Amazonian tribe have no concept of time or dates, finds Portsmouth professor

Peter Webb taught at Christ's Hospital School in Horsham. Picture: Google Maps

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TUCKED away in the the Amazonian rainforest a small tribe have successfully managed what so many dream of being able to do – ignore the pressures of time so successfully that they don’t even have a word for it.

It is the first time scientists have been able to prove ‘time’ is not a deeply entrenched human universal concept.

Researchers led by Professor Chris Sinha at the University of Portsmouth studied the way in which time was talked about and thought about by the Amondawa people of Brazil.

Prof Sinha said: ‘For the Amondawa, time does not exist in the same way as it does for us. We can now say without doubt that there is at least one language and culture which does not have a concept of time as something that can be measured, counted, or talked about in the abstract.’

Amondawa people do not have words for concepts like ‘next week’ - only divisions of day and night and seasons.

Prof Sinha said: ‘Time is more to do with experience than being inborn in us. The only real biological clock is the ageing of our bodies.’