EXPEDITION “MIKLOUHO-MACLAY. XXI CENTURY. MACLAY COAST” 2019
In April this year, will start another research expedition to the Maclay Coast (Rai Coast), North-East of the New Guinea Island. The participants will have a deeper study of the various aspects of culture of the local residents – Papuans. What prompted the head of the Foundation, the great-great-grandnephew, to go again in this not a simple expedition with a team of scientists and documentary filmmakers?
Goal -Establishment of cultural, scientific, humanitarian and business cooperation between Russia and Papua New Guinea.
21- 22 april
Departure from Moscow
The expedition, which goal is the establishment of cultural, scientific, humanitarian and business cooperation between Russia and Papua New Guinea, started!
Meet the team:
– Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay — the descendant of the traveler, the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation Director, expedition leader.
– Igor Chininov — research fellow of the Institute of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Within the expedition will be engaged in the collection and study of the material culture of the Maclay Coast.
– Olga Temple — linguist. Within the expedition will study the linguistics of the Maclay Coast
– Alexander Belkin – camera man.
Also, along with the team of the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation, the TV channel “RUSSIA 24”, “Global review” program staff will take part in the expedition in order to transmit reliable information from the distant Maclay Coast! Follow the news, it is going to be interesting!
In just one day the expedition team checked in two airports: in Qatar and Singapore! It remains only a few hours to the cherished goal – Papua New Guinea!
This morning, the Maclay expedition visited one of the major villages, founded in 1962 and located near the capital of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. Although the locals call it a village, according to our measures it is a small town, because the population is about 18 000 people.
Community village Koki is partly located on the shore and partly above water (on piling). It is seldom visited and almost closed to the outside world, but the locals met the expedition team friendly. Look at those happy faces!
After lunch, the Maclay expedition team met with the guys who visited our country in October 2018 as a part of the first delegation from Papua New Guinea in the contemporary history of Russia! Together with the Professor of the University of Papua New Guinea and the teaching staff, they discussed the opening of the Russian Corner at the University of Port Moresby.
We remind that Olga Temple, lecturer at the University, will visit the Maclay Coast as a member of the expedition team to conduct studies there.
April 25, a meeting of the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation Director Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay and Deputy Director of the National Library and Archives of Papua New Guinea Denis Bagelo took place. Long-standing partners discussed the opening of the Russian Corner at this site, which is scheduled for December 2019.
We remind that the officials of the National Library and Archives of Papua New Guinea took the initiative and, during the APEC summit held in November 2018 in Port Moresby, signed an agreement on cooperation with the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation and made an official request to the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation and the Government of the Russian Federation for opening of the Russian Corner on its site in order to spread knowledge about Russian culture.
There were some adventures and surprises during the expedition!
Today, April 26, before the flight to Madang, it turned out that one of the Maclay expedition members could not get on board because of lack of empty seats on the plane, although he had the ticket! After we settled this in order to fly all together, we were informed about the flight delay for an hour, and then the flight was completely canceled.
The situation is familiar to us – within the previous expedition in 2017 we spent six days on the road, three of which at the airports, but now, having gained the experience, we spent only six hours to find a way to get to Madang.
So, here the Maclay expedition team is! The weather in Madang is excellent now. In the near future we will buy everything we need for a trip to the Maclay Coast.
Today, April 27, the Maclay expedition team is preparing for a trip to the Maclay Coast. All day is spent in pleasant efforts – purchase of products in the market of Madang, tobacco, live pig and tuna as a gift to the locals of the Maclay Coast! Gorendu villagers from Maclay Coast came to help the expedition team buy supplies. Also, for the collection replenishing, some items were purchased, which are used in the Sepik river region – the birthplace of the first Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Michael Somare.
The Maclay expedition team 2019 arrived on Maclay Coast!
N.N. Miklouho-Maclay, the leader of the expedition 2019: “We are in the Maclay’s village. The village was entitled in 2017 in honor of the “Miklouho-Maclay XXI century. Maclay Coast” expedition arrival. Asel Tui lives here, he is 77 years old, and he is the fifth generation of Tui – the first local who met Miklouho-Maclay in XIX century. There are a few houses in the Maclay’s village, there only close relatives of Tui live. We gave gifts and prepared our home for a sleep! It’s getting dark at 18:00. Preparing for tomorrow. Excellent mood! Finally I’m here among my friends!»
Reference: Maclay Coast is a part of the North-Eastern coast of New Guinea Island with a coast line about 300 km, between the Astrolabe Bay and the Huon peninsula. The territory was studied by the Russian scientist N.N. Miklouho-Maclay during his long stay on the Island in 1871-1872, 1876-1877, 1883.
On April 30, the Maclay expedition team visited Gumbu and Gorendu villages, where they met with the locals and presented them gifts from Russia. They held a screening of the 36-minutes documentary film “THE MAN FROM THE MOON” for the locals and tasted the same pig presented as a gift and cooked by the locals of the Maclay Coast!
In the first days of May 2019, the Maclay expedition team plunged into the real life of the Maclay Coast locals. “Among other things, we decided to master hunting, fishing and gardening. In order to learn how to fish with a spear on a traditional canoe, which is not very stable and easily flipped, I had to remember the skills being a yachtsman, mastered in childhood,” Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay said.
Gardening is a traditional occupation of the Maclay Coast residents. Unfortunately, corn, which was imported by Miklouho-Maclay in XIX century, is not popular now, but there are batat and yams. Important products are coconut and sugar cane.
Today, May 3, the Maclay expedition team visited the Initiation House (Haus Tambaran). Asel Tui told about the sacraments held in this house. During a week boys learn how to become the best hunter, fisherman and gardener. Parents prepare boys for it in advance. After all training processes is finished and a boy becomes a man, they hold a big celebration .
After then, the Maclay expedition attended a meeting of a branch of the Miklouho-Maclay Society, established for preservation of the culture of the Maclay Coast. At the meeting, the leaders of the villages consulted with Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay on the state of business processes and plans, as the main office is located in Port Moresby. Nickolay set the goal of joint organizational work for the establishing and operating of the Russian Corners in Madang and Port Moresby.
Today the “Miklouho-Maclay XXI century. Maclay Coast” expedition 2019 team left the Maclay Coast and headed to Madang, and then to the capital of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. Saying goodbye to the smiling locals, Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay visited the Memorial of his Great ancestor.
Studies on the Coast is over, but there is a lot of new and interesting events!
Follow our news!
May 5, 2019, Maclay expedition visited Bil-Bil village, which has long been famous for its pottery – pots are still handmade without using of a Potter’s wheel. Nickolay Mikloukho-Maclay mastered this art and made three pots.
Nikolay Nikolaevich Miklouho-Maclay in XIX century visited the Island, where about 200 people lived. Later, the population moved to the Coast, where it is still located. The locals warmly welcomed the Maclay expedition and invited to visit the Island and the place where Miklouho-Maclay’s hut was located, in a picturesque place overlooking the Bismark sea. They showed the initiation houses and sacred places of men, which are prohibited for women to visit. According to the locals, boys undergo the process of initiation within 1-3 months. 150 years ago, since the first visit of Miklouho-Maclay, the children were named in his honor. This tradition is still preserved. After the expedition 2017, several children were also named after Maclay.