The oldest boats in the world are dugout canoes and they are still used on every major continent. The main reason is quite simple, the dugouts can be fabricated from nearby natural resources and are extremely durable, amazingly stabile and quicker than you might tend to believe. In New Guinea’s longest river is the Sepik and Dugout canoes are the most common means of transportation. Because New Guinea is rugged and the roads are almost non-existent, dugouts are of the only means of going from village to village. The native tribesmen will burn out the interior of the dugout to help protect against insects and if you are able to blow up the images large enough, you can see the old cracking marks from the burning. The dugouts figurehead is referred to as the prow, are carved according to local customs. Although our research shows that the bird prows come from the north coast of Irian Jaya, we cannot find any elephant prows, although New Guinea does have two-different species of elephants. Whenever a dugout canoe has a prow, it elevates the dugout to a higher standard and is generally associated with increased power. Asmat tribes reside in West Papua province of Indonesia and their historical artifacts have been collected by some of the world's greatest museums, most notably the Michael C. Rockefeller Collection, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the American Museum of Asmat Art, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. Important to note, that we are not experts in Asian art and as we uncover further information, we will update it as it arrives. Could make a great console table or sofa table? Without any specific history or certified provenance, the dugout has been priced as decorative art and not a historical artifact.