The Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv

The Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv exists since 1900 and has a collection of approximately 30.000 wax cylinders with 350 collections of ethnomusicological recordings of around the globe. It was first part of the Institute of psychology of the Friederich Wilhelm University, then of the Berlin Conservatory and it became part of the Ethnological Museum of Berlin in the 1930’s. From 1944 90 % of the collection was taken by the Soviet Union and in 1991 returned to the Ethnological Museum. The wax rolls in as far as they have been digitised can be listened to in the Ethnological Museum of Berlin. They contain from West Papua:

Max Moszkowski (Breslau 1873 – Rio de Janeiro 1939)

The first audio recordings in West Papua were made by the German physician Max Moszkowski in 1910. Not that he seems to have been aware of being the first or considered the wax cylinders to be of great value. He hardly mentions them in his publications while he did not hesitate to proudly write and lecture on the plants, animals, mountains, rivers and people he had discovered. The wax cylinders were just a small part of the many things he brought back from his journeys and just as the rocks, plants and animals a collection for scientific processing by an expert. Together with the ethnographic objects he had obtained Moszkowski donated his wax cylinders to the Berlin Ethnographic Museum, later to be incorporated in the collections of the Berlin Phonogramm Archive. They have never been transcribed and studied by a musicologist or linguist as was the aim. They are not mentioned by Jaap Kunst in his survey of West Papua music (Music in New Guinea. Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff, 1967) nor by anyone else apart from being listed in the inventory of the Phonogramm Archive.
Max Moszkowski was in many ways characteristic for the people who around the turn of the 20th century travelled around the globe for adventure disguised as scientific journeys of discovery and had added the phonograph to their documenting equipment. They were invariably members of the affluent elite often independent academics with a degree in the life sciences or medicine as Moszkowski. Their journeys were real treasure hunts on which they collected and measured everything they could lay their hands on and they came back with boxes full objects for interested archives and musea. They gathered animals – dead and alive-, plants, soil samples, ethnographic objects and antiquities. They accumulated data on the geography of the area they visited and on the people they encountered. Data on their languages, technology, perceived habits and behaviours but also on, often in the first place, how these people looked like and could be classified according to physical measurements of their height, hair form, shape of the head and blood type. They also put a lot of effort in obtaining human skulls, skeletons and body parts to bring back home. They always travelled in numbers with a retinue of servants, workers and porters. They were armed and travelled with an armed escort in the more remote regions. Nature and all the creatures living in it were perceived as dangerous and inhospitable, and were described as Joseph Conrad did with the tropical forest in Congo in negative terms, as a rotting, corrupting and unreliable environment not fit for a civilized person to live in. Many hours were spent in fear and nerve-racking expectations of a sudden attack by wild animals and wild people. For their route and the actual collecting they depended heavily on in-betweens, on translators, guides, informants, local authorities and traders.  They were also as Moszkowski convinced of their own superiority, of being physically and mentally the benchmark of humanity. They were strong believers in the theory of evolution and its applicability to humans and all human activities. They believed in race and in stages of human physical and mental evolutionary development linked to a sequence of cultural stages along supposed historical lines of chaotic and primitive to complex and civilised. Every object, observation and experience was interpreted in this framework and many pages in their works are filled with speculations on which level a certain people, cultural expression or form of organization should be classified. They were also convinced that the human and cultural diversity of their time would soon disappear and that it was their task to document these relics of the past as much as possible before evolution in the form of western civilization would annihilate them. As far as they were concerned this was an inevitable and natural process, which allowed them to ignore and even justify the brutal violence with which the indigenous people they studied were confronted in the name of civilization and progress. Or as Moszkowski wrote “just as the large animals of the forest, the elephants, buffalo’s and rhinos perish with the advent of culture and despite all efforts cannot be saved also the hour has sounded for the destruction of their human companions from the grey primeval world “(Die Urstamme Ostsumatras.  Korrespondenz-blatt der deutschen Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte Bd. 39. 1908. Heft 9/12, 122-124). Ominous words as Moszkowski, who was of a Jewish descent, 30 years later had to flee Germany to escape from the destruction of the Holocaust. A destruction brought about by a regime that ideologically was based on a theory of races  and the worship of the ‘Aryan’ fittest he had contributed to.
He got his first experience with recording wax rolls as a member of Lenore Margarethe Selenka-Heinemann’s Trinil expedition which aimed at proofing the historical reality of the Java man fossils found by Eugene Dubois in Trinil on the island of Java in Indonesia in 1891 and 1892 and that they were indeed the eagerly sought missing link between apes and humans. They left in 1907 and made a stopover in Sri Lanka where they recorded 12 wax cylinders with, 4 with spoken word and 8 songs of the Vedda people. The recording session was preplanned and organised with the help of the local government and the Royal Asiatic Society as a scientific endeavour. They were met by six Vedda men from Danigala at the government bungalow in Bibile. According to Moszkowski these men were not very happy about their three days stay in Bibile and danced with obvious reluctance.  (Bei den letzten Weddas. Globus, Vol. 94. Nr. 9, sept. 1908, p. 133-136). Over time these wax cylinders became famous as examples of a society without musical instruments, of how mankind’s musical development should have started.  Max Wertheimer, one of the founders of the gestalt psychology and also a classical Western musician and composer, was at the time assistant of Erich von Hornbostel at the Berlin Phonogram Archiv and he studied the Vedda recordings by transcribing and analyzing them. He published the results in an article called “Musik der Wedda”, Music of the Wedda in 1910 ( Sammelbànde der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft., Vol. 11, 1909-1910, p. 300-309). It is an article that was influential and often cited as an example of ethnomusicological analysis and as an article which foreshadows Wertheimer’s later gestalt theory. He starts his article with proclaiming that the recorded Vedda songs are without doubt examples of the most primitive musical expression known based on the singers somatic and cultural background, their lack of musical instruments and the small pitch range of their songs. Characteristics which were believed to be indications of being close to the origin of music and which were also ascribed to other cultures and ethnic groups as the people of Tierra del Fuego in South America. Contradictory facts as that the Vedda did play musical instruments, were discarded as later influences of other less primitive cultures. That pitches, pitch range, or musical instruments were indicators of musical development was just assumed as it fitted well with the belief of how music must have originated and over time developed into operas and symphonies. Later during the time, the expedition was in Java Moszkowky and some other team members got into a quarrel with Lenore Selenka. Max Moskowsky went on an expedition to Sumatra to the Sultanate of Siak, still nominally independent, to look for the Akit and Sakai of which a review wrote They have remained nearer the original condition of primitive man than almost any other savages of whom we know. (Auf Neuen Wegen Durch Sumatra by Max Moszkowski, Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, vol 42, n.9, 1910, p.698)  He did record two wax rolls over there who are also in the Phonogramm-archiv. The same thing he wanted to find in unexplored New Guinea. He described his adventure in the book Ins unerforschte Neuguinea, Berlin, Ullstein, 1928

