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Asmat Tribes

 

Skull - toting man eating tribesmen. For many years, the asmat had been head - hunting activities. the asmat are wood age culture, living amongst the estuaries of the world's largest and least accessible alluvial swamp. The rivers which snake through their mangrove forest daily rise with the tides to submerge the entire area for up to a hundred miles inland. in much of this muddy region, there is not a stone to be found. although the Asmat had long used stone tools, these were acquired from the foothills and highlands through trade network. Pottery, until quite recently, was unknown. all food was grilled on a small open fire.

The most important subsistence food is sago flour, an almost clear starch exacted from the pith of the sago palm. The island of Irian Jaya has the largest stands of Sago palm in the world. The sago palm is also the source of a very important ceremonial food, the larvae of the Capricorn beetle. this grubs are considered great delicacy, 30 - 40 days before the festival is scheduled, hundreds of sago trees are fallen and punched full of holes so threat the beetles will lay their eggs in them. just before the celebration the mature larvae are collected and eaten in great quantities out of specially carved woods bowls.

The word Asmat means '' wood'' or ''tree'' people. legends tell how their creator, fumeripits, carved their first ancestors from trees which he then drummed into life, standing back to watch them dance. The asmat also carve trees into which they drum the spirit can only be released through a vengeance killing. The carving of these spectacular 7 meter bis poles is part of an elaborate ritual which ultimately requires the killing, beheading and eating of at least one retaliatory victim from the off ending village or clan. the asmat were also to achieves world fame in 1961 when Michael Rockefeller, son of the late American vice President, disappeared off their coast.

uniquely, the asmat men steer their canoe by standing instead of sitting like most people do. A group of people may paddle the wooden canoe in harmony one another. Another interesting side of the Asmat is they way they dance. A dance may be joined by hundred of persons. Today's , supported by the government, the Asmat tribe, an auction of carving and cultural show.

After being closed for foreign tourist for years, Asmat has been open again to outsiders with less or no more worries. the worries are probably the accessibilities and the accommodations during the trip. these are few ways to reach Asmat; by flying from Merauke to Ewer or by motorized canoe from Timika to Agats. visiting Asmat means being ready to be accommodations at simple losmens or even in the traditional long houses. It is recommended to arrange you trip through a local tour operator.          

ASMAT CULTURE ADVENTURE

(  11 Days – 10 Nights  )

Day 01 : TIMIKA – ARRIVAL

Arrive at Tembagapura Airport of Timika, Meeting Service then a short transfer by car for 5 minutes to Serayu Hotel for overnight stay. Dinner’ll serve at Hotel’s Restaurant ( D ) 

Day 02 : TIMIKA – AGATS

An early morning drive an hour to harbour and start by long boat to Agats via Pulau Tiga and Ampero Island. Lunch will have on boat it will reach arround 9-12 hours depending at ocean. Arrive at Agats at afternoon or evening then walk to guest house of Agats. Dinner will be served at guest house ( B, L, D )

 Day 03 : AGATS – JOW

After breakfast, leaving Agats by boat passing Flamingo Bay of Asmat Region. The entire trip will be by motorized canoe all the way. Asmat Tribe live in the swampy coastal areas and is not possible to reach by foot. The people is well-know with it’s superb traditional wood caryings which also used as worship with their ancestors. The international world class carvings have been known by many collectors, museums and also one of the best primitive designs in the world. The boat ride ends at Jaw Village after sleeping in fisherman houses of Yapen Village. Lunch boxes provided. Dinner and overnight at school or Man’s Houses in Jaw (B, L,D ) 

Day 04 & 05 : JAW CULTURAL DAY

Stay at Jaw Village on this day. After breakfast, you will enjoy the Asmat activities such as the ritual songs with the drumming or also going with the locals for their daily life activity. Lunch and dinner prepared by your cook. O/N Jaw ( B,L,D )

 Day 06 : JAW – OMANDESEP 

After breakfast, continue the boat ride to Omandesep, the next village. Sailling on the Arafura Sea is really something to feel. Along the ride, you may see the Asmat people fishing or canoeing to another village.Lunch on the boat prepared by cook.In the afternoon, you can explore the village surroundings. Dinner and overnight at chief’s house or the long house of Omandesep ( boat ride approx, 3 hrs. B,L,D ) Day 07 : OMANDESEP CULTURAL DAY 

Remaining in Omandesep to learn more about the Asmat culture. Lunch served by the cook. In the afternoon, you may have boat ride to neighbor villages, like Warkat, Ocerap and Pirien. At village of Omandesep, will have dinner and stay. ( B,L,D )

Day 08 : OMANDESEP – AGATS

After early breakfast, you’re proceed to go back by boat to Agats. Lunch served enroute, in the afternoon you may walk around  the Town of Agats, the sub district of the Asmat Region and also visit museum in Agats which is worth to do. Dinner and overnight at Asmat Inn of Agats. ( Boat ride approx, 6 – 6,6 hrs. B,L,D )

 Day 09 : AGATS – TIMIKA 

After breakfast, back to Timika by long boat with stop. Afternoon evening, arrive at Mafuru Jaya Port then drive an hour to hotel ( B,L,D ) 

Day 10 : TIMIKA TOURING 

Today we visit Kamoro Tribe to see their activities and arts. Afternoon drive back to hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 11 : TIMIKA DEPARTURE ( B ) 

Breakfast at hotel and proceed to airport for departure to the next destination.

