Join Viktor Wynd on his dream journey
Duration : 13 days / 12 nights
Arrival : Jayapura
Departure : Timika
$3500 per person
– please email [email protected]
– perhaps the most famed woodcarvers and artists of The Pacific with their work held in museums worldwide – most notably in The Michael Rockefeller Collection in New York’s Metropolitan Museum (where I first encountered it and have been obsessed ever since). The 70,000 or so Asmat are made up of at least twelve different groups with at least five different languages or dialects, traditionally a fierce headhunting, cannibalistic warrior people (they chased Captain Cook back to his ship in 1770 and probably ate Michael Rockefeller in 1961), they have a rich cultural tradition and we very much hope to see some of their ceremonies such at the Spirit Masks, the mBis Pole Ceremony and canoe warriors. The hope is to find spectacular carvings and other artifacts to buy in remote, little visited villages
Day 01 October 22nd
Arrive in Jayapura, welcome dinner, overnight in local hotel near the airport
DAY 02 : JAYAPURA – Agats
Early start to catch 8am flight to Timika and then to Ewer/Asmat and by boat to Agats.
Agats is a small town built on stilts on an island without cars, we will explore the town, visit the museum where we hope to have a private tour from the director and to learn about what we will see on our journey and hunt down artifact dealers, overnight in local guesthouse
We leave Agats by boat on a journey into the past, the journey will have no fixed itinerary – we will head deep into Asmat territory, very few people visit the Asmat, and even fewer venture far from Agats and the more civilized surrounding villages, life in the villages carries on in many ways as it has done for thousands of years, on arrival in each village we will go to the great longhouse – The Jew House – each family or clan with have their own fireplace in The Jew, young men may live there and all the social and political life of the (male) village happens, we will introduce ourselves to the elders and ask permission to visit their village, we may be welcomed with drumming and singing, or indeed by a flotilla of canoes, as many of the villages we plan to visit rarely receive visitors from the outside world it is difficult to know whether we will be received calmly or with great excitement and celebrations. We aim to spend two to three nights in each village allowing us to soak in the atmosphere and get to see and experience Asmat traditional life, we will hope to join them as they go fishing, crocodile hunting and sago harvesting. In the evenings we will sit quietly in the Great Jew Houses, observe and hopefully listen to stories
Villages we hope to visit, travelling through lush mangrove forests, coastal estuaries and overgrown rivers,
Uwus – Atjamutsji – Omdesep – Pirien – Ocanep – Yaptambor – Beriten
at Omandesep, famed for it’s carvings we hope to experience the mBis ancestor pole ceremony, before traveling to Ocanep where it is now generally believed that Michael Rockefeller was killed and eaten. We hope to experience the Spirit Mask Ceremony and dancing in one of the villages – where great masked dancers descend on the village before being ritually chased out and the village cleansed of evil spirits
We return to Agats to pack our bags and overnight in local hotel
Early Morning flight to Timika
DAY 12 : AGATS – EWER – TIMIKA (B)
Visit to Agats Museum and Artefacts dealers, packing bags
DAY 13 : TIMIKA – JAKARTA (B)
then by boat to Timika by regular flight, stay overnight at hotel Komorotame Resort in Timika.
Transfer to the airport, then fly to Jakarta or Sorong if continuing to Raja Ampat
There is no tourist accommodation where we are going, tents and thin mattresses will be provided, or we will sleep in village houses on our mattresses beneath mosquito nets.
Food – we will take a good Indonesian cook with us, but the options will be understandably limited eg fried & steamed rice, fresh vegetables, canned fish/meat / noodles /fresh fruit/ tea / coffee
Porters will carry our bags so please back appropriately.
If you plan to buy carvings please bring lots of bubblewrap – there will be none there!
– All land transportation
– Accommodations based on twin/double share
– English Speaking Guide
– Meals as per program
— Drumming and canoe racing in Asmat
– Permits and donations
– All activities mentioned on the above program
– Chartered wooden long boat to accomplish the tour
Ceremonies – we hope to see the mBis Pole ceremony, Spirit Dance, Canoe & Sago Ceremonies – we would like to arrange these in the villages further from Agats which get few tourists – it is difficult to arrange this far in advance and difficult to agree a fixed price – we will negotiate nearer the time or on the trip and then the group can decide what they would like to see – budget US $300 – $500 per person for this
– Travel Insurance
– Air fares, airport tax, airport porter
– Overweight on the flight
– Airport taxes and extra baggage charges
– Airports and hotels porters
– Personal Expenses such as phone calls, laundry, beverages etc.
– All expenses incurred due to the flight cancellations or due other causes beyond our control.
Current local airfare / way / person:
London – Jakarta – £600
Jakarta – Jayapura : USD 382
Jayapura – Timika – Agats – Timika : USD 250
Timika – Jakarta : USD 355
** Subject to change in the future
Tobias Schneebaum’s Where the Spirits Dwell
Savage Harvest – Carl Hoffman
Society of Others – Rupert Stasch
Michael Rockefeller – Asmat
Among The Cannibals – Paul Raffaele
First contact Mark Anstice
Communication with The Asmat is difficult, mobile phone reception and the internet largely do not exist where we are going. We hope that ceremonies and feast can be organized when we are there, the cost for this can be anything between free because it is already happening or because we are very welcome to $30 – $50 to $2000 – $3000 with every possible combination. Depending on the size of the group, and the group’s interests there may be voluntary contributions to offer the community.
Tips are entirely optional – but a trip such as this asks a lot of the local guides and porters who always appreciate, even if they don’t expect, a tip. Entirely optional but $50 – $100 should be plenty
Much of the traveling will be canoe, there will be some trekking in the jungle, but nothing that a moderately fit and healthy person can’t manage. From personal experience the locals and our porters will be extremely helpful
Lake Sentani & Jayapura
I will arrive a few days early and intend to spend a day or two exploring lake Sentani – one the most beautiful places I have ever been to, and visiting the Jayapura Museum and tracking down artefacts for sale (some of the best things I have ever bought in New Guinea I got in Jayapura. You would be most welcome to join and the cost would probably be US $150- $300