The New Guinea recordings

There are 20 wax rolls recorded around the Mamberamo River.
The first seven are solo songs of a man called Amos, described as a head men of the village Mokmer in Biak, who came on an expedition to the head of the Mamberamo River to find out what these expeditions of the Europeans were seeking there at the time. Just before Moszkowsky a large Dutch military expedition under the officer Alphons Franssen Herderschee had tried to reach the Central Mountain area by following the Mamberamo river to its source. The expedition had failed partly because of its many dead through Beri Beri and malaria. Moszkowsky who was convinced that Beri Beri was a lack of proper food disease and not an infectious disease are a disease part of the land and climate. He travelled with 7 to 10 people and everyone survived.  Number 8 is a solo songs of a man called Sawaipa from the village Pauwi, Number 9 of a man called Gruppi also from Pauwi, number 10 of a man called Suanduny from Pauwi, number 11 from a man called Babinoarongamba, number 12 from a man called Naumara from the village Taua from the ethnic culture Koassa Kamboi Ramboi, nr 13 from a man with a short bamboo trumpet, also a Koassa, nr 14  from a man with a closed bamboo flute, also Koassa, nr 15 from a man called Enaue recorded in Taua but from the village Samberi, nr 16 a song from the village of Paraido. Paraido is a village from people from the Padeido islands who moved to the Waropen coast. nr 17 Man and choir from Taua, song about the flood, nr.18, idem, nr 19 is a song with a short bamboo trumpet Bussia, nr. 20 is a tune played with large bamboo flutes which are closed on one side called Assara. The tune with is played during the admission of young men in the men’s house and is called morisitai.
Due to a boat accident on 24 september 1910 he lost his instruments and also the phonograph, by another boat accident on 5 January 1911 he lost six boxes with ethnographica, 1500 plants, 2000 insects and beetles, 200 pictures but also birds and other animals. So, he brought only wax cylinders back from the beginning of his journey and also a diminished number of objects, plants and animals. But he did manage to bring a young live kasuaris with him and gave it to the Berlin Zoo. Where the animal even became model for a statue of August Gaul.


