Waimaha is an endangered language from the world's newest independent nation, Timor Lorosa'e, or East Timor. The aim of the Waimaha language documentation project is to provide rich documentation of a wide variety of genres of speech and associated cultural activity. The project forms a part of the world-wide DoBeS (Dokumentation Bedrohter Sprachen) or 'Documentation of Endangered Languages' scheme. This scheme is funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung. The Waimaha research has been approved by the East Timorese National Institute of Linguistics, and it will be carried out over an initial three year period.
While the language is called Waimaha in English, its speakers refer to the language as Waima'a. The name Waima'a is derived from the words wai 'water' and ma'a 'empty'. The region in which Waimaha is spoken is also one of the driest in East Timor. The primary focus of this documentation project is the village of Caisido, which is located about ten kilometres to the west of Baucau, East Timor's second largest city. Eventually, the project will expand to include materials from the closely related Kairui and Midiki dialects as well.
This web site contains a variety of materials on the Waimaha language that have been collected in the course of the project so far, but the site represents only a small proportion of the material that will be available eventually. At the present time, most of the materials that will make up the documentation of Waimaha still have to be collected and processed. Once it has been completed, the entire documentation will be housed on a number of servers and probably also on DVD.
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This page last modified on 7 April, 2003.