A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names

1,000 (2011), decreasing. 200 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,000. L2 users: 0.


Papua Province, central highlands area, upper Rouffaer river basin north of Damal [uhn], northwest of Dem [dem], south of Kirikiri [kiy], Iau [tmu], and Duvle [duv], east of Moni [mnz], west of Western Dani [dnw] language areas.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Central Wano, East Wano, West Wano. Reportedly similar to Nggem [nbq], and Walak [wlw]. Lexical similarity: 65% with Western Dani [dnw].


SOV; postpositions; possessor before noun head; articles, adjectives, numerals, and relatives after noun head; question words initial in VP, final with demonstratives; 2 prefixes, 5 suffixes; bare-root with complex verbal morphology, switch reference and (or) delayed vs. immediate sequential, tail-head linkage; (C)V(C); final stress; nontonal.

Language Use

Under pressure from Western Dani [dnw] and Indonesian [ind] (Wurm 2007). Religious services, home, field, community, oral. Most ages. Negative attitudes. Little interest in language revival, low prestige, considered inferior to Western Dani [dnw] and Indonesian [ind]. Also use Dem [dem], Indonesian [ind], Moni [mnz], Western Dani [dnw]. Used as L2 by Duvle [duv].

Language Development
Bible portions: 1979–1989.
Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.