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"Shiwilu, also known as Jebero (ISO jeb), is a critically endangered Kawapanan language spoken in the District of Jeberos, in northeastern Peru. Kawapanan languages exhibit a “mixed” areal profile, in that they combine structural properties typical of Western Amazonian languages with features specifically associated to the Central Andean families Quechuan and Aymaran (Valenzuela 2015). On June 23, 2016, Shiwilu became the first Peruvian language to be declared National Cultural Heritage (Resolución Viceministerial N° 073-2016-VMPCIC-MC). The present text was delivered orally in 2013 by one of the youngest native speakers, Mr. Fidel Lomas Chota, who was 59 years old at the time. He also helped transcribe and translate the story. The text belongs to a series of stories about ancient times when animals were people. These often deal with why things turned out the way they are today."


This article was originally published in International Journal of American Linguistics, volume 84, issue 51, in 2018. DOI:10.1086/695543

Peer Reviewed



University of Chicago Press


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