Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/340

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326
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

are found, while from Redscar Bay eastward a light-brown race inhabits the coast. On the mountains, in the interior, are people intermediate between these two in color, and essentially different in all their habits. I should say these are the true aborigines of this part of New Guinea, while the coast tribes, black and brown, are probably settlers. The light-haired natives belong undoubtedly to the same

PSM V20 D340 A native of kiwai island at the mouth of the fly river.jpg
Fig. 1.—Durabi, a Native of Kiwai Island, at the Mouth of the Fly River. (From "New Guinea, what I Did and what I Saw." By L. M. D'Albertis.)

race as the New-Zealanders, Tahitians, Samoans, etc., but are so split up and divided that every few miles of coast brings you to a people speaking a different language from those you have just left. These are often dialects, but are quite as dissimilar as those spoken in the various islands of Eastern Polynesia. Altogether, I know of twenty-five different languages spoken in the three hundred miles of coast I am personally acquainted with. My previous acquaintance with several languages of Eastern Polynesia was a great help in acquiring that of the people among whom I was living in New Guinea. I had the pleasure of reducing two of these to a written form, and getting books printed in them, and before I left New Guinea I had the greater pleasure of hearing some of the native children read fluently in their own language.

The men are of a warm brown color, muscular and well developed, straight and agile, with fairly well-formed noses, and lips neither protruding nor thick. Many have intelligent faces, and all glory in their huge mop of hair. They carefully pull out every hair from their