To Walk Under Palm Trees

The Germans in Samoa: Snapshots from Albums


The Germans in Samoa 37

When not involved in his cultural studies and political activity, Werner von Bulow had a large plantation to maintain. He patrolled it with a military air, sometimes falling foul of local Samoans by shooting their marauding pigs when they strayed on to his property, according to Von Bulow researcher I’u Tuagalu. In 1906 the Cyclopedia reported that Von Bulow’s property was planted mainly in rubber.

It also spoke of large aviaries that had been built and Von Bulow’s intention to start a carrier pigeon service between Savai’i and Apia. The photo above shows one of Werner’s aviaries, possibly the largest one that was capable of holding hundreds of birds, according to the Cyclopedia. This photo bore the label “Brieftaubenstation” on the back  – “pigeon coop,” in German. There is no evidence that a pigeon post to Apia was ever started.

Credit: Peter and Leonie Brunt Collection.

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