Missionary and Anthropologist

A Missionary and an Anthropologist: Bishop Al Sowada's Life among the Asmat

Alphonse Sowada spent 40 years on the south coast of Papua living among the Asmat people in the jungles and rivers in a most hostile tropical climate. He appreciate the dignity and humor of the villagers and the difficulties they faced with sicknesses and inter-tribal conflicts and especially the changes brought about by an intruding “civilisation”. He focused on education and preserving their rights in a rapidly changing world. He supported the Asmat in retaining their traditions and culture and was especially committed in preserving their pride and dignity. Therefore he build a museum of Asmat art and further helped them develop a world renown for their art through an annual carving festival. Museums from many countries have acquired substantial collections through this festival and the Asmat people have found a valuable financial support as well.  During his time in Asmat, Bishop Sowada sought to embrace local culture in the development of a locally significant Christian faith. This book enables the reader to understand Bishop Sowada's experience of life among the Asmat through his own writing and to share the concerns and pleasure that occurred throughout his lifetime in Asmat.