Desano is an Eastern Tucanoan language spoken by about 3,000 people in northwestern of Brazil and southeastern Colombia. In particular, it is spoken along the Tiquié River, and also along the Papuri, Vaupés (Uaupés) and Negro rivers, which are run through the Vaupés Department in Colombia and the State of Amazonas in Brazil.

Desano is also known as Boleka, Desâna, Kusibi or Winá. It is closely related to Siriano, which is spoken in the same area.

In 2008 Wilson de Lima Silva, a linguist at the University of Utah, started a project to document and revitalize Desano. He worked with Desano teachers, community leaders and other community members in Brazil, and organized workshops to develop an orthography for the language, and to train people in language documentation.

They have produced written and recorded collections of stories, song, poems and other material, and in 2012 Silva published his PhD thesis, A descriptive grammar of Desano. There is also a translation of the New Testament from the Bible in Desano.

Desano alphabet and pronunciation

Desano alphabet and pronunciation

Other letters may be used in words borrowed from other languages.

Download an alphabet chart for Desano

Sample text (The Lord's Prayer - Luke 11: 2-4)

  1. Ĩgʉ eroparĩcʉ̃ peegʉ Jesu erãre werepʉ: —Õpa arĩ Goãmʉre serẽque: “Gʉa Pagʉ, ʉmaro majagʉ mʉhʉ õagʉ ãhraa. Dohpaguere árĩpehrerã weca opʉ ãhraa. Ʉmaroguere mʉ dorero erã iiro dopa ta i yeba majarã sã iiporo.
  2. Eropigʉ ʉmʉri nʉcʉ gʉa baburire oniguicãque gʉare.
  3. Gajirã erã gʉare ñero iirare gʉa cãdijiro dopa ta mʉ sã gʉa ñero iirare cãdijique. Eropigʉ gʉa ñeri iiborare cãhmotaque. Gʉa ñeri iiborare tauque,” arĩ serẽque Goãmʉre, arĩpʉ Jesu erãre.



  1. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
  2. Give us day by day our daily bread.
  3. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.


Sample video


Information about Desano

Tucanoan languages

Carapana, Cubeo, Desano, Guanano, Secoya, Tucano, Tuyuca, Yurutí

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 02.04.24. Last modified: 02.04.24


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