Akawaio (Ka'pon)

Akawaio is a Cariban language spoken mainly in northern Guyana, and also in northern Brazil and eastern Venezuela, by about 6,380 people. In Guyana Akawaio is spoken by about 4,500 people on the Mazaruni river in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni region. There are about 1,700 speakers of Akawaio in the Brazilian state of Roraima, and another 180 in the Bolívar state in Venezuela.

In some sources Akawaio is classified as a dialect of Kapóng, along with Patamona. In other sources they are listed as separate languages.

Akwaio is also known as Acahuayo, Acewaio, Akawai, Akawayo, Ingariko or Kapóng. It is closely related to Patamona, Pemon and Macushi.

A dictionary of Akawaio was published by the missionaries Ray and Dee Stegeman in 2014 after 14 years of working with the Akawaio people. They devised a practical alphabet for Akawaio, and also primers, other books and a translation of the New Testament. There are several other ways to write Akawaio.

Akawaio alphabet and pronunciation

Akawaio alphabet and pronunciation

Sample text (Genesis 1:1-3)

Totsaróra eweybiarreká pey Makonáima wia kah kábopu, nohn nerra. Mora-atai nohn unkónegábutze iwéyipu, ahre bura nerra, sídupon wéyjipu ikobái póropo: Makonáíma Yakwarri otoupu tona poropohru. Makonáima wia, Ahkwa weyjima, tahpu: morai yow ahkwa weyjipu.


In the beginning God created heaven and earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The spirit of God was hovering over the water. Then God said, "Let there be light!" So there was light.

Source: https://www.language-museum.com/encyclopedia/a/akawaio.php

Sample videos in Akawaio


Information about Akawaio and Kapóng

Cariban languages

Akawaio, Akurio, Bakairi, Carib, Carijona, Hixkaryána, Ikpeng, Japreria, Macushi, Panare, Pemon, Tiriyó, Wayana, Ye’kuana, Yukpa

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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