Old Asmat Headhunter Dagger. Cassowary Bird bone. Tribal. Arrow tip. Papua New Guinea
Typical of the tribal thigh bone daggers used in ceremonial and ritualistic events. These are made from the thigh bone of a Cassowary, a large flightless bird. The head – or joint – is decorated with coix beads and cassowary feathers bundles. This is an older dagger – covered in a woven hood – from the Arapesh peoples of East Sepik.
A dagger without the “dressing (beads and feathers)” was used by Asmat headhunters for hand-to-hand combat or . . . for game hunters to carve up the victim. They were most often tucked inside woven belts or armbands.
Acquired from a private collection.
This item is no longer available.