Fri Jan 21, 2005

The climate here is rather humid, but it must, at the same time, be very healthy, because the people who inhabit the mountains are very healthy and well built. In my opinion, they may be considered the purest type of the race called the Papuan, which, I may say here en passant, has no claims to be considered, ethnologically, a distinct race. These mountaineers appear until recent years to have kept entirely aloof from the world, living quietly in the mountains and having no intercourse with strangers. They were considered cannibals until, in 1872, I was first enabled to ascertain for myself that a European could live among them without running any danger of being cooked and eaten.

D’Albertis, M. “Journeys up the Fly River and in Other Parts of New Guinea.” Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography, New Monthly Series. 1.1 (Jan., 1879): 7.