Necklace "Asmat"


Asmat-people, Agats, Western New Guinea, Indonesia, mid. 20th century.

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 curious necklace is made of countless bird vertebrae. From ex-collections of the closed museum/foundation from Netherlands. Good condition. Age-related wear and signs of use. Dirt and dust. The necklace is about 75cm long and has approx. 111 small vertebrae as "beads".