The members of this tribe have the belief they arose out from wood, therefore wood is sacred for them. They believe in the existence of a close relationship between trees and humans. Since ancient times, they have carved amazing things from wood, in many types, such as shields, canoes, ancestor poles, sculptured figures, and drums and they have contributed art through their admirably complex culture.
Their wood carving and sculptures are linked with the spirit world, much of their original art is symbolic, representing warfare, headhunting, daily life, their love for nature and warrior -ancestor veneration, therefore their work is not simply a decoration, it must be given the highest regard and appreciation. They have created some of the most wonderful and unique world's wood sculptures, many of them can be found in museums around the world, some are still on display today at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and others are most coveted by international art collectors.
Nowadays, wood carving continues to flourish as a tradition among the members of the tribe, being the woodcarvers of the community always well respected. The Asmat Tribe celebrates its wood carving tradition every year with a cultural festival that gathers all the small villages for an exhibition. They show their skills on weaving, boating, traditional dances, and musical performances. After the 5-day festival, they conclude the exhibition with an open auction of their fine artworks.