Introduction / History
The Nimoa people live on verdant islands off the southeastern end of Papua New Guinea. Surrounded by coral reefs, the mountainous islands are covered with lush tropical vegetation. Most of the islands are tiny, only a mile or two in length with Panatinane being the largest.
The people of the Nimoa (or Nimowa as it is also spelled) are subsistence farmers and fishermen. Some also grow cash crops such as copra (dried coconut meat) and vanilla. Many dive for sea cucumbers when they are in season. Some also rely on relatives who leave the islands to find work in Papua New Guinea. When they have cash, they will purchase items such as tea, sugar, rice, and canned meat to supplement their diet. In this culture, individuals trace their lineage or clan through their mothers. When someone dies, the people hold feasts over a period of several years to honor the person and his family. The Nimoa get along well with their neighbors, trading with one another, and even intermarrying.
Missionaries introduced Christianity to the region more than 100 years ago, and most of the people identify themselves as Christians. However, some of the people still practice traditional religion.
Misima is the dominant language among the islands. The Nimoa language is closely related and with a lot of travel between the islands, many of the Nimoa people are able to understand and speak Misima. A Misima New Testament is already available in print, audio and electronic formats. The Misima also have portions of six Old Testament books.
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