Chapter 3 goes back in time to Jan van Eechoud’s first expedition in the Meervlakte region and the way he describes it in his memoir as an experience that enabled him to become an effective component of what I will call “the trekking machine”: the assemblage of men and materiel that made it possible for colonial officials to imagine they were capable of taking control of New Guinea. The chapter focuses on the feelings technologies inspire, and the feelings that fuel them, to show how van Eechoud trained his body for his new role in the course of setting out to train the Stone Age Papuans for their incorporation into the colonial state. In a fashion parallel to that illuminated in chapter 2, the passions associated with technology turn out to be ineradicable elements of this colonial situation. At the same time, the affects born of this situation serve as technologies in their own right. The bulk of the chapter offers an analysis of van Eechoud’s memoir, With Compass and Machete through New Guinea. The chapter ends with a brief discussion of anthropologists’ own dependence on technologies of various sorts.
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