Ethnologue: Areas: Americas


Republic of Colombia, República de Colombia. 34,939,000 (1995). 200,000 to 250,000 speakers of American Indian languages (Adelaar 1991). Literacy rate 70% to 80%. Information mainly from SIL 1996. Christian, secular, traditional religion. Blind population 30,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population 300,000 in Colombia (1996), 50,000 in Bogota, half school-aged (1992). Deaf institutions: 8. Data accuracy estimate: A1, A2. The number of languages listed for Colombia is 98. Of those, 79 are living languages and 19 are extinct.

ACHAGUA (AJAGUA, XAGUA) [ACA] 400 (1994 SIL). Rio Meta near Puerto Gaitan. Not in Venezuela. Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland. Close to Piapoco. Speakers are trilingual in Achagua, Spanish, and Piapoco, but they speak Achagua in the home. 5% to 25% literate. Fair degree of acculturation. Work in progress.

ANDAQUI (ANDAKI) [ANA] Southern highlands. Barbacoan-Paezan, Andaqui. Not the same as Andoque, which is in Amazonas. Extinct.

ANDOQUE (ANDOKE) [ANO] 150 to 600 speakers in Colombia, all of whom are reported to understand it, but few speak it (1993). Extinct in Peru (1992 SIL). There were 10,000 in 1908 (Landaburu 1979). Aduche River (tributary of Caqueta) 15 km. down river from Araracuara, Amazonas. Language Isolate. Mason (1950:246 with dislaimer), Tax (1960:433), and Kaufman (1990:43 tentatively) say this is Witotoan. Tovar (1961:150) and Witte (1981:1) say it is an isolate. People are somewhat acculturated. 80% speak fair Spanish. Tropical forest. Rubber gatherers. Survey needed.

ANSERMA (ANSERNA) [ANS] Choco. Related to Cauca, Arma (both extinct), and Caramanta.

ARMA [AOH] Choco. People spoke either Cenu or Cauca (both extinct).

BANIWA (BANIUA, BANIVA, MANIBA, BANIBA) [BAI] (5,460 in Brazil (1983 SIL); 407 in Venezuela (1975 Gaceta Indigenista). Amazonas. Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland. Related to Carutana and Curripaco. They go to Colombia and Venezuela mainly to work or trade. NT 1965-1985. Bible portions 1959.

BARASANA (SOUTHERN BARASANO, PANEROA, EDURIA, EDULIA) [BSN] 350 (1990 SIL). Pira-Paraná River and tributaries, southern Vaupés region. Jepa Matsi in Brazil may be the same as this. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Central, Southern. Dialects: TAIWANO (TAIBANO, TAIWAENO), JANERA, COMEMATSA. 5 dialects. Taiwano is treated culturally as a separate language. Grammar. Dictionary. 5% to 15% literate. Typology: OVS. Tropical forest. Interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 200 meters. Bible portions 1973. Work in progress.

BARBACOAS [BPB] Near the coastal town of Barbacoas, Nariño. Barbacoan-Paezan, Barbacoan, Pasto. Extinct.

BORA (BORO) [BOA] 500 in Colombia, including 100 or more Miraña and 400 other Bora; 1,000 to 1,500 in Peru (1977 SIL); 1,500 to 2,000 in all countries. No speakers out of 457 members of the ethnic group in Brazil. Bora are in Providencia on the Igaraparana (tributary of the Putumayo). Miraña are on the lower Caquetá River, near the mouth of the Cabinari River, Amazonas. Witotoan, Boran. Dialects: MIRAÑA (MIRANHA), BORA. Miraña has 94% intelligibility with Bora. The Miraña want a school. 457 Miraña in Brazil (1986 SIL) no longer speak the language. Typology: SOV. Riverine. NT 1982. Bible portions 1962-1976.

CABIYARÍ (CABIUARÍ, CAUYARÍ, KAUYARÍ, CUYARE, KAWILLARY) [CBB] 50 (1976 Bourgue). Cananarí River (tributary of the Apaporis and Vaupés). Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland. High degree of intermarriage with Barasana. They continue to speak their language. Nearly extinct.

CACUA (MACU DE CUBEO, MACU DE GUANANO, MACU DE DESANO, BÁDA, KÁKWA) [CBV] 150 (1982 SIL). Wacará, 30 kilometers east of Mitú, Lower Vaupés region. Maku. Dialects: VAUPÉS CACUA, MACÚ-PARANÁ CACUA. Related to Jupda and Nukak. Many speakers are monolingual, especially among the children. Some bilingualism in Cubeo, Desano and Guanano, but none in Spanish. Below 5% literate in Spanish. Nomadic. Typology: SOV, OSV. Tropical forest. Interfluvial. Hunter-gatherers, swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 200 meters. Bible portions 1975. Work in progress.

CAGUA [CBH] Unclassified. Extinct.

CAMSÁ (KAMSA, COCHE, SIBUNDOY, KAMEMTXA, KAMSE, CAMËNTSËÁ) [KBH] 4,000 (1991 SIL). Sibundoy Valley, Putumayo region. Language Isolate. Ruhlen and others classify it as Equatorial. 25% to 50% literate. Mountain slope. NT 1990. Bible portions 1973.

