Jakón Jói / hɐ'kõ 'hoʔi / – A Life-Giving Good Voice, Word, Language, and Message: Decolonizing the Shipibo-Konibo Dictionary and Language
AuthorBest, B. R.
Kickham, Elizabeth A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIndigenous languages are important agents of the Indigenous Decolonization Process with the potential to heal the deep wounds of colonization. Yet, few connections have been made on how Indigenous lexicography and Indigenous language dictionaries can assist these processes. By examining the literature on language, Indigenous linguistics and lexicography, and decolonization I demonstrate how the connections among these concepts can be applied to a viable process for decolonizing an Indigenous language dictionary. As a white male who has spent the past 16 years living, working with, and learning how language can heal from citizens of the Shipibo-Konibo Nation of the central Peruvian Amazon, I present my auto-ethnographical account of a nascent collaborative project working to decolonize the Shipibo-Konibo dictionary. This project is actively applying Indigenous linguistic wisdom to support events and processes of decolonization. The powers inherent in language are integral to maintaining well-being and can promote and support Indigenous decolonization efforts. A key approach to using Indigenous languages to assist decolonization can be found by recognizing colonial residues within the archaeo-linguistic record by examining pre- and post-colonized elements of languages. Careful, community-based decolonization of linguistic resources can strengthen revitalization objectives and support the regeneration of Indigenous language and culture. Such thinking underlies the proposed project to decolonize the Shipibo-Konibo Dictionary through its revision and regeneration, a process which has opened local discourses on Decolonization─a concept that was notably absent in the region─and has spurred the creation of a Shipibo-Konibo radio program and other activities focused on linguistic and cultural regeneration.
Degree ProgramGraduate College