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The western coast is occupied by people who appear to have come from Borneo, and the Moluccas ; and they live in the same manner here as in those islands.
The people of New Guinea have some trade with the Chinese, who come here in vessels; they buy of them their tools, and utensils, and give them in exchange ambergris, sea snails, tortoise shells, birds of paradise, and other birds of beautiful plumage. These are skinned, and stuffed in so neat a manner, as to appear like living birds.
The appearance of the people of New Guinea is far from pleasing, they tie up their hair on the top of their heads, in great bunches, sometimes two feet high ; they are, indeed, the ugliest people I ever saw; the men go quite naked, but the women wear a partial covering, of coarse cotton cloth.
What people occupy the western coast of New Guinea ? What of the trade of the people of New Guinea ? Appearance of the peo ple?
These people appear to have few religious notions, and they are said to be very savage and brutal, but the truth is we know but very little about them. When white men first go among savage nations, they are looked upon, and treated as enemies ; sometimes the white men are killed or perhaps used very cruelly. They then go away and give a bad account of the inhabitants. Perhaps, after all, if they knew these people better, their character would appear different, and they would therefore tell a very different story about them.
The people of New Guinea, have remarkably light boats, which they manage on the water, with great skill; the women may be often seen paddling about in these boats. I was very much amused one day to see two women fishing: one of them caught a large fish ; as she was lifting it over the side of the canoe, it came very near being turned over, but - the other woman placed herself on the opposite side of
Character? What of their boats?
the canoe, and thus balanced it, and prevented it from being upset.
The island of New Guinea, is very extensive; it is, I suppose, five times as large as all the New England States; there are a good many mountains in the interior, and some of their tops are higher than the clouds.
The land is very fertile; it is covered with beautiful trees, and rich fruits, and flowering shrubs. In the forests there are multitudes of birds of paradise, of which there are ten or twelve kinds. This island seems indeed to be their favorite retreat ; thousands of them may be seen fluttering in the groves where winter never comes, where the leaves are always green, and the flowers are ever in bloom. Parrots also abound, and there are many kinds of the gentle dove, whose sweet notes may be constantly heard in the woods.
This is, indeed, a land in which everything is lovely and beautiful, except the people. These
Extent of New Guinea ? Soil ? Productions ? Birds? Animals?
are among the most degraded of mankind; yet the time will doubtless come, though it may be ages hence, when these ignorant people will be civilized, when their superstitions will be dissipated, and when religion will teach lessons of justice, humanity, and love, here as it does now elsewhere. The time will no doubt come, when the rude people who now live in hollow trees, or in turf cabins, will dwell in good and comfortable houses ; when the cries of savage war shall cease; and in their place the peaceful tones of the Sabbath bell shall echo through the forests.
About New Holland
AFTER leaving New Guinea, we sailed in a southerly direction, along the eastern coast of New Holland, till we came to Port Jackson. This is a small bay, at the head of which, is
What of Port Jackson ?