Cocama (Kokama) is an indigenous language spoken by thousands of native people in western South America. It is spoken along the banks of the Northeastern lower Ucayali, lower Maranon, and Huallaga rivers and in neighboring areas of Brazil and an isolated area in Colombia. There are three dialects. The robust dialect is known as Cocama, Kokama, Ucayali, Xibitaoan, Huallaga, Pampadeque, and Pandequebo. As of 1999, Cocamilla (Kokamiya) was moribund, being only spoken by people over 40. Omagua (Omawa) of Peru is reported to be extinct by Aikhenvald 1999,
Out of a projected ethnic population of 15,000, the majority of Cocama speakers, 2,000, live in Peru. Remaining speakers live in Amazonas state in Brazil, where 50 out of 411 ethnic Chayahuitas speak it and it is known as Kokama or Kokamilla. Most speakers are trilingual and can also speak Portuguese and Spanish. Very few are monolingual. There are 20 ethnic groups in Colombia's Lower Putumayo area with an unknown number of Cocama-Cocamilla speakers. Most expected speakers would also be trilingual, but the language may be extinct in the region.
Cocama speakers have a 3% literacy rate, compared with 50% for Spanish. Grammar rules have been developed and the language is written using the Latin alphabet. Parts of the Bible have been translated into the language.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Cocama-Cocamilla