SAVAGE PAPUA by Andre Dupeyrat


Email this review


A Catholic missionary's account of his twenty years- from 1930 to 1950- in the New Guinea hinterlands is a chronicle of terror and beauty and faith. As a writer Father Dupeyrat is accomplished and splendidly alert to his striking surroundings; as a priest he is fervent and practical, for as he goes to his post at the Mafulu district in the Fuyughe country of the Papuan mountains he comes into contact with land and people at all levels. Trained in medicine it was his job to cure where he could, in a disease ridden region. It was his job too, to live with an ever encroaching jungle, a wilderness fascinating with flowers and birds and frightening with snakes, with poison and with the ways of a primitive people he had come to save. Different as their ways were, the Papuans and Father Dupeyrat established many common grounds. The tribes he came to know recognized the power of his medicine and grasped in their own happy way, the message of the Great Spirit of the Gospels often to the point of renouncing cannibalism. He in turn treats their ways with a scholar's respect and though he fails to enlarge on the broader implications of the effect of Christianity on Papuan life represents a picture of a people whose ways are striking enough in themselves but which in this writer's hands take on their due color.

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 1954
ISBN: 1163814148
Publisher: Dutton