search catalogue

The Enxet documentation project

Landing page image for the collection "The Enxet Documentation Project"

Landing page image for the collection “The Enxet Documentation Project”. Click on image to access collection.

Language Enxet Sur
Depositor John Elliott
Affiliation Univeristy of Hawai’i at Manoa
Location Paraguay
Collection ID 0435
Grant ID SG0439, SG0494
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle

Blog post

ELDP Project Highlight: The Enxet Documentation Project 


Group represented

The Enxet Sur (or just Enxet) are one of six ethnolinguistic groups of the Enlhet-Enenlhet nation (speakers of Enlhet-Enenlhet or Mascoyan languages). At present, most speakers and singers in the corpus are residents of the indigenous communities of El Estribo or Armonía. Most residents of these communities are descended from the pesyapto, one of the pre-modern group affiliations constituting the modern Enxet Sur people. Most pesyapto previously lived on the lands of the Makxawaya Anglican mission a few hundred kilometers east of their present day communities, up until the late 20th century. Thus, in its current state, this collection presents primarily the pesyapto variety of Enxet Sur. Some videos also include speakers of the sister language Enlhet Norte from the Enlhet Norte community of Paz del Chaco, mostly in the festival videos from October 2017.


Special characteristics

Much of this collection focuses on the use of traditional Enxet food and medicine in “bushwalk” style videos. These walking narratives and on-site procedural descriptions of the use and procurement of plants and animals present a view of Enxet life in the El Estribo community, and show how indigenous knowledge of the local landscape has allowed Enxet people to survive and thrive in the Paraguayan Chaco. The videos feature the collection of wild medicinal herbs, medicinal fungi, the collection of wild honey, and the hunting and butchering of a tapir. These walking videos, beyond presenting the relationship between Enxet culture, language, and territory, show the use of spatial and temporal deixis in the context of motion and change of location.

The collection also features a series of videos from a multi-day Enxet Sur festival in October 2017, leading up to Indigenous Peoples Day on Oct 12. The festival videos show the performance of three common song and dance styles performed by the Enxet: the gourd rattle singing style known as kyáye, a group dance in the round with drumming called weygke néten, and a women’s dance with deer hoof rattles called yammána.

Other material in the collection includes traditional stories, historical narratives about the old Anglican mission and the founding of the modern Enxet Sur communities, a church sermon in Enxet Sur, and many hours of grammatical and lexical elicitation and consultation with native speakers.


Collection history

The video corpus and associated materials come from two ELDP funded field projects, conducted from June to August in 2016 (SG0439) and from September to November in 2017 (SG0494), respectively. It also includes material collected during a trip from July to August in 2018, funded by the Bilinski Educational Foundation, and audio material from an initial field visit in June and July of 2015. All materials, including the audio recordings from 2015, were collected by John Elliott, the principal investigator, as part of his doctoral research. The planning and structure for most of the “bushwalk” videos is the work of Anival Lopez, co-director and primary consultant for this part of the project. Videos from the October 2017 festival were recorded at the invitation of Anival Lopez and Benigno Rojas, community leaders of the villages of Palo Santo and Santa Fe, respectively.


Other information

Información en castellano

Enxet Sur es una lengua de la familia linguistica Enlhet-Enenlhet (Maskoyan) de aproximadamente 4.000 hablantes repartidos por varias comunidades del departamento de Presidente Hayes en el Chaco paraguayo. El propósito de este proyecto es crear grabaciones anotadas de audio y video de Enxet con un enfoque en el uso tradicional de plantas y animales, establecer una base de datos léxica y comenzar un análisis estructural detallado para el enriquecimiento de un proyecto de documentación más a largo plazo.

Los usuarios de cualquier parte de la colección deben reconocer a John Elliott como el investigador principal, recolector de datos e investigador. Los usuarios también deben reconocer el Programa de Documentación de Idiomas en Peligro como el financiador del proyecto. Los hablantes individuales cuyas palabras y / o imágenes se usan, siempre y cuando su nombre se proporcione en los metadatos de un elemento determinado, debe ser reconocido por su nombre. Cualquier otro contribuyente que haya recopilado, transcripto o traducido los datos o haya estado implicado de otra manera debe ser reconocido por su nombre. Toda la información sobre contribuyentes está disponible en los metadatos.

Para referirse a cualquier dato del corpus, por favor cite el corpus de esta manera:

Elliott, John. 2016. The Enxet documentation project. London: SOAS, Endangered Languages Archive. URL:

Ninguno de los materiales en este depósito puede ser utilizado como evidencia en un tribunal de justicia sin el permiso expreso del investigador principal (contacto:


Acknowledgement and citation

Users of any part of the collection should acknowledge John Elliott as the principal investigator, data collector and researcher. Users should also acknowledge the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme as the funder of the project. Individual speakers whose words and/or images are used, so long as their name is provided in the metadata for a given item, should be acknowledged by name. Any other contributor who has collected, transcribed or translated the data or was involved in any other way should be acknowledged by name. All information on contributors is available in the metadata.

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

Elliott, John. 2016. The Enxet documentation project. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

None of the materials in this deposit may be used as evidence in a court of law without the expressed permission of the principal investigator (contact:

Powered by Preservica
© Copyright 2024