Kanum, Ngkâlmpw


A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Enkelembu, Kanum, Kenume, Knwne

150 (1996 M. Donohue).


Papua Province, Yanggandur, Tomer, and Onggaya villages. Southernmost point of province, east of Merauke city; along Papua New Guinea border.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


None known. Kanum varieties are separate languages, with difficult mutual intelligibility. Reportedly similar to Yei [jei]. Also classified as Australian, Pama-Nyungan.

Language Use

Home, hunting camps. All ages. Also use Indonesian [ind] as trade language or for official purposes. Also use Morori [mok] as trade language.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 5%.
Other Comments

One ethnic group with Kanum varieties. Clan marriages common, and much ritual exchange. Christian.