Piraha

Some interesting points about the piraha people and their language

  • They have no myth.
  • They do not have a story to explain their existence
  • They have no number concepts
  • They have no name for colours
  • They have no notion of time, use lunar phases and dry and wet season to represent passage of time
  • They live entirely in the moment
  • They have no creative story telling
  • They have no oral history beyond two generation
  • They have no art except the crude line drawings
  • They are least materialistic people
  • Only the simplest kinship system.
  • They live aling 300 km streach of Maici river in the south west of Brazil’s amazonas state
  • There are around 350 in number
  • Piraha is a simple language with only seven consonants and three vowels.

Piraha at wikipedia

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4 Responses to “Piraha”


  1. 1 prashant October 2, 2006 at 11:54 am

    Being a Star Trek fan while surfing I stumbled across Klingon language … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klingon_language

  2. 2 sathish September 29, 2006 at 6:26 am

    how long will it take for them to discover the numbers and include them into the language? Is it exposure to outside world?

    if they get exposed too fast to outside world, they will lose everything about their language and unique identity; It is a very thin line..

  3. 3 S.Karthikeyan September 28, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    Satish. There is one explanation given for why Piraha people do not know to count, it is said that we get moulded by the laguage we speak. Since the lanuage lacked the concepts of numbers, it is thought the people speaking piraha will find difficult to get the concept of numbers and maths.


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