The Amazonian tribe, the Amondawa, have no concept of time and lack the linguistic structures that relate time and space. Researchers revealed that the tribe has no concept of time or space, or better yet, no words for time periods, such as ‘’weeks’’ or ‘’decades’’. Although, it is believed that the Amondawa can recognize the order of past events and realize that one thing happened before another. Something I found very interesting was that the Amondawa people don’t have concrete ages, though they have general stages of life that the people are categorized in, hence no individual has a birthday or an individual age. When the Amondawa tribe learn Portuguese they have no problem at all acquiring and using the mapping from the language itself. Researchers believe that the lack of ‘’time technology’’ is what resulted in the lack of time concepts, which may be related to the fact that their number system is limited in detail. Language is essentially vital in shaping our knowledge of ideas and concepts because we share our thoughts with others, via forms of communication, or in other words, language. Even though this specific tribe has no concept of time or space, language in itself is not at all less important than it is to any other tribe that does have a concept of the two aspects.
The concept of a tribe not having a word for time passing is very interesting. According to the article they have no notion of time passing at all. At first this didn't sound as surprising; however, when I stopped to think I realized that this meant that there is no present, future or past tense. That in a sentence there is no way to understand wether an action os being done continuously, is going to be done or has already been done. And this is very hard to grasp. Knowing two languages that use time in a daily basis it is very uncommon and hard to imagine how it is possible to understand a person, a sentence or a story that has no time frame whatsoever. This serves to show that language and the concepts brought with this language is rally important to shape the way we think and see the world. It is clear that they are able to live the same with out any reference to time passing; however, only the thought of not being able to refer to time as I speak is disturbing and hard to grasp. In the field of communication I see that this village has a much harder time communicating what is going on and, that could hinder the process of communication and the understanding of one's point. As they learn Portuguese, it will be very hard to understand what is being taught since not only are they having to learn a whole new language but also a whole new concept of the way that they see the world.
The fact that some Amazonian tribes do not have a concept of time is not surprising. Having been isolated from the rest of the world for so hundreds of years has caused the people of such tribes to be unable to communicate and share ideas. Technological innovation for human beings only started when civil order was created in regions, and the regions were linked by forms of communication. When Europeans started to explore Asian and North America, they learned a good deal from the natives there and also tried to teach others as well. Each region may have valuable information, but that information alone is not enough to advance further. The people of Amazonian tribes may have good knowledge of the land, food, herbs, and animals in their surrounding areas. However, things such as a clock to keep track of time would never have come to them since they have been so isolated. Many ancient civilizations used the falling and rising of the sun as a way to keep track of time. I read a book called “Guns, Germs, and Steel”, by Jared Diamond, which explains that the reasoning for certain cultures developing in certain ways is because of the geography of the area. Some cultures are more easily exposed the lands that may have the necessary resources to rise above equilibrium. If a civilization has the entirety of its population as hunter gatherers, then at most the will barely be able to feed themselves and free others of the same job. In ancient times in the Middle East, people were able to develop farms, to grow a large amount of food. When there is a surplus of resources, more time can be devoted to advancing techniques and experimenting with new ideas. If there is equilibrium of consumption and production, the civilization will never grow. The Amazonian tribes many fruits and vegetables found in the rainforests, but not fertile and large land to grow crops, thus they never reached a surplus and could not advance. To develop any methods of farming, time would have been completely necessary. They would have to understand the dry and rainy seasons and the harvest season. Eventually a year system would be forced on them no matter what, to keep track of all the changes. Because of their isolation and infertile living spaces, the Tribes people were unable to advance, reach a surplus in resources and develop the idea of time.
Imagine living without a concept of time. It is a hard concept to grasp especially because our modern lives revolve around time and time passing. The Amondawa tribe in the Amazon has no concept of time in their language. They have not invented a system or method to keep track of time or measure time such as a calendar. This differs from other languages and cultures because the majority of societies use some method to understand how much time has passed. We understand time as an abstract idea yet the Amondawa do not attempt to understand time as a separate entity from the world they live in. When the Amondawa learn Portuguese, they have no trouble understanding the concept of time in relation to an event. They can understand that an event happened long ago or will happen far in the future. Yet no concept like this exists in the Amondawa language. This suggests that language plays a huge role in shaping our knowledge of ideas and concepts. For example, the Amondawa are able to learn about the concept of time by learning Portuguese. If a concept exists in one language but not in another, the people who have learned this concept in their language understand the idea while the people who speak the other language have no understanding of this concept. I also think it works the other way around. Language is created based on what ideas and concepts people know. If there is no existing knowledge on a certain subject than that language will lack that information. Language is shaped and created by what people know. However, language can also expand the knowledge of someone else such as Portuguese did with the Amondawa. Overall, language is a powerful tool for understanding and spreading knowledge.
The Amondawa tribe in the Amazon’s lack of time does not interfere in their lives, only It differs from other societies. Because they don’t have access to time technology such as chronometers and clocks, they do not have any sense of what are moments such as “today”, “tomorrow”, or “last night. Also, they do not know the concepts of month or year. However, when they learn Portuguese, which according to the text, is something that is occurring each time more constantly, they easily learn how to apply time concepts. This suggests that language plays the role of only concretizing and objectively portraying our knowledge of ideas and concepts, for without language, we can still have knowledge of ideas, and only not know how to express it in a way that another person can understand, like in their case, in which they still know some sort of time organization, like the sequential order of events, only they don’t know how to communicate it in a way that those who speak Portuguese can understand.
1) The relationship with time of the Amondawa tribe differs from other societies because they have no abstract idea or concept of tribe. They do not have systems of time such as calendars or clocks, which might be the cause for them not having a concept of time in a daily basis. Since they do not perceive use the notion of time as we do, their daily life is much less structure than ours, which makes them have more available time as the things they do are not controlled by time.
2) Even though they have lived their entire life without the definition of time, when they start learning portuguese, they have no trouble understading the concept and applying it, because they start understanding how time can be determinant in life and how it might be important to use it daily.
3) This example shows how language can change our knowledge of ideas and concepts by demonstrating how the absence of the concept of time can still lead to a manageable life as it does not become a determinant and important factor in the life of the communities who don't use it. Since their language lacks the concept of time, they do not have the need to time every single task that they perform, which will affect some of their concepts of limitations and organization.
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