Introduction / History It is estimated that less than half of the Yaqay speakers have understood the gospel but there is are several Protestant and Catholic churches in the area. They live by primarily hunting, gathering and fishing. But the Yaqay people also plant trees and gather sandalwood, gaharu and frankincense in surrounding in the swampland surroundings. With their land at an altitude of less than 100 meters above sea level the Yaqay people can best be accessed by boat. There is an airstrip in Kepi and a road is being built to Mur. Some motorcycles are available for local travel. The Yaqay people inter-marry with the nearby Auyu people. Upon death the Yaqay people are often buried in shallow graves after a church funeral.
There are 3 junior high schools in the language area and 1 high school. There are already a few books and catechisms in the Yaqay language.
The women primarily do housework, gather and prepare sago, catch fish, and raise children. The clothing people wear is generally modern but some children with sago leaves or nothing at all. The people eat sago, fish, bananas, coconut, rice, noodles, and canned items. The Yaqay have knives, steel axes, bows and arrows; some also have generators, chain saws, and boat motors. Some houses are stilted off the ground and made of from sago trees in a hexagonal or square shape; some are made of cement construction. In Wanggate there are at least 2 generators, Kepi has PLN electricity but no telephones are in the language area except in Mur. The leaders are village, religious, school heads. The people get their drinking water generally from the river, but sometimes from rain. A midwife or health worker is assigned to each village but some don't live there; malaria, leprosy and TB are common communication. The Yaqay people have no gospel cassettes, films or videos in their language. There are at least 8 Catholic churches in the language area including a Catholic and a Protestant fellowship church in Kotup.
The Yaqay are sometimes known as the Yaqai, Jakai, Sohur, Mapi or Jaqai people. They prefer to be called Yaqay. Linggua(northern), Dagemon-Tagaimon Sino(southern) are some of this language's dialects. The Yaqay have regular contact with the Awyu, Asue among others. Both Indonesian and Yaqay are used at home and at church.