The call of the river

September 21, 2010 at 7:11 am (Angoram, artifacts, David Wall, Deborah Ruiz Wall, Papua New Guinea) (, , , , , , , , , )

This photo has a bit of history about it. In 1969 a group of Japanese academics from Kyoto City University visited the Sepik, and stayed for a number of weeks in Angoram, collecting artefacts and even some human skulls – a Sepik art form. They did linguistic and anthropological studies in the area.

The leader of the group was a professor of English and a veteran of the Japanese campaign in China during WW II – a charming and distinguished gentleman. There were two other young men who were associate professors and a beautiful young woman – an anthropologist.

They all had an extraordinary capacity for Johnnie Walker Black Label Whisky, which we all consumed in a convivial atmosphere of discussions with no language problems. I have the names of each member of the visiting party in a trunk somewhere or other in my attic.

Back to the subject of the photo. This was taken by one of the Japanese from a river boat that they were travelling on – on their way to Pagwai and hence to Maprik. I was also on my way upriver on a patrol in a canoe – from memory, to the Middle Sepik. The photographer called out to me after taking the picture –  “Come to Kyoto, David,  it’s your city!”

So much for the international flavour of the old Angoram.

Oh, yes, this is the first photo my wife, Deborah, saw of me, so it must have something about it!!

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