CARABAYO ("AMAZONAS MACUSA") [CBY] 150 estimate. Amazonas Department, half way between the San Bernardo and Pure rivers. 3 long houses, at least. Unclassified. No permanent friendly contact. Restricted area. Other Indians refuse to venture into their area. The name "Macusa" or "Macú" means 'savage', and is arbitrarily applied to uncontacted groups. Survey needed.

CARAPANA (MOCHDA, MOXDOA, KARAPANÁ, KARAPANO, CARAPANA-TAPUYA, MEXTÃ) [CBC] 600 in Colombia, 50 in Brazil (1990 SIL); 650 total. Caño Tí (tributary of the middle Vaupés River) and upper Papurí and Pirá-Paraná rivers, Vaupés region. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Central, Tatuyo. Due to intermarriage with neighboring groups, almost all Tatuyo and Wáimajã Indians speak Carapana as well as their mother tongue. 50% literate. Grammar. Tropical forest. Riverine, interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists. NT 1992. Bible portions 1977-1991.

CARIJONA (KARIJONA, CARIHONA, OMAGUA, UMAWA, HIANACOTO-UMAUA) [CBD] 140 (1993 SIL). Upper Vaupés, Yarí, and lower Caquetá Rivers, 1 hour by motorized canoe; 2-3 hours by canoe south of Miraflores, around Puerto Nare. Carib, Southern, Southeastern Colombia. M. Durbin says there are possibly two separate languages, Hianacoto-Umaua and Carijona. Intermarrying with other tribes. Interest in literacy. Some speak Spanish. All worked for one rubber hunter. Reported to have come from the Yarí Indian area originally. Male descent groups, exogamous. The two groups have not had contact for many years. Typology: OVS. Hunters, fishermen, agriculturalists: manioc. Rubber hunters in the past. Survey needed.

CHIBCHA (MUISCA, MOSCA) [CBF] Almost one million before extinction in the 18th century. Central highlands. Chibchan, Chibchan Proper. The Chibcha people are still located near the towns of Tocancipa, Cota, Gachancipa and Tenjo. Apparently no speakers are left. Typology: SOV. Extinct.

CHIMILA (CACA WERANOS, SAN JORGE, SHIMIZYA) [CBG] 2,000 (1993 census). Lowlands south and west of Fundación, and scattered in the central part of Magdalena Department. Chibchan, Unclassified. Its classification as Aruak is questionable. Language use is vigorous. They speak limited Spanish. 5% literate. They work for local settlers. There are two major separated groups. Work in progress.

CHIPIAJES [CBE] Unclassified. A Sáliba last name. Many Guahibo have that last name. Extinct.

COCAMA-COCAMILLA (COCAMA, KOKAMA) [COD] Ethnic group: 20 in Colombia; 176 in Brazil (1986 SIL); 15,000 to 18,000 in Peru (1977 SIL). Lower Putumayo. Tupi, Tupi-Guarani, Tupi (III). Bilingual in Spanish. Bible portions 1961-1967.

COFÁN (KOFAN, A'I, KOFANE) [CON] 520 in Colombia; 780 in Ecuador (1995 SIL); 1,300 total. Colombia-Ecuador border area. Chibchan, Cofan. Dialects: AGUARICO, SANTA ROSA. Chibchan with Western Tucanoan features (Ferndon, Borman), Barbacoan (J.A. Mason), or Jivaroan (Ruhlen 1987). Fairly monolingual. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1980, in press (1991). Bible portions 1964.

COLOMBIAN SIGN LANGUAGE [CSN] (50,000 deaf in Bogotá in 1992; half of school age). Deaf sign language. Begun in 1929. Some signs are similar to those in sign languages of El Salvador, Spain, and the USA. There are at least 4 deaf schools (begun in 1924); 2 in Bogotá and 2 in Medellín, and 3 other deaf institutions. Some schools use sign language in the classroom. Interpreters are provided at important public events, and for college students. Many sign language classes for hearing people. There is a committee on the national sign language, and an organization for sign language teachers. Little research. It is not clear how many deaf persons know a sign language. There is a manual alphabet for spelling. Occasional signed interpretation on TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Survey needed.

COXIMA (KOXIMA) [KOX] Unclassified. Extinct.

COYAIMA [COY] Tolima region. Carib, Northern, Coastal. The tribe still exists as an entity, but has not spoken the language for several generations. Ruhlen says it was a Yukpa dialect. Spanish is now spoken. Extinct.

CUAIQUER (COAIQUER, QUAIQUER, KWAIKER, AWA, AWA PIT, AWA-CUAIQUER) [KWI] 20,000 in Colombia (1986 SIL); 1,000 in Ecuador (1991 Adelaar). Pacific slopes of the Andes, Nariño, from Ecuador border north, near Barbacoas. Barbacoan-Paezan, Barbacoan, Pasto. A scattered group, living in isolated, single dwellings. Difficult access. Below 5% literate. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:55%, 1:30%, 2:10%, 3:5%, 4:0%, 5:0%. Mountain slope. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 200 to 300 meters. Bible portions 1979-1982. Work in progress.

