Human Studies Film Archives

Guide to Sugar Plant Hunting by Airplane in New Guinea, 1929

Collection ID:
United States. Department of Agriculture
Brandes, E. W. (Elmer Walker)), b. 1891
Peck, Richard K.
No linguistic content; Not applicable
Physical Description:
Film reels
black-and-white silent
116 Photographs
Lantern slides

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Edited film made by the United States Department of Agriculture during an expedition to locate disease resistant varieties of sugar cane in the Territory of Papua and Mandated Territory of New Guinea. Footage was shot during 57 flights in what was ostensibly the first European exploration of sites in the interior. Locations and documentation include: aerial shots of coastal villages between Samarai Island (southeast of Milne Bay) and Port Moresby; villages along the Lower Fly and Strickland rivers, Lake Murray, and areas of the Upper Fly; a dubu (communal men's house) in a village on Lake Murray; Negritos on the Upper Fly and a Pygmy "tree house" village at the confluence of the Ok-Tedi and Fly rivers; sites on the Kikori and the Sepik rivers between Lae and Ambunti which includes shots of an Ambunti haus tambaran (ceremonial house) and Sepik Papuans making sac-sac from the sago palm; and scenes in the coastal village at Hula (near Port Moresby) which show stilt houses, outriggers, and missionized natives being put through military drill. Shots from the embarkation phase of the expedition include scenes in New York City and the Panama Canal and aerial shots over Mount Hood, Oregon, on return to Washington D.C. Film has intertitles.
Supplementary materials: 57 glass lantern slides from the Papua New Guinea expedition and 59 glass lantern slides from, we believe, Cuba that are associated with this expedition.
Legacy Keywords: Aircraft monoplane ; Canoes dugouts outriggers as transportation ; Agriculture agricultural crops gardens ; Barter ; Adornment shells feathers boar tusks ; Houses tree houses ; Cannibalism skull ; Weapons bows spears ; Cookery ; Settlement patterns ; Missionaries ; Crops agriculture ; Art men's houses ; Clothing acculturation ; Tools ; Language and culture ; Papua New Guinea ; Samari ; Point Hood ; Port Moresby ; Fairfax Harbor ; Lae (New Guinea) ; Kikori River (Papua, New Guinea) ; Fly River (Papua New Guinea) ; Sepik River (Papua, New Guinea) ; Juarangei ; Hula (New Guinea) ; Australia ; Queensland ; Panama Canal (Panama) ; Lake Murry (Papua, New Guinea) ; Oceania ; Strickland River, New Guinea ; Ok-Tedi River, New Guinea
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or Anthropology Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Received from United States Department of Agriculture in 1982.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research. Please contact the archives for information on availability of access copies of audiovisual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the Human Studies Film Archives may not be played.
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Preferred Citation
Sugar Plant Hunting by Airplane in New Guinea, Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
Photographs from the expedition are at the National Anthropological Archives, Photo lot 91-8, United States Department of Agriculture photographs relating to sugar expedition to Papua New Guinea.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Oceania Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New Guinea Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scientific expeditions Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sugarcane Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
silent films Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Human Studies Film Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland 20746