lance, not used for throwing. The women had their heads and faces covered with cloaks or veils of native cloth.

The most valuable result of the Mackay-Little expedition was the discovery of a large coalfield between the Purari and the Kikori Rivers; it is impossible at present, before the field has been properly tested, to say what influence this discovery may have upon the future of the territory, but it is an apt illustration of the importance of exploration in the development of a country.

The discovery of the coalfield by Messrs. Mackay and Little was the occasion of Mr. Smith's expedition in 1910-11. Mr. Smith was at the time administering the Government, and his original intention was to go up the Purari as the former party had done, and, following more or less in their track, to make a thorough examination of the field with a view to ascertaining its extent and its accessibility. However, the ascent of the Purari was considered to be difficult or impracticable, and the party went on, by sea, to the Kikori, and from this point the examination of the coalfield appears to have been abandoned, and the expedition to have become one of exploration, the objective being the same as that of Messrs. Mackay and Little, namely, the Strickland River.

Ascending the Kikori by launch so far as the current would allow, the party, consisting of Messrs. Smith, Bell, Pratt, Hennelly, and H. L. Murray, reached a point on the western branch (the Burns of Bevan), the position of which was calculated to be 7°6 S. latitude, 143°59 E longitude, and thence, on November 24th, struck north to a mountain which had been seen by the Mackay and Little expedition, and named Mount Murray. This mountain was estimated to be 8,000 feet high.

From Mount Murray Messrs. Hennelly and Murray returned to the coast, and the remainder of the party, with seventeen carriers and eleven police, proceeded in a generally westerly direction until they reached the River Mobi, one of the streams which go to make up the Kikori.

Where they went after crossing the Mobi is not clear; but eventually, after enduring great hardships and privations, they found themselves, with their carriers, worn out and starving, on the banks of a river which they persuaded themselves must be the Strickland. They therefore stopped, made rafts, and, on January 26th, entrusted themselves to the waters. Here again misfortune followed them. Their rafts were wrecked or capsized in the rapids, five of the carriers were drowned in the river, all their records and their few remaining provisions were lost, and they themselves were cast upon the bank deprived of almost everything except, to their great good fortune, one match, which proved dry enough to strike, when all the rest were ruined. This match provided a fire which was kept alight for thirty-one days, the police carrying a firestick as they went along, and assiduously (and successfully) watching that it did not go out.

It seemed highly probable now that the party would die of hunger, and they were in fact upon occasion for six or seven days entirely or practically without food; and, what must have been exceptionally disheartening, they were, after the raft accident, for a time separated. Eventually, however, after great suffering, travelling sometimes by water and at other times on foot, they came, on March 3rd, to a camp with a white man in charge; still thinking, that they were, if not on the Strickland, at any rate on the Bamu, the leader asked, "What river is this?" and to his astonishment received the answer, "The Kikori," and then to their utter amazement the party found themselves in the very place from which they had started when they left the launch and made for Mount Murray more than three months before.

When the party left Port Moresby it was expected they would be back in about six weeks, and as time passed and there was no sign of their return the greatest anxiety was felt both in Australia and in Papua, and search parties were despatched to find out what had happened. Of these search parties one was sent to follow their tracks, and succeeded in getting, apparently, to within a short distance of where they took to the rafts. So far as the Mobi River, the sketch made by the search party agrees very well with that made (of course from memory, for all records were lost) by Mr. Pratt, the surveyor of the Smith expedition, but after the Mobi, the sketches difier so widely that it is really impossible to say, with any certainty, where the expedition eventually got to. Two things, however, are clear; they did not get beyond the Kikori, and they eventually found themselves, with the loss of one-third of their number, at the very point from which they had started.

The country traversed on this expedition was extremely rough, and it is to be regretted that the persistence of the explorers was not better rewarded. Coal was found in a stream, which was named by them "Coal Creek," but beyond the Mobi, at such a distance from the coast as to be, in that country, practically inaccessible. Huge caverns and disappearing rivers were seen as on the Mackay-Little expedition. For instance, there is a stream called Sambrigi, which flows through a valley at an elevation of about 6,000 feet, on the north-west slopes of Mount Murray; the party followed this stream, and, after its junction with a larger branch which flowed in from the north, "we found, to our surprise, that this fair-sized river thundered into a huge cave or tunnel; on continuing our march we found the river reappear some 4 miles farther on, having travelled under a range of limestone mountains."

The collapse of the expedition seems to have been mainly due to defective organisation in the matter of carriers and supplies, consequent upon a failure to realise the magnitude of the task upon which the party were embarking. Reliance had been placed upon concentrated and compressed foods, but these proved unsuitable, and in any case the carriers, who were recruited from the coastal districts of the Gulf and Western Divisions, were not, as had been noted by Sir William MacGregor thirteen years before, likely to be of much use in the high altitudes which had to be traversed. Eleven carriers out of seventeen died upon the journey, and, unfortunately, starvation seems to have been an element in the deaths of them all. Five were drowned in the Kikori, but even in their case the magisterial inquiry, which was afterwards held at Port Moresby, showed that physical weakness and exhaustion, due to want of food, was the cause of their being unable to get out of the river.

The resources of the country through which the party passed might have been sufficient to provide them with food, but in their anxiety to reach the goal which they had set before themselves they probably missed supplies which they might otherwise have discovered. The loss of a third of the party is something quite unprecedented in Papuan exploration, and the expedition cannot be looked upon as otherwise than disastrous, but the disaster was, at any rate, relieved by a display of courage and endurance on the part of the white men and of the native police; indeed, had it not been for the efforts of the latter, both Mr. Smith and Mr. Pratt would almost certainly have lost their lives in the waters of the Kikori.

On March 17, 1911, the very day on which Mr. Smith's expedition arrived at Thursday Island on their return from the Kikori, the Hon. W. J. Little left Port Moresby for that river. His object was the same as Mr. Smith's had originally been, namely, to investigate the coalfields of which Mr. Little was himself one of the discoverers, and his party consisted of himself, Mr. Evans, a coal expert, Mr. Stanton, and twenty carriers. Mr. Smith, who was trying to reach the Strickland, went up the western branch of the Kikori (the Burns of Bevan); Mr. Little, who was aiming at the Purari, went up the eastern branch or Sirebi, which Bevan had named the Philp.

Arriving at the junction of the Sirebi and the Curnick on March 22nd a depot was formed, the whaleboat and stores for the return journey were hidden, for safety, on the river bank, and three days later a start was made for the Purari, a branch of which, the Ilo, was reached on April 21st. The first 10 miles lay through extensive forest-clad flats, with, in places, plateau rises to a height of from 100 to 200 feet; the remainder of the journey was through very rough country. No natives were seen until about three days from the Ilo, when a small party were met who were engaged in making sago. They had apparently never seen a white man before, but showed themselves well-disposed to the explorers, and they and their friends escorted the party as far as the river. Here a regrettable incident occurred. The party had halted on a stony beach for a rest, the natives, about fifty in number, being still with them and apparently as friendly as ever. Mr. Little was in the act of giving one of them a knife which he had promised him, when, with the quick intuition of an old traveller in New Guinea, he noticed signs of a change of feeling, and shouted to warn his companions, and to get the carriers on the move. Unfortunately it was too late. The natives dashed at the carriers, held their arms, and tried to pinion them to the ground; one carrier was seized by the hair, and had his skull smashed with a stone club. Stanton immediately fired and killed the murderer, the confusion then became general, and two of the attacking party were shot. The attack was no doubt made in pursuance of a plan by which the natives hoped to destroy the whole party and then seize their goods; had the white men been less upon the alert the scheme might very well have succeeded.

After examining the seams of coal discovered by Mr. Mackay and himself on their previous expedition, Mr. Little decided to travel south, following the trend of the coal, and eventually reached the camp on the Sirebi on May 11th. Most of the country traversed on the return journey is reported as "good agricultural land, low plateaux, intersected by numerous streams, and covered with the usual Papuan forest. The last lo miles was through a large flat. We saw no natives, but saw a native house some distance from our track."

Apart from the incident at the Ilo, this was a most successful little expedition; it lasted eight weeks, and the carriers lived very nearly the whole time on the supplies they had brought with them. The modus operandi was as follows. Two white men would go ahead with all the carriers, travel two days, and then camp; the carriers would then go back and bring up more stores, and as the track was already cut they could travel in one day a distance which had taken the first party twice that time. They advanced in this way until the stores were reduced to twenty packs, and they then all went on together. In this way they were able to carry supplies for the whole trip; had they attempted to live on the country it seems highly improbable that they could ever have reached their destination.


Variety of Papuan resources—Tardy development—The Maria—Early traders in the Louisiades—Chinamen at Aroma—Pearl-buying industry—Discovery of gold in the Louisiades—Sud Est—Misima—Prospecting on the mainland—Murder of Clark on the Mambare—The Gira River—Woodlark Island—Rush to Port Moresby in 1897—The Yodda Field—Trouble with the natives—Expedition of Messrs. Armit and Crow—The Aikora—Gibara and Keveri Fields—The Lakekamu Field—Total yield of gold for each year—Total from different fields—Other minerals—Copper—Coal—Petroleum—Pearl buying at the Trobriands.

Papua has been singularly favoured, not only in the fertility of its soil, for there are many fertile lands in the tropics, though probably none more fertile than the richest parts of Papua, but more particularly in the variety of its resources. To begin with, in Papua you can get pretty well any climate you wish, for you can have it as cold as you like if you care to go into the mountains, and very much hotter than you like if you remain on the coast, you can also get any rainfall you like from under 50 inches to over 200, and every variety of soil. Agricultural possibilities under these conditions are boundless, and, in addition, there is the mineral wealth of the territory which has as yet hardly been touched, and the timber, of which the exportation has only just begun, but which last year (1910-11) amounted to 400,000 superficial feet, nearly seven times as much as the year before. Copper, we know, extends over a huge area of country at the back of Port Moresby, but it can hardly be said that we know any more about it than that, and coal and petroleum (both Government monopolies by the way) are also believed to exist. What Papua contains besides all this is a mere matter of conjecture, but even if it contains nothing more, enough has already been found to show that the territory is a possession of very considerable value. It seems strange that such a treasure should have remained hidden for so long, but I suppose that at first the remoteness of its position, and later on the alarming tales that were circulated about its climate (feally in most places a very good one as tropical climates go), were the reasons why such a length of time elapsed before any one thought of attempting to exploit its resources.

The Protectorate was declared in 1884, but there were traders in what is now Papua before that. An expedition in the ill-fated Maria had sailed from Sydney in 1871 with a view of colonising the east end of New Guinea, but the Maria was wrecked on the Queensland coast, and few of the intending colonists escaped with their lives; seven or eight were rescued by H.M.S. Basilisk, and some others succeeded in reaching Cardwell, but the majority were either drowned or killed by the natives on the Australian coast. This discouraged any organised attempt that might have been made to develop New Guinea, but individual traders of an adventurous disposition drifted thither from time to time to eke out a more or less precarious livelihood by fishing or by barter with the natives.

And their love of adyenture must have been fully gratified if half the stories that are current about them are true. Take, for instance, the case of Brooker Island, and the neighbouring islands in the Louisiades. In 1878, John Court, or McOrt, was engaged in a bêche-de-mer fishery with a party of four Europeans, nine Solomon islanders, and ten native male and female from Torres Straits. He had sent two of the Solomon islanders on shore to cut firewood, but the Solomon islanders had made friends with the Brooker natives, whose language they had picked up, and instead of carrying out their orders they spent their time playing and larking with their new-made friends on shore. For this their master threatened and probably struck them. The Solomon boys said nothing, but brooded over the insult, and waited for an opportunity of revenge. Before long their chance came. Court, with another of the white men, was one day sitting under a tree when a Brooker islander came up offering to sell some coconuts, got behind Court's chair, and cut him down with a tomahawk; the other white man offered what resistance he could (he seems to have been unarmed), but was at last killed by one of the Solomon boys who appeared upon the scene with an axe. The other white men and the Torres Straits natives (with the exception of one or two of the women) Were then put to death. The Solomon boys remained on Brooker, and, it is said, intermarried with the women of the island.

