Huitoto, Murui

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Adjustment of information on the HUU, HTO and HUX languages

Kasia Wojtylak, Mon, 2017-03-20 23:22
ISO 639-3: 

Hello, I want to correct some information regarding the Murui HUU, Minika HTO, and Nipode HUX languages. I have been working with the Murui HUU language since 2010, and I am currently finishing a detailed grammar of the language. I spent in total 15 months working with Murui communities in Colombia, and I have a first hand experience that: 1) The language is spoken in Colombia. In fact, there is more speakers in Colombia than in Peru (ethnologue states that Murui HUU is spoken in Peru and Minika HTO is Colombia; this is not correct). The Colombian territories were the traditional lands of the HTO and HUU people. There is a group of the HUU speakers in Peru, it is true, but it is a smaller group than those who live in Colombia. 2) The official numbers given by Ethnologue for the population of the HUU people are not accurate: "Total users in all countries: 7,800." This number encompasses all the "Early Huitoto" (as called in Ethnologue) people. In fact, the "Early Huitoto" (that is HUU + HTO + HUX combined) amounts c. 6,000; with less than 2,700 speakers. Here are the current estimates: As for the HUU As for the Murui people, according to the official numbers of the OIMA census (2008, Plan de vida del Pueblo Murui: Jurisdicción Organización Indígena Murui del Amazonas - OIMA) as well as my fieldwork experience, there are approximately 2,800 people living both in Colombia and Peru. Less than 2,000 know the language (I estimate them at about 1,000). Murui has a main dialect called Mika (not mentioned in Ethnologue). The population of the Mika people might be as high as 200 with less than 100 speakers. As for the HTO The ethnic population of Minika HTO, partially based on AZICATCH (Asociación de Cabildos y Autoridades Tradicionales de la Chorrera (AZICATCH), 2008), can be estimated at c. 2,400, with about c. 1,500 speakers. As for the HUX According to the account of Griffiths, Coleman, and Morales (2001: 29), there are about 105 Nɨpode HUX people living in Peru (as of 1994) and 482 in Colombia (as of 1995). The estimated number of speakers is 250. The current official estimate of the entire Witoto population (HTO, + HUU + HUX combined) is a bit more optimistic. On page 137 one reads that there are 8.300 people in Colombia and Peru, with c. 3,800 speakers. See Fagua Rincón, Doris. 2015. 'Documentación de las prácticas lingüísticas y socioculturales de la Gente de centro, Amazonia noroccidental.' Mundo Amazónico 6 (1):129-146. Available at 3) The language status of all the HUU, HTO and HUX languages should be marked as 7 (Shifting: The child-bearing generation can use the language among themselves, but it is not being transmitted to children), rather than 6b 'Threatened'. Throughout the last 7 years of my work with all the Early Witoto groups, I have met about 10 children who could speak the language. I am wondering if this information could be somehow adjusted, especially for the HUU language. In any case, thank you so for doing the wonderful job regarding all the world's languages! All the best, Kasia Wojtylak