BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO
AND CENTRAL AMERICA
AND THEIR GEOGRAPHICAL
JOHN R. SWANTON
ACCOMPANIED WITH A LINGUTISTIC MAP
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
About the year 1895 Maj. J. W. Powell, Director of the Bureau
of American Ethnology, determined on the preparation of a linguistic
map of that part of North America south of the Mexican boundary,
having in view the extension southward of the classification and map-
ping of the linguistic families north of that border. Dr. Cyrus Thomas
was assigned the task of assembling the preliminary data and the prep-
aration of a sketch map, but the death of Major Powell before the
research had assumed final shape, and the assignment to Doctor
Thomas of more urgent work, necessitated delay in the comple-
tion until the latter part of 1908. At that time Dr. J. R. Swanton,
who had entered on a study of the languages of the tribes of the
lower Mississippi valley and the Gulf coast, became interested in the
linguistic classification of the tribes of middle America, and on the
joint suggestion of Doctors Thomas and Swanton copies of the map
were prepared and submitted to a number of students who had
devoted attention to the languages and ethnology of Mexico and
Central America, soliciting criticism and making inquiry respecting
the advisability of publication at this stage. The following anthro-
pologists responded, furnishing valuable data: Dr. Carl Sapper, Dr.
A. L. Kroeber, Dr. Frederick Starr, Dr. Nicolas Le6n, Dr. H. Pittier
de FAbrega, Dr. A. M. Tozzer, Sefor Francisco Belmar, Dr. Ales
Hrdli6ka, and Dr. Frahz Boas. Corrections and additions were
made in accordance with some of the suggestions offered, bringing the
classification and the map as nearly to date as possible. These results
are now submitted, not as a final work, but as an attempt to repre-
sent the present state of knowledge regarding a subject which may
never be cleared entirely of obscurity.
W. H. HOLMES, Chief.
JUNE 2, 1909.
Introduction ................................ ............................. 1
M exico................................. .............................. 2
Cocopa... .............................. ........... .. ....... ........ 2
Cochim i ................................. ......................... 3
W aicuri and Pericu ...................................... .............. 4
Pim a .................................. ... ........... ............... 7
Opata .......................................... ....... ....... ...... 7
Tarahumare ................................... ... ..................... 8
Seri......................................... .................. 10
The Yaqui group ................................... . ...... ........... 11
Zoe and Tepahue..................................................... 17
Tepehuane ................................ ......... ............... 19
Acaxee........................... ...................... ............ 19
Cora .................. ........ .............................. ........ 21
Huichol ......................... ......... .......... .................. 22
Tepecano, Teule, Cazcan, and Tecuexe.................................. 23
Names of tribes in northwestern Mexico not considered separately........ 24
Concho ................................... ....................... 36
Toboso ............. .................... .. .............. .. .... 37
Pakawan .............. .................. ........ ................... 38
Laguneros ..................................... ...... .... .......... .. 38
Zacateco .......................................... .............. 40
Guachichile ....................................... .... ......... 40
The term Chichimeca................................................. 41
Tamaulipeco .................. ....................... .. ............ 444
Pisone and Janambre ................................................. 44
Names of tribes in northeastern Mexico not considered separately........ 45
Otom i ........................................................... 46
Pam e ................................... . .... ....... ................ 46
Mazahua ............................................................... 47
Pirinda ...................................... .. .................. ...... 48
Meco ............... . -............ . .- .. ............. . 48
Huasteca ................. ......... ............... ................. 48
Totonac........... .................................................. 49
Tepehua ...................................... ........ ............... 449
Meztitlaneca ......................... ........... ... .... ............... 50
Tlascalan .............................................................. 50
Cuitlateco ............................... .................. ....... 50
Tarasco ..............................................................-. 51
Aztec ............... ...... .......... .... .... ... .............. 51
Mixtec ................ ................ .. .... --......---..... --52
Chocho .......................... ..................................... 53
Am ishgo .............................................................. 54
Chatino ............................ . ..... .. ....................... 54
M azateco ............................... ................ ............ 54
Cuicateco ............................................................. 55
Chinantec .......................................................... .... 55
Zapotec ................................ .. ......... ............. .. 55
The Mixtec and Zapotec languages compared ........................... 56
Chontal ................................................................ 58
H uave ................................................................. 59
M ixe................................................................. 60
Central Am erica........................................................... 61
Chiapanec ............................................. ................. 61
Chontal (of Tabasco).................................................... 61
Tzental ................... ...................................... .... 62
Chol .................. .................. ......... ........ ... ...... 63
Chafiabal ............... .. ..... . ... ......... ... ............ ......... 64
Chicom ucelteca ....................................................... 65
Motozintleca ................... ............ ...... .................... 65
Tapachulteca .......................................................... 65
Subinha ............................. . . ....... ........... ...... 65
Jacalteca ............................................................. 65
Chuje................ ..................... ........ ............ .. 66
Achis....................... ...... . .......................... 66
M am ........................... .......... ............ ........ ..... 66
Ixil ................ ....... ..................... ..................... 67
Aguacateca ................................................ ............ 67
K iche................................... .. .................... 67
Cakchikel ........................................................ 67
Tzutuhil ............................................ ................. 68
Uspanteca .............. ............................................. 68
Kekchi .......... ......... ..... ............................. :.... 68
Pokonchi ............................................ ... ......... .... 69
Pokomam................... ................... ....................... 69
Chorti............................ ..... .. ...........-------. 69
Maya proper ................. ................... ..... ....- .....-.... 70
M aya dialects .................................................. .... 70
Alaguilac ......................... ....... .. ....... .......... .... 72
Pipil............ ............. ... .. ................................ 72
X inca .................. ................... .. ....................... 73
Tlascalteca ....................... .. ....... .... ...................... 74
Jicaque ............................................ ............. .. 75
Paya .................. .......... ..... .. ....... ............. 75
Carib.......................................... ..... ................. 76
Matagalpa ..................................... ..................... 76
M angue ................................................................ 76
Subtiaban ................................ ............................. 77
Dirian ................................................................. 77
N iquiran .................................. .. ........................ 78
Orotinan ............................................................... 78
Ulva .................................................................. 78
Central America-Continued. Page
Rama ........... ................ ........................ 80
Mosquito ............................................................ 80
General remarks on the tribes of Costa Rica ............................. 81
Guatuso .................................... .............. ........... 84
G uetare ............................................................... 85
V oto .............................................................. :... 87
Suerre (?)...................... ......................... 87
Quepo (?) ................... ............. .... ........... 88
Talamanca. ......................... ................................ .. 88
Sigua ............. ............ ...................................... 92
Doraskean tribes ..................................................... 93
Guaymie .................................... ........... ............ 94
Cuna................................................. ............ 95
Ethnic dividing line between North and South America ..................... 96
Bibliography ...................................... ........................ 97
Index of linguistic families, tribes, and settlements ......................... 101
Linguistic map of Mexico and Central America............................ at end
INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL
By CYRus THOMAS
Assisted by JOHN R. SWANTON
The narrative portion of this bulletin is devoted to a statement of
the authority on which the establishment of the linguistic areas indi-
cated on the accompanying map rests, along with the writer's reasons
for adopting certain names and rejecting others. For Mexico,
Orozco y Berra's map and conclusions are used as a basis, and it
will be found, though the original authorities, so far as accessible,
have been. examined, that there has been occasion for but few and
comparatively slight changes. This authority was not only familiar
with all of the works, early and late, bearing on this subject that had
been published up to his time, but he also had access to numerous
As these notes will show, there are some other linguistic names
which, in view of the evidence, are entitled perhaps to places on the
map, but it has been considered best to omit them wherever much
doubt exists. It has been found impossible, and perhaps it will
always remain so, to indicate the smaller linguistic areas within the
major stocks in conformity with any absolute standard. The Mayan,
Zapotecan, Zoquean, and part of the Nahuatlan stocks are the only
ones which could be satisfactorily treated in this manner, but it must
be remembered that many others would be found to have similar sub-
divisions were data available. Where relationship is suspected be-
tween two or more stocks an endeavor has been made to indicate the
fact by using related shades of coloring. All tribes treated in the text
will not be found indicated on the map, in some cases because the
languages spoken by them did not differ sufficiently from those of
their neighbors to warrant independent representation, and in others
because they occupied "unclassified" areas. As mentioned in the
prefatory note, the map accompanying this bulletin has been sub-
mitted to a number of students familiar with Mexican ethnology,
and several alterations and additions suggested by them have been
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
The Indians speaking this idiom are generally placed in the Yuman
family, and, according to Orozco y Berra, are sometimes referred to by
the names Cuhanes, Cuanes, and Yuanes. The name given on his
map is Cuhanes. Unfortunately, however, he has made two tribes
of them, one (Cucapas, or Cuhanes) which he places in the Yuman
family; the other (Cocopas) in the Piman family. Doctor Gatschet
(415)1 makes the two names synonyms and places the one tribe in
the Yuman family. However, the relations of the tribe have not
yet been satisfactorily worked out. These Indians live along the
Colorado river near its mouth.
The Cochimi were a division of the Yuman family living in the
northern portions of the Californian peninsula. Their territory ex-
tended from the international boundary southward to, or a little
beyond, the twenty-sixth parallel of north latitude, including Loreto,
where it was bounded by the territory of the Walcuri (Bancroft, I,
557). Orozco y Berra says (1:366): "Los Cochimies ocupaban la
peninsula desde Loreto hasta poco mas alla de nuestra frontera."
Venegas (I, 66) says: "Desde el territorio de Loreto, por todo lo
descubierto al Norte de la nacion Cochimi;" Clavigero (22) says from
250 to 330 north latitude.
The Cochimi spoke a distinct language of the Yuman stock, di-
vided, however, into from two to four dialects. Orozco y Berra, in
his text (1: 366-367), mentions three, Cochimi del Norte, Edu, and
Didu, but on his map he adds what seems to be a fourth, Cochimi
(proper). He is evidently in error in referring to the Edu and Didu
here, since they were Walcurian and were situated considerably
farther south. The northern Cochimi are mentioned by some
authors as the Laymon. Prichard (II, 553) mentions "The Cochimi,
Pericu, and Loretto languages; the former is the same as the Lay-
mon, for the Laymones are the northern Cochimies." Hassel (57)
mentions Laymon as distinct, and the Cochimi with three distinct
dialects-San Francisco Borgia, Utschiti, and Ika. Bancroft
(III, 687) mentions but two dialects of the Cochimi in his text-Lay-
mon and Ika. It is questionable, however, whether the Ika were not
In spite of Orozco y Berra's error in placing the Didu and Edu, the
territory assigned by him to the Yuman stock agrees with the infor-
mation of our best early authorities, and he has been followed in the
See the Bibliography, pages 97-100.
TROMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 3
WAICURI AND PERICU
It is usually stated that three principal languages were spoken in
Lower California--Cochimi, which constituted a dialect of the Yuman
family and has already been treated, Waicuri, and Pericu. Could
the authorities for this statement be sifted down in every case, it
would probably be found that most of them derived their information
from Venegas, who quotes a missionary named Taraval. In the
same chapter Venegas admits that other missionaries increased the
number to four or five, and gives one to understand that the more
intimate a person became with the people the fewer linguistic
divisions he found to exist. That Cochimi and the languages to
the south of it were entirely distinct is known on linguistic evidence.
The short vocabulary of Bigert is nearly all that is nuw available
of the languages at the lower end of the peninsula, and Brinton at-
tempted to find resemblances between this and Yuman, but the
futility of his attempt has been demonstrated by Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt,
and there can be no question of the independent position of the two
languages. Regarding Pericu, the case is different, because, so far
as known, there is not a word of that language, except some proper
names, in existence, the only sources of information being the state-
ments of early writers and circumstantial evidence. As already
noted, the majority of direct statements make this people inde-
pendent of the Waicuri, but it is questionable how many independent
original sources are represented. On the other hand, two authorities
mention but two stock languages in the entire peninsula, one of
which is, of course, Yuman, while the other includes all of the lan-
guages to the south of it. Again, if Pericu were really distinct from
all others, why are so many mistakes made in applying the term?
Although the Cora who occupied the eastern side of the peninsula
at its lower end are frequently spoken of as a Waicuri tribe, Venegas
states that they were Pericu, and among later writers Orozco y Berra
does not hesitate to include them in his Pericu area. Again, al-
though Venegas gives the Utciti as a branch of the WaIcuri in his
chapter on languages, in his second volume he mentions them as a
Pericu tribe. Thirdly, although linguistic evidence can not be
brought to bear satisfactorily, there is in the word Pericu itself and
in a number of personal and mythological names from that tongue,
proof of the existence of the phonetic r, which is also present in
Waicuri, but conspicuously absent from Cochimi. Altogether it
seems best to regard Pericu as related to Waicuri, only more distantly
than any other of the group of southern dialects. As indicated on
the map, the name appears to have been confined properly to one
tribe about the mission of San Jos6, near Cape St. Lucas, and extend-
ing northward on the west coast of Lower California to about 230 30'.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
The Pima are scattered, as shown by the map, in five isolated
groups, as follows:
Pima Alto (Upper Pima).
Pima Bajo (Lower Pima).
Pima of Bamoa.
Pima Alto.-As the Indians of this group are confined chiefly to
the United States and are referred to in the Seventh Annual Report
of the Bureau of American Ethnology, and as the area is marked on
the linguistic map accompanying that Report, it is unnecessary to
discuss them here.
Pima Bajo.-The Lower Pima extended east and west along the
lower middle portion of the Yaqui river, joining the Tarahumare on
the east, the Opata on the north, the Yaqui on the south, and the Seri
on the west. These are substantially the boundaries given by Orozco
y Berra, and are based chiefly on the position of villages in which
the Piman language was spoken. However, the evidence in regard
to the narrow strip extending along the south bank of the San Jos6
river to the Gulf, as shown on the map, is not entirely satisfactory.
It is also possible that the eastern boundary has been carried a
short distance into the Tarahumare territory.
Father Ribas (370) mentions as pueblos of the Lower Pima: Como-
ripa, Tecoripa, Zuaque (Suaque), and Aivino. The last two deter-
mine the extreme northern boundary as given by Orozco y Berra,
while the first was located on the Yaqui river not far from the south-
ern boundary. His statement (358) that the pueblos of the Movas,
Onavas, and Nuri belonged to the Upper Pima must be a misprint
or a clerical error, as they were certainly situated in the territory of the
Pima Bajo, and he must have known this; however, there is further
mention of this point below. The situation of the Nuri pueblo deter-
mines the extreme southern point of the area in the map, and Nocori
the northwestern extension. However, the pueblos of Yepachic and
Tonaphic in the eastern part of the territory, as laid down by Orozco y
Berra, appear, from the termination of the names, to be of Tarahumare
origin, and this supposition seems to be confirmed by the statement
of Juan Ortiz Zapata (340) that these two pueblos were included
among the Tarahumare missions. A slight change from Orozco y
Berra's eastern boundary line has therefore been made to correspond
with this evidence. Though the Pima language may possibly have
been spoken at these two missions, the names betray the fact that
the pueblos were originally Tarahumare.
Potlapigua.-An isolated group of Pima, named Potlapigua, is men-
tioned by Orozco y Berra (1: 348) in the region of Babispe, on the
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 5
northeastern boundary of the Opata territory, though not marked
on his map. They are located by Hamy I on his map, however, and
are noted on the map accompanying this paper, though numbered 3
by mistake. That this separation from the main body dates back to
the period herein referred to seems to be proven by the fact that
Ribas (359) mentions the "Bapispes" as in the direction of -New
Mexico from Sinaloa.
Pima of Bamoa.-Another isolated group was situated south of
the Mayo on lower Sinaloa river, Bamoa being the chief pueblo.
This group, which is properly marked on Orozco y Berra's map
(under the name Bamoa), consisted, chiefly at least, of the Pima
who accompanied Cabeza de Vaca on his return from Florida (Ribas,
119; Orozco y Berra, 1: 333). The former says expressly that these
accompanying Indians were Nebomes (Pima) and that they settled
the pueblo of Bamoa on the Rio de Petatlan (Sinaloa rivei). They
do not appear to have spoken a language dialectically different from
Lower Pima, hence the name Bamoa is omitted from our nap.
Tepehuane colony.-Hamy locates another small group,; without
any special name, in the extreme western portion of the Tepehuane
territory. This is based probably on the statement by Orozco y
Berra (1: 324) that some documents say that the villages of this sec-
tion were inhabited by Pima, and others, that they were peopled
by Tepehuane. He adds the belief that they were chiefly Pima.
Mention is made of several supposed subtribes of the Lower Pima,
as the Movas, Comuripa, Aibino, Onavas, and Nuri; but these names
appear to refer chiefly to different villages without sufficient evidence
of difference in dialect. Orozco y Berra (1:353) says the Movas,
Onavas, Nuri, Comuripa, and Tecoripa were pueblos of the Lower
Pima in which the Pima language was spoken, but that the Aibino
and Sisibotari were subtribes of the Upper Pima (an evident error,
as Aibino was a Lower Pima pueblo); Hamy places the Albino,
Comuripa, Onavas, Movas, and Nuri on his map as subtribes of the
Lower Pima. (See remarks below.)
Doctor Brinton asserts (3: 127) that the Ahome were "a distinctly
Pima people," referring to Buelna as authority.2 This is probably
an error, as the dialect spoken by this people appears to have been
substantially the same as that spoken by the Guazave, who per-
tained to the Yaqui group (Yaqui, Mayo, Tehueco), as will appear
in the notes relating to that tribe.
Although the Guayma have generally been considered a subtribe
of the Seri, Hervas appears to dissent from this view, and compara-
tively recently Pinart, from an examination of a remnant of the
group, is inclined to connect them with the Pima (Brinton, 3:127).
SBull. Soc. d'anthrop. de Paris, 3. s., VI, 785-791, Nov., 1883, and Decades Amerlcanae 3d and 4th, 99.
Bee also Doc. Hist. Mex., 4th ser., I, 401.
i Peregrinacion de los Aztecas y Nombres Geogrcficos Indigenas de Sinaloa, p. 21, Mexico, 1887.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
Further examination of this point will be found in the notes relating
to the Seri.
Reference to the supposed tribes or subtribes Aibino (or Aivino),
Movas (or Mobas), Comuripa (or Comoripa), Onavas (or Onabas),
Tecoripa, and Nuri is again made in order to give briefly the reasons
for omitting them from the map. As stated above, they are con-
sidered by Orozco y Berra as merely pueblos in which the Pima
language was spoken without such dialectic differences as to justify
considering them distinct. As a rule, all dialects referred to by early
authors writing of this section are spoken of as "distinct" or "par-
ticular" languages, though the writers recognized their affinities.
In regard to the Onava and Tecoripa, it seems to be fairly inferred
from the statements by Cancio (155-156) that they spoke the Piman
language. This agrees with the statement by Zapata (358-361)
that the language spoken at Tecoripa, Cumuripa, and Onava was
Pima, and that at Mova the language was partly Pima and partly
Egue (Eudeve), and hence not distinct. Velarde (399) calls the
Indians of Tecoripa, and also the Aibino, Pima. Ribas (370) includes
the pueblos Comoripa, Tecoripa, and Aibino among those of the
The last-named author (299, 358) speaks of the Nuri as Nebome
(Pima) and on the latter page connects them with the Upper Pima,
but on page 369 says they are a nation of a language different from
that of the Upper Pima, though not very distant from them.
However, according to Orozco y Berra (1:351) they inhabited the
pueblo of Nuri, which was certainly Lower Pima. It seems from
Ribas (lib. vi, cap. vi) that the Nuri he refers to as belonging to or
adjoining the Upper Pima were a different people from those occupying
the Nuri pueblo.
Although Hamy places these names (except Tecoripa) on his map
heretofore referred to, and notwithstanding the fact that they are
spoken of as "naciones," there is not sufficient evidence to warrant
the conclusion that they spoke distinct dialects. Ribas (373-374),
speaking of the Aivino and other pueblos of that immediate section
(en toda esta tierra adetro), says two languages were current through-
out, and that Padre Olifiano, who preached to them, understood well
the two languages of- these nations. However, he fails to state
what languages these were. By turning to Zapata's Relaci6n, here-
tofore referred to, some light on this point may be obtained.
Speaking of the Mobas (361), he says their language, as mentioned
above, was partly Pima and partly Egue (Eudeve), which so far
agrees with Ribas's statement and indicates the two languages to
which the latter refers.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 7
The Opata lived chiefly about the headwaters of the Yaqui and
Hermosill6 rivers, the Apache being on the northeast, the Tarahumare
on the southeast, the Lower Pima on the south, and the Seri on the
west. There were two subtribes which spoke dialects of the mother
language-the Eudeve (Heve or Dohema) and the Jova (Jobal or
Ova). (Doc. Hist. Mex., 3d s., IV, 552-553.)
Orozco y Berra says (1:343-344) that according to D. Francisco
Velasco the Opata "nacion" was subdivided into the Opatas Teguis,
Opatas Teguimas, and Opatas Coguinachis. His quotation is
not strictly exact, as Velasco, in the article referred to (2:705),
gives as divisions Jovas, Segiis (Teguis), Tegiiimas, and Cogtlinachis.
But as the last three names do not appear to have had any linguistic
signification, and are not otherwise referred to as those of subtribes,
they may be dismissed from consideration.
The Eudeve (Heve, Dohme, orDohema), forming the chief subtribe,
inhabited the headwaters of the Rio Hermosillo. Their location
is given in Orozco y Berra's work by pueblos in the region mentioned.
The dialect of this subtribe shows considerable difference from that of
the Opata proper (Pimentel, II, 153), but not sufficient to consider it
otherwise than as a dialect. An anonymous author (Doc. Hist. Mex.,
3d s., IV, 494, 534) even says the difference is not greater than that
between Portuguese and Castilian, or between French and Provengal.
Alegre (II, 216) seems also to have considered the dialects as not
The Jova (Jobal or Ova) formed another subtribe speaking a lan-
guage dialectically different from Opata and Eudeve, though more
closely related to the former than was Eudeve. Although the loca-
tion of this subtribe seems to be pretty clearly indicated by the his-
torical evidence as being in the eastern part of the Opata territory, as
laid down in Orozco y- Berra's map, Hamy, in his map heretofore
referred to, locates them in the central portion of the Tarahumare
territory as drawn by him and Orozco y Berra. This appears to be
based on the statement of the latter author that one of the Jova pue-
blos was Santo Tomas, which he locates about the place where Hamy
places the Jovas on his map. However, Orozco y Berra also names as
Jova pueblos San Jos6 Teopari, Los Dolores, Sahuaripa, Ponida,
Arivetzi, and San Mateo Malzura, all of which are in the southeast-
ern part of the Opata territory as given in his map, which, as before
indicated, Hamy has followed in marking the tribal boundaries.
If the Jova territory extended to and included Santo Tomas, then
the Opata territory, if this pueblo is correctly laid down, should be
extended moro to the southeast than it is on Orozco y Berra's map.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
This is doubtful, it being more likely that this pueblo was peopled
chiefly by Indians speaking the Jova language, the other pue-
blos of that section being Tarahumare. Hervas (332) includes Santo
Tomas among the pueblos or missions of the Chinipas, who, he
says, spoke a dialect of Tarahumare, or, as will be shown farther
on, was not distinct therefrom. His list, however, is dated 1767.
