[NEW GUINEA] Portraits of native people of the Markham Valley region, German New Guinea, c 1914
A group of seven original photographs dating from around 1914, each 115 x 70 mm, five numbered verso in ink in contemporary hand, two with pencil inscriptions in German in contemporary hand: Häuptling von Lae [Chief of Lae] and Eing’ren. Schönheit von Lae [Native beauty of Lae]. Fine condition.
These close-up and very candid portraits of native people were taken by an amateur German photographer in the hinterland and area around Lae, on the Huon Gulf at the mouth of the Markham River. The first German Government station was established in this area in 1909, and German mission stations followed in 1910-11. Whether the photographer was a missionary, trader or colonial official is unknown, but the spontaneity of the images and the direct gaze of the subjects makes them a powerful photographic ensemble.