A report on the Irantxe and Myky

Statement of Responsibility:
Anonby, Stan

Myky and Irantxe are varieties of the same language, and both go by the Ethnologue code [irn]. Their area is in northwestern Mato Grosso, Brazil, near the jump-off town of Brasnorte, which both groups visit frequently.

The Irantxe were contacted early in the twentieth century. Due to warfare with the Rikbaktsa, they moved to a South American Mission (SAM) center east of their homeland and intermarried with various other tribes. As a result, today most of the 250 Irantxe are monolingual in Portuguese.

Due to the same pressures the Myky, a branch of the Irantxe, moved to the north and remained isolated until 1971. Although the Myky have intermarried with the Irantxe and other tribes, they still speak their own language. There are eighty-eight people in Myky village, but they are not all Myky. The non-Myky people in the village appear to be dominant in Portuguese. The NGO Operação Amazônia Nativa (OPAN) is involved with the Irantxe and Myky, but lately their influence seems to be waning. OPAN has encouraged the Myky to continue their traditional rituals, something the Irantxe have largely given up.

The Irantxe are largely literate in Portuguese. The Myky are almost totally illiterate.

11 pages
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