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Documentation of the Tomarâho variety of Chamacoco, Paraguay

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Landing page image for the collection Documentation of the Tomarâho variety of Chamacoco, Paraguay”. Click on image to access collection.

Language Tomárâho (ISO639-3:), Chamacoco (ISO639-3:ceg)
Depositor Tracey Carro Noya
Affiliation SOAS
Location Paraguay
Collection ID 0326
Grant ID IGS0156
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

This collection includes an initial documentation of the Tomarâho variety of Chamacoco, spoken by approximately 180 people living in the settlement known as Puerto María Elena-Petintouta (20°45’S, 57°56’W), Paraguay. It contains recordings of narratives important to the community members, such as personal stories, accounts of how their way of life has changed, descriptions of traditional activities, and mythological stories.

It will also include a sketch grammar of the Tomarâho language, and some materials for community use.

The picture above shows a scene from the ritual celebration of the Debylyby, the Great Ceremony of the Yxyr, which represents different interactions between the Yxyr and their gods (anabsyro), as narrated in the Great Myth.


Group represented

Tomarâho people living in Puerto Maria Elena – Petintouta, Paraguay


Language information

Chamacoco [ceg] is a Zamucoan language with approximately 1,300 speakers in the Alto Paraguay department of Paraguay. Chamacoco is a cover name used in the literature for two varieties of the language: Ybytoso (or Ebitoso) and Tomarâho. Speakers of both groups call themselves Yxyr ‘indeginous person’. The Ybytoso call their language Yxyr ahwoso ‘the words of the Yxyr’ and the Tomarâho call their language Yxyr hulo, meaning also ‘the words of the Yxyr’. The focus of this documentation is on the Tomarâho variety, spoken by approximately 180 people, but there are also a few audio files [forthcoming] recorded with Ybytoso speakers.


Collection history

This collection includes recordings and materials collected during fieldwork in the Tomarâho community between November 2011 and June 2012. The Tomarâho decided that the focus of the documentation should be on the elder speakers of the community, who talked about different matters of concern to them, including the difficulties they are facing in their current settlement, changes to their traditional way of life, and their worries about the younger generations not being interested in learning the ‘old words’ of their ancestors and their values. There are also narrations of mythological stories and [to come] some video clips of their cultural representations.


Other information

While this collection is being processed you can use this link to the metadata ( to help you explore the materials.


Acknowledgement and citation

To refer to any data from the collection, please cite as follows:

Carro Noya, Tracey. YEAR. Documentation of the Tomarâho variety of Chamacoco, Paraguay. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

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