Northern Embera is the native language of at least 33,000 people, some 18,000 in Colombia and 15,000 in Panama. There are other variants of Embera spoken in Colombia: Katío, Chamí, Tadó, Saija and Baudó (or 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 working dictionary compiled by Douglas Schermerhorn and from the vocabulary lists of Edel Rasmussen and Sara Watkins. The rest have been compiled by Charles Mortensen. Data have been contributed by Emberas of the Atrato River basin and the Pacific Coast in Colombia and by Emberas of the Chucunaque, Balsa, Sambú, Bayano and Chagres river basins in Panama.

Although there is still much work to do, we have 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.