chapter  VII
42 Pages

The Myth-Dream [iii]

By the time Mambu started his movement Tangu and the peoples living between them and the coast had become familiar with things European. They saw administrative

officers from time to time and, more often, the less formal missionary. Many from Tangu had been to coastal plantations and had had experience with traders, planters, and shipmasters. They had seen, or knew something about, the variety of material goods that Europeans were bringing to New Guinea. They knew what a steamship was, and perhaps one or two had seen an aircraft. But such things could not be accepted, simply. It is evident from what Tangu say, and also from what is going on in the hinterland today, that Europeans and what they had brought with them were favourite topics of gossip and rumour. When conversation about the crops, or the feast in a few days' time, or so-and-so's marital entanglement lapsed, it was easily brought round to Europeans and their goods.