Aekyom love poem
Gwah dureh waigitnam
Ko swa wenukina
Ma, katma yo gwemki
Hoko yeyki "Nu gu hoda dra"
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Love poem translated into Aekyom (alternatives and dialects : Akium, North Awin, West Awin, Awin, East Awin, South Awin, Aiwinn).
This Papuan language of Trans-New Guinea (TNG), has 8,000 speakers, and is spoken in the northern half of the western province of Papua New Guinea, near Kiunga.
Aekyom is one of the two Awin-Pa languages, the other being Pare (pa) (not to be confused with Pare of Tanzania), the two are very closely related and can be considered as dialects of each other. Together they make up a subfamily called Elevala.
To delimit the exact linguistic area of Aekyom, it suffices to surround the space included between, the Fly river and the hills north of the Elevala river, the Ok Tedi river, and the Black river.
The word Aekyom designates both ethnicity and language. The old name was Awin, the name given to them by their neighbors, the Yongkoms.
The Aekyom language has three or four, dialects: Western Aekyom along the Ok Tedi River; the Aekyom of the center-north; the Aekyom-Skai in the northeast, along the Black River; and the Aekyom-Pare to the southeast, along the Fly River. Depew (1986).
It should be noted that pastors continue to have an important role in Papua New Guinea.
The example here of pastors mastering Aekyom, and using it with neighboring Konai communities (which speak an entirely different language), to educate and teach religion, gave the aekyom language that they use for teaching, a prestige it did not have, and in this example, today some Konais speak Aekyom, and since then, relations and marriages between these two peoples have developed.
Papua and Papuans
Among the Papuans still living in the traditional way, gathering and hunting provide additional resources to the few agricultural gardens they cultivate.
The communications are made by difficult tracks and by plane. In Papua, the marshy and unhealthy lowlands are sparsely populated and the essential resource is the sago. On the coast there are vast coconut groves and cocoa plantations. Copper is an important resource for the country.