Waimaha

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A language of Colombia

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

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

Location

Vaupés department: Mitú, upper Papurí, mid and upper Pira-Paraná tributaries, and Tiquié.

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. Some also use Spanish [spa], especially 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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