Kosena in Papua New Guinea

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

Introduction / History

Kosena language speakers live on the border of Okapa District and Kainantu District in the Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea. Oral history relates that their ancestors originated from the Tairora village and initially settled in the rich Oiyana valley between Onamuga and Ontenu village. Their ancestors had to move camp from Oiyana, after having settled there for a very long time, due to tribal warfare and involvement of colonial rule through Luluai and Tultuls and village policing to control law and order (German New Guinea Territory).
Their ancestors initially referred to and known as Irafo people migrated to current site after a short stay in Onamuga. They could not stay long at the new location due to their reputation as fierce warriors who were viewed as trouble makers. They moved camp after instigating trouble with neighboring tribes and moved down to Arora villages and settled there for some time. While there, they made several scouting expeditions back to the current site to weigh out possibility of reprisal attacks on occupants, mostly Fomu people and return and reclaim their land. They eventually mustered enough courage to fight off the Fomu people and reclaim the current site. The current generation, due to its association with the Arora, Sefuna and part of Awiyana people adopted the name Kosena, although the history of how the name evolved remains vague to this day.

Where Are they Located?

The current location for Kosena language speakers is along the border of Okapa and Kainantu district in Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea. Some of the language speakers, especially from Arora, Sefuna and Awiyana are located towards the southern part of Okapa district.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The current lifestyle of the people is a mix of subsistence farming, using traditional and modern agricultural practices. The main staple food eaten all year round is English potato or kaukau. They grow vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, garlic and potato.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Many traditional cultures and practices have been done away with or are in the process of dying out as the people embrace Christianity and socio-economic changes brought about by the independence.

What Are Their Needs?

These language speakers are declining at an alarming rate. This is probably the last generation to know most of their cultural heritage including pure language. The new generation cannot articulate well and speak Pidgin English with many substitution of phrases in between. A Tokples (native mother tongue) school needs to be set up to preserve this language.

Prayer Points

Scripture Prayers for the Kosena in Papua New Guinea.

Profile Source:   Eliud Uwasenko  

People Name General Kosena
People Name in Country Kosena
Alternate Names
Population this Country 5,600
Population all Countries 5,600
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 5
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 5  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 12808
ROP3 Code 105252
ROP25 Code 304233
ROP25 Name Kosena
Country Papua New Guinea
Region Australia and Pacific
Continent Australia
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Eastern Highlands province: Kainantu and Okapa districts.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Papua New Guinea
Region Australia and Pacific
Continent Australia
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Eastern Highlands province: Kainantu and Okapa districts..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Primary Religion: Christianity
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 16.00 %)
85.00 %
Ethnic Religions
15.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Kosena (5,600 speakers)
Language Code kze   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Kosena (5,600 speakers)
Language Code kze   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Kosena

Primary Language:  Kosena

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1973)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1980-2014)
Bible-Complete No
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Kosena YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Bible app direct APK download SIL
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Kosena YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Download scripture in this language eBible.org
Text / Printed Matter Scripture text - download PNG Bible Translation Association
Photo Source Eliud Uwasenko 
Profile Source Eliud Uwasenko 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.