As throwing some light on this point it is noticeable that Zapata
(340-343) states that the mission at Tosonachic in the Tarahumare
territory directly north of Santo Tomas, and Yepachic directly west
of the latter on the border of the Pima Bajo territory, as given by
Orozco y Berra, were Tarahumare missions. But that at Matachic,
immediately south of Tosonachic (or Tesomachic), and between it
and Santo Tomas and the region immediately around it, he speaks of
as belonging to the Jova (or Ova), or at least places it under the head-
ing "Nacion de los Ovas."
It would seem from these statements (in 1678) that the Opata boun-
dary should be extended a little farther to the southeast than given by
Orozco y Berra, yet the termination chic (Matachic) savors strongly
of Tarahumare origin, and Matachic is included in the Tarahumare
in the Handbook of American Indians. As will be seen below and by
reference to our map, a small portion of the extreme eastern part of
the Lower Pima territory, as given in Orozco y Berra's map, has been
included in the Tarahumare area.
In regard to the Batuco, Cumupa, Buasdaba, and Bapiape, men-
tioned by some authorities as located within the Opata territory, see
notes below respecting the list of names not given on the accom-
The Tarahumare inhabited the sierras, their area embracing parts
of Chihuahua, Durango, and Sonora, the Apache being on the north,
the Opata and Lower Pima on the west, the Tepehuane on the south,
and the Concho on the east, and extending from about latitude 260
to 290 and longitude 1060 to 1080 W. Orozco y Berra (1:34) says,
"Cuenta hasta cinco dialectos poco distantes de la lengua madre, y los
sigwientes, que se separan mas 6 menos de su fuente." (The italics'are
the present author's.) Then he names the following four: Varohio,
Guazipare, Pachera,' and Tubar. What is to be understood by the
"five dialects but little distant from the mother tongue," unless
the four named are included, does not clearly appear from his wuk;
at least it seems that he did not consider them sufficiently "distant"
to regard them as distinct dialects, as he does not follow up the
IIervas (332) states that the Tarahumara (the Tarahumare country)
is divided into two provinces, called Tarahumara alta and Tarahu-
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 9
mara baja. To what extent this is to be considered.as denoting
dialectic differences can only be inferred from the statement which
En aquella se habla la lengua chinipa, de la que en el aflo 1767 los jesuitas tenian
siete misiones, llamadas de chinipas y de la Tarahumara-baxa. La lengua chinipa parece
ser dialecto de la tarahumara, que era la dominant en las misiones de los jesuitas en la
This statement seems to imply that Tarahumare proper was spoken
in the upper district and Chinipa in the lower district. But as
there appears to be some uncertainty and confusion on this point, it
will be best to notice first the dialects mentioned above and then
to return to the subject.
Orozco y Berra marks and colors separately on his map the Tubar,
Guazipare, and Varohio areas, locating them along the southwestern
boundary of the Tarahumare territory, where it meets the territory
of the Yaqui group.
The earliest notice of the subtribe Tubar (Tubare or Tovare) is
probably that by Ribas (117-118), from whom we learn that the group,
which was not very numerous, dwelt in rancherias in the sierras about
the headwaters of the Rio del Fuerte (Rio Cinaloa). He says the peo-
ple spoke two languages totally distinct (totalmente distintas), but does
not indicate their relationship. Hervas (320), commenting on the
passage, says he infers from it that a portion of the Tubar subtribe
spoke the "lengua propia" (meaning the Tarahumare or Chinipa) and
the other part Tepehuane, which is probably the correct explanation.
He (Hervas) identifies the Chinipa with those he terms the Lower
Tarahumare. Orozco y Berra (1: 323-324), referring to a manuscript
in possession of Ramirez, mentions Concepci6n, San Ignacio, and
San Miguel as Tubar pueblos or pueblos in the Tubar region, and
states that they were situated on one of the affluents of the Rio del
Fuerte, adding that they spoke a particular idiom which was a dia-
lect of the Tarahumare, distinct from the Varohio and Guazipare, and
called the Tubar.
The earliest notice of the Varohio tribe or subtribe is also by Ribas
(255), who mentions them in connection with Chinipa, Guazipare,
Temori, and Ihio. He locates them in the sierras toward the north,
between the Mayo and "Cinaloa" (Fuerte) rivers, which corresponds
with the position given by Orozco y Berra on his map. Hervas
("f1 says they and the Guazipare were related linguistically to the
C(iupa (Tarahumare). Zapata says (388-390) that Varohio and
Guazipare are the same language, except that the latter is more
nearly like Tarahumare. The same writer (333) connects the Pa-
chera with the Tarahumare thus: "A tres leguas de San Jos6
Temaichic esta otro pueblo y much gente en 61 llamada taraumar
Pachera." The termination chic of the name Temaichic indicates
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
Tarahumare origin. Moreover, the pueblo was evidently in Tara-
humare territory, though there is no map at hand on which the
name appears in this form.
Returning now to the Chinipa, the following facts should be noted:
The name has evidently been used in different senses. Ribas (95-96)
mentions them, but chiefly with reference to the distinction between
them and the Sinaloa (Yaqui group), in the expression "uno de los
pueblos de Chinipa," which indicates that he understood the name as
including more than a single pueblo. At another place (255), speak-
ing of "other nations which people the interior of the same sierra,"
he says: "They call these nations Chinipas, Guizipares, Temoris,
Ihios, and Varohios."
Zapata (386-387)'says that the Partido de Santa In6s de Chinipa
lay 25 leagues east of San AndrBs de Conicari, on the headwaters of the
Rio del Fuerte. Alluding to the valley in which Chinipa was situated,
he adds: "Que se compone de este de Chinipa y otro que se le junta y
viene de los tubures gentiles." The language is not mentioned in this
paragraph, but in the next, where Guadalupe of the Boragios (Varo-
hios) is alluded to, it is stated that the language of this pueblo and
of Santa Ines (Chinipa) is Varohio, and is recognized as the same as
"Taura" (Tarahumare), varying somewhat "en la gramatica."
The pueblo of Chinipa is located on Orozco y Berra's map in the
Varohio territory, and in his classification (1:58, 326) he includes
the people under Varohio as speaking that language. Alegre (II, 121)
locates the Chinipa pueblos on the headwaters of the Rio del Fuerte, as
does the preceding authority, but says they were joined for mission
purposes with the Huites (which see, below). Again (174) he men-
tions them in the same relation as Ribas-"entre Chinipas, Guaza-
paris, Temoris y algunas otras naciones."
Villa-Sefor y Sanchez (ii, 399) speaks of Chinipa as a pueblo, the
location being the same as that of Santa Ines Chinipa, above men-
tioned; and in another place (402) refers to the "Sierra de Chinipas."
One fact worthy of notice in this connection is that Padre Miguel
Tellechea, author of Compendio Gramatical del Idioma Tarahumar
(1826), was ministryo del Pueblo de Chinipas" and resided there a
part, if not most, of the time his work was in course of preparation.
Is this grammar based on the Varohio dialect or on the parent Tara-
humare language? Had the distinctions and differences disappeared
at the time he wrote? Chinipa is omitted from the map as not dis-
tinct from Varohio.
The territory of the Seri as laid down by Orozco y Berra extended
along the coast of the Gulf of California from Guaymas, or rather the
Rio San Jos6, northward a little above 300 N., including the island of
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 11
Tiburon, and eastward to the territory of the Opata and the Lower
Pima, being bounded on the north by the territory of the Upper
Pima. Hamy's map, heretofore referred to, extends the northern
boundary a little farther north than Orozco y Berra's. The evidence
on which this northern boundary is based, however, is not definitely
given by either of these authors. Orozco y Berra makes the brief
statement (1: 354), "Los Salineros h&cia los confines de la Pimeria
alta," and states on the same page that the Salineros speak an idiom
of Seri, but adds further, that in his classification he counts but
"la principal" (the Seri proper) and the two dialects, Guayma and
Upanguayma, showing that he does not consider Tiburon, Tepoca,
and Salineros as varying sufficiently to be regarded as dialects.
Although the Guayma idiom has usually been considered a dialect
of Seri and so designated by authors, Hervas has described it as dis-
tinct, and recently Pinart, from an examination made on the ground,
concludes it is related to Pima. Hervas says (318) that in one of the
missions of Yaqui river named Belen were Indians of three nations-
the Yaqui, Seri, and Guayma-which'used three different languages.
Jos6 F. Ramirez, discussing this statement, presents reasons, given
in the note below, for doubting its correctness, and shows such rela-
tions between the Guayma and the Lower Pima as may well explain
the result obtained by Pinart,1 but at the same time distinguishes
Guayma from Pima. The linguistic position of Upanguayma, which
is related to the latter, is of course determined by its position. Jose
Gallardo (Bancroft, In, 704) says there is but little difference between
Seri and Upanguayma.
THE YAQUI GROUP
(Synonyms: Cahita, Cinaloa, Sinaloa)
The tribes of this group (often included under the name Cahita)
were located chiefly along the middle and lower portions of the
valleys of the Rio Yaqui, Rio Mayo, and Rio del Fuerte, extending
1" El abate Hervas dice (tomo I, pAgina 318) que 'en la mission de Belen habia tree naclones quoe se lama-
ban Hiaqut, Beri y Guatma, quo hablaban trees lengua different&.' Esta dltima parte de su aserlcon pre-
senta las siguientes dificultades. En el tome xvi de los manuscritos del archive general, hallara V. S. un
papel que se Intitula. 'Estado de la provincia de Sonora, con el catAlogo de sus pueblos, iglesias etc. y
Breve descripolon de la Sonora Jesultica, segun se hall per el mes de Julio de este atlo de 1730 etc.' No
tengo A la vista esta Memoria, mas por mis apuntes, debe ser en la part donde el autor describe la mission
del P6pulo en la que dice:' que la lengua de los Sers es la misma de los OGalmas.' Ademas, en un informed
que pose del obispo de Sonora, dirigido A D. Jos6 de Galve. en 20 de Setiembre de 1784, dice el prelado,
hablando de aquella mission de Bolen 'viven unidas dos naciones de indios Pimas beaos y Guaimes: estos
ltimos desampararon'su pueblo per los continues asaltos de los B es. Los Pimas usansu propio Idioma.
S. Los foafna usan su antiguo idloma,' etc.
v Pasando ahora al exAmen de estas noticlas, y hacidndolo en el drden Inverse de su esposlclon, tendremos
como primer hecho. probado con la respectable autoridad del Diocesano, la existencla de dos lenguas diversas
en la mission de Belem, la de los Guaimas y la de los Pimas bajoe. Bigue en 6rden la del misionero jesuita
que dice, eran una misma la Gualma y la Seri. Parece, pues, que nada puede contrastar estos testimonios
dilsrtos, y que en consecuencia hay una inexactitud en la asercion del abate Hervas que hace dlstintas la
lengua Bert y Ouaima. Aquella so esplica muy naturalmente con solo reflexionor que el sabol flldlogo
advlerte, obtuvo su noticia de uno que decia haberla oldo & un misionero."-Bol. Boc. Geog. Eated. Mex.,
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
from the Gulf of California to the sierras. Their territory connected
on the north with that of the Lower Pima and on the east with that
of the Tarahumare. It seems that on the southeast, as early as the
sixteenth century, they were in contact chiefly with people speaking
a Nahuatl idiom.
But three dialects-Yaqui, Mayo, and Tehueco-are usually men-
tioned. Pimentel (1, 453) says of the group, "It is divided into three
dialects, Yaqui, Mayo, and Tehueco." Buelna (x) limits them to the
same three, and Balbi gives Zuaque, Mayo, and Yaqui. In his classi-
fied list Orozco y Berra (1:58) names Yaqui, Mayo, Tehueco, and
Vacoregue, and Brinton (3: 125) names the Tehueco, Zuaque, Mayo,
and Yaqui as subtribes. Hervas (322) concludes from his study of
Ribas's work that the following dialects were recognized: Yaqui (which
he makes equivalent to Sinaloa), Zuaque, Mayo, Ocoroni, Tehueco,
Conicari, Chicorata, Cavenata, Ahome, and Guazave. (As to Ocoroni,
Conicari, Chicorata, and Ahome, see notes below.) Cavenata is
merely the name of a pueblo given nowhere else as a dialect.
As there appears to be no difference of opinion in regard to Yaqui,
Mayo, and Tehueco being dialects of the group, it will be necessary
to refer only to the early historical evidence regarding localities.
As it has been suggested by Doctor Kroeber that the term Cahita
is merely the native word meaning "nothing," and is therefore
inappropriate as an ethnic designation, the name "Yaqui group"
(from that of the best known tribe) has been adopted as more
The Indians using the Yaqui dialect are almost universally located
by our authorities on the Yaqui river; there are, however, some
exceptions which will be referred to. The first notice of them is
probably that in the Segunda Relaci6n An6nima of the journey of
Nuto de Guzman, between 1530 and 1540.1 It is stated in this
(nI, 300-302) that after passing over the Rio de Tamachola, which
appears to be the Fuerte (as Alegre, I, 231, implies), and traveling
30 leagues, they came to a river called Mayo on which lived a tribe
("gente") of the same "arte" and same language as those of the
Sinaloa. Having passed on (northward), they came to another
stream called Yaquimi, well peopled, "y los pueblos del arte de los de
Cinaloa y de Mayon." The writer adds on the next page, "Desde el
Rio de Petatlan hasta el de Yaquimi es todo una gente." That the
Petatlan is the same river as that at present named Sinaloa is
affirmed by Alegre (I, 231).
As there is some confusion in regard to the use of the names Sinaloa
(or Cinaloa) and Zuaque as applied to tribes, and also some confusion in
regard to the location of some of the tribes, it seems advisable first to
give the evidence relating thereto. Hervas (323), quoting the following,
IIn Colec. Doc. Hist. Mex.; see Icazbalceta in the Bibliography.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 13
"El P. Christobal de Villalba [Villalta] (lib. 5, cap. 15, p. 324) sabia
excelentemente la lengua de los hiaqgis, y propia de los cinaloas,".
adds "por lo que lengua hiaqui, y lengua cinaloa es una misma cosa."
On the preceding page (322) he also identifies the Cinaloa and Hiaqui
(Yaqui) as one and the same- "Cinaloa 6 Hiaqui." Now Ribas
(284) locates the Hiaquis on the lower portion of the "Rio Hiaqui"
(en las doze ultimas a la mar), but places the Cinaloas on the Fuerte,
or, as he calls it, Rio Cinaloa or Rio Zuaque. He says (142) the river
is called by various names, sometimes the Cinaloa, sometimes Tegueco,
and sometimes Zuaque; that the four principal nations on this
river are the "Cinaloas, Teguecos, Zuaques, y Ahomes," and that the
Cinaloa dwell in the mountains at the head of the river. It is evident
from this and many other similar statements in his work that Ribas
considered the "Cinaloas" as distinct from the Hiaqui (Yaqui), the
Mayo, Tehueco, and Zuaque, though linguistically related to them.
If there was a tribe of this name, which is possible, it is most likely
they were absorbed by the other tribes on the upper Rio del Fuerte.
Therefore Hervas's identification of the Sinaloas with the Yaquis is an
evident mistake, as Orozco y Berra points out. As to the application
of the name Cinaloa by Ribas to the Rio del Fuerte there is this
evidence. Alegre (I, 230) says-
El Zuague, & cuya rivera austral estuvo en otro tiempo la villa de S. Juan Bautista
de Carapoa, que despues fabricado el fuerte de Montesclaros, se llam6 Rio del Fuerte,
y el padre Andres Perez [Ribas] llama por antonomAsia el rio de Sinaloa.
The geographical position as given by Ribas is sufficient without
any other evidence to show that he used the name Cinaloa to desig-
nate the Rio del Fuerte and not the stream which now bears the
name Sinaloa. Nothwithstanding this and abundant other evidence
that the Yaqui and the Mayo resided on the rivers that bear their
respective names, and the Tehueco and Zuaque on the Fuerte river,
Bancroft (1, 608) says, "The Zuaques have their villages between the
Mayo and Yaqui rivers," and so locates them on his map (471).
Possibly he refers to a more recent date, though apparently not.
Hamy, probably by mistake, places on his map the "Hiaquis" on
the Rio Mayo and the Mayo on the Rio del Fuerte.
That the Yaqui, Mayo, and Tehueco spoke dialects of the same
language is now well known from historical evidence, vocabularies, etc.
However, the following proof from older writers is added: "La nacion
Hiaqui y por consecuencia la Mayo y del Fuerte . que en la
sustancia son una misma y de una propria lengua" (Cancio, 2: 246),
"Esta tribu [Mayos] es de la misma raza que la del Yaqui, y solo se
distingue por el titulo de su rio. Su idioma [Mayo and Yaqui] por
consiguiente es el mismo, con la diferencia de unas cuantas voces"
(Velasco, 1:302). Pimentel (I, 485) says the "Cahita" language is
divided into three principal dialects-Mayo, Yaqui, and Tehueco;
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
the others are secondary. Consult also Orozco y Berra (1:35); Buelna
(x.), et al.
Investigation has failed to disclose how or why the name Cahita
came into use, and why it was so seldom applied until in compara-
tively recent times. Even Hervas's work, which was published in
the year 1800, makes no mention of it. Yet it must have been known
early in the seventeenth century as the Arte de la Lengua Cahita
por un Padre de la Compania de Jesus, republished by Buelna in
1891, and believed to have been written by Juan Bautista de Ve-
lasco (born 1562, died 1649), mentions it and entitles his "Arte"
as that of the "Lengua Cahita." In his preface he says, "Toda
esta usa de un mismo idioma, los Hiaquis, los Mayos y los Thehue-
cos, pero se diferencian en el modo." Juan Ortiz Zapata (393) uses
the name (see below).
The lingustic relation of the Mayo to the tribes on the Sinaloa
was noticed by the first Spanish explorers of this region, as the fact
is expressly mentioned in the Segunda Relaci6n of the journey
of Nufio de Guzman.' While Ribas constantly joins together
the Cinaloa, Zuaque, Tehueco, and Ahome of the Rio del Fuerte,
and speaks of their similarity in customs, no reference to the rela-
tion of the language of the Cinaloas to the other three tribes has
been found in his work. Juan Ortiz Zapata (393), speaking of
the mission or Partido de la Concepci6n de Vaca, says it was on
the banks of the "Carapoa" and that its natives spoke the Cahita
language-"la lengua es caita." Orozco y Berra (1:332) says that
this mission (Vaca or Baca) pertained to the Sinaloas, and that
the ancient villages of Carapoa, Savirijoa, and San Jos6 Charay
corresponded to the "Tehuecos." Hrdli6ka (1: 59) makes Baca-
bach a Mayo settlement, which is given as a probable synonym
of Baca (Vaca) in the Handbook of the American Indians, though
most likely different, as Baca (Vaca) was on the Rio del Fuerte.
That tribes along the river spoke languages allied to Yaqui and
Mayo has been shown and is asserted by Ribas (237); this makes
them dialects of the Yaqui group. But are Cinaloa, Zuaque, and
Tehueco to be considered synonyms or names of different dialects?
The earliest original authorities do not make this clear.
Alegre (n1, 10) contends that Zuaque and Tehueco are one and
the same language-"de ser todos de una misma lengua." Buelna
(x) says that Tehueco was the native and current idiom among
the three indigenous tribes living on the banks of the Rio del
Fuerte, the most northerly of those actually in the state of Sinaloa;
the Sinaloa who inhabit the pueblos of Baca, Toro, and Sinaloita,
on the river above the village of Fuerte; the Tehueco who lived in
said village, previously called Carapoa, and in the pueblos of
I In Colec. Doc. Hist. Mex., n, 300; see Icazbalceta in the Bibliography.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 15
Tehueco, Sivirijoa, and Charay, below the same; and the Zuaque, who
were established still lower down in the pueblos of Mochicahuy and
San Miguel de Zuaque. He therefore makes Tehueco, Sinaloa,
and Zuaque one and the same dialect, though different tribes or sub-
tribes. Orozco y Berra makes Sinaloa and Cahita equivalent, or
one and the same idiom, but distinct from Tehueco and Zuaque,
which he considers identical. "The language which Ribas and some
other missionaries and writers call Cinaloa, and which Hervas names
Yaqui, is the idiom which properly is known as Cahita." Quoting
from Balbi (table xxxn) the following-
Cinaloa is spoken in the provinces of Cinaloa, of Hostimuri, and in the southern
part of Sonora, in the intendency of that name. This language embraces three princi-
pal dialects, quite different: the Zuaque, spoken in the southern part of the province
of Sinaloa and in other places; the Mayo spoken along the Mayo river in Hostimuri
and in Sonora' the Yaqui or Hiaqui, spoken along the Yaqui river in the province of
he adds (356):
We cannot agree with the greater part of these assertions. According to the gram-
mar of this language, "no se llama Sinaloa sino Cahita," and contains three dialects
[Mayo, Yaqui] and the Tehueco and also Zuaque which is used in Sinaloa by the
Indians of the banks of the Rio del Fuerte.
Doctor Brinton (3: 125) gives Tehueco, Zuaque, Mayo, and Yaqui
as subtribes of the Cahita, but omits the Zuaque from his list (3: 134).
In the midst of this confusion it is the author's conclusion that per-
haps Orozco y Berra is nearest right in identifying Zuaque and
Tehueco as one and the same dialect, though distinct tribes.
Orozco y Berra (1:35) says that about the mouth of the Rio del
Fuerte were the Ahome, and along the coast south of it were the
Vacoregue, the Batucari, the Comopori, and the Guazave: of the
same family and idiom as the Cahita, the chief dialect being that
named Guazave or Vacoregue. (Care must be taken to distinguish
between Comuripa (or Comoripa) of the Pima group and Como-
pori of the Yaqui group.) He says Balbi conjectures that Ahome
and Comopori were quite diverse, or tongues related to Gua-
zave. This he declares is not exact, as all these pueblos spoke the
same idiom, and there was no particular Ahome or Comopori.
In his classification (1: 58) he gives Vacoregue and Guazave as
synonymous and as spoken by the Vacoregue, Guazave, Ahome,
Batucari, Comopori, and. Zuaque. The introduction of the last
name here must be a mistake, as in his classification (1: 58)
he places it under Tehueco; possibly it refers here to a few Zuaque
who lived among the Vacoregue and adopted their language. This
author appears to have worked this out by taking up the scat-
tered statements of the original authorities in regard to the lan-
guages spoken in the different pueblos and missions, which it is not
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
necessary to give in this preliminary sketch. It may be stated,
however, that Ribas (145) says the language of the Ahome was
the same as that of the Guazave, and different from that of the
Zoe (which is referred to farther on). Hervas (320) says the Ahome
spoke a dialect of Hiaqui (he uses this name Hiaqui as equivalent
to Cinaloa; see Orozco y Berra, 1: 34), and the same as that spoken
by the Guazave. Ribas (153) says the Comopori spoke the same
language as the Ahome. Brinton is therefore in error in uniting
the Ahome with the Pima, as they and the other pueblos mentioned
in this connection, except Zuaque, spoke the Vacoregue dialect.
