Kelsey mashes yuca to make masato
Kelsey mashing yuca to make masato

Since 2013, I have been engaged in a community-based language documentation project with the Yaminahua and Nahua of Sepahua, Ucayali, Peru. In 2019, this project was expanded to include Sharanahua and the YuruĆ” river variety of Yaminahua, also spoken in Peru.

While face-to-face collaboration ahs been suspended since 2020 due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, we have continued to make incremental progress on a multilingual Yaminahua/Nahua - Spanish and Yaminahua/Nahua to English dictionary, as well as the annotation of oral histories and traditional narratives via WhatsApp. More information about remote methods using WhatsApp can be found on the Resources page.

A collection of 50 oral narratives have been archived with the California Language Archive, along with transcriptions and translations into Spanish. These narratives were collected and analyzed during my doctoral dissertation research. Since 2019, the project has been funded by the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, and data collected in 2019-2021 has been archived with ELAR.