Waimaha

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A language of Colombia

Alternate Names
“Bará” (pej.), Barasano, Northern Barasano
Population

500 in Colombia (2004 DNP). Some monolinguals over 40. Population total all countries: 539.

Location

Southeastern Vaupés Department, tributaries of mid and upper Pira-Paraná, upper Papurí and Tiquié, Mitú. Also in Brazil.

Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Eastern Waimaha, Pamoa Bara.

Typology

SOV

Language Use

Passed on from fathers to children. Most domains, home, family, religion, local commerce, community. All ages. Positive attitudes. 40%–50% use Spanish [spa] as L2. Spanish and Waimaha used in school; Spanish with government officials. All also speak 2 or more of these: Tucano [tuo], Tatuyo [tav], Tuyuca [tue], Barasana [bsn], Yuruti [yui], Macuna [myy], Carapana [cbc] and Cubeo [cub] due to marriage patterns across language boundaries. Children speak the language of each parent, but identify with the father’s language.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 25%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–40%. Letter writing between communities. Written and oral forms used in religious services. NT: 2010.
Writing
Latin script.
Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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