Documentation and description of the Laitu language with a focus on endangered cultural practices
Fifteen thousand people in Minbya, Mrauk-U and Myebon Townships of Rakhine State in Myanmar speak Laitu, a Southern Chin language of the Kuki-Chin group of the Tibeto-Burman family. Due to the inaccessibility of Chin villages, many Southern Chin languages remain undocumented, Laitu among them.The deposit consists of audio and video recordings of narratives concerning nearly extinct religious rituals, the traditional ritual of facial tattooing and conversational texts with cultural significance.
Group represented No known dialect.
Language information Laitu
Special characteristics Laitu rituals and festivals rooted in traditional religion are on the verge of extinction. The corpus in the deposit contains texts related to these almost extinct traditional rituals, which include Puacung (cow and chicken sacrifice for getting cured of evil spirit bites), Nawk An Pawk (buffalo sacrifice for offerings to both good and bad spirits), Kra An Khawk (goat sacrifice for offerings to the spirit of lands), Pang An Phai (chicken sacrifice for driving away evil spirits from home during childbirth), etc. The deposit also includes video recordings of these traditional rituals taken place in the Laitu villages.
Deposit contents The deposit contains a corpus of Laitu. The entire corpus of Laitu includes 12 hours of transcribed recordings of different genres, circa 4 hours of narratives, 2 hours of expository texts, 2 hours of conversations, 1 hour of procedural texts, 1 hour of songs and 2 hours of targeted elicitation. The corpus contains transcribed texts annotated using ELAN and Toolbox. The deposit also includes videos of traditional ritual performances and traditional material productions, photographs, a multilingual dictionary, scanned notebooks, and recordings of elicited tasks.
Deposit history The data for this deposit will be collected during two fieldtrips in 2018 and 2019 as a part of the ELDP postdoctoral research project by Muhammad Zakaria.
Acknowledgement and citation Any use of the deposited data should be acknowledged. Users should acknowledge the principal investigator, researcher and depositor, Muhammad Zakaria as well as the funding body of the project, Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP). Names of other contributors mentioned in the metadata should also be acknowledged properly.