The Sky Travellers

The Sky Travellers

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The extraordinary story of the world's last major exploration and experience of first-contact-a 1938-39 Australian expedition of three thousand kilometres by foot, through the mountainous western highlands of Papua New Guinea.The pale skin of the strangers suggested that they were spirits-sky people. How should they be treated? Local people repeatedly asked 'Why have you come?' Jim Taylor, with John Black and Pat Walsh, led a patrol of over 350 people. Most were carriers from Highlands areas already familiar with Europeans; about 40 were new Guinea police from the coast. with war looming, records of their remarkable experience were officially suppressed. Bill Gammage has talked to many of the people who were there-both the visitors and those visited. With the rigour of a committed historian and a rare skill as a storyteller he traces a complex journey of minds as well as bodies. Every participant in this adventure was changed irrevocably. Readers, too, can expect an exhilarating mind shift.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 180.3 x 248.9 x 30.5mm | 861.84g
  • Melbourne University Press
  • The Miegunyah Press
  • Carlton, Australia
  • English
  • maps, photos
  • 0522848273
  • 9780522848274

About Bill Gammage

After many years teaching history at the universities of Papua New Guinea and Adelaide, Bill Gammage is now a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian National University. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and Deputy Chair of the National Museum of Australia. He has edited Australians: A Bicentennial History, 1938 and written an acclaimed history of Australian soldiers in the Great War, The Broken Years, to which this book is a fine successor.
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