Nicholas Nikolaevich Miklukho-Maclay got off the corvette Vityaz on the shores of Astrolabe Bay and found himself in the Stone Age. Remote islands did not even know iron, let alone fire weapons. Miklouho-Maclay came to a distant land unarmed and with a good purpose – to study and educate. But at first it was crucial to establish contact and demonstrate good intentions. It was a difficult thing to do without knowing the language, but the scientist kept his wits – he got to the village, found a mat and went to sleep, thus killing two birds with one stone: he rested and dispelled the Papuans’ fear. They immediately nicknamed him Kaaram tamo, which means “the man from the moon." As it turned they meant the fair skin color of their guest. Miklouho-Maclay studied the life and customs of the Papuans, proved that they are the same people who only live more south, introduced Russian words into their vocabulary, for example, the word topor (“axe”) – every metal ax has been called like that there since that time. Now on the Maclay Coast in New Guinea, it is common to meet a Papuan named Maclay – it seems they remember him well till this day.
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Information provided by the Scientific Russia News Agency. Media outlet’s registration certificate: IA No. FS77-62580 issued by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media on July 31, 2015.
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