BY CARL LUMHOLTZ
MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY OF SCIENCES OF CHRISTIANIA, NORWAY GOLD MEDALLIST OF
THE NORWEGIAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY ASSOCIE ETRANGER DE LA SOCIETE DE
L'ANTHROPOLOGIE DE PARIS, ETC.
We may safely affirm that the better specimens of savages are much
superior to the lower examples of civilized peoples.
Alfred Russel Wallace.
Ever since my camping life with the aborigines of Queensland, many years
ago, it has been my desire to explore New Guinea, the promised land of all
who are fond of nature and ambitious to discover fresh secrets. In
furtherance of this purpose their Majesties, the King and Queen of Norway,
the Norwegian Geographical Society, the Royal Geographical Society of
London, and Koninklijk Nederlandsch Aardrijkskundig Genootschap,
generously assisted me with grants, thus facilitating my efforts to raise
the necessary funds. Subscriptions were received in Norway, also from
American and English friends, and after purchasing the principal part of
my outfit in London, I departed for New York in the autumn of 1913, en
route for the Dutch Indies. In 1914, having first paid a visit to the
Bulungan, in northeast Borneo, in order to engage the necessary Dayaks, I
was preparing to start for Dutch New Guinea when the war broke out.
Under these changed conditions his Excellency, the Governor-General,
A.W.F. Idenburg, regretted his inability to give me a military escort and
other assistance needed for carrying out my plan, and advised me to await
a more favorable opportunity.