18 February 2008

Two weeks in Colombia, and despite the slow start, pollution in town, political turmoils and occasional lack of electricity & hot water, i still love it here! Photos of WEEK 1 and WEEK 2. (about the market here is a version with sound)
I keep discovering new fruits, with new tastes, the diversity of produce is incredible, how comes those never reach Europe or US? Oh and i heard someone speak Guambiano yesterday, one of the main indigenous languages, it sounds so.. strange, almost seems like there are tones like in Chinese, gotta ask about that when I meet more of them this week.
This region was inhabited for a long time, pre 10,ooo years ago, some even pre-Clovis. I keep hearing about ancient cultures i never heard about. I also learned that i am in another putative region for the origin of bamboo, as the largest number of varieties is found in the Cauca valley worldwide (haven't check on that yet, but that's what a German architect told me.. he buys the material here to build bamboo houses worldwide including in Asia). Pre-colombian (in both senses:) societies in the region had a highly developed bamboo culture, one of the many things that got mostly lost with the demographic disaster of the 16th century. Still the vitality of indigenous culture and genes have not disappeared, they can be seen everywhere, just in a different form as before.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi Marc

Your comments about colombia are nice but really you think that Guambiano and chinese are related languages?

Is interesting the high rate of biocultural variation of Colombian peoples incluiding natives, african-descendents and mestizo

Colombia is wonderful country

tontonmarc said...

hey anonymous,
yeah it's a wonderful country, with the potential to be even more wonderful :)
no i don't think Guambiano (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbacoan_languages) or any indigenous American language is related to Chinese. It's just that the way it sounded was so unusual, the only closest comparison of the sound i could make was with Asian tone-based languages. But really i didn't hear enough and i am not a specialist. All i know is that no linguist would link any indigenous language securely to any "old" world language, and that most agree that indigenous languages are very diverse with many unrelated isolates, despite the tremendous loss of diversity that occurred.