Historie objevù

prehistory

Papuans and Austronesians in New Guinea

Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in the early 16th Century, there appear but scant references to New Guinea and its inhabitants. Frizzy-haired men and women appear on some of the friezes at Borobudur, the great 8th Century Buddhist stupa in Central Java, but this could just as well represent people from islands closer to Java. The Negarakertagama, a 14th Century panegyric poem dedicate to the east Javanese king of Majapahit, mentions to Irianese territories, Onin and Seran on the southwestern side of the Bird's Head Peninsula, but direct control from Java must have been practically non-existent. It a certain however that prahu-borne trade between some of the Molucan island-in perhaps even Java-and the western extremity of what is now Irian existed long before this. Items such as bird of paradise skins and massoi bark, unquestionably of Irianese origin, were well-known trade items. And Sultan of Tidore, a tiny but influential clove producing island off Halmahera, long claimed areas in hand around western Irian.

The indigenous Irianese, black-skinned, hirsute and frizzy-haired, are physically very distinc from Indonesians in the rest of the archipelago. Just when these so-called "Papuans" and the Australian Aboriginals first arrived in the area is still mostly a matter of conjecture. Most scientists now believe that Homo sapiens developed more recently than had been thought, and linguistic and genetic evidence points of to a single African origin. Our species arose in Africa, perhaps no more than 200,000 years ago, and it was 100,000 years later before any of these early human left the African continent. There is no longer thought to be any link between so-called "Java Man" or Homo erectus, an extinct humanoid that lived a half million years ago in Java (and elsewhere in the world), and any of today's people.

What has been established is that 100,000 years ago humans began to fan out from Africa, and some 30,000-40,000 years ago they settled New Guinea, Australia and points of between. These original Southeast Asians related to today's Australian Aboriginals, Papuans and Melanesian, are the direct ancestors of the Irianese.

The Papuan Migrations

How did the Papuan reach New Guinea? The first clues date from the Pleistocene era, when periods of glaciating reduced sea levels 100 to 150 meters below their present levels. The history of man and animals in insular Southeast Asia is intimately linked with the resulting submergence and emergence of two great continental selves at apposite ends of the archipelago: the Sahul in the East and Sunda in the west. At no time was there a land bridge stretching all the way across what is now Indonesia, and vast stretches of open water had somehow to be crossed. Man was successful and making this crossing, but other placental mammals-except which tagged along-, were not. The earliest tentative figure for human presence in New Guinea, based by inference on Australian paleoanthropological evidence, is 60,000 years ago. But there is in fact little hard evidence arguing for a date prior to less very early-fossils of modern man are found throughout the old world only from about this time. Even for the more recent dates, however, linguistic comparisons are unable to relate the distribution of contemporary languages to the earliest migrations, and we have no way of knowing if there were one or many. And the archaeological evidence is meager. A dig recovered 39,000 years-old stone tools from the Houn Peninsula, but little else from the earliest period.

A later Papuan migration may have coincided with last glacial peak, which occurred some 16,000 to 18,000 years ago. After that, as the earth's atmosphere warmed, the seas rose as much as 6 meters above their present level. The Papuans of 18,000 years ago lived in New Guinea radically different from the one we find today. Ice sheets recovered 2,000 square kilometers of the island and the snow line stood at a mere 1,100 meters above sea level. The tree line stood at 1,600 meters below the present one of temperatures averaged 7' Centigrade cooler. For many millennia after reaching the island, the Papuans expanded within New Guinea and to neighboring islands. Their aboriginal Australian cousins adopted themselves to a radically different ecology. The two genepools have been isolated from one another for at least 10,000 years, and probably longer.

