Born out of a collision between the Indo-Australian Plate and the Pacific plate, the snow-capped Maoke Mountains range from the west to the east, its ten peaks reaching up 4000 metres into the sky. As the mountains slowly fall away into grassy and river infested hills they become lowlands which are blanketed in the lush greens of an ancient rainforest and pocked with low lying swamps.
It is in West Papua that we find ourselves, the home of Waris. From the family grouping Border comes the language of West Papua and Papua New Guinea. It is similar to the Imonda and people who speak the language can understand people who speak Waris and visa-versa. While it is also similar to Amanab the two languages are unintelligible.
Waris is spoken by 4000 people and is taught at an educational level in the places where it is spoken. The people who speak it may be small in number but they are passing the language torch on to their youth and because of that the language is growing in numbers.
Thanks for joining us on this journey in language.