Three months afterwards Mr. W. B. Ingham, J. P., who had been sent to Port Moresby from Queensland to look after the interests of the miners, finding the rush a failure, and hearing of the death of Court, left Port Moresby and came to Brooker Island to make inquiries. On his arrival he demanded the surrender of the Solomon islanders, but the natives put him off under various pretexts, and eventually, seizing a favourable moment, rushed at him on board his own vessel, wounded him with a blow from a tomahawk, threw him overboard, chopped off his fingers as he tried to climb back, and at length finished him with a spear as he was struggling in the water. Two other men with him were also killed.

H.M.S. Wolverine visited Brooker after the murder of Mr. Ingham, but did not effect the arrest of any of the guilty parties, and in 1880 another murder was committed at Stanton Island in the same locality, the victims being Captain Forman of the Annie Brooks, Mr. Purdie, and four other Europeans. Three of them were stabbed to death by natives to whom they had lent knives to assist them in cleaning fish; Captain Forman and Mr. Purdie were murdered on board the vessel, but the cook, a Greek, who was below, seeing the blood trickling through the planking of the deck, seized a rifle and drove the natives from the ship. The survivor then set sail, singlehanded, and succeeded in escaping from Stanton, but only to run aground on Mewstone Island. Here one of Court's Solomon Island boys accosted him and offered to assist him to get the vessel off if he would give him a passage to Cooktown. The unlucky cook consented, very foolishly, one would think in the light of his recent experience, and while working at the boat was tripped up by the Solomon islander, pushed overboard, and shot dead in the water.

I remember that in military circles in South Africa it was considered the correct thing to refer to fighting and bloodshed generally as "fun." This always seemed to me to be a misnomer, but if it be a correct use of the term life in the Louisiades in the early days was very "funny" indeed.

Then there were the Chinamen, who seemed to have fared particularly ill at the hands of the natives. They appear at one time to have been fairly numerous in the East, where they were engaged chiefly in the bêche-de-mer fishery, and many of them lost their lives at various points along the coast, as, for instance, at Aroma, where, however, they seem to have deserved all they got. Fourteen Chinamen were fishing there; they had built a curing house on shore, many of the natives of Aroma were working for them, and all might have gone well had not some of the younger Chinamen commenced to make free with the married women. This the husbands naturally enough resented, but they were afraid of the Chinamen's guns. The Chinamen thus were masters of the situation until, in an evil hour, they elected to give the injured husbands a practical illustration of the precision of modern fire-arms; this they did by setting up a target of galvanized iron, firing at it from a distance of 30 yards, and missing it altogether. The natives then tried their skill with their spears at the same mark and hit it, so it is said, every time.

Encouraged by their success the natives made a demonstration next day upon the beach, upon which the younger Chinamen, with commendable pluck, seized their fire-arms and set out from the junk to meet them. The natives, in pretended panic, took to the bush with the jubilant Chinamen in hot pursuit, but, when they were out of sight, wheeled round and took their assailants in the rear. The Chinese turned, fired a volley, which of course missed its mark, and were then easy victims to the spears and clubs of the men of Aroma. They had paid dearly for their ill-timed lesson in gunnery.

It must not, however, be supposed that the natives had it all their own way, for there were some mighty men among these old traders. There was one, for instance, who, though small of stature, was endowed at times with superhuman strength, and who, when attacked by the islanders who had robbed the Annie Brooks, seized a native by the ankle and "speedily accomplished the dispersion of a mob of the wild, treacherous wretches with no other weapon than his human club."[*] There was also a Greek of whom it is related that he was lying sick in the cabin of his vessel when two large canoes, each manned by "fifteen fierce-looking fellows" gave chase; the foremost had already come alongside, and the fierce ones were preparing to board, with hostile intent, when "the Greek's pale wan face stole over the cabin hatch, and with a frightened shriek they drifted astern."[**]

[* Bevan, "Toil, Travel, and Discovery in British New Guinea," p. 117.]
[** Bevan, "Toil, Travel, and Discovery in British New Guinea," p. 112.]

Probably the majority of the traders of the early days were hard-working men who were only anxious to be allowed to go about their business without interference, but they lived in strenuous times, and the fame of their adventures does not diminish. It would be interesting if one could foresee the exploits that will be attributed to them in, say, fifty years' time, when the legend of the Louisiades has had time to develop.

Of course in the instances mentioned one has only the white man's side of the story, and when the circumstances of each case are inquired into it appears sometimes that the natives had real provocation, and that sometimes life was taken to pay for the life of a native who had died in the Queensland plantations or elsewhere; but at other times no reason can be discovered, beyond a love of bloodshed or a desire for plunder. A noteworthy controversy took place upon this point between the Rev. Dr. Lawes and the Hon. A. Musgrave, then Assistant-Deputy-Commissioner. It is true that many white men through natural brutality, and more from an excess of timidity, have in New Guinea and elsewhere treated natives in a way that would amply justify almost any reprisal, but Dr. Lawes's statement that the natives of New Guinea "should in justice be spoken of as kindly disposed and friendly on their first intercourse with white men, but generally suspicious and watchful" (which afterwards received a sad commentary in the murder of his friends Chalmer's and Tomkins at Goari Bari in 1901), would certainly appear to be somewhat exaggerated when it is read in the light of the "Return of Outrages and Massacres" compiled by Mr. Musgrave and published in the Annual Report of 1886.

Such was life in the Louisiades in the seventies and early eighties. It was an interesting life—far too interesting to last—but it was not a particularly profitable one. Copra, bêche-de-mer, and pearl shell were the principal articles of commerce, but though many men might easily have made their fortunes had they only thought of growing coconuts instead of buying copra from the natives, the idea never seems to have occurred to them. In the western part of the possession a considerable amount of bêche-de-mer and some pearl shell is said to have been collected, but it was taken over to Queensland, and does not figure among the exports of British New Guinea, and sandal-vvood getting, which began about 1891, was for some time a flourishing industry in the Central Division. At the present time some attempt is being made to revive the bêche-de-mer industry in the west, and pearlshelling in the east, but sandal-wood is, I fear, "past praying for."

Pearl-buying, as distinguished from diving for pearl shell, has for many years been quite a flourishing little industry in the Trobriand Islands. There is an oyster in those waters which the natives call "lapi," and which they use largely for food; the shell of the "lapi" is, I understand, too thin to be of any value, but they sometimes contain pearls, which the natives who are fortunate enough to find them sell to certain pearl-buyers who are settled on the island of Kiriwina. No one is allowed to fish for "lapi" except the natives of the Trobriands, for if a regular fishery of "lapi" were allowed they would soon become extinct, and an important food supply be lost to the natives, so what happens is that the natives fish for "lapi" as they have always done, and if they happen to find a pearl they sell it. No one is allowed to buy a pearl from a native unless he holds a pearl-buyer's licence, for which he pays £50 each year. There are six licencees, and it is estimated that in the last season from £8,000 to £10,000 was received by them as the price of the pearls which they had bought.

However, all these minor industries were as nothing in comparison with the attraction of gold-mining, and it was the discovery of gold in the Louisiades that gave the first real impetus to development.

Apart altogether from the experiences of the early Spanish navigators, it had long been known that there was gold in New Guinea; one of Captain Moresby's men is said to have found gold at Fairfax Harbour in 1873, and in the "Narrative of the Voyage of the Rattlesnake," published in 1852, mention is made of a specimen of pottery procured at Redscar Bay, which, it is said, "contained a few laminar grains of this precious metal." The missionaries also, according to the Rev. Mr. Macfarlane, had found gold on the Mai Kussa in 1875.[*]

[* ' See Annual Report for 1886, Appendix, p. 46.]

Gold had been discovered near Port Moresby in 1887, but the rush that had taken place in consequence had proved a failure; and though there seems always to have been much talk of gold in connection with New Guinea, it was not until 1888 that it was found in payable quantities. Early in that year Mr. David Whyte, or White, who was engaged in pearlshelling in the Louisiades, informed the Commissioner, Mr. Douglas, that he had discovered gold on Joannet Island. The Commissioner, to assist Mr. Whyte in further examination of his alleged find, purchased a cutter, the Juanita, and placed her at his disposal, provisioned for a three months' cruise; Mr. Whyte collected a party of eight miners, left Cooktown on May 23rd, and arrived in Samarai on the 28th.

Mr. Whyte was not a practical miner, and the reef found by him was discovered to contain no gold. His enraged and disappointed companions thereupon crossed over to Sud Est, where, luckily for all concerned, including Mr. Whyte, they did discover gold the second day after landing. The Juanita had to be returned at the end of three months, but by that time the miners had got 150 ounces; they reported that the gold was very patchy, and that the field was worked out. However, reports of the usual, exaggerated kind had reached Australia, and the inevitable rush set in. The schooner Griffin set sail with twenty-six miners, and vessel after vessel followed until there were some hundreds of men upon the field.

Mr. W. D. Pitcairn, who was in Samarai when Mr. Whyte and his companions arrived, visited Sud Est the same year (1888). "The landing, which is at Griffin Point, is," he says, "very bad. You have to wade through mangrove mud, the stench of which is enough to breed fever, and then climb a very steep ascent to the first camp. Here there are numbers of canvas tents pitched on a grassy flat, and it is no easy task carrying heavy packages and tools up to it. About four hundred men were on the ground, some were doing well, others making good wages, whilst many were not making tucker. Others again were lying in the tents sick with fever."[*]

[* "Two Years among the Savages of New Guinea," p. 102.]

The flourishing days of the field did not last long—Mr. Pitcairn says only twelve months, "during which time dozens of diggers died from malaria, and, although several thousands of ounces of gold were obtained from the island, it cost a lot of money to get them. It was all alluvial digging from 6 inches to 2 feet wash, no reef-carrying gold having been found."[*]

[* Ibid., p. 103.]

The number of men on Sud Est being out of all proportion to the amount of gold that was being won, fifteen picked men were taken in the Government schooner Hygeia to Rossel Island, the most easterly of the Louisiades, The party spent only three days on Rossel, where they found colours, and then went on to Misima or St. Aignans, again finding colours, and on again through the D'Entrecasteaux Group to Samarai.

A few weeks later a few men left Sud Est for Misima on their own account, and were fortunate enough to find a few gullies containing gold. A rush followed, and there were soon as many men on Misima as there were on Sud Est; but the glory of both fields was short-lived. Sud Est, however, has been entirely abandoned by white miners, whereas there have always been a few on Misima; in fact, there seem to be at the present moment prospects of a revival of prosperity in the latter island, and it is said that a gold-bearing quartz reef has been discovered there.

The decline of the Louisiade field may be seen from the return of gold in the early days as compared with those of recent years. For 1888-9 the return of gold declared at the Customs, Cooktown, was £14,387, and for 1889-90, £12,440; the amount really won would be considerably greater, for the gold was not declared at any Customs House in the possession, as it was picked by vessels passing the goldfield and cleared outward from Samarai. However, even taking the figures as they stand, they form a great contrast to recent estimates—£1,400 for the last two years.

The output of gold continued to dwindle from £14,000 to £12,000, from £12,000 to £8,000, and then to £4,000, £3,000, and £2,000 (though one must remember that the total amount won was really in excess of these sums), but in 1904-5, the year in which the return was smallest, a fresh start was made in examining new fields beyond that of the Louisiades, which had hitherto been almost the sole source of production.

In September, 1894, miners arrived from Queensland and proceeded to prospect the country lying to the south of Bartle Bay on the north-east coast. Unfortunately they were not very successful; they obtained but a few ounces of gold, and their leader, Mr. T. Hurley, was killed by natives. His death broke up the party, which then returned to Samarai.

Then thirteen more men arrived from Queensland, were joined by some of the members of the previous party, went to the head of Goodenough Bay and prospected the country towards Mount Suckling, but, again without success.

So far the prospecting had been a tale of disappointed hopes, but a change was soon to come. In April, 1895, a party of fifteen men arrived from Cairns under the leadership of Mr. Clark, a wellknown Queensland miner and explorer. At first it seemed to be the same old story over again, for they went to Bartle Bay, like the previous party, and, like them, failed to find any gold and left in disgust; some returned to Samarai, but the others accompanied Mr. Clark to the Mambare, where at last a goldfield was to be discovered, but only after the loss of the leader's life.