 
     
1581-2 Migel Rojo de Brito visits the Raja Ampat Islands, the MacCluer/Bintuni Gulf, and North Seram in a search for gold. [jt]  
     
1605 VOC begins sending expeditions to the Moluccas and the so-called Papuan Islands. [jt]  
     
1623 Jan Carstensz travels from Aru to West New Guinea to find a passage north to the Pacific Ocean. He glimpses snow-caps on what he believed to be the mountainous interior of Seram. [jt]  
     
1642 Tasman explores the western shores of West New Guinea for the VOC on his voyage back from New Zealand. [pd]  
     
1654 Captain Frederik Gommersdorp lands at Rumbati at the Onin Peninsula. Perhaps Antony Adriaansz. Multum was there before because upon his return to Banda in 1656, Multum told that he had lived on the Karas Islands at south coast of the Onin Peninsula for three years. [jt]  
     
1660 The Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) recognises the sultan of Tidore’s (nominal) sovereignty over the island of New Guinea and thus gains the rights to collect labour and forest products from West New Guinea. [jt]  
     
1662 Willem Buis, together with Multum, travels to Onin to collect manpower. [jt]  
     
1663 Council of Justice, Nicolaes Vinck does a preliminary survey of the north and south coast of what later is called the MacCluer Gulf. He lands at Goras, Sekar, and Patipi at the Onin Peninsula. [jt]  
     
1678 Captain Johannes Keyts travels with three ships to Onin, visits the Arguni Bay and places VOC flags at Fatagar and Kilbati. [jt]  
     
1700 William Dampier lands at the Karas Islands, travels around the island of Salawati and maps the strait between the islands of Batanta and Waigeo. [jt]  
     
1730 Corporal Wiggers joins a hongi raid to Onin during which 178 people were captured, 53 are killed and three villages are burned. [jt]  
     
1791 Captain John MacCluer maps the MacCluer Gulf. [jt]  
     
1814 The sultans of Ternate and Tidore agree that the west coast of New Guinea falls under sovereign authority of the sultan of Tidore, which marks the first formal Dutch claim on this land. [jt]  
     
1824 March 17 Treaty of London in which the Dutch and the British agree upon division of the Indies. The Dutch get Sumatra, Java, Maluku, West New Guinea, and the British get Malaya and Singapora and retain an interest in North Borneo. [pd]  
     
1828 Triton expedition to New Guinea leads to the construction of the fortress Du Bus and the first Dutch settlement, Merkusoord, in the Triton Bay. Within a few months the fortress and the settlement are attacked by local people and after eight years of suffering from diseases and regular confrontation with the local people, the Dutch left the place in 1836. [jt]  
     
1848 Governor-General J.J. Rochussen decides that the 141st meridian marks the eastern border of Netherlands New Guinea. D.J. van den Dungen Gronovius travels around the coast to place escutcheons. Leading a large hongi fleet, he also travels along the north and south coast of the Kepala Burung in 1849. [jt]  
     
1854 Dutch government restricts hongi raids, fully banning them six or seven years later. [jt]  
     
1855 Beginning of missionisation of West New Guinea. The German missionaries Carl W. Ottow and Johann G. Geissler land on the island of Mansinam in Cenderawasih Bay. [jt]  
     
1858 Lieutenant F.R. Toewater goes on a mission with the vessel ‘Phoenix’ to punish the villagers of Kapitoear and Sisir at the south coast of Onin who are suspected of resistance and theft to the disadvantage of VOC traders. [jt]  
     
1863 Dr H.A. Bernstein collects material culture for the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden. He visits the islands of Batanta, Salawati, Doom, Ram, and Tjiof and Remu and Cape Sele at the mainland. [jt]  
     
1865 First official inauguration of an Arguni raja at Tidore. [jt]  
     
1871 Government commissioner P. van der Crab and botanist J.E. Teysmann travel to Onin and into the MacCluer Gulf. Van der Crab reports that many traders from Seram are active in the Bintuni Bay. [jt]  
     
1872 Former Resident J.C. Coorengel travels into the MacCluer Gulf and visits rajas along the coasts of Bintuni Bay (Bergh 1964a: 32).  
     
