Introduction / History
The Marind primarily live by hunting (and selling game), gardening, and gathering food; as well as logging in this large southern swampy land. With their land at an altitude of less than 100 meters above sea level, the Marind people can best be accessed by boat. There are some asphalt roads and a number of non-paved roads are good to travel on in the dry season.
The "Samb-anim" ritual is for young people who have been initiated into the traditional knowledge and customs. There are a number of other spiritual ceremonies as well. Legend says the Marind people descended from Geb and Sami and came from Africa on a boat or giant raft.
There are a number of junior high schools and high schools in the language area (particularly in Merauke).
The people eat sago, fish, bananas, jambu, coconut, and meat among other foods. They enjoy carving, and sometimes paint cloth or even their own body. Some Marind have boat motors; and many have knives, axes, shovels, rifles, and tableware. A few Marind people own motorcycles also. Horses, while rare in other parts of Papua are used in the Okaba district (east of Merauke). Remote village homes are often 1 room affairs, stilted or dirt floors, and a leaf roof. There are some roads in the area; PLN regular electricity is in Merauke and evening electric in Okaba. There are some SSB radios but no telephones outside the main city. Lack of good nutrition is common, as is malaria, skin diseases, leprosy, and typhoid. Many villages have a medical worker. Besides the Catholic Church, there are Reformed churches in the language area.
The Marind are sometimes known as the Southeast Marind, Tugeri, Holifoersch, or Gawir people. Atih, Kumbe, Mbian are Marind dialects spoken in the area. Within the family, Marind is regularly used. Both Marind and Indonesian are used among friends.
What are their beliefs?
It is estimated that less than half of the Marind speakers have understood the gospel but there are several Protestant and a number of Catholic churches in the area.
Text source: GMI Papua