Kawaiisu (Nɨwɨ'abigidɨ / Nüwü'abigidü)

Kawaiisu is a member of the Southern Numic division of the Uto-Aztecan language family. It was traditionally spoken in the Tehachapi and Piute mountains in the southern Sierra Nevada in California. It is currently spoken in the Tehachapi area of Kern County in southern California in the USA. In 2018 there are just three native speakers of Kawaiisu.

The Kawaiisu people call themselves Nüwa or Nuwa ("the people").

Efforts to document and revive the language started in 2002, and since 2012 the Kawaiisu Language and Cultural Center has offered classes in Kawaiisu, as well as language learning materials.

Kawaiisu alphabet and pronunciation

Kawaiisu alphabet and alphabet

Download an alphabet chart for Kawaiisu (Excel)

Sample text

Shi'id papel meeneeka, wagüt hagaan ime. Shi'id iva'an, iva'an kaama'a, eviapich eepizh, puguz. Otsüz, kapaan otsüz karineen wogüta. Iva'an naro'o hinigeeneen. Iva'an wahai ventana, iva'an müüze.


This paper says, frog where are you. This here, here is a bed, a little boy, a god, a jar, inside the jar sits a frog. Here he has a shirt. Here are two windows, here, the moon.

Source: http://www.kawaiisu.org/_documents/PracticalGrammar/Chapter1/Frog Where Are You in Kawaiisu.pdf

Sample videos in and about Kawaiisu


Information about the Kawaiisu language

Uto-Aztecan languages

Comanche, Cora, Hopi, Huarijio, Huichol, Ivilyuat / Cahuilla, Kawaiisu, Luiseño, Mayo, Mono, O'odham, Nahuatl, Nawat (Pipil), Northern Paiute, Serrano, Shoshone, Southern Paiute, Tarahumara, Tepehuán (Northern), Tepehuán (Southeastern), Tepehuán (Southwestern), Timbisha, Tongva, Yaqui

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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