Odo Deodatus Tauern (1885-1926)

He was an ethnologist, physicist and inventor of film equipment and the first one to use slow-motion. He joined in 1910 an expedition to Indonesia, documented the Sakai language and made wax cylinder recordings in Bali, Seram and Misool. He also made cinematographic recordings on Seram, if he also did that on Misool is not clear. Misool is part of the radja ampat islands and thus part of West Papua.

He stayed In Misool in the summer of 1911 for three months and he made there 25 wax cylinder recordings. Number 25 is a song of the Papua from the village of Ko, and belongs to the genre Kapata. Number 26 is from the coast of Misool. Number 27 is a song of a Papua man. Number 28 a song Lan Awal from a man of Lilinta on the coast of Misool. Number 29 A Papua song with a lead singer and a choir. Number 30 is a Papua song from Lilinta. Number 31 is Sudara, a womens song from Lilinta that originally comes from Tidore in Halmahera with a trill in the singing. Number 32 is a Papua song from Lilinta. Number 33 is of Papua origin and is the abuse by the payment of dowry. Number 34 is “Im Rosa” the song by the first journey of a royal son, Lilinta. Number 35 is a womens song from Lilinta with a melisma. Number 36 is a song called Lan Pali Wage from Lilinta. Number 37 is a part of a speech by the Radja of Misool in the language of the coast, recorded in Lilinta. Number 38 a part of a speech by the Radja of Misool in the language of the coast, recorded in Lilinta. Number 39 Is a song of a man of Lilinta and belongs to the genre Kapata with a melisma. Number 40 Is a song of a man of Lilinta and belongs to the genre Kapata with a melisma. Number 41 is a lament from Lilinta. Number 42 is a coastal song of a man. 43 is a song by a man probably from Tidore. Number 44 is of Papua origin and is the abuse by the payment of dowry. Number 45 is a song from the coast of Misool. Number 46 is a song from the coast of Misool. Number 47 is a Papua song from Misool. Number 48 is a Malay song by a man from Misool with a melisma. Number 49 is Lan Wag Po a song on a boat by people living in Misool but originally coming from Waigeo.


Charles le Roux (Assen 1885-1947)
Partly the same wax cylinders as in the Tropenmuseum collection. From 1926 15 wax cylinders among the Kauwerawet (Mamberamo River, van Rees mountains) and 1 with the Ambonese soldiers singing about the Mamberamo expedition. Also, with nr. 13 which is missing in the Tropenmuseum collection.  But the wax cylinders of Leroux 1939 with recordings of the Ekari, Mon, Simori, Ndani and the Uta don’t seem to be in the Phonogramm archiv.


Paul Wirz (Moscow 1892-Ulopo 1955)

Paul Wirz was a Swiss ethnologist and collector of ethnographica. In 1915 he left Europe and went to the Dutch Indies as one of the few areas in Asia which was not involved in the first World War. He went to stay in the recently by the Dutch occupied area in Southern New Guinea at Merauke. Where he stayed with the catholic mission and lived for a long period with the Marind Anim. Unlike most explorers of the period, he had great respect for and admiration of their culture and wrote a book in four volumes on them “Die Marind-anim von Holländisch-Süd-Neu-Guinea”, Hamburg, Friederichsen & Co, 1922-1925.

