Adventures in New Guinea eBook

James Chalmers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about Adventures in New Guinea.

16_th_.—­Ruatoka, Joe (an African), and I started at half-past ten for Munikahila, where we hope to get carriers, our Moumiri friends objecting to go.  The first village we came to we found deserted, and in one old house the skeleton of a child.  We crossed to another village, and coming suddenly upon the few who were at home, they were terribly frightened; one woman danced up and down the village, and shouted to the people in the neighbouring villages to come at once.  We are 1170 feet above sea-level, at a village called Keninuma.  The people soon gathered round, some with spears, clubs, and shields, others unarmed.  Feeling cold after the climb, I signed to be allowed to go into a house to change clothing, and was given to understand that a very good place to do it was on the verandah in front of the house, and before the assembly.  When the chief, Poroko Butoa, arrived, we were assigned a small house; a man during the evening came rushing along with one piece of sugar-cane and calling out for a tomahawk.  A tomahawk for a piece of sugar-cane would be throwing money to the winds.  We are E.N.E. from Moumiri.

17_th_.—­Rather cold during the night.  Five natives who slept in the house with us kept a fire burning all night.  A child sitting in front of the house has a taro in one hand, a bamboo pipe in the other; takes a bite of the taro, then a draw from the charged pipe, and the mixture seems to be thoroughly relished.  Feeling sure we should get carriers here, we took no supplies with us, so are now eating the best we can get, doing Banting to perfection.  A number of men have been sitting all day about the house making spears, the jawbone and tusks of the wild boar being the only implements.

18_th_.—­Thermometer at sunrise 70 degrees.  A number of ugly painted and feathered fellows came in this morning on their way to the village in the valley.  The people here are much darker than the coast tribes, and their hair is woolly.  Joe said on arriving here, “Hallo, these people same as mine, hair just the same.”  They are scarcely so dark.  A few are bright-coloured, but all have the woolly hair.  A goodly number suffer from sores on feet and other parts of body.  Their one want is a tomahawk.  The people seem to live in families.  We had a good supper of taro and cockatoo, the latter rather tough.

19_th_.—­The carriers have not yet arrived.  In the evening a woman shouted and yelled; all rushed to their spears, and there was great running, snorting, and blowing at some imaginary enemy.  After the chief came in, we lay about the fire for some time; then to our blankets.  I was beginning to nod, when some women in a neighbouring house began giggling and laughing.  Our friend wakened up and began talking.  I told him to sleep; he answered, Kuku mahuta, (Smoke, then sleep).  He had his smoke, and then began reciting.  I remember, as a youth, being told, when I could not sleep, to repeat

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Adventures in New Guinea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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