Profile Source: Anonymous
Introduction / History
This group is located just west of the Yawu dialect of the Yessan-Mayo. The Ayi people live in 3 villages deep in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea about half way between the Sepik River and the government post of Nuku in the Sandaun Province, about 4 degrees south of the Equator. They are quite isolated with no roads in the area. It is a 12-hour walk to Nuku and a 2-hour walk to an airstrip in a neighboring language group.
Each village is an entity in itself with occasional disagreements and fights between them, but also intermarriage. The first outside contact made with the Ayi people was sometime after World War II. Their ancestors were probably pushed south from the coast as other tribes came and gained control of more desirable land. They have had a hard life of gardening, hunting and fishing; a lack of medical help and education until recent times has kept their population low. The Ayi people came from an animistic tradition. They have been requesting God's Word to be written in their language since 1996.