In 1921 he joined the Central New Guinea expedition to the Swart Valley. On which he wrote Anthropologische und ethnologische Ergebnisse der Central Neu-Guinea Expedition 19211922 (Nova Guinea 16). Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1924.  In 1921 and 1926, 1927 he visited the Sentani area and the Humboldt Bay and witnessed the destruction of their traditional culture.  He made at the same period movie recordings and recordings on wax cylinders.
Dated as 1927 are Wirz Neuguinea 1. Not all wax cylinders of this series are from West Papua. There are also a number from Eastern Indonesia from Ternate, Halmaheira -Sahu, a west Papua language speaking people in northern Halmahera, and from Makassar. They could have been recorded also in West Papua with people from those areas. There are also 2 wax cylinders from Aitape in Papua New Guinea, a good 100 kilometer over the border from Jayapura.
1 A dance song Tandia from Numfor, 2 Kajob from Numfor, 3 Dow-Beba a song of the return of a child after a sea journey, from Numfor, 4 A war song from Numfor, 5 Armis, a rowing song with 4 singers from Numfor, 6 Arik a festive song from Amberbaken (In the northern part of the Bird’s Head area), 7 Baren a war song of the Karon, 8 a song from Sentani, 9 a song of a broom, Ito-ito, 12 a tifa song from Windesi, 13 a song of a man from Windesi. Wax cylinders 21-29 are from Tobati 21 a song Janur, 22 a song Jaugore with 2 singers and drum beating, 23 Orodjoi a sing with drum beating, 24 two dance songs Unanugu and Sendei, 25 the song Djaramena, 26 the song Uaropo with 2 singers, 27 the song Sewabridge with 2 singers and drum beatings, 28 The festive songs Kadis and Phie, 29 the song Uranuk, 30 a song from Engros, 31 the song Jagumur from Engros, 32 The song Uranuk from Nafri (see 29), 33 the song Uarpo from  Nafri, 34-39 are from Nimboran, 34-37 are festive songs, 38 is a song with a major triad, 39 is a festive song with drum beatings, 40 is a Weiser song from Bial, 41 is a song from Biak, 42 the song Karindam from Waigeo, 43 the song Orem, an Incantation chant from Waigeo, 44 and 45 are two songs without any location or culture mentioned.

Neuguinea II, this series is not dated, but the first 16 are from the Marind Anim and their neighbors and 17-36 are from Papua New Guinea, the Gulf province and they were probably recorded in 1930 and 1931. 1) a song called Bandra from the Badi Anim, a group of the Kanum Anim living around the middle of the Kumbe river,  2 ) a song called Bandra from the Badi Anim, 3 Festive songs of the young people Wispier and Waiuku recorded in Angary, 4 a song of the genre Sampi, festive song of the old men, recorded in Domandé (nowadays Dumande), 5 a song of the genre Sambzi, festive song of the old men, recorded in Domandé, 6 War-ti-zi, a festive song recorded in Domandé, 7 a song called Tura-zi recorded in Domandé, 8 a song called Tura-zi recorded in Domandé, 9 Wasipé, a festive song recorded in Domandé, 10 a Jarut, lament of the women recorded in Domandé, 11 a Gaga-eraiko recorded in Domandé, 12 a Ngad-zi of the Gavur-anim recorded in Domandé, gavur is a term for the area between the Kumbe and Onggari, ( 1-Jamboi a aa yamboi a, 2 Riko riko ganajo erejo – erekunda ereja kenajo) 13 a festive song Jaré recorded in Bupul on the upper Maro (Gage eracho – gare soraiki-Waninjeie- saningere-Gage eraiho), 14 Wegi recorded in Bupul, 15 Ngad-zi recorded in Bupul (Wasi neo Wasi Dimo-dimai), 16 Ngad-zi of the Badi Anim recorded in Torai on the upper Maro (Aiba Keba-aie aiba keba – aiba keba- oo kema oo kemaio)


Jaap Kunst (Groningen 1891-Amsterdam 1960)

They have the same wax cylinders as the Tropical Museum. Also the ones missing in the Tropical Museum collection from the series Indonesia number 58  with songs from Warepu and Sesando by Johan, a village head man, 59 from the Sentani lake Orakanoai and Ahabra, a song by a male relative in which the permit is given for a marriage to a groom of he pays the dowry, performed by Poreo, 118 a song from the Kaoh river, of the Upper Digul area, performed by Awumop and 119 a song from the Kaoh river, of the Upper Digul area, performed by Awumop.

