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Asmat: Time's Forgotten People

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $550

Subjects: Anthropology

Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Filmakers Library
Closed Captioned:
Running Time: 52 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2000
Available in French: No

The Asmat, in addition to being feared headhunters, are also brilliant wood sculptors. The Asmat people live on the southwestern coast of western Papua. Protected to the north by mountains and to the south by the Arafura Sea, their land has long remained free of outsiders. Explorers have always been discouraged by the Asmat's terrifying reputation as cannibals and headhunters. We follow Rufinus, a twenty-year old Asmat, who must perform an ancient ritual before he can be married. He must capture and kill a cassowary, the great solitary bird that lives in the depths of the jungle. The group's elders will assist him, giving Rufinus a sense of belonging to the Asmat people, who their neighbours call "the men who eat men".

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