CUBEO (CUVEO, KOBEUA, KUBWA, KOBEWA, PAMIWA, HEHENAWA) [CUB] 6,000 in Colombia (1994 SIL); 150 in Brazil (1986 SIL); 6,150 total. Vaupés, Cuduyari, Querarí rivers and tributaries, Vaupés region. Tucanoan, Central Tucanoan. The lingua franca north and west of Mitú. 60% literate. About 5% of the population are 7 years old or younger. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 200 to 500 meters. NT 1970-1989. Bible portions 1958-1986.

CUIBA (CUIVA, CUIBA-WÁMONAE) [CUI] 2,000 in Colombia (1979 SIL); 650 in Venezuela (1995 SIL); 2,650 total. Meta Casanare and Capanapara rivers and tributaries. Arawakan, Guahiban. Dialects: CHIRICOA, MASIWARE (MASIGUARE), CHIRIPO (WUPIWI, SIRIPU), YARAHUURAXI-CAPANAPARA, MAYAYERO, MOCHUELO-CASANARE-CUIBA, TAMPIWI (MARIPOSAS), AMARUWA (AMORUA). Semi-nomadic bands. 8 dialects; 2 in Venezuela, 7 in Colombia. 45% literate. Grammar. Savannah. Hunter-gatherers, swidden agriculturalists. NT 1988. Bible portions 1974-1993.

CUMERAL [CUM] Arawakan, Unclassified. Extinct.

CURRIPACO (CURIPACO, KURIPACO, KURRIPACO, KORIPAKO) [KPC] 2,000 to 2,500 in Colombia; 810 in Brazil (1995 AMTB); 210 in Venezuela; 3,000 to 3,500 in all countries. Guainia, Isana, and Inirida Rivers. Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland. Close to Baniwa and Carutana. NT 1959. Bible portions 1948.

DESANO (WINA, DESÂNA, DESSANA, BOLEKA, OREGU, KUSIBI) [DES] 800 in Colombia, 960 in Brazil (1995 SIL). Papuri and Abiyu Rivers (tributary of the Vaupés), Pacá River (tributary of the Papurí), and Macú Parana River (tributary of the Papurí), plus other tributaries of the Papurí. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Central, Desano. All speak at least one other Tucanoan language. 25% to 35% literate. NT 1984. Bible portions 1975-1981.

EMBERA-BAUDÓ (BAUDO) [BDC] 5,000 (1995 SIL). Baudó River basin and Pacific (north) coastal rivers between cabo corrientes and the south of the San Juan River, near Northern Embera. Choco, Embera, Southern. Somewhat intelligible with Northern Emberá and other southern Embera languages. Survey needed.

EMBERÁ-CATÍO (CATIO, KATIO, EMBENA, EYABIDA) [CTO] 15,000 to 20,000 in Colombia (1992 SIL); 40 in Panama (1982 SIL). Upper Sinu, San Jorge, San Pedro, Murri Rivers. Choco, Embera, Northern. 5% to 15% literate. The term 'Catio' is sometimes used for other Choco groups. Bible portions 1975-1987. Work in progress.

EMBERÁ-CHAMÍ (CHAMI) [CMI] 11,000 (1995 SIL). Departments of Risaralda, Caldas, Antioquía, Valle, including the Municipio of Caramanta. Choco, Embera, Southern. Fairly monolingual. 5% to 15% literate. Mountain slopes. Bible portions. Work in progress.

EMBERA-SAIJA (SAIJA, EPENA SAIJA, EPE~RA PEDÉE, SOUTHERN EMBERA, SOUTHERN EMPERA, CHOLO) [SJA] 3,500 (1992 SIL). Southern Pacific coast, Caucá, Nariño, Chocó Departments. Choco, Embera, Southern. Dialect: BASURUDO. Saija is used in the home. Most use Spanish as second language. Vernacular language and culture strong. 25% to 50% literate. Grammar. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:0%, 1:20%, 2:30%, 3:50%, 4:0%, 5:0%. Coastal, riverine. Fishermen, agriculturalists. Altitude: 0 to 70 meters. Bible portions 1991. Work in progress.

EMBERÁ-TADÓ (EMBENÁ TADÓ) [TDC] 1,000 possibly (1991 SIL). Upper San Juan River Region, Andes, Risaralda region, near the Chamí. Choco, Embera, Southern. Secluded. Below 5% literate. Work in progress.

EMBERÁ, NORTHERN (EMPE~RÃ, E~BE~RÃ BED'EA, EPE~RÃ PEDEA, ATRATO, DARIÉN, DARIENA, PANAMA EMBERA, E~BERÃ, CHOLO) [EMP] 13,000 to 15,000 in Colombia (1988 Aguirre & Pardo-Rojas); 7,000 to 8,000 in Panama (1982 SIL); 20,000 to 23,000 total. Atrato River basin in Chocó Department, Pacific coastal rivers from Cabo Corrientes (5'30"N), to Antioquia (Rio Verde) Department. Choco, Embera, Northern. Embena (Embera, Epena), meaning 'people' is used by all Choco peoples except Waunana to refer to themselves. Grammar. Dictionary. Related languages in order of closeness: Embera-Katío, Embera-Baudó, Embera-Tadó, Epena Saija, Embera-Chamí, and Wounmeu. Panama and Colombia dialects are inherently intelligible. Northern Embera of the Upper Baudó area and downriver Embera-Baudo are inherently intelligible. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1993. Bible portions 1972-1980.

