Morawa in Papua New Guinea

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

Introduction / History

The Morawa people live among the mangroves of the Abau district. As the crow flies, they are about thirty kilometers (or just under twenty miles) southeast of the town of Abau, the district headquarters. But without road access, it is quicker to travel by boat around to the Keapara area and then by road up to Abau.
To reach Port Moresby, the nation's capital, the Morawa people would travel the Magi highway. Most parts of the Magi Highway are unsealed, so the trip can be rather bumpy, especially if traveling by PMV (Public Motor Vehicle). PMVs are typically open back trucks with long wooden benches stretching from the cabin to the back of the truck for passengers to sit on. The Morawa people could also travel by boat to get to Port Moresby.
They retain a strong cultural identity. Their traditional language remains the primary language of all generations. Most people can also use some Magi (spoken by the Mailu), Suau, Hiri Motu, or English. The Hiri Motu language is used as a trade language. The Suau language is used in church services.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Agricultural potential is very low among the mangroves. The people must therefore rely primarily on fish and coconut, some of which they can trade for other foods or sell for small amounts of cash.
Most Morawa people do not live beyond their early 60s. Mosquitos abound in the swamps, inflicting the people with malaria. Malaria kills small children and others who have low immunity. If children survive their first few bouts of malaria, they build up a resistance that generally protects them through the prime of their lives. When Morowa people suffer from malaria or other life threatening illnesses or injuries, there is no doctor in the district to whom they can turn to for help.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Church services are attended by almost all the people. They hear the scriptures read in the Suau and Hiri Motu languages. While this is better than nothing, the people would understand the Bible far better if it were in their own language. Without a clear understanding of God's word, the people are missing out on intimacy with their Creator.

What Are Their Needs?

The Morawa area is also cut off from Abau town where the high school is located. There are elementary and primary schools for the children, but three in ten children do not attend school. With such limited schooling, three in four Morawa people are unable to read. This creates a formidable barrier to them accessing God's word in writing.

Prayer Points

Praise God that the Suau language has the New Testament and portions of the Old Testament and that it is used in the Morawa church services.
Thank God that there is also a digital form of the Suau NT and portions of the OT that can be downloaded onto their mobile phones.
How much better it would be if the Morawa people could listen to the Bible in their own language. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to compel workers into this part of his harvest field.
Pray that those who can't really understand English, Suau, Magi or Motu will be given the help they need to understand the scriptures accurately.

Scripture Prayers for the Morawa in Papua New Guinea.


Wycliffe Bible Translators

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Morawa
People Name in Country Morawa
Alternate Names
Population this Country 2,000
Population all Countries 2,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 5
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 4  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 13808
ROP3 Code 106790
ROP25 Code 305609
ROP25 Name Morawa
Country Papua New Guinea
Region Australia and Pacific
Continent Australia
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Central province: south coast around Cloudy bay.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Papua New Guinea
Region Australia and Pacific
Continent Australia
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Central province: south coast around Cloudy bay..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Primary Religion: Christianity
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 26.00 %)
90.00 %
Ethnic Religions
10.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Morawa (2,000 speakers)
Language Code mze   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Morawa (2,000 speakers)
Language Code mze   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Morawa

Primary Language:  Morawa

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Needed

Resource Type Resource Name Source
None reported  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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