Introduction / History
The Kilmeri people live in the Sandaun Province in the northwestern portion of Papua New Guinea. There are about 2,823 people in the 15 villages which spread over the 400 square kilometers of dense tropical bush.
Agriculture is the Kilmeri's main means of subsistence. Pigs are the biggest commodity, though the people also raise crocodiles, and grow crops such as coffee and cocoa. Sago, a traditional food item made from the pulp of the sago palm, is an important part of their daily diet.
The dwellings of the Kilmeri are constructed out of traditional materials from the jungle. Half of the house is normally an open veranda and the walls for the sleeping area do not extend all the way to the roof. These houses are usually occupied by one to three families at a time.
Kilmeri society is centered around clan ties. Singsings, traditional song and dance ceremonies, are used for healing and to ensure good hunting. Brideprice is still practiced and young men take part in the practices of the traditional men's house.
The Kilmeri people have churches in their area. Several primary schools are available to them, and many of the children are going to school, learning to read and write. The Kilmeri children are no longer learning the Kilmeri language, but are only using Tok Pisin, a trade language of Papua New Guinea. It appears that the Kilmeri language is dying out and there is no need for a Bible translation into the Kilmeri language.
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