Indigenous languages are in Peru one of the most important topics of debates and studies due to their importance in the culture of this country. Peru has more than 47 indigenous languages. Four of them are spoken in the Andean zone and the rest in the Amazon. It is for this reason that the Original Languages Day is celebrated every May 27 in order to promote and preserve these as a cultural heritage of humanity.
Many of these languages are in the process of extinction. If a language disappears not only its communication code is lost, but also what lies behind it, all its knowledge transmitted from generation to generation for centuries. Losing a language means losing a large part of our culture and that is why today languages are given great importance in order to preserve them.
Because of the importance these have for the country and for the world, Pluspetrol launched the “Legendary Languages” campaign that seeks to promote the native languages of the Cusco region through the publication of the collection “The Book of Our Jungle”. This publication contains stories of these peoples and their origins.
The writer Teresina Muñoz Najar participated in this project and with the help of the Ministry of Culture of Cusco managed to collect the oral narratives that gave life to this collection with the purpose of preserving the intangible legacy of these peoples and thus making future generations know our culture.
To achieve this compilation they had to live with these communities for several days in order to gather some of their wisdom and turn these stories into tales for children. The importance of these stories is to teach children the privilege that our country has to possess a great variety of native languages for which they should be proud.
Among all these stories we have the “Keatsi and the Brave Shaman” a story that tells us the importance of medicinal and magical plants in the ancient world. We can also observe the symbolism that animals have with the cultural identity of the peoples of the lower Urubamba.
Much of our culture is being lost every year despite the efforts of many public and private entities to preserve what was left to us, but thanks to the constant campaigns that are carried out as “Legendary Languages” a bit of the essence of these languages and cultures is now written and published.