Mothers helped save Hawaiian language from extinction

21 January 2016

Mothers were crucial to so-called “language nests” that brought spoken Hawaiian back from the brink of extinction.

That’s according to activist Amy Kalili, who has been part of the US state of Hawaii’s indigenous language movement since the 1990s.

Latest government figures show there are more than 18,000 fluent speakers, a significant increase on ten years earlier.

Ms Kalili has been attending an international expert group meeting at UN headquarters on preserving and revitalizing Indigenous Languages.

Matthew Wells asked her to explain why Hawaiian had nearly died out.

Duration: 2’31”


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