There are three works of Asmat art currently on display in Ablah Library, Wichita State University: two ancestor (Bisj) poles and one soul ship. These woodcarvings are on loan from the university's Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology, and are part of an extensive collection of Asmat art collected by the museum in the summer of 2001.

Asmat Art in Ablah Library


The Asmat live in the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya on the western half of the island of New Guinea. The woodcarvings on display in Ablah Library are excellent examples of the relatively rare, monumental, wood sculptures that are an integral part of the ceremonial life of the Asmat.

The American Museum of Asmat Art in St. Paul, Minnesota maintains an informative Web site on the Asmat. For information on the geography and habitat of the Asmat, click here. For information on Asmat woodcarving (including ancestor poles), click here. For frequently asked questions about the Asmat and the AMAA, click here

Updated: December 05, 2008      Contact Dept of Collection Development   Collection Development Home Page