GUAHIBO (GUAJIBO, GOAHIBO, GUAIGUA, GUAYBA, WAHIBO, GOAHIVA, "SICUANI") [GUH] 15,000 in Colombia; 5,000 in Venezuela (1982 R. Kondo SIL); 20,000 total. Casanare, eastern Meta, Vichada, Guaviare, Guainia states, plains regions. Arawakan, Guahiban. Dialects: GUAHIBO (SIKUANI), AMORUA (RIO TOMO GUAHIBO), TIGRERO. The Guahiban languages may not be within Arawakan. The Guahibo range from good bilinguals to completely monolingual. There is a Guahibo newspaper. Rio Tomo Guahibo are nomadic. The name "Sicuani" is derogatory, and is disliked by most Guahibo. 45% literate. Grammar. Dictionary. Typology: SOV, SVO. Savannah, gallery forest. Plains, riverine, interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists, fishermen, hunters-gatherers, limited animal husbandry. Altitude: 200 meters. Traditional religion, Christian, secular . NT 1982. Bible portions 1960-1968.

GUAMBIANO (GUAMBIA, MOGUEZ) [GUM] 9,000 (1977 SIL). Central Andes Range near Popayán, Cauca. Barbacoan-Paezan, Paezan, Coconucan. 50% to 75% literate. Grammar. Agriculturalists. Bible portions 1982. Work in progress.

GUANANO (WANANA, UANANO, KOTIRIA, ANANA, KÓTEDIA) [GVC] 450 in Colombia (1983 SIL); 555 in Brazil (1995 SIL); 1,000 in both countries. Lower Vaupés River region. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Northern. Close to Piratapuyo linguistically, but the two groups do not intermarry. 25% to 50% literate. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Riverine. Fishermen, swidden agriculturalists. NT 1982. Bible portions 1968.

GUAYABERO (JIW, CUNIMÍA, MÍTUS, MÍTIA) [GUO] 1,200 (1991 Adelaar). Upper Guaviaré River, Metá and Guaviaré states. Arawakan, Guahiban. Young children and older women are monolingual in Guayabero. Others know varying degrees of Spanish. 15% to 20% literate. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:33%, 1:50%, 2:15%, 3:2%, 4:0%, 5:0%. Riverine. Hunter-gatherers, swidden agriculturalists. Traditional religion. Bible portions 1961-1995. Work in progress.

HUITOTO, MI+NI+CA (MI+NI+CA) [HTO] 1,700 in Colombia, 5 in Peru (1995 SIL). Upper Igara-Parana. Caquetá River at Isla de los Monos, Caguan River near Sanvicente del Caguan. Witotoan, Witoto, Witoto Proper, Mi+ni+ca-Murui. 75% to 85% literate. Grammar. NT 1985. Bible portions 1973.

HUITOTO, MURUI (BUE, WITOTO) [HUU] 1,900 in Colombia (1995 SIL), 1,000 in Peru (1982 SIL); 2,900 in all countries. Caraparana, Putumayo, and Leticia rivers. None left in Brazil. Witotoan, Witoto, Witoto Proper, Mi+ni+ca-Murui. NT 1978. Bible portions 1963-1980.

HUPDË ("HUPDÁ MAKÚ", "JUPDÁ MACÚ", "MACÚ DE TUCANO", "MAKÚ-HUPDÁ", UBDÉ, "MACU") [JUP] 150 in Colombia (1991 SIL); 1,431 in Brazil (1986 SIL); 1,580 total. Papurí and Tiquié river systems. Maku. A related but separate language from Yahup. Tuhup and Nehup may be related dialects, and may be extinct. Possibly 50% are bilingual in Tucano or some other Tucanoan language. Subservient to the Tucano and other Tucanoan Indians. The name "Macu" is offensive. Some are nomadic between Colombia and Brazil. Tropical forest. Work in progress.

ICA (ARUACO, ARHUACO, BINTUK, BÍNTUKUA, BINTUCUA, IJCA, IJKA, IKA, IKE) [ARH] 5,272 (1985 census). Southern slopes of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Chibchan, Aruak. The people use the name 'Ica'. Strong traditional culture. 15% to 25% literate. Grammar. Typology: SOV.

INGA (HIGHLAND INGA) [INB] 10,000 (1995 SIL). Sibundoy Valley, in and around Santiago, San Andrés, and Colón; Aponte, Department of Nariño. 1,000 in Bogotá, small numbers in regional capitals, 4,000 in Venezuelan cities. Quechuan, Quechua II, B. Dialects: SANTIAGO INGA, SAN ANDRÉS INGA, APONTE INGA. No speakers in Ecuador. Partially intelligible with Imbabura Quichua of Ecuador. Aponte Inga may need separate literature. Grammar. Dictionary. 25% to 50% literate. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:0%, 1:10%, 2:10%, 3:20%, 4:40%, 5:20%. Mountain mesa. Intensive agriculturalists, craftsmen. Altitude: 2,100 to 2,500 meters. NT in press (1996). Bible portions 1971-1987.

