National Geographic : 1962 May
MAGAZINE COPYRIGHT© 1962 BY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY, WASHINGTON,D.C. INTERNATIONALCOPYRIGHTSECURED VOL. 121, No. 5 MAY, 1962 AT A TIME when astronauts have orbited the earth and scientists plan conquests of the planets, one corner of the world still competes with space for men's imaginations. New Guinea-the very name quickens the pulse. Here, on an island flung across the tropical Pacific like a grotesque 1,500-mile-long bird, are mountain valleys and jungle pockets that await their first explorer. Here live people who never saw a wheel until it dropped to them from the skies on an airplane. But the world changes, and soon it will be too late to see New Guinea in its pristine beauty. Suddenly this living museum of primitive man has burst into the news. Michael Rockefeller disappears tragically, and attention focuses on the island's almost unknown southwest coast. An old feud between Indonesians and Dutch flames anew. Control of New Guinea becomes an explosive political issue. The United Nations calls for independence for colonies and Trust Territories. Australia takes a new look at its wards in eastern New Guinea. To bring to Society members a fresh portrait of this second largest island (after Greenland), Assistant Editor John Scofield traveled from the western tip of Netherlands territory to the idyllic South Seas atmosphere of eastern Papua. Thanks to cooperation extended to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC by both Australian and Dutch authorities, Mr. Scofield was able to visit places that would otherwise have been nearly impossible to reach. His survey includes unique photographs of the largest tribal gathering ever to take place in the South Pacific (pages 618-627). He also brought back unforgettable glimpses of a community of head-hunters and can nibals of the little-known Casuarina Coast (pages 596-601). His are the first color photographs of these extraordinary people to appear in an American publication. - The Editor.