Thursday, December 6, 2018

Why Current Genetic Ancient DNA Evidence Does Not Tell Us When Humans Reached North America

I have recently seen discussed among people interested in the peopling of the Americas that there is now enough ancient DNA evidence to definitely tell us when humans first arrived here.

I will now discuss why the currently available ancient DNA evidence for Siberia, Asia, Alaska and North America is insufficient to make this assertion.

Here is the ancient DNA genetic evidence that I am aware of, related to Siberia and North America, in the period of interest (42,000 to 9,800 years ago):

Yana RHS
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2018/10/22/448829.full.pdf
date: 31,500 years BP

Anzick-1
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzick-1
date:  12,707–12,556 years BP

Alaska
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/01/alaska-dna-ancient-beringia-genome/
date:  11,500 years BP

Mal'ta
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mal%27ta–Buret%27_culture
date:  24,000 years BP

Kolyma
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2018/10/22/448829.full.pdf
date:  9.8 years BP

Tianyuan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianyuan_man
date:  39,000 to 42,000 BP

If you account for the fact that Beringia was unflooded and walkable until 11,000 years ago, you would expect that there would be continuous gene flow between Siberia and North America until 11,000 years ago.  Kolyma, in fact, shows this.  But this gene flow would have over written the genetic signature of earlier populations in Beringia.  Therefore, the correct experiments would look at the structure and gene flow of populations between Asia and the Americas using contemporaneous-in-time samples between the Americas and Asia.

Since we do not as yet have contemporaneous-in-time samples in the Americas that could be compared to Mal'ta, Yana RHS, and Tianyuan, we cannot say that we have properly run the experiment to look for how and when humans moved between Asia and America in the last 40,000 years.  Looking objectively at the last 40,000 years with contemporaneous comparisons between continents would be a good start for these geneticists.

What I do see in these ancient DNA papers and associated material in the press are lots of "eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows", showing a big jump from East Asians 26,000 years ago to Native Americans 13,000 years ago, but with a complete absence of data for Beringia and the Americas earlier than 13,000 years ago.  Take, for instance, this article:

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/01/alaska-dna-ancient-beringia-genome/

This model has a 13,000 year gap where we do not know where anyone was.  And there is no data for the Americas, not even Alaska and the Yukon, before 13,000 years ago.  Yet we know humans were in the Yukon for more than 10,000 years prior to 13,000 years ago, based on the Bluefish Cave site.

A further weakness of the current paradigm that argues for the peopling of the Americas after 16,000 years ago is that it does not account for the obvious back migrations that would have continuously occurred between Siberia, Asia and the Americas.  These back migrations would continue to "over-write" earlier populations in the region.

Therefore, the current genetic evidence does not indicate with any degree of confidence that humans reached the Americas south of the Cordilleran-Laurentide ice sheets only after 16,000 years ago.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Human Occupation of Northern Australia by 65,000 Years Ago

Clarkson et al.
Nature
20 July 2017
(Link)

Abstract

The time of arrival of people in Australia is an unresolved question. It is relevant to debates about when modern humans first dispersed out of Africa and when their descendants incorporated genetic material from Neanderthals, Denisovans and possibly other hominins. Humans have also been implicated in the extinction of Australia’s megafauna. Here we report the results of new excavations conducted at Madjedbebe, a rock shelter in northern Australia. Artefacts in primary depositional context are concentrated in three dense bands, with the stratigraphic integrity of the deposit demonstrated by artefact refits and by optical dating and other analyses of the sediments. Human occupation began around 65,000 years ago, with a distinctive stone tool assemblage including grinding stones, ground ochres, reflective additives and ground-edge hatchet heads. This evidence sets a new minimum age for the arrival of humans in Australia, the dispersal of modern humans out of Africa, and the subsequent interactions of modern humans with Neanderthals and Denisovans.

