Introduction / History
The Tairuma people, whose language is also called Tairuma, which means "peaceful waters," live in eight villages in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea. They have a strong group identity and are proud to be Tairuma and to speak the Tairuma language.
They support themselves primarily by fishing, cultivating vegetable gardens, and processing sago (which is made from the trunk of the sago palm). They build canoes that are used for transportation as well as for fishing. They also make bracelets called ma'i ta'e, necklaces from seashells and bags called "bilums" which are characteristic not only of the province but also of the country in general. They typically carry these bags on their heads.
With regard to religion, Christianity is predominant, although the lack of Scriptures in their heart language hinders spiritual growth and leads to a misunderstanding of spiritual truths.
Their houses are constructed of lightweight materials – primarily of wood with sago palm leaf roofs.
There are schools in the Tairuma villages. There are no Tairuma textbooks. Education in the early grades is in the mother tongue, while older students are instructed in English.
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