Kaiwai, Adi in Indonesia

Kaiwai, Adi
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Map Source:  Anonymous
People Name: Kaiwai, Adi
Country: Indonesia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,100
World Population: 1,100
Primary Language: Kowiai
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 30.00 %
Evangelicals: 3.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: New Guinea
Affinity Bloc: Pacific Islanders
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Nutmeg and seashells are readily available in the area because the Kowiai people are coastal and island-dwellers. At an altitude of less than 100 meters above sea level the Massep people can best be accessed by boat.

Historically when the Kowiai area was ruled by a king the king's spit was used to "water" the garden because it was alledged to have the power to keep pigs and birds away. They also sold Nanesa and Mairasi people to slave traders who came. The Kowiai are reported to have come from Maluku in the mid 1800s and intermarried with Papuans.

For marriage celebrations those invited by the groom's side are to bring something for the wedding. Burial happens within 24 hrs of death after the body is washed by members of the same gender. Burial can turn out to be quite expensive.

The main staple of the Kowiai people is fish and coconuts, but they also eat game. They wear modern clothing although the sarong is sometimes still worn. Within the typical Kowiai home there is a front room and bedrooms only because a structure apart from the home is built for the kitchen. The Kowiai people have machettes, boat motors, and spear guns among other tools. But the Kowiai people have no gospel cassettes, films, or videos in their language.

The Kowiai are sometimes known as the Koiwai, Kaiwai, Kuiwai, Aiduma, Kaymerah, Kajumerah, Adi, Namatota, or Namatote people. They speak Kowiai at home.

Text Source:   GMI Papua