Of number 317-321 which are missing in the Tropical Museum collection there exists no documentation in Berlin and they are reckoned as part of the Middelkoop Timor recordings. They were in the Tropical Museum administration counted as belonging to the Kunst Indonesia series, just like number 308-311, and are probably also from the Marind Anim area and were recorded by Jan Verschueren.


Jan Verschueren (Oosterhout 1905-Djakarta 1970)
Jan Verschueren became a missionary in New Guinea in 1931 in Merauke and stayed in the wider area of that town for the rest of his life. He was asked by Jaap Kunst to make wax cylinder recordings in 1933 of the people of his area and was also provided with a recording machine that Kunst left at the Kei islands with catholic missionaries over there who had regularly contact with the mission in Merauke. Apart from the wax cylinders which are part of the Kunst Indonesia series he recorded 24 wax cylinders The Verschueren Neuguinea collection. Of them the number 2, 6, 10, 12, and 24 are missing in the Tropical Museum collection. The phonogramm-archiv has more documentation on these wax cylinders.

1 a song Watamiti of the genre Etor Sakoel performed by Nkaro, a 20-year-old young man recorded in Jangandoer in the area of the Kanum Anim and from the Badé anim on 11-12-1936 (Watimitiah we marepah Kole Kissareh soet napa Kiwareh taramasintäi watimaripah tatamitiah, that is with every Etor performance the set introduction) then another song Jaani Sangrame of the genre Etor by a man Jabai, also 20-year-old, from Jangandoer. (Probably because of not being used to the recorder the cylinder to loose mounted and thus strongly disturbed). 2 Because of a mistake in the wax cylinder the cylinder broke when it was put on. 3 Jaani Sangrane of the Genre Etor performed by Maangie, an 18-year-old man from Jangandoer on 11-12-1936, again failed. 4 Kol Kollelah performed by Maangie an 18-year-old man from Jangandoer on 11-12-1936 (Kol Kolle Kollelah ngeikarao piah ngeikara taiorah. Ngeikariah sangra lele mawah balele maweh), then Koele-Koele performed by Maangie an 18 year old man from Jangandoer on 11-12-1936 (Koele Koele Koele Koele jegitareh (bis) Koele jegitareh (bis) watwatah teiki mari Ka jeki jeki jekitare), 5 Senegi neikar of the genre Etor performed by Japai, 18 year old from Jangandoer on 11-12-1936 (Nekaré Senegi ngei Kare (bis) ah wita wima ngei Kare “telinga rekes setelingaweh”(bis)  then Mataropoeta of the genre Etor performed by Japai om 11-12-1936 (Ah Koleh ah mataropoetah ah lekoke lepoerke ke lenéh maino maino sia Kareh), 6 Sarapoeiráh of the genre Etor performed by Maangie 11-12-1936 (Hai jeino seengrie jeino Keirah, angeisarapoeirah Kaminakareh Hayoen oengapa Kapoe teika jeinopoe taireh.) then Koepia seseh of the genre Etor performed by Japai on 11-12-1936 (Ai koepia seseh ai Koepia seseh. Sa, sa, akarimari meme soeeh. This dance is always the end of all Etor performances and suggests in my opinion an embrace), 7 Manolaki of the genre Etor performed by Tewie, a 20-year-old man from Jangandoer on 11-12-1936 (Hai manoelaki iewasas inoeah hat sita Kolelah. Mba moeio weh Hai mbanopoweh. Hai toereomba moejoweh. Hai sakie-sakie mbainoreh hai toeroemba moejoweh.) then Koepegetalmiaweh of the genre Etor performed by Tewie (Koepekatalmiaweh eh masaheinoreh aih Koepeka sakasinoeeh Koepekatalema weh), 8 Sakarina batarka of the genre Etor performed by Ngaro, Tewie, the 10 year old boys Ntamai and Japar and the 25 year old Ntimar from Jangandoer on 11-12-1936 (Hai sakarina batarka ami ha mi naga Koepagakah hai lakimaria kah hai sapasimoe, to give you an image of how it sounds at a performance in which the smaller boys in ovtavo and the others in terts harmonise will more people sing in this and the following songs), 9 Ajajoh of the genre Etor, performed by the same people as before, Jangandoer 11-12-1936 (Ajajoh loepareisoh ajajoh loepareioh “toela leini Kara lautoe lautoe” (bis)), 10 Ngaroh of the genre Ngatzie performed by the 20 year old Sarom from Eramboe (ngaroh ngaroh uboengaroh ngoeroh) then Wimaiwimai of the genre Ngatzie performed by Sarom (because of the shortness and clarity the words not noted), 11 Gia sobogja of the genre Ngatzie performed by the 25 year old Kandep at Eramboe, then