Introduction / History
The Pagi live in the wooded, hilly plains north of the Bewani Mountains, in the northwestern corner of the mainland of Papua New Guinea. Five villages of the western dialect are located forty-five kilometers south of Vanimo within an hour's walk of Bewani Station, the local center of government services. Bewani Station includes an airstrip, a health center and a primary school. The three villages of the eastern dialect are located about twenty-five to thirty kilometers east-northeast of Bewani, in an area mostly covered by dense bush.
The Pagi still rely on traditional foods, subsisting mainly on sago starch, which is strained from the pulp of the sago palm. They also hunt wild pigs with their traditional bows and arrows; however, they have mostly traded their traditional dress for Western type clothing.
Most dwellings are constructed of bush material. Half of the house is normally an open veranda. The walls of the other half, where people sleep, are built only partway up the side with an opening along the top. A house is used for one or two families, sometimes three.
There are very strict rules governing relationships between the clans. Cassette radios are used in most villages. They listen to the news on Radio Sandaun.
The Pagi have a strong presence of both Catholic and Seventh Day Adventist churches in their villages. Local pastors/priests are confident that if a good translation was made available to them, then they would use it in their services as well as outside the church.
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