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The Asmat are a cannibalistic people that reside in the Papua province of New Guinea. They are well known for their Ancestor Skulls, also called "Ndambirkus." These skulls typically came from their deceased ancestors, and were decorated as a way to venerate them and show respect. Once de-fleshed, the eye sockets and/or nasal passages were filled with tree sap and bees wax, then adorned with abrus seeds. This was to prevent evil spirits from entering the skull. This specimen has a large, carved piece of wood that is secured to the nasal passage. There are feathers and seeds, strung together with a woven fiber, that hang from the zygomatic arches. This gorgeous piece is in excellent condition, and is quite stunning. It would make an impressive display piece in any collection.


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Asmat Ancestor Skull "Ndambirkus," New Guinea

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