While the outside world refers to the language spoken by the Shipibo and Konibo as Shipibo-Konibo, when they distinguish their own language as a proper noun they call it Jóikon or ‘True Language’. That is to say, ‘the language we truly speak and know’, or their ‘mother tongue’. Some consider Jóikon to be the official name of the language. When they speak casually about their language amongst ourselves and others, they simply refer to it as non jói or ‘our language’.
NonJoi.org is a non-profit project to revise, decolonize, and improve the Shipibo-Konibo dictionary and promote the living language, led by The Shipibo-Konibo Language Empowerment Committee – Non Jói Kóshi Ákaibo. In 2014, members began a proposal to update the Diccionario Shipibo-Castellano that was compiled by the Summer Institute of Linguistics–SIL and originally published in 1993 with our official alphabet.
That proposal created an opportunity to revise and decolonize the original content of the SIL dictionary. Improvements to the proposal led to this ongoing project to create a new multilingual and interactive Shipibo-Konibo encyclopedic dictionary with the prime directive to promote the practice of the living Shipibo-Konibo language (Non Jói – ‘Our Language’), culture (Non Axebo – ‘Our Customs’), and epistemologies (Noa Jan Koshiábo – ‘That which makes us strong’).
This practice has initiated a healing process that aligns itself with our truths about health, healing, and overall well-being, which are evident through our world view of the Jakón Néte [hɐ.’kũ ‘nɘ̃.tɘ] – the ‘Life-Giving-Good World.’