Introduction / History
The Aion people live along the Porapora and Keram Rivers, Sepik River tributaries, located at the north end of the East Sepik Province. They speak Tok Pisin and Ambakich, their vernacular language.
Their livelihood is maintained through cultivating and processing sago palm, their staple food. They also cultivate fruits and vegetables such as bananas, coconut, sugar cane, pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers.
Raising domesticated animals and living close to a river means that ample sources of protein are available to the Aion people. Girls are taught how to weave fish traps and where to place them to optimize the day's catch. Boys are given a much more dangerous task, like hunting crocodiles in the middle of the night.
The Aion people are skilled wood-carvers and weavers. They are experts at utilizing materials from their natural environment to make everyday living more convenient and enjoyable. They carve canoes, create musical instruments, and weave baskets and net bags (bilums) of varying sizes and styles.
Aion celebrations include singsings, which are traditional dances and songs performed on special occasions, such as New Year's Eve, Independence Day, weddings and Christmas. Since the Aion people embrace Christianity as their religion, they frequently include worship songs in their singsings. Tok Pisin Scriptures are available.
The people have a positive attitude toward learning how to read and write.
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