The Amondawa, a small tribe in Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest, has a unique language: there is no word in it for “time,” nor “month,” nor “year.”
Instead, according to researchers from Oregon’s University of Portsmouth, the Amondawa see events in the context of life stages and transitions. For example, while they don’t celebrate birthdays and nobody keeps track of how old they are, tribe members do change their names to reflect what stage of life they are in and their current role in their community.
As researcher Chris Sinha explained to the Daily Mail, ‘For the Amondawa, time does not exist in the same way as it does for us. We can now say without doubt that there is at least one language and culture which does not have a concept of time as something that can be measured, counted or talked about in the abstract. This doesn’t mean that the Amondawa are “people outside time”, but they live in a world of events, rather than seeing events as being embedded in time.” Read more