INGA, JUNGLE (LOWLAND INGA, MOCOA, INGANO) [INJ] 5,000 to 8,000 (1987 SIL). Upper Caquetá and Putumayo rivers. Quechuan, Quechua II, B. Dialects: YUNGUILLO-CONDAGUA, GUAYUYACO. Closest to Highland Inga. Distinct from Napo Quechua. 25% to 50% literate. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Rolling hills, close to major rivers. Intensive agriculturalists. Altitude: 200 to 1000 meters.

KOGUI (COGUI, COGHUI, KOGI, KAGABA, KAGGABA) [KOG] 4,000 to 6,000 (1996 SIL). Northern, eastern, and western slopes of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Chibchan, Aruak. Below 5% literate. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:92%, 1:7%, 2:1%, 3:0%, 4:0%, 5:0%. Mountain slope. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 750 to 1750 meters. Selections 1991. Work in progress.

KOREGUAJE (COREGUAJE, CORREGUAJE, KO'REUAJU, CAQUETÁ, CHAOCHA PAI) [COE] 2,000 (1995 SIL). Orteguaza and Caquetá rivers and tributaries, Caquetá region. Tucanoan, Western Tucanoan, Northern, Coreguaje. 'Caquetá' is the name of the river, not of the people. The Tama ethnic group now speaks Koreguaje. 25% to 40% literate. Agriculturalists. NT 1991. Bible portions 1981-1986.

KUNA, BORDER (COLOMBIA CUNA, CAIMAN NUEVO, CUNA, PAYA-PUCURO) [KUA] 600 to 800 in Colombia (1991 SIL); 700 in Panama (1991 SIL); 1,300 to 1,500 total. North coastal region near the Panama isthmus. Chibchan, Kuna. NT 1993. Bible portions 1980.

MACAGUAJE [MCL] Lower Putumayo, tributaries of Caquetá River. Tucanoan, Western Tucanoan, Northern, Siona-Secoya. A few still maintain tribal identity. Siona and Coreguaje are the languages used. Extinct.

MACAGUÁN (MACAGUANE, AGUALINDA GUAHIBO, HITNÜ) [MBN] 130 or more (1981 SIL). Arauca, Agualinda and San José de Lipa between the Lipa, Ele, and Cuiloto Rivers and Caño Colorado, and other scattered locations. Arawakan, Guahiban. Small groups. Semi-nomadic. Most are monolingual. Unintelligible with other Guahibo. Grammar. Dictionary. Hunter-gatherers.

MACUNA (MAKUNA, BUHAGANA, ROEA, EMOA, IDE, YEBA, SUROA, TABOTIRO JEJEA, UMUA, WUHÁNA) [MYY] 450 in Colombia (1991 SIL); 46 in Brazil (1973 RC); 500 total. Lower Pira-Paraná, Vaupés region; Apaporis tributaries and Miriti-Paraná. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Central, Southern. Jepa Matsi in Brazil may be the same. 15% to 25% literate. Typology: OVS. Tropical forest. Interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists. NT 1989. Bible portions 1978-1987.

MALAYO (MAROCASERO, MARACASERO, SANJA, SANKA, SANCÁ, AROSARIO, ARSARIO, GUAMAKA, GUAMACA, WIWA) [MBP] 3,225 (1993 Organización Gonawindu Tayrona). Southern and eastern slopes of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Chibchan, Aruak. Below 5% literate. Work in progress.

MOTILÓN (BARI, MOTILONE) [MOT] 1,500 to 2,000 in both countries (SIL); 850 in Venezuela (1980). Oro River and Catatumbo River region. Chibchan, Motilon. Bible portions. Work in progress.

MUINANE (MUINANA, MUINANI, MUENAME) [BMR] 150 in Colombia (1982 SIL); a few in Peru. Upper Cahuinarí, (tributary Caquetá) Amazonas. Witotoan, Boran. All are bilingual in Bora or Huitotoan languages. Not to be confused with Muinane Huitoto. Below 5% literate. NT 1981. Bible portions 1969.

NATAGAIMAS [NTS] Tolima region. Unclassified. The group still exists as a tribal entity, but the language has not been spoken for several generations. Spanish is used. Extinct.

NHENGATU (YERAL, GERAL, NHEENGATU, NYENGATO, WAENGATU, MODERN TUPÍ) [YRL] 5,000 in all countries. Vaupés. Also in Brazil and Venezuela. Tupi, Tupi-Guarani, Tupi (III). NT 1973. Bible portions 1960-1967.

NUKAK MAKÚ (MACÚSA, GUAVIARE) [MBR] 300 possibly. Jungle region between Guaviare and Inirida Rivers, up to Maparipan. Near Charco Caimán. Unclassified. Evasive hunters. Work in progress.

OCAINA (OKAINA) [OCA] Very few (3 or 4 families) in Colombia, 150 to 250 in Peru (1982 SIL). Upper Igara-Paraná and tributaries, Amazonas region. Witotoan, Witoto, Ocaina. Dialects: DUKAIYA, IBO'TSA. Bilingual in Murui Huitoto, Bora, or Spanish. Bible portions 1964-1971.

OMEJES [OME] Arawakan, Unclassified. Extinct.

