In the northern peninsula are found people of Papuan type, probably representing the aborigines, and a tribe around Galela, who are Polynesian in physique, possibly remnants, much mixed by subsequent crossings with the Papuan indigenes, of the Caucasian hordes emigrating in prehistoric times across the Pacific. M.
In some islands are people of obvious Papuan blood, while in others are Polynesian or Malayan tribes.
Niger are really indigenous members of this group or modified descendants of European tame pigs is doubtful; although the general character of the Papuan fauna supports the idea that they are introduced.
Their hair is dark brown or black; smooth and curly, very different from the frizzly mop of the Papuan or the lank straight locks of the Malay.
In the typical Australian and Papuan Hydromys, locally known as water-rats, the molars originally have transverse ridges, the enamel folds between which form cutting edges whose sharpness depends upon the degree to which the teeth have been worn, while the large hind feet are webbed.
With his head encircled by a coronet of dogs teeth, and covered with a network cap or piece of bark-cloth, the septum of the nose transfixed by a pencil of bone or shell, and perhaps a shell or fibre armlet or two, the Papuan is in complete everyday attire.
But the Torres Straits islanders are employed by Europeans in the pearl shell fishery, and are good labourers; and in some of the Kei and Aru Islands the Papuan inhabitants form orderly Christian communities.
They had coarse, short, woolly hair and Papuan features.
The Papuan woman, who is, as a rule, more modest than the Polynesian, is the household drudge, and does the greater part of the outdoor work, but the man assists in clearing new gardens and in digging and planting the soil.
The Papuan Subregion, chiefly New Guinea with its dependencies, the Timor group of islands, the Moluccas and Celebes.