Collecting localities



Biographical data


Wirz, Dr Paul


(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 1: Cyclopaedia of collectors)

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 5: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement I)


Born: 1892, Moscow, Russia. Died: Jan. 30, 1955, in the mountains of the Maprik region, near the Sepik mouth, Mand. Terr. New Guinea.



Was educated in the technical sciences, but was irresistibly drawn to ethnology and anthropology. From 1915 onwards he travelled extensively in the Old World, including many times in New Guinea. Ethnographer, educated at the Technical College, Zürich, and the universities of Zürich and Basel. He took his Dr’s degree in 1920 at Basel, and lectured in that university from 1928, but only for a very short time. He lived for several years in New Guinea, exploring in both the British and Dutch part of the island. In 1921 and 1926 he was near Lake Sentani, in 1921/22 as a member of the Kremer Expedition (continuation of van Overeem Exp. of which Lam was the botanist) to the summit of Mt Wilhelmina; in 1930 he was in Papua.

Author of some books and numerous papers on New Guinea.1


Collecting localities:

Voyage 1929-31.2 Bali; from Java to Papua, SE. New Guinea: Port Moresby; Delta Division, Kikori; visiting several rivers, incl. the Turama, and those situated east of it; eastern part of the Western Division, visiting the Bamu, and Aramia rivers; from Daru to Merauke by boat (end 1930); ascending Merauke River, and by land to the Fly River; returning to Java by way of Flores.



Herb. Bog. [BO]: material of wild rice plants, collected between the Fly and Aramia River (Aug. 1930), S. New Guinea.



(1) P. Wirz: ‘Anthropologische and Ethnologische Ergebnisse der Zentral-Neu-Guinea-Expedition 1921-1922’ (Nova Guinea 16, pt 1, 1924)’; ‘Im Herzen von Neu-Guinea. Tagebuch einer Reise ins Innere von Holländisch Neu-Guinea’ (Zürich 1925); ‘Die Frederik-Hendrik-Insel, ein kleines Venedig in Neu-Guinea’ (Umschau 29, 1925, p. 8-11); ‘Dämonen and Wilde in Neuguinea’ (1928); ‘Bei liebenswürdigen Wilden in Neuguinea’ (Stuttgart 1929); ‘Im Lande des Schneckengeldes. Erinnerungen and Erlebnisse einer Forschungsreise ins Innere von Holländisch-Neuguinea’ (Stuttgart 1931); ‘Bericht über eine Forschungsreise nach Indonesien and Britisch-Neu Guinea 1929-1931’ (Ethnol. Anzeiger 32, 1932, p. 54-57); ‘Am See von Sentani’ (Ned. Ind. Oud en Nieuw 1933, p. 15, 71, 153, 223); ‘Beiträge zur Ethnographic des Papua-Golfes, Brit. -Neuguinea’ (Leipzig 1934); and numerous other papers (cf. the Japanese New Guinea Bibliography 1942).

(2) cf. Ethnol. Anzeiger 32, 1932, p. 54-57.


biographical data:

Schweiz. Zeitgenossen-Lexikon 1932; Verh. Naturf. Ges. Basel 66, 1955, p. 185-194, with portr. and bibliogr.