An intriguing blend of travel narrative, anthropology, and homosexual self-discovery in the jungle of New Guinea. Schneebaum, an N.Y.C. artist, has visited the Asmat people a number of times over the past ten years. In an impressionistic narrative he describes his encounters with natives, missionaries, lumberers as he collected and catalogued carvings for a museum in Agats. He writes with great candor of the homosexual bonding among the tribesmen, including his own relationship with one Akatpitsjin. As a homosexual, Schneebaum finally found among the Asmat a culture that completely accepted relationships between men. As a cultural anthropologist, he had a sympathy with these practices that enabled him to find out about a part of Asmat culture carefully kept hidden from missionaries and other westerners. What is remarkable here is that without glossing over the ugly side of native life--the filth and disease and violence--Schneebaum avoids applying western standards. Occasionally he engages in traditional liberal relativistic thinking--a horrifying incidence of rape and cannibalism reminds him of a similar case he saw as a boy on a dock in Brooklyn. But generally he forgoes broad cultural comparisons, preferring to narrate personal impressions of individual natives and missionaries. (In some cases a little more analysis and insight would have been helpful--particularly about the differences between homosexual culture in New Guinea and in New York.) Though it may shock, Schneebaum's account will fascinate anyone with an interest in travel or anthropology.