The name Asmat has been known to the world since 1904. It was recorded in 1770 that a ship led by James Cook landed in a bay in the Asmat area. Suddenly dozens of long dimples appeared, hundreds of dark-skinned men with faces and bodies covered in red, black and white.
They attacked and managed to injure and kill several of James Cook's men. Centuries later on October 10, 1904, the SS Flamingo Ship landed in a bay on the southwest coast of Irian Jaya.
The languages used by the Asmat people belong to the group of languages that linguists call the Language of the Southern Division, the southern languages of Irian Jaya.
This language was studied and classified by C.L Voorhoeve (1965) into a film of the non-Melanesian Irian (Papuan) languages
The Asmat tribe is one of the tribes that inhabit the southern part of Papua, flanked by the Regencies of Merauke, Mappi, Mimika, Yahukimo and Nduga.
The population is divided into two, namely those who live on the coast and inland and have differences from one another in terms of way of life, social structure and ritual, this can be seen from the results of their works in carving statues.
Asmat Regency was originally a part of Merauke Regency which consisted of Agats, Ayam, Atsj, Sawa Erma and Kasuari Beach districts. Until now, Asmat Regency consists of 10 Districts (Agats, Atsj, Akat, Fayit, Kasuari Beach, Sawa Erma, Suator, Kolf Brasa, Unir Sirau and Suru-suru).
Tourist objects that can increase regional income are Cultural attractions, Nature Tourism Objects and Lorentz National Park Attractions.
Cultural Tourism Objects are the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress which are embedded with historic Asmat tribes such as carved sculptures (Mbis, Panels, Salawaku, Shield of Woramon/traditional boats, arrows, bows, trumpets, spirit clothes, stone axes, bows, etc.).
Another uniqueness that is found in the Asmat traditional house (Jeu) is devoted to unmarried Asmat youths.
This house consists of one room with several doors, built with wood, roof from sago leaves, and does not use iron nails, the size is between 30-60 meters.
This Jeu is usually used for sacred parties, war/peace, a place to tell tales of the ancestors.
The world appreciation for the Asmat is as a Cultural Heritage Site. Every year in October there is always an event called the Cultural Festival initiated by the Curator of the Asmat Museum, the Diocese and the Asmat Regional Government.
The activities of this festival are Sculpture Auction, Demonstration carvings from Asmat Sculptors, Asmat Typical Food Performance, Election of Abang and None Asmat, Asmat Traditional Dance Performance, Boat Maneuver/Asmat Boat Competition and others.