About the Book
Each sale of the book creates $10 in profit which goes back to the Sawiyano for education and medical needs. --- Near the border between West Papua and Papua New Guinea lives small group of approximately 800 people called the Sawiyano who speak their own unique language. They live in an area of mountains and swamps. They have been in contact with outsiders since World War II. Some Sawiyano learned to read and write in the short-lived government school at the airstrip and missionaries also taught literacy. Within the last 50 years, many things have changed in the tribe. Cannibalism was abolished. Tribal rivalries and fights have mostly stopped. Houses are no longer as high off the ground when fear of attack from other tribes was prevalent. Some tribe members adopted a new religion, a few continue to follow the old ways, while many mix a new faith with the ancestral traditions, myths and superstitions.
Despite the changes, many old ways of the tumbuna (ancestors) continue, especially in regards to crafts. Except for a few nails, most houses are built using the main traditional methods and materials. Steel axes and bush knives now fell the trees instead of stone axes. Food is gathered and prepared in a similar manner each day as it was fifty years ago.