Introduction / History
The Kwoma people live in the Waskuk Hills of the East Sepik Province and the adjacent low-lying country to the north and west. The hill areas rise to about 486 meters. Villages in the low areas are scattered along branches of the Sanchi River. The Kwoma people are divided into two dialect areas: The Nukuma dialect in the lowlands, and the Kwoma dialect in the hills. While there are some linguistic differences between the dialects, socially there are strong feelings about the differences. Each dialect group desires their own New Testament.
The Kwoma are farmers, and survive on sago (a starchy staple food made by processing the inside of the trunk of the sago palm) and garden crops such as banana, taro, yam, and greens. In addition to growing crops for personal consumption, they also engage in cash cropping and sell coffee and coco.
Recently (2002-2003), they have also started planting vanilla, a lucrative crop. A translation of the New Testament in Kwoma was completed in 1975, but the people feel that it is hard to understand and have persistently made requests for a revision. The Nukuma dialect speakers have also made a request for a translation in their dialect.
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