Profile Source: Anonymous
Where are they Located?
The Ma Manda (sometimes called Saut Manda) people live on the southern slopes of the Saruwaged mountain range at the headwaters of the Erap river in Morobe Province. The six Ma Manda villages are situated on level areas of steep mountains and separated from each other by deep valleys.
What are Their Lives Like?
The people live off the produce from their gardens: taro, sweet potato, greens, bananas and other kinds of fruit. The people also plant betelnut, tobacco and coffee for cash crops.
The villages are between 1000 and 1600 meters above sea level so the nights can be quite cool and people sleep next to fire pits that are in the center of every room. Houses are built on posts one to one and a half meters off the ground. The walls are constructed with either woven bamboo or handmade planks and the roofs are thatched with broad bamboo leaves or grass.
What are Their Beliefs?
The Lutheran church entered the area in the 1950s and since then has established a congregation in every village. When the church came in the people left behind their old ways of fighting. The Lutheran mission set up schools that taught Kâte, a language from the eastern coast, to the children until the 1960s. The Bible and liturgy books are available in Kâte and are still used in the church along with Tok Pisin, the language of wider communication. The younger generation doesn't understand Kâte, the older generation has low proficiency in Tok Pisin and there are no scriptures or liturgy available in Ma Manda, so all three languages are used during church services.
What are Their Needs?
The Ma Manda people are dissatisfied with their situation but they don't have Scripture in their own language so they don't gain an understanding of God's promises for everyday life.