1872 The botanists Odoardo Beccari and Luigi d’Albertis visit the Arfak mountains in the north-east of the Kepala Burung. [jt]  
     
1873 The pearler Captain Edwin Redlich on the brig ‘Franz’ sends his first mate and seventeen men off in two small boats at the south-west coast of the Kepala Burung on 12 November. In December, the raja of Salawati reports to Redlich that they had been killed and eaten by people on the Klabra River. [jt]  
     
1873 The naturalist Adolf Bernard Meyer claims to be the first to have crossed the isthmus that connects the Kepala Burung with Kowiai and Onin. [jt]  
     
1884 The British and German governments acknowledge the 141st meridian east as the western boundary of their possessions, accepting the Dutch assertions of 1828. [jt]  
     
1888 Former Resident of Ternate, F.S.A. de Clerq travels with the ‘Java’ to West New Guinea and visits the south coast of Bintuni Bay. [jt]  
     
1898 Establishment of government stations in Manokwari and Fak-fak. [jt]  
     
1901 Inspector P.E. Moolenburgh crosses the isthmus that connects the Kepala Burung with Kowiai and Onin. [jt]  
     
1902-3 The linguist J.S.A. van Dissel organises three trips across the Onin Peninsula/ [jt]  
     
1902-5 J.W. van Hille, Inspector of Fak-fak and first government official of western West New Guinea, explores (partly together with the commander of the vessel ‘Jawa’, J.N.W. Kuyl) the north coast of the MacCluer Gulf. [jt]  
     
1909 Assistant-Resident F.H. Dumas at Fak-fak appoints two Onin leaders to serve the government at Yahadian (Kais River) and Segei (presently Inanwatan) with a platoon of armed police men at their disposal. [jt]  
     
1909-10 Lorenz expedition.  
     
1911 Missionary H.D. Starrenburg of the Utrechtse Zendingsvereniging travels through the MacCluer Gulf and the Bintuni Bay to Fak-fak. [jt]  
     
1911 Missionary J. van Muijlwijk settles at Fak-fak to co-ordinate missionary activities in west West New Guinea. [jt]  
     
1912-13 Wollaston´s expedition

 

 
     
1916 The Utrechtse Zendingsvereniging missionaries D.C.A. Bout and J. Wetstein travel to Bintuni with the vessel ‘Jong-Holland’. [jt]  
     
1921 J.H.G. Kremer crossed the Baliem River's headwater in 1921 en route to Mt. Willhelmina (Gunung Trikora), but missed the Baliem valley and Dani population several kilometers  
     
1927 Construction of the Boven Digul internment camp for Indonesian nationalists. [jt]  
     
1936

In 1936, the Royal Netherlands Geographical Society sponsored Colijn and two companions in another attempt to climb the island's highest peak. They climbed Ngga Pulu, which they thought to be the highest. With the rapid shrinking of the region's glaciers, the rocky summit of Carstenz has since been found to be higher. War then intervened, and throughout the 50s, the Himalayas and Andes were the focal point of Mountaineering. It was not until 1960s that climbers began to think seriously of Carstensz once more.

 

 
     
1936 Beginning of oil exploration in the MacCluer Gulf area with Babo as base-camp. Oil was also found near Klamono (Western Kepala Burung), followed by Mogoi in 1939 and Wasian in 1941, both in the east of the Kepala Burung). [jt]  
     
1937 The Officer in Charge for the Sorong region, S. van der Goot, explores the northern Kepala Burung and travels across the Kladuk River to the Klawilis Rivier down to the south coast. Van der Goot returns to the area with the Denison-Crockett expedition to Sainkeduk (where the Crockett family stayed). [jt]  
     
1937 Establishment of the Central Kepala Burung garrison in Mefkadjim (Ayamaru) under command of the military captain, G.F. van Duin as of March. [jt]  
     
1938 ‘Discovery’ of the Baliem Valley by the Richard Archbold expedition. [jt]

 

 

from the Archbold´s notes

 

American Richard Archbold, scouting his third expedition to New Guinea, was the first outsider to lay eyes on the magnificent Grand Valley of the Baliem. As he peered out of the window of his sea plane on June 23, 1938 the terrace green fields of the valley appeared from among the rocky peaks like a mirage. The 14-month highland expedition was Archbold's third in New Guinea (the other two were in eastern New Guinea), all under the auspices of the American Museum of Natural History. Archbold is a mammalogist and explorer as well as millionaire. At first, the bureaucrats in Batavia (now Jakarta) were reluctant to produce the needed permits, but then the Dutch colonial government decided to co-sponsor the trip. Soon, dozen of men and tons of material were heading for Hollandia (now Jayapura), the population of which at the time were barely 200: government personnel, their servant Indonesian artisan and Chinese traders. The area chosen for exploration was the northern face of the snow Mountain-range-the largest remaining blank on the map of New Guinea at the time. Previous expedition had explored the southern slope of this impressive range, returning with important biological collections. And though 1921-1922 Kremer expedition had succeeded in reaching the North Slope of the Snow Mountains, Kremer had to abandon his precious collections to the jungle on the exhausting trek back to the coast.

