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Transcript of YAGUA LANGUAGE
Language family: peba-Yagua
Autodenominación: nijyamwi 'people'
Spanish explorers came into contact with the Yagua in 1542 and the Jesuits in 1693. The Jesuits, then the Franciscans, tried to persuade the Yagua to settle in the missions founded in the area. However, the incursions of the Portuguese missions in search of slaves, and later forced labor imposed by employers during the rubber boom and epidemics caused the Yagua flee to less accessible places.
The Yagua communities traditionally consisted of a communal house called cocámara. It was oval-roofed dome-shaped leaves reaching to the ground
The Yagua language is very complex. Unlike many languages of the jungle, you have a numerical system able to handle numbers that go beyond a thousand. Some Yagua who can not read or write can do mental math calculations faster than others using pencil and paper.
Why should we care?
Every language reflects a unique world-view with its own value systems, philosophy and particular cultural features. The extinction of a language results in the irrecoverable loss of unique cultural knowledge embodied in it for centuries, including historical, spiritual and ecological knowledge that may be essential for the survival of not only its speakers, but also countless others.
Location: The Yagua live in the department of Loreto, scattered over a roughly rectangular area of 241 km. wide and 483 km. long extending from the east of Iquitos to the border with Brazil.
Daniela Torres Limo