ERIC Number: ED395734
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
The Tarahumara of Mexico.
This paper reviews factors contributing to the loss of language and culture of the Tarahumara people of Mexico and describes a program aimed at preserving Tarahumara language and culture. The Tarahumara people reside in the Sierra Tarahumara in the northern state of Chihuahua, Mexico. Although the Tarahumara people successfully avoided acculturation for centuries, today their land base has been reduced to half of its original size and less than 20 percent of the people residing in the Sierra are Tarahumara. More than ever, the intensification of economic enterprises brought about by the migration of non-Indians threatens the survival of Tarahumara culture. A 1984 government report addressing the educational needs of the Tarahumara people documented the gradual decline of Tarahumara language and culture, particularly among school-age children. In order to prevent further decline of Native language and culture, a bilingual/bicultural program was developed for indigenous elementary school children in the Sierra Tarahumara. The goal of the program was to modify the national curriculum on the basis of the cultural and linguistic characteristics of the Tarahumara. Now in its fourth year, the program integrates relevant cultural material, employs the Tarahumara language, has standardized materials based on the Tarahumara language, and implements teacher training courses for indigenous and non-Tarahumara teachers. The program's success, however, depends upon a larger community effort to maintain and strengthen the role of the Tarahumara language in daily family and social life, as well as to develop sustainable economic and social self-sufficiency. (LP)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Language Shift; Mexico (Chihuahua); Tarahumara (Tribe)
Note: In: Stabilizing Indigenous Languages; see RC 020 517.