Native toPapua New Guinea
RegionSouthern Highlands Province
Native speakers
77,000 (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
imo – Ibo Ugu (Imbo Ungu)
ubu – Ubu Ugu (Umbu Ungu)
Coordinates: 6°8′S 144°1′E / 6.133°S 144.017°E / -6.133; 144.017

Kaugel (Gawigl) is one of the languages spoken in the Southern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea. Native speakers call the area on the Southern Highlands side of the Kaugel River from the Western Highlands province home.

Dialects are Aua (Ibo Ugu, Imbo Ungu, Imbongu) and Gawil (Umbo Ungu, Kakoli).

Kaugel counts with a base-24 system in cycles of 4. The word for 4 is also the word for hand in reference to the four fingers.[2]

A translation of the New Testament was published in 1997 and is currently available online.[3]

Imbongu has a pandanus language used during karuka harvest.[4]


  1. ^ Ibo Ugu (Imbo Ungu) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Ubu Ugu (Umbu Ungu) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Imbongu Ethnologue Entry". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. SIL International. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  3. ^ "The Bible in Imbongu language". worldbibles.org. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  4. ^ Franklin, Karl J.; Stefaniw, Roman (1992). "The 'Pandanus Languages' of the Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea - a further report" (PDF). In Dutton, Tom (ed.). Culture change, language change - case studies from Melanesia. Pacific Linguistics. Vol. C-120. Canberra: Department of Linguistics Research School of Pacific Studies THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY. pp. 1–6. doi:10.15144/PL-C120.1. ISBN 978-0858834118. ISSN 0078-7558. OCLC 260177442. Retrieved 25 October 2018.