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Guajiro Indian Language (Wayuu, Guajira)

Language: Guajiro is an Arawakan language of South America, spoken by more than 300,000 people in northern Colombia and Venezuela. Unlike most indigenous languages, use of the Guajiro language is increasing today. Guajiro is a polysynthetic language which uses complex verbs with many suffixes, and it has VSO word order. Three extinct languages of tribes who used to live in the same region, Guanebucan, Cosina, and Onota, are often considered as dialects of Guajiro.

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Names: "Guajiro" was originally a tribal placename, which comes from a native word meaning "rich" or "powerful." Although some tribal members do use this term, particularly in the Colombian region known as La Guajira, most of them call themselves "Wayuu" instead, which means "people." They call their language Wayuunaiki. Alternate spellings of these names include Goajiro, Goahira, Guajira, Koajiro, Wahiro, Wahira, Waira, Uaira, Wayúu, Wayu, Wayú, Guayu, Guayú, Guayo, Wayyu, Waiu, and Wayunaiki.

Guajiro Language
Guajiro/Wayuu language samples and resources.

Guajiro Culture and History
Information and links about the Guajiro/Wayuu tribe past and present.

Wayuu Legends
Introduction to Wayuu mythology.

Arawakan Facts for Kids
Questions and answers about the Arawakan tribes including the Wayuus.

Guajiro/Wayuu Language Resources

Our Online Guajiro Materials

Guajiro Words
    Our list of vocabulary words in the Guajiro language, with comparison to words in other Arawakan languages.
Guajiro Pronunciation Guide:
    How to pronounce Guajiro words.
Guajiro Animal Words:
    Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Wayuu language.
Guajiro Body Parts:
    Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in the Wayuu language.
Guajiro Numbers:
    Worksheet showing how to count in the Wayuu language.

Guajiro Dictionaries and Language Books for Sale
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Guia de Wayuunaiki: * Curso de Wayuunaiki:
    Wayuu language learning books written in Spanish.
Gramática De La Lengua Guajira:
    Linguistics book on Guajiro syntax, also in Spanish.
    (Unfortunately we do not know of any published Wayuu language books in English.)

Guajiro Language Resources

Northern Colombia Language Map: * Venezuela Language Map:
    Maps showing where in South America the Wayuu language is spoken.
Wayuu Alphabet:
    Phonological inventory of Guajiro, with a sample text.
Wayuu Language * Wayuu Linguistic Description * Wayuu Orthography * Wayuu Phonology * Wayuu Text:
    Scanned-in Wayuu language materials from the Rosetta Project.
Guajiro Phonology:
    Linguistic chart of phonemes in the Guajiro language.
Diccionario Wayuunaiki * Palabras Indigenas Guajiras * Diccionario básico ilustrado Wayuunaiki-Español:
    Wayuunaiki Para el Mundo: * Traductor Wayuunaiki: * Un curso de aprender Wayuunaiki:
    Wayuu language learning materials in Spanish, including dictionaries, video lessons and an app.
House of Languages: Wayunayki:
    Information about Wayuu language usage.
Guajiro Language Tree:
    Theories about Wayuu language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Goajiro Language Structures:
    Guajiro linguistic profile and academic bibliography.
Wayuu Taya Foundation: Schools and Education:
    Information about Wayuunaiki language use and bilingual education from a tribal nonprofit organization.
El Idioma Wahiro:
    Guajiro language information including a linguistic map of South America. Page in Spanish.
What does Guajira mean in Arawakan?
    Origin of the phrase "guajira guantanamera" heard in Cuban folk music.
Wikipedia: Guajiro
    Encyclopedia article about the Guajiro Indian language.

Literature and Texts in the Guajiro Language

Five Poems of Vito Apushana: * Contrabandeo sueños con arijunas cercanos:
    Poetry of indigenous artist Vito Apüshana, in Spanish, Wayuu and English.
Human Rights: Wayuu:
    Translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into the Wayuu language.
Guajiro Prayers: * Wayuu Prayer: * Wayuunaiki Words of Life:
    Guajiro translations of Christian prayers and Bible stories.
Himno nacional Venezolano en Wayuunaiki: * El himno Colombiano con letra:
    The national anthems of Venezuela and Colombia sung with Wayuunaiki lyrics.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

  Endangered Languages Project: Guajiro:
  Bibliography of Guajiro language resources.
  Mochila bags: * Chinchorro hammocks:
  Origins and meanings of Wayuu cultural terms.
  Colombian Language: * Venezuelan Language:
  Information and links about indigenous language in Colombia and Venezuela.
  Tribu Wayuu * Lengua wayuunaiki * Los Wayuu * La cultura Guajira * Indios Guajiros * Goajiros
  Information about the Guajiro tribe and their language in Spanish.
  Guajiro language links.

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