Cassowary bone dagger, Asmat, Irian Jaya / Western New Guinea.

A cassowary is a bird found in the rainforests of Australia and New Guinea. It is a large, flightless bird and is just slightly smaller than an emu. Cassowaries are revered by many groups in Indonesia because they can be extremely aggressive animals. In many cases, cassowaries are seen as supernatural creatures. The oral tradition of the Asmat contains origin stories in which the cassowary is portrayed as the mother of all human beings. Perhaps because of this myth, the cassowary is always thought to be female. Despite this, the cassowary is a symbol of masculinity and male strength among the Asmat and is associated with warfare and rites to manhood.

Cassowary bone daggers, ase pisua, are made from the thigh bone of the huge cassowary bird. They are generally worn in a woven band on the upper arm and occasionally on a cord around the neck. This multi-purpose tool is used for fighting, hunting, digging, ceremonial sacrifice, and singsing (dancing) decoration. These bone daggers were also used for payment and trading.

This dagger has a nice glossy patina from age and measures 30,2 cm - 11.89 inch. long.