The Asmat are an ethnic group of New Guinea, residing in the Papua province of Indonesia. Possessing one of the most well-known and vibrant woodcarving traditions in the Pacific, their art is sought by collectors worldwide. The Asmat inhabit a region on the island's southwestern coast bordering the Arafura Sea, with lands totaling approximately 19,000 km2 (7,336 mi2) and consisting of mangrove, tidal swamp, freshwater swamp, and lowland rainforest. The land of Asmat is located both within and adjacent to Lorentz National Park and World Heritage Site, the largest protected area in the Asia-Pacific region. The total Asmat population is estimated to be around 70,000. The term "Asmat" is used to refer both to the people and the region they inhabit. The natural environment has been a major factor affecting the Asmat, as their culture and way of life are heavily dependent on the rich natural resources found in their forests, rivers, and seas.
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