Kalou in Papua New Guinea

The Kalou have only been reported in Papua New Guinea
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Kalou people are an indigenous tribe of northwest Papua New Guinea, living in the Madang Province. The history of the Kalou people dates back to pre-colonial times, and they have a long and proud tradition of warfare and conquest. They were known for their skill in fighting and were feared by other tribes in the region. However, their interactions with colonial powers and neighboring tribes also led to their exploitation and marginalization.

The Kalou speak their own language of Kalou. Some are also able to speak Tok Pisin, a major trade language of PNG. This language allows the Kalou to communicate and trade with their neighbors. Kalou is still an unwritten language. Audio Recordings are available in Kalou.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The lifestyle of the Kalou people is centered around subsistence farming and fishing. They grow crops such as yams, taro and bananas, which they use to feed themselves and their families. They also fish in the nearby rivers and streams and hunt in the surrounding forests. The Kalou people have a strong tradition of communal living, and they often work together on community projects, such as building houses or clearing land for crops.

In addition to their subsistence activities, the Kalou people have a tradition of craft-making. They create intricate baskets, mats and carvings from materials such as bamboo, sago and wood. These crafts are often sold or traded with neighboring tribes and provide the Kalou people with additional sources of income. With the cash they gain through selling their products the Kalou are able to purchase things like metal tools and cotton clothing.

The life expectancy of the Kalou is not high. Children sometimes die of preventable diseases. Modern medicine clinic are hours away by canoe or walking.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Over one third of the Kalou claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. Their Christianity is mixed with folk religion and ancestor veneration. The Kalou people have a unique religious belief system that is based on animism. They believe that the natural world is inhabited by spirits and deities, and that these spirits play an important role in their lives. They also believe in the power of ancestral spirits, and they honor their ancestors through rituals and ceremonies. The Kalou often live in fear of offending the spirits.

What Are Their Needs?

The Kalou would greatly benefit by access to modern medicine. They need schools for their children. Solar panels can bring them the blessings of electricity. The Kalou need pastors who know the word of God and can teach them the Word of God.

Prayer Points

Pray that the Bible is translated into Kalou and Christian resources become available in the language.

Ask the Lord to send medical teams to the Kalou.

Pray that schools are established to educate the Kalou children.

Pray that each Kalou person is able to hear the gospel in a way he or she can understand.

Scripture Prayers for the Kalou in Papua New Guinea.


The National Research Institute 2010, Papua New Guinea District and Provincial Profiles, link here.

National Economic & Fiscal Commission 2014, Go Long Ples Reducing inequality in education funding, A Report by the National Economic & Fiscal Commission

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Kalou
People Name in Country Kalou
Alternate Names Yawa
Population this Country 2,500
Population all Countries 2,500
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 5
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 4  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 12455
ROP3 Code 104489
ROP25 Code 303559
ROP25 Name Kalou
Country Papua New Guinea
Region Australia and Pacific
Continent Australia
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Sandaun province: Sepik Iwam area, northwest of Hauna.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Papua New Guinea
Region Australia and Pacific
Continent Australia
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Sandaun province: Sepik Iwam area, northwest of Hauna..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 13.00 %)
35.00 %
Ethnic Religions
65.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Kalou (2,500 speakers)
Language Code ywa   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Kalou (2,500 speakers)
Language Code ywa   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Kalou

Primary Language:  Kalou

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Needed

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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