The Guba

The key to the Archbold expedition's success was a huge Catalina flying boat called the Guba. The craft was a consolidate PBY 2, the standard US long-range patrol bomber, that had been specially modified by Howard Hughes for Salmon fishing expeditions to Alaska and then subsequently sold. Expert considered it the most air- and seaworthy aircraft in existence at the time. Lift was provided by a 31,7 meter wing, which supported a 20,4 meter fuselage. The plane was powered by two 1,000 HP Pratt and Whitney Twin Wasp engines fed from a 1,750 gallon fuel cell and holding 110 gallons of oil in the crankcases. The Guba could lift three tons at sea level and cruise for a distance of 800 kilometers, but when taking off 3,225-meter-high Lake Habbema, the payload had to be restricted to just one ton of cargo and a standard crew of four men.

It was during one of the exploratory flights of the Guba that Archold first sighted the Baliem Valley. Immediately, he realized the importance of his discovery. He was looking at the largest highland valley in New Guinea, as well as the most densely populated. Of course, he did not suspect that the Dani inhabitants were also the highland's most feared warriors. Archold saw the Dani's watchtowers, but did not guess that their purpose was to keep an eye out for enemy ambush parties.

Getting Underway

Archold and the Dutch military members of the expedition decided to set up two campsin the interior of Irian : a high one on Lake Habbemaat 3,225 meters and a low one in the Meervlakte (the "Lakes Plains" region north of the mountains), 50 meters above sea level. The area to be studied was bounded by mount Wilhelmina (now Gunung Trikora) on the south and the Idenburg River (now Taritatu) on the north. The military arm of the expedition, under the command of Captain Teerink and Lieutenant Van Areken, consisted of 56 officers and men. The porters included 73 Dayaks (the mountainous terrain of their homeland Borneo equipped them well for Irian's rugged landscape) and 30 convicts.

The Dutch authorities did not want to lose American lives, and the military men ordered that precautions be taken. Foremost in their minds was an emergency retreat route, should the Guba for some reason be unable to pick up the party at Lake Habbema. So men, equipment and supplies were flown up to the Idenburg River, which offered relatively easy river access to Irian's north coast. Aerial reconnaissance was crucial in determining the best route (about 100 kilometers in a straight line) between Lake Habbema and the Idenburg camp. The military patrols were to leave from each of the two staging areas and meet up in the Baliem Valley. Shortly after Lt. Van Areken"s patrol cut upward from the Idenburg River, the group experienced a pleasant surprise: a large, heavily populated valley and, best of all, a lake, immediately dubbed "Lake Archbold". Located about one kilometer from the Habifluri River (which flows into the the Vande meters, at an altitude of 700 meters. Once the Dayak chopped down some trees for the approach, the Guba could land on the lake to bring in supplies. From Lake Archbold, the going really got tough-steep climbing through forest, and no trails.

Once the party began to approach the Baliem Valley, the local highlanders becomes numerous and friendly. To friendly, in fact. In several villages, Lt. Van Areken was welcomed with food, but the tribesmen did not want to leave the party. Only the "utmost determination" kept the group moving, according to the expedition journal. One day after a friendly reception, the party found their path blocked by a barricade of warriors with spears. The journal laconically states "Here occurred the one incident where more than a show of force was necessary".

A later missionary account states that two Dani were shot and killed before the party could proceed into the grand Valley. The expedition journal says nothing about why the Dani had turned hostile, but it seems that the warriors were trying to block the expedition's resource save valuable cowrie shells (the highland currency), steel axes and knives-all liberally traded for food or offered as gifts-the native wanted to continue profiting from the stranger's largess, and to keep their enemies from doing so.

