‘There are no words’: As coronavirus kills Indigenous elders, endangered languages face extinction
“Awiri nuhã,” Aritana Yawalapiti, 71, said in the language of the Yawalapiti, an Indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest. “Take care of the people. Take care of the land. Take care of the forest.”
As the coronavirus burns its path through the world, it has pushed into territories that shelter some of the world’s most endangered languages, worrying vulnerable peoples and linguists alike. By targeting the elderly, the virus is disproportionately striking down the last remaining speakers of ancient languages that were already threatened by globalization, development and the growing hegemony of a few global languages. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/coronavirus-brazil-indigenous-endangered-language/2020/10/06/59fa1aa8-f42b-11ea-999c-67ff7bf6a9d2_story.html
Tribal leaders and linguists from Brazil to India to Australia race to record dying languages.