Harvard Expedition to New Guinea Reveals Stone Age Lives of Natives

Karl G. Heider '56, who has just returned from an 13-month expedition to East New Guines, led the first Anthropology Roundtable of the year last night at Leverett House. He was one of the eight members of the 1961 Harvard-Peabody expedition, which included the late Michael Rockefeller.

The group was organized by Robert G. Gardner, director of the Film Study Center in the Peabody Museum, to study the contemporary stone-age people, the Dani. Today, they still live Neolithic existences, farming, raising pigs and fighting.

Gardner had scouted the country a few months before the rest of the group joined him. He was looking for an area untouched by government or missionary developments, and he settled on the Grand Vally in New Guinea, a heavily populated section of 50,000 people.

These people are continually preoccupied with fighting, Heider said. The Dutch have tried repeatedly to pacify them, but have met with no success, for they have attempted to stop warfare without substituting anything in its place.

The group took 15,000 photographs, from which Life magazine selected ten pages for their issue of last Sept 26. A chapter from Peter Matthiessen's book, which describes the project, was reprinted in Harpers last month.