PÁEZ [PBB] 68,467 (1980 Govt. figure). Central Andes Range near Popayán, Cauca. Barbacoan-Paezan, Paezan, Paez. Dialects: PITAYO, PANIQUITA (PANIKITA). Some bilingualism. 25% to 50% literate. Dictionary. Grammar. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:50%, 1:25%, 2:13%, 3:10%, 4:2%, 5:0%. Mountain mesa and slope. Peasant agriculturalists. Altitude: 2,500 to 3,000 meters. NT 1980. Bible portions 1969-1985.

PALENQUERO (PALENQUE, LENGUA) [PLN] Older members of an ethnic group of 2,500 (1989 J. Holm). Village of San Basilio de Palenque southeast of Cartagena. Creole, Spanish based. Entirely unintelligible to Spanish speakers. Linguistic influences from Kongo in Zaire (I. Hancock 1987). Most members of the ethnic group speak Spanish as mother tongue, but some old people have limited proficiency in Spanish. Everyone values Palenquero. People are culturally distinct from nearby Spanish speakers. Nearly extinct.

PIAPOCO [PIO] 3,000 in Colombia; 99 in Venezuela (1982 SIL); 3,100 total. Tributaries and lower Vichada River region. Also Meta and Guaviare rivers. Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland. 30% to 40% literate. Typology: SVO. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:60%, 1:20%, 2:10%, 3:10%, 4:0%, 5:0%. Plains. Hunter-gatherers, swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 800 to 1,000 feet. NT 1966-1987. Bible portions 1960-1986.

PIAROA (KUAKUA, GUAGUA, QUAQUA) [PID] 80 in Colombia (1991 Adelaar); 12,000 in Venezuela (1987 UBS). Near the Sáliba. Salivan. Dialects: MACO (MAKO, ITOTO), PIAROA. 'Ature' (Adole) may be an alternate name. NT 1986. Bible portions 1961-1964.

PIJAO (PIAJAO) [PIJ] Tolima region. Unclassified. They still exist as a tribal entity, but there have been no speakers since the 1950's. Spanish is used. M. Durbin says there is not enough data to classify it linguistically. Extinct.

PIRATAPUYO (UAIKENA, WAIKINO, URUBU-TAPUYA) [PIR] 450 in Colombia; 618 in Brazil (1986 SIL); 1,070 total. Papurí River and lower Vaupés, Amazonas. Most near RC mission at Teresita. Others in small groups. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Northern. All are bilingual in at least one other Tucanoan language, especially Desano or Tucano. Distinct ethnically from the Guanano, but the exogamy system does not permit the two groups to intermarry. 99% lexical similarity with Guanano, but 75% intelligibility (N. Waltz). 40% to 60% literate. NT 1991. Bible portions.

PLAYERO (RIO ARAUCA GUAHIBO) [GOB] 150 to 160 (1983 SIL). Arauca River, Venezuela border, Arauca Division, on the banks of the Arauca River from Gaviotas island to Arauca. Arawakan, Guahiban. Many have fields in Venezuela. Somewhat acculturated and bilingual for trading purposes and interested in literacy. Low intelligibility with other Guahibo.

PONARES [POD] Arawakan, Unclassified. A Sáliba last name. Might have been a Piapoco or Achagua subgroup. Extinct.

PROVIDENCIA SIGN LANGUAGE [PRO] Known by most people on the Island including 19 born deaf out of 2,500 to 3,000 population (1986 W. Washabaugh). Providencia Island off the coast of Nicaragua. Deaf sign language. The high deaf population is probably caused by in-breeding. They are illiterate and untutored, do not use finger spelling, have not been exposed to other sign languages. The deaf are fairly well integrated into daily activities. East differs from west with some variation between villages. The system is about 100 years old. Survey needed.

PUINAVE (PUINABE) [PUI] 2,000 in Colombia (1977 NTM); 240 in Venezuela; 2,240 total. Inírida River and tributaries, Territory of Guainia. Language Isolate. Ruhlen and others classify it as related to Macú. Plains. NT 1964. Bible portions 1955. Work in progress.

QUICHUA, LOWLAND, NAPO (LOWLAND NAPO QUECHUA) [QLN] Undetermined number in Colombia. 5,000 in Ecuador; 6,000 to 10,000 in Peru (1981 SIL); 11,000 to 15,000 in all countries. Putumayo River. Quechuan, Quechua II, B. Bible portions 1972-1978. Work in progress.

ROMANI, VLACH [RMY] (39,000 Gypsies in Colombia; 1993 Johnstone); Several hundred thousand in Latin America (1984 Ian Hancock); 1,500,000 in all countries (1986 estimate). Also in Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Sweden, France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, USA, England. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Romani, Vlax. A Gypsy language. Christian. NT 1984-1986. Bible portions 1930-1986.

RUNA [RUN] Choco. Extinct.

SÁLIBA (SÁLIVA) [SLC] 2,000 in Colombia (1982 T. Benaissa SIL); 250 in Venezuela; 2,250 total. Meta and Casanare Rivers. Salivan. People are quite monolingual in Colombia, very acculturated in Venezuela. 15% to 25% literate. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Plains, interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: lower than 200 meters. Work in progress.