Exploring the Lake Habbema Area

A total of 105 people had by this time been flown to Lake Habbema in the Guba, along with tons of supplies. The military team under Capt. Teerink trekked down from the lake through the Ibele Valley and on to the Baliem Valley. They experienced very friendly receptions, but there was no more killing. It was time to set up camp in the valley. After exchanging location by radio, Lt. Van Areken and Capt. Teerink rendezvoused in the Baliem. They calculated that an emergency retreat from Lake Habbema to the Idenburg camp would take 14 to 16 day, now that paths had been cut. The two parties exchanged a number of Dayak before returning to their respective points of departure so that some men would be familiar with the entire route between Lake Habbema and Idenburg River.

The men of the Habbema camp got used to sunburn, freezing cold cracked lips, altitude sickness and thin air. Lake habbema is in an area of alpine grassland, consisting edge of these uplands forms the rim of the Baliem Valley, and form the southern edge rises Gunung Trikora and the Sudirman Mountains. The scientist noted that the lake was rich in birds, and the local hunted ducks there with bows and arrows. The 20-centimeters long crayfish discovered in the lake provided welcome editions to the explorers' tinned diet. The explorers found a path rising to 3,800 meters, in some places worn shoulder deep by local foot traffic. This communications link was used for both trade and socials calls between the people of the Baliem Valley and those living in the foothills south of the mountain ranges. Once Lake Habbema region had been explored, the upland party sifted to the Baliem Valley. When the expedition set up camp in the lower Baliem , they were given a huge feast by their hosts. Pig were killed, and both the bounding ritual. Speeches were delivered and the pig's blood was sprinkle on the foreigners.

New Introductions

Agricultural practices in the populated valley where were highly-developed: the steep valley walls were terraced using stone and timber retaining walls, and erosion control ad crop rotation were extensively employed. The sweet potato was the staple, but in addition, the expedition journal notes, the Dani grew bananas, tobacco, taro, sugar cane, cucumbers, gourds, spinach and beans. Peanuts, introduced by the Archbold expedition, soon caught on and they are very popular in the Valley. Whenever sweet potatoes, vegetables and pigs were required by the expedition, cowrie shells were used to barter for them. The Dani wanted only the smaller shells, preferably with the back, or convex part removed, quality-and purchasing power-was determined by the shell'' shape, size ribbing and sweet potatoes; 6-10 good ones fetched a small pig. The expedition lasted 14 months, and produces a body of important scientific work as well as a National Geographic article that was a pique further scientific and missionary interest in the region.

 

 

Archboldova mapa

 

 
     
World war II During World War II, Allied planes flew over the Baliem, looking for possible airfield sites. American pilot Major Myron J. Grimes American pilot first glimpsed the Baliem (he did not know about archbold), which he called "Hidden Valley". He noted the watchtowers and sweet potato mounds, which he later described as "laid out in checkerboard squares as perfectly formed as farmlands of the Snake Valley in Indaho".

As Hollandia grew, as the staging area for the Pacific was pleasure flights over the Baliem Valley became common activity for pilot and servicemen. Two war correspondents, George Lait and Harry Patterson, dubbed the valley "Shangri-La: after being flown over it in 1944, and the name stuck. In May 1945, one of these flights, with 24 people aboard, crashed in the valley. Sergeant Kenneth Decker, Lieutenant John McCollom, 20-year-old W.A.C Corporal Margaret Hastings survived the crash and an air patrol eventually spotted them near the wreck. Since there was as yet no way to land, a funeral service for the victim was conducted in an aircraft circling overhead, and Roman Catholic priest, a Rabbi and a Protestant minister read funerary rites over the radio. Supplies were dropped to the survivors, and paratroopers landed. They built a glider strip and 47 days after the crash, whisked everybody out in the gliders hooked back into the air by snatch plane.

