Asmat Region River

Directly South of the equator the powerful land mass raises itself out of the New Guinea, is the second largest island after Greenland measuring 2400 km x 600 km (~1500 miles x ~370 miles) Papua is in the Western half of the island and is considered the most Eastern province of the Indonesia. New Guinea is the East part of the island, with the Bismarck archipelago, the former German emperor Wilhelm country, and the British Papua in the south of the east half. (New Guineas has been an independent country since 1972)

Papua and West Papua just east of Australia and New Zealand were once submerged in the sea by the Sahul continental platform.

In the south, the island is separated solely through the Torres Straight and the broad Sahul Shelfs of Australia

Papua Map

Craggy mountains over 5000 km high run the entire length of the mountain. It measures over 5000 m x 2400 km x 600 km. New Guinea is about twice as large as Germany.

Permanent ice and glaciers covered the central mountain ranges to the north to the tropical coral coast (the Cyclops mountains near Sentani Lake reach ~2160 m high.) The massive Sudirman Mountains to the south fall sharply into a vast, overgrown, and alluvial, tropical jungle and marsh on the coast of the Arafura Sea region.

With an annual rainfall of 6.20 m, the mountain range is rugged and very strong. The enormous masses of water reach, undisciplined, and meandering rivers to the north and south of the sea.

The isolated mountain valleys and the vast, inaccessible swamps explain the extreme cultural diversity of the Papuan population, with more than 700 languages.

Asmat River Papua

Asmat lies at the south coast of Papua. It designates the homeland to approximately 80,000 people. It is a tropical swamp country about of the size of Belgium. Twelve culture groups can be differentiated by languages, festival rituals and art.

Asmat Map

Explanation of the name

The island of New Guinea received its name from the Spanish Captain, Inigo Ortiz de Retes. During his first encounter with the natives in New Guinea, in 1545, he was reminded of the people of Guinea in West Africa, who also have curly hair and dark skin color. The residents of Tidore and other Muluku islands, referred to the locals in New Guinea as Papua. They also traded goods with the coastal residents of Papua. Papua could also be derived from the Malay word pua-pua, which means, "wavy hair".


Canoes on the Assewets