   

ASMAT CULTURAL ADVENTURES

(09 days - 08 nights)

DAY 01 : TIMIKA – ARRIVAL

Arrive at Tembaga pura airport of Timika, meeting service then a short transfer by car in 5 minutes to Serayu hotel for dinner and overnight stay. The rest of the day is free on our own leisure or wandering the market is just a few meters in the back of your hotel.  

DAY 02 : TIMIKA - AGATS

Wake-up early morning, soon after breakfast at your hotel we depart to Mapuru jaya port (an our driving) where we start our 9-12 hours by motorized canoe travelling on the water to ach the Asmat area. There are two section of our trip to Asmat. The first section is a 2-3 hours travelling on motorized canoe in the river from Mapuru jaya to Port side in the South coast  and the second section is a 6-9 hours travelling on the motorized canoe through the Arafura sea. During our long trip to Asmat, we make few stops at the village near the river or at the small island near the coast for stretching our legs and lunch. Sometimes the sea is very rough while we travel in the sea and make our travel longer inside. We arrive in agats late in the afternoon and dinner and overght at Asmat Inn of agats (B,L,D).

DAY 03 : AGATS – BERITEN

After breakfast, start your adventure by long boat via the Flamingo Bay of Asmat region. The entire trip will be by motorized canoe all the way. Asmat tribe live in the swampy coastal area and is not possible to reach by foot. The people is well-know with its superb traditional wood carvings which also used as worship with their ancestors. The international world class carvings have been know by many collectors, museums, and also one of the best primitive designs in the world. The boat ride ends at Beriten village after stopping in Agats, Per, and Yepem. Lunch boxes provided. Dinner & overnight at school or Men’s house in Beriten. (B,L,D) 

DAY 04 : BERITEN CULTURAL DAY

Stay at Beriten village on this day. After breakfast you will enjoy the Asmat activities such as the ritual songs with the drumming, or also going with the locals for their daily life activity. Lunch and dinner prepared by your cook. O/N : Beriten. ( B,L,D ) 

DAY 05 : BERITEN – OMANDESEP

After breakfast, continue the boat ride to Omandesep, the next village. Sailing on the Arafura sea is really something to feel. Along the ride, you may see the Asmat people fishing or canoeing to another village. Lunch on the boat prepared by  cook. In the afternoon, you can explore the village surroundings. Dinner and overnight at the chief’s house or the long house of Omandesep. ( boat ride approx. 3 hours. B,L,D ) 

DAY 06 : OMANDESEP CULTURAL DAY

Remaining in Omandesep to learn more about the Asmat culture. Lunch served by the cook. In the afternoon you may have boat ride to neighbor villages like Warkai, Ocenep, and Pirien. At village of Omandesep will have dinner and stay. ( B,L,D ).    

 

DAY 07 : OMANDESEP – AGATS

After early breakfast, you are proceed to go back by boat to Agats. Lunch served enroute. In the afternoon you may walk around the town of Agats, the sub District of the Asmat region and also visit museum in Agats which is worth to do. Dinner & overnight at Asmat Inn of Agats. ( Boat ride approx. 6 – 6,5 hours. B,L,D ) 

DAY 08 : AGATS – TIMIKA

Early in the morning return to Timika by motorized canoe. Arrive at Mapuru jaya port late in the afternoon and drive an hour Serayu hotel for dinner and overnight stay.    

DAY 09 : TIMIKA – DEPARTURE

Leaving the hotel after breakfast for Timika airport. Depart to your next destination (B).  End of services

 

TREE HOUSE AND ASMAT CULTURAL ADVENTURES

15 days - 14 nights

DAY 01 : TIMIKA – ARRIVAL

Arrive at Tembaga pura airport of Timika, meeting service then a short transfer by car in 5 minutes to Serayu hotel for dinner and overnight stay.(D) 

DAY 02 : TIMIKA - AGATZ

Wake-up early morning, soon after breakfast at your hotel we depart to Mapuru jaya port (an our driving) where we start our 9-12 hours by motorized canoe travelling on the water to ach the Asmat area. There are two section of our trip to Asmat. The first section is a 2-3 hours travelling on motorized canoe in the river from Mapuru jaya to Port side in the South coast  and the second section is a 6-9 hours travelling on the motorized canoe through the Arafura sea. During our long trip to Asmat, we make few stops at the village near the river or at the small island near the coast for stretching our legs and lunch. Sometimes the sea is very rough while we travel in the sea and make our travel longer inside. We arrive in agats late in the afternoon and dinner and overght at Asmat Inn of agats (B,L,D).