SIONA (SIONI, PIOJE, PIOCHE-SIONI) [SIN] 300 total including Ecuador (1982 SIL). Live on both sides of the Putumayo River. Tucanoan, Western Tucanoan, Northern, Siona-Secoya. Those in Ecuador consider themselves Colombians. Distinct from Secoya (Siona-Secoya). 15% to 25% literate. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:0%, 1:5%, 2:20%, 3:60%, 4:10%, 5:5%. Interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 320 meters. NT 1982. Bible portions 1965.

SIRIANO [SRI] 250 to 300 in Colombia (1992 SIL); 35 in Brazil (1975 RC); 285 to 335 total (1992). Paca and Vina Rivers, Vaupés region. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Central, Desano. Different from Desano. All speak at least one other Tucanoan language. Ethnic differences are important because of the system of exogamy, and are identified by first language of father. 15% to 25% literate. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 100 to 200 meters. Traditional religion, Christian. Selections 1980-1992. Work in progress.

SPANISH [SPN] 34,000,000 in Colombia (1995 estimate); 266,000,000 in all countries (1987 Time). Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. National language. Braille Bible. Bible 1553-1979. NT 1543-1986. Bible portions 1514-1985.

TAMA [TEN] Vicente, Orteguaza River, Caquetá region. Tucanoan, Western Tucanoan, Northern, Tama. Those living on the Orteguaza River have completely integrated with the Coreguaje. Possibly no one speaks Tama now. Ruhlen says it is a Koreguaje dialect. Extinct.

TANIMUCA-RETUARÃ (RETUAMA, RETUARÃ, LETUAMA, LETUHAMA, UFAINA, U~PAIRÃ) [TNC] 300 (1976 SIL); including 180 Tanimuca. Guacayá, Oiyaka rivers (tributaries of the Mirití-Parana), Mirití-Parana, Apaporis, and Popeyaka rivers near the mouth of the Pira River below Popeyaca, Amazonas region. Tucanoan, Western Tucanoan, Tanimuca. All work for one rubber hunter. Quite a few from the Apaporis and Popeyaka understand Macuna; those in other areas are often fluent in Yucuna. The Tanimuca and Retuarã are two ethnic groups living close together who speak the same language. The Retuarã are more monolingual than the Tanimuca. Possibly Eastern Tucanoan. Below 5% literate. Tropical forest. Bible portions. Work in progress.

TARIANO (TARIÂNA) [TAE] Only a few elderly speakers in Brazil (1995 SIL). Lower Papurí, Vaupés region. Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland. No one has been located who speaks Tariano in Colombia, but the tribal identity is still maintained. All speak Tucano. Nearly extinct.

TATUYO (PAMOA, OA, TATUTAPUYO, JUNA) [TAV] 350 (1983 SIL). Pira-Paraná headwaters and Upper Papurí, Vaupés region. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Central, Tatuyo. All speak at least one other Tucanoan language. Majority marry Carapana, Northern Barasano, or Barasana women. Below 5% literate. Tropical forest. Interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 235 to 245 meters. NT 1987. Bible portions 1978-1981.

TICUNA (TIKUNA, TUKÚNA, TUCUNA) [TCA] 4,000 in Colombia; 12,000 in Brazil; 5,000 in Peru (1981 L. Anderson SIL); 21,000 in all countries. Amazon River. Language Isolate. NT 1986. Bible portions 1964-1975.

TOMEDES (TAMUDES) [TOE] Arawakan, Unclassified. Extinct.

TUCANO (DAXSEA, DACHSEA, BETOYA, BETAYA, DASEA, TUKANA) [TUO] 2,000 in Colombia; 3,500 in Brazil (1995 SIL); 5,500 total. Upper Papurí River and tributaries. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Northern. 30% to 40% literate. Grammar. Trade language. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Riverine, hills. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 200 to 250 meters. NT 1988. Bible portions 1967-1981.

TUNEBO, ANGOSTURAS [TND] Very small. Chibchan, Chibchan Proper, Tunebo. Somewhat bilingual. 71% intelligibility between Eastern and Angosturas Tunebo. Nearly extinct.

TUNEBO, BARRO NEGRO (EASTERN TUNEBO) [TBN] 300 or more (1981 SIL). Isolated, on the edge of the eastern plains in the Andes foothills above Paz de Ariporo, in Barro Negro, San Lope (Casanare), and Tabías (Casanare), south of Tame Arauca. Chibchan, Chibchan Proper, Tunebo. Partly bilingual, somewhat acculturated. 62% intelligibility with Cobaría Tunebo. Tunebo is used exclusively in the home. Swidden agriculturalists: maize, hunter-gatherers, fishermen. Altitude: 4,000 to 5,000 feet.

TUNEBO, CENTRAL (COBARÍA TUNEBO) [TUF] 1,500 in Colombia (1982 SIL). North slopes of Sierra Nevada de Cocuy, Boyaca and Arauca regions; Satocá, Calafita, Tegría (Boyacá), Cobaría (Boyacá). A few in Venezuela. Chibchan, Chibchan Proper, Tunebo. They have a taboo on the use of paper. 5% to 25% literate. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:65%, 1:20%, 2:10%, 3:4%, 4:.5%, 5:.5%. Mountain slope. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 500 to 1500 meters. NT 1987. Bible portions 1972-1982.

