Posts Tagged ‘books’

Program for the nomadic Penan

31 May 2012

The Penan are one of the last nomadic hunter-gathering peoples of the world. Inhabiting both the Malaysian and Brunei parts of the island of Brunei, about only 200 of 16,000 Penan remain nomadic.

They speak Eastern Penan (pez) and Western Penan (pne), which puts youngsters at a disadvantage in Malaysian schools where the national Malay (zsm) tongue is spoken.

To bring literacy to the Penan so they are adequately prepared to deal with the society they find themselves in, the Borneo Project is working on a series of books in Penan and has a bilingual preschool program for the Penan.

To learn more about the Penan, read “The Borneo Project,” in the Earth Island Journal.

Advertisements

Review of “Telling Stories In the Face of Danger” and Kumeyaay

21 May 2012

In “BOOKS: Can language preservation battle be won?,” Richard L. Carrico reviews “Telling Stories in the Face of Danger: Language Renewal in Native American Communities,” published earlier this year by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Edited by Paul V. Kroskrity, professor at UCLA, the paperback is a compilation of stories, commentary on the stories and academic discourse.

The offerings include a piece by Margaret Field, a professor at San Diego State University working to revitalize Kumiai. Listed as Kumeyaay (dih) on Wikipedia, this language is listed by the Ethnologue as having 330 speakers. Although controversial, many break Kumeyaay into three languages: Ipai (dih-ipa), Kumeyaay proper and Tiipai (dih-tiidih-tip), with the number of speakers ranging from 25 to 200 for each. Eight Kumeyaay lessons by Field and others are available on the website of San Diego State University’s Language Acquisition Resource Center.