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Asmat Tribe info
|Tribes' people who live along the Southwest of Irian Jaya (Casuari-Coast, Cannibal-Coast), still untouched by modern civilization. The swampy Asmat area, as big as Belgium, consists only of dense jungle and thousands of rivers.
The staple diet of the tribes is sago, mussels, snails and insects. Everyday they have to collect their food along the rivers in vast mangrove, wild sago and bamboo forests. A hard and dangerous job in a crocodile country, where some creatures can grow up to 10 meters. Asmat is one of the most inaccessible regions of Irian Jaya and many tribes have never seen any outsiders until today. The tall and strong Asmat are world-renowned fantastic wood-carvers. Some spectacular pieces of Asmat art are in the Museum of Primitive Art in New York City. The Coastal Asmat are perfect canoe builders. Everybody, even children, are going around on these long and narrow tree-canoes, which can be up to 15 meters long. Some have magnificent boat decorations. The coastal people live together in big villages, where wooden long houses, the Yeus, are still the center of power and spirit. The lives of the Asmat are made from long genuine bones from the giant Cassowary bird and sometimes even from crocodile bones. Their necklaces and other body decorations are made from white kauri-shells, pig and dogteeth, grass and free seeds and Cassowary feathers. To join one of the many different Asmat cult-festivals is an unforgettable highlight, even for very experienced traveler. Far away from the coastline, many of the Asmat tribes build their houses on treetops, up to 15 meters from the ground. These are the Citak, Kuruwai, Kumbai, Korfon and Uwakain as well as the people from Brazza and Kolff-River. Living deep in the vast lowland jungles on the foot of the central mountain range, their lifestyle remains still nomadic. To visit these lost stone-age hunters is one of the last adventures on this planet.
Asmat is the most famous cannibalistic tribe on Papua. They would put human skulls under their heads instead of a pillow. They would eat brains of their animals mixed with sago worms straight from their halved skulls. They live on small islands in mangrove vegetation nearby the sea, on the south side of the western part of the New Guinea Island. The Asmat build long houses, where they live together. Every family has its own reserved fireplace. In the long house about six or even ten of the group members live.
Besides the fact that the Asmat were head-hunters, they also “hunted for names”. Every person was named after someone deceased, or after a killed enemy. A child was sometimes given a name only ten years after it was born, and after its village set out to kill a man from an enemy village nearby. They had to learn the name of the man they killed, and then bring his skull to their village. Only in this way could a person get a name.
Asmat did not only hunt for skulls, they also worshipped them. The skulls of the deceased were stripped of the brain and the eyes and nasal parts were closed up in order to prevent evil spirits to enter or exit the body. Skulls that were modified and decorated in this way, were displayed by the Asmat in a honorable place in their long homes. Fortunately, the evil reputation of Asmat has become history. The missionaries have done a lot of work in changing this. Thanks to it, we can now go to the Asmats for a “visit”.
The members of the Asmat tribe believe that they arose out of wood. Therefore, wood is sacred for them. Even in ancient times they carved wonderful things from wood. Asmat are considered to be the best woodcarvers of the stone-age.
|DAY 01: TIMIKA ARRIVAL Upon your arrival at Timika Airport, our guide meets you then check into a hotel for your accommodation (L,D).
DAY 02: TIMIKA - AGATS Drive to the harbour and take a full day motorized canoe journey along the south coast line to Agats in Asmat area. Stop en route at villages for lunch and refreshment. Overnight at local guesthouse in Agats (B,L,D).
DAY 03: AGATS – ASMAT VILLAGES After breakfast, boarding on motorized canoe then upriver via the Flamingo Bay to Asmat region. En route, you can observe the traditional daily life of the Asmat Tribes along the riverside with lunch box provided en route. Dinner and overnight at a local villager’s house with basic facilities. In the evening, the Asmat people will welcome you with their traditional drums performance (B,L,D).
DAY 04 - 05: FULL DAY ASMAT TRIBE EXPLORATION We continue our river trip by canoes along with the Asmat people to join and spend whole day with local people at different Asmat villages to see & observe their simple way of life and culture and enjoying their ceremonies. Overnight at simple local house (B,L,D).