Mr. Clark and his party, consisting of Messrs. Linedale, Braddon, McClelland, Day, and Drislane, with two Queensland aboriginals, arrived at the mouth of the Mambare early in July, 1895. They found the natives extremely friendly, purchased a couple of canoes from them, and set out up the river. Still, as they went on, they found the natives equally well disposed, and, although they noticed that they were being followed by a large number of canoes, they attached no importance to the circumstance. As they got higher up they reached some rapids, and here again the natives gave them every assistance in getting the boat past the dangerous places, but at last, on July 25th, the canoes following all the time, they arrived at a very fast and dangerous rapid, about 45 miles from the mouth, where it was necessary for all the white men, except Clark, who was steering, to get out of the boat and haul on the tow-rope.

Absolutely unsuspicious of treachery, the white men took hold of the end of the rope and allowed the natives to take the part that was nearer the stream, when suddenly the rope parted, and at the same instant the natives jumped into, the boat. It was even then supposed that they had gone to Clark's assistance, and Clark himself thought so too, for he stood at the steer oar trying to keep the boat straight; it was then suddenly discovered that the rope had been cut, that the boat had drifted down among the canoes, and that Clark was being attacked with spears.

McClelland and Linedale fired upon the natives, and Clark was seen to draw his revolver, fire a couple of shots, and leap overboard and grasp the gunwale of the boat. A native then struck him over the head with a paddle, and plunged a spear into his body, which sank and was never seen again. Meanwhile McClelland, followed by Drislane, courageously jumped into the water and swam to Clark's assistance, but they were unable to, get to him, for the current swept them past and eventually to the other bank; there they found the boat, which had drifted across with the stream.

The object of the murder was evidently plunder, and it was well planned and eminently successful, for all that the party had fell into the natives' hands, though it is gratifying to learn that the actual murderer was killed by one of the revolver shots. There was absolutely no provocation for the crime, and even after the murder the miners seem to have behaved with the greatest self-restraint, only using fire-arms where it was absolutely necessary that they should do so in order to force a passage.

Having lost their supplies they were compelled to return, and on their way down the river met a party of miners known as the "Ivanhoe" party, apparently from the name of the vessel in which they had come over from Queensland, consisting of Messrs. Simpson, McLaughlin, Newman, Elliott, Neilson, Baston, and Clunas. It was decided to combine forces, and all proceeded up the river together to a spot about 15 miles beyond the scene of the murder. They were not very successful in their search, and eventually returned to Samarai with, it is said, only 48 ounces of gold among them; the value of an ounce of gold may be taken, generally, to be about £3 15s.

Another party, including some of the original prospectors, worked the upper part of the Mambare in the latter part of the year, and obtained 200 ounces of gold, but in January, 1897, came the murder of Mr. Green, the Government Agent, and of the five miners near the mouth of the river, and for a time the natives were in possession of the field.

The Mambare River had not been found very profitable, and after order was restored operations were transferred to the Gira. Traces of gold had been discovered in this river by Sir William MacGregor, and the discovery was confirmed by Mr. Shanahan, Mr. Green's successor, in the end of 1897. A prospecting party under Mr. Clunas, one of the "Ivanhoe" party, was soon at work, and mining on the Gira went ahead rapidly, 1,222 ounces of gold being obtained by about twenty-three men in one gulley in three months.

In the meantime gold had been discovered on Murua (Woodlark Island) by Messrs. Ede, Lobb, and Solberg, and during February, March, and April of 1897 a rush set in, steamers running fortnightly to Murua from the northern ports of Queensland, until there were soon four hundred men upon the field. There was no difliculty with the natives, but the season was wet, as indeed seasons usually are on Woodlark Island, and the result was that, though the climate of Woodlark is a healthy one, the exposure, which resulted from an insufficiency of accommodation, brought on a considerable amount of sickness, and there were many deaths from fever and dysentery.

In the early part of 1897 there was another rush, this time to the Central Division, about four hundred miners landing at Port Moresby. Some went inland towards the Brown River, others up the Venapa, others to Rigo station, and others again up the Angabunga or St. Joseph. Extraordinary efforts were made not only by Government officers but also by private individuals. Parties were sent out in all directions to pacify the natives; two officers, with a number of constabulary, were engaged for five or six months on the Venapa track, and in the Rigo district the Government Agent opened a path to the top of Mount Obree. However, the rush was a failure, and no new field was discovered. In fact, the only parties that penetrated far inland were those which were led by miners who had already had experience in the country, such as Mr. W. E. Buchanan, who ably conducted a party to prospect some new country near Mount Nesbitt.

The new-comers in most instances "carried their own effects and tools, and in a very few days became quite unfit for the road. Unfortunately most of them seemed unable to make for themselves suitable camping arrangements, and all the officers of the Government concur in stating that many men were thoughtless, ill provided with food, and in too many cases with no medicines whatever. The result was that after a very short time large numbers became very weak and gave way to fever and dysentery. In the Central Division six died in the temporary hospital at Port Moresby, as many are known to have died on the tracks in the bush, one on board the Merrie England, and several in the Cooktown Hospital."[*]

[* Annual Report, 1896-7.]

To return to the north-eastern fields. MacLaughlin's creek runs into the Yodda or Upper Mambare above the Chirima; this creek had been worked by parties who had ascended the river from its mouth, and the next extension of operations was from MacLaughhn's to the valley of the Yodda. The first party to examine the Yodda consisted of Messrs. R. Elliott and McClelland, in 1897, and another expedition was made the following year by Messrs. Climas, M. M. Clark, and Nelson, with half a dozen police supplied by the Government as an escort.

Mr. Clunas's party started from Clark's Fort, on the Mambare, about 25 miles below the Chirima, and cut a track by way of the Kumusi Valley; both parties found the natives hostile. Messrs. Crow and Walker and other parties visited the Yodda the same year, but most of them met with misfortune; Mr. Albert Hudson lost £90 worth of goods at a place called Garawakita, and at Angerita Mr. Gray and party were attacked, lost two of their carriers, and were robbed of all their goods. It was the people on the Opie River, between the Mambare and the Kumusi, who were the worst offenders. "On the Opie River," says the Annual Report for 1898-9, "the people are at present truculent and aggressive...A party of constabulary went out under Mr. Elliott, hiad to fight several times, and eventually returned to camp short of ammunition, as they had not taken much with them. Subsequently a strong party, under Messrs. Russell and Elliott, went to the Opie and defeated the natives there. The natives did not again attempt to attack this party. Since then they appear to have somewhat regained their good opinion of their own power. They attacked Clark's Fort in February last, but were beaten off by Mr. Clark's carriers. In March last they mustered in force 7 miles from the station, and with the intention of surprising it at the very first opportunity."

An important and successful expedition, though attended with considerable bloodshed (which appears to have been unavoidable), was that of Mr. Armit, Resident Magistrate of the Division, and Mr. Crow, who, with Mr. MacClelland and Mr. Walker, is generally accepted as the discoverer of the Yodda Field. Leaving Tamata on January 26, 1900, Mr. Armit arrived at the Opie, crossing on February 1st, and was there joined by Mr. Crow; from that point the two parties proceeded together to the Kumusi River and on to Papangi, afterwards for a short time the site of a Government station.

On the way to Papangi it had been necessary to leave some sick carriers and police at Angerita, the scene of the attack on Mr. Gray. It was thought that these natives were now too much in awe of the Government to offer any violence to members of a Government party, but about a week later Mr. Armit was shocked by the receipt of what seemed to be ocular demonstration that all had been massacred.

Mr. Armit had left Angerita on February 9th, and on the 17th, "at 4 p.m. Constable Ade marched into the camp, followed by six of my carriers carrying five human legs and the fore-quarter of a girl of about twelve years of age (if such a term can be applied to the upper portion of the human body). They were all crying bitterly, the tears rolling down their cheeks, and showing signs of deep emotion. They deposited these gruesome trophies at my tent door, and Ade proceeded to inform me in a choking voice that all the people I had left at Angerita had been murdered by the natives of that place and eaten. The limbs now before me were portions of their bodies, and he proceeded to identify the ghastly fragments by scars on the feet, &c. I felt completely nonplussed. I did not know what to think, and gave up the attempt for a time. I felt sick, though inured to every sort of horror; this, after my recent illness, quite unnerved me.

"The limbs had been peculiarly treated. The ankle-joints had been severed, leaving the tendon Achilles intact. The bones of the leg had then been excised, and the pelvical bone removed. The ham had been neatly cut off. The boneless leg was wrapped carefully round a three-foot stick, and the foot secured to the stick by a piece of vine.

"In this manner the flesh could be carried comfortably on one's back. Two of the bundles contained only the buttock and thigh of a man, the remaining portions having presumably been devoured. The girl's left side and arm and hand presented a heart-rending spectacle as it lay on the ground; the arm extended, the pretty, shapely, little brown hand resting on the ground...The arm had been boned as in the case of the men's legs, but the hand remained intact."[*]

[* Mr. Armit's Diary in the Annual Report of 1899-1900.]

To add to the horrors of the day Mr. Crow had found human viscera in the creek; "a big stone had been placed on the mass to keep it from being washed away. The smaller intestines were trailing down the creek with the oscillatory motion imparted by the running water."

Mr. Crow, it may be remarked, with the instinct of experience, ridiculed the story of the massacre, and he turned out, fortunately, to be absolutely right, for as Mr. Armit was hurrying back they met him on the road "all well and hearty" as Mr. Armit puts it, having been lured from their quarters at Angerita by the prospect of a fight; the remains produced by Constable Ade were those of some other unfortunates who had been killed in the neighbourhood. The bellicose anticipations of the carriers were realised, for hostile natives were met and had to be dealt with the following day.

This engagement resulted in a loss to the natives of seventeen killed, while on the side of the police there appear to have been no casualties at all. It is difficult to see how hostilities could have been avoided; it is not unusual in such cases to blame the police or the officer in charge, but from Mr. Armit's account (the only one we have) the police had to elect either to fight or to be killed, and not unnaturally they chose the former.

They had opposed to them a body of sixty natives, who, retreating at first through the long grass, eventually halted and stood their ground about 150 yards distant. "Suddenly," says Mr. Armit, "I heard a peculiar cry, 'Cheep, cheep, cheep,' which soon swelled into many such screams. The native women were cheering their men on; and on they came with a rush." The police then opened fire and eventually charged, and their opponents turned and fled. The war-cry of the women still continued, and unfortunately two women were found shot, both with spears in their hands.

On February 26th the party arrived at the village of Koko on the Yodda River.

Fifty-four natives in all are reported as having been killed upon this expedition, an extraordinarily large number for Papua; the details given in Mr. Armit's diary are often too meagre to enable one to form an opinion of the justification that existed for all this bloodshed, but as far as one can judge it was inevitable. The natives had robbed and driven back small parties of prospectors, sometimes with loss of life, and they had not yet realised the utter hopelessness of attacking armed bodies of police under Government officers; no officer is justified in exposing his police to unnecessary danger, and under the circumstances of this expedition the only means of saving them appears to have been by opposing force to force.

In the year 1899-1900 there were ninety men on the Yodda, but it was not until the following year that this field was officially proclaimed; in that year there were a hundred and fifty miners there, and the total output for the two fields, the Yodda and the Gira, was estimated at 15,000 ounces.

One of the principal drawbacks of the Yodda was the high price of provisions, consequent upon the difficulties of transport; this was to some extent mitigated by the construction of a track from Buna Bay in 1904, but the Yodda never at any time was anything but an expensive field. About the same time disturbances were caused by a sudden change in the attitude of the hill natives towards the miners, and the Government station was accordingly moved from Papangi to Kokoda, so as to exercise a more effective control over the district which appeared to be disaffected.

During these years the miners on the Gira had spread to the Upper Aikora, and were extending on to the Waria, a river which runs partly through English and partly through German territory. There was considerable difficulty with the natives about the Gira, and in October, 1903, two miners, called Jossick and Brackenbury, were speared to death by a tribe who are said to call themselves Biakaiva.

By 1902 three quartz crushing mills, the first in the territory, had been established at Kulumadau on the VVoodlark Goldfield, but the total number of Europeans on the island had decreased to a hundred.

