Historical information: Urarina and Omurano are language isolates of the Loreto Region of northeast Peru. As of 2016, Urarina speakers number a few thousand, and the language is the dominant language of daily life in every community in which it is spoken. In contrast, only a handful of lexical items and songs are remembered of Omurano. Urarinas historically were concentrated on the Chambira River, a left-bank tributary of the Marañón; Omuranos inhabited the Urituyacu River, another left-bank tributary to the west. Since at least the late 19th century, Urarinas have begun to settle in significant numbers on the Urituyacu. The songs that comprise this collection were collected in June 2013 during a trip aimed at searching for speakers of Omurano. Zachary O'Hagan traveled in the company of Fathers Miguel Ángel Cadenas and Manuel Berjón, then priests of the parish of Santa Rita de Casia in Santa Rita de Castilla (Marañón River), and Sisters Nancy Roca and Eli Quiroz, resident in the same parish. Songs recorded on June 14 and 16 were recorded in the homes of the singers listed; songs recorded on June 17 were recorded in the context of a community-wide workshop. All songs were recorded on an H4N Zoom digital recorder with an Audio-Technica 803B lavalier microphone. Funding for this research came from an Oswalt Endangered Language Grant administered by the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley.
Scope and content: Twelve songs, some with multiple versions, in Urarina and Omurano, from five singers
Repository: Survey of California and Other Indian Languages
Preferred citation: Songs from the Urituyacu River, SCL 2016-05, Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, University of California, Berkeley, http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.7297/X2GH9FZD