The names Oguera (Ohuera), Cahuimeto, and Nio, denoting three
dialects marked by Orozco y Berra on his map, along the southern
border of the Cahita territory, near the Vacoregue, are placed in his
list of extinct idioms (1:61). Comopori indicates a supposed sub-
tribe, but is not represented on his map. Chicorata and Basopa
are given in his list of languages, and are mentioned (1:334) as on
the Sinaloa river 7 leagues east of Ohuera; their languages are dis-
tinct and the two peoples speak "el Mexicano."
Of the Comopori, Orozco y Berra speaks as follows (1:35):
About the embouchure of the Rio del Fuerte live the Ahomes, and thence toward
the south along the coast the Vacoregues, Batucaris, Comoporis, and the Guazaves;
of the same family of the Cahitas, the idiom, the dialect of the principal one, named
the Guazave or Vacoregue. Balbi conjectures that the Ahome and the Comopori are
very diverse dialects or sister languages of the Guazave. This is not correct; all the
pueblos spoke the same idiom, and there was no particular Ahome or Comopori.
This disposes of Comopori. As the Ahome spoke the same lan-
guage as the Vacoregue and Guazave, the last two, so far as language
is concerned, are, in fact, synonymous terms.
Cahuimeto and Ohuera are placed by Orozco y Berra in his list of
extinct languages. His evidence for considering these as distinct
and as once spoken in the area he has marked on his map appears
to have been obtained chiefly from Zapata (407). However, Orozco
y Berra makes a mistake in his notes (1:334), referring to Ribas.1
It is there stated that six or seven leagues southeast of the pueblo
of Sinaloa was the pueblo of Ohuera, in which and in the vicinity
thereof were spoken two languages, "distintas," called Cahuimeto
and Ohuera, though at the time Zapata wrote (1678) the Mexican
(Aztec) language had already come into general use, ultimately, as we
may suppose, displacing them, as they appear to have been extinct when
Orozco y Berra wrote his Geografia (1857-1863), and also probably
when Alegre wrote his Historia (1766-1773), as he makes no mention
of them, though he speaks of missions and Indians of the region re-
ferred to. As they resided on the Sinaloa (not Rio del Fuerte, but Sin-
aloa of modern maps) and along the southeastern border of the Cahita
I The pages he cites are those of Doe. Hist. Mex., 4th ser., m.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 17
territory of Orozco y Berra's map, where it abuts on the Mexican
(Aztec) territory, the two languages, which seem to have been cog-
nate, may have been, and in all probability were, idioms of the
Yaqui group. Although the evidence on this point is not positive,
they were probably in the territory of the Yaqui group.
Orozco y Berra seems to be justified by the evidence in placing
Nio on his map as a distinct idiom, though extinct. It is stated by
Zapata (404-405) that a league and a half northeast of San Pedro
Guazave was the pueblo of San Ignacio de Nio, in which the language
spoken was "particular," called Nio, though Mexican was also in
common use. The only subsequent : mention found is that by Alegre
(I, 294), who states that Padre Mendez commended the pueblos and
languages of the Ocoroiri [Ocoroni], Nio, and some others which he
had held, to the charge of Padre Tapia. This evidence, though direct,
is somewhat slender, yet the name has been placed within the Cahita
territory on the map accompanying this volume, surrounded, how-
ever, with a narrow line.
The evidence in regard to Basopa, which Orozco y Berra places in
his list of languages, is very meager, the only notice, so far as known,
being the statement by Zapata (408) to the effect that five leagues
to the north [of Concepci6n de Chicorato] is the pueblo of San Ignacio
de Chicuris. "The language is in part Tepehuana and in part Basopa,
which is that which is commonly spoken." Zapata says, further,
(407) that in Concepci6n de Chicorato the natives are divided into
two parties which speak distinct languages, "the Chicurata, and
the Basopa." This appears to be the only authority on which Orozco
y Berra bases the introduction of these two names into his list of lan-
guages. Both are extinct.
ZOE AND TEPAHUE
Zoe and Baimena, both extinct languages, can best be considered
together, as it seems they were related.
The Zoe occupied a limited region on the eastern border of the
territory of the Yaqui group, on the headwaters of the Rio del Fuerte
adjoining the Tubar area. The tribe was a small one, speaking a
language of its own. The Baimena, who joined them on the south,
probably spoke a dialect of the same tongue. Ribas (208) says the
Zoe were mountain Indians, residing about the headwaters of the
Rio Sinaloa (del Fuerte) in the skirts of the sierra, and spoke
a language different from that of the Sinaloas. He also states,
page 145 ("tienen tambien amistad los Ahomes, y parentesco, y
son de la misma lengua con los Guacaues"), that they maintained
friendly relations with the Ahome, and were related to and spoke
the same language as the Guazave, who, as has been shown above,
were related to the Yaqui group and spoke a dialect of their lan-
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
guage. Ribas also (145) mentions a tradition that this tribe came
from the north with the Ahome, and, although speaking a different
language and occupying localities widely separated, maintained con-
stant friendship. As the language was still spoken as late as 1678,
after the missionaries had established themselves in that section, and
probably obtained this tradition from them, it is possibly reliable.
According to Zapata (396), the Baimena (or Baitrena, as the name
appears there) occupied the pueblo of Santa Catalina de Baitrena,
situated some six leagues southeast of San Jos6 del Toro, the head of
the partido, and spoke a language somewhat different from that of
the Troe (Zoe). The latter n) ded in a neighboring pueblo bearing
their own name and, liie,. that~of the Baimena, bordering the Tubar
("confinan tambien con los Tubares"). The padre who ministered
to these pueblos at.the time Ribas wrote (1617-1640) was Jos6 de
The evidence appears to warrant, therefore, in the absence of vocabu-
laries, the acceptance of Zoe as a distinct idiom and Baimena as identi-
cal or closely related to it. There is, perhaps, justification for consid-
ering both as dialects of the Yaqui group, or at least Nahuatlan, and
they are so marked in the List of Linguistic Families and Tribes.
Their area is designated on the map accompanying this paper.
The territory in which the Tepahue (Tepave), Conicari, and
Macoyahui dialects are said to have been spoken is situated on the
northern border of the territory of the Yaqui group where it meets
that of the Lower Pima and the Tarahumare.
According to Zapata (385), the language spoken in the pueblo of
Asunci6n de Tepave (Tepatie or Tepahue), situated five leagues north-
east of Conicari, was "particular," and was known as "Tepave"
(Tepahue); this was different from that of the other pueblos (Conicari
and Macoyahui), though the latter people understood the Tepahue
tongue and also that of the Yaqui group, but did not speak it. All
three dialects are included by Orozco y Berra in the territory he
marks "Tepahue" on his map, in the fork of the upper Mayo river.
Ribas (253) speaks of them as friends of the Tehueco, and adds (265)
that the pueblo of Conicari was distant from Chinipa sixteen leagues
[west]. Zapata (384) says that the language spoken at this peublo
is "particular," but that some of the inhabitants are Mayo "en la
nacion y en la lengua."
The pueblo of Asunci6n de Macoyahui, in which the Macoyahui lan-
guage was spoken, was situated about seven leagues north of Conicari
(Zapata, 386), though Orozco y Berra on his map places it west of
the latter pueblo. The language, according to Zapata, was "particu-
lar"-" la lengua es particular macoyahui con que son tres las lenguas
de este partido"-these are Conicari, Tepahue, and Macoyahui.
Although they were extinct at the time Orozco y Berra wrote his
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 19
Geografia (about 1860), they were in existence and use at the time
Zapata wrote his Relaci6n (1678). The Macoyahui were also known
by the names Cue and Tecayagui. It is safe, perhaps, to assume
that these languages were related to one another, though this is not
stated, nor is there anything on record, so far as ascertained, by which
to determine whether they were related to any language of the sur-
rounding tribes. The only indications given on this point are that
the Tepahue were friends of the Tehueco, and that some of the
inhabitants of Conicari were of the Mayo tribe. These facts suggest
relationship to the Yaqui group.
The Tepehuane occupied the country mainly in Durango, imme-
diately south of the Tarahumare, chiefly on the eastern slope of the
Sierra Madre, from the twenty-fourth nearly to the twenty-seventh
degree of north latitude. Arlegui (187) says it extended from the
Sierra delMezquital up to the Parral. According to Alegre (I, 319) it
extended from a little less than the twenty-fifth to the twenty-
seventh degree of north latitude, touching the Tarahumare region
at the north.
The language does not appear to have been divided into any well-
marked dialects. Pimentel (nI, 63) says it consisted of various
dialects, but the differences seem to have been too slight to receive
any special notice. Orozco y Berra mentions none. It is possible
that Acaxee and cognate idioms were related to it.
For the reasons given below, it has been decided to bring together
under this tribal heading the four following names, which
Orozco y Berra and other writers have treated as those of separate
tribes, namely, Acaxee, Jijime (Xixime), Tebaca, and Sabaibo.
The four small tribes, or so-called tribes, speaking these languages
formed a connected group surrounded on the north, east, and south-
east by the Tepehuane and on the west and southwest by the exten-
sion of the Mexican group northward along the western coast. Their
country lay chiefly in the high and rugged sierras. There seems to
be little or no doubt, from the evidence given below, that they spoke
closely related dialects, some so-called dialects, however, being
apparently identical. It also appears that in addition to their native
dialects, spoken among themselves, all used the Mexican language in
their intercourse with others.'
1 The term "Mexican," as used here and elsewhere In this paper when referring to language, Is to be under-
stood in the sense In which Orosco y Berra uses the term "Mexicano;" that is to say, it includes the central
or strictly Nahuatl or Aztec group, the particular dialect of this northward extension being unknown.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
Riams says (491) the Sabaibo spoke the same language as the
Acaxw, and that the Jijimes also spoke the same language (522).
Alegre says (I, 422) the Sabaibo, though a distinct nation, spoke the
same idiom as the Acaxee. Zapata (414-416), speaking of the mis-
sions in the Partido de San Martin de Atotonilco, says Tebaca was
spoken in some and Acaxee in others when talking among themselves,
but that all used the Mexican language. Orozco y Berra (1 : 334)
asserts the same thing, and states also on the same page that Tebaca
was distinct from Acaxee, but related to it. On the whole he seems
to place all these dialects in his "Mexicano" (1 : 12-13), or at least
includes the people in the Mexican (Nahuatlan) family in the limited
sense of his classification. It is true that, in the paragraph indicated,
he refers only to Acaxee, yet, as he holds that the other three are
related to it, all must be classed together.
Hervas (on what ground does not appear) says that the Jijime
language, which is spoken in the province of Topia, appears to be
different from Acaxee (330), "and consequently from the other dia-
lects of the Zacateco." This would imply that Acaxee and other
allied idioms, exclusive of Jijime, were dialects of the Zacateco lan-
guage. Referring to this supposition on the part of Hervas, Orozco y
Berra (1 : 13) states that it is unsupported by any works he has
As Acaxee appears to be the most important of these idioms, it is
concluded best to depart from Orozco y Berra's plan to the extent of
including the entire group under this name and to mark the area
occupied by them accordingly.
Several other so-called tribes or "naciones" are mentioned as re-
siding in the immediate region now under consideration, as the
Papudo, Tecaya, Vaimoa (or Baimoa), Topia, Hina, anc'Jume. The
first three appear to have been considered by Orozco y Berra (1:319)
as but mere divisions of the Acaxee, and the last two (:.320) as divi-
sions of the Jijime. Alegre (I, 379-380) mentions the "Papudos" and
"Tecayas" as belonging to the mission of San Andr6s (Topia), but
says nothing in regard to their language. Turning to Zapata (306),
the statement is found that the pueblos of this mission spoke various
languages, some Sabaibo, some Acaxee ("Aiage"), and others Jijime,
but no mention is made of Papudo, Tecaya, or Vaimoa (Baimoa).
As there does not appear to be any other evidence on this point,
these three names-Papudo, Tecaya, and Vaimoa-may be dismissed
as not denoting idioms.
Orozco y Berra makes Topia a synonym of Acaxee. In this he
seems to be substantially correct, as it appears to be a geographical
term designating the section in which the Acaxee were chiefly lo-
cated. Ribas (531) says the Acaxee nation was the principal (head) of
the two missions of Topia and San Andr6s. Hervas (327) speaks of
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 21
Topia as another language or dialect of the group, which idea Vater
has carried into his Mithridates (III, pt. 3, 138-139), though admitting
relationship with Acaxee. Balbi makes it distinct from the latter;
but Orozco y Berra (1:319) differs wholly from this opinion, con-
sidering the two as the same language. He quotes (1:314) manu-
script authority showing Topia to be merely the name of a province
A&umada (96), writing in 1608, makes the Hume a "nacion"
distDct from the Jijime, though speaking the same language. Ribas
(56k says these Indians inhabit the highest part of the :sierra as
onugoes eastward. Alegre (n1, 199) also calls the Hume a '"nacion"
and says the name was given to them from the configuration of the
natural defenses of their country. Hervas (327) expresses the opinion
that the Hume (Huime, as he writes it) were related to the Jijime.
Orozco y Berra also holds that both the Hume and Hina were related
to, or rather were offshoots of, the Jijime.
Alegre, speaking of the Hina (11, 195), says they inhabited the most
profound breaks ("profundisimas quebradas") of the center of the
sierra and the margin of the Rio Piaztla, and spoke a diverse lan-
guage. Notwithstanding this evidence, Orozco y Berra, who per-
haps had additional data, although recognizing the Hume and the
Hina as separate or distinct peoples, and giving them in his list of
tribes, omits them from his list of languages, thereby expressing his
belief that they did not speak distinct idioms. It is considered
safest to follow his example.
In this connection it may be as well to refer to the Huite. Ribas
(207) says their language was different from that of the Cinaloa (Ya-
qui group). Orozco y Berra (1: 333) says they were a warlike tribe,
at open strife with all their neighbors, and were anthropophagi.
Their locatidA was in the sierra, about "seven leagues from the Sina-
loas." He adds that the name, which signifies "arrow" in Cahita, indi-
cates relationship of idiom to this language. Although he gives the
name in his list of languages, he omits it from the classification, map,
and extinct idioms. It has been omitted from the classified list in
this paper, and from the map, but with some doubt.
(Synonyms: Chora, Chota, Nayarita)
The people speaking this language live in the Sierra de Nayarit
and on the Rio de Jesus Maria, in the state of Jalisco. They are the
most southerly tribe of what may be termed the Sonoran group of
the Nahuatlan family.
Orozco y Berra, whose mapping is followed substantially in refer-
ence to the Cora territory, has marked this area according to the best
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
early authorities, most of them in manuscript documents. Reference
is made, however, to other authorities treating of the subject.
Alegre, after referring to the rugged, mountainous character of the
district, says (III, 196) it joins on the east Nueva-Vizcaya, and on the
north, west, and south Nueva-Galicia, extending from 220 to 230
N. lat. Pimentel simply says the people lived in the Sierra de Nayarit
but is more specific in relation to the subdivisions of the tribe men-
tioned below. Orozco y Berra (1:279) says that, according to Mota
Padilla (510), the area was included between 210 and 230 N. lat. and
2610 and 2650 longitude; and according to Revillagigedo, between
210 and 240 N. lat. and 2660 and 2690 "de long. del meridiano de
Tenerife." Following the chart of Narvaez, he concludes the extent
to be between 210 20' and 230 N. lat. and 50 and 60 W. long. from
the meridian of Mexico City.
Joseph de Ortega, whose Vocabulario en Lengua Castellana y
Cora was first published in 1732, says (p. 7, reprint of 1888) that
this language consisted of three dialects: Muutzicat, spoken by
those living in the center of the sierra; Teacuacitzica, spoken by
those living in the lower parts of the sierra toward the west; and
Ateanaca (sometimes contracted to Ate) spoken by the Ateacari living
on the banks of the Rio Nayarit. He considers the last as the Cora
proper. However, the differences were so slight that subsequent
writers do not appear to have considered them dialects representing
subtribal distinctions.. Orozco y Berra (1: 281-282) includes the Cora
in his Opata-Tarahumar-Pima family, and gives as divisions the
Cora proper, Nayarit, Tecualme, Gecualme, and Colotlan. Nayarit,
the name the people applied to themselves, is merely a synonym of
Cora. Although Tecualme and Gecualme are included by Orozco y
Berra in his list of languages, there is no evidence that they indicate
dialectic divisions. Moreover, he gives them (1:280) as synonymous.
(For Colotlan, see Tepecano, etc., below.)
A tribe, formerly counted as a subtribe or division of the Cora of
Jalisco, living in the rugged sierras on the east of the Cora, by whose
territory they are surrounded on the north, west, and south, the
Tepecano joining them on the east. Their language is closely
related to the Cora, causing some early authorities to classify them
as a division of the latter; but recent investigations, chiefly by
Hrdli6ka, have led to the conclusion that they are more closely
related to the Guachichile than to the Cora, and are apparently an
offshoot of that tribe. This confirms the suggestion thrown out by
Orozco y Berra (1:282), "que los Huicholas son los restos de los anti-
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 23
guos Cuachichiles," a suggestion which he says he neither accepts nor
contradicts. As they are separated from the parent tribe by the
intervening Zacateco, they are given a distinct area on the accom-
panying map, with the same number as the Guachichiles.
TEPECANO, TEULE, CAZOAN, TECUEXE
Orozco y Berra places on his map, to the east and the southeast of
the Cora, tribes or supposed tribes speaking these and some other
dialects (Coloclan and Coca). As there is considerable doubt in
regard to the existence of others of these tribes and dialects and to the
linguistic relations of some of them, it is necessary to examine some-
what closely the meager data regarding them.
Of these, Coloclan may, so far as the name is concerned, be dis-
missed from consideration as it is nowhere mentioned in his work.
It was evidently intended for "Colotlan" (also given incorrectly by
Bancroft, I, 672, as "Cocotlanes"), as it occupies precisely the posi-
tion given to Colotlan in the text. Colotlan, it seems, may also be
dismissed, as Orozco y Berra (2:644), though locating it on his map
(as "Coloclan") south of the Tepecano area and along the eastern
boundary of the Cora territory, identifies it with Tepecano.. Colotlan
is marked on his map as a pueblo in the Tepecano district and is given
by Doctor Hrdli6ka (2: 399-402) as in the Tepecano area. It would
appear safe from this evidence, which has been gathered from the
early statements of the missionaries, to assume that Colotlan and
Tepecano were one and the same idiom. As this writer classifies
Colotlan as a dialect of Cora (Orozco y Berra, 1:282), this, if correct,
would bring Tepecano into the same relation, but Doctor Hrdli6ka
has become convinced by recent investigations made in the section
that the Tepecano were most closely related to the Tepehuane, and
he gives a brief vocabulary as confirming this opinion (2:419-425).
Tepecano is given substantially the same area on the accompanying
map as on Orozco y Berra's map.
Coca is extinct if, in fact, it ever existed as a distinct idiom. It
could not have been very different from Tecuexe if we judge by the
slight notices left on record in regard to it; in fact Orozco y Berra
includes the two in one area on his map. This leaves for considera-
tion of this group of small tribes, or subtribes, so far as mapped by
the writer quoted, the Teule, Cazcan, and Tecuexe.
.Very little mention of the tribes speaking these languages has
been left on record. Doctor Hrdli6ka says the Cazcanes occupied
the land from the "Rio Grande" (Rio Santiago), bordering on
the Tepecanos and Tecuexes. Herrera (II, dec. 4, 197) says
merely that they are a nation which inhabit as far as the border of
the Zacatecos, and that their speech is different from that of the
Mexicans, although the Mexican language had extended into all
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
that region. Antonio Tellot refers to the Cazcan of Teul, Tlalte-
nango, and Xuchipila. It is somewhat singular that Arlegui, who
gives a list of the "naciones" of this section (148-149), omits the
name of the Cazcan, though mentioning the Cora, Nayarita (?), and
Orozco y Berra says (1: 279) that the Teule, or, as he terms them,
"Teules Chichimecas," used the same idiom as the Tepecano. He
bases this opinion on a statement in documents in the Archivo
General. Romero Gil (491, 499) says that the Cazcanes, whom he
terms Cazcanes Chichimecas," were Zacatecos, and suggests that the
Tecuexes were a Mexican colony. In the article cited above Hrdli6ka
(428) mentions the living remnant of the "Teul-Chichimecs" he
found in two old villages near Teul.
NAMES OF TRIBES IN NORTHWESTERN MEXICO NOT CONSIDERED
AS GIVEN BY OROZCO Y BERRA AND OTHER WRITERS
Names of tribes or supposed tribes or subtribes which are men-
tioned by Spanish writers as "naciones" in what are now the states
of Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Durango, and Jalisco, or that area
included on Orozco y Berra's map in the Concho, Tepehuan, and
Acaxee areas, and the part of Mexico northwest thereof, which are
not separately discussed in this volume, are as follows:
Ahomes Cahiguas Cues (los Tecayaguis)
Aibinos *Cajuenches Cufiai
Alchedomas Cinceres Cutecos
Ancavistis Carlanes Cutganes
Anchanes Chafalotes Echunticas
Arigames Changuaguanes *Faraones
Ateacari Chemeguabas Gecuiches
*Ateanaca *Chemegues Genicuiches
Babispe (Bap'ispe) [on Chemeguet Gilefios (los Xilefios)
map] *Chicorato Gojoles
Babos Chicuras Gozopas
Bacabaches *Chinarras Guaicama6pas
Bacapas *Chinipas Guailopos
Bagiopas Chiricaguis Guazarachis
Baimoas (or Vaimoas) Chiros Hichucios
Bamoas Chizos Himeris
Baquiobas *Cocas Hinas
Basiroas Coclamas Hios
*Basopas Cocobiptas Hizos
Batucaris Cogifinachis Hudcoadanes
Batucos Comoporis *Huites
*Baturoques Comuripas Humas (los Chinarras)
Bayacatos Conejos Humes
Biaras Contlas Husorones
*Cacaris Cuampes Huvagueres
I In Colec. Doc. Hist. Mex., n1, 376: see Icazbalceta, in the Bibliography.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 25
Tecayaguis [see Cues]
*Tegiiima (el 6pata)
Xilefios [see Gileflos]
*Yavipais, los Apaches
Yuanes [Cuhana los Cucapa[
Zuaques, el Tehueco
LANGUAGES FROM OROZCO Y BERRA WITHOUT TRIBAL NAMES
TRIBAL NAMES FROM OTHER AUTHORITIES
Buasdabas Nacameris Nacosuras
This area is thus marked off from the rest of Mexico because these
supposed "naciones" were included therein by the writers who
mention them, though in some cases erroneously, according to the
boundaries of the present day.
There are several reasons why none of these names have been
recognized on the map, some of which are given in the notes following.
