Kwoma trace their origin to various "holes" in the ground in Nukuma territory. Linguistically, Kwoma is closely related to Kwanga, spoken by a substantially larger population in the southern foothills of the Torricelli Mountains 48 kilometers to the north, and almost certainly the Kwoma people have migrated during recent centuries from this region to their present sites. First European contact took place shortly Before World War I, when the region was under German Control, but European society had minimal impact until after World War IL Christian missions have been active since the 1950s, and most people are nominal adherents to one denomination or another. Most men have worked for several years elsewhere in Papua New Guinea as wage laborers or in the employ of churches, the army, or the police force. In everyday life people speak Kwoma among themselves, and New Guinea pidgin with outsiders. Few speak English.