People of the Center

The people of the center are a culturally relatively uniform, but linguistically diverse group in the North West Amazon, in the border region between Southern Colombia and Northern Peru. Speaking seven mutually unintelligible languages, the People of the Center are characterized by some unique cultural practices, including completely memorized ritual discourses that may last up to several hours, repertoires of thousands of songs performed at festivals, as well as efficient systems of drum communication that build on the structures of the individual languages. The traditional cultural practices as well as the use of the languages on a daily basis are nowadays rapidly declining in a process of transculturalization towards national society and language shift towards local Spanish.

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