Asmat is the name of the largest and most famous tribe among the many tribes in Papua, Irian Jaya, East Indonesia. Irian Jaya or Papua is the largest province of Indonesia, located in the central part of of Papua Island or the eastern part of West New Guinea (Irian Jaya). Eastern parts is the Country of Papua New Guinea or East New Guinea.
One of the things that made the Asmat tribe well known is traditional wood carving that is very typical.
Some ornaments / motifs that are often used and the main theme in the process of carving statues that made by the Asmat tribe is taken from the theme of their tribal ancestors.
Carving for Asmat tribe could be a link between the present life with the life of their ancestors. In each carving contained the image and appreciation for their ancestors that is loaded with Asmat tribe greatness.
Sculptures and carving are generally made without sketches. For Asmat tribe, when the statues was carved was a time when they communicate with the ancestors in the other world.
Often also found ornaments / other motif that is similar to the boat, which is they believe as a symbol of the boat that brings the ancestor soul in the another world. For the native Amat tribe, wood carving is a manifestation of the way they perform the ritual to remember the souls of the ancestors.
Asmat Tribe Papua
Asmat tribe spreads out and inhabit the area, around the shores of the sea and mountains Arafuru Jayawijaya. With a fairly heavy conditions, considering the area is occupied, wilderness, in the life of Asmat tribe, the stone that we usually see on the streets was very valuable to them. In fact, the stones can be used as a dowry.
All of that is because Asmat tribe residence shape the swamps, so it is difficult to find a stone which is very useful for them to make axes, hammers, and so on.
Asmat population in general have a typical physical characteristics, black and curly-haired. Their body are quite high. The average height of the Asmat women are around 162 cm and height of men can reach till 172 cm.
Asmat tribe has a very simple way to makeup themselves. They only need the red soil to produce a red color. White color is made from the clamshells that have been mashed, whereas the black color they produce from the wood charcoal that is mashed. Is quite simple to use it, only by mixing it with a little water and then the dye was able to use for coloring the body.
The lifestyle of indigenous Asmat people is that they feel they are a part of nature, that is why they are very respectful and keep the surrounding of nature. Even the trees around where they live are considered to be a picture of themself. The trunk describes arms, fruit describes the head and the roots describe their feet.
Asmat people daily work surrounding environment. To find food is by hunting and gardening, which still uses traditional methods and simple. The main food of Asmat people is sagu/ Sago and special dishes for them is sagu worm (the larvae of the sago palm weevil), but everyday they just grilling fish or meat of animals from the hunt.
Asmat people preparing sagu/ sago
Asmat Papua fishing
More detail about Asmat tribe can be found at :
Papua, Irian Island, East Indonesia, location of Asmat Tribe