Jimajima, Dima in Papua New Guinea

Jimajima, Dima
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
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People Name: Jimajima, Dima
Country: Papua New Guinea
10/40 Window: No
Population: 1,400
World Population: 1,400
Primary Language: Dima
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 95.00 %
Evangelicals: 8.00 %
Scripture: Translation Started
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: New Guinea
Affinity Bloc: Pacific Islanders
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Jimajima Dima people are an indigenous community residing in the southeastern peninsula of mainland Papua New Guinea in a remote part of Milne Bay Province. Their name translates to "people of the mountains." The Jimajima Dima people have a unique culture and a history that has been passed down through generations. The Dima area is coastal and low-lying grassland, much of which becomes swampy during the rainy season. The coast is hedged in with mangroves. Inland there is a plain of grass-covered hills containing many swampy areas filled with various trees and palms. The area is fairly isolated; it takes three days motorized boat travel to reach.

Only Audio Recordings currently exist in the Dima language. A Bible translation into Dima is needed.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Jimajima Dima people have a subsistence lifestyle, which revolves around agriculture and hunting. Their primary crops are sweet potatoes, taro, and yams, which are cultivated in small-scale gardens. Hunting and fishing are also significant components of their diet, and they rely on the forests and rivers for game and fish. The Dima have a reputation as providers of meat, especially bandicoot and wallaby.

One of the most significant ceremonies of the Jimajima Dima people is the Sing-Sing, which is held annually. This event brings together different clans and tribes from the surrounding areas to celebrate their culture through music, dance, and art. The Sing-Sing is a colorful and vibrant event, where performers wear intricate costumes and masks to represent the spirits and deities. There is a tradition of

competitive feasting between Dima clans and with some neighboring language groups, in which each village attempts to provide the pig with the largest girth.

The Jimajima Dima people have faced numerous challenges in recent years, including land disputes and environmental degradation. The construction of a major highway through their traditional lands has resulted in the displacement of some community members and the loss of important cultural and natural resources.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Dima claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. The Jimajima Dima people's traditional belief system is based on animism, which is the belief that all things, including animals, plants, and rocks, have a soul. They believe in a complex network of spirits and deities that govern their lives and the world around them. Their religion is deeply intertwined with their culture, and they hold ceremonies to appease the spirits and seek their guidance.

What Are Their Needs?

The Dima are many physical and spiritual needs. They need teachers to help them learn literacy skills. They need access to the blessings of modern medicine. Most of all, they must be trained in the ways of the Lord. They need to learn and apply the principles of the word of God.

Prayer Points

Pray that soon the Bible will be available in the Dima language.

Pray that the Dima would learn literacy skills so they can make full use of the Bible.

Pray the Lord raises up trained, mature pastors for the Dima church.

Pray that the Dima would be willing to share their faith with other peoples of PNG.

Text Source:   Joshua Project