In some instances the names have reference to villages in which the
language spoken was one already mentioned, and marked on the
map. In other cases there is no evidence that the people named
spoke a distinct language or dialect. In some instances in which it is
stated the dialect was distinct, it is impossible, from the evidence, to
classify it or to determine that it should be placed in the list of real
unclassified languages. The first and largest portion of the names
is from Orozco y Berra's list of tribes (1: 67-76); the second portion
is from his list of languages (1:62-66), for which he presents no
tribal names, while the third part contains tribal names not mentioned
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
by him, but have been taken from other authors. The names to
which the asterisk (*) is prefixed are those which correspond with
names in his list of languages. This shows that the tribes not so
indicated in his list of tribes were not considered by him as speaking
If his conclusion be accepted without reserve, so far as the present
investigation is concerned all the names in his list of tribes having
no corresponding name in his list of languages may as well be ex-
cluded, but this would leave the whole subject to his judgment with-
out investigation. It is proper first to ascertain how many names
can be eliminated from the list as duplicates, or are otherwise clearly
erroneously given, and also those already considered in the preceding
Those of this list which have been noticed in the preceding notes,
and a conclusion reached in regard thereto, are as follows (retaining
the names as written therein):
Coguinachis (Opata Coguin-
Teguimas (Opatas Tegui-
Teguis (Opatas Teguis)
Those names which may be eliminated are as follows:
Same as Jalchedunes; in California-Arizona; Yuman.
A band or subdivision of the Faraon Apache.
A division of the Concho, speaking their language and living
on the Rio Concho (Orozco y Berra, 1:325).
A division of the Cora; synonym of Ateanaca, which denotes
Orozco y Berra mentions the name in his list and refers to
Sonora, but it is not found there. A Mayo settlement
near Mayo river(?) using the Mayo language (Hrdlicka,
1:59). It is distinct from Baca.
This name appears to have been given a place in Orozco y
Berra's list without sufficient data in his text to justify its
inclusion. A Papago rancheria.
In United States, same as Bagiopas.
A Lower Pima band. See Hios below.
Given by Orozco y Berra (1:344) as a synonym of Eudeve,
though in the Rudo Ensayo (181 et seq.) it is alluded to as
THOMAs] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 27
Merely mentioned by Orozco y Berra as an extinct tribe
formerly living in Sonora. No particulars have been found.
Probably a synonym of Batucaris.
This name is given in Orozco y Berra's list with reference to
Sinaloa, but it does not appear in the text.
Orozco quotes this name from Alegre (i, 288), but this author,
though -mentioning the name, gives nothing by which to
locate the people designated, nor anything.in regard to their
language. Probably the same as Biaras, a Tehueco settlement.
Mentioned by Fernando Ramirez (Orozco y Berra, 1:319) as
an extinct tribe formerly living in Cacaria, Durango.
Faraon Apache (Orozco y Berra, 1:386), in northern Chi-
huahua? (See article Kiowa, in Handbook of American
Indians, pt. 1.)
Given as belonging to the Faraon Apache in Chihuahua
(Orozco y Berra, 1: 386). (See article Lipan, in Handbook
of American Indians, pt. 1.)
A Jicarilla band on Arkansas river. Bandelier, Archaeolog.
Inst. Papers, v, 191.
Mentioned by Orozco y Berra (1:325) as near the Tobosos.
No further information given.
Orozco y Berra refers to Chihuahua, but it is not found in the
text under this heading, though it is given under Coahuila
(1:306) as from a list in the manuscript of Revillagigedo.
No locality given; possibly in Texas. No additional data.
Mentioned by Orozco y Berra (1:327) as pertaining to the
Concho; and (1:325) as being at the mission of Nuestra
Sefiora de Aranzazu. No further data.
Orozco y Berra (1:344) says merely it is stated that the in-
habitants of Santa Cruz are of the "nacion Contla." Opata.
As nothing further in regard to the name is found, it may
be dismissed from consideration.
A division of the Faraon Apache.
Given by Orozco y Berra as connected with the Cajuenche, a
Yuman dialect apparently in the United States. Nothing
further stated. See Cufeil in Handbook of American Indians.
The Cuchan, or Yuma, in the United States.
Mentioned by Orozco y Berra (1:386) as a division or sub-
tribe of the Apache; probably in Sonora.
Given by Orozco y Berra as belonging to the Faraon Apache.
Ute. (See article Akanaquint, in Handbook of American
Indians, pt. 1.)
In southern California, probably a part of or a synonym for
the Chemehuevi. (See Garcds, 230-352, especially 351.)
Synonym of Chemehuevi.
Synonym of Chemehuevi.
Orozco y Berra gives the name (properly Cicuris) in his list.
This is found (by reference to Doc. Hist. Mex., 4th a., m,
408-Orozco y Berra's reference to Ribas is an error) to be
merely the name of a pueblo, the language being partly
Tepehuan and partly Basopan.
Name given to an important subtribe (Chiricahua) of the
Apache, north of the international boundary.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
Orozco y Berra gives this name in his list and refers to Chihua-
hua, but does not mention it under this heading. However,
he gives (1:325), as apparently near the Toboso, the following:
Sisimbre, Chizo, Cocoyome, Coclama, Tocho, Chizo, Babo,
and Nure. It is probable, as the name Chizos is repeated,
one should be Chiros, the change being a misprint. Ban-
croft (I, 610), in copying the list, omits one Chizos and
does not give the name Chiros at any place. No further
mention of it has been found.
No information regarding this supposed tribe has been found
other than that given under the last preceding name.
See Husorones, below.
Given as belonging to the Faraon Apache. (Given as a syn-
onym of Kotsoteka, in Handbook of American Indians,
pt. 1, 728.)
A division or tribe of the Apache.
In southern California; synonym of Shoshonean Kawia. (See
Handbook of American Indians, pt. 1, 665.)
Synonym of Serranos. (See Handbook of American Indians,
pt. 2, 513.)
Synonym of Gila Apache, New Mexico. (See Handbook of
American Indians, pt. 1, 492.)
Mentioned by Orozco y Berra (1:279) as in Jalisco near the
Tepecano. No additional information found. Possibly a
synonym of Huichol.
Orozco y Berra gives this name in his list and refers to Sinaloa,
but it is not mentioned under that head. It is probably a
synonym of Guazave as Ribas (211), to whom he refers on
the page on which he mentions Guazave, gives "Gozaua."1
This name is given in Orozco y Berra's list with reference to
'Sonora, but is not found under that heading; however,
it is in his classification, under "Yuma" (1:59). It is
probably a synonym of Yacum, a Dieguefio tribe, California.
(See Handbook of American Indians, pt. 2, 982.)
Orozco y Berra gives this name in his list, and in his text
(1:324). He says, "En San Andres Chinipas vivian los
Chinipas, A que se agregaron los Guailopos y Maguiaquis,"
referring in a note to "Cuarta series de documents [Doc.
Hist. Mex.], tome III, pdg. 386 ysiguientes." In the latter,
the only reference found (387) approximating the state-
ment in the text is that in the Partido de Santa Inds de
Chinipa the language is called "Chinipa o Guaropaque."
No San Andrds Chinipa is mentioned, but a "San Andr6s
de Conicari" (384) is given. Orozco y Berra (1: 326) places
the language in question under, and as included in, Varohio,
as he does also Maguiaquis. As it is not given a place in
his list of languages, it may be eliminated.
This name is given by Orozco y Berra in his list with reference
to Chihuahua. It is not found under that head, but is given
(1:386) as a Faraon division. The Handbook of American
Indians (pt. 1. 511) refers to Guazarachic as a Tarahumare
I OroEco y Berra's references at this point (1:333) are erroneous, owing probably to typographical
error. Note3, ".)g.211," following "2 CuartaSerie," etc., should be "Ribas," and "4" and "5," referring
to Ribas, properly refer to Doc. Hist. Mex., 4th ser., mI.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 29
settlement, and Guasarochic as a synonym. As it is not in-
cluded in Orozco y Berra's list of languages it may be
Hichucios ............ Orozco y Berra gives this (1:58, 335) as included under Tehueco,
and as speaking the Tehueco dialect of the Cahita.
Hizos..........;..... The same author includes this under the Varohio and as
speaking the same language, a dialect of Tarahumare.
Hudcoadanes......... Name which seems to have been applied to a band of Yuma
on the lower Colorado river, apparently north of, but near,
the international boundary (Orozco y Berra, 1:353; Doc.
Hist. Mex., 3d s., 554). Given as a synonym of Alchedoma
in the Handbook of American Indians, pt. 1.
Humas................ Another name for the Chinarra (Orozco y Berra, 1:69).
Husorones, Cutecos... Pueblos or divisions of the Varohio, speaking the Varohio
Huvagueres.......... The only discovered reference to this group or band is by
Orozco y Berra in his list and text (1:351) and Bancroft's
quotation thereof. The former says, "Los Hios, 6 ocho
leguas al Este de Tepahue, y los Huvagueres y los Tehuisos
sus vecinos: mas al Este seguian los Basiroas y los Tehatas."
This would place them about the meeting point of the.
Lower Pima, Tarahumare, and Yaqui group areas. As
Orozco y Berra does not include the name in his list of
languages, it may be omitted. Lower Pima. (See Basi-
roas and Hios, p. 32.)
Jalchedunes......... Mentioned by Francisco Garces (Doc. Hist. Mex., 2d a., r,
346, 350) as a subtribe of the Yuma. Same as Alchedoma.
In the United States.
Jallicuamai........... Given by Francisco Garc6s (248, 251, 346) as a Yuman
tribe immediately north of the Cocopa on Colorado river
partly north of the international boundary line. Orozco y
Berra (1:353) places them with the Cajuenche, both speak-
ing the same dialect, which was very near that of the Yuma
proper. The Handbook of American Indians (pt. 2, 340)
gives the name as a synonym of Quigyuma.
Jagullapais [Jaqualla- Garc6s (309). The Walapai, a Yuman tribe north of the
pais] boundary line.
Jamajabs, Yamajabs, Mohave north of the international boundary line.
Janos ............... Given by Orozco y Berra (1:386) as the Faraon Apache in
Chihuahua. Bandelier (Nation, July 2, 1885) also says
they were Apache.
Jacomis [Jocomes].... An Apache tribe in Chihuahua.
Jumanes [Jumanos]... A tribe probably identical with a part of the Wichita, formerly
living about the junction of the Concho with the Rio Grande.
Llamparicas............ A division of the Comanche in the United States-synonym
of Ditsakana (Handbook of American Indians, pt. 1, 393).
Maguiaquis........... Given by Orozco y Berra (1:326) as belonging to the Varohio,
a subtribe of the Tarahumare. (See remarks under Guai-
Mammites (Mamites).. Given by Orozco y Berra as connected with the Concho
(1: 325, 327). As this author gives the name in his list of
tribes and does not place it in his list of languages, it may be
omitted; moreover, the Indians referred to, if the name be
legitimate, were probably north of the boundary line.
30 BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY [BULL. 44
Matapanes............ Orozco y Berm (1:335) connects these with the Tehueco
division of the Yaqui group, but does not include the name
in his list of languages. (See remarks under Biaris, above.)
Mejuos.............. Given by Orozco y Berra (1:327) in connection with the
Concho. He says (1:325): "La tribu hablaba la lengua
particular llamada Concha: mas no solo erari los Conchos
quienes las componian, sino otra porcion de families que
usando el mismo idioma llevaban distintos nombres. Los
primeros que se presentan son los Mejuos;" [etc.]. No au-
thority has been discovered for this statement, which it
seems he applies also to the Tapacolmes, Anchanes, Julimes,
Cholomos, Mezquites, Cacalotes, Oposines, Conejos, Po-
lames, Sfvolos, Puliquis, and Pasalmes.. For the Mejuos
he refers to Alegre (u, 58), but turning to the latter author
we find he merely speaks of drawing into the mission at
San Pedro "more than two hundred families of Conchos,
Mejuos, and other nations." Orozco y Berra does not give
the name Mejuos in his list of languages.
Mezcaleros............ Faraon Apache, United States.
Mimbrefios........... Apache in United States.
Muares............... Faraon Apache.
Navajoas............. Navaho in United States.
Oaboponomas........ Given by Orozco y Berra (1:59) under Yuma. In United
States (Doc. Hist. Mex., 4th s., i, 349). Handbook of
American Indians (pt. 1, 554) gives it as a synonym of
Opas.................. Yuman, in United States. Synonym or abbreviation of
Oposines............ One of the names given by Orozco y Berra under Concho
(1:55, 327). (See remarks under Mejuos, above.)
Orejones............. Belong to Faraon Apache.
Oronihuatos.......... Given in Orozco y Berra's list with reference to Sinaloa, but
it is not found under that head, nor elsewhere so far as dis-
covered. Possibly a misprint.
Otaquitamones....... Connected by Orozco y Berra (1:325) with the Concho.
(See remarks under Mejuos, above.)
Pajalames............ Same remark as under Otaquitamones.
Panana ............. Given by Orozco y Berra as connected with the Faraon Apache.
The Handbook of American Indians (pt. 2, 216) gives it as
a synonym of Pawnee.
Pasalmes............ Found in the same connection as Pajalame, and is probably a
Payuchas ........... Paiute in United States.
Pazuchis (Paxuchis).. Given as connected with the Faraon Apache, but are Paiute.
Piatos................ Given by Orozco y Berra (1:58, 353) as an Upper Pima
subtribe in Sonora. According to The Handbook of Amer-
ican Indians (pt. 2, 241) a branch of the Papago.
Poarames........... Given in connection with the Concho. (See remark under
Polames.............. Same as Poarames, above.
Pulicas (Puliques).... Same as Poarames.
Putimas ............. Formerly in Sonora. Extinct; no particulars given.
Quemeya........... Connected by Garc6s with the Cajuenche division of the
Yuman family. In United States.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
Yuman, in United States.
Same as Quemeya.
This, according to Orozco y Berr (1:351), was the name
given to the people of Suaqui, a Lower Pima pueblo. It
is not included in his list of languages.
Mentioned by Orozco y Berra (1:325) as living near the Tobo-
sos. Not in his list of languages. No further notice found.
Mentioned in connection with the Concho (Orozco y Berra,
1:327). Not identified; evidently distinct from the inhab-
itants of the ancient Cibola, the "province" of Zufi in
Part of the Upper Pima. In United States. (Maj. J. W.
Powell. in Seventh Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology,
98). Bancroft makes two mistakes regarding these Indians.
In vol. i, 603, he locates them among the Lower Pima, and
in his general index (vol. v) he places them with the
Pima subtribe included by Orozco y Berra in his list of tribes,
but not in his list of languages.
Given by Orozco y Berra (1:386) erroneously as connected
with the Faraon Apache. Abbreviation of Havasupai,
Yuman, in United States.
Given by the same author (1:327) as connected with the
Concho. Not included in his list of languages.
A band or pueblo speaking the Varohio dialect (Orozco y
Berra, 1:324). He refers in a note to the Doc. Hist. Mex.,
4th s., in, 386 et seq., but the name is not found there.
Orozco y Berra (1:356) places these among the extinct peoples
of Sonora, with the following remark: "En las vertientes del
rio [Mayo], antes de los Tepahues, se encontraban los
Tecayaguis, Cues 6 Macoyahuis, con su lengua particular
el Macoyahuy." As this author does notinclude the name
in his list of languages, it is probable that he intended by
the above remark that the Tecayagui spoke the Macoyahui
Mentioned by Alegre (I, 379-380) as in Topia apparently as
the people of a pueblo, probably of San Mateo Tecayae,
and by Orozco y Berra (1:55, 319) as speaking the Acaxee
language. As the name is not given in Orozco y Berra's
list of languages and as nothing more is found recorded
regarding them, they may be omitted.
Given by Orozco y Berra (1:58, 353) as a band or subtribe of
the Pima in Sonora, but not speaking a distinct idiom.
(See Basiroas, Hios, p. 32.)
See Huvagueres, above; also Basiroas, Hijos, p. 32.
Orozco y Berra mentions (1:61, 75, 356) Teparantana as an
extinct language of Sonora, without any particulars.
Orozco y Berra (1:58, 324) mentions these Indians as con-
nected with the Tubar and speaking their language, but
does not give the name in his list of languages.
Mentioned by Orozco y Berra as near the Toboso (1:325),
and included in his list of tribes (1:75), but there is noth-
ing to indicate that they spoke a distinct idiom.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
Tontos.............. Apache in United States.
Vaimoas (Baimoas)... The same is to be said as under Tecayas, except that these are
not mentioned by Alegre at the place cited.
Vayemas............ Orozco y Berra (1:338, 356) mentions Vayema as an extinct
language of Sonora, but gives no intimation as to its rela-
tionship or definite locality.
Xicarillas............. The Jicarilla Apache, in United States.
Xilenos (Gilefios)..... An Apache tribe, in United States.
Yavipais............. A Yuman tribe, in United States.
Yecoratos........... Given by Orozco y Berra (1:333) as in the Yaqui group. A
synonym of Chicoratos.
Yuanes............... Synonym of Cocopa.
Yutas................ The Ute, in United States.
Zayahuecos ........ See Torames, p. 36.
Having thus eliminated those names which, for the reasons given,
it is unnecessary to discuss here, there remain to be considered the
Coras (of Lower California) Sisibotaris
Idioms: Mediotaguel, Pacasa.
Also the list of names from other authors, as given above.
Arigames............. These are connected by Orozco y Berra with" the Conchoe
(1:55, 325), but without any statement as to locality.
Arlegui (109-110) says the missions of the Conchos were
visited daily by families from the north. It is probable
that, through these, names of tribes, bands, etc., both
within and outside of the Concho area, were obtained
which has caused so many names to be connected with
the Conchos. Orozco y Berra does not include the name
in his list of languages.
Babos................ Orozco y Berra (1:325) gives this name in connection with
the Toboso, but does not include it in his list of languages.
As he states expressly that the supposed tribes, etc.,
named in this connection are believed to be related to the
Apache, it is probable Babos was the name given to a band
of Apache. It is somewhat singular that we find the Nure
among them. He can not refer to the Nuri of the Lower
Bapispes (Babispe)... Ribas (359); the inhabitants of the pueblo of Babispe, in
the northeastern portion of the Opata territory. It seems
they spoke Opata, though Ribas uses the term "nacion;"
however, they were closely associated with the Potlapigua,
a Piman tribe (Orozco y Berra, 1: 348), and also with the
Batuco (q. v., p. 26).
Basiroas, Hios (Ihios). The Hios, or Ihios as they are named by Ribas, are men-
tioned several times by this author (215, 227, 255, 274),
but usually in connection with the Guazapares, Varohioe,
Temoris, and Chinipas, always with one or more of them.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 33
Orozco y Berr (1: 351) mentions them as Lower Pima in
connection with the Huvagueres, Tehuisos, Basiroas, and
Tehatas, "Los Hios, A ocho leguas al Este de Tepahue, y los
Huvagueres y los Tehuisos sus vecinos: mis al Este seguian
los Basiroas y los Tehatas."
The Huvaguere have already been referred to above;
and precisely the same remark applies to the Tehuisos,
Basiroas, and Tehatas. All these supposed tribes or sub-
tribes, including the Hios, are located by Orozco y Berra
between the Tepahue and the Varohio, which are not dis-
tant one from the other, and, according to his map, would
lie directly along the border line between the territory of
the Yaqui group and that of the TarahumarA. Although
Ribas makes frequent mention of the Hios, he does not
speak of them separately nor refer to their language; he
makes no mention of any one of the other three names.
Zapata (384-389), writing some thirty or forty years later,
and referring to the missions and pueblos of this precise
section, does not name any one of these four subtribes or
their idioms, if different. Yet he does refer to the Guaza-
pare and the Varohio, and to the pueblos of Chinipa, Conicari,
etc., in the region mentioned, and to the language spoken
therein. However, Alegre, writing in the following cen-
tury, speaks of the Hios eight leagues east of the Tepahue
and five from Comicari [Conicari], of the Huvagueres and
Tehuisos, their neighbors, and of the Basiroas and Te-
hatas, a little farther in the sierra. This is evidently
Orozco y Berra's authority for his statement, but as the
statement by Alegre closes with reference to "otros pue-
blos," it seems evident that he uses the names mentioned
as referring to villages. As there are no indications any-
where, not even in Orozco y Berra's list of languages, that
these names bore any relation to distinct idioms, they may
Batucos.......... ..... Ribas (359) says they came from the north and dwelt near
the friendly "naciones"-Cumupas, Buasdabas, and Bapis-
pes, extending down eastward to the Sunas. Kino, Kap-
pus, and Mange (393) speak of Batuco as a geographical
term-"los valles y pueblos de Batuco"-but a.little
farther on (400) make mention of the entrance of Padre
Mendez into the "nacion" of the Batucos. Zapata (356)
pays the language spoken in the pueblo of Santa Maria de
Batuco was Tehue. The geographical description gives the
same location as the preceding. Azpilcueta (in Alegre, in,
186), referring to his visit to the Batuco, says their lan-
guage is not difficult and appears to be much like that of
Ocoroni. According to Velasco (Orozco y Berra, 1: 343),
Batuco was one of the pueblos of the Opatas Tegiiis. As
the name "Tegilis" seems to be pronounced Te-gu-is, it is
possible that Te-hu-e is the same. If this be correct, the
last two statements agree and the language spoken was
Opata. The Tahue mentioned farther on must not be
confounded with Tehue here: the former belonged to
Sinaloa, the latter to Sonora. However, Orozco y Berra
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
Coras (of Lower
classes Tehue with Eudeve, but without considering it
a distinct idiom, as he does not include it in his list of
..... After giving an extract from Francisco Garc4s, Orozco y
Berra (1: 350) says this may appear at first not to correspond
with what he (Orozco y Berra) has said, as according to it
the nations dwelling along the Colorado river, beginning
at the mouth, were the Cucapa, Jallicuamay, Cajuenche,
Jalchedun, and Jamajab, where he had placed the. Quiqui-
mas, Cuhanas, and Yumas. He claims, however, that the
contradiction will disappear when we consider that the
Cuhanes and Cucapas were one and the same tribe and
that the others are nothing more than families [bands?]
derived from the pueblos speaking Pima. As it is clear
from Garc6s' Diario that the Cajuenche were north of the
Cocopa and were Yuman, they should be considered as
belonging to the United States.
..... According to Orozco y Berra (1: 325), the Chinarra, or Huma,
occupied the pueblo of Santa Ana, in Chihuahua. This, he
states, was situated to the southeast of the Tarahumare ter-
ritory, apparently in the southern part of the area he has
assigned to the Concho on his map. Arlegui (110) brings
them into relation with the Concho, who, he says, anciently
inhabited a large area and many pueblos, some of which were
occupied subsequently by the Tarahumare. Then follows
the list of other "naciones". of this region-Tobosos,
Chizos, Cocoyames, Acoclames, Julimes, Tapacolmes, Chi-
narras, etc. Orozco y Berra, probably on the authority of
Hervas as given below, says the Chinarras spoke a Mexican
dialect ("dialecto Mexicano"). Hervas (312) says that the
missionary Rafael. Palacios informed him (in a letter) that
the Cinarras dwelt about 28 leagues north of the Conchos;
that while they spoke Spanish, yet he had heard them
speaking together a language which to his ear appeared to be
Mexican. They informed him that they were derived from
the Conchos. It would seem from this that they lived near
the international boundary line.
Cali- This name has been applied to a subtribe of the Waicuri,
and is mentioned here merely to call attention to the dis-
tinction to be made between it and the well-known tribe
of the same name in the state of Jalisco, discussed in the
first part of these notes.
abas. Same reference and remark as under Bapispes, above.
s)... Alegre (n, 343) says the Hymeri were a "nacion" situated in
the various valleys formed by the Sierra Madre northwest
of the valley of Sonora-that is to say, in the Opata country.
