The Nuaulu are divided into two groups, namely the northern and the southern groups. Numbering at a total of 2500 people, they live in the Amahai district of Central Seram. The Northern Nuaulu inhabit two villages on the north coast of central Seram Island, whilst the Southern group inhabit six villages on the south coast and interior of Amahai District. These two languages are not mutually intelligible.
The majority of the Nuaulu people still adhere to their traditional religion which is based on a belief that the ancestors control every day life and if the traditions they handed down are not followed correctly the living will be punished with sickness, death, and lack of prosperity. The Nuaulu retained a custom of headhunting until the 1940s.
The Nuaulu people are often mistakenly referred to as the Manusela people, who like the Nuaulu people wear a traditional red cloth on their heads.