Misima and Sud Est were by this time producing very little; indeed, Sud Est had been entirely deserted by white miners, but two new fields had been discovered on the mainland, one the Gibara Goldfield at the back of Milne Bay, where gold was discovered in June, 1899, and the other in the Keveri Valley at the back of Cloudy Bay, which dates from 1901. Neither of these proved permanent, though the latter field at first looked very promising, one gulley yielding 370 ounces in two months, and afterwards another 100 ounces.



The total output of gold for the year 1899-1900 is given at £89,075, and it remained at about this figure until 1905-6, when it stood at £87,869; but after that it decreased to £58,886 in 1906-7, and a little over £51,000 in the two following year's. Gold-mining, it was said, was doomed unless a new field could be discovered, and in June, 1909, a prospecting party, equipped by the Government, set out to examine the Tauri, a river which flows into the Gulf of Papua near the village of Motu Motu.

The party, which consisted of Messrs. Crow and F. and J. Pryke, all skilled miners of long experience in the territory, finding nothing on the Tauri, crossed over to the Lakekamu or William's River, a few miles to the east, and returned to Port Moresby in December with news that they had discovered payable gold. The goldfield was proclaimed on December 13th.

The Lakekamu Goldfield is situated in the northwest and north-east corners of the Central and Gulf Divisions, and is reached by following the Lakekamu River for about 90 miles. The news that gold had been discovered by the prospecting party spread to Australia with every possible circumstance of exaggeration, and despite the efforts of the Papuan Government to calm the excitement of intending adventurers, resulted in a mild rush. Many of the men arrived in Port Moresby almost absolutely penniless—I remember the case of one who had 4s. 6d. and nothing else in the world—under the impression that the Lakekamu was within easy walking distance and that gold was to be picked up without the trouble or expense of working for it. Others again who had money would refuse to engage boys or take tents with them, on the ground that they had needed neither in Australia, but a very short experience of the sopping ground and the mosquitoes of the Lakekuma drove them back again to Port Moresby, often to rail against the Papuan Government, seemingly for not having' provided a more genial climate.

By January 31, 19 10, there were 70 Europeans on the field and 443 natives, and then came an epidemic of dysentery which swept off 255 native labourers out of an average population of 600 in about five months; fortunately, warned by the enormous mortality of the Gira Field in former years, the Government had sent a medical officer to the field in January, or the proportion might have been still more alarming. As a result of this awful death rate, recruiting for the field was forbidden by proclamation, and, though the proclamation was withdrawn when the epidemic came to an end, it is even now, at the end of 191 I, difficult to get any one to sign on for the Lakekamu, for labourers from all parts of the territory found their deaths on that field, and news of the terrible epidemic has therefore reached all the places from which labour is usually recruited.

The gold yield of the Lakekamu was estimated to amount, up to June 30, 1910, to £11,250—not a very large sum to be divided among the 228 miners who are said to have visited the field in that time. For the last year, from July 1, 1910, to June 30, 1911, the amount given is £30,000.

The gold is thought to extend to the westward from the present field, and a prospecting party, equipped partly by the Government and partly by private subscription, is at present engaged on the Vailala, a river which flows into the Papuan Gulf between 40 and 50 miles to the west of the Lakekamu. So far (December, 1911) no reports have been received from this party.

The following figures are given to represent the estimated value of the gold produced each year in the territory; they are not accurate, but may be of value for purposes of comparison:—

1888-9   £14,387
1889-90   12,440
1890-1     8,371
1891-2     4,332
1892-3     4,500
1893-4     3,906
1894-5     2,565
1895-6    45,000
1896-7    73,085
1897-8    56,682
1898-9    64,425
1899-1900 89,075
1900-1    79,060
1901-2    76,047
1902-3    87,545
1903-4    84,930
1904-5    82,736
1905-6    87,869
1906-7    58,886
1907-8    51,024
1908-9    51,108
1909-10   60,181
1910-11   68,803

The customs returns of the gold exported during the last ten years are as follows; they are, of course, less than the amounts actually won:-

1901-2   £42,205
1902-3    41,139
1903-4    55,686
1904-5    56,362
1905-6    58,496
1906-7    39,710
1907-8    52,837
1908-9    54,969
1909-10   59,427
1910-11   62,121

The total estimated yields of the different goldfields are given as follows:—

Louisiade           £70,361
Murua               490,918
Gira                240,357
Milne Bay or Gibara  48,637
Yodda               261,312
Lakekamu             41,250
Keveri               14,112

This gives a total gold production of £1,166,947.

Many other minerals besides gold have been found in Papua—copper, for instance, and silver, lead, zinc, cinnabar, iron, osmiridium, gypsum, manganese, sulphur, and graphite—but with the exception of copper, and that only quite recently, none of them have been worked. The copper deposits are found in the neighbourhood of Port Moresby, and it was not until the year 1906 that any attempt was made to develop them; and even then, as the work was carried out by men who had neither skill, experience, nor capital, much of it was labour thrown away. Since then, however, more skill and experience have been applied to the field, but it is still so little developed that it would be premature to express an opinion upon its value. The field which was proclaimed on December 1, 1906, as the "Astrolabe Mineral Field," embraces an area of 1,000 square miles.

The estimated value of the copper produced each year from the field is as follows:—

1906-7   £4,098
1907-8    2,479
1908-9    1,340
1909-10   1,439
1910-11  12,396

Coal was found by Sir William MacGregor in 1894 about 30 miles up the Purari River. The Mackay-Little expedition ascended in 1908 the Purari and discovered coal in a place the position of which is calculated to be longitude 144° 30' E., latitude 6° 50' S. The coal has not yet been worked.

Reports have also been received quite recently of the discovery of petroleum.


Both the coal and the petroleum will shortly be examined by experts; until this is done no definite statement can be made of the value of either one or the other.


Ignorance of the resources of Papua—Land Ordinance of 1906—Papua Royal Commission—A land "boom"—Native claims to land respected—Crown land claimed by natives—Supply of labour—Imported labour not admitted—Compulsory labour—Recruiting—Terms of "Contract of Service"—Payment of wages—Objections raised to the present system—Estimated maximum number of labourers available—Possible danger if too many natives recruited—Treatment of native labourers—Epidemics—Government recruiting—Suggestion that wives of labourers should accompany their husbands—Development must be gradual—Summary.

The tremendous mortality which had attended the mining development not only on Woodlark, but elsewhere in the territory, had created a sort of dread of the very name of New Guinea, and a somewhat slow and cumbrous system of land administration had given the impression that white settlers were not wanted, while the most complete ignorance of the magnificent resources of the territory was almost universal throughout Australia, and, indeed, was sometimes found even in Papua itself.

Obviously under these circumstances the first thing to do was to pass a liberal land lawi; in fact, it had to be very liberal indeed to attract settlement, for it was realised that no one would come to New Guinea who could do equally well in Australia, and though Papuan labour would be cheap it would not be very efficient, and would, therefore, at first be dearer than labour in other tropical countries. So the Land Ordinance of 1906 was a liberal one. The Papua Act does not allow land to be granted in fee simple (there are only 21,920 acres of freehold in Papua excluding mission grants), so leases were given for ninety-nine years, rent free for the first ten years, and with free survey; no limitation was placed on the areas that could be taken up, and only a nominal deposit was demanded, which was afterwards returned.

On the other hand, the improvement conditions were fairly stringent, for it was realised that a large proportion of the land would be taken up for speculative purposes, and though it is unavoidable that a great deal of land should be taken up in a new country in that way—for otherwise it will hardly be taken up at all—it is by no means desirable that the speculator should be allowed to hold it indefinitely.

Having a liberal land law, the next thing was to get the territory known in Australia, and that was accomplished by the Report of the Papua Royal Commission. This was a Commission which was appointed in 1906 to inquire into the administration of the territory, and which published its report in February, 1907. A great deal of interest was felt through Australia in the labours of the Commission, its report was widely read, and the result was a great increase in the knowledge of the territory throughout Australia. The potential value of Papua was at last to be, at any rate partially, realised, for the Report did full justice to the richness of the soil, and called attention to the "infinite variety" which "makes the successful cultivation of almost all tropical products possible. Climatically," the Report continues, "it may unhesitatingly be said that the country has been much maligned, and your Commissioners have no hesitation in stating that in this respect it will compare not unfavourably with any other tropical possession in the British Empire."

The Land Ordinance of 1906 passed through the local legislature in September, 1906, and 7,000 acres were applied for in the last three months of the year; the total area held under lease up to June 1, 1906, was only 2,089 acres. Then in the month of January, 1907, 14,000 acres were applied for, and then came a lull, and in February there were no applications except for some town allotments. But in February the report of the Papua Royal Commission appeared, and the "boom" began in earnest. In March over 15,000 acres were applied for, and in April over 20,000.

The official returns show the area under lease as follows:—

Area under lease on June 30 (Acres)

1906    2,089
1907   48,002
1908  242,395
1909  336,803
1910  363.425
1911  364,088

The diminished increase in the years 1909-10 and 1910-11 is due to modifications which were introduced into the extremely liberal system of the old Land Ordinance of 1906. That Ordinance, it has been seen, provided for free survey, and in 1909 survey fees were imposed, with the result of an immediate drop in the number of applications; the Ordinance also provided that the first ten years should be rent free, but in the year 1910 rents were imposed with a result of a still further decrease.

This reduction had been foreseen. The promises of free survey and no rent had done their work, and although of course existing promises would be kept there was no reason for undertaking free surveys in the future or giving land rent free indefinitely; attention had been called to the resources of the country, and the work of settlement had fairly begun. In fact, there was a danger of the speculative boom in land being somewhat exaggerated, and in the year 1909-10 the forfeitures for non-fulfilment of conditions amounted to nearly 58,000 acres.

A limit was at the same time put upon the area that could be taken up. The blocks that had been taken up in the early days of the land movement were ridiculously large, and out of all proportion to the resources of the persons who proposed to develop them; the land would of course eventually be forfeited, but in the meantime it was locked up against other applicants, for the practice is not to forfeit any land until the applicant has had two years to show his bona fides as a settler.

Now a land ordinance is obviously no good without land, and it must be remembered that when the Crown annexed British New Guinea it left native rights undisturbed, that is to say, the land did not become Crown land, but remained the property of the native owners; consequently all land which has not already been acquired is regarded prima facie as belonging to the natives, and must, if the Government want it, be bought from them. It is only when no owners can be found that the land may be declared Crown land. This placed the natives in a position to block white settlement almost entirely if they had wished it, and for some time it looked as if they would avail themselves of the power, in which case the most liberal land legislation would have, of course, been futile. Fortunately, however, the native owners thought better of it, and in practice no difficulty has been found in purchasing as much land as is required, though no pressure is ever put upon the native to induce him to sell, nor, indeed, is he allowed to sell, however much he may wish to do so, unless, to quote the Land Ordinance of 1906, "the land is not required or likely to be required by the owners."

The purchase of land is generally carried out by special officers known as land buyers; they purchase not only land that has been applied for, hut also other land that is suitable for settlement, so as to minimise the delay in dealing with fresh applications. Private individuals are not allowed to deal in land with the natives; the Government must first acquire the land, and can then lease it to the applicant for any period not exceeding ninety-nine years. Sometimes it happens that the land selected by the applicant is already Crown land, in which case the lease can be granted at once, but often it belongs to natives. In the latter case two questions arise: first, will the owners sell, and secondly, ought they to be allowed to sell, and if either question is answered in the negative the applicant cannot get his land, and departs, probably to denounce the Papuan Government in Australia, and to accuse its members of an exaggerated and sentimental care for the welfare of the Papuans. However, as a rule he can get his land, or, if he cannot, he can get equally good land elsewhere.

Over a million acres have been acquired by the Crown in Papua, and it is gratifying to note that it has never been seriously suggested that there is a single case in which an injustice has been done to the native owners; and though by an ordinance passed in 1908 provision was made for the appointment of a board to decide questions of disputed ownership in which a Papuan is a claimant, no board has ever been appointed, because whenever a native has made a claim the Government allows it rather than run the risk of even appearing to do an injustice. After a purchase of land has been completed it has sometimes occurred that a native, who has hitherto made no claim, comes forward and says in effect: "You have bought this land from the wrong man, it really belongs to me"; upon which his statement is accepted, he is treated as the owner, and the land is bought and paid for over again—rather a dangerous practice, which has the advantage of saving time and avoiding even the appearance of injustice, but the disadvantage of encouraging false claims.

