J.A. Echeverri, 40, male, anthropologist, colombia, upper Amazon

Juan Alvaro Echeverri jechever at latino.net.co
Fri Oct 18 05:59:15 UTC 1996

Juan Alvaro Echeverri, anthropologist, Ph.D. New School for Social Research
Currently affiliated to the Gaia Foundation in Colombia.

I have worked mostly with the Uitoto language (also spelled Witoto,
Huitoto) in collection, translation and interpretation of native texts. 
Last published work: "Cool Tobacco, Sweet Coca: Teachings of an Amazonian
Sage from the Colombian Amazon" (Hipolito Candre, translated from Uitoto
and commented upon by myself) (Great Britain: Themis Books, 1996).

I work in a Programme called COAMA (Consolidation of Amazonia).  I advise
indigenous research projects in the region of the Middle Caqueta in the
Colombian Amazon.  Among these, I have been working in a project of
recuperation of the Nonuya language (Witoto linguistic family).  The
initiative of the project comes from the near 80 surviving members of that
tribal group, who no longer speak that language (they speak the Muinane
language, Bora-Miranha ling. family, due to the almost extinction of the
group after the period of rubber slavery at the beg. of the century). 
Three speakers of the Nonuya language have been located living in other
areas of Amazonia (one of them died recently).  One of them was brought to
live in the community.  Recordings of the language have been carried out,
and a first sketch of the phonology (together with a linguist) was done. 
Use of the language in everyday life is unlikely, but the project has an
important meaning for group identity.

The linguist (Jon Landaburu) and myself reported on this process of
recuperation (which is not solely a question of finding out the words and
structures of the language) in "Los Nonuya del Putumayo y su lengua:
Huellas de su historia y circunstancias de un resurgir" (Spanish): The
Nonuya from Putumayo and their language: Footprints of their history and
circumstances of a resurgence (published by the Center for the Study of
Aboriginal Languages of Colombia, U. of Los Andes, 1994).

(Note to list manager: I was unable to find the Endangered-Lang. database
in the gopher.)

I would be glad to have some exchange with other list members who have
research interests in the Upper Amazon area, and also, in the meaning of
language recuperation for ethnic identity.

(no signature file)  Juan A. Echeverri

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