Dem in Indonesia

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Map Source:  Anonymous
People Name: Dem
Country: Indonesia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 5,000
World Population: 5,000
Primary Language: Dem
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 65.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.00 %
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 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.

Text Source:   GMI Papua