Introduction / History
The Keoru-Ahia people live in Gulf Province. Part of the language area is along the coast and a little inland. The other part is along the banks of the Vailala River. It is only possible to reach the upriver villages by boat, and in a motorized dinghy it takes about a day to get from there to the coast and then a further day to walk along the coast to get to Kerema, the provincial capital. Canoes are an important form of transport for the upriver people. The coastal people also have canoes, which they use to go fishing in the sea.
There are three dialects of Keoru-Ahia. The coastal people and those living a little inland speak the Keoru dialect. One village speaks a dialect called Pairi. The villages upriver speak the Ahia dialect.
Sago is an important staple food, and is cooked in a variety of different ways. It is sometimes mixed with fish, prawns or coconut and cooked inside bamboo. It is also made as a sort of soup or fried like a pancake.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Currently there are Catholic and SDA churches in the Keoru-Ahia area. Most people in the area would claim to be a Christian, but many still believe in their traditional religion. Magic and sorcery are practiced in the area.
The Keoru-Ahia people do not have God's Word in their own mother tongue. A significant number of people cannot understand scripture in any language but their own. The Keoru-Ahia people are proud of their language. One person described it as being 'sweet like honey'.
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