Sa Saerah of the genre Ngatzie performed by the 25 year old Kandep at Eramboe, 12 Bosam of the genre Ngatzie performed by the 30 year old Jaunie from Eramboe, then Jakjake of the genre Ngatzie performed by the 30 year old Jaunie from Eramboe, 13 A flute solo performed by the 45 year old Wenno from Donggiap ( I don’t know if I do you a service with this recording. It is in as far as it is music very soft. In any sense it has never been recorded before. Only some older men can play this flute which is called bürrebaang or tsaaderop. It is only played at night when everything is silent. One plays the whole night and according to one informant it was before the first sign that one wanted again on a headhunting expedition. In a silent tropical night, they sound melancholic and magical. I will try to send you also an example of the instrument), 14 Ondé Kondé of the genre Ngatzie performed by the 45 year old  Wenno from Donggiap, then Weigiaroh of the genre Ngatzie performed by Wenno from Donggiap, 15 Karamde awakwah of the genre Ngatzie performed by the 30 year old Katjekai from Donggiap, the Obadobonhareh of the genre Ngatzie performed by Katjekai from Donggiap, 16 Binasakop of the genre Ngatzie performed by the 40 year old Naim and others from Donggiap ( Also here I tried to give you an impression of a performance by the singing together of more people and the you still have to imagine the drums. More over the Ngatzie in Wirz and others), 17 Weiroroekja of the genre Ngatzie performed by the 35-year-old Kamogem from Wejaw on the Kumbe river, belongs to the Marind Anim on 9-2-1937, then Waroim of the genre Ngatzie performed by the 20-year-old Johannnis, a former school student from Wejaw on 9-2-1937, then Gemmaroro of the genre Ngatzie performed by Kamogem from Wejaw on 9-2-1937. 18 Maréof the genre Ngatzie performed by a 20-year-old woman Senge from Wejaw at 9-2-1937, then Arkowe- sakowe performed by Senge from Wejaw on 9-2-1937, then Aira Saira of the genre Ngatzie performed by the 24-year-old man Anoe from Wejaw on 9-2-1937 (By inattention I started the wax cylinder too far on the edge. This and also the next recordings are too soft). 19-24 have only the indication gadzi recorded in Jangandoer and from the Kanum anim.


Jan Held (Kampen 1906 – Jakarta 1955)

Jan Held was a linguist and anthropologist. After his military service he was accepted by the Dutch Indies Civil Service in 1926 and enrolled as a student “Indologie” at the University of Leiden. He studied Sanskrit with Vogel and Old Javanese with van Berg. He was most influenced by J.P.B. de Josselin de Jong who taught ethnology and stimulated him to study comparative linguistics. He married in 1932.  In 1935 he got his Phd with the thesis “The Mahabharata, an ethnological study”. By that time, he was offered a position by the Dutch Protestant Bible translation and missionary institution as a linguist which at least in the beginning looked to him more promising as being a civil servant in times of budget cuts and wide spread unemployment. In 1936 he was sent out by the “Bijbelgenootschap” to study the language and habits of the inhabitants of the Waropen area. The region had just a few years before been occupied by the Dutch government and had just been opened to missionary activities. He and his wife mainly stayed for periods of 2 month at Nubuai. Apart from studying the language which resulted in his publication of a grammar and dictionary Held concentrated on studying the traditional culture as it was just before the ‘pacification’ with a strong emphasis on mythology. Soon his liberal ideas brought him into conflict with his superiors, especially his unsollicited advice to the government and the mission to be more permissive on Papua dances and festivities. In 1940 he left the “Bijbelgenootschap” and became a civil servant, as a linguist. He soon assisted the ailing Ph. J. Duyvendak as teacher at the University of Batavia. During the second world war he was in one of the Japanese camps. After the war he became the successor of Duyvendak as professor of ethnology at the University of Batavia later of Jakarta, a position he kept after the independence of Indonesia. In his later years he concentrated on the study of the languages and cultures of Sumbawa.

