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The Binumarien of Papua New Guinea:

An Endangered Species

Binumarien 1

Like the world's endangered species of birds and animals, some groups of humans are also threatened with extinction.

For the Binumarien of Papua New Guinea it was ideas, not enemies, that were destroying them. Their numbers were down to 112 when SIL linguists Des and Jenny Oatridge first went to them.

The Binumarien had come to believe that God had not originally created woman, but that he had turned a man into a woman as punishment. Conjugal relations were considered cursed, and childbirth a danger to the community. Binumarien 2

But after an alphabet was made and Bible translation began, excitement ran through the villages over the Genesis account of creation, written in their own language. It said, "God made man in his own image--male and female created He them."

So womanhood was good! Home life was consequently transformed. In the 20 years following, the number of Binumarien tripled.




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