Films by Wim van Oijen on YouTube

Photographer Wim van Oijen has uploaded the beautiful films about  the Asmat “Uit de natuur gemaakt”  to  YouTube. These films had been  shown during an exhibition in Nature Museum Brabant in Tiburg. He has asked Papua Heritage Foundation (PACE) to make this known in wider circles. Every year since 1992 Van Oijen travels with his cameras to Asmat where, in his own words, he is searching for the essence of simple  life and the contrast to his own complex living environment.

PACE film materialhoutbewerker uit de Asmat
Van Oijen is an old acquaintance of  PACE. He has already collaborated with PACE in the past. He has taken duplicated film material from PACE to Papua and shown it with great success to villages in the Asmat region. He is planning on travelling to Asmat once more in 2010 and, at the  request of pastor Bert Hagendoorn from Timika, he will show old film material from the Netherlands. In the Tropenmuseum Van Oijen took part in the exhibition ‘Asmat historical and contemporary photography’. Old photographs of Asmat from KIT were shown alongside contemporary pictures from Asmat by Van Oijen. The people from Asmat are mostly known for their beautiful wood carvings and the now extinct tradition of headhunting.

Links to the films (click the title):

Asmat impressions - Asmat Papua - part 1---------------------
Asmat impressions - Asmat Papua - part 2--------------------- 
Rowing - Asmat Papua ---------------------------------------
Fishing - Asmat Papua ---------------------------------------
How women make a traditional mat - Uwus Asmat Papua -------
How women make a traditional bag - Sawa Asmat Papua -------
How a boy builds an airplane - Aorket Asmat Papua ------------
Preparing sago - Uwus Asmat Papua --------------------------
Sago larvae ceremony - Sawa Asmat Papua -------------------
Buildings and more - Asmat Papua ----------------------------
Drumming and praying mantis - Asmat Papua ------------------
Adam Ndo is singing - Asmat Papua ---------------------------

Their own culture and dignityBewoners van de Asmat in traditionele boot
Van Oijen’s own material shows a proud people who remain conscious of their own culture and dignity. Modernisation and globalisation make their living environment ever more complex. The strong influx of people from other parts of Indonesia also leaves its mark on the life of the original inhabitants. The Asmat are searching for a way in this world as is clearly shown by these images. The photographs and films by Van Oijen along with the historical pictures are an important document. They show a people who, despite rapidly successive changes, honour their own traditions.

Made from NatureMan uit Asmat bezig met neusring
The exhibition ‘Made from Nature’ shows a surprising collection of utensils and unique film images from the Asmat, a region where people live in total harmony with nature. All utensils of the Asmat people come from nature and are handmade. The result is a number a veritable works of art. At the exhibition the know-how with which these people survived in the swampy region could be seen. They worship their ancestors by means of art and ceremonial festivities. However, also for the Asmat people, globalisation strikes. Motorised saws howl in the jungle and even cell phones are no longer a strange item. Within a period of about fifty years the Asmat people came from the Stone Age into the 21st century. It remains to be seen for how long their traditional way of life can survive.