DAY 03 : AGATZ – SENGGO

Today we proceed to travel up river on a motorized canoe for approximately 7-8 hours to the village  Senggo in the north of Asmat land. There are more villages  will be seen and during our trip in the river we might fascinated to see the forest and birds. Lunch will provide by your cook. Arrive at Senggo in the afternoon, we overnight at simple guest house. 

DAY 04 : SENGGO – BASMAN

From Senggo we still continue travel up on our motorized canoe further inland to the village of Basman. During the traveling in the river you can see more of the wildlife and local tribe of CITAK MITAK. People fishing on their local dugout in the river. We will arrive at Basman by noon. Basman village is the border of Citak Mitak tribe and Tree house people. Meals and overnight at local house r church. Afternoon we will walk into the village and explore the life and culture of Citak Mitak tribe.

DAY   05 – 08 : BASMAN – KOROWAY / TREE HOUSE PEOPLE

 Today we begin our expedition into the Korowai and Kombai tribes (Tree house  people) through the dense tropical rain forest. We will trek through the swampy lowland, crossing the rivers or walk over the fallen tree servers as a bridge. Our  trek  today will take 5-7 hours  with local people support carry our bags, foods, and other equipments. The Koroway and Kombai tribe build their house on the top of the trees  around 10-40 m  above the ground.  

KOROWAI AND KOMBAI TRIBES

Koroway and Kombay always moves from one place to another in order to be close to the foods and hunted animals provided by nature. Kombai and Korowai is hunter and gatherer who move and build a new tree house once every 2 or 3 years. The traditional wear of Korowai tribe is very simple, men wear a piece of leave or small penis gourd to cover their penis and women wear the skirt made of woven sago leaves, while the Kombay tribe same with Korowai but some of Kombai men wear the hornbill head instead of the gourd during the feast time. 

THE TRAIL

The trail is going through the swampy lands so you will get wet and could be very slippery and muddy when it’s rain. The surface of our trail into the forest is almost flat, no hike and we likely walk under the canopy of the forest’s trees most of the time. Tropic rain forest provides varies of wild life, beautiful and exotic flora and fauna, but you may not be able to fully enjoy these beauty because you have to concentrate and watch carefully your steps especially when you have to walk on logs or fallen tree in the small river or sago swamp. For that we will always take 15 to 30 minutes break every time you need to drink water after one, two or three hours walk. 

NIGHT CAMP

We overnight at tent near tree house (local house), but should you want to sleep on the tree house with Koroway family bring your own mosquito tent or net. We sometimes spend 2 – 3 nights in one place of the tree house if there e some interesting events in the place and the family would like to host us that we can join their daily activities. We really think that by joining with local people daily activities is the best way to understand and experience the local people live and culture. If there is no sago grub feast take place while we are in the area, we will join the local people daily live activities (e.g. gathering foods / sago, fishing, hunting or put on the trap for animal like wild pigs and birds). We sometimes watch the local people build a new tree house. 

DAY 09 : TREE HOUSE - BASMAN

Today after breakfast trekking back to Basman. Lunch served enroute. Dinner &  overnight at local house of Basman 

DAY 10 : BASMAN – SENGGO - JINAK

With motorized canoe after breakfast down stream of Dairam river all the way to Jinak via Senggo the sub District of Citak Mitak tribe region. Along the riversides, you could see local people paddling on their canoes, bird, or even flying foxes scared by the engine of the boat, beautiful trees, and the boat ride itself is fun. Lunch serve on the boat while Dinner and overnight at local house at village of Jinak. (Boat ride approx. 7 – 8 hours. B,L,D) 

DAY 11  : JINAK- ATSY – JOW / OMANDESEP

After early breakfast, you are proceed to get on the boat again for another long ride to Asmat village via Atsy. Atsy is the second largest sub District in the Asmat region. Passing the big rivers of Wildemann and Sirets, the most well-know river to the Asmat people, enjoying the view of the busy villages on both sides until you arrive at village in the afternoon. Meals served by the cook. Overnight at Men’s house or school (Boat ride approx. 8 hours. B,L,D) 

DAY 12 : OMANDESEP fullday ceremony

Today you will see and enjoy the Asmat ceremonies.

DAY 13 : OMANDESEP – AGATS

After breakfast and buy some Asmat arts, walk to motorized canoe a sail to Agats. Lunch served enroute. In the afternoon you may walk around the town of Agats, the sub District of the Asmat region & also visit museum in Agats which is worth to do. Stay & dinner at Asmat Inn of Agats. (Boat ride approx. 4 hours. B,L,D). 

DAY 14 : AGATS – TIMIKA

Early in the morning return to Timika by motorized canoe. Arrive at Mapuru jaya port late in the afternoon and drive an hour Serayu hotel for dinner and overnight stay.    

DAY 15 : TIMIKA – DEPARTURE

Leaving the hotel after breakfast for Timika airport. Depart to your next destination (B).  End of services

 

 End of service.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
     

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