Waimaha

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A language of Colombia

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

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

Location

Southeastern Vaupes Department, tributaries of mid and upper Pira-Paraná, upper Papurí and Tiquié, Mitú.

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% also use Spanish [spa]. Spanish is used in school and with government officials. Also use Barasana-Eduria [bsn], Carapana [cbc], Macuna [myy], Tatuyo [tav], Tucano [tuo], Tuyuca [tue], Wajiara [yui]. All use 2 to 4 of the other languages due to marriage patterns across language boundaries. Children speak the language of each parent, but identify with the father’s language. Used as L2 by Tuyuca [tue].

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 [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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