Medical Geography Instructions for the Malay Archipelago, by Arthur Bordier


This classic 1879 paper presented to the Anthropology Society of Paris by Doctor Arthur Bordier constitutes the greatest 19th Century overview of the Malay Archipelago’s (i.e., Indonesia’s) races and the various diseases and maladies that afflict them. Bordier, who was Professor of Medical Geography at the School of Anthropology in Paris, besides discussing these maladies (dysentery, cholera, hepatitis, etc.) and the cures or treatments employed by the archipelago’s indigenes for them, covers many other fascinating topics, such as: the rough childbirth practice of the Malays as well as their custom of chewing betel leaves. Several interesting insights are offered by various Anthropology Society members in a Discussion period following Bordier’s presentation, with Professor Eugene Dally, fo…