Human lower jaw-bone necklace

Ref : Asmat 34

Human lower jaw-bone necklace Collected in Primapoun village, Casuarina coast, central Asmat, a necklace made of enemy jaw-bone, Casuar's bone, Job's tear grass Coix lacryma-jobi seeds. Cacatoe's feather, rattan and natural fiber.

The skull of a treasured ancestor was treated with most respect, it was dressed in a ceremonial manner and kept in a secure place. Sometimes it was attached with natural string and worn around the neck, in the front but also in the back. The men used to carry the skulls around with them for protection and to keep in contact with the ancestor. When sleeping they used the ancestor skulls as headrest.
The skulls of enemies, called "Ndaokus" were kept in the man's house. They always have a hole in the side of the skull where the brain was taken out of the skull to be eaten.

The lower jaw-bone was always separated from the skull of an enemy and given to the women to wear as a necklace, this was regarded as the ultimate insult to the vanquished warrior.

See similar :
Truus Daalder "Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment" page 96.

Price : 880 US$ SOLD