Friday, November 30, 2018

World’s earliest ground-edge axe production coincides with human colonisation of Australia

Peter Hiscock, Sue O'Connor, Jane Balme, Tim Maloney
Australian Archaeology
Volume 82, 2016 - Issue 1
(Link)

Abstract

We report evidence for the world’s earliest ground-edge axe, 44–49,000 years old. Its antiquity coincides with or immediately follows the arrival of humans on the Australian landmass. Ground/polished axes are not associated with the eastward dispersal of Homo sapiens across Eurasia and the discovery of axes in Australia at the point of colonisation exemplifies a diversification of technological practices that occurred as modern humans dispersed from Africa. Ground-edge axes are now known from two different colonised lands at the time humans arrived and hence we argue that these technological strategies are associated with the adaptation of economies and social practices to new environmental contexts.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Collecting and Documenting the Kiwai: Stone Tools

Illustration 3. Stone axe head (VK 4902: 529)



















from
Gunnar Landtman in Papua, 1910 to 1912
David Lawrence with assistance from Pirjo Varjola
Australian National University E Press
2010
pages 135-136
(Link) pdf


While smaller shell hoes were used to clear gardens and prepare areas for planting, heavier, hafted stone axes and adzes (emoa) were used for felling timber or for cutting and scraping wood. Landtman (1927: 33) was emphatic that the origin of all stone used by all coastal Papuan peoples was the Torres Strait, as the only naturally occurring stone along the southwest coast is the granitic outcrop of Mabudawan, and he wrote: 
    According to what I was told at Mawata, the Torres Strait Islanders obtained the stones out of which axes (or adzes) and club-heads were made principally from the bottom of the sea, by diving. The diver had a long rope attached underneath one shoulder, by which his companions in the canoe helped him up to the surface when loaded with a heavy stone. The shaping of the stone was effected by a hammer stone and the grinding by means of a somewhat softer stone (Landtman 1933: 45). 
Landtman believed that Mabudawan was the principal centre where grinding stones were obtained by the Kiwai of Mawatta and these stones were exchanged with peoples further east and into the Fly estuary (Landtman 1933: 45). He would have based this on the evidence of being taken to see Wawa’s grinding stone at Mabudawan. However, Haddon, on a later visit to Yam Island in 1914, was shown an isolated place in the bush called Konakan where large stone slabs with deep depressions, used as grinding stones for the manufacture of stone implements, were seen and photographed (Haddon 1935, I: Plate I, figures 1 and 2, and Plate II, figure 1). The stone slabs at Konakan may still be seen today and, according to the present day Yam Islanders, were places where the heads of stone axes (gabagaba) were ground.

The eastern Torres Strait Islanders brought armshells to Awridh Island and exchanged these for stone used in making club-heads and presumably stone axe and adze heads. Haddon (1935, I: 88) wrote that stone was obtained from the rocky Sir Charles Hardy and Forbes Islands off Cape Grenville on the coast of north Queensland. It would appear that the Torres Strait Islanders journeyed even further south than the Forbes Islands. The anthropologist, Donald Thomson wrote:
    The Koko Ya’o [Kuuku-Ya’u speaking people] of Lloyd Bay, which is the greatest stronghold on the [Cape York] Peninsula of hero cults of Papuan type [see Thomson 1933], stated that the people from Torres Strait came frequently in big canoes to Mitirindji (Quoin Island) off the mouth of the Pascoe River, to obtain supplies of stone for their axes (Thomson 1939: 82).
Thomson believed that this was further evidence of the contact and exchange between Torres Strait Islanders and the Aborigines of Cape York Peninsula. The large green turtle nesting sites of Eel Reef lie between Quoin Island and the mainland and it is likely that Torres Strait Islanders journeyed south on hunting and fishing expeditions long before European contact with Aboriginal groups along the eastern peninsula. The extent of this intermittent contact has been documented by Moore (1979).

The possibility that stone was transported down the Fly River was first mentioned by Haddon (1898:221):
    In this district [Iasa on Kiwai Island] there are a number of very large stone implements (the largest I saw in Chalmers house [at Saguane] was 18 inches [46 cm] long). They are now placed round the graves but their significance is now entirely lost. The large implements are so cumbersome and heavy that it is difficult to see how many of them could ever have been used and I suspect that they were merely articles of barter — money in fact. As no stone occurs for many miles and none (of this kind) is known in the district — the implements have in all probability come down from the Fly River, and it is also probable that stone implements have been out of use for perhaps a century owing to the natives getting iron from passing ships and wrecks and then bartering it to their neighbours, thus in two or three generations the knowledge of stone implements could readily die out. 
However, this was speculation as the possibility of stone being exchanged down the river is slight. Haddon changed his opinion largely on the basis of Landtman’s research. The shape of all the larger axes or adze heads in museum collections is the same and quite distinctive. All are fine grained closely textured igneous rocks which appear to be holocrystalline. They are generally basalt or basaltic andesite, or andesite todacite but in general would appear to be volcanic or shallow intrusive rocks. It is more likely that stone was sourced within the Torres Strait or further south. As Landtman (1927: 34) remarked:
    As regards the shape of the stone axes, the Marindanim [the Tugeri] on the Dutch side of the boundary [now Indonesian Papua] have a tradition according to which, the first axe of this kind was obtained from one of the very large teeth of a certain being or man named Monubi [or Monuhi in Landtman 1933: 46], who had come from far away. The shape of an axe is in fact, very like that of a human front tooth. 
Knowledge of their hafting and use was still strong when Landtman undertook his fieldwork in 1910–12. Among the Kiwai, an axe head was hafted with the cutting edge parallel to the handle between two blocks of timber, which were strongly bound on to an elbow or shoulder of timber. An adze head was hafted in a similar fashion, but with the cutting edge horizontal to the vertical wooden handle (VK 4902: 528). The size of the blade varies considerably with the largest stone blade in the Landtman collection almost 54 cm in length (VK 4902: 529) and the smallest only 8 cm in length (VK 4902: 559)(Haddon (1912, IV: 126 and Landtman (1933: 45-47).

