Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

 
 
Discussion of a Paper on New Guinea Tribes
(S297: 1879)

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Comments offered in discussion of a paper on New Guinea tribes by W. G. Lawes read at the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain & Ireland meeting of 7 January 1879. Later published on page 377 of Volume 8 of the Institute's Journal series. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S297.htm


    Mr. A. R. Wallace said, that he had seen much of the Papuans of the north-west of New Guinea, and had read almost all that had been written about the natives of the south-east part of the island, and he considered it proved that the latter were a mixed race; intrusions of brown Polynesians, and perhaps of the natives of some of the Melanesian islands, having occurred in successive waves, probably from a remote antiquity, thus producing the various mixtures of type, and relics of Polynesian and other customs. There was also said to be an undoubted Polynesian element in the language of the Motu and other coast tribes. With regard to the Papuans themselves, he believed they formed a very well marked and distinct, though variable race, occupying the greater part of New Guinea; and that the failure of Professor Flower in his search after a Papuan type of skull arose from paucity of materials.


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