The Asmat Papua people have a mythological belief that they are the incarnations of gods. The Asmat have a highly respected culture that makes this tribe famous to foreign countries. The uniqueness of the Asmat tribe brings many researchers from all over the world to visit. They are mostly interested in learning about the Asmat tribe’s way of life, their belief system, and their unique customs.
Asmat Papua Tribe Mythology
A god named Fumeripitsy descended to earth. He explores the earth and begins his adventure from the western horizon of the sunset. The god had to deal with a giant crocodile and defeat it. Despite winning, the god was seriously injured and stranded on a riverbank. God tried to survive until he finally met a Flamingo bird who had a noble heart and nursed the God until recovered from his wound.
The movement of the god was so powerful that it brought the two statues he carved to life. Not long after, the two statues also danced and moved to follow God and were the first human pair who became the ancestors of the Asmat tribe.
Asmat Tribe Population
The Asmat tribe is further divided into two, namely the tribe living on the coast and the Asmat tribe living in the interior. There are differences in the pattern of life, way of thinking, social structure, and daily life of these two Asmat categories. The Asmat people who live in remote areas usually have jobs as hunters and garden farmers. While those who live on the coast prefer to be fishermen as a livelihood.
The difference between the two populations is also caused by the condition of the area where they live and the large influence of the immigrant community, which is generally more open than the Asmat culture itself.
Tradition & Arts
The Asmat tribe is well-known for its arts and traditions. They are well-known as dependable engravers with a global reputation. The resulting carvings tell about something, such as the story of their ancestors, their daily lives, and their love for nature.
One of the traditions that are very interesting to observe is the Bujang house or commonly known as Jew. Jew is the main house where all Asmat activities start in every village. Even in establishing Jew, there is a special ceremony that must be carried out. Jew, only inhabited by unmarried men. Occasionally women may enter but must be in a large gathering situation.
The Asmat Papua has a rich tradition of singing and dancing. They have great respect for their ancestors. Even though modern culture has had a lot of influence on their lives, Asmat traditions and customs will be difficult to get rid of.