Whistle language

Silbo Gomero, the ‘Gomeran Whistle’ language, is a language whistled by the inhabitants of La Gomera in the Canary Islands.

For hundreds of years it has enabled these people to communicate large distances across the mountains and ravines where they herd their sheep and goats.

If that is not amazing enough, they can also use it to talk to their sheep and goats.

The language was declared as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009.

Although Silbo Gomero is the most widely studied whistle language, there are in fact several hundred currently in existence, from Alaska to West Africa – even one in a French village. Read about them here

And if you wonder how much can really be communicated by whistling, listen to a full conversation and read the transcript here. Amazing stuff!

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