“Opatssi" means living without being timid or nervous
it means you’ll be happy here
with the Cofán ideal
The paradigmatic Cofán conception of the desirable
"opa" is used equally to refer to
a satisfying existence
a happy community
and a good person
in this land of beautiful frogs
While also above all
referring to a certain quality of collective calmness
and freedom from fear
The Birth of a Dictionary
A gathering of words and interest
in "Cofán" or "A’ingae" which means "according to the people"
as the speakers of this language call it
an unclassified language spoken in northeastern Ecuador
and in the southern part of the Colombian Amazon
The number of speakers is estimated
somewhere between 600 and 800 in Ecuador
and between 400 to 600 in Colombia
the majority are Cofán-Spanish bilinguals
Growth rate of the population
is reasonably stable over the past decades
yet outside of Ecuador relatively little is known
about this ethnic group.
Someone shows an interest
a PhD student who learns something
interesting about the people
and decides to study their words
He or she gathered linguistic data on Cofán
in order to write a grammar
consisting of a detailed description
on all the different aspects of the language system
phonology, morphology, lexicon
semantics, syntax, and pragmatics
And the ethnographic information
of Cofán speakers
creating along the way a small dictionary
and a small collection of texts
During the visits to the region
close cooperation with the members of this community
guaranteed a fair exchange of knowledge
between the participating parties
researchersand Cofán people
If you decided to work on a PhD in linguistics and create a dictionary, what area of the world would you be most interested to visit and study? Who would you like to be able to communicate with?
Cofán (cof), A'ingae—"Opa" (peace, (calmness, freedom from fear), "Opac̷ʰe kãʔhẽɲe" (peace), "Opachekahene" (peace), "Opatsse" (peace), "Pʰĩpʰĩc̷ʰia naʔe" (calm (of the sea), "Phiphichianae" (calm) , "Noa" (good), "Nochi" (good), "Nokha" (good),—Sucumbíos in Northeastern Ecuador and Southern Colombia.
Is calm and peaceful the same
as meek and docile?
It is in Cocama
spoken in Peru, Colombia and Brazil
"Iyuru" is to be meek and docile
calm and peaceful
Cocama (cod), Cocama-Cocamilla, or Kokama--Cocama (cod), Cocama-Cocamilla, Kukama-kukamiria, or Kokama—"Iyuru" (to be meek, docile, calm, peaceful), "Era" (good), "Chinta" (silent), "Chinta-puri" (be silent), "Uwaka-pa" (become) + "Era" (good), "Uwakapera" (totally transformed, become good)—Peru, Colombia and Brazil.
"Awa ɨyurun tɨma ikua yumɨra"
he who is tranquil does not know how to rage
or in Spanish "ya se ha hecho manso"
"Wa ɨyurun tɨma ayukaka"
people peaceful does not fight
or In Spanish "la gente pacifica no pelea"
Other languages of Colombia
Other languages of South America
Utzil in Kiche
"Utzil" (peace, blessing, goodness), "Jamaril" (peace, calm), "Uxlanem" (peace) (n), "Uxlanibal" (peace of mind or of the soul) (n), "K’uxajTz’ininik" (be peaceful) (v), "Q’atal tzij" (justice of the peace) (n) in Kiche spoken in Guatemala (Momostenango (as well as its dependent Aldeas of Canquixaja, Nimsitu, and Panca) and Totonicapan (and its dependent Aldeas of Nimasak and Cerro de Oro).
Kiche —"Utzil" (peace, blessing, goodness)—Guatemala (Momostenango (as well as its dependent Aldeas of Canquixaja, Nimsitu, and Panca) and Totonicapan (and its dependent Aldeas of Nimasak and Cerro de Oro).
Planning Peaceful Children
Children are not usually
associated with peace "utzil"
in Kiche, an indigenous language of Guatemala
children, kids or the ritual name for good things of marriage
is "wuqub utzil wuqub chomal"
"wuqub" mean seven as if seven is the perfect number of children
seven children is "wuqk’al"
it also refers to constelations
the Big Dipper is "wuqüb kaqix"
the Great Bear (Ursa Major) is "wuqüb kaqix"
and a week is "wuqubix apan"
"chi" means to multiply
as in 7 x 7 "wuqüb chi wuqub"
so perhaps "wuqub utzil wuqub"
means 7 children bring
peace, blessings, goodness
Utzil has other meanings as well
"utzil -anima’" is charity
while favor is "utzil" or "toq’ob"
and to keep asking for a favor is "xermij ri utzil"
health is "utzil" or "utzil wächaj"
and "utzirisaj" is heal
the final word in the phrase
"chomal" means plan
as if planning for peace brings seven kinds of peace
for ourselves and children
fatness is "q’onq’otem" or "chomal"
perhaps also abundance
as if a peaceful life is one with plenty
and the most useful finger is the thumb "u-chomal q’abaj"
meeting is "molim ib" or "chomal" or "mulim ib"
and a tree trunk is "chomal che’", "kuta’mil", "che’al" or "kuta’m che’"
as if life is better when we plan to walk in the forest
breathing the oxygen provided by the 7 x 7 trees
(c) Kimberly Burnham, 2020
Peace Dictionary, The Meaning of Peace and Calm in 4000 languages
Looking for grant money to complete my peace project
Kimberly Burnham, PhD (Integrative Medicine)
860-221-8510 phone and what's app. Skype: Kimberly Burnham (Spokane, Washington)
Author of Awakenings, Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health and P as in Peace, Paix and Perdamiam: an Inner Peace Journal To Stimulate The Brain
imberly Burnham, The Nerve Whisperer, Brain Health Expert, Professional Health Coach for people with Alzheimer's disease, Memory Issues, Parkinson's disease, Chronic Pain, Huntington's Ataxia, Multiple Sclerosis, Keratoconus, Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Neuropathy, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Spinal Cord Injuries, Brain Health Coaching ... Contact Kimberly Burnham in Spokane Washington (860) 221-8510 NerveWhisperer@gmail.com.
Chat with Kimberly about Parkinson's, Poetry or other Brain related issues.
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I am looking for guest blog opportunities and a position as poet-in-residence. My current project is writing dictionary poems using words in different languages for the English word "peace." You can read some of my poems on Poemhunter .
As poet-in-residence I would write poems on different words in different languages and broadcast them throughout the social media blogosphere. Each poem would link back to your site where the word or language appeared.
I would expect some sort of stipend and a six month to one year placement. Please contact me for details if your organization is interested in having a poet-in-residence to help get your message out. Nervewhisperer@gmial.com
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(Regular rates $120 per hour or 10 sessions for $650.)