Many indigenous languages have died or are in danger of extinction. Using words like “death” and “extinction” to refer to a language might seem extreme. It’s not as if an entire animal species has ceased to exist. But the death of a language represents an entire people losing its culture. Historically this has often happened because of government harassment of minority groups. Children are beaten in the classroom for speaking their native tongue.
When faced with the imminent extinction of their native Kukama-Kukamiria, the local children of Nauta, Loreto, Peru made it cool again in the best way they knew how, teaming up with NGO Create Your Voice to film a rap video. The children contributed to the writing of the song, singing and rapping in Spanish and Kukama-Kukamiria about a vulture (Kumbarikira) that’s rejected by everyone around, a metaphor for traditional village life.