Most of what is known comes from Wallace’s writings. Ali accompanied Wallace on expeditions throughout the Malay Archipelago from December 1855 to February 1862. Initially employed as a servant and cook, he became Wallace’s most trusted assistant. Ali’s skill and dedication to collecting bird specimens enabled several important scientific contributions, including the discovery of the Wallace’s Standardwing (Semioptera wallacii). This photograph is the only known image of Ali.
Who was Ali?
Giants in History: Little is known about Ali, a teenager from Sarawak, Malaysia, who was chief assistant to the famous naturalist Alfred Wallace.