There is no doubt that there is a great deal of land which is now treated as belonging to the natives but to which they have not the slightest right, and which really is the property of the Crown. Before the Government influence was established there was constant war in Papua, and there would often be a strip of land, sometimes of considerable extent, between two tribes, which would be regarded as no man's land, neither tribe, from fear of the other, daring to occupy it. Such land would, on annexation, become the property of the Crown, but no sooner was peace established than natives would come forward from one tribe or the other, or from both, and claim this no man's land as their own, and, on the principle already outlined, their claims would be allowed. I have sometimes heard it said by charitable people who know nothing about Papua, but who are always ready to imagine the worst, that the Government has robbed the natives of their land, but, as a matter of fact, so far from the Crown robbing the natives, it is really the natives who, in these cases, have robbed the Crown.

Papua is sparsely populated, and there is far more land than is ever likely to be wanted either for natives or for Europeans, so that the land problems which have caused so much trouble elsewhere are not likely to arise. In fact, what will limit development in Papua is not want of land, but want of labour. There is almost an unlimited supply of the former, but there is by no means an almost unlimited supply of the latter, and the labour question is the one serious danger in the path of Papuan development. For this reason it was well that the land boom ended when it did; had it continued there would certainly not have been sufficient labour to go round. As it is, there has hitherto been enough, though barely enough. That is to say, all, or practically all, have sufficient labour to go on with, with the exception of those who hold land in localities where the mortality from dysentery (the great curse of Papua at the present day) has been exceptionally great; but all, or practically all, express great doubt whether they will have enough for the future development of their estates. The increase in the number of labourers has so far been satisfactory; in the year 1910-11 the number of boys who signed on was 7,806; in 1909-10 it was 5,202, and the amount of wages paid in the former year was over £30,000.

Writing in November, 1907, I estimated the number of natives at work at 2,000, about a quarter of the number that are at work to-day; but, while the number of labourers is increasing, the number of plantations and the area under cultivation, and the consequent demand for labour, is also increasing, and increasing rapidly, as will be seen from the following figures:—

On-March-31  acres-planted  plantations
1907           1,467
1908           4,955            76
1909           7,740           130
1910          10,053           151
1911          15,881           167

Labour imported from outside the island of New Guinea, forced labour, and probably native taxation, are out of the question, so the labour supply must consist entirely of natives of New Guinea, who volunteer their services for periods varying up to three years, which is the maximum allowed by the Native Labour Ordinance. Now, as only native Papuans are employed, the most obvious thing to do in order to increase the labour supply is to increase the number of native Papuans available; that is to say, to throw open a wider area to the recruiter, by extending the Government influence. Unfortunately the extension of Government influence is an expensive business, and furthermore it is often looked upon as rather a waste of money both in Australia and in Papua; and, last and almost fatal objection of all in a utilitarian age, it is not directly reproductive; consequently the absolute necessity for greater activity in this direction has not, as yet, been fully recognised.

The introduction of alien labour is forbidden by the Immigration Restriction Ordinance of 1907, a measure modelled on the lines of Commonwealth legislation.

The object of this Ordinance is not, of course, to create a "White Papua," but to protect the Papuan. Plad Asiatic labourers been admitted they would speedily have ousted the Papuans from the field as regards plantation labour, at any rate—or rather, the Papuan would never have entered the field against them, for I take it that there can be no doubt that a trained and experienced Asiatic is a more effective worker than a raw New Guinea native. As a matter of history the Protectorate had been proclaimed for strategic reasons, but it was felt that, in theory at any rate, the only moral justification for our presence in Papua was that we should do our best to raise the native population in the scale of civilisation, and that it was advisable to attempt to carry the theory into practice. This we can best do by encouraging the native to work, and the most obvious way to efi'ect this is to give them every opportunity of serving under European employers, and so acquiring habits of industry which later on they may, if they like, put to a use which will be more directly to their own benefit. The introduction of labour from outside New Guinea would be quite inconsistent with this policy, and it was consequently forbidden.

It was, however, recognised that Papuan labourers would need instruction in the arts of tropical agriculture, and a provision was inserted in the Ordinance exempting "labourers of special skill," in whose favour the Lieutenant-Governor may grant a certificate. Papuans are apt to learn, and though it could hardly be expected that they would at first be equal to Asiatics of long experience, there seems no reason to doubt that with proper tuition they will prove efficient in any work they may be called upon to perform. The numerous tribes in the territory differ very much from one another in temper and disposition, and it is interesting to question employers as to the class of "boys" which they prefer; some have praise only for the more amenable natives of the east, others for the Orokaiva from the northern divisions, others for the sullen but determined Kiwai, some denounce the natives of the Purari Delta as impracticable savages, while others again declare them to be, under proper management, the pick of the lot. Probably, as an old resident and very successful employer remarked to me, there is not really any great difference in the value of native labour, from whatever part it may come, but all depends upon the way in which the labour is handled.

Natives may be, and in fact are, compelled to carry for the Government, and they are compelled to keep their roads and villages clean. Otherwise all labour in Papua is voluntary. An attempt was made to introduce a measure by which all young men up to, say, the age of twenty-three, would be compelled to work for the Government for a short period each year without pay, exemptions being granted to those who had previously worked for an European employer. The object was not to get cheap labour for the Government (for it was realised that all would choose to work for a private employer for pay rather than for the Government without pay), but to encourage habits of industry among the native population, and so remove the great danger which seems to threaten their future—for nothing can be more certain than that, if the Papuan cannot be induced to work, he must die. The bulk of opinion in Papua, both official and unofficial, was in favour of the proposal, but in Australia it was unfortunately misunderstood, and was denounced so generally and unsparingly that the Bill was abandoned. The majority of critics made the mistake of supposing that the natives were to be forced to work for the employer for nothing, and so arrived at the strange conclusion that the Bill was a piece of capitalistic tyranny.

Labour, then, is entirely voluntary in Papua. Some "boys" leave their villages and come down to a plantation or a township looking for work, but by far the greater num'ber are recruited. A recruiter, unless he is an employer recruiting for himself, must take out a licence, which is valid for a year, and which gives him the right to recruit labour in any part of the territory, and he generally recruits along the sea-coast or up the western rivers; very little recruiting has as yet been done inland except in the north-east, in what is known as the Kumusi Division.

The "boys" when recruited must be taken without unnecessary delay before a Government officer, who explains to them the terms of the proposed agreement, or "contract of service," as it is called; and a native may not be signed on until the officer "has satisfied himself," to quote the words of the Ordinance:—

"(1) That fair remuneration is offered and will be duly paid;

"(2) That the native is willing to enter into the contiact of service;

"(3) That there is no reason to suspect that the native will be unfairly treated;

"(4) That there is no reason to suspect that the native will not, at the expiration of the conhact of service, be returned to his home by the employer."

If the officer is not satisfied on all these points, or if the native changes his mind and does not want to sign on, the recruiter must take him home again. The human factors of carelessness and stupidity cannot be eliminated by legislation, and it would be rash to venture on a general statement that no "boy" ever went to work in Papua without knowinig the conditions of his contract, but I have no hesitation in saying that the number of such boys (if they exist at all) is very small indeed.

A native may work for an employer for three months without being signed on, and he cannot be signed on for a longer period than three years, or, in the case of miners and carriers, eighteen months; as a rule the term is twelve months and the wages are generally ten shillings a month, in addition to food, tobacco, and other necessaries. At the end of the term the employer brings the labourer before a Government officer at a place which is specified in the contract of service, and pays him his wages for the whole term, without a deduction for any money or anything else that he may have advanced or given to him during the term of engagement.

Wages are paid in coin, which the native usually proceeds to spend in one of the local stores, for money would be no good to him in his village; natives from the more settled places, who have been to work several times before, can then be trusted to look out for themselves, but in the case of the less sophisticated "fresh caught creatures," Government officers take care to see that they get fair value for their money, and that their "trade" is safely landed in their village. The expense of returning the native to his home falls upon the employer.

The system seems fairly complete for the protection of the employee; from the employers' point of view fault is found with it sometimes on the ground that it unduly hampers the relation between the parties to the contract, that the employee should, if he likes, be allowed to sign on for more than three years, and that the employer should be allowed to advance money or goods and to deduct their value from the wages. Life on the plantation, it is argued, would be much more attractive to the labourer if he were allowed to buy little things as he wanted them at the plantation store, than it is now when he has nothing before him but a continuous round of toil, with one glorious moment at the end of it when he is paid off at Port Moresby or Samarai. Whatever truth there may be in this contention I fear that the first and most obvious result, when "boys" began to return to their village with only a portion of their wages to show in "trade," would be that the employer for whom they were working would be boycotted as a bad pay by all their friends, and would get no more labour from that district.

As regards the extension of the period of service, the question has really been solved by the labourers themselves; it is with great difficulty that boys are found who are willing to sign on for three years, and it is therefore not likely that they would sign on for more. In any case it would not, in their own interests, be desirable to allow them to sign on as they please without a limit of time, and it is no part of our policy to convert them from what they are now, peasant proprietors, into a landless proletariat, which they might in time become if they signed and worked on for indefinite terms without returning to their village.

The truth is that the ordinary Papuan native, who has not been brought much into contact with Europeans, really requires a lot of looking after, far more than some employers who are new to Papua and unacquainted with village life are inclined to think, and a system will not necessarily apply to a raw Papuan labourer because it applies to an Asiatic labourer with generations of industrial life behind him.

The population of the territory is quite unknown, but we can see enough to be sure that the country is not thickly inhabited. It is generally assumed that the total is somewhere between 250,000 and 300,000, and on this basis I should, if I must give figures, estimate the maximum number of natives who will ever be regularly employed at about 20,000, assuming the whole country to be brought under Government control and recruiting to be systematically conducted throughout the territory. This is a high percentage of the total number of inhabitants, and perhaps my estimate will seem to many to be excessive, but I think that as the natives come to realise more fully the value of European articles they will flock to work in increasing numbers, and I am not prepared to say that there will not, eventually, be 20,000 of them employed.

Care is taken to see that the labourers do not waste their wages in the purchase of utterly useless articles, and our efforts in this direction have, I think, been successful. Any one who considers the superiority of steel knives and tomahawks over the native implements of shell sticks and stones, will realise the enormous incentive to labour which a desire to possess the former would create among a people who only possessed the latter, and when once this desire is satisfied we hope that a similar desire to obtain other articles of European use will bring about a like effect.

A well-known writer on this subject, Alleyne Ireland, speaking of the Federated Malay States, says: "In like circumstances a Government will always be faced by the labour problem, and it admits of only three solutions. If the natives refuse to work, as they have in all times in every tropical country the development of which has been undertaken by Europeans or Americans, the first alternative is to abandon it and thus rob the world of that economic contribution which it has a right to expect from every territory which Nature has endowed with economic resources; the next is to adopt the method which has made Java the most flourishing of all tropical countries, and that is to say, force the natives to work by prescribing a certain number of days of labour in the year for each native, and visiting a default with severe penalties; and the final alternative is to leave the natives alone, and bring in outsiders who will do the work." But it is hoped that these gloomy prognostications will not be realised in Papua, and in fact they have already to some extent been falsified.

There is no doubt a possible danger that the natives may become so enamoured of European goods that they may flock to work in such large numbers as to neglect their gardens and leave their wives and families without support, but this is a danger which, if it ever does arise, can be dealt with without very materially affecting the labour supply as a whole. Of course it is a possibility that must be carefully guarded against, not only in the interests of the natives, but in the interests of employers, for a reaction would inevitably set in with the result that no one would go to work again in the villages in which such a thing had occurred.

Much depends upon the manner in which the labourers are treated. It is an ill wind that blows nobody good, and the apprehended shortage of labour (which, by the way, was just as great when there were only 2,000 boys at work as it is now there are 8,000), has put the native in a remarkably strong position. If the labourer is not liberally treated there is a danger that his master may get a bad name in the tribe or village, with the result that he will have considerable difficulty in getting any more labour from that district, and it is partly, perhaps, because they realise this, but principally, I think, from motives of humanity, that employers are careful to give their employees no genuine ground for complaint. The food supply is often in excess of that provided by regulation, the housing for the employees is almost always satisfactory, and the hours of work are frequently less than the fifty hours per week, which is the maximum allowed. There may have been Legrees in the history of the territory, but they were certainly never numerous, and I do not know of any at the present time; apart altogether from the Government inspection, public opinion would, I think, be too strong for them.

