[2015] Gemma Newton (Year 9 2015): The Asmat People

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by Kercintaan
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[2015] Gemma Newton (Year 9 2015): The Asmat People

The Asmat traditionally have worn little or no clothing. Footwear is not often owned. Men would wear what looks like rugby shorts and some women wore light, cotten dresses.

The Asmat People

The Asmat are a Melanesian group of people who live within the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya. They are widely known for the quality of their wood sculptures. They are also infamous for their traditional practices of headhunting and cannibalism.

Asmat society is divided into two fractions called moieties. In a given village, a person is to marry someone who belongs to the opposite moiety. After the marriage, the bride moves in with her husband's family, but the men sleep apart form their wives.Wife beating was an accepted system in the past. Unmarried women and girls are still humiliated by their fathers or brothers if their behavior is contemplated as unsatisfactory.

Fish and the sago palm are the predominant foods of all Asmat groups. Canned meats and fish, as well as flour, tea, and sugar, have become important food items as well. A butterfly larva often found in rotten tree carcasses is an important formality food, considered as a delicacy among the Asmat.






The Asmat languages belong to the Papuan language family known as Asmat-Kamoro. Over 50,000 people speak this language. The central Asmat now have a written form of their spoken language. The national language of the Republic of Indonesia, is spoken by many Asmat men and women now.

Asmat people > singing in their> language. >


The Asmat emploment is a small variety odf jobs and there is also a tradition division of labor along gender lines. The Asmat people mainly

worked as headhunters and gatherers. They hunt many animals, such as crocodiles. Some people raise chickens or grow vegetables. Women in Asmat are responsible for net fishing, gathering, and other domestic tasks. Men work with lines and enclosure fishing, gathering, hunting and gardening.



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