Concerning his wax roll recordings, He writes on page 268 of “The Papuas of Waropen” The Hague, Nijhoff, 1957 “At the request of the Phonogramm Archiv of the Museum of Ethnography in Berlin the different songs (rano, the men’s song, ratara, women’s songs for birth and marriage, and muna, by women and men at funary feasts were recorded on wax cylinders, to be studied there by the musicologist Marius Schneider. There are numerous references to the music of the Waropen, including lyrics in this publication. Also his articles “Bemiddeling tusschen de voorouders en zieken in de Geelvink‑baai”, Cultureel Indie I, 1939, p. 209-211 and “Slangenfiguren in het initiatieritueel in de Geelvinkbaai”, Cultureel Indie II, 1940, p 137-147  are of importance for his recordings. Of equal importance are the pictures published in these publications.
There are 18 wax cylinders of Jan Held in the Phonogramm-archiv. The first 11 are from the Waropen coastal area, 12 and 14-18 are from Numfor, and 13 is from the village of Saifoni in the interior of the Waropen. All are dated 1938-1939.

1 Ghomindana performed by Adori on 27-6-1938, then Nuarano performed by Dusi on 27-6-1938, then Ghomindano performed by Iowiri on 27-6-1938, then Amairano performed by Kowui on 28-6-1938, and then Ghomindano performed by Beki on 7-7-1938, 2 Ramasasirio performed by Gharori on 28-6-1938, then Ramasasirio performed by Gharori on 1-7-1938, 3 Ramasasirio performed by Gharori then Ramasasirio performed by Beki on 1-7-1938, 4 Soitirano performed by Iowiri on 7-7-1938 then Ramasasirio performed by Ghomisipuri on 8-7-1938 then Ramasasirio performed by Ghomisipuri on 8-7-1938 and then Soitirano performed by Kuridei on 8-7-1938, 5 Ramasasirio performed by Kaidoi on 8-7-1938 then Nuarano performed by a choir of men on 15-7-1938, 6 Ramasasirio performed by the leading vocalists Kaidoi and Dusi with a choir of three men on 8-7-1938, 7 Muna performed by an old woman with a choir of young girls, 8 Soitirano performed by a choir of men on 15-7-1938 then Masasirano performed by an indigenous men from Waren on 15-7-1938, 9 Ratara performed by a woman with a choir of women on 20-7-1938, 10 Muna performed by a leading women vocalist with a choir of women on 28-7-1938, 11 Ramasisiro performed by Kadoi on 28-7-1938, 12 Dow besom performed by Sylvia on 10-12-1938 then Dow mamun performed by Sylvia on 10-12-1938, 13 is performed by two people from Saifoni, 14 Dow mamun performed by Sylvia on 9-12-1938 then Dow wonge performed by Sylvia on 9-12-1938, 15 Randan performed by Sylvia on 9-12-1938 then Dow mon performed by Sylvia on 9-12-1938, 16 Kajob performed by Sylvia on 9-12-1938 then Dow wiak performed by Aroemasaia on 20-1-1939, 17 Dow weuser performed by Alfaris Mansaribab on 9-12-1938 then Kajob performed by Markoes 20-1-1939, 18 Jerisam performed by Augustinus on 20-1-1939 then Armis performed by Justinus on 20-1-1939 then Armis performed by Markus on 20-1-1939, and then Jerisam performed by Augustinus on 20-1-1939.