Northern Embera is the native language of at least 33,000 people, some 18,000 to 15,000 in Colombia and Panama. There are other variants of the Embera spoken in Colombia: Katío, Chamí, Tadó, Saija and Baudó (better known as Purricheño). The total of all those who are part of the Embera ethnic group exceeds 70,000.

Sixty percent of the data in this Northern Embera language dictionary is from the vocabularies gathered by Douglas Schermerhorn or Edel Rasmussen and Sara Watkins. The rest has been compiled by Carlos Mortensen. Data has been contributed by Emberas of the Atrato River basin and the Pacific Coast in Colombia and the basins of the Chucunaque, Balsa, Sambu, Bayano and Chagres rivers in Panama.

Although there is still much work to do, we decided to publish this work in its current state, to document the work done so far. We invite you to leave any suggestions in the "Message" box on the Contact Us page under Help.