Native American language
Native American tribe
Native American name
Bara Indian Language (Bará)
Language: Bara is a Tucanoan language of South America.
It is a tone language
with SOV word order.
Bara is most closely related to the Waimaha,
Juruti languages, some of which are referred to as
dialects because their speakers can understand each other.
The linguists most familiar with these languages, however, maintain that they are
distinct from each other and that the people who speak them simply have a high degree of multilingualism.
Tucanoan tribes are exogamous (they have strong cultural taboos against marrying within their own tribe,) so
women usually join a new tribe when they are ready to marry. Most Tucanoan children consequently grow up
speaking two languages, and the classification of Tucanoan languages and dialects has been complicated.
Bara is spoken as a first language by only about 50 people in Brazil, but is used as a second
language by many more Tucanoan people in Brazil and Colombia.
Names: The name Bará comes from their own word for a ceremonial plant, but the people more often
call themselves Waipínõmakã, a name that means "fish anaconda people" and refers to their mythological origin
story. Other names and spellings used to refer to the Bará people include
Bara, Bará-Tukano, Bara Sona, Bupua Bara, Pokanga, Pokangá-Tapuya, Pocanga, Pakang,
Wañaco, amd Wamutañara.
Our list of vocabulary words in the Bara language.
Demographic information on the Bara language.
Bará-Tuyuka Language Tree:
Theories about Bara's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Estudios de la lengua Bará:
Background about Bará and other Tucanoan language usage in Colombia. Page in Spanish.
La Lengua Bará:
Information on the Bará language including linguistic maps of South America. Page in Spanish.
Indigenous Peoples of Brazil: Bara:
Online ethnography of the Bara people.
The Amazonian Languages:
Linguistic information about Bara and dozens of other Amazonian languages.
The Fish People: Linguistic Exogamy and Tukanoan Identity in Northwest Amazonia:
Anthropology book on the social structures of the Bara and other Tucanoan tribes.
Links, References, and Additional Information
Os Bara: Povo Bara:
Information about the Bara in Portuguese.
Grupo Indigena Bara-Waimaha:
Information about the Baras in Spanish.
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