MY LIFE WITH THE HEADHUNTERS by Wyn Sargent

MY LIFE WITH THE HEADHUNTERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Leading an expedition into unmapped central Borneo to look for the ""lost"" Dyak tribes isn't exactly anybody's idea of a lark -- but that's just about how Sargent, a photo-journalist from L.A., set off for the jungle (nobody thought to bring a compass), along with her 12-year-old son (""Well, gee, Mom! Why can't we hunt for the headhunters?""), a native interpreter and a sort Of official party of ten Indonesians. Five weeks later they staggered back suffering from malaria, fungus, bleeding gums, falling-out hair, exposure, malnutrition and staph lesions -- the conditions that were wiping out the Dyaks, headhunters still so isolated that they know nothing about the wheel or farming and had never developed an alphabet. It's a brutalizing story that comes across -- even as Sargent observes herself observing the Dyaks. But not to worry, either about perilous Pauline or the headhunters: she organized the Sargent-Dyak Fund, saved a people and, intrepid as always, was soon off on another caper, one suggested by no less a personage than President Suharto at a private meeting in his Disneyland hotel suite. The Great White Fish God, as she's known among the Dyaks, ventured into New Guinea to help the Danis and married a Chief (you read about it in the papers last winter). But, alas, it was not to be -- this time, sensibly, the Indonesians threw her out.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1974
Publisher: Doubleday