The two last men on earth….
This story made me wonder about people.
Only two old men can still speak the ancient Ayapaneco language, one of the few in Mexico to survive the Spanish conquest – Manuel Segovia and Isidro Velazquezto who live less than a kilometre apart in a small Mexican village. Once they’re gone, so is the language.
Saving this fragment of cultural timelessness would be easier if the two men shared it, but they don’t talk to each other and refuse to discuss how best to preserve their dying language.
Those close to the men aren’t sure what the conflict is about.
An anthropologist who is trying to record the language found out they ‘don’t have much in common’. Apparently Mr Segovia is ‘prickly’ while Mr Velaquez is ‘stoic’.
Whilst funny on the face of it, this is so sadly characteristic of human frailty. It made me imagine the last two men on earth, their stupid pride pitting one against the other until their last breath. It made me think about how stupidly short-sighted we can be.
- The last two speakers of a dying language refuse to talk to each other (dailymail.co.uk)
- Language at risk of dying out – the last two speakers aren’t talking (guardian.co.uk)
This entry was posted on April 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm and is filed under sustainability with tags dying culture, dying languages, Linguistic anthropology, Spanish colonization of the Americas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.