Canoe Prow Ornament Asmat People West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia
This is old part of a Canoe Prow Ornament from the Asmat People, Asatat Village in the remote NW West Asmat Area on the South Coast of West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia. This beautiful old carving of three heads stacked one on top of each other are likely a reference to headhunting. In pre contact times headhunting was prolific as it was part of the Asmat peoples spiritual well being.
I collected this canoe ornament in 1985 I told that it was made by their grandfather and kept as a memory.
I spent a lot of time in the Asmat region in the early 1980’s and old sculptures of this quality were rare.
Many of the artworks that I field collected in the Asmat & Mimika are now in important Museum collections around the world like the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris France. When you walk into the Oceanic Art pavilion the first thing you see are the monuments Ancestor Poles from the Asmat & Mimika Cultures along with Shields & Dance Costumes, all of these I field collected. These artworks were in superb exhibition in 1996 The Asmat et Mimika at the National Museum of African and Oceanic Art in Paris ( now part of the Musee du Quai Branly ) and published in the prestigious Louvre Museum Magazine the same year 1996 .
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