According to Ribas, they were ferocious, holding friendship
with no other people, from which fact Hervas (337)
thinks it probable they spoke a dialect distinct from that of
the Opatas, though they were related to that people.
Orozco y Berra (1:58) classes them with the Opata without
..... Same remark as for Tahue.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 35
Ribas (358) mentions these two peoples as adjoining on one side
the Hure (Opata) and on the other the Himeri. They were
in fact pueblos, the first on the Rio Horcasitas and the other
on the Rio Moctezuma. Zapata (352) says the language
spoken at Nacameri was Huere (that is, Opata).
Ribas (34) mentions the Ocoroni in connection with Mocorito
and Petatlan, the three on the first three rivers of Sinaloa,
an& says they are of "varias lenguas." According to
Zapata (401) the inhabitants of the pueblo of Ocoroni, per-
taining to the "partido" of Tehueco, in Sinaloa, and sit-
uated fifteen or sixteen leagues southeast of Mochicagui,
spoke a distinct idiom called Ocoroni. Orozco y Berr
(1:333) gives it as distinct, inserts it in his list of languages,
and places it on his map adjoining Vacoregue on the east.
Sevin (xxx, 12) says: "Towards the town of El Fuerte.
and farther north, we find the Mayos Indians, to which
belong also the tribes Quasare, Ahome, and Ocoronis." As
there is some doubt in regard to this last statement, and
as Orozco y Berr has evidently marked the space on his
map with doubt, the name is omitted from our map. It is
probable that the language was Tehueco, or a dialect of it.
Same remark as for Tahue.
The Piros, mentioned by Orozco y Berra (1:325-326) as
inhabiting pueblos on the Rio Grande near the present town
of El Paso, and speaking the Piro language, which he places
in his list of unclassified languages, were in fact a tribe
occupying numerous pueblos east of and along the Rio
Grande north of El Paso nearly to Albuquerque. Bancroft
(m, 714) gives a copy of what purports to be the Lord's
Prayer in this language. The position of the language
appears to have been determined with comparative, cer-
tainty from a vocabulary obtained by J. R. Bartlett. From
this Gatschet (416-417) brings it into the stock of the Rio
Grande pueblos called Tanoan, and makes it the type of
one of the divisions of this stock.
Ribas (380) mentions the Sisibotaris as a subtribe of the Lower
Pima, but does not say their language is distinct, nor does
Orozco y Berra give the name in his list of languages.
Alegre (u1, 124) says they dwelt in some beautiful valleys
surrounded by mountains not very high, that they were
docile and different from the Yaqui and Mayo, quoting from
Ribas, but adds nothing in regard to their language.
Unless referring to Balbi's statement, Orozco y Berra (1:353)
seems to make the mistake of calling them a subtribe of
the Upper Pima, when immediately below (1:353, 58) he
places them with the Lower Pima.
A semi-nomadic tribe about Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, and
El Paso. Affinities unknown.
This is mentioned by Orozco ^y Berra (1:336) as one of the
extinct languages of Sinaloa. See Batucos, above.
Mentioned by Ribas (215) in connection with the Guazapares,
Chinipas, and Hios, and as residing in the sierras, hence
along the southwestern boundary of the Tarahumare terri-
tory. According to Zapata (390), the pueblo of Santa Maria
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
Magdalena de Temoris was situated in the partido of Santa
Teresa de Guazapares, and spoke the same language, that
is, Guazapare, a dialect of Tarahumare (Orozco y Berra,
A name sometimes applied to the Seri, especially those resid-
ing on Tiburon island (McGee, 128 et seq.).
Seems to have been a name applied to certain Indians living
in the district of Zentispac, -in Jalisco, and bordering on
the Cora and Tepehuane. An associated group was known
as Zayahuecos (Orozco y Berra, 1: 278). Nothing is said by
this author in regard to their language.
These are to be distinguished from the Zuaques, heretofore
described as belonging to the Yaqui group. It is properly
Suaqui and denotes merely the Pima inhabitants of Suaqui,
a pueblo in the extreme northern portion of the Lower
In passing to the northern central and northeastern districts one
enters a region where nearly all the aboriginal languages have become
extinct, and the little that remains on record in regard to them is
not sufficient to make possible their classification with any degree
of certainty. The most that can be done is to gather up the scat-
tered notices of them found in the early Spanish writings and from
these lay off the areas in such manner qs seems most consistent with
the data. This has been done by Orozco y Berra, who had access
not only to the published works but also to the manuscript docu-
ments. His map, therefore, has been followed somewhat closely so
far as this region is concerned.
The Concho resided immediately east of the Tarahumare, chiefly
along the river that bears their name, from near its headwaters to its
junction with the Rio Grande del Norte. The exact lateral bounda-
ries of the territory occupied are not known, those :given on the
map being largely conjectural. Alegre (ii, 58) says this nationn,"
sufficiently numerous, extended to the banks of the Rio Grande del
Norte; that they were confined on the north by the marshes and on
the south held some pueblos of the Tepehuane; and "Valle de Santa
Orozco y Berra (1: 325) says they spoke a "particular language
called Concha." Although this statement is not sufficient of itself
to indicate that it was without any known or supposed affinities,
what follows in the same connection and in his classification (1: 55)
indicates that he considered it a distinct dialect of his "Mexicano,"
under which he classifies it, thus bringing it into the Nahuatlan
It is asserted by Hervas and others that the missionaries contended
that they spoke a dialect of, or a language related to, the Mexican-
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA. 37
that is to say, belonging to the Nahuatlan stock. If it be true that
one of the missionaries wrote an "Arte y Vocabulario" in this
language, as asserted by Ludewig (52) on the authority of Arlegui
and De Souza, this evidently shows sufficient study of the language
to have given some knowledge of its affinities. That it could not
have been related to the Athapascan group seems to be indicated
by this evidence.
The several missions among the Concho gave the missionaries a
good opportunity of studying their language and customs, and, where
Indians of more than one language were collected, of comparing dia-
lects. For example, we learn from Arlegui (97) that there were
gathered at the Convento of the Valle de S. Bartholome representa-
tives of the Concho, Tarahumare, and Toboso.
On the whole, the evidence seems strong enough to warrant us
in placing the tribe in the Nahuatlan family.
According to the conclusion reached by Orozco y Berra, as shown
on his map, the Toboso occupied the region immediately east of the
Concho and extending northward from a little below the twenty-
seventh degree of north latitude to the Rio Grande del Norte, join-
ing the Pakawan group on the east and the Laguneros (Orozco's
Irritilas) on the south. Orozco y Berra (1:308-309) says they
spread about the Bolson de Mapimi, and committing depredations
in Chihuahua and Durango, as on the.missions of Parras, and some
of those in Coahuila and the north of Nuevo Leon.
Villa-Sefor y Sanchez (II, 296-297) associates them with a tribe
or people he names Gabilanes, and locates them, or part of them,
in a region on the border line of Coahuila and Nueva Vizcaya, called
the "Cuesta de los muertos." He gives as the number of Toboso of
this group some 90 or 100 families. At another place in the same vol-
ume (349) he mentions as tribes living in this desert region and
stretching alqng the banks of the Rio Grande, including part of the
lands of Coahuila and northward, the Toboso, Gabilanes, "Tripas
blancas," Xicarillas, and others, some of which were undoubtedly
It would seem from these items of evidence, from the additional
fact that the Toboso are several times spoken of by the early author-
ities as being joined with the Apache in their raids, and from the
savage, predatory character ascribed to them, that Orozco y Berra
is justified in classifying them with the Apache (1: 309).
The Cocoyome and Cabezas, which he mentions in the reference
given, appear to have been embraced by him under Toboso. How-
ever, it is proper to state that Morfi (418) appears to distinguish
between the Toboso and the Apache, but gives them like charae-
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
teristics. This distinction was at most probably nothing more than
dialectic, and possibly only in name. It is justifiable, therefore, con-
sidering the data, to accept Orozco y Berra's conclusion.
Bancroft (i, 610) says, "The Tobosos are north of the Tarahumares
and- in the Mission of San Francisco de Coahuila, in the State of
Coahuila," but this is evidently erroneous unless the reference is to
scattered divisions. The location given on his map corresponds with
this statement, the Tarahumare being placed along the extreme
southern border of the state of Chihuahua. In the same volume
(572) he says, "East of the Tarahumares, in'the northern part of
the first-named state [Chihuahua], dwell the Conchos;" and the
latter are placed on his map in the northern part of Chihuahua.
Coahuilteco was adopted by Maj. J. W. Powell as the basis of a
family name, Coahuiltecan, which appears to have included numer-
ous small tribes in southern Texas and the adjoining portions- of
Mexico. along the lower part of the Rio Grande del Norte, but it has
been thought by the present writer that the native name, Pakawan,
used by Gatschet, is more appropriate. Major Powell remarks as fol-
On page 63 of his Geograffa de las Lenguas de Mexico, 1864, Orozco y Berra gives a
list of the languages of Mexico and includes Coahuilteco, indicating it as the lan-
guage of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. He does not, however, indicate
its extension into Texas. Jt would thus seem that he intended the name as a gen-
eral designation for the language of all the cognate tribes . In his statement that
the language and tribes are extinct this author was mistaken, as a few Indians still
(1886) survive, who speak one of the dialects of this family, and in 1886 Mr. Gatschet
collected vocabularies of two tribes, the Comecrudo and Cotoname, who live on the
Rio Grande, at Las Prietas, State of Tamaulipas.
Bartolomb Garcia in his "Manual para administrar los Santos
Sacramentos" (title-page) names 17 tribes speaking dialects of this
language. Adolph Uhde (120 et seq.) gives the names and locations
of 74, based on previous works and his personal observations. It is
scarcely possible, however, that these should be understood as tribes.
As the data are not sufficient to justify any attempt to locate the
tribes or subtribes which dwelt south of the Rio Grande, except
those identified by Doctor Gatschet, the writer has followed Orozco
y Berra substantially in the area assigned to this family. Beyond
this, with the exceptions mentioned, all is uncertainty and any
conclusion mere guesswork.
The people included by Orozco y Berra under the name "Irritilas"
are those to whom the missionaries and earlier authorities applied
the term "Laguneros" adopted in the present work, the name
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 39
Irritila having been selected by Orozco y Berra because it was given
by Ribas and some other early writers as the name of one of the
tribes or subtribes of the Laguneros. The principal region occupied
by them lay about the lakes of the table-lands of Mapimi, of which
the most important was the Laguna de Parras (or San Pedro). The
brief statement by Ribas (669) in regard to location is given in the
note below,1 where it is seen that he almost confines them to the
region about the Laguna de San Pedro.
The southwestern boundary of the area appears to be approxi-
mately determined by another statement of the same author (673),
that Cuencam6, a pueblo on the Rio Nazas, 8 leagues southwest of
the lake, was peopled by Zacatecos. On the other hand, however,
it is uncertain what-languages were spoken by the Laguneros and
what were their affinities. The author last quoted indicates that
at the founding of the Parras mission by Father Juan Agustin the
Zacatec language was used, at least in part. He states, however,
in the chapter following, that Zacatecos came to the mission and
joined those of the locality. In chapter x he refers to the "Iritiles"
as one of the several "naciones" (f the Laguna, and speaks of a
"cacique de los que llamauA Iritilas."
Alegre (1, 380) says the people along the Nazas river and about
the lake spoke rudely ("groseramente") the Mexican language
(about the year 1600). In another place (I, 416) he mentions, as in
this region, the Ochoes, a ferocious and inhuman people, and the
Alamamas, a less barbarous people. The statement is made (Doc.
Hist. Mex., 4th s., II, 33, under the title "Del Anua del afo de
1596") that the Indians dwelling along the Nazas river were Zaca-
tecos, but those at the "Laguna" are referred to as of another "gente,"
the name of which is not given. The same volume (54) mentions
Irritila and Mexicana as languages spoken, the former being the idiom
proper to that particular locality. On a following page (58) are
mentioned the following "naciones" as coming from the surround-
ing country to join the Irritila in their religious festivities-Mio-
pacoas, Meviras, Hoeras, and Maiconeras, and as coming from the
lake, the Paogas and Caviseras, Vassapalles and Ahomamas, and
the Yanabopos and Daparabopos (mentioned in pairs, as named
here). However, it is not at all likely that these were all tribes or
even subtribes, but mere bands, hence this reference can not be
accepted as indicative of so many different idioms.
It is evident, therefore, that the data regarding the tribes of the
region marked off by Orozco y Berra, under the name Irritila, are
not sufficient to justify any decided conclusion regarding their lin-
1 Y de los que n6bran Laguneros, poblados & las margenes de la laguna que lHaman Grande de san Pedro,
y algunos dellos en las islets que haze la misma laguna. A la cabegera desta doctrine, y Mission, dieron
los Espafloles nombre de Parrs.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
guistic affinities. The intimate relations of the Laguneros with the
Zacatecos, however, lead to the suggestion that these two groups were
probably linguistically related.
The Zacateco inhabited the state of Zacatecas and part of Durango,
more especially those portions in the drainage area of Nazas river.
Orozco y Berra on his map bounds their area on the north by that
of the Irritila, on the west by that of the Tepehuane, and on the
east by that of the Guachichile. On the south they are brought
into relation with the Cora and some small tribes (1:285, 319).
It would perhaps be appropriate to allude here to that undefined
group designated by the name Chichimeca, as the tribe now referred
to was certainly included therein, but what is to be said on that
subject will be given under a separate heading after a discussion of
That there was a distinct tribe known under the name Zacateco,
and that this tribe spoke its own appropriate idiom, are facts too
well established to admit of doubt. Ribas (676), quoting from a
letter of Padre Juan Agustin, one of the first missionaries to that
section, says they gave religious instruction to the Indians in the
Zacateco language, which they had acquired. Mota Padilla (194)
connects the Cazcan with the Zacateco as speaking the same
language. On the other hand, Hervas (311) maintains that the lan-
guage was Mexican. He says their name, the names of their "pobla-
ciones," and of their rivers, are Mexican. Orozco y Berra (1:285)
agrees with Hervas on the point mentioned, as he says the Zacateco
have their proper idiom, which is here classified as a Mexican dialect.
If it be true, as stated by this author (2:644), that an "Arte y
Vocabulario" of the Zacatec language was written by Father Pedro
Espinareda, there is in this fact quite conclusive evidence that the
missionaries recognized the language spoken by the Zacateco as at
least idiomatically distinct from the other known tongues and as
sufficiently varied to require a special acquaintance therewith to give
religious instruction to the natives speaking it.
Unless the Cazcan and Teule Chichimeca were connected with
them, there are no recognized subtribes of the Zacateco.
This tribe, or group, says Orozco y Berra, occupied an immense
area, embracing parts of the present states of Zacatecas, San Luis
Potosi, Nuevo Leon, and Coahuila. According to his map, they con-
nected on the north with the Irritila (Laguneros), on the west with
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 41
the Zacateco, and on the south and southeast with the Otomi. The
missions established among these Indians by the Franciscans, accord-
ing to the author last quoted (who gives as his authority a manuscript
in the Archivo General), were San Luis, Saltillo, Venado, Charcas,
Valle de Atotonilco, Pinos, Asunci6n Tlaxcalilla, and San Miguel
Their language, says Orozco y Berra (.1:285), was distinct. He
says also, in another place (1:298), "su lengua 'era propia,' y es
una de las que han desaparecido." Laet (281) says that it was dif-
ferent from that of the Zacateco. Arlegui (86), speaking of the
natives at and about the Convento of Asunci6n de Tlascalilla, one
of those mentioned above, calls them Guachichiles Chichime-
cos." Orozco y Berra (1: 280) appears to bring together the Cazcan
and the Guachichile as pertaining to the "Teules Chichimecas."
When referring to the Indians of the region under consideration,
Mota Padilla usually terms them Chichimecas. These people are
classed as Nahuatlan, on the authority of Doctor Hrdli6ka, who
states that the most intelligent man among the Huichol told him
that Guachichil was the ancient name of his tribe. Doctor Hrdli6ka
adds that the Huichol to this day go over to San Luis Potosi to
camp during certain seasons of the year. This fact would account
for Orozco y Berra's puzzle in not finding Huichol referred to in the
THE TERM CHICHIMECA
It is probable that this term should be given a somewhat more
definite signification than philologists appear disposed to accord to
it. That it has been used in the past in widely different senses is
true, but when the more extravagant, applications are cast aside
and the others are carefully studied, the use of the term is found
to be more limited. The fact that it has been interpreted as a
term of contempt signifying "dogs," or "dog people," even if
correct (although it is really doubtful), does not necessarily mean
that it was applied by -those with whom it originated to any
and every barbarous people. When this elimination shall have
taken place, the name will be found to include people of more than
one stock, yet it seems to have had a geographical limitation, and if
the Otomi, or that portion of this stock usually included, be excluded,
there appears to be to some extent a linguistic signification.
It is unnecessary to quote authorities to show that the name
Chichimeca was applied geographically to tribes living north of
Mexico City, as this is generally admitted. The range may be fur-
ther limited, as follows: It does not appear that the name was ever
applied to the Tepehuane in Durango, or to any' tribe living north
or west of them; it was never applied to the Cora on the southwest,
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
though the Teule and the Cazcan, residing immediately southeast of
the Cora, were included by some authorities. On the south the
name reached into the vale of Anahuac, but in this direction its
application was very indefinite, being based largely on more or less
mythical traditions. On the southeast the range was certainly
bounded by the Huasteca. On the east and northeast it does not
appear to have included the Tamaulipecan or the Coahuiltecan
tribes. Nor does it seem to have extended northward into the
regions assigned by Orozco y Berra to the Toboso and the Concho.
This summary indicates as the area over which the name may have
extended the sections marked on Orozco y Berra's map-Zacateco,
Teule and Cazcan, Guachichile, Irritila, Pame, and Otomi.
It may be supposed that the name Chichimeca at first was applied
indefinitely to all the wild and unknown tribes north of the City of
Mexico, and that, as exploration progressed and more definite infor-
mation was obtained, one tribe after another was eliminated from
the scope of the term. This, however, is a supposition which does
not appear to be supported by the facts.
A few of the early statements bearing on the subject are here pre-
sented. Quoting from a manuscript of 1579 by Gabriel de Chavez,
Orozco y Berra (1:246-247) says of the "Sefiorio of Meztitlan,"
the country of the Meztitlateco, a Nahuatlan tribe closely related
to the Aztec, that it (the Seforio) extended throughout all the sierra,
bounded (on the east) by the Huasteca; that Xelitla was the most
westerly point, one coming into contact here with the "barbaros
Chichimecas;" and that the Sefiorio was bordered on the north by
the Chichimeca. Following Pomar, he says (1:241) the name
Tezcoco is from the term tetzcotl in the Chichimeca language. Fur-
ther, he distinguishes (1:256-257) Mexicano (Aztec) from Nahuatl,
the latter being the supposed language of the Toltec, including the
Niquiran of Nicaragua, a distinction not accepted by philologists.
*This is mentioned, however, only to introduce the statement by him
which immediately follows: "With respect to the Chichimeca we
judge that it was a language different from the Nahoa, and are satis-
fied it has become extinct." He then refers (1: 257) to a statement
that at Pachuca in 1579 were spoken Otomi, Mexican, and Chichi-
meca, the last "a language not understood by the others."
Again (1 :284), speaking of the Indians of Zacatecas, Orozco y
As has been a thousand times repeated, under the name "'Chichimecas" are compre-
hended collectively all the barbarous and wandering tribes, but in reality the name
corresponds only to the family or families which came from the north and were the pro-
genitors of the nation which established itself in the valley of the kingdom of Acolhua-
can. In this sense the Chichimecas extended from Zacatecas to Queretaro, the Rio
Tololotlan forming the southern limit, occupying toward the east San Luis Potosi, and
part of southern Tamaulipas.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 48
He adds, however, that they did not all use the same idiom, and that
those who wandered in the lands of the Zacatecas and the Aguas-
calientes took in common the name "Teules Chichimecas," but that
they were divided into factions having particular idioms. Of these
he mentions the Cazcan, Tepecano (who, however, as already shown,
were probably connected with the Cora), and Tecuexe. Orozco y
Berra considered Zacateco a dialect of his Mexicano. He seems to
include also the Guachichile among the Chichimeca, although speak-
ing a distinct language (1 :285). The Indians of Aguascalientes he
denominates "Chichimecas Blafcos," but is not aware that they bore
any relation to the Guachichile, though inclined to the belief that they
were related to the Otomi (1*: 286).
Speaking of the Indians of Quer6taro (1 : 261), and basing his con-
clusion on a manuscript of 1582, Orozco y Berra says the Chichimeca
of this region were of the Otomi family. The Chichimeca of Jalisco
(next to the borders of Guanajuato) are believed by him to have been
Chichimecas-Blancos, hence of the Otomi family (1 :278). Sahagun
(656) says the true name of the Tolteca was Chichimeca. A little
farther on, in the same chapter, he states that the Chichimeca form
three groups-the Otomi, the Tamime, and the Teo-Chichimeca. He
considers the last two of the same "race" and the more barbarous
in their customs and mode of life, and states that those who mingle
with the Mexicanos, or Nahua, speak Mexican as well as their own
tongue, and those mingling with the Otomi and the Huasteca speak
the languages of those tribes as well as they do their own.
Hervas (298) says that north of the Otomi were the Chichimecas who
did not speak the Mexican language. Perez de Ribas (lib. 12, cap. 2)
refers to their location as north of the City of Mexico, of their wild and
barbarous habits, and of their division into numerous tribes speaking
various languages, but gives no particulars in regard to these idioms.
The following information with regard to them is given by Villa-
Senor j Sanchez (i, lib. 3, cap. 3). At Zelaya, or in its jurisdiction,
there were "2,650 families" of the nation Otomi, descendants of the
Chichimeca, who peopled these parts before the Conquest. Again
(n, lib. 3, cap. 9), referring to San Luis Potosi, this author says
it was on the frontiers of the Chichimeca. He states also in the same
chapter that some of these Indians were converted at the mission
near the pueblo of Santa Catarina Martyrs de Rio Verde. This indi-
cates that the name Chichimecas was still actually applied in his
day (1746). In the same work (ii, lib. 3, cap. 10) he estimates the
Indians of the jurisdiction of San Pedro Guadalcazar at about 2,000
families, all Chichimeca, some of whom had accepted the holy faith,
and the various connected districts at 3,000 families, all Chichimeca.
He speaks in like manner of these Indians at other places, recognizing
them at that day as known by this name.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
Taking all these facts into consideration, it is believed that a careful
study of the subject would result in a more definite application of the
name, at least geographically. However, it has received no lin-
guistic consideration in the present paper, the majority of the groups
formerly included under the name being herein placed in the Nahua-
No attempt will be made at this time to determine the tribes or
subtribes of the area so designated by Orozco y Berra on his map,
further than what will be found in the notes below (page 45) on
"Names of tribes in northeastern Mexico not marked on the map."
