Introduction / History
The Nama people live in three villages – Ngaraita, Mata and Daraia. They live in an area of about two hundred square kilometers on the plains near Morehead River in the southern part of the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. The Nama people cultivate gardens, which produce taro, sweet potatoes, yams, sago, and greens and also fruits, such as coconuts, bananas, pineapples and papayas. They also fish, hunt deer and wallaby, and raise chickens. They sell some of their garden produce at Morehead market, just a few minutes from Ngaraita.
Marriages are arranged through "sister exchange," where there is ideally an even exchange of brides between villages. New brides will typically move to the village of their new husbands. Marriages are celebrated with singsings, consisting of traditional style music and dance.
Most of the Nama people identify themselves as Christians, and they are very enthusiastic about reading God's Word in their own language. One woman in Mata village said, "Having the Bible only in English is like holding a cold glass of water that we can't drink."
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