Introduction / History
The Molata, Giwau, and Miyalabi (the people who speak Diodio) are located in the western part of Goodenough Island in Milne Bay province. The Molata are concentrated in two districts: Awale and Diodio, making up a total of 80 sq. km in the southwest plain of the island. The Giwau and Miyalabi peoples are located in two districts: Utalo and Yauyaula, on the mountain range on the west of the island, north of the Molata area.
The inhabitants of these communities are primarily subsistence farmers, growing taro, yam, sweet potatoes, sago, and fruits such as coconuts, bananas, pineapples, and papaya. They also raise chickens and those by the coast fish. Some of the produce from their gardens is sold in the market in the village of Uwauwefo. Other produce is sold in Alotau (the provincial capital), a city that is 16 hours away by boat. They also travel to Alotau to buy products.
The majority of the Molata, Giwau and Miyalabi call themselves Christians and attend church. However, many continue practicing magic for success in their gardens and for hunting. Only the leaders and some of the educated people are able to read the Bible in English or in Dobu (the language of the church in the area).
After meeting with his whole village, one leader from the district asked the translation survey team with interest, "After all these questions, do you all believe that we will be accepted, that we will be able to have someone that could help us translate the Bible into our language?"
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