PISONE AND JANAMBRE
Orozco y Berra locates the area over which these tribes wandered
at the southwest of the Tamaulipeco district, and says (1: 298-299)
it extended from the valley of the Purisima on the south to the Rio
Blanco on the north, being bounded on the west by the district of
the Guachichiles. However, according to his map, it connects on
the southwest with the district assigned to the Paine. He says
(1:296) that the Pisone and Xanambre (Janambre) belong to
the same "family" and speak the same language, which is "par-
ticular." Arlegui (115), speaking of the Mission of San Antonio,
says it was vexed by a warlike nation called Janambre. Orozco y
Berra (1:292, 293) speaks of them in like manner.
Villa-Sefior (n1, 56) locates some of the Indians of these tribes,
somewhat definitely, at 20 leagues to the east of the pueblo of Tula.
These tribes are now extinct, but they seem to have been in ex-
istence as late as the first quarter of the eighteenth century.
Orozco y Berra locates on his map a small tribe with this name
in the extreme southern portion of the Tamaulipeco district, on the
southeastern border of the Pisone and Janambre territory. The
name "Olive" is retained, as he informs us, because the proper
native name is unknown. Nicolas Le6n omits the tribe from his
This author (Orozco y Berra) says they resided in "Horcasitas,"
near San Francisco Xavier mission. According to his authorities,
they were recent emigrants from "Florida," i. e., the region between
the Rio Grande and the Atlantic Ocean, had a knowledge of firearms,
and were light colored (1: 293). The language is extinct.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 45
NAMES OF TRIBES IN NORTHEASTERN MEXICO NOT CONSIDERED
This is the proper place to allude to the names of the supposed
tribes or subtribes of northeastern and eastern Mexico mentioned
by early Spanish authors, but not marked on the accompanying
map. As given in Orozco y Berra's list, these are numerous, but
when examined are found to be limited mostly to the present
states of Coahuila and Tamaulipas, of which, with very few excep-
tions, nothing more can be said than that they are found in lists or
merely mentioned without particulars. The present author's method
is therefore reversed here, and allusion is made to but very few
of these names, of which some particulars are available.
It is quite possible that most of those mentioned as in Coahuila,
chiefly along the Rio Grande, were Apache and Lipan, especially
the former. The names near the Gulf coast, in part at least, may
refer to the remnants of tribes forced thither by the stronger tribes
of the interior. Orozco y Berra places on his map, on the Rio
Grande near its mouth, the following names:
Pintos Comesacapemes Auyapemes
Tanaquiapemes Catanamepaques Uscapemes
Ayapaguemes Saulapaguemes Gummesacapemes
and in Tamaulipas the following:
Tamaulipecos Caribayes Comecrudos
Canaynes Mariguanes Malinchenos
Borradoe Panguayes Ancasiguaia
Quinicuanes Anacana Comecamotes
Tedexenos Cadinias Caramariguanes
Pasitas Guixolotes Caramiguais
Tagualilos Pintos? Aretines
All in the latter list are located by Orozco y Berra in his Tamau-
lipeco area, and north of Panuco river, while south of the river are
only the well-known tribes, Huasteca, etc.
Of these names but little can be said, as all, or nearly all, are now
extinct. Doctor Gatschet1 in 1886 found some twenty-five of the
Comecrudo at Las Prietas, Tamaulipas. The Cotoname were prac-
tically extinct, but one man being discovered. He obtained also
information of the existence at La Volsa of two women of the Pinto,
or Pakawa, tribe who, it was said, could speak their own language.
The Cotoname of Doctor Gatschet probably corresponds with Cata-
namepaques of the above list. So far as known, these were the
only tribes not wholly extinct at the time of Doctor Gatschet's visit
SSee Beventh Annual Report of the Bureau of theology, 8.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
No published authority for any of these names other than Orozco
y Berra's Geografia and what his statements are based on has been
found. His authority, as he tells us (1: 291), is a manuscript in the
Archivo General, by "D. Agustin Lopez de la C&mara alta. 1757."
The Otomi in the limited sense, that is, the group speaking the
Otomi language and its dialects, occupied a large area of central
Mexico, extending from the vicinity of Mexico City northward to
220 N. lat., and east and west over nearly four degrees of longitude,
joining the Huasteca on the northeast, the Nahuatlan on the north-
west and southeast, and the Tarasco on the southwest. Orozco
y Berra says (1: 17) the language is encountered in the state of
Mexico, in San Luis Potosi, embraces all of Quer6taro (then including
the present state of Hidalgo) and a large part of Guanajuato, reap-
pearing with the Tepehua about the Totonac area and at a point
on the confines of Puebla and Vera Cruz. Languages related to
the Otomi proper are the Pame, the Mazahua, and the Pirinda. The
evidence Orozco y Berra presents as to the area embraced is a list
of pueblos and curates in which the Otomi language is known to
have been spoken.
It is unnecessary to quote the earlier authorities, as the name as
used by them is not sufficiently definite to be applied to the Otomi
tribe in the limited sense. Although it has been stated that there
were numerous dialects in the speech of different pueblos, none
save those mentioned above have been given.
As Orozco y Berra's mapping will not be followed in this instance
the following statement by Prof. Frederick Starr (79-80) should be
Where the states of Hidalgo, Puebla, and Vera Cruz come together we find the
strangest intermingling. There Aztecs, Otomis, Tepehuas, and Totonacs are sur-
prisingly sprinkled. . In regard to this region, Orozco y Berra, usually so valuable,
becomes frequently useless.
Orozco y Berra in mapping the Otomi has given the Pame and
Mazahua separate areas and different colors; the Pirinda, however,
is omitted, as stated below. In the map accompanying this paper
the different areas are brought under one color, the Pirinda having
its area and number as the other divisions.
A part of the Otomi, especially those toward the northwest, were
included by some of the early writers under Chichimeca.
The Pame, as located by Orozco y Berra, were bordered on the
north and northeast by the Pisone and Janambre, on the south-
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 47
east by the Huasteca, on the south by the Otomi, and on the west
by the Guachichile. Their territory embraced parts of the states of
Mexico, Quer6taro, Guanajuato, and San Luis Potosi.
As shown in the note below,' Francisco Palou gives them a some-
what extended area. Orozco y Berra says(1: 48): The Pame [dialect] is
used in the mission of Cerro Prieto, in the state of Mexico, is extended
principally to the pueblos of San Luis Potosi, and is also met with
in Quer6taro and in Guanajuato." He mentions also other pueblos
in these states. Pimentel (n, 265) says it was spoken in San Luis
de la Paz, the territory of the Sierra Gorda, city of Maiz, Depart-
ment of San Luis Potosi, and in Purisima Concepci6n de Arnedo in
the Sierra Gorda.
According to the last-named authority (n, 265) there were three
dialects of this language-one spoken in San Luis de la Paz, one
in the city of Maiz, and the third in the Purisima Concepci6n de
Arnedo. No mention is made, however, of corresponding sub-
tribes or clans.
This language has recently been assigned, with probable correct-
ness, though not on conclusive evidence, to the Otomi stock. Ale-
gre (I, 282) pronounces the idiom difficult, and compares these Indians
with the Otomi of the same locality (San Luis de la Paz), appar-
ently indicating a belief in relationship, though not expressing
such an opinion. Villa-Seflor y Sanchez (11, lib. 3, cap. 8), speak-
ing of the Indians about San Luis de la Paz, says they are Pame,
and, immediately after, that the Indians of this section speak Otomi.
The Mazahua area is located on Orozco y Berra's map in the south-
western portion of the state of Mexico, adjoining the Tarascan
territory, though the traditional evidence locates the Mazahua more
to the northeast.
Clavigero (i, 105-106) says:
The Mazahuas were once a part of the nation of the Otomies, as the languages of both
nations are but different dialects of the same tongue. . The principal places
which they inhabited were on the western mountains of the vale of Mexico, and formed
the province of Mazahuacan, belonging to the crown of Tacuba.
Orozco y Berra (1: 256) says that in the time of Aztec control this
tribe belonged to the "kingdom" of Tlacopan, its pueblos marking
the limits between it and the Michoacan territory. Pimentel (ii,
193), after quoting Clavigero's statement, remarks that in his day
a remnant of the tribe was found in the district of Ixtlahuaca,
belonging to the department of Mexico. Brasseur de Bourbourg
I Treinta leguas distant de la expresada Cludad de Querdtaro, y se estiende A cien leguas de largo, y
treinta de ancho, en cuyas brefias vivian los Indlos de la Naclon Pame.-Vida de Junipero Serra, p. 23
(fide Bancroft, I, 672).
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
(1: II, 56), alluding apparently to an earlier date, says their vil-
lages extended northward to within a short distance of the ancient
Tollan or Tula. As usual, Orozco y Berra determined the boundaries
by the pueblos inhabited by people of this tribe. The Mazahua
is included in the colored Otomian area of the map accompanying
Orozco y Berra (1: 273) has not marked on his map the area occu-
pied by the people speaking this idiom, doubtless because of the fact
that it does not appear that they had, in the historical era, any
definite territory, a portion mingling with the Mexicans, but the
greater part occupying pueblos in the territory of the Tarasco.
Clavigero (i, 106) merely locates them in the "fertile vale of Toluca,"
which is immediately south of the Mazahuan territory. This state-
ment, however, appears to refer to the tribe before it was con-
quered by Axayacatl, "king" of Mexico, as indicated by Pimentel,
who, in connection with the quotation from Clavigero, says, ancientlyy
in the valley of Toluca."
In the present classification the author has followed Brinton by
including the tribe in the Otomian area.
Bancroft (III, 743), on what authority the author is not aware,
identifies the people speaking this language with the Serranos. Never-
theless, in this way a difficulty otherwise unexplained is removed.
He locates them "in the Sierra Gorda and in Guanahuato." But
Alcedo (Iv, 567) says they live in the pueblo Soledad de las Canoas,
in the state of Quer6taro. Orozco y Berra (1:264), whose state-
ment is more exact, says they were gathered by the missionaries at
the newly founded pueblo of San Luis de la Paz, and connects them
with the people of San Jos6 Vizarron, in Quer6taro. He also adds:
"La parcialidad de chichimecos que fu6 congregada, pertenecia A la
familiar de los Tonases 6 Jonases cuya lengua se llam6 Meco por los
misioneros lo mismo que denominaron la de los habitantes de San
As the relation of the Huastecan language to the Mayan stock
is well known, it is necessary to note here only the evidence relating
to the location of the tribe.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 49
Marcelo Alejandre (162) says that, according to tradition, the
Huasteca coming from the north established themselves first at the
place now known as Altamira, in Tamaulipas, and afterward moved
to the left bank of the Bar of Tampico. Sahagun (670) states that
they lived in the province of Panuco, properly called Pantlan, or
Panotlan. Pimentel (i, 5) says that at the coming of the Spaniards
the place they occupied was at the north of the kingdom of Texcoco
(Tezcuco), comprehending the north part of the state of Vera Cruz
and a small part ("fraccion") of the bordering portion of San Luis.
According to Orozco y Berra (1:206), their area extended along the
Gulf coast from Vera Cruz to San Luis Potosi, extending probably
some distance into Tamaulipas.
As to their language and history, as well as to geographical posi-
tion, the Totonac are one of the most interesting tribes of Mexico.
The proper classification of their language has long been, and is still,
in doubt, so much so that it is usually given as an independent stock.
It was on their territory that Spanish history and Spanish rule had
their initiation in Mexico and Central America, when Cort6s appeared
on the scene in 1519.
The area they occupied was in the northern portions of what are
now the states of Vera Cruz and Puebla and the eastern extremity
of Hidalgo, the Gulf coast forming the eastern boundary, and the
northern boundary following closely the twenty-first parallel of north
According to the Arte of D. Jos6 Zambrano, which has been fol-
lowed by subsequent writers, the Totonac language was divided into
four idioms: Tetikilhati, spoken by the Tetikilhati in the high sierras;
Chakahuaxti, spoken by Chakahuaxti in the pueblos of Xalpan and
Pantepec; Tatimolo, spoken by the Tatimolo of the pueblo Naolingo;
and Ipapana, spoken by the Ipapana in the missions of the Augus-
tines. As these idioms have not been determined by subsequent
investigation, they are omitted. The present tendency of linguistic
opinion is to place the Totonac language in the Mayan family, thus
bringing it into relation with the Huasteca. The long friendly rela-
tions between the two tribes correspond with this opinion. Orozco
y Berra (1: 214) expressed his belief in the relationship of the two
The Tepehua, which has been given as distinct by Orozco y Berra,
and located on his map along the northwestern border of the
Totonac territory, is in all probability related to the latter and
should be placed in the same group. He says that, joined to the Toto-
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nacs there i3 a section formed of various pueblos where they speak
the Otomi and Tepehua languages. The latter he had not encoun-
tered outside of this locality, and had not been able to learn whether it
resembles any of the known languages. He adds further that it is
spoken exclusively only in the pueblo of San Francisco of the curacy
of Huayacocotla. He considered the language as confined to the
state of Vera Cruz. Prof. Frederick Starr (83-84), quoting his state-
ment, remarks as follows: "In this he is in error. Huehuetla (district
of Tenango, Hidalgo) is purely Tepehua, and a large town, Tlaxco,
in the state of Puebla, is in part Tepehua." He suggests that the lan-
guage is probably related to the Totonac, and this seems to be con-
firmed by the vocabularies given in his paper. It is therefore
included in the territory of the latter on the map, and should be
classified, as has been said, as a dialect of the Totonac.
This language, which belongs to the Nahuatlan family, appears
to be a dialect of the Aztec, and its area is included by Orozco y Berra
in his Mexicano, without any reference to the fact in his text.
The subtribe speaking the dialect inhabited the region north of
Tezcuco, between the Sierra Madre and the Huastecan territory
Although the relationship with the Aztec has been a matter of his-
tory from the entry of the Spaniards to the present time, the author
is unable to refer to a vocabulary of the language.
The area occupied by the Tlascala (or Tlaxcala) corresponds sub-
stantially with the present state of Tlascala. They spoke a dialect
of the Aztec or Mexican language. This is so well understood,
however, and so frequently mentioned, that it is unnecessary to add
further evidence on the subject.
Clavigero (I, 5) says:
The Cuitlatecas inhabited a country which extended more than two hundred miles
from the northwest to the south-east, from the kingdom of Michuacan, as far as the
Pacific Ocean. Their capital was the great and populous city of Mexcaltepec upon the
Orozco y Berra says (1:233) this language was spoken in Ajuchitlan,
San Cristobal, and Poliutla, in the municipality of Ajuchitlan and
district of the same name, and in Atoyac, in the district and munici-
pality of Tecpan; and that the province of the Cuitlateco was com-
prehended between those of Zacatula and the Cohuixe. However,
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 51
this writer and Pimentel distinguish Teca or Teco from the Cuitlateco,
the former (1: 196) giving as equivalents Chocho, Popoloco, Tlapaneco,
Pupuluca, and Yope, thus bringing it into relation with the Mixe group,
while the Cuitlateco is confessedly a Nahuatlan tongue, a mere idiom
of the Aztec, though the author quoted says he does not attempt to
classify it. That the two are merely different names for the same
people is clearly demonstrated by F. Plancarte (1888).
In a note to the same article (26) Dr. N. Le6n quotes from a work by
Juan Joseph Moreno the statement that the language of the Cuitlate-
cos was "a daughter of the Mexican or the Mexican barbarized," and
mentions an Arte by Dr. Martin de Espinosa.
As the only subjects engaging attention here are the languages and
localities, it is unnecessary to introduce evidence where these have
been satisfactorily determined. As the Tarascan language is now
well known as constituting a separate family, and as the extent of it
as given by Orozco y Berra on his map is confirmed as correct by
Pimentel, it is not necessary to present further evidence.
For the reasons given above under Tarasco it is unnecessary to add
more here than the following statement. As Orozco y Berra, in laying
off the territory in which this language prevailed, went over all the
data available, taking pueblo after pueblo where it was spoken, it
is necessary only to refer to his Geograffa, and to add that two small
areas in Sinaloa given by him under separate names, as stated above,
have been included, and that the subtribes Tlascalan and Cuitlateco
have been marked on our map in the Aztec area. Orozco y Berra
(1:64) mentions as the states in which this language was spoken to
a greater or less extent, Tabasco, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tlaxcala,
Guerrero, Mexico, Michoacan, Colima, San Luis, Sinaloa, Durango,
Zacatecas, and Jalisco. Professor Starr (33-34) says:
There are people of Aztec blood in the Republic of Mexico from the state of
Sinaloa in the extreme North-west to the state of Chiapas in the South. In Sinaloa,
Jalisco, Durango, San Luis Potosf, Colima, Vera Cruz, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and
Tabasco they occur, while the states of Guerrero, Mexico, Tiaxcala, Morelos, and
Puebla are in large part occupied by them. In some districts Aztec is the common
language. In the Republic there are probably more than 1,500,000 pure blood Indians
who speak the Aztec language (this includes the Tiaxcalans).
There is good evidence, nevertheless, that much of the area attributed
to them, at least in northwestern Mexico, was standardized to Aztec
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in comparatively modern times. At the same time the dialects so
standardized were probably related to Aztec, and no extreme error
will result from classifying them all as Aztec dialects. The entire
Aztec area, as given above, is consequently brought under the same
color as the other Nahuatlan dialects on the accompanying map.
According to Clavigero (I, 6)-
Mixtecapan, or the province of the Mixtecas, extended itself from Acatlan, a place
distant an hundred and twenty miles from the court, towards the south-east, as far as the
Pacific Ocean, and contained several cities and villages, well inhabited and of con-
siderable trade. To the east of the Mixtecas were the Zapotecas.
Orozco y Berra (1: 189) says the Mixtecos extend into the states
of Puebla, Guerrero, and Oaxaca, occupying in these the departments
of Centro, Jamiltepec, and Teposcolula. Professor Starr (37) says:
The country occupied by the Mixtecs extends eastward from the Pacific Coast in the
high mountain country of the interior. Their territory lies within the states of Gue-
rrero, Puebla, and Oaxaca, but chiefly in the last.
The area is usually divided into two districts: Mixteca alta, or
high Mixteca, and Mixteca baja, or low Mixteca; but this division
appears to have been given with reference to topography rather than
to difference in idioms, though it is said that there are several minor
dialects. Orozco y Berra mentions eleven dialects, as follows:
Tepuzculano, in Oaxaca Mixteco of Cuilapa
Mixteco of Yauhuatlan, in Oaxaca Mixteco of Mictlantongo
Mixteca Baja, in Puebla and Guerrero Mixteco of Tamazulapa
Montafles, in Guerrero Mixteco of Xaltepec
Cuixtlahuac Mixteco of Nochiztlan
Mixteco of Tlaxiaco
Professor Starr (37) says:
The language presents many dialects-Orozco listing eleven, of which that of Tepoe-
colula is claimed to be the most important. Not only are different towns said to have
distinct dialects, but even parts of the same town.
No attempt has been made, so far as known, to determine the
differences between these dialects or to locate them more exactly
than as given by Orozco y Berra.
This language, which belongs to the Zapotecan family, is spoken by
a small tribe residing in the central part of the Mixtec area, and is
considered by Belmar as more directly related to Mixtec.
Though giving the language as distinct without classifying it,
Orozco y Berra locates the tribe in four curacies in Tehuantepec in
association with, or in the vicinity of, the Chontal (1:186). Although
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 53
in most cases our best guide, it appears that in this instance he is in
error. Francisco Belmar, who has made a study of this and other
related idioms, says the language was spoken in only six pueblos:
San AndrBs Chicahuaxtla, Santo Domingo Chicahuaxtla, San Miguel
Chicahuaxtla, San Jos6 Chicahuaxtla, San Martin Ytunyosa, and
Copala, pertaining to the districts of Tlaxiaco (Tlajiaco) and Juxtla-
huaca, which are in Oaxaca.
Professor Starr (42) says none of the towns mentioned by Orozco y
Berra are Trike; that three are Chontal, and the fourth (Tenango)
is perhaps Zapotec, and that the real district of the Trike is situated
in the high mountains of the districts of Tlaxiaco and Juxtlahuaca,
perhaps 200 miles in a direct line from Orozco y Berra's location.
They form a little island of Trike speech in the midst of the Mixtec
area. They occupy only five of the towns mentioned by Belmar,
San Miguel Chicahuaxtla being a Mixtec town. The language spoken
at Copala differs somewhat from that spoken by the other pueblos,
though comprehensible to them.
The area occupied by this tribe is marked on the present map in
accordance with this e-idence.
Orozco y Berra (1:196) asserts that this language, which is
related to Mixtec, has received the name Chocho in Oaxaca; Popo-
loco in Puebla; Tlapaneco in Guerrero; Teco in Michoacan; Pupuluca
in Guatemala and in ancient Yope. As it is now known that Teco
is Cuitlateco, a Mexican dialect, and that Pupuluca is given both as a
Mayan and a Lencan idiom, these must be excluded; Yope also hav-
ing dropped out of use, may be dismissed from consideration. This
leaves only Chocho, Popoloco, and Tlapaneco to be considered.
"Chuchon," which Brinton adopts in his American Race, is merely a
variation of the name Chocho.
Professor Starr (71) assures us that in the district he visited
there is a clear recognition that the language of the Chocho towns of
Oaxaca is the same as the Popoloco of Puebla, and he is sustained
by Orozco y Berra, but both are mistaken so far as the ancient
Popoloco language is concerned, which was a dialect of Mixe.
Professor Starr does not express an opinion as to the Tlapaneco.
Sahagun (671) says the Tlapaneco language is precisely the same
as those called Tenime, Pinome, Chinquime, Chochontin, in the
singular Pinotl, Chinquitl, Chochon. This brings Tlapaneco. into
the same relation as that given by Orozco y Berra. The name
Chocho has therefore been applied to each of the three groups in the
The Chocho group, according to Professor Starr, was situated in the
district of Coixtlahuaca. This agrees with Orozco y Berra's map, in
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which the area is around the pueblo of Coixtlahuaca, although he
does not include it in his list of pueblos (1: 196).
The Tlapanec group is located by Orozco y Berra in Guerrero,
along the southwestern boundary of the Mixtec territory. The
Popoloco, as stated above and demonstrated by a vocabulary col-
lected by Dr. Berendt, anciently spoke a Mixe dialect.
(Synonym: Amusgo, Amuchco)
This language belongs to the Zapotecan family and appears to be
a dialect of Mixtec. According to Orozco y Berra's map, which is
followed here, the people speaking it occupied a wedge-shaped area
extending northward from the Pacific coast into the Mixtec territory
about the middle of its southern boundary. Villa-Seflor y Sanchez
(II, 162-163) refers to the tribe (subtribe) and the idiom, but does
not definitely give the location. It is noticeable that the names of
several of the pueblos mentioned by Orozco y Berra end in tepee,
indicating the presence of a Mexican element.
The Chatino are resident inOaxaca, in the departments of Centro
and Jamiltepec, and are wedged between the Mixtec and the
Zapotec, extending from the Pacific coast northward. Orozco y
Berra (1:189) says merely, "In the departments of Centro and
Jamiltepec between the Zapotec and Mixtec," and gives a list of the
pueblos where the language is spoken. He places it in his list of
The author has not succeeded in finding the evidence by which to
determine its linguistic relations, but following other writers it has
been classed provisionally as Zapotecan.