DAY 06: ASMAT VILLAGE – AGATS We sail back to Agats. In the afternoon walking around Agats to see the local people life and also visit Art Museum of the asmat Tribes. Overnight at Asmat Inn (B,L,D).
DAY 07: AGATS – TIMIKA Full day sail back on motorized canoe to Timika along the coast line with stops en route at villages for lunch and refreshment. Overnight hotel in Timika (B,L,D). DAY 08: TIMIKA DEPARTURE Morning we transfer you to Timika Airport for your flight to Jakarta or next destination
KOROWAI - TREE HOUSE PEOPLE and ASMAT TOUR
|18 Days itinerary
Day 1 We will fly from Bali to Jayapura.
Get our surat jalan and spend the night at a hotel in Sentani (close to the airport).
Day 2 We will fly on Merpati airlines to Merauke.
This city is in the southeast corner of Papua. Along the Papua New Guinea border. We'll over night in a hotel.
Day 3 We will fly on Merpati airlines to Senggo.
Senggo is a settlement on a large river.
We will get our necessary supplies there and overnight in Senggo.
Day 4 We will travel by boat with a motor up river.
We will have to travel upstream for one full day. This is the same river that if you continue north will take you to Yanirumah.
But, we will not travel up that far.
Instead we will stop at a small village on the river and spend the night there.
Day 5 We will get our porters and set out for the jungle.
There are several villages in the interior that have not been contacted by the outside.
No tourists have ever visited these Korowai people. And their body decoration is slightly different from the Korowai people to the north. We will camp at one of their villages.
We will spend these 7 days trekking is some of the most pristine lowland rain-forest in the world. Along the way we will stay with the various Korowai that inhabit the region. We will try and make camp each day by a tree house and sometimes we will spend 2 nights at one tree house. The Korowai usually live in isolated tree houses. Sometimes 2-3 families will live in one tree house. These tree houses are usually 2-6 hours of walking apart. And the tree houses range in height from 8-12 meters high.
And some even higher.
The area within the Korowai that we will visit are still living a stone age existence. They still use only stone and bone tools. And they still do practice cannibalism in the Korowai area. Don't worry they won't kill and eat us. It is ritual cannibalism among themselves and we are outsiders, so there is nothing to worry about.
We will make camp by their tree houses and also be able to witness them in their everyday lives. They will look for sago trees to fell and get the pith out of to eat. We will experience this with them. They will gather sago grubs (which they are crazy about) and eat them. And we can watch as they build fish traps and try and catch small fish from the streams. And the amazing thing about all of this is that they use nothing from the outside world. Everything is made of plants, vines and tree bark.
Really, these are some of the only real "stone age" people left in the world.
And I have to tell you that every time I go into the Kombai and Korowai area,
I am deeply touched.
I have high quality rain proof North Face and Kelty tents to sleep in and Therma-Rest ground pads that are very comfortable to sleep on.
Porters will carry all of your equipment.
All you will need to carry (if you want) is your day pack with camera and water bottle.
Day 13 We will trek back to the village by the river.
We will overnight there and in the morning we will head down river to Senggo.
Day 14 We will travel by motorized canoe down to Senggo.
We will overnight in Senggo.
Day 15 We will travel down river in a motorized canoe to a village
and spend the night at an Asmat village. We will visit with the men in the Jeu (mens house). And we'll spend the evening enjoying the men singing, drumming and dancing inside the Jeu.
Day 16 We will continue traveling down river in a motorized canoe
and spend the night in Agats. This is the biggest town in the Asmat area. We will overnight in a guest house in Agats.
Day 17 We will travel by motorized canoe to the airport in Ewer
It is about 1 hour from Agats. From Ewer we will catch a Merpati plane to Timika.
We will spend the night at a hotel in Timika.
Day 18 We will catch a flight back to Bali on Garuda airlines.
And we will arrive in Bali at 2:10pm. This will conclude the tour.
THE PRICE FOR THIS 18 DAYS TOUR
2 persons: $US 6700 per person .
3 persons: $US 4950 per person .
4 persons: $US 4200 per person .
5 persons: $US 3750 per person .
6 persons: $US 3500 per person .
Asmat Korowai Adventures 12D/11N
Tour Itenary :