Saturday, 30 June 2012

A rainforest lexicon


I talk a lot, especially when working with local people who have vast stores of knowledge and understanding to share. As always, on this (now-extended) trip to Peru I’ve spent hours learning from my superb, generous colleagues; nowhere more so than in Amazonia where long boat rides sped past in happy conversation, comparing names for plants and animals in Amazonian Bolivia and Peru. For the linguistically savvy, here’s a list of Peruvian names I’ve learned recently in Amazonia, and of names I used for years for the same species while I lived in Bolivia. (Note that it may contain spelling errors as these names are derived from an oral tradition and all were hastily noted in the field.)


English name
Peruvian (Tambopata) name
Bolivian (camba) name
leafcutter ant
curbinchi
cepe
walking palm species 1
pona
pachiuba
walking palm species 2
cashapona
zancudilla / pachiuba zancuda
Euterpe edible heart palm
wasaí
asaí
titi monkey
ojo-ojo

spider monkey
makisapa
marimono
river turtle
taricaya
peta
howler monkey
cotomono
manechi
bullet ant
isula
tucandera / tucanguira
tiger heron
puma garza
socó
grey-necked woodrail
unchala
caracoé
common potoo
ayaymama
guajojó
capybara
ronsoco
capiguara
Cecropia
cetico
ambaibo
Astrocaryum palm
huicungo
chonta
Triplaris tree, home to vicious stinging ants
tangarana
palo santo / palo diablo
neotropic cormorant
lavaculo
pato cuervo
Erythrina coral bean tree
amasiza
gallito
screamer
camungo (horned)
tapacaré (southern)
tapir
sachavaca
anta
fer de lance
jergón
yoperobobo / yope
bushmaster
shushupe
pucarara
giant armadillo
yungunturo
pejichi
ocelot
tigrillo
gato montés
tayra
manco
melero
undulated tinamou
¿dónde estás?
fonfón / fonfona
tinamou
panguana
perdiz
oropendola
paucar
tojo
plumbeous / ruddy pigeon
falta poco
huasca flojo
pale-vented pigeon
ya te vi

speckled chachalaca
manacaraco / mierda carajo
charata
yellow-rumped cacique
¡ay qué rico!
tojo
razor-billed currasow
paujil
mutún
jaguar
ibhá
chirapa / pata 'e lana / tigre
red-and-green macaw
guacamayo cabezón
paraba roja
blue-and-yellow macaw
guacamayo boliviano
paraba amarilla
chestnut-fronted macaw (and other small macaws)
maracana
parabachi
silky anteater
serafín
osito oro
tamandua
chiwi
oso hormiguero
giant anteater

oso bandera
vulture
gallinazo
sucha
giant otter
lobo de río
londra
sloth
pelejo
perezoso
agouti
añuje
jochi
paca
picuro
jochi pintao
squirrel monkey
huasita / fraile
saimiri
mealy and yellow-crowned parrots
aurora (which is the name used for a trogon in Bolivia)

nunbird
monjita
bati bati
violaceous jay
pían pían

blue-grey tanager
sui sui
(not present in eastern Bolivia where sayubú is used for the near-identical sayaca tanager)
white-throated toucan
tío juan
tucán latidor
coati
achuni
tejón
red brocket deer
venado colorado
huazo
grey brocket deer
venado cenizo
urina
cobalt-winged parakeet
pihuicho

pepper tick
isango
garrapatilla
giant cowbird
chichirichi
seboí grande
Tabebuia tree
tahuarí
tajibo

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