The Mazatec tribe is located on our map in Oaxaca, along the
northern border of the Zapotec area where the Puebla and Vera Cruz
lines meet, extending slightly into the latter. Orozco y Berra says,
in the department of Teotitlan; Professor Starr says, in the districts of
Cuicatlan and Teotitlan; Belmar (2:1) says, in the district of Teotitlan
del Camino, state of Oaxaca. Clavigero states that northward of the
Mixtecas was the province of Mazatlan, the inhabitants of which were
called Mazatecas (i, 6).
Orozco y Berra did not attempt to classify the language, but Pi-
mentel was inclined to refer it to the "Mixteco-Zapoteco" stock, or
what is here termed the Zapotecan family. This assignment is now
universally accepted by students. It seems to be closely related to
Chocho and Trike, especially the former. Belmar (2:1) says the lan-
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 55
guage is divided into two principal dialects, Mazateco and Izcateco,
but makes no reference to the respective localities in which they are
spoken, nor is anything stated with respect to subtribes.
The people speaking this language are located by Orozco y Berra
in the department of Teotitlan; Professor Starr says in what is now
the district of Cuicatlan. Their area is marked by the former and
also on our map on the northeastern border of the Mixtec territory
and immediately south of the Mazatec.
The language belongs to the Zapotecan family; it does not appear,
however, to have been carefully studied.
According to Doctor Berendt (Brinton, 3:144) the Chinantec
language does not appear to be related to any of the surrounding
tongues. He suggests as probable that there is to be found in it one
of the original languages spoken before the advent of the Nahua,
possibly the mythical Olmec.
The people speaking this language inhabited Chinantla in the state
of Oaxaca, on the western border of Vera Cruz, and along the north-
ern boundary of the Zapotec territory. Orozco y Berra expressed
the same opinion in regard to the language as that subsequently
given by Berendt, above mentioned. Pimentel was inclined to place
it in the Zapotecan family, and this is the opinion of Belmar; but
with our present imperfect knowledge of the language it is best to
make it the type of a distinct stock or family.
The Zapotec group held a large area east of the Mixtec territory,
including what is known as the Valley of Oaxaca. What Professor
Starr means by saying "east and west of the old Mixtec territory"
(45) is not clear. Clavigero (I, 6) says, "to the east of the Mixtecas
were the Zapotecas." "The Zapotecas," says Williams (226), "con-
stitute the greater part of the population of the southern division of
the Isthmus [of Tehuantepec]." According to Shufeldt (125,
133-134) the Zapotec tribe inhabits the Pacific plains and the ele-
vated table-lands from Tarifa to Petapa. The area given by Orozco
y Berra on his map may be accepted, therefore, as correct.
As the Zapotec language is well known and is taken as the basis of
comparison, it is necessary only to name the dialects which are men-
tioned by different writers. These are:
Zapotec Netzecho, which, according to Zapotec Ocotlan
Villa-Sefior y Sanchez (ni, 191-198), Zapotec Etla
appears to have been the principal one Zapotec Iztepec
Zapotec Zaachilla Zapotec Cajone
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But the differences between these dialects appear to have been
comparatively slight and not coincident with marked subtribal dis-
tinctions, hence no attempt has been made to place them on the map.
THE MIXTEC AND ZAPOTEC LANGUAGES COMPARED
Attention is called to the following question: Does the evidence
justify the association of the Mixtec and Zapotec languages and
their dialects in one stock, as they are now usually classified by phi-
lologists? We notice first that Friedrich Muiller (Ab. 1) objects to
this association, contending that the two languages are distinct.
Although Pimentel (i, 319) speaks of Zapotecs and Mixtecs as
"tribus o naciones hermanas," he does not attempt the presentation
of any linguistic evidence (it may be he does so in the second edition,
1875, 3 vols., 4to, of his Cuadro, which the author has not exam-
ined); nor does Brinton or any other author at hand except Nicolas
Le6n and Seler. In his introduction to the reprint of Cordova's
"Arte del Idioma Zapoteco" (p. lx et seq.), Le6n, copying his data
chiefly from Pimentel, presents some arguments in favor of relation-
ship. What value is to be attached to his argument from the gram-
matical standpoint the author can not say, but that of his brief
word comparison is very small. First, it is brief, yet apparently as
full as the data afforded; second, the words are culled to suit (observe
Brinton's standard word comparison, 3:339); and after all this
care the similarity in several instances is not apparent, and the com-
parison forced. For example (p. lxvi): Tres and ocho, the former
ch-ona, the latter xo-ono in Zapotec, to compare with uni and una
Now "three" in Zapotec (same work, 176) is chona or cayo, accord-
ing to relation, custom, etc.; and "eight," xoono or xono (see p. 177);
ch and xo are never prefixes, so far as the author can find. In
Charencey's comparison of Zapotec and Mixtec numerals (Melanges,
p. 44.), which takes in the numbers from 1 to 20 and includes, by.tens,
30 to 100, there is scarcely the slightest resemblance, except in the plan
or system of the formation of numbers, which is the same in half a
dozen stocks in that part of North America. (See also list below.)
It is probable that "one" in Mixtec should be ce instead of ec, as
"eleven" is usice (10 and 1).
Seler (550 et seq.) gives a short grammatical comparison.
Attention is called to what appears to be some wide differences.
According to Pimentel (I, 41) the Mixtec letters (Spanish pro-
nunciation, of course) are:
a ch d e h i j k m n i 0 o t u v x d
ks gs y z dz nd tn kh
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 57
The Zapotec letters (Pimentel, I, 321) are:
a b ch e g h i k 1 m in n o p r t u z
y z th
According to Cordova (73) c (hard) is sometimes used for g; also d
for t, and s for x.
From this it may be seen that the following are found in the
former and wanting in the latter:
d j s v ks gs dz nd tn ckh
though d and 8 are sometimes used for t and z.
In the latter the following are found which are wanting in the
b g I p r th
These are wide variations for cognate languages.
Next is given a list of words for comparison. The author would
take a selected list, such as is commonly used in obtaining vocabu-
laries, but he has only meager lists of Mixtec words.
father dzutu, yua
mother dzehe, xi dihi
day yutnaa mananaa)
bread (pan) dzita
ears tutnu, dzoho
I duhu, ndi
thou doho, ndo
you (pl.) doho
on dodzo, kodza
nephew dzasi, daxi
83470-Bull. 44-11- 5
beni, benni, beniati
chii, gobiicha, chee
laya, chitalay, layachita. (Sing.)
loocaa, loocuaa (of man or beast)
berehualache, berezaa (bere?)
nagati, naquichi, yati
naya, a, a
lohui, loy,.looy, lo
taono, tono, tona, no
loo, chiiba, icqui
xinibeecha (m), xinibezaana (f)
loochi, looche, luuchi
58 BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY [BULL. 44
1 ec (ce?) tobi, chaga
2 wui, uvui topa, cato
3 uni chona, cayo
4 kmi, qmi tapa, taa
5 hoho caayo
6 ino xopa
7 ucha caache
8 una xoono
9 ee caa, gaa
10 usi chii
11 usice chiibitobi
12 usiwui chiibitopa, chiibicato
13 usiuni chiino, chiibichona
20 oco calle
30 oconsi callebichii
40 wuidzico toua
60 unidzico cayona
100 hohodzico cayoa
We have also the comparison as judged by the ear. Remesal (321),
speaking of Mixtec, says:
Deprendio muy en breve la lengua de aquella nacion, que es dificultosa de saberse,
por la gran equivocacion de los bocablos, para cuya distinction es necessario uear de
ordinario del sonido de la nariz y aspiracion del alieto.
Burgoa (Palestra, pt. 1. fol. 211, fide Bancroft, in, 749) calls it
"la lengua dificultosissima en la pronunciacion, con notable variedad
de terminos y vozes en unos y otros Pueblos."
1'his statement of its being difficult and harsh appears to be gen-
erally accepted. (See also Starr's statement, p. 37.)
On the other hand, Brasseur de Bourbourg (Esquisses, 35, fide Ban-
croft, in, 754) says, "La langue ZapotBque est d'une douceur et
d'une sonority qui rappelle l'Italien." Burgoa speaks of it in much
the same way (Bancroft, ibid). In the "advertencia" to the anony-
mous Vocabulario Castellano-Zapoteco is the following statement:
"Por la ortografia, y por muchas palabras y frases, personas inteligentes
juzgan que present un lenguaje bastante alterado ya."
These facts appear to call for a careful re-examination of the subject
The tribe here alluded to under the name Chontal includes the
Indians forming a small group residing in the southern portion of the
Zapotec territory on the Pacific coast. The area occupied by them
is chiefly in the district of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, extending to
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 59
Much confusion exists in regard to this name, as it is applied not
only to the small group in Oaxaca but also to one in Tabasco and to
another in Nicaragua, both of which are included by Orozco y Berra in
the Mayan family. It is now known, however, that only those in
Tabasco and some in Guatemala and Honduras to which the name
has sometimes been applied belong to this family. The languages of
the Oaxacan and Nicaraguan groups pertain to entirely different.
stocks. That of the former having received no satisfactory classifi-
cation, Doctor Brinton (3: 112, 146) has applied to it the name Tequis-
tlateca, from the principal village of the tribe, and placed it in the
Yuman stock. As yet, however, this has not been accepted by
Professor Starr (67) insists that there was no necessity for the
change of name made by Doctor Brinton, as the people call them-
selves Chontal and their language Chontal. He says also that
Orozco y Berra is in error in calling some of the most important
towns Trike pueblos; and that one in the list of Chontal towns he
gives-Tlacolulita-is in reality Zapotec. Le6n and Belmar have
assigned the language to the Nahuatlan stock.
As the name Chontal applied to other groups should be superseded
by more correct titles, there appears to be no good reason why it
could not be retained for the Oaxacan tribe, as this is the name the
people apply to themselves, but for the present it is deemed best,
following Brinton, to apply to it as a linguistic family the name
(Synonymr: Huabi, Juave, Guavi, Wabi)
A small tribe resident on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, among the
marshes on the Pacific coast, at the point where the Zapotec and
Zoque territories meet, as located on Orozco y Berra's map. They
occupy at present only four villages, one of those mentioned by
Orozco y Berra-Ixhuatan-long since having been abandoned.
According to their traditions they came from some coast region far-
ther to the south-the last-named writer says from South America.
Brasseur de Bourbourg (1: II, 3) says, on what authority is not stated,
that in past centuries they possessed the province of Tehuantepec,
and that they had been masters also of Soconusco, and had extended
their conquest to Xalapa-la-Grande, of the Zapotec.
So far as known, the language can not be assigned to any recognized
stock, although Le6n and Belmar believe it to be related to the Maya;
therefore for the present it must remain as the representative of a
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
According to Orozco y Berra (1:176) the territory of the Mixe
embraced parts of the districts of Tlacolula, Villa-Alta, and Tehuan-
tepec, in Oaxaca, bordering on the east with that of the Chiapanec.
Professor Starr (53) locates them at present in the districts of Yaute-
pec, Villa-Alta, and Tehuantepec. Garay says (60):
The Mixes constituted formerly a powerful nation, and they still occupy the land
from the Sierra, north of Tehuantepec, to the district of Chiapas. In the Isthmus
they inhabit only the village of Guichicovi, and a small portion of the Sierra, which
is never visited.
Seemingly forgetful of his statement in regard to the ancient terri-
tory of the Huaves, or alluding to a different era, Brasseur de Bour-
bourg (1: in, 34-35) says the Mixes possessed anciently the greater
part of Tehuantepec, Soconusco, and the Zapotecan area, giving
Burgoa as his authority. The Popoloco of Puebla are a branch.
The language of the Mixe is now fully recognized as related to
the Zoque, and the two form the chief idioms of the Zoquean
Orozco y Berra (1:170) describes the territory of the Zoque as
embracing parts of Chiapas, Tabasco, and Oaxaca, joining on the
north the Mexican and Chontal areas, on the east the Tzental, Zotzil,
and Chiapanec, on the south the Mexican, and on the west the
Zapotec and Mixe areas. Williams (225) says:
The Zoques inhabit the mountainous region to the east, from the valley of the
Chicapa on the south, to the Rio del Corte on the north. Originally occupying a small
province lying on the confines of Tobasco, they were subjugated by the expedition
to Chiapas under Luis Marin.
The language, now well known, is taken as the typical idiom of the
Doctor Brinton (3: 144) includes in his classification of this family
two subtribes, the Chimalapas, "a subtribe of the Zoques" (no
locality given), and the Tapijulapanes "on Rio de la Sierra," evi-
dently the Tapachulteca (or Tapachula as on the map). The author
has not succeeded in finding the authority on which the first is based,
or whether it is to be taken as indicating a different dialect. How-
ever, this is repeated by Grasserie (6). The second may be based on
the quotation in Pimentel (II, 236-243). But whether the language
here referred to is to be considered different from Zoque is not clear,
unless this inference be deduced from the few words and expressions
given, which appear hardly to justify it. The relationship of Ta-
pachulteca to Zoquean is, however, confirmed by Sapper.
THOMAeS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 61
As here defined, Central America includes not the group of repub-
lics to which the name is usually applied, but the geographical and
ethnic Central America, lying between the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
and the South American continent.
Chiapanec was spoken in the interior of the state of Chiapas.
Brasseur de Bourbourg (2: CLVII, cXCix) places the tribe between the
Zotziles or Quelenes on the south [east] and the Zoques on the north
[west]; Orozco y Berta (1:172) says, in Acala district "del Centro,"
and in the village of Chiapa, and in Suchiapa, district of the west.
Pinart (in preface to Alboroz and Barrientos, 5) says, probably fol-
lowing Orozco y Berra, that this language was spoken in the village
of Chiapa, at Acala, Suchiapa, and some other villages of the same
locality, in the department of Chiapas.
The language, although as yet not thoroughly studied, is sufficiently
known to make it the type of the small stock bearing the name
Chiapanecan, which is represented at some two or three points far-
CHONTAL (OF TABASCO)
As stated above, there has been much confusion in the use of the
name Chontal, which has been applied to tribes in Oaxaca, Tabasco,
Guatemala, and Nicaragua, belonging to three or four different lin-
guistic stocks. Those here referred to are, or were, resident in what is
now the state of Tabasco. Herrera says (II, dec. 3,211) that in Tabasco
three languages were spoken: Chontal, used by the greater part of the
inhabitants; Zoque, spoken in the sierras; and Mexican, which was
brought into this region by the garrisons of the two forts Monte-
zuma had established in it, namely, Zimatlan and Xicalango. That
Orozco y Berra has mistaken the application of the name is evident,
yet it does not follow that his map is incorrect as to the areas marked
Doctor Brinton (3: 149) informs us that it is seen from a manu-
script vocabulary of the language by Doctor Berendt, that the Chontal
of Tabasco belongs to the Mayan family and is practically identical
with the Tzental dialect. Doctor Berendt (2:137) confirms this and
states that it shows only a dialectic variation from Tzental and
Zotzil. This corresponds with Stoll's classification, whose vocabulary
shows that it belongs to the same group as the Tzental and Chol.
Although Carl Sapper (2:359 and Carte viii et al.) recognizes
I This dialect and those which follow as far as Maya, inclusive, except Tapachulteca, belong to the
Mayan linguistic family.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
the Chontal through Stoll, he includes the area in the Chol type in
his maps showing the distribution of the types of ruins. On the other
hand, Juarros (I, 14) places Palenque in the province of the Tzentals.
With this evidence only, it is difficult to decide as to either name or
area, and the author has concluded, therefore, that it is best to follow
Orozco y Berra's mapping, which appears to be at least substantially
correct, retaining the name Chontal temporarily, with the addition of
the words "of Tabasco." Sapper's archeological types are too
uncertain to be used as a guide in this respect.
As this is one of the well-known languages of the Mayan family, it
is necessary only to indicate the locality in which it was spoken, and
the possible synonyms.
The only question in the latter respect which arises is, whether the
Quelene are to be considered the same as the Tzotzil, or whether they
were two groups speaking the same or different dialects. That the
name Quelene for some time has dropped out of use is evident.
Herrera (ii, dec. 4, 220) says that the province of Chiapas was divided
among four nations, with different languages-the Chiapaneca, Zoque,
Zeltale (Tzental), and the Quelenes, omitting any mention of the
Tzotzil, who certainly resided in Chiapas. The inference from this
fact is that by Quelene we are to understand Tzotzil. On the other
hand, Juarros (1 : 32) mentions in his list of Mayan and neighbor-
ing dialects the Tzotzil and the Tzental, but omits the Quelene.
Orozco y Berra (1:168) thinks that from the Quelene "result" the
Tzotzil and the Tzental. Doctor Brinton (3:86) omits the Quelene
from consideration; but Stoll (2:86) says he finds the Tzotzil
alluded to by the Spanish historians under the name "Quelenes."
The latter conclusion appears to be the correct one.
In marking the territory of this tribe Orozco y Berra's map has been
followed in the main, which, according to his usual custom, is based on
the pueblos in which the language was spoken. In addition to the
work of Remesal and other published works, Orozco y Berra made
use of a manuscript furnished him by the Bishop of Chiapas.
The territory of the Tzental is given by most authorities as
included in the present state of Chiapas. Gage (236) says-
The province called Zeldales [Tzentals] lyeth behind this of the Zoques, from the
North Sea within the. continent, running up towards Chiapa and reaches in some
parts near to the borders of Comatitlan, northwest.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 63
Orozco y Berra (1: 169) says the language is peculiar to Chiapas, and
this conclusion is followed by most recent authorities. As we have
seen, Juarros includes Palenque in the area in which this language was
spoken. Brasseur de Bourbourg (1:I, 63-64) hesitates between Tzental
and Maya (proper), but the inscriptions agree better with the former
than with the latter. According to the statement of Stoll (2:84),
Doctor Berendt affirms that later the language spoken there was
Chol, and this' corresponds with Orozco y Berra's map and with
Sapper's conclusion (2). It is therefore an undecided question how
far northward the Tzental territory extended at the date of discovery.
If Sapper's districting of the ruin-types (2:map vii) could be
accepted as a correct mapping of ethnic divisions, the Chol formerly
extended- over the Chontal area, the Palenque region, and the section
occupied by the western Lacandon. This evidence is not of a char-
acter to be satisfactory in deciding this question, however, especially
as Brinton, and apparently Berendt also, consider them relatively late
comers to this region. The writer has been unable to find data
on which to base a conclusion regarding this question, but is
inclined to agree with Sapper in considering the ruins of the middle
and lower Usumacinta valley as more nearly allied to those of Copan
and Quirigua than to those of the intermediate Peten region. In this
comparison, which must be close, details as well as general forms
must be appealed to. These bring the ruins of Quirigua (which are
ascribed by him to the Chol) and those of Copan (which he ascribes
to the Chorti tribe) nearer to those of Palenque, Piedras Negras
(see Mahler), and Menche in the Usumacinta valley than to those of
the Peten region. This question will be further discussed, however,
under Chol. The writer has followed Orozco y Berra chiefly, though
not exactly, in outlining the area of the Tzental language.
The authorities differ widely as to the area over which this idiom
was spoken. Orozco y Berra (1:167) says the Chol constituted a
tribe established from remote times in Guatemala, which was divided
into two factions by the incursions of the Maya. One of these divi-
sions, he says, is encountered in eastern Chiapas, and the other, very
isolated, in Vera Paz. He maps only the western division, as the
other division lay beyond the Mexican boundary. Sapper, in his
map v, which relates to present conditions, limits them to a small
area in northern Chiapas, but in his map vin, showing the areas of
the ruin-types, the Chol type is in two sections, of which the western
covers eastern Tabasco and northeastern Chiapas extending into
northwestern Guatemala; the eastern division includes the extreme
northeastern corner of Guatemala and a strip of Honduras along its
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
northwestern border. Stoll, in his map, gives an area extending
across the north-central portion of Guatemala, spreading out to a
considerable extent around the Gulf of Dulce. The fact that a por-
tion of the tribe still resides in the vicinity of the Gulf of Dulce is
confirmed by Maudslay. As Stoll's map relates to an earlier date
than either of the others, and is based chiefly on the data furnished-
by Juarros, who names the pueblos where it was spoken, it probably
gives more correctly the area formerly occupied by the tribe. As this
author (Stoll) limits his map to Guatemala, the area in Chiapas is not
given; however, it is referred to in his text (2:90) as including the
pueblos Santo Domingo delPalenque, San Pedro Sabana, Salto deAgua,
TumbalA and Tila in Chiapas. He adds that a few Chol families are
found in Tenosique in Tabasco. He states also that they claim their
territory formerly extended from the borders of Chiapas to the'
Gulf of Dulce. Charencey (96) says the Chol commence about 23
leagues east of Cahabon. How this is to be understood is not very
clear. The area as given on the present map is a modification of
Stoll's map, so as to form a compromise with the other authorities.
Pimentel and Orozco y Berra give Mopan as a synonym of Chol,
though by others it is considered a subdialect of Maya proper.
The small tribe speaking this idiom is located by Orozco y Berra
along the southeastern border of Chiapas where it joins the Guate-
malan territory; Sapper's map v shows two small areas; one within
the bounds given by Orozco y Berra between the areas assigned the
Jacalteca and the Chicomucelteca, and the other about the pueblo
of Comitan and wholly embraced in the Tzental territory: this map,
however, relates to present conditions. Orozco y Berra seems to
have included portions of the Chicomuceltecan population, as one
of the pueblos he names (1:167) is Chicomucelo. Charencey (95)
limits the tribe chiefly to the parish of Comitan.
The Chafiabal (Berendt writes Cha7eabal) is placed by Stoll in his
Tzental group, a classification which is now generally accepted.
The area, as mapped in the present work, is a compromise between
that of Sapper and Orozco y Berra, as the former is based on the
present reduced state of the tribe, while the latter includes areas
belonging to other tribes. In a subsequent work (1:132) Stoll
includes the Jacaltenango pueblo in the Chuje (or Chuhe) territory,
and corrects the mistake into which he had been led by Juarros in
naming the language of this section Pokomam.
TH~MAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 65
This is the idiom spoken by a small tribe first brought to notice
by Sapper, who considered it a dialect of Huasteca. He locates the
tribe in southeastern Chiapas, adjoining the southern Chafiabal area
on the west, including the pueblos Chicomucelo and Montenegro.
His mapping has been followed.
This is also an idiom first mentioned, so far as the writer's data
show, by Sapper. The locality indicated on his map v is a small area
about Motozintla in the southeastern corner of Chiapas, in the western
border of the Mam territory as given by him. Judging by the brief
vocabulary it seems to be closely related to the Jacalteca. By mis-
take the Nahuatlan red on the linguistic map has been carried over
the territory occupied by them.
Sapper mentions (2:244) and marks on his map v an idiom under
this name which he makes a dialect of the Mixe, now well nigh extinct.
The small area marked on his map is in the extreme southeastern
corner of Chiapas and in the southern border of the Mam territory,
embracing the pueblo of Tapachula. Charencey (91), Orozco y
Berra (on map), and Stoll (1:134) state that the language spoken at
Tapachula was Mam, but as the original tongue is'dying out, both
languages are probably spoken there. (See Zoque, p. 60.)
