Arhuaco (Ikʉ)

Arhuaco is a Chibchan language spoken by about 14,300 people in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region in northern Colombia. It is spoken in particular in the upper valleys of the Piedras, San Sebastian de Rábago, Chichicua, Ariguaní and Guatapurí rivers. The main settlement in the area is Nabusimake (formerly San Sebastian de Rábago), and the area is recognized by the Colombian government as an indigenous reserve. The majority of Arhuaco speakers (90%) are monolingual.

Arhuaco is also known as Aruaco, Bintuk, Bíntukua, Bintucua, Ica, Ijca, Ijka, Ika or Ike. Arhuaco speakers call it Ikʉ and themselves Ika. They are also known as Bíntukua.

In 1916, Capuchin missionaries set up an school in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta for Arhuaco children, who were taken from their parents and kept their until they were 16 years old. They were taught in Spanish and were not allowed to use Arhuaco. This practice continued during much of the 20th century. The Arhuaco started to teach their language and culture in 1975, and in 1980, missionaries were expelled from Arhuaco territory.

Arhuaco is written with the Latin alphabet, although few Arhuaco speakers (less than 5%) are literate in their own language. About 15-25% of Arhuacos, mainly men, are literate Spanish.

Arhuaco alphabet and pronunciation

Arhuaco alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Arhuaco (Excel)

Sample text in Arhuaco

Linguistikari, gakunamu rezʉgrʉsi kʉre'tasi ɟwakumey kinki agwasi nakʉnnuga ni, ga'kʉnamʉ mikʉnari naʉkwa name ʉyasindi niwezʉneyka chwizʉakumʉkwa gunʉndi.

Ema ga'kʉnamʉ razʉgrʉsi zoyari diwʉn diwʉn za'kanusi zoyame fonetico, fonologico,morfologico, sintactico, semantico awiri pragmatico agwasi gunti gugin kʉnʉnna name ingwi nigeki azey azey ɟwakumʉkwey neyka ni. Eymey gwinari ga'kʉnamʉsin re'nuga neykari diwʉn diwʉn zaka'nusi peykʉ renikwʉya ni, eyma zana sociolinguistica, etnolinguestica, linguistica matematica, linguistica cognitiva awiri akowna neykari "analisis critico del discurso mediatico" agwasi gunti zoya ni.


Sample videos in Arhuaco

Information about Arhuaco | Numbers


Information about Arhuaco

Chibchan languages

Arhuaco, Bribri, Buglere, Cabécar, Guaymí, Kuna, Maléku, Paya, Rama, Teribe

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 26.10.23. Last modified: 26.10.23


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