Necklace "Asmat"


Asmat-people, Irian Jaya, New Guinea, Indonesia, early 20th century, private collection from Netherlands.

The Asmat are a coastal people occupying a low-lying swampy region in Indonesian province of Irian Jaya. Their homeland covers approximately 25,000 square kilometers in southwestern Irian Jaya. The swampy region include sago palms, mangroves, and patches of tropical rain forest. Asmat people are widely known for the quality of their wood sculptures, and they are also notorious for their traditional practises of headhunting and cannibalism, which were linked to the unsolved disappearance of Michael Rockefeller, 23-years old son of former New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, in 1961 while touring the region to collect indigenous artwork.

This beautiful smaller necklace is decorated with split cowrie shells and Job's tears (Coix lacryma-jobi) seeds sewn onto bark fiber woven base. Good condition. Age-related wear and signs of use. Lovely patina. Dust and dirt. This gorgeous item comes from the collections of a closed ethnographic museum/ foundation in the Netherlands. Size approx. 38cm x 3,5cm.