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Asmat Tribe: The Cannibalistic Tribe Who Still Eat Human Flesh

In this article, we will be talking about the world’s most cannibalistic tribe, Asmat tribe. The tribe that eat human flesh till today.

The cannibalistic tribe was accused by Carl Hoffman for killing Micheal Rockefeller in 1961. Carl Hoffman is the author of Savage Harvest.

The Asmat tribe, cannibalistic tribe that still eat human flesh
An Asmat’s man (Pinterest)

The Asmat tribe live on the western half of the Island of New Guinea, residing in the province of South Papua, Indonesia. Papua is the largest and least developed of all of Indonesia’s 27 provinces. The region where the Asmat habit comprises of dense forest, mangrove swamp, tidal swamp, freshwater swamp, and lowland rainforest. It covers 85% of its area and parts of the interior remain unexplored.

The people of Asmat tribe are ex-headhunters who made carvings for large and endless rituals and feasts that were armed to placate ancestral spirits. They are also cannibals that eat human flesh. The Asmat believe that death occurs only through magic or murder.

The land of Asmat is situated both within and adjacent to Lorentz National Park, a World Heritage Site, the largest protected area in the Asia-Pacific region. The word “Asmat” is used to refer both to the people and the region they inhabit.

The Asmat tribe are well-known wood carvers in the world, particularly in the Pacific, and their art is sought by collectors worldwide.

The Asmat are hugely affected by their natural environment as their culture and way of life are heavily dependent on the rich natural resources found in their forests, rivers, and seas.

The Asmat tribe, cannibalistic tribe that still eat human flesh
Asmat’s tribe (Pinterest)

The Asmat tribe are cannibals. The men of this cannibalistic tribe often hunt and kill their enemies and as part of their rituals eat their heads. Not only that, they also dice the skull in half and use it as bowls. The skin on the head is scraped off and then, the head is baked and prepared for the community. The portions of the jaw and the spine of the human enemy that they kill is used as gems that they adorn their body as an emblem of their masculinity.

It is believed that the people of the tribe are deeply religious, which is why they perform such outrageous rituals. They compare the man with a tree and calls the head of the man, the fruit. In the Asmat tribe, it is also believed that the killing of human enemies is also done to show their sexual prowess or kinship. They also believe that upon killing and eating a man the deceased transfers his powers and skills to them.

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Prior to civilisation, the Dutch were the first European people to encounter the Asmat in 1623. However, until the 1950s, their remote and harsh location almost entirely isolated the Asmat from other ethnic groups. It was not until the mid-20th century that they came into regular contact with foreigners.

However, in November 1961, the 23-year-old Michael Rockefeller, son of the then-Governor of New York Nelson Rockefeller and member of one of the wealthiest families in the United States, disappeared in Asmat when his boat overturned while on an art collecting expedition. His disappearance was pursued by an intensive search by the Dutch authorities but, the search was unsuccessful.

In 2014, author Carl Hoffman in his book “Savage Harvest,” exemplified evidence that Rockefeller was killed after swimming to shore and eaten by people from Otsjanep village of the Asmat tribe in 1961. Hence, they discovered no remains or physical proof of him dying.

The Asmat tribe, cannibalistic tribe that still eat human flesh
Asmat tribe’s festival (Pinterest)

Presently, the Asmat are moderately isolated and they still uphold their most important cultural traditions. But, their interaction with the outside world has been improving over the last decades.

Many Asmat have received higher education in other parts of Indonesia and some in Europe. The Asmat seek to find ways to include new technology and beneficial services such as health, communications, and education, while preserving their cultural traditions.

Documentary on the Asmat tribe

In conclusion, the truth till stands. The Asmat tribe will till adhere and maintain their culture even if the world is advancing in technology. This proves a fact that they are cannibals that eat human flesh.

Chika Aliede

I am a content writer that specializes on health, lifestyle and travel. I bring intuition and knowledge in the area of health, lifestyle and travel.

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