Introduction / History
The Amara people (pop. 230) live on the northwest coast of New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea. Originally the people lived in the mountains, but the government relocated them to the coast and scattered them among non-Amara villages. There are now three Amara villages, but only one of these villages still actively speaks the Amara language. As the people assimilate to the neighbouring groups, they are steadily losing their identity as Amara people and are instead taking on the identity of their neighbours.
The Amara live in bamboo houses on stilts directly next to the ocean. During the windy season, the intensity of the winds sometimes destroys houses, so people choose to sleep on the beach. Their gardens, located further inland, produce taro, sweet potatoes, greens and bananas. They raise chickens and pigs for consumption and for use during various traditional ceremonies. At times they supplement their diet with seafood. Year round the people grow copra and betel nut as cash crops. There is one elementary school and only the Catholic denomination among the Amara villages.
Some of the Amara people are part of the translation programme among the neighbouring Bariai people. Due to this, they have an understanding of the time and effort that go into translating the Bible. Several men in the area want to learn how to translate the Bible into the Amara language. There is a deep desire to preserve the Amara language in order to maintain a link to their heritage and culture.
* Pray for the Amara people as they make decisions about how to develop their language and maintain their Amara identity.
* Pray that God would clearly guide and direct the people in these decisions and that He would reveal Himself to the Amara people through the process.
|Profile Source: Anonymous|