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Bari Language (Baria, Motilon)
Language: Bari is a Chibchan language of South America,
spoken by 3000 people in in northeastern Colombia and western Venezuela. It is not to be confused with an
African language also called Bari, which is spoken by half a million people in the Sudan--most
Bari language information you will find online is related to the African language. Also, although both the Bari tribe
and the Yukpa tribe are commonly known
as "Motilones," the two languages are unrelated to each other.
"Motilon" simply means "shaved head" in Spanish, and has been used to refer to several different South American groups
who wear their hair this way. Bari is a tone language
with SVO word order.
Thanks for your interest in Native American languages!
Names: Bari is the tribe's name for themselves in their own language, meaning "people."
Baria is their name for their language.
Alternate spellings and names for the Bari tribe have included Barí, Barida, Barís, Barira, Bariara,
Bari-ara, Bariji, Bari-ji, Motilon, Motilón, Motilone, Motilones Bravos, Dobocubi, Dobokubi, Mape, Kunawasaya,
"Motilones Bravos," meaning "fierce Motilones" in Spanish, refers specifically to the Bari tribe, who defended their territory vigorously
against Spanish colonists. The Yukpa, who did not fight the Spanish, were referred to as "Motilones Mansos," which means
Bari language samples and resources.
Bari Culture and History
Information and links about the Bari tribe past and present.
Our list of vocabulary words in the Bari language, with comparison to words in other Chibchan languages.
Bari Pronunciation Guide:
How to pronounce Bari words in English.
Bari Animal Words:
Picture dictionary of animal words in the Bari language.
Bari Body Parts:
Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in the Bari language.
Worksheet showing how to count in the Bari language.
Worksheet showing color words in the Barí language.
Bari Language Resources
Language Map of Northern Colombia:
Map showing where the Bari language is spoken.
Linguistic chart of phonemes in the Bari language.
Bari language information including a linguistic map of Colombia. Page in Spanish.
House of Languages: Barí
Information about Bari language usage.
Archive of Bari language recordings available for download.
Ethnologue: Motilon Bari Language:
Demographic information on Bari and the Chibchan language group.
Encyclopedia article on the Motilon Bari language.
Barí Language Tree:
Theories about Bari's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Bari Language Structures:
Bari linguistic profile and academic bibliography.
Books for Sale on the Baris
The Languages of the Andes:
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links
Linguistic information about Bari and dozens of other Andean languages.
The Chibchan Languages:
In-depth look at the Chibchan language family.
Links, References, and Additional Information
Endangered Languages Project: Bari:
Bibliography of Bari language resources.
Encyclopedia articles on the Bari/Motilon language.
Lengua Bari Idioma Barí:
Information about the Bari language in Spanish.
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