The true origin of stone axe and adze heads remains obscure although recent archaeological research in the Torres Strait (McNiven and Quinnell 2004) has broadened our understanding of the movement of stone across this region. Local quarry sites have now been investigated and the large stone heads from a number of collections have been examined. From this research it is becoming clear that stone was obtained principally from Dauan Island and from Moa [Mua] and Badu in the western Torres Strait and from the rocky volcanic eastern islands. Stone and stone axes were items of trade, exchange and looting and moved easily between ethnic groups (McNiven, von Gnielinski and Quinnell 2004: 271–89 and McNiven 1998).

Friday, November 23, 2018

Late Middle Pleistocene Levallois stone-tool technology in southwest China

Yue Hu, Ben Marwick, Jia-Fu Zhang, Xue Rui, Ya-Mei Hou, Jian-Ping Yue, Wen-Rong Chen, Wei-Wen Huang & Bo Li 
Nature
November 19, 2018
(Link)

Abstract

Levallois approaches are one of the best known variants of prepared-core technologies, and are an important hallmark of stone technologies developed around 300,000 years ago in Africa and west Eurasia. Existing archaeological evidence suggests that the stone technology of east Asian hominins lacked a Levallois component during the late Middle Pleistocene epoch and it is not until the Late Pleistocene (around 40,000–30,000 years ago) that this technology spread into east Asia in association with a dispersal of modern humans. Here we present evidence of Levallois technology from the lithic assemblage of the Guanyindong Cave site in southwest China, dated to approximately 170,000–80,000 years ago. To our knowledge, this is the earliest evidence of Levallois technology in east Asia. Our findings thus challenge the existing model of the origin and spread of Levallois technologies in east Asia and its links to a Late Pleistocene dispersal of modern humans.



Thursday, November 8, 2018

Regarding Ed Yong's Article in the Atlantic "The Extremely Fast Peopling of the Americas"

Today, two papers were published on the genetic history of Native Americans, one by J. Víctor Moreno-Mayar et al., from the University of Copenhagen, and another by Cosimo Posth et al. at the Max Planck Institute in Germany.  The samples are based on genetic data in North and South America from about 14,000 years ago onward.

While it is certainly interesting to know more about the population dynamics in the Americas after the Ice Age, these papers tell us little about population dynamics between Eurasia and the Americas in the time period of interest before 14,000 years ago.

Ed Yong's article in the Atlantic discusses both papers.  It starts with a discussion about the Ice Age in North America:

"Tens of thousands of years ago, two gigantic ice sheets smothered the northernmost parts of what has since been named North America. They towered more than two kilometers high and contained 1.5 times as much water as Antarctica does today. They were daunting, impassable barriers to the early humans who had started moving east from Asia, walking across a land bridge that once connected the regions now known as Russia and Alaska."

I don't know where Ed Yong got his information from, but before 22,000 years ago, there was no "daunting, impassible barrier" at all between North America and Beringia.  That's according to expert Canadian geologist Lionel Jackson:

Progressive Westward Expansion of North American Continental Ice Sheets During The Quaternery and Implications for the Timing of Initial Human Overland Migration Into the Americas
Jackson Jr, Lionel E.,
2014 Annual Meeting,
The Geological Society of America
19-22 October, 2014
Paper No. 137-3
(Link)

We know that humans were living in North America at the Bluefish Caves site (24,000 years ago in the Yukon):

Earliest Human Presence in North America Dated to the Last Glacial Maximum: New Radiocarbon Dates from Bluefish Caves, Canada
Lauriane Bourgeon, Ariane Burke, Thomas Higham
PLOS One
January 6th, 2017
(Link)

