The facts gathered on a five month expedition into the still savage and largely unknown New Guinea highlands have been recorded in an absorbing account. It is not a technical anthropological treatise, but its purpose is to describe the customs, rituals, myths and legends, marriages, feasts and funerals of several different tribes, and it does so in a lively fashion. Many of these New Guinea customs are bloodcurdling. Even the non-cannibal tribes have a rough and ready way with the facts of life, death and sex, and most of them are haunted by darker forces. As the author points out, the ""idyllic state of nature"" is largely a wistful modern illusion; in comparison with this fierce, fearful and ignorant world, our civilization seems very sane and secure.