The good treatment of the labourers may be regarded as assured, and, I think, would not be seriously questioned by any one who had a knowledge of labour conditions in the territory. But there is a really serious danger which affects not only native labourers but native life in general; that is, the danger of epidemics. Mention has been made of the ravages caused by the epidemic of dysentery on the Lakekamu Goldfield, and there has been serious loss of life from the same cause elsewhere, with the result that employers in some parts find it very 'difficult to get labour. This is really not to be wondered at, for it is hardly to be expected that "boys" who have lost relatives on a plantation or a goldfield in a particular part should elect to go to work in the same place themselves.

I do not think that a mortality like that of 1910 will occur again, for both the Government and employers have learnt from experience, and though it would be foolish to imagine that epidemics of dysentery will not recur, it may be hoped with reason that they will be both less frequent and less fatal. I have mentioned dysentery, for that has of late been far the most deadly of all plagues; our old enemy, beri beri, has, I understand, been robbed by recent investigations of nearly all its terrors.

The question of labour is recognised in Papua as the most important of all, but it is a question upon which probably no two men in Papua agree. Various suggestions have been made with a view to increasing the supply. Government recruiting is one. It is thought by some that the Government coutd get labour more easily than private recruiters, and that it could hire out or transfer the labourers to employers, charging, of course, a sum which would be sufficient to cover the cost incurred. I was at one time in favour of the scheme, but on mature consideration I have come to the conclusion that it would be an utter failure, for the reason that the Government could not, in my opinion, get labour for other people so easily as private recruiters. It may be that "boys" would recruit more readily for the Government than for a private employer, but only if they were going to work for the Government—not if they were going to be handed over to some one else, and furthermore a Government officer must treat the natives with a certain amount of aloofness which' would certainly not tend to make him a successful recruiter, and which is not expected from private individuals.

This is not because the officer is necessarily or presumably a better man in any way than the other, but simply because, for the time being, he represents the Government, and a Government which, like ours in Papua, depends for its very existence upon its prestige with the natives (or, if any one prefers the term, upon "bluff"), cannot afford to allow its officers to be familiar with them or to bring himself down, even from the best of motives, to anything approaching the native level. In short, a Government officer must be in his dealings with natives what he should never be in his dealings with Europeans, and that is, something of a "superior person," or even sometimes a prig—though, of course, always a prig of a sympathetic nature. Now a prig as a recruiter would simply be impossible, and for that reason I do not think that Government recruiting would be a success; it could, I fear, only be made successful if the natives got into their heads that there was a Government order that they should go to work, and, of course, that would be the very thing that we should particularly wish to avoid.

Another suggestion that has been made is that the wives should accompany their husbands to the plantations; the idea being not that the wives should work, but that they should be given a home and a plot of land where they could make a garden, and that they should simply live there, so as to make plantation life more attractive to the married men and induce them to "sign on."

The objections raised to this scheme were principally that it would break up the village life, that the labourers would lose their gardens and their place in the village community, and would become landless outcasts, dependent entirely upon plantation life for their livelihood.

The analogy of men who have worked for many years in the Government service as police tends to show that this would not be the case; that is to say, it shows that their claim to their garden-land would still be recognised, and their place, whatever it might be, in the village life would still remain, unless the term of continuous service were extended very much beyond the present limit of three years. Nor would the disruption of the village life, by which I mean the manners and customs prevailing in a village, be in my opinion materially accelerated if the proposed system were adopted; it is, in any circumstances, inevitable as the result of European settlement, and will not, in truth, be an unmixed evil, for, though some native customs are excellent, others are quite the reverse. In any case the fact of some of the women going away to live for a few years on a plantation would not have any marked effect in hastening it. Personally I have always been in favour of the suggestion, if only on the ground that I do not think that a man and a wife, whatever their colour, should be separated if they wish to live together. One of the obvious disadvantages of the present system is that the wife who is left in the village is likely to be "stolen," as the natives call it, by some village Don Juan, who, too lazy to work and too mean to buy a wife of his own, takes advantage of the absence of his more industrious fellow; I have even had a native boast to me in court that he has not bought a wife of his own because he could always get the wife of one of the men who were away at work.

The whole question is, however, to my mind one of almost purely academic interest, as I think that it could very rarely happen that a woman would care to leave her village even in order to accompany her husband.

Of course it by no means follows that what is true of one part of Papua is necessarily true of another, and it may be that in some of the tribes with which we are less familiar the women may prove less conservative in their ideas or less attached to their homes, but I must own that I should be surprised if that proved to be the case.

Such is the Papuan labour problem, the successful solution of which means success to the territory, while its bungling means ruin. It is obvious that Papuan labour—even if you had every able-bodied man at work—would not be sufficient to develop all the natural resources of the territory; it might do so, no doubt, in time, but it would, I think, be a long time.

We must therefore resign ourselves to a gradual development, and no longer cherish dreams of exploiting Papua and the Papuans in a single generation.

This is hard upon company promoters and others, but I cannot help thinking that it is a good thing for the Papuan, for the reason that his education will be more gradual; the advance from the Stone Age to the twentieth century should not, I think, be made per saltum. But though it will not be possible to develop the country all at once it would, with 20,000 labourers, be possible to do a great deal, more especially if improvements in machinery and the introduction of labour-saving appliances have the efifect, as there is every reason to hope they will, of allowing plantations to be successfully worked with a much smaller labour supply than is considered necessary at present.

It is true that we have not yet got the 20,000 labourers, and we never shall have them unless the whole of the territory is pacified and brought under control, but that is an ideal which need not by any means be regarded as incapable of realisation, for, after all, it is only a question of money.

Of course, whatever the number of "boys" that might be available, there will always be complaints and alarms of the shortage of labour, for there will always be some men who will never be able to get natives to work for them. Such are the men who nag (no less fatal a vice in an employer than in a wife), others who for some reason which is not apparent to a white man do not happen to fit in with the Papuan's ideas of what an employer should be, and others again whose plantations are situated in a district which for some reason has a bad name with natives. These men will not only have difficulty in finding boys themselves, they will also spoil the chances of the others; but on the whole I do not see any reason to alter the opinion I expressed early in 1910. Apart from the possibility of a sudden demand for perhaps thousands of labourers consequent upon some very rich mineral discovery, and, I would add now, apart from the possibility of epidemics, I thought then, and I think now, that any fear of a general shortage of labour in the present or immediate future is unfounded, providing that recruiting be carried out systematically, as one may assume that it will be; but I also thought, and still think, that scarcity of labour must put a stop to settlement long before the resources of the territory have been fully developed. How long it will be beforethis limit is reached will depend primarily upon the readiness of the natives' response to the recruiter, but also to a great extent upon how far the ordinary conditions of tropical agriculture can be modified to suit the circumstances of Papua by changes in the present methods of cultivation, and by the introduction of labour-saving appliances. These questions can only be answered by experience.


Trade statistics—Progress of Papua under Australian rule—Effect of European settlement upon the natives—Condition of the natives before settlement—Future development as affecting the natives—Necessity of encouraging habits of industry—Native confidence in the Government—Murder on a Government road—Civilising influence of settlers—Spread of the English language—Papuan idea of responsibility—Punitive expeditions—Extension of Government influence—Method adopted in Papua—Visits to new villages—Timidity of natives—Necessity for care and patience—Papuan antiquities—Stone figures—Pestles and mortars—Population before arrival of Europeans—War, pestilence, and famine, effects of upon the population—Reasons why population does not increase more rapidly—Epidemics—Small-pox in Hanuabada—European clothes—Sanitation of villages—Savagery in unsettled districts—Conclusion.

Papuan trade statistics for the last ten years are as follows:—

The total shipping (that is, the number and tonnage of foreign-going merchant vessels entered and cleared at the ports of the territory) is, for the eight years 1903-4 to 1910-11:—

These figures are satisfactory. In the ten years the exports have increased by nearly 100, and the imports, the customs receipts, and the total territorial revenue (that is, the revenue exclusive of the subsidy from the Commonwealth) by nearly 200 per cent. The increase in exports is the more remarkable as none of the plantations have as yet come into bearing.

The comparison of the progress made before and since the Commonwealth assumed control is to an Australian still more gratifying. The Papua Act came into force in September, 1906. In the previous four years (1901-2 to 1905-6), the territorial revenue had increased by less than £4,000, in the next five years, under Commonwealth rule (1905-6 to 1910-11), it increased by more than £25,000; so the exports and imports, which had increased in the former period by £12,000 and £9,000 respectively, have during the Australian regime increased by nearly £37,000 and £123,000, and shipping, which remained practically stationary in the years 1903-4, 1904-5, and 1905-6, grew in the next five years in the number of ships from 223 to 1,287, and in tonnage from 104,983 to 300,246.

In the face of these figures, and of those already given relating to land settlement, it can hardly be denied that the present, or Australian, administration has, so far, been successful as regards the development of the territory, but this is, of course, only half the battle; we must also succeed in our solution of the native problem, by preserving the Papuan and raising him eventually to the highest civilisation of which he is capable. This is a much harder problem than the other, and one which will take much longer to solve.

With the foundations so well laid as they were by Sir William MacGregor, there is no great difficulty in developing a country of such rich and varied resources as Papua, if development only is to be considered. That is to say, if the sole duty of the Government were to offer facilities to white men to make money in Papua, without regard to the interests of the native population, the task would be easy, however distasteful; what makes it difficult is the very thing that makes it interesting, and that is the fact that there are the natives to be considered as well.

It would, of course, be the merest hypocrisy to pretend that Europeans generally came to Papua with the object of benefiting the Papuans, but I think that, in fact, European settlement has had that effect, and I think that the majority of Papuans recognise it. Of course, if you put such a question to a number of natives they will, if they do not know you very well, or if they are not in a mood for confidences, extol to the skies the virtues of the white man generally and of the Government in particular, and will impress upon you that they are fully alive to the enormous benefits which the Papuan has received from the European—but they will not all mean what they say. It is, to a great extent, their natural courtesy which prompts them to talk in that fashion. If you could gain their confidence the young unmarried men would probably tell you that, except as purveyors of tobacco and other commodities, the white inhabitants generally were a nuisance and had spoiled all the fun in the country; but the elder men, especially those who remembered the constant terror of the old raiding days, would be sincere in what they said, for they do, I think, realise that the establishment of law and order is a good thing, though some of them may regret the more stirring days of their youth and lament the lack of virility among the young men of the present day, which they will attribute to the reign of peace which now extends throughout the settled districts. Papuan women are generally more bloodthirsty than the men, but I think that a majority even of the women would agree with the elder men in their approval of the present state of affairs. Papua before the white man came was no Arcadia where peace and plenty ruled throughout the year; it was, on the contrary, a country where life was fairly strenuous, where the women had to work in order that the men might be ready to fight, where hunger and even starvation were by no means unknown, and where scenes of bloodshed and barbarity were not infrequently enacted which would frighten a Bashi Bazouk. We have, so far as our influence extends, put a stop to raids, to head-hunting, to cannibalism, and to village warfare in general, so that while undoubtedly spoiling sport we have vastly increased the feeling of individual security, and, so far as it is possible to conjecture, we have, even after making allowance for the epidemics which we have introduced, also increased the general happiness.

We may therefore, I think, flatter ourselves that so far the presence of the European has benefited the native; can we venture to hope that it will also benefit him in the future? Papua must be developed; can it be developed without evil results to the Papuan? Personally I think that it can, not only without evil results, but with the best results possible; in fact, that it is only in connection with the development of Papua that the future of the Papuan can be assured.

