My goal is to be done with Headhunting in the Solomon Islands and Around the Coral Sea by the end of the weekend so I can leave the book at Mom’s.  What did I think?  The author went to the Solomon Islands ostensibly to record (these are air quotes not actual ones) “the physiological differences in the skeletal-facial- features of the various tribes of the Pacific”  Nobody would admit to going to Scandinavia to record the facial bone structure differences between the Swedes the Finns and the Norwegians, would they?  Maybe Hitler I guess, but this book took place in the 1920s.  My particluar book has four portraits and a large number of cute sketchlets throughout.  (Mom, ours might be a first edition, so don’t get rid of it just in case.)  

Mytinger stayed with various plantation owners (picture de Becque, the planter from South Pacific) over the course of four years while having the adventure of a lifetime.  I don’t think the author was writing in a way that was maybe any different from other writers of her time, but now it reads as prejudiced, and in incredibly poor taste.  It is a fun story and I have enjoyed it, but where she referred to a guy as a gorilla is going to stick with me.  Probably some of this is due to her tongue-in-cheek style of writing; she makes plenty of fun of herself and her friend as well.  I believe I will skip the sequel, but I have no regrets about reading this one.

Smithsonian magazine had an interesting article about the “expotition” while Caroline Mytinger’s portraits reside at the Hearst Museum Mytinger Gallery.  She was a fascinating person.

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