Guanano is an Eastern Tucanoan language spoken in the northwest part of Amazonas State in Brazil, and in the Department of Vaupés in the southeast of Colombia. It is spoken by separate groups of people, the Wanano, who live mainly in Brazil, and the Piratapuyo in Colombia. There are some differences between the languages of each group, but they are reportedly mutually intelligible. The are around 1,560 speakers of Guanano, and 1,430 speakers of Piratapuyo. Guanano is also known as Wanano, and native speakers call themselves Kotiria ("water people").

Since the 1960s, various people have worked on documenting the Wanano language. The first was Antônio Giacone, a missionary, in 1967. An number of ways to write the language using the Latin script have been developed.

Guanano alphabet and pronunciation

Guanano alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Wanano

Sample text

Arithu hira waikina kitĩ yaurithu. Arithu hira waikina ya yaurithu. Sa ponã bueti hira. Ãyoana sã kootiria ne Bosi sã ya durkuare. Michãpokaka makaina, ba'ano makaĩna. Hiphitina. Wamanopure ñalãna yare buena ñano yʉdʉna thuotui sã. Mipʉre sã ya kootiria yare buena phiro wacheha yoaripha sã thʉoturi baro a'rire sʉha. Ã yoana a'ri thure hoaha sã kootiria.


This is a Wanano animal storybook. It is our animal storybook, for our children to study. This way, we Wananos won't forget how to write and speak our language. It is for those here now, and for those who come later, for everybody. When we were young, it was really hard for us to understand learning (school) in the white-people's language. Now, happily, we have our own Wanano learning. What we've been thinking about for a long time has arrived, and that's why we Wananos are writing this book.

Source: Wa'ikina Khiti (Animal Stories), the first primer in Wanano, from A Reference Grammar of Wanano by Kristin Sue Stenzel.

Sample video


Information about Guanano / Wanano

Tucanoan languages

Carapana, Cubeo, Desano, Guanano, Secoya, Tucano, Tuyuca, Yurutí

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 02.04.24


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