Ca. 1930s. Hardcover. 37 images of an unidentified 1930s expedition in northeast Dutch New Guinea from Humboldt Bay (today Jayapura) to Fak Fak, including Lake Sentani (just inland from Jayapura).
The album is an anthropological record focusing on the local people, with the Kaya Kaya identified. The images include males of all ages as well as warriors, females, family groups, and their stilt dwellings and canoes. This expedition took place during the period in which the Dutch were intensifying their exploration of western New Guinea, to keep out the British and Germans and to discover exploitable natural resources.
There is an American connection with the album - the only identified person is one Charles Gary, an American from Louisville, Kentucky, who was in New Guinea presumably to investigate the possibility of growing tobacco there. The Gary Tobacco Company was apparently formed in 1915 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liggett and Myers. This leads us to speculate that Gary had an association with Richard Archbold, the wealthy American sponsor of seven expeditions to New Guinea, the first three of which he lead himself. The location of the the third expedition is congruent with photographs in this album. At the same time, the Australian Leahy brothers were active in New Guinea. The first photograph in the album intriguing- it is of three men, two in western suits (one carrying a large camera,) and one in clothes strikingly like the Australian army uniforms in W.W.I, with breeches and puttees.
This album likely records images taken during one of the private expeditions of the time. Its route is not known, but places named here include Hollandia in Humboldt Bay and Fakfak, which were both Netherlands Indies government administrative posts, established in 1894 and 1910, and used as staging sites for the Dutch government expeditions. In 1926, the American-Dutch collaboration called the Stirling Expedition, sponsored by the Smithsonian, traveled along the Mamberamo River to the highlands of Dutch New Guinea.
The sepia tone photogravure images include:
1. Image of a large native hut on stilts in the water
2. "Papuan Warrior of Hollandia", with feathers of white cockatoo in his hair, cassowary feathers around his neck and ankles, boar's tusk in his nose. On the verso is written, in pen and pencil, "Please ret. photo to Mr. Charles Gary, 2611 Top Hill Rd."
3. Sepia tone shot of 3 women carrying babies, their village behind them.
4. Men of the village in front of a western building with illegible sign.
5. Men beside an outrigger canoe.
The carbon prints images include:
6. Kaya Kaya warriors, 3 men with bows and arrows. Smaller and crisper image with title beneath in ink.
7. Kaya Kaya warriors. Dark, crisp image of 3 men in war plumage.
8/9. Images of women posing for photograph, village in background.
10/11. "Kaya Kaya types - Dutch New Guinea". One image of man with plumage; the second image of a family with child between them.
12/13. Two men posing with younger man; and two men posing with child.
The gelatin silver snap shots include:
14/15. "Hollandia - Humboldt Bay" written in pencil. An image of 2 women, and an image of 4 men.
16/17 "Sentani Lake, Dutch New Guinea" written in pencil. An image of houses on stilts, with natives, and an image of villagers on a walkway.
18/19. Man with decoration in white on his face, and image of a standing man.
19/20. 3 men on a dock, village on stilts behind them, and image of young man with bow and arrow, with possible mission buildings behind him.
21/22. 3 men on a dock, in front of a hut, and an image of 7 women and girls of varying ages.
23/24. Man with a spear in front of raised western hut, and an image of 3 women with babies.
25/26. 3 native prisoners with 2 uniformed native guards, and an image of 9 natives entitled "Charlie's Carryers (sic) N. G."
27/28. River view with small boat, and an image of a native with spear standing at his fishing trap.
29/30. "Geelvink Bay, N. Coast D. N. G." in pencil. Image of large hut on stilts beside the water, with large hut on water with canoes (Sentani Lake).
31 - 34. 4 images of village huts and canoes of Humboldt Bay, with two showing the designs on the prows of the canoes.
35/36. "Sentani Lake, N. G.". White cockatoo perched on a branch, and an image of native paddling a dugout canoe.
37. "Ko Kaz, W. coast near Fak Fak". A sepia photogravure image of a hut on stilts.
Oblong royal 8vo, expandable oblong photograph album, with 37 corner tipped in photographs, on brown art paper. Images range in size from 7 1/2 x 5 1/2" to 4 3/4 x 3", with most 3 3/4 x 5 1/2". Album 12 x 9 1/4", with dark brown and green leatherette covers; no title at spine. Photographs in fine condition. Fine. Item #23124