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Canoe Prow West Asmat, West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia

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Collection No. TB-496
Size 47 x 17cm
Canoe Prow West Asmat, West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia
Canoe Prow West Asmat, West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia

This is a very 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 highly animated bird probably represnts a black Cockatoo which is a potent headhunting symbol for the Asmat People.  It is only part of the original canoe prow and when I collected it in 1985 I told that it was made by their grandfather and kept as a memory. Dating from the early 20th Century.

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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