If there were humans in the Yukon 24,000 years ago, then there very likely were humans living a thousand miles south (at least) as well.  The reason that you never hear about this is that North American archaeologists have asserted human presence in the Americas primarily from refined points such as Western Stemmed points, and Clovis Points.  Recently, there have been a few sites in North America with refined points dated to about 18,000 years ago, which shows that humans were present south of the Ice before the opening of the Ice Free corridor about 15,000 years ago.  Many archeologists have questioned the use of only refined points to assert when humans entered North America. A good alternative view on Paleolithic archaeology in North America is discussed by Jiří Chlachula in this paper:

Geoarchaeology of Palaeo-American Sites in Pleistocene Glacigenic Deposits
http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs/36568.pdf

So the discussion of the Beringia land bridge and the Ice Free corridor in Ed's article is likely somewhat peripheral to the population expansion discussed in these papers.  The first entry of humans into the Americas south of the Cordilleran/Laurentide Ice Sheet cannot be assumed to be after 18,000 years ago.  There is no doubt that something was going on in North America between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago:  The Clovis Culture emerged, many large mammals went extinct, and the Younger Dryas led to extreme climate variability.  Any of these events could have been cause for an expansion of the North American population southward.  But to say that these papers indicate an "Extremely Fast Peopling of the Americans" is dubious at best, and taking a less generous view, intentionally misleading.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Palaeolithic cave art in Borneo

M. Aubert,
P. Setiawan,
A. A. Oktaviana,
A. Brumm,
P. H. Sulistyarto,
E. W. Saptomo,
B. Istiawan,
T. A. Ma’rifat,
V. N. Wahyuono,
F. T. Atmoko,
J.-X. Zhao,
J. Huntley,
P. S. C. Taçon,
D. L. Howard
&
H. E. A. Brand 
Nature
7 November, 2018
(Link)

Abstract

Figurative cave paintings from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi date to at least 35,000 years ago (ka) and hand-stencil art from the same region has a minimum date of 40 ka. Here we show that similar rock art was created during essentially the same time period on the adjacent island of Borneo. Uranium-series analysis of calcium carbonate deposits that overlie a large reddish-orange figurative painting of an animal at Lubang Jeriji Saléh—a limestone cave in East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo—yielded a minimum date of 40 ka, which to our knowledge is currently the oldest date for figurative artwork from anywhere in the world. In addition, two reddish-orange-coloured hand stencils from the same site each yielded a minimum uranium-series date of 37.2 ka, and a third hand stencil of the same hue has a maximum date of 51.8 ka. We also obtained uranium-series determinations for cave art motifs from Lubang Jeriji Saléh and three other East Kalimantan karst caves, which enable us to constrain the chronology of a distinct younger phase of Pleistocene rock art production in this region. Dark-purple hand stencils, some of which are decorated with intricate motifs, date to about 21–20 ka and a rare Pleistocene depiction of a human figure—also coloured dark purple—has a minimum date of 13.6 ka. Our findings show that cave painting appeared in eastern Borneo between 52 and 40 ka and that a new style of parietal art arose during the Last Glacial Maximum. It is now evident that a major Palaeolithic cave art province existed in the eastern extremity of continental Eurasia and in adjacent Wallacea from at least 40 ka until the Last Glacial Maximum, which has implications for understanding how early rock art traditions emerged, developed and spread in Pleistocene Southeast Asia and further afield.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Ethnobotany of the Yali of West Papua

"Yali house and kitchen garden at Ilamik.  Note the sugar cane and taro among the sweet potatoes surrounding the house, and the two styles of fence construction.  The fields on the far ridge demonstrate the typical arrangement of the rectangular beds, and the impressive gradients on which the Yali are able to cultivate by using careful erosion control techniques." Photo Credit William Milliken









William Milliken
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
January, 2000
(Link) pdf

Abstract

A general ethnobotanical study of the Yali people was conducted in the Sibi valley in the highlands of West Papua (Jayawijaya, Irian Jaya). The communities were living in a state of relative isolation and relying almost entirely on traditional technology, with substantial use of forest products. Data were collected on the uses and/or properties of 250 wild and cultivated plant species, and over 400 species and cultivar names were recorded in the Yali language. The data are discussed in the context of Yali culture and way of life, and are compared with ethnobotanical records from other New Guinea indigenous peoples. In general it was found that the plant species used by the Yali and the way in which they were employed bore strong similarities to those of most highland peoples of New Guinea.