An official who expresses these opinions, who thinks that (ahogether apart from the interests of the settlers) it is to the advantage of the Papuan to learn to work, and that the best available schools are the plantation and the mining field, runs the risk of being looked upon as a hypocrite who seeks to curry favour with the employer while posing as a friend of the native, for there is somewhere at the back of the mind of many of our critics a sort of unspoken conviction that, while it is inadvisable and even wicked for a white man to be idle (for is not sloth one of the seven deadly sins?), it is equally inadvisable and wicked for a black or a brown man to work. He is more picturesque (perhaps) chewing betel-nut in his village than working in a plantation or carrying a pack upon the road; therefore, I suppose, it is argued he should be left to chew betel-nut and not encouraged to sign on as a labourer. Fortunately the native who remains in his village does more than most casual observers would give him credit for, but it is none the less true that if we wish the Papuans to survive we must encourage them to work and endeavour to change them from a non-industrial to an industrial people.

When a man has to hold himself in readiness to fight for his life at a moment's notice, and when in addition he has to get a living out of the earth with the aid of tools made of sticks and stones and shells, supplemented by any fish or game that he can procure by weapons made of the same material, and when his chief amusement consists of head-hunting and raids on other villages, he is likely to grow into a rather strenuous person of active habits; and then, if he is suddenly told that he need never fight again, and that his life is perfectly safe, and is presented with implements which will enable him to do as much in a day as he could do before in a week, but is told that he must never go on any more raids and never collect any more heads, he is likely to feel a void in his existence, for his chief occupations will be gone, and unless something is given to him which will fill the void he and his descendants will suffer. This is the case of the Papuans; we have taken away his old ideals of war and bloodshed, and it is our duty to put a new ideal in their place—to substitute the activity of labour for that of fighting, and to transform the tribe of disappointed warriors into a race of more or less industrious workmen.

To illustrate what I mean I quote from an essay written about twelve years ago by my brother, now Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Oxford. "If we hear of a race disappearing quietly, under no stress of persecution, no massacres or poisonings, we are, perhaps, inclined to look upon the process as a harmless and painless one. It is not so. Those men and women who look broken down by the time they are thirty, who leave no children behind them, who have forgotten their fishing and their hunting and their old rude forms of art...those men and women are, I think, engaged in a process that we sometimes read about, but do not often see; they are dying of despair."[*]

[* "Liberalism and the Empire," p. 149.]

No tribe in Papua has as yet got to a state in any way comparable to that indicated above, and our concern is to see that none of them shall; this we can best do by encouraging them to work, and so giving them something to live for in the new Papua that we are building up around them. Labour is no doubt a curse, but the curse is not an unmitigated one; and in the case of the Papuan the mitigation is that it will save him from the worse evil of despair.

The true interests of the Papuan demand that we should encourage him to take part in the industrial life of the territory, and we surely should not be prevented from doing so by the fact that we are at the same time benefiting the European settler who employs him. The truth is that the interests of both parties lie in the same direction, and it is very fortunate that they do; but though the general direction is the same, there are many points of divergence; more, I think, than there would be if employers realised more generally that, in jealously safeguarditig the welfare of the labourers the Government is really advancing the interests, in the long run, of the employers themselves. The care which the Government takes of the native often appears to the employer to be meticulous and unnecessary, and so, possibly, it sometimes is, but the object of all these precautions is to ensure that the labourer shall be so treated that he may recognise that it is to his advantage to go to work, and, if they are sometimes excessive, it is really, from the point of view of both employer and employed, a fault on the right side. In short, it is better to run the risk of giving too much protection, since the result of giving too little might be that recruiting would come to an end altogether.

In such a case it is obviously impossible to please both parties, but we have, at any rate, the satisfaction of knowing that we do not please the advocates of either. Employers assert that we consider the native too much, while those who affect to speak on behalf of the native say that we do not consider him enough; and this may, I think, be taken as satisfactory evidence that we hold the balance fairly even. What the opinion of the native himself is of his treatment both by private employers and by the Government may, I think, be inferred from the yearly increasing number of recruits.

How far we shall succeed in our attempt to educate the Papuan into habits of sustained industry remains to be seen. Alleyne Ireland, in his book "The Far Eastern Tropics," tells us that "universal experience has proved the utter falsity" of the argument that the natives of those tropical countries where there is not a pressure of population "can be educated to understand the dignity of labour, or, failing that, can be taught new wants the gratification of which will call for steady work," but the brief experience which we have already had in Papua goes to show that this statement is too sweeping, and it is to be hoped that our experience in the future will prove that, however true it may be of other races, it does not apply to the Papuan.

One must always remember that in speaking of Papuans one is speaking, not of a single race or nation, but of a number of heterogeneous tribes and communities, whose only bond of union, in many cases, is the fact that they happen to inhabit the same British possession, so that what is true of the natives of one part of the territory may be quite untrue of the natives of another. It is therefore always dangerous to generalise about them, but I think one may say that while the Papuan has many qualities which seem to unfit him for the position which we wish him to fill in the industrial world, for he is very conservative, very much attached to his home, and very fond of his wife, his children, and his relations, still all this will be outweighed by what is the most disagreeable trait in his character, and that is, his avarice. He is, unfortunately, avaricious, and this vice may, and I think will, take the place of the ambition in which he is, as a rule, somewhat lacking; if so, we need have no fear for his future.

The Papuan is, as a rule, a shy, suspicious sort of person, and the Government has been singularly fortunate in gaining his confidence as it has. Even beyond European influence the Government is known by repute, and the repute seems to be a good one, for one finds deputations coming down from the remotest districts to ask for assistance and advice on such knotty questions, for instance, as whether a widow may marry again. The administration of justice seems particularly to appeal to the native's sense of fair dealing, which he generally has very strongly developed; no doubt, like judges and magistrates elsewhere, we do occasionally make mistakes and send the wrong man to gaol, but, from the implicit confidence with which we seem to have inspired the native mind, I do not think that it happens very often. In fact one can frequently tell a man's innocence from his indifference to the evidence that is brought against him and to the proceedings in general; he has made up his mind that "the Government" will do justice, so why bother about details. It is right to point out that it is always the Administration in general in which this boundless confidence is reposed, which is satisfactory, as it shows that the natives have some idea of a settled policy apart from the individuals who carry it out.

Sometimes, indeed, in his respect for the Government the Papuan sacrifices the spirit to the letter. A village constable, for instance, will not always refrain from committing an offence, but he will be careful to take off his uniform first, and I remember a case in which a Koiari youth shocked a court full of natives by confessing to a murder committed on a Government road. A murder they could understand, and even applaud, but a murder on a Government road was hopelessly bad form—surely the murderer might have had the decency to take his victim into the bush before killing him; the Government, for some strange reason, did not approve of murder, and while using the Government road he should have respected the Governmental prejudices, however absurd.

At other times their love of justice, though laudable, seems somewhat excessive, as where (a not infrequent case) they persist in accusing themselves of murders which they say they committed at some unascertainable date, but of which there is aliunde no evidence whatever. "There is no use your bringing him in without witnesses," said a magistrate to a policeman who appeared with a self-accused murderer. "I know that," said the policeman, "that is what I keep telling him; but he insists on coming."

While a Papuan official may be allowed to congratulate himself upon the feeling of respect and confidence which has been implanted among the natives, he should remember that is not due to the efiorts of officials alone. Every white man in Papua who leads a decent life is a focus of civilisation, whether he be a Government officer or not; a miner, for instance, who works year after year with "boys" drawn sometimes from different parts of the territory can, and does, if (as is generally the case) he remembers that racial superiority brings with it duties as well as privileges, exercise an influence greater probably than he ever dreams of, and the same applies to every other settler. For instance, the spread of the English language, which does much to facilitate the work of the Government, is being brought about largely through the influence of individuals. I remember once having the curiosity to count the number of languages spoken by a boat-load of police and prisoners, and they mounted, if I remember rightly, to seventeen, some of them probably differing as much from one another as English and Chinese, and, as it would be hopeless to attempt to learn them all, the obvious course is to encourage the natives to learn English. One way in which this is attempted is by compelling attendance at those Mission schools (and only those) at which English is taught, but more is done by individuals, and on the island of Sud Est, for example, where there is neither Government officer nor school, English is spoken quite generally. It is true that the English is everywhere of the detestable "pidgin" variety, and it is also true that it would not always pass muster in a drawing-room, as for instance, where a Fly River native adjured his father to "hurry up," addressing the old gentleman as ab—— "black cow," but still it is usually intelligible, though to say of a young lady that "all the time he cry too much—he fight along bokkis (box)" does not readily convey the idea that she is singing and accompanying herself on the piano, nor does "pigeon grass" seem an appropriate expression for the plumage of a bird of Paradise, nor "tinne-ope (tin-opener) belong bottle" for a corkscrew.

The Papuan's acceptance of our methods of administering justice is rather remarkable when one remembers that his idea of responsibility is not individual, but tribal or communal. Thus, if a man from one village kills a member of another the debt must be paid, but not necessarily by the individual; the injured community may, if the villages are related or friendly, demand the surrender of the murderer, and he may be given up, but as a rule they do not bother about the individual at all—it is the village that is guilty, and payment may be taken by killing any one belonging to it, without regard to the question whether he (or she) was implicated in the crime. Now, our ideas are quite different; we disregard the village and the tribe and concern ourselves only with the individual. It must be remembered that in Papua there are no such things as "punitive expeditions." If a man is murdered we arrest the murderer and punish him; we do not punish the village or the tribe, any more than the New South Wales Government, for instance, declares war on Riverina when a crime is committed in Deniliquin, or the Imperial Government upon Scotland when a murder is reported from Glasgow. We do exactly what the New South Wales or the Imperial Government would do in the case suggested; that is, we make inquiries, collect evidence, arrest the persons who appear to be implicated, and bring them to trial. This is often a very, difficult task, and it is to the credit of the police, both officers and men, that it is invariably accomplished, though often after weeks, and perhaps months, of strenuous work, great discomfort, and even hardship and danger.

All this is quite opposed to Papuan ideas. The natives, if they were in our place, would do very much as has, I believe, been done elsewhere; that is to say, they would attack the tribe to which the guilty men belonged, kill as many as they could, burn down their villages, and return in triumph, having "paid back" for the death of the murdered man. It will doubtless be long before Papuans accept our ideas of individual responsibility, but it speaks well for their intelligence that they should understand our view and adapt themselves to it so readily as they have. "I only killed a baby," a ra'ider will often urge in mitigation of sentence. The plea has probably not the effect that he intends, but the fact that he seeks to minimise his share in the atrocity shows that he has grasped our position; to a Papuan he would be equally guilty if he had not gone on the raid at all, for it would be sufficient that he belonged to the hostile tribe.

The arrest of criminals is made comparatively easy (but only comparatively, for it is still very difficult) by the fact that we have to deal, not with nomads who are here to-day and gone to-morrow, but with an agricultural population living in settled villages; for I should think that it would be far more difficult to discover and arrest the guilty parties in the case of people like the Australian aborigines than it is with Papuans. Of course, if the marauding party are overtaken the task is very much simplified, but even if, as is generally the case, the whole village disappears into the bush, time and patience will enable the police party to get the culprits, for th'e community, rather than stay away from their village indefinitely, will surrender the ringleaders, or give information which will lead to their arrest.

Of the two methods the easier, no doubt, is simply to "deal it out" to the offending tribe, irrespective of individual responsibility, but there can be no doubt which is better as a matter of administration. The tribe that has once been visited by a punitive expedition—unless it is so severely handled that its spirit is entirely broken, in which case it becomes useless for good or evil—will take years to pacify, and to the last will harbour a desire for revenge, whereas the tribe from which the guilty only are taken soon becomes friendly, especially when the prisoners return, after serving their sentence, and it is realised that the "Government" has not eaten them after all.

Just as there are two ways of inflicting punishment for crime, so there are two ways of extending the Government influence. If the new tribe happen, from hearsay, to be familiar with thfe ways of the Government they will probably welcome the extension, but often, through timidity, suspicion, and dislike of innovation, they will offer, or at least threaten, resistance. A party that is seriously attacked must of course protect itself, but if violence is only threatened, or if the attack is not a serious one, there are two courses that may be pursued. The party may open fire and so overcome the resistance, or they can elect to take a little risk and endeavour to establish friendly relations in spite of the hostility of their reception. The former is the easier and less dangerous course, and it also has the advantage (such as it is) of enabling the officer in command to pose as a determined person who "will stand no nonsense," but it has the disadvantage (a fatal one from the administrative point of view) of postponing almost indefinitely the pacification of the tribe concerned.

