Most speak Kali'na, a member of the Cariban
family of languages, although some of the youngest generation have ceased to do so.
The editors provide a scholarly introduction to the Arawakan and Cariban
peoples the Europeans encountered, as the two unequal parties engaged in a century-long process of feeling each other out, before the Europeans finally arrived in force during the mid-seventeenth century, changing this part of the world forever.
Archaeological and linguistic analysis suggests that Cariban
languages may have spread both northwest and southeast from the Orinoco River delta in relatively late prehistory, perhaps from the thirteenth century AD (Muysken 2012).
A typological grammar of Panare; a Cariban
language of Venezuela.
These groups have been classified (2) into five linguistic families: Tukanoan (represented by the Eastern Tukanoan subfamily), Guahiban, Arawakan, KakuaNukak and Cariban
. These ethnic groups are found scattered throughout both the Vaupes and Guaviare departments, East Tukanoan groups being the most widely distributed in the Vaupes, while in the Guaviare highlights predominates the presence of Guahibos, with some presence of Eastern Tukanoans whom in recent years have migrated from the Vaupes.