Expanded PDF Profile
Introduction / History
The Dem are primarily subsistence farmers in their mountainous homeland in the Bina Valley of central Papua. They can best be accessed by airplane.
Dem speakers have a legend that says they come from a "hole in the ground". They enjoy unique songs and dances. The Dem men will often pay a bride price to obtain a wife. Upon death, a body is often cremated instead of buried.
The women work primarily in the home or as gardeners and some still wear grass skirts. Sweet potatoes are a diet staple. The Dem folk have and use knives and axes. Dem houses are built similar to Dani homes. Dem people identify themselves by tribe and clan. The Dem people look up to their chief, their pastor, and their village leader. The Dem people have no gospel cassette, films, or videos in their language. The Evangelical Christian Church of Indonesia has churches in the language area.
The Dem are sometimes known as the Lem, Ndem people. They prefer to be called Dem or Lem.
Scripture Prayers for the Dem in Indonesia.