"They were pure subsistence hunter-gatherers who lived in a world of spirits—spirits in the rattan and in the mangrove and sago trees, in the whirlpools, in their own fingers and noses. Every villager could see them, talk to them. There was their world, and there was the kingdom of the ancestors across the seas, known as Safan, and an in-between world, and all were equally real. No death just happened; even sickness came at the hand of the spirits because the spirits of the dead person were jealous of the living and wanted to linger and cause mischief. The Asmat lived in a dualistic world of extremes, of life and death, where one balanced the other. Only through elaborate sacred feasts and ceremonies and reciprocal violence could sickness and death be kept in check by appeasing and chasing those ancestors back to Safan, back to the land beyond the sea."