 
 
     
1954 The next white face seen by the Dani belonged to Lloyd Van Stone, a tall young Texan missionary from the U.S. - based Christian and missionary Alliance, who was dropped off by hydroplane on April 20, 1954. After the war ended, the CMA had begun vigorously pursuing its evangelical work in the highlands, claiming "a mandate from heaven to invade the Baliem". The first missions station, established at Hetegima, and were built to American standard using flow-in materials. In the words of one author, the station was "a transplant of American comfort in Cannibal Valley". It took seven months to build the first airstrip. Later, missionaries discovered an ideal site for a landing field next to what was become the Dutch government post of Wamena in 1958.

Evangelical work among the Dani proved slow going. One of the missionaries, with experience in other highland tribes, called them the "toughest nuts to crack". Among the many difficulties was the Dani's strong distaste for the white's body odor. When walking with the Dani, the missionaries were always asked to keep downwind. The Dani were a proud and confident group, and numerous petty insults by the missionaries, and more serious grievances-such as the two man killed by the Archbold expedition, for which the white "tribes" as a whole was held responsible-made converting them harder still. Linguist Myron Bromly arrived in the valley shortly after Van Stone. His work advanced slowly, but he eventually determined that the Baliem Dani could be divided into three dialect groups: north, central and south. While the central speakers could understand the two others, the north and south languages were mutually unintelligible. A high point of early evangelical work was reached on February 14, 1960. Thanks to sermons by "witness men" who were converted Christian from the Ilaga area of the highlands, a huge fetish burning took place a pyramid, at the northern end of the valley.

A pyre of fethises over 200 meters long, more then a meter wide and 60 centimeters high went up in a tremendous blaze. According to missionary account, 5,000 Dani participated in that particular burn-in. Many obstacles to the whole-hearted acceptance of Christianity remained. Some Dani groups saw the missions as a threat to their political power, Sunday services occasionally faced attacks. And another challenge to the America Protestants was the arrival in the valley in 1958 of Catholic missionaries of the Franciscan order, Ancestral beliefs remain strong among the Grand Valley Dani. Conversation to a poorly understood Christianity when it did take place was largely pro forma. The missions as well as the government schools and economic projects continue to be much more successful among the western Dani.

The Dani practice of polygamy, which is still widespread, illustrates the quandary religious leaders find themselves in. One Catholic missionary had no objection to this practice, saying that this way every woman, no matter how old or crippled, is part of a household. Dynamic, hard-working men, who can raise the $500 bride price, take extra brides. The Priest also says that, according to Catholic hospital birth records, girls outnumber boys three to two. Arguments against the practice state that many young men can't find spouses because the girls are "bought" by older men with plenty of pigs available for the bridge price. Since the men can't always sexually satisfy all their wives, this leads to extramarital relations. A man caught in an illicit affair, he has to pay a pig-fine to the woman's husband-who uses the animals to by still more wives.
 
     
1961 Harvard-Peabody Expedition

Modern anthropological work in the valley began only in 1961, with the arrival of the Harvard-Peabody Expedition, including a film crew led by Robert Gardner, still photographers (among whom was Michael Clark Rockefeller), anthropologist, Carl G. Heider, and novelist-explorer Peter Matthiessen. The expedition spent half a year among the Kurelu Dani, named for the war chief of kain kurelu, who lived on the easternmost part of the valley, near Wuperainma and Dukum. The crew shot a beautiful documentary film of the Dani entitles Dead Birds, and produced a superb book of the photographs, Gardens of war. Matthiessen's account, under the mountain wall, is the poignant and informative blend of novel and ethnography.

Anthropologist Carl Heider stayed on after the rest of the expedition left, spending a total of 21 months completing research for what would become the Dugum Dani, his careful and well-written description of Grand Valley Dani. It was a culture "trembling the edge of change" he writes. At the time Harvard-Peabody expedition arrived, the only signs of outside influence among the Kurelu Dani a few stills in August of 1961, the Dutch colonial government "pacified" the southern Kurelu.

 
 
     
1962 Harrer´s expedition -  the first ascent to Puncack Jaya  was made by Philip Temple, Heinrich Harrer , Bert Huizinga, and Russel Kippax, trek from Baliem valley to Asmat and trek to the place Yalime, the place where the stones for stone axes were collected.

 

 

Yalime