TUNEBO, WESTERN (AGUAS BLANCAS) [TNB] Santander del Sur. Chibchan, Chibchan Proper, Tunebo. The most divergent of the Tunebo languages. Limited bilingualism. Swidden agriculturalists: maize, hunter-gatherers, fishermen. Bible portions. Survey needed.

TUYUCA (DOCHKAFUARA, TEJUCA, TUYUKA) [TUE] 350 in Colombia (1995 SIL); 465 in Brazil (1995 AMTB); 815 in both countries. Inambu, Tiquie, and Papurí Rivers. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Central, Bara. All speak at least one other Tucanoan language. Second language is Tucano or Waimaha (Bará). Spanish used in schools in the Tuyuca area. 60% literate in Spanish, 10% in Tuyuca. Grammar. Dictionary. Bible portions 1991-1994. Work in progress.

WAIMAHA (WAIMAJA, "BARÁ", NORTHERN BARASANO, BARASANO) [BAO] 600 in Colombia (1995 SIL); 43 in Brazil (1973 RC); 650 total. Tributaries of mid and upper Pira-Paraná, upper Papurí and Tiquié, southeastern Vaupés region. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Central, Bara. All speak at least one other Tucanoan language. The name "Bará" has derogatory connotations to some speakers. 25% to 40% literate. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Riverine, interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists. Bible portions 1975-1994. Work in progress.

WAUMEO (WAUNANA, WOUNAAN, NOANAMA, NOENAMA, NONAMA, CHOCAMA, CHANCO, WOUN MEU, WOUNMEU) [NOA] 3,000 possibly in Colombia; 3,000 in Panama (1991 SIL); 6,000 total. San Juan River basin. Choco. NT 1988. Bible portions 1972-1982.

WAYUU (GUAJIRO, GOAJIRO, GUAJIRA) [GUC] 135,000 in Colombia (1995 SIL); 170,000 in Venezuela (1995 SIL); 305,000 total. Guajira Peninsula on the Caribbean coast. Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Caribbean. 5% to 15% literate. Typology: VSO. Desert. Coastal. Sedentary pastoralists. Altitude: sea level. Bible portions 1944-1989. Work in progress.

WESTERN CARIBBEAN CREOLE ENGLISH [JAM] 12,000 to 18,000 (1981 SIL) out of total San Andrés population of 30,000 (1989 J. Holm); and Providencia 4,000 (1989 J. Holm); 2,756,000 in all countries. San Andrés and Providencia Islands. Creole, English based, Atlantic, Western. Dialects: SAN ANDRÉS CREOLE, BENDE. Said to be the same as Jamaican Creole, Bluefields and Corn Islands of Nicaragua. Probably the first language of the majority of the Islanders. 80% literate in English, 90% in Spanish. Standard English is used among the most highly educated. Creole is considered appropriate for oral purposes only in popular thinking. There is reported to be a 'deep Creole'. Providencia: mountains, San Andrés: plains. Work in progress.

YAHUNA (YAÚNA, YAYUNA) [YNU] Fewer than 23 in ethnic group; fewer than 20 on Umuna River, 3 on Apaporis River (1988). Umuña River, a tributary of the Piraparana River. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Unclassified. Dialects: OPAINA, DATUANA. All now speak Macuna. Extinct.

YARÍ [YRI] Yarí River, Caquetá region, above El Capitán waterfalls near the Yarí River. Unclassified. Possibly a dialect of Carijona (Carib), a Western Tucanoan language, or Huitoto. No permanent contact yet. They have been given the name 'Yarí' by outsiders because of their location on Yarí River. Survey needed.

YUCUNA (MATAPI, YUKUNA) [YCN] 800 to 1,000 (1992 SIL). Miriti-Parana (tributary Caquetá), Amazonas region. Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland. 15% to 25% literate. Typology: SVO. Tropical forest. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 300 meters. NT 1982. Bible portions 1970.

YUKPA (YUKO, YUPA, YUCPA, NORTHERN MOTILÓN, CARIB MOTILÓN) [YUP] 2,500 in Colombia (1976 SIL); 3,000 in both countries. Serrania de Perija, Cesar, Colombia-Venezuela border near Agustín Codazzi. Also in Venezuela. Carib, Northern, Coastal. Dialects: IROKA, MARACAS, CODOZZI, CESAR. At least four dialects. Ruhlen says Coyaima was a dialect. Unrelated to Chibchan Motilón (Bari). Language use is vigorous. Work in progress.

YURUTI (JURUTI, YURUTI-TAPUYA, LURUTY-TAPUYA, YURITI, JURITI, JURITI-TAPUIA, WAYHARA, PATSOKA) [YUI] 200 to 250 in Colombia (1991 R. Kinch SIL); 50 in Brazil (1991 R. Kinch SIL); 250 to 300 total. Upper Pacá River (tributary of Papurí) and Caño Yi River, Vaupés. Tucanoan, Eastern Tucanoan, Central, Bara. Yuriti and Juriti are incorrect spellings. 15% to 25% literate. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists: manioc; fishermen, hunter-gatherers. Altitude: 900 feet. Bible portions 1985. Work in progress.

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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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