The unexplored lands of Indonesia still foster a large tribe that practices cannibalism for ritualistic and ceremonial purposes. The tribe is called Asmat and comprises 12 sub-ethnic groups, amounting to a total of roughly 65,000 people.
The men belonging to this cannibalistic tribe often hunt and kill their enemies and as part of their rituals eat their heads. Not just that, they also chop the skull in half and use it as bowls. The skin on the head is scraped off and then, the head is baked and prepared for the community. The portions of the jaw and the spine of the human enemy that they kill is used as jewels that they adorn their body as a symbol of their masculinity.
The people from the Asmat tribe are believed to be deeply religious, which is why they perform such outrageous rituals. They compare the man with a tree and calls the head of the man the fruit. It is also believed that the killing of human enemies is also done in the Asmat tribe to show their sexual prowess or kinship. They also believe that upon killing and eating a man, the powers and the skills that the deceased honed are transferred to them.
The tribe resides in low-lying swampy regions that span across an area of roughly 25,000 square kilometres in the regions of Indonesian New Guinea. The tribe came into the limelight after it was alleged that the Asmat men were behind the death of Michael Rockefeller, the grandson of business magnate John D. Rockefeller.
The claim was mentioned by an American journalist, Carl Hoffman, who authored the book Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest For Primitive Art. However, the claims were never confirmed.