The Asmat tribe hails from Papua Province, and they are the original inhabitants of Indonesia’s easternmost region. In comparison to other tribes in the archipelago, the Asmat Papua has its own distinct identity. The Asmat tribe is a tribe originating from Papua and is known for its unique wood carvings. The Asmat tribe’s population is split into two groups: those who live on the coast and those who live inland.
Asmat Papua lifestyle
The two Asmat ethnic groups have very different lifestyles, ways of thinking, social structures, and daily lives. For example, hunters and garden farmers are common jobs for the Asmat tribe in the interior, while fishermen are preferred by those who live on the coast. Physical characteristics are similar, with the Asmat tribe having an average height of 172 cm for men and 162 cm for women. Their skin is usually black, and their hair is curly. This resemblance is due to the fact that the Asmat tribe is still a Polynesian descendant.
Art of carving
The Asmat Papua is well-known for its arts and customs. They are well-known as dependable engravers with a global reputation. Asmat carvings come in a wide range of styles and forms. Typically, the carvings they create communicate a tale about something, such as their ancestors’ stories, their daily lives, or their love of nature. Aside from carving, the Asmat people love the dances and songs they conduct while welcome guests, approaching harvest season, or paying honor to their ancestors’ spirits.
The Asmat people really respect their ancestors, it can be seen from the traditions they have. Although modern culture has influenced their lives a lot, for matters of tradition and customs it is still quite thick and difficult to remove.
Traditional House – Bajang
There is also a structure known as Rumah Bujang, or generally known as Jew, in the Asmat people’s tradition. This dwelling is a vital and integral element of the Asmat tribe’s life. The main residence of the Asmat is where all of the Asmat’s activities take place. It is critical that if you want to establish a Jew, you must first hold a particular ceremony. Only single guys are permitted to live in a Jew’s home. Women are only permitted into the Jew on rare occasions unless there is a major event.
He explained that Jew means “spirit” in Asmat. As a result, Jew can also be thought as a soul or spirit that animates and propels life forward. As a result, each community group is not dispersed.
The stove and water are not separated in the bachelor’s dwelling by a partition or room. For each group, the fireplace and stove became a symbol of the place. Carvings of the warheads of each group that has died can be found on the pillars of a Jew’s dwelling. The carved heads of battle dead are placed to serve as a guide for the Asmat community from generation to generation. As a result, the Asmat inhabitants’ traditional heritage continues to flow in and out of their lives.
In fact, the carving of the warhead represents the Asmat tradition’s maintained legacy. Every Jew created by the Asmat society is always oriented toward the morning sun or parallel to the river’s flow. Meanwhile, the houses of the locals are situated on the side or behind the Jew. For the Asmat tribe, the position of the Jew is also a marker and emblem of the circle of life, a manner of connecting, and a way of life unity.