Asmat Carving Heritage
Asmat art, most noticeably elaborate, stylized wood carving, is designed to honour ancestors. Many Asmat artifacts have been collected by the world's museums, among the most notable of which are those found in the Michael C. Rockefeller Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. One of the most comprehensive collections of Asmat Art can be found in the American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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The Asmat are an ethnic group of New Guinea, residing in the Papua province of Indonesia. The Asmat inhabit a region on the island's southwestern coast bordering the Arafura Sea, with lands totaling approximately 18,000 km² (7,336 mi²) and consisting of mangrove, tidal swamp, freshwater swamp, and lowland rainforest.
The land of Asmat is located both within and adjacent to Lorentz National Park and World Heritage Site, the largest protected area in the Asia-Pacific region. The total Asmat population is estimated to be around 70,000. The term "Asmat" is used to refer both to the people and the region they inhabit.