From the article:

Hunting 

The main hunting weapon used by the Yali is the bow and arrow, which is also used for tribal war when the occasion demands.  Spears (hit), which have been used in the past (although probably to a lesser extent than by the neighbouring Dani), were not seen during the visit, but used to be made from ilibuk wood (unidentified).  Hunting bows are generally made from the outer wood of various palm trees.  They would traditionally have been cut with stone axes and shaped with pigs’ teeth but nowadays parangs (machetes) and knives are used.  Only one large tree palm, Heterospathe muelleriana, grows in the forests around Ilamik, and although its wood is sometimes used for bows these were said to be of inferior quality.

The best palm wood comes from species occurring at lower altitudes, including heliya, bi and suhunim.  Only suhunim (Ptychococcus sp.) was collected during the expedition, from trees which had been planted at 900m a.s.l. near Panggema.  Since black-palm wood is a valuable commodity in the highlands, these trees are guarded jealously and may furnish up to 30 bows each when mature.  Non-palm species used for bows include Schuurmansia henningsii (Ochnaceae), Pittosporum pullifolium, Phyllanthus archboldianus (Euphorbiaceae), Syzygium taeniatum (Myrtaceae) and ilibuk (unidentified).

Bow-strings (sehenenggela or ‘leaf of the bow’) are made from a single strip of split rattan palm (Calamus) up to one centimetre broad, with the flat (split) surface facing forwards.  The species commonly used for this purpose, mambile, has to be brought up from villages at lower altitudes where, as at Panggema, it is sometimes planted but also occurs wild in the forest.  Another Calamus species, ahal, is sometimes used as a bowstring but only on a temporary basis.  Smilax sp. (Smilacaceae), Flagellaria indica (Flagellariaceae) and a flexible Racemobambos (Gramineae) may also be employed.  The knot at each end of the bow is prevented from slipping by a binding of Freycinetia (Pandanaceae) fibres, and sometimes another (unidentified) fibre which is attributed with magical properties.  The arrows are unfletched and have no nock - the flat end of the cane shaft is simply held against the broad bowstring.  The shafts are usually made from swordgrass stems (Miscanthus floridulus), and sometimes from Thysanolaena maxima (Gramineae).

Arrow-heads take various forms, according to their function (Fig. 7).  For general-purpose killing (including of people), a sharpened wooden foreshaft called a tok is used, sometimes carved with small barbs and decorated with grooves filled with coloured clay (in designs very similar to those illustrated by Pospisil (1963) for the Kapauku tribe).  The wood of a variety of trees will serve this purpose, including Casuarina oligodon (apparently the most frequently used at Ilamik), Gardenia lamingtonii, Planchonella sp. (Sapotaceae), Caryota sp. (Palmae) and all of the bowwoods mentioned above.  In addition, it was said that arrow-heads made from the wood of the small palm Gronophyllum pinangoides cause death even from a small wound, though it was not clear whether the effect is attributable to magic or to poison.  Arrow poison per se is not used, but slender strips of the yellow stems of Diplocaulobium orchids are sometimes wound around tok arrow-heads to make the wounds more unpleasant, as the fibres remain embedded when the arrow is withdrawn.  According to the Kurelu Dani these fibres cause unusual pain and inflammation (Matthiessen, 1989).

Pigs are killed with minggin arrow-heads made from a sharpened piece of the stem of a large bamboo (Schizostachyum cf. glaucifolium).  These may also be used for war.  Birds are taken with special three- or four pronged arrow-heads called suwap, made from the stem of Bambusa forbesii.  Men generally carry more of these arrows than of the other types when hunting opportunistically, as birds are the game most likely to be encountered during the day.  One other type of arrow-head, which was not seen, is the yenggilirk made from the sharpened (hollow) slender stem of Schizostachyum lima (Gramineae).  This may serve the same purpose as the detachable hollow bone arrow-heads used elsewhere in New Guinea for hunting pigs: when the arrow detaches the tubular head remains buried in the flesh and keeps the wound from closing, eventually causing the animal to collapse from blood loss.

