The tidal swamplands of the south coast are home of the Asmat tribes. They are well known for their spectacular wood carvings and for their previous reputation as headhunters and cannibals.
The Asmat woodcarvings are considered to be among the World’s finest. Asmat carving is closely connected with the spirit world and are always produced in a ritual context and serve as powerful materializations of ancestral spirits.
Every Asmat male is a carver in his own right, but the prestigious title of “wow ipit” is bestowed on only the greatest among them. These master carvers are commissioned by the villagers to undertake special carving such as ancestral poles.
To reach the Asmat villages, one must first fly to a small town south of Timika called Ewers. Then we travel by motorized canoe to another small town called Agats. Here we can see a wonderful museum full of Asmat carvings, canoes and many other artifacts. To reach the Asmat villages which are located further inland along the river banks, we must again travel by motorized canoe. It is possible to stay overnight in some of the villages and we can see how the Asmat tribes live on the rivers, catching fish, harvesting fruits and vegetables in the forest and to learn about their culture. This can all be arranged through our company, Papua Jaya Trekking Tours and Travel