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Wild Man from BorneoA Cultural History of the Orangutan$
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Robert Cribb, Helen Gilbert, and Helen Tiffin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824837143

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824837143.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

From Satyr to Pongo

From Satyr to Pongo

Discovering the Red Ape

(p.10) 1 From Satyr to Pongo
Wild Man from Borneo

Robert Cribb

Helen Gilbert

Helen Tiffin

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines Dutch anatomist Nicolaes Tulp's work, Observationes Medicæ, which provides a detailed description of a great ape. Tulp described the state of the creature's muscles, the texture of its skin, the color of its hair, and the shape of its thumb. He had seen the creature when it was still alive, and he told of the way in which it drank liquid and how it pulled a blanket over itself to go to bed. The description, though stretching over little more than a page, was a model of direct scientific observation of a kind that had nothing in common with the wild stories of fantastical beasts in distant places that was still the stuff of travelers' tales in the early seventeenth century.

Keywords:   Nicolaes Tulp, Observationes Medicæ, great ape, scientific observation, wild stories, fantastical beasts

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