Arrow-heads are bound to the shafts with split rattan, bark-fibre string or occasionally the fibres from Dicranopteris linearis stems, sometimes in intricate woven patterns.  The bindings are sometimes coated with the sticky latex from the trunk of a guttiferous tree (Garcinia sp.) as they are by many South American tribes (Milliken et al., 1992).  A fore-shaft of one of the woods used for tok arrowheads may also be included, lending weight and strength to the arrow.  The Yali are very skilled archers, and boys begin with small bows at a very early age and rapidly become highly proficient.  The swollen ant-inhabited stems of the epiphytic Myrmecodia sterrophylla (Rubiaceae) are often used as targets for practising shooting and spear-throwing, and those around the villages are usually riddled with sticks.

The Yali sometimes keep small hunting dogs, which they appear to treat with considerable affection.  In order to improve their performance in the hunt, pieces of the leaves of certain plants may be fed to the dogs beforehand.  This is a practice which has been recorded amongst hunting peoples all over the world, and into which little research appears to have been made."

Friday, November 2, 2018

Plumes, Pipes and Valuables: The Papuan Artefact-Trade in Southwest New Guinea, 1845–1888

Susan M. Davies
Chapter in Unpacking the Collection: Networks of Material and Social Agency in the Museum
Editors: Byrne, S., Clarke, A., Harrison, R., Torrence, R. (Eds.)
pp. 83-115
23 May 2011
(Link)

Appendix 4.1

Indigenous artefact types from the southwest Coast and Fly River estuary recorded in vocabularies or other historical sources between 1870 and 1888 compared to contemporary museum collections (Australian Museum (AM), Macleay Museum (MM) and Queensland Museum (QM)

English name
Indigenous name
Source
Locality (general or known collecting locality)
No. in museums
Notes

Arrow, light reed
Taera Tere
Chester 1870a, b MacGregor 1889
New Guinea
?
Axe
Kabi
MacGregor 1889
New Guinea
Axe, stone
Warikabi Daunomu Emaaiiopu
MacGregor 1889
New Guinea
MacGregor gives three different names for stone axes.
Bamboo, for water
Obo marabo
MacGregor 1889
New Guinea
Bow, bamboo
Gagari Gar-gi-re Gagari Gagare
Chester 1870a, b Hargrave 1875 MacGregor 1889 Landtman 1927
New Guinea
5
Bows made in New Guinea were traded into Torres Strait. Uncertain where these examples were collected but likely in New Guinea rather than Torres Strait. For a description of bows see Landtman (1927: 27–28). There are possibly more bows in collections (unlabelled).
Club, stone
Gooboo Gabagaba
Chester 1870a, b MacGregor 1889
New Guinea
Highly valued. Landtman (1927: 31) describes the gabagaba club as ‘one of the most esteemed weapons of the Kiwai’.
Curiass of cane
Bata
MacGregor 1889
New Guinea
Possibly associated with people further up the Fly River. In 1876 D’Albertis found body armour in a deserted house (Alice River, north-west branch of the Fly River) (D’Albertis 1881:II 125).
Dogs’ teeth, necklace Dogs’ teeth, cross-belts
Genaiyo
Genaio
Chester 1870a, b MacGregor 1889
New Guinea New Guinea
Landtman (1927: 26) describes the ‘string or necklace of dogs’ teeth’ (genaio or gesa) as one of the ‘most valued ornaments’ among the Kiwai-speaking Papuans.
Headdress, of feathers Headdress, Black plumes
Dahgoorie
Daguri
Chester 1870a, b
MacGregor 1889
New Guinea
Cassowary-feather head-dress (daguri) made in New Guinea were traded into Torres Strait. Landtman (1927: 24) describes them as the most common ornament in the whole district (Kiwai).
Knife, bamboo
Ooera
Uere
Chester 1870a, b Landtman 1927
New Guinea
Highly valued. According to Landtman (1927:32),‘Old beheading knives are looked upon in great awe; in time of peace they are kept in the men’s house, close to sacred posts carved with human figures’.
Nut, used as rattle in dances
Sia
MacGregor 1889
New Guinea
Pipe, bamboo Pipe, tobacco
Marahba Tar-rook Waduru
Chester 1870a, b Hargrave 1875 MacGregor 1889
New Guinea (Mokatta, and Sumaut)
5
Another pipe (not held in any museum collection) was collected at Mokatta by Lawrence Hargrave in 1875.
Pipe, Bowl of
Ahteroop
Chester 1870a, b
New Guinea
?
Bowls of pipes are often missing in museum collections.
Shield
Gope
MacGregor 1889
New Guinea
According to Landtman (1927: 49) gope boards were used as canoe decoration (see above).
Tally Sticks
?
D’Albertis 1881
Southwest Coast
A set of tally sticks in the MM are without documentation but could originate from New Guinea.