Contemporary Traditional Culture, part 2
" The Asmat Creation Story: Fumeripits creates People from
By: Brianna Clemente, January 31,2012 Period 4,
Culture and Geography
Source: Caglayan, Ph.D., Emily, "The Asmat". In
Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, 2000-,
According to Asmat tradition: " Fumeripits was the first
being to exist on earth, and he also created the first
men's ceremonial house called a jeu."
Fumeripits would spend his days dancing along the
beach, but after awhile grew tired of being alone.
So he chopped down a number of trees carved them
into human figures, and placed them inside the jeu.
However, since the sculptures were inanimate,
Fumeripits was still unhappy. He then decided to create
a drum, and chopped down another tree, hollowed out
the center, and stretched a piece of lizard skin over the
As he began to play the drum, the human figures
miraculously came to life, their elbows came unstuck
from their knees, and they began to dance.
This is how Fumeripits made people from trees. And
the first people were Asmat.