Opening the Door

Foundations: Alliance Heritage

By Mary Owen, 1970

Our legends of origin say that our forefathers ascended to the earth from a hole in the Baliem Valley,” explained Loma, a man who had heard the gospel for the first time. “Then they migrated west until all the valleys were populated. As they were traveling across the high plateau, a bad storm came upon them, and the intense cold caused them to stammer and stutter, thus the origin of our tribal tongues–Dani, Damal, Moni, Ekari, Nduga and many dialects.” Loma was confused. “But the new talk brought by the strange white people came from the west! How can this be when all our legends indicate that man came from the east?”

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