Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
My brother Charles
This record of my wanderings
in which he took so deep an interest,
is affectionately dedicated.
In a book of this kind it is often the custom to begin by making
apologies. In my case I feel it to be a sheer necessity. In the first
place what is here printed is for the greater part copied word for
word from private letters that I wrote in very simple language in
Dayak or Negrito huts, or in the lonely depths of tropical forests, in
the far-off islands of the Southern Seas. I purposely made my letters
home as concise as possible, so that they could be easily read, and in
consequence have left out much that might have been interesting. It is
almost unnecessary to mention that when I wrote these letters I had
no thought whatever of writing a book. If I had thought of doing so,
I might have mentioned more about the customs, ornaments and weapons of
the natives and have written about several other subjects in greater
detail. As it is, a cursory glance will show that this book has not
the slightest pretence of being "scientific." Far from its being
so, I have simply related a few of the more interesting incidents,
such as would give a GENERAL IMPRESSION of my life among savages,
during my wanderings in many parts of the world, extending over
nearly a score of years. I should like to have written more about
my wanderings in North Borneo, as well as in Samoa and Celebes and
various other countries, but the size of the book precludes this. My
excuse for publishing this book is that certain of my relatives
have begged me to do so. Though I was for the greater part of the
time adding to my own collections of birds and butterflies, I have
refrained as much as possible from writing on these subjects for
fear that they might prove tedious to the general reader. I have
also touched but lightly on the general customs of the people, as
this book is not for the naturalist or ethnologist, nor have I made
any special study of the languages concerned, but have simply jotted
down the native words here used exactly as I heard them. As regards
the photographs, some of them were taken by myself while others were
given me by friends whom I cannot now trace. In a few cases I have
no note from whom they were got, though I feel sure they were not
from anyone who would object to their publication. In particular,
I may mention Messrs. G. R. Lambert, Singapore; John Waters, Suva,
Fiji; Kerry & Co., Sydney; and G. O. Manning, New Guinea. To these
and all others who have helped me I now tender my heartiest thanks. I
have met with so much help and kindness during my wanderings from
Government officials and others that if I were here to mention all,
the list would be a large one. I shall therefore have to be content
with only mentioning the principal names of those in the countries
I have here written about.
In Fiji: - Messrs. Sutherland, John Waters, and McOwan.
In New Guinea: - Sir Francis Winter, Mr. C. A. W. Monckton, R.M., The
Hon. A. Musgrave, Capt. Barton, Mr. Guy O. Manning, and Dr. Vaughan.
In the Philippines: - Governor Taft, afterwards President of the
United States, and Mr. G. d'E. Browne.
In British North Borneo: - Messrs. H. Walker, Richardson, Paul
Brietag, F. Durege, J. H. Molyneux, and Dr. Davies.
In Sarawak: - H.H. The Rajah, Sir Charles Brooke, Sir Percy
Cunninghame, Dr. Hose, Archdeacon Sharpe, Mr. R. Shelford, and the
officials of The Borneo Company, Ltd.
To all of these and many others in other countries I take this
opportunity of publicly tendering my cordial thanks for their unfailing
kindness and hospitality to a wanderer in strange lands.
H. Wilfrid Walker.
List of Illustrations
FRONTISPIECE - Belles of Papua.
A Chief's Daughter and a Daughter of the People
A "Meke-Meke," or Fijian Girls' Dance
Interior of a large Fijian Hut
A Fijian Mountaineer's House
At the Door of a Fijian House
A Fijian Girl
Spearing Fish in Fiji
A Fijian Fisher Girl
A Posed Picture of an old-time Cannibal Feast in Fiji
Making Fire by Wood Friction
An Old ex-Cannibal
A Fijian War-Dance
Adi Cakobau (pronounced "Andi Thakombau"), the highest Princess in
Fiji, at her house at Navuso
A Filipino Dwelling
A Village Street in the Philippines
A River Scene in the Philippines
A Negrito Family
Negrito Girls (showing Shaved Head at back)
A Negrito Shooting
Tree Climbing by Negritos
A Negrito Dance
Arigita and his Wife
Three Cape Nelson Kaili-Kailis in War Attire
Kaili-Kaili House on the edge of a Precipice
"A Great Joke"
A Ghastly Relic
A Woman and her Baby
A Papuan Girl
The Author with Kaili-Kaili Followers
Wives of Native Armed Police
A Papuan Damsel
Busimaiwa, the great Mambare Chief, with his Wife and Son (in the
A Haunt of the Bird of Paradise
The Author starting on an Expedition
A New Guinea River Scene
A Village of the Agai Ambu
H. W. Walker, L. Dyke-Acland, and C. A. W. Monckton
View of Kuching from the Rajah's Garden
Dayaks and Canoes
Dayak in War-Coat
Dayak Women and Children on the Platform outside a long House
Dayaks Catching Fish
A Dayak Woman with Mourning Ornaments round waist
On a Tobacco Estate
On a Bornean River
Life in the Home of a Fijian Prince.
Life in the Home of a Fijian Prince.
Journey to Taviuni - Samoan Songs - Whistling for the Wind -
Landing on Koro - Nabuna - Samoans and Fijians Compared - Fijian
Dances and Angona Drinking - A Hurricane in the Southern Seas -
Arrival at Taviuni - First Impressions of Ratu Lala's Establishment -
Character of Ratu Lala - Prohibition of Cricket - Ratu Lala Offended
- The Prince's Musical Box.