I have mentioned the difficulty that Sir William MacGregor found in entering into friendly relations with the villages that liad been bombarded on the Bamu, and the experience at Goari Bari was the same. There is, so far as I know, no reason to suppose that the bloodshed after the murder of Chalmers and Tomkins could have been avoided, but the result of that bloodshed (and perhaps to a certain extent of the unfortunate incident of 1904) was that for five years afterwards every time we went to Goari Bari the inhabitants of the village of Dopima (the scene of the murder) took to the bush, and on each occasion it was with difficulty that they could be induced to return. There are some other people living only a few miles away who had never been visited, and who, the first time that a Government party went there, danced their war-dance on the shore, sent away their women and children, and made every preparation to dispute our landing. An interpreter shouted himself hoarse in explaining that the visit was one of peace, but otherwise no notice was taken of the warlike attitude of the villagers, the party landed, the women and children returned, and next year that village welcomed the visiting party with open arms; more had been done there in one visit than in five years at Goari Bari, and yet the inhabitants are the same people. The difference was that in one case the Government had been forced to fight and in the other it had not.

It is the peaceful method that has been preferred in Papua, and no reason has been found to question its wisdom. The "shoot at sight" system is safer, but (apart altogether from the moral aspect) it is slow and ineffective. Our method is attended with some risks, but the risks may be minimised by care and patience or I should not defend it, for an officer has clearly no right to jeopardise the lives of his police unnecessarily, whatever he may choose to do with his own. It is not a spectacular course of action, it gives the officer no opportunity of showing what a dashing, high-spirited fellow he is, it is at times insufferably tedious, and at other times irritating to the last degree—but it is effective.

The risks that I have referred to anise as much from the timidity of the natives as from any other cause. A man fully armed and in a frenzy of fear is always dangerous, and until his fear is removed a matter of some difficulty at times, especially if there is no interpreter—he should be watched carefully. When the women come back you are generally safe, but not always, for however peaceful the inhabitants of a new village may appear there is always a strong minority who would like to kill the strangers, and a large number who are indifferent, so that the minority may at any moment become a majority, and then there will be trouble unless the party is kept well in hand.

This is why it is dangerous to allow any one to get ahead of the Government. A Government party is less likely to be attacked for several reasons. One is that even those natives who hiave never been brought into contact with the Government have heard of and stand in awe of it, and another is that Government parties are generally larger, better armed, and under better control than any others. In fact, apart from accident or mismanagement, a Government party visiting a village where white men have never been before is not in any danger worth speaking of, though, if white men have been there before, the matter is not so simple, for much depends upon how the previous visitors behaved themselves. It is a strange thing that the previous visitors seem so rarely to have realised this, thinking apparently that if they themselves got away in safety they need not trouble about any one else, and entirely forgetting the people who were to come after them.

The Rev. S. MacFarlane, whoi was for many years a missionary in New Guinea, finds what he considers to be abundant evidence of the retrogression of the Papuans from a higher civihsation, and none whatever that they are advancing, except so far as the advance is caused by external influences. I quite agree with him as regards the latter statement, and with reference to the question raised by the former it is an interesting fact that relics have been found here and there which show that the territory was once the dwelling-place of men who worked in stone. Stone pestles and mortars have been found in different parts of the country, generally buried several feet beneath the surface, and I have seen a stone figure of a bird, with what seemed to me to be the head and neck of a snake, which was dug up from a depth of, I think, 20 feet, on the Gira Goldfield, part of what was perhaps a similar figure has been recently unearthed on the Lakekamu, and in 1906 what is described as "the upper portion of a man's body, cut out in hard stone, and 20 inches in height," was found on the Giriwu River, near Buna Bay. "The elbows" of this figure were well thrown back, and the hands crossed on the chest. The head, if it were meant to represent the low type of the African negro, was good, but, if meant for Melanesian or even Polynesian cast of countenance, it was not a. good specimen. The eyes, nose, and mouth were there, but little or no forehead, which ran back to a point at the back of his head."[*]

[* Annual Report for 1906-7, p. 56.]

I cannot suggest any answer to the question whether the men who made these figures were of a different race from the people who inhabit the territory at the present time, or whether the explanation is that the race is the same but that the art has been lost, but so fat as I know there is not a native in Papua who would ever dream of attempting to make such implements and figures as I have described.

Strange weapons also have been discovered, such as an obsidian battle-axe, which was found on the Yodda Goldfield at a depth, I am told, of 70 feet beneath the surface, and a peculiarly shaped club of alabaster, the provenance of which I have been unable to ascertain. Stone clubs and tomahawks are of course common throughout Papua, and the natives make, or used to make, obsidian knives and spear-points, and, I believe, flint knives and arrowheads, but alabaster is, I think, otherwise unknown in the territory, and the obsidian battle-axe is certainly unique. I personally have never known Papuans to make anything out of stone except such articles as I have mentioned, and I must confess that I do not understand D'Albertis's reference to the stone "Baratu" that he found on the Alice River.[*] It is possible that some of the tribes were at the time of British occupation in a state of degeneration from a higher civilisation of which these stone figures are evidence, but I confess that I do not think so; in my opinion they were in a more or less stationary state, and so if they had been left to themselves they would have remained, for without slavery they would not, I think, have made any substantial advance, and the idea of slavery as an institution seems never to have occurred to them.

[* "New Guinea," vol. ii., p. 136.]

I think also, so far as one can form an opinion in the complete absence of statistics, that the population was probably stationary; that is, I think that in some places it increased while in others it diminished, and that very probably the increase and decrease about balanced one another. This is, of course, little more than a conjecture, but it is borne out by what we see happening to-day. There are many villaiges which, even of late years, have, with their inhabitants, been utterly destroyed; from time to time there are droughts and famines (at the present moment the Government is distributing rations along the north-east coast) which, in the old days, when there was no Government, must have meant hundreds of deaths; and there was pneumonia and other kinds of sickness before the white man came. Pneumonia raged in Port Moresby and along the south coast in 1886, hundreds of natives died, and "the people," says Mr. Romilly, Deputy-Commissioner, "were beside themselves with fear. The usual remedies for driving away spirits at night were tried, remedies which had been in disuse for yearstorches were burnt, horns were blown, and the hereditary sorcerers sat up all night cursing, but still the people died."

With war, pestilence, and famine to contend against, witli no one to keep the peace, with no idea whatever of sanitation, and with no one but the sorcerers to turn to for assistance, it is not likely that the population could increase rapidly, unless the birthrate were abnormally high, which there is every reason to suppose was not the case.

There are some villages in which children absolutely swarm, but there are few large families; practically every one is married, but there are many couples who have no children, or only one or two. In many parts of the territory it is considered a disgrace for a woman to have a child until she has been married at least two years; infanticide and abortion, though rarely proved, are said to be common, and a medical expert would probably discover the existence of other checks to population. The result of all this is that in some districts the population is increasing while in others it is not; such investigations as we have been able to make leads, in the absence of definite statistics, to the conclusion that the population in that part of the territory which is under control is certainly not diminishing, though the increase, if any, is probably very small. The reason why the population does not increase as one would expect now that village warfare has ceased is, so far as I can see, simply that neither men nor women want children, which I take to be the chief cause that limits population elsewhere. The reason why they do not want them is, I think, partly because they find them a nuisance (which is a consideration that was probably effective even before the white man came) and partly that, in their present stage of transition from one stage of development to another, they do not exactly see what there will be for their children to do. In the old days the children would take their place in the village life, and go hunting, fighting, and fishing, if they were boys, or drawing wood and water and working in the gardens if they were girls, but the question is more difficult to answer now that the village life seems to be passing away, and the new life of industry which we hope will follow is not yet clearly realised. I think that this feeling of rather hopeless uncertainty has a good deal to do with the small birth-rate, and when it is removed the rate will, I think, increase, though I see no reason for supposing that it will ever be a high one. It is sometimes thought that the birth-rate is affected by the absence of the young men who go away to work on the plantations or the goldfields, but I cannot think that this is the case to any appreciable extent. A Papuan couple will have only a small number of children in any case, and I do not think that the number will be affected by the absence of the husband for a year or two; the couple will have as many as they want_, and no more, even if the husband does not go to work at all, for the Papuan wife is not of the type that presents her husband with a baby every year—both he and she would feel dreadfully ashamed of themselves if she did.

If we can give the Papuan something to live for I do not think that the birth-rate need concern us very much, but unfortunately the death-rate will. The Papuan does not, as a rule, want alcohol, and could not get it if he did, so that we are spared the difficulties of the drink problem; but we have still to deal with the epidemics of disease which follow in the track of the white man, and any one of which might upset our most careful calculations by wiping half the population out of existence.

When Mr. Stone came to Port Moresby in 1875 the population of the Hanuabada villages was estimated by him at seven hundred, but he goes on to say, "I noticed many pitted with small-pox, which had carried off men, women, and children with frightful rapidity about ten years previously. It had been most likely introduced by a stray boat belonging to the Torres Straits pearl-fishery...Measles had been introduced by the missionary vessel on a recent voyage, and from its effects numbers had died." The population was, he says, about twice as numerous before the small-pox as at the time of his visit; in 1886 it was estimated at eight hundred, and it is now nearly two thousand, or a little more than before the small-pox visitation. In other words, it has taken about a generation to counteract the effects of that epidemic, of the measles, of the pneumonia of 1886, and of the whooping-cough and dysentery of more recent years. As means of communication with the outside world become more rapid and more frequent, the difficulty of guarding against the introduction of disease becomes greater; but, on the other hand, as the official staff becomes more numerous and consequently more efficient, it becomes easier to deal with diseases when they do come, though this is to some extent counterbalanced by the fact that, as law and order are established, the native population moves about more, and disease therefore spreads more rapidly. The practice of wearing European clothes, which, however, does not prevail to any great extent out of the Western Division, is a source of danger to the natives, but it is difficult to see how it can be stopped; women must, I suppose, be allowed to clothe themselves—at any rate it would be hard to convince the English or the Australian public that they must not—and the only thing to do is to impress upon them the necessity of occasionally washing their clothes, of changing them when they are wet, and of not passing them on to one another irrespective of the state of health of the last wearer.

More can be done by improving the sanitation of villages, and attending to the housing of labourers, and so removing conditions that would be favourable to the spread of disease than by waiting till an epidemic comes and then endeavouring to check it; and much may be expected in these directions from the Department of Native Affairs and from the medical officer who has been recently appointed for the special purpose of attending to the health of the native population, but it would, I think, be a foolish optimism to expect that we shall have no more epidemics; all we can do is to minimise the probability of their recurrence, and, when they do come, to deal with them as promptly and effectively as our resources will permit.

Papuans are apt to lose heart, and do not fight for their lives as a white man would, but in spite of that it is clear that they have considerable powers of resistance; they have already had whoopingcough, small-pox, and measles—all gifts of the white man, by the way, as well as dysentery, and they still survive, apparently with undiminished numbers, and it may not unreasonably be hoped that, with the greater care that can now be given to them, they will be still more successful in withstanding any visitations that may come upon them in the future.

There are many ways in which the condition of the natives in the settled districts can be, and in fact is being improved, but everything else sinks into insignificance compared with the imperative necessity of preventing the spread of disease and of putting down the worst forms of barbarism in those districts which have not yet been brought under control. It would, for instance, be an excellent thing if we could stamp out the scaly ringworm and the disfiguring skin disease which is caused thereby, but it would be infinitely more so if we could put an end to the epidemics of dysentery; and while British subjects are roasting one another alive within twenty-four hours of Port Moresby, it hardly seems as though we had, as yet, reached the stage where we could devote much time to non-essentials. Minor reforms and improvements should not be neglected, but it would be disastrous if they were allowed to occupy the principal place. Our first duties are to prevent the recurrence of epidemics, and to put down cannibalism and savagery in general, and, if we can succeed in this, and if the natives of the settled area can be educated into habits of sustained industry, the future of the Papuan is assured, and Australia will have the credit of having shown how the civilisation of the twentieth century can be introduced among people in the Stone Age, not only without injury to them, but to their lasting benefit and their permanent advance upon the road of civilisation.


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