Nothing further has been found in regard to this idiom than the
brief vocabulary given in the Lenguas Indigenas de Centro-America
en el Siglo XVIII. According to the brief statement at the end it was
copied from the original "existente en este Archivo de Indias, bajo la
rotulaci6n de 'Audiencia de Guatemala.-Duplicados de Gobernadores
No attempt has been made to locate on the map the region in which
this idiom was used.
The writer has grave doubts as to the propriety of retaining
Jacalteca and Chuje as names of different dialects. The vocabulary
of the Chuje, which appears to have been obtained only by Rockstroh,
1 It seems to have been obtained or transmitted with some explanations by Josef Anselmo Ortiz, who dates
his communication Zocaltenango. As Zocaltenango is evidently the same as Jacaltenango, where the Jacal-
teca Idiom (a close relation of the Chuje) was spoken, the vocabulary, which does not appear to have been
well recorded, may pertain to one of the several dialects of this region.
BUREAU OP AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
is very brief and, if the writer may judge, not very carefully taken,
notwithstanding that Stoll has followed it. Chuje and Jacalteca (of
which we have a fuller vocabulary) are certainly very closely allied.
The latter was spoken throughout a small area around the pueblo
of Jacaltenango near the northwestern boundary of Guatemala.
This territory is included in the area marked xv (I) on Stoll's map.
Misled by Juarres, Stoll has marked the red area around Jacaltenango
as Pokomam territory, an error he subsequently corrected. (See
Pokomam.) It is located on the present map, pending the discovery
of further evidence as to relationship with the Chuje.
This idiom, at present classed as a dialect of Chol, is most closely
related to, if not identical with, Jacalteca; it is spoken now, accord-
ing to Stoll (1:135), from Nenton to San Sebastian on the east.
The area as marked by Sapper is in Guatemala near the western
border, adjoining the Jacaltecan territory on the north, but does
not include Nenton (or Neuton, as he writes it), leaving it a little to
the west of the boundary he gives. His mapping is here followed,
except that the boundary is carried westward to include Nenton.
It is said that this dialect (now extinct) was formerly spoken in Gua-
temala--Brinton(3 : 158) says in eastern Guatemala. Asyet the writer
has found no data on which this conclusion could be based except a
mere mention by Palacio (20). As he names this tribe in connection
with the Mam, their location in the eastern part of the republic would
seem to be incorrect. Is it not possible they were the Aguacateca
or the Jacalteca, tribes bordering the Mam territory ? Of course this
name has not been placed on the map.
As this language, which is considered one of the most archaic of
the Mayan stock (Huasteca alone standing before it in this respect),
has been rather carefully studied, it is necessary to call attention
only to the habitat of the tribe. This was the western portion of
Guatemala, extending westward for a short distance into Soconusco
and southward to the Pacific Ocean. As Stoll's map is restricted to
Guatemala, it does not show the extension into Soconusco. Orozco y
Berra marks a small area "Mame" in the extreme southeastern corner
of Soconusco, but Sapper gives a larger extension; the latter has been
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 67
followed in this respect in the map accompanying this paper, though
Stoll has been the writer's guide as to the portion in Guatemala.
This dialect is placed by Stoll in his Mam division of the Mayan stock.
As the language is now well enough understood to classify it properly,
it is necessary that we note here only the habitat. Stoll, the author-
ity followed in this case, locates the area occupied by the tribe slightly
west of the center of Guatemala, including the pueblos of Nebaj,
Cotzal, and Chajul as the chief centers of population. As given by
him, the Rio Negro or Chixoy formed the eastern boundary of the
tribal territory at the time to which his map relates. The reduced
area given by Sapper is included in that given by Stoll. According
to the latter, it lay between the Mam area on the west and that of the
Kekchi on the east, joining the Kiche territory on the south.
This idiom also is placed by Stoll and philologists generally in the
Mam division. The small area occupied by the tribe included Agua-
cateca and the present Huehuetenango, joining the Mam area on the
north and west, and the Kiche territory on the east and south. The
reduced area given by Sapper falls within the bounds indicated
by Stoll. Although the dialect agrees most nearly with Mam,
the strong influence of the neighboring Kiche and Ixil dialects is
apparent in the vocabulary.
The Kiche (or Quiche) dialect is second in importance and terri-
torial extent only to the Maya (proper) of the languages of the
Mayan stock; however, it is now so well known that comments are
unnecessary here. Stoll makes it the basis of his Kiche division
of the stock. The area occupied by the tribe was and still is quite
extensive, including considerable territory in central Guatemala
about the headwaters of Rio Motagua, and extending thence around
the western side of Lake Atitlan southward to the Pacific Ocean, this
southern extension being in contact with the Mam territory on the
west and the Cakchikel territory on the east. Included are the fol-
lowing among the more important towns or pueblos: Santa Cruz
Quiche, Rabinal, Totonicapan, Quetzaltenango, and Mazatenango.
The somewhat diminished area designated by Sapper is included in
the bounds given by Stoll.
This is one of the dialects embraced by Stoll in his Kiche division:
it is, in fact, but a subdialect of the Kiche. The tribe lives in the
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
central part of southern Guatemala. Their territory formerly in-
cluded the area between Lake Atitlan and the vicinity of the present
city of Guatemala, and extended southward to the Pacific Ocean,
embracing the noted ruins of Santa Lucia and Iximchi. This area
connects on the north and west with that of the Kiche, and on the
east with the Pokomam and the Pipil territory. Among the impor-
tant towns included are Solola, Tecpam, Chumaltenango, and An-
tigua. The diminished area on Sapper's map is included in that given
by Stoll, except at the northeast, where Sapper extends it northward
to the Rio Grande (Motagua). This discrepancy is due chiefly to the
difference in the maps with respect to the location of the river.
Pupuluca (a).-The vocabulary on which this supposed dialect is
based was taken by Dr. Karl Scherzer (28-37) at St. Mary near
Antigua, which is included in the Cakchikel territory. Doctor Brin-
ton's assertion (3 :153) that "it is nothing more than the ordinary
Cakchiquel dialect of that locality" seems to be justified by a com-
parison of the vocabularies, the difference arising chiefly from
Scherzer's method of spelling and the insertion of prefixes. Scherzer
names it "Pupuluca Cakchikel." It is not entitled to a place as a
This is a dialect of the Kiche division spoken over a small area
around the southern shore of Lake Atitlan, with the ancient Atitlan
as its chief pueblo. The territory of the tribe is wedged in between
the Kiche and Cakchikel areas. The bounds given by Stoll and Sap-
per are substantially the same and are followed on the accompany-
The dialect of a small tribe situated near the center of Guatemala,
precisely at the meeting point of "the Kiche, Ixil, and Pokonchi ter-
ritories, and, according to Stoll's map, in the great bend of the Chixoy
river (Rio Negro). The chief pueblo is San Miguel Uspantan. Sap-
per's map places the area slightly farther from the river.
(Synonyms: K'aktchi or Quekchij
Kekchi was spoken by a considerable tribe in central Guatemala.
The area occupied spread out on both sides of the upper Caha-
bon river, extending westward to the river Chixoy, including the
Coban, San Pedro Carcha, Cahabon, and Lanquin pueblos. Pinart
(4 : preface) says this language is spoken throughout the ancient
province of Vera Paz, and that it has various dialects. It is classed
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 69
by Stoll in his Pokonchi division. The writer has followed Stoll's
map, with which Sapper's agrees so far as he has given the area.
This Mayan dialect,- which Stoll has made the type of his Pokonchi
division, was spoken throughout a fairly extensive territory in the
center of Guatemala, about the headwaters of the Cahabon river, which
included the pueblos Tactic, Tamaja, and Tucuru. Its northern
border, where it joined the Kekchi territory, extended a short distance
south of Coban. Stoll's map has been followed, as Sapper's shows no
difference except in the extent of the area.
This Mayan dialect, taken by some students as the types of the
Pokonchi division of the stock, was spoken throughout a consider-
able region in southeastern Guatemala, including the capital of the
republic, extending northward to the Rio Grande or upper Motagua,
and eastward to the boundary line between Guatemala and Salvador.
Other pueblos included are Amatitlan, Jalapa, Petapa, and Mita.
The territory given on the accompanying map is in accordance with
the eastern Pokomam area given by Stoll. The smaller western area
around Jacaltenango marked Pokomam was so given erroneously
on the authority of Juarres, as already stated. The error is corrected
by Stoll in his Die Sprache der Ixil-Indianer (1: 152-153). Sapper's
map shows two small detached areas, one at the western extremity
and the other in the eastern part of the area assigned by Stoll, the
remainder being marked as now wholly Spanish.
This language is included by Stoll in his Pokonchi division, seem-
ingly on the strength of the opinion expressed by Brasseur de Bour-
bourg (2: pp. lxxxiv, lxxxv, note 4), as he gives no vocabulary, but
Sapper is inclined to place it in the Tzental group. Judging by the
brief vocabulary, its closest affinity seems to be with Chol and Tzen-
tal,.indicating that Sapper's conclusion, in which he follows Brinton,
is correct. The territory throughout which Chorti was spoken lies
along the eastern border of Guatemala, extending into Honduras and in-
cluding the site of Copan. Eisen, as quoted by Stoll (2: 107), includes
in the area Copan (in Honduras) and the high mountains around
Jocotan (in Guatemala). Charencey (96) says the Chorti "flourished
in all the province of Chiquimula (Rep. Guat.) up to the banks of
the Gulf of Honduras [Dulce ?] and along the borders of the Rio
Polichic [Motagua]." In his map (viii) of ruin sites Sapper gives an
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
area of Chorti types extending from Esquipulas (on the boundary line
between Guatemala and Honduras) on the south, northward to and
including Quirigua, and from Chiquimula (Guatemala) on the west to
Santa Rosa (Honduras) on the east, including Copan. In his map v,
showing present conditions, the remains of the tribe are limited to a
few very small isolated areas, chiefly about Chiquimula and Copan.
In the map accompanying the present volume Sapper's boundaries
on his map vii have been adopted in a somewhat modified form,
as Stoll's area does not appear to extend far enough northward;
moreover, he does not mark on his map the portion in Honduras.
This language, here termed in its limited sense Maya proper
which Berendt (2: 137), following Landa (14), designates "Maya-
than," according to the latter author (30) was spoken throughout
the peninsula. Knowledge obtained since Landa's day has shown
that the language, including some minor dialects, was used not only
throughout the peninsula but had penetrated the borders of some of
the adjoining territories. Galindo (148-149) says that in advance
of the conquest by the Spaniards the people speaking this language
occupied all the peninsula of Yucatan, including the districts of
Peten, British Honduras, and the eastern part of Tabasco; Pimentel
(ni, 3) says, all Yucatan, Isle of Carmen, Pueblo of Montecristo in
Tabasco, and Palenque in Chiapas. The evidence which has been
presented and a comparison of the inscriptions and ruin types tends
to exclude Palenque.
*Besides the chief language spoken throughout the peninsula-the
Maya proper-there were three dialects, or rather subdialects, the
differences being too slight to constitute distinct dialects, though,
with the probable exception of the last, they represent separate
tribes. These, which have been noticed by philologists, are Lacan-
don, Itza (or Peten), and Mopan.
Lacandon.-The people speaking this dialect inhabit, or in the past
have inhabited, the mountainous region of the upper Usumacinta
river, in northwestern Guatemala and eastern Chiapas. Escobar
A distinction ought to be drawn between the Western and Eastern Lacand6nes. All
the country lying on the W., between the bishopric of Ciudad Real and the province
of Vera Paz was once occupied by the Western Lacand6nes. . The country of
the Eastern Lacand6nes may be considered as extending from the mountains of
ChammA, a day and a half from CobAn, along the borders of the Rio de la Pasion to
Pet6n. or even farther.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 71
Juarros (2 : 271) places the Lacandon along the Passion river.
Squier (2 : 65) gives as their habitat "the vast region lying between
Chiapa, Tabasco, Yucatan, and the republic of Guatemala."
Berendt (1:425) says they are reduced to-day to a very insignificant
number living on and near Passion river and its tributaries." Stoll,
whose map is limited to Guatemala, indicates for this people only an
area in the extreme northwestern corner of this republic. Sapper
marks on his map v the Lacandon area as partly in Chiapas and
partly in Guatemala, the territory in the former, which includes the
larger portion, being situated in a triangle west of the Usumacinta
river, adjoining the Tzental area; and the latter as extending in a
narrow strip along the Chixoy, or Rio Negro, southward into the
border of the Kekchi territory.
It is stated by some authorities that the Western Lacandones,
who they claim are now extinct, spoke a language different from that
used by those of the east.. A subsequent examination has shown that
the former people probably belonged to the Chol group, a conclusion
which would account for the supposition that they are extinct.
Charnay (437) places them on both sides of the Usumacinta in the
region of Lorillard City (or Menche). They are not indicated on the
Itza (or Peten).-Stoll's map gives no defined area for the people
speaking this dialect, including it under Maya. This course is
followed by Sapper also, on his map v; but in his map vii, showing
the distribution of the ruin-types, he marks as the area of the Peten
tribes all the northern part of Guatemala (except a small strip on the
western side), extending south to the sixteenth parallel, or to the
border of the Kekchi territory, and eastward to the Caribbean sea,
omitting the middle portion of both the Chol and the Mopan areas
as given by Stoll. From the writer's study of Villagutierre's History of
the Conquest of the Itza he receives the impression that at the height
of their power the Itza had extended their territory for some distance
northward, in the form of a triangle, into the southern part of the
state now designated Yucatan. This author says (489) that they
hold toward the south the province of Vera Paz in the kingdom of
Guatemala; toward the north provinces of Yucatan; toward the east
to the sea; toward the west to Chiapas, and southeast to the borders
of Honduras. This region corresponds very nearly with the area
marked on Sapper's map viii, but it unquestionably encroaches on
the territory of other peoples.
The language of the Itza was but slightly different from pure
Maya; the language spoken by the inhabitants of Chichen Itza in
the peninsula does not appear to have been other than pure Maya.
Mopan.-Very little is known in regard to this language, as no
vocabulary of it was ever obtained, so far as the writer is aware,
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
unless, as he supposes, the few words gathered by Sapper belong to it.
These, so far as they go, seem to confirm the historical evidence that
the language was very closely related to, if not identical with, Maya
proper. Pimentel and Orozco y Berra give Mopan as a synonym
of Chol. Stoll assigns to them a considerable area in northern Guate-
mala in the form of a belt across the state between the Chol and Itza areas
as laid down by him. Sapper gives as the. area of his "Maya of San
Luis" (which he identifies as the Mopan) a small belt extending across
the southern extremity of British Honduras, and westward beyond the
border of Guatemala, including San Luis. Stoll says (2:.94) that the
Mopanas had on the south the Choles, on the east and north the
Itzas, and on the west the Lacandones. As his map is limited to
Guatemala it does not extend the area into British Honduras.
Although this language is now extinct, the evidence presented by
Doctor Brinton in a paper read before the American Philosophical
Society, November 4, 1887, proves beyond doubt that it belonged to
the Nahuatlan family and was closely related to, if not identical
with, the Pipil dialect spoken in the territory adjoining. According
to this evidence the area throughout which it was spoken was sub-
stantially the same as that laid down by Stoll-namely, in the
eastern part of Guatemala, on the Rio Motagua. It included the
pueblos San Cristobal Acasaguastlan, Chimalapan, Usumatlan, and
Tecolutan, and, as Doctor Brinton states, also San Agustin. The
data thus made known since Stoll's work was published require a
slight modification of the boundaries given this tribe by him. Doc-
tor Brinton says Chorti was spoken in the adjoining area, but Stoll
surrounds the southern half by the detached Pipil area, and the
northern half by the Chol area.
As is well known, this language belongs to the Nahuatlan stock
and is closely related to Aztec, being, in fact, but a dialect of that
The early habitat of the tribe as determined by Stoll and Sapper
agrees so closely with that given by Squier (4: 348) and Juarros (1: n, 81),
and the relation of the tribes as found by Alvarado in 1524, that it is
necessary to describe here only their situation as set forth by the first
two authorities. They were located in two separate areas. The
larger territory lay chiefly along the Pacific coast in southeastern
Guatemala, from the meridian of Escuintla eastward into Salvador
to the lower southward stretch of the Lempa river. This terri-
tory was intercepted, however, by that of the Xinca tribe and by a
colony of the Lencan stock, being thus divided into two parts, one in
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 73
Guatemala and the other and chief portion in Salvador. Sapper also
represents a narrow extension of the Pokomam territory into the
western section. The other division was located along the upper
Motagua river in eastern Guatemala between the Chol and Pokomam
areas. As stated above, the Alaguilac language, spoken throughout
a small adjoining area, was probably identical with the Pipil.
Although on the accompanying map Santa Lucia Cozumalhuapa is
included in the Cakchikel area, the writer is inclined to ascribe the
sculptures at this place to the Pipil tribe, or at least to the Nahuatlan
This language, which, with its dialects, appears to form an inde-
pendent stock, here named Xincan, was spoken throughout an area
of limited extent along the Pacific coast, in the extreme southeastern
part of Guatemala, extending from the Rio Michatoyat eastward to the
boundary of the republic. It embraces three closely allied dialects,
which it is deemed unnecessary to mark on the map, to wit, Sina-
cantan, Jupiltepeque, and Jutiapa, spoken, respectively, in the
pueblos of the same names. Brief vocabularies of the three are given
by Brinton (2).
This language,. which forms a distinct stock-the Lencan-
seems to be known in some four or five closely allied dialects, the
term Lenca not being applied to any one dialect, but comprehending
all. From Squier's investigations and other data it appears that
the Indians speaking this language formerly occupied a large area
in central and western Honduras, extending to the Pacific through
that part of Salvador lying between Lemp' river and the Bay
of Fonseca. The small district in southeastern Guatemala along
the western bank of the lower Rio de la Paz, marked by Stoll (2)
on his map as Pupuluca, from data furnished by Juarros, must be
Lencan territory. There can be but little doubt that the people
occupying this area and speaking the so-called Pupuluca dialect
were closely related to or identical with the Lenca and constituted
a colony of that tribe. This is clearly to be inferred from the fact
that they were related to and spoke a language similar to that of
the people of eastern Salvador, who were certainly Lenca. It is
unnecessary to enter here into a further discussion of the varied
use of the terms Popoloca and Pupuluca. In his List of Families
and Dialects the writer has designated the Mayan Pupuluca
(spoken near Antigua, Guatemala) as Pupuluca (a), and the Lencan
Pupuluca (spoken along the Rio de la Paz) as Pupuluca (b). The
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
mistake of Stoll (2:27) in calling the Pupuluca (b) a Mixe dialect
is pointed out by Brinton (3: 152). The latter author appears to
have made precisely the same mistake, however, in his paper on
the Xinca Indians, read before the American Philosophical Society,
October 17, 1884. On his map vui Sapper places a Lencan colony-
possibly intended to correspond with Pupuluca (b)-slightly farther
to the northeast than the locality given by Stoll, who follows
Juarros. The last-named authority (1:I, 98) mentions Conguaco
as the pueblo of the people speaking this dialect, which is in the area
marked by him. The other dialects were Guajiquero, Intibucat,
Opatoro, and Similiton, spoken in central Honduras in and about
the pueblos of the same names, respectively. Sapper (1:28)
mentions also as dialects Chilanga knd Guatijigua, spoken in and
about villages so named, in northeastern Salvador. He fails,
however, to furnish vocabularies by which to determine relation-
ship, having obtained, it seems, only twenty words of the former
dialect. Nevertheless, as the pueblos are in the region where Lenca
prevailed, there can be but little doubt that they are local variations
of that language. No attempt has been made to mark the areas
of these dialects on the accompanying map. It is possible the
Chondal of Squier, mentioned below, should be considered a dialect,
for it appears from a statement by Brinton that D6sir6 Pector termed
SFrom the data obtainable it is impossible to define accurately the
boundaries of the chief Lencan area. The writer has been guided
in this respect chiefly by Squier (4:378 et seq.), omitting, of course,
his conclusion that the Jicaque and Paya belong to the same'stock
as the Lenca. He was inclined to include geographically not only
the department of San Miguel in Salvador and those of Santa
Barbara and Comayagua in Honduras, but also Choluteca and parts
of Tegucigalpa, Olancho, and Yoro in the latter state (as they were
then defined); also the islands of Roatan and Guanaja. After
eliminating the territories of the Jicaque and Paya the writer has
outlined the Lencan territory to correspond as nearly as possible
with the most recent data. As mapped it appears to conform, at
least in a general way, with Sapper's determination, except that it
adds a small extension into Nicaragua to include Squier's Chondal,
who, according to Brinton (3:149), are Lenca. It includes that
part of San Salvador east of the Lempa river, the modern depart-
ments of Paraiso, Tegucigalpa, La Paz, Intibuca, Comayagua, and
parts of Santa Barbara and Gracias in Honduras, and extends into the
southern part of Segovia in Nicaragua.
This is a dialect of the Nahuatlan family, closely allied to the
Tlascalan, which from a statement of Scherzer (456) appears to
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 75
have been spoken by a small colony in Salvador about Izalco. It
is probably merely a subdialect of or pure Pipil, as the latter is, or
was, the language common to that section. It has not been noted
on the-accompanying map.
This language, which, so far as known at present, was that of an
independent stock here named Jicaquean, is, or was, spoken by a
tribe of Indians living in northern Honduras. According to Squier
(4: 378) their territory extended from the Rio Ulva on the west to the
Rio Negro (or Black river, also called Rio Tinto) on the east, though
on his map they are placed between the Ulva and Roman rivers.
How far back into the interior their district stretched is not stated,
but it is known that it did not include Comayagua. Although
Membrefo (195) has a note on this tribe, he fails to indicate the
locality further than by presenting the vocabularies of two dialects
of the language-"Jicaque of Yoro" and "Jicaque of Palmar." He
speaks of the latter as "cerca de San Pedro" (195); the other pre-
sumably was spoken in the district of Yoro, as the vocabulary given
appears to have been obtained by an official of that district. The
difference between these two dialects as shown by the vocabularies
is as great, if not greater, than that between the Maya proper and
the Cakchikel. The area for this tribe marked on the accompanying
map is determined according to the writer's best judgment from the
brief data obtainable.
Like the preceding language, Paya forms a distinct stock which,
following the rule established by Maj. J. W. Powell, has been named
the Payan. Squier says (4:378), "The Xicaques, greatly reduced,
exist in the district lying between the Rio Ulua and Rio Tinto,
and the Payas in the triangle between the Tinto, the sea, and the
Rio Wanks, or Segovia." On his map, however, he extends them
westward to the River Roman (or Aguan). Membrefio (195) states
that the principal center of the Paya is the pueblo of Culmi, or Dulce
Nombre, slightly south of the center of the area marked on the ac-
companying map. This area and that of the Jicaque are supposed to
represent the territory of these two tribes before the incoming of the
Carib, now occupying the coast. Bell (258) says they inhabit the
headwaters of the Black and Patook rivers. Squier expresses the
opinion that the territory of the Lenca extended to the north coast,
but it must be remembered that he included the Jicaque in the
Lencan group. Whether the Chol territory extended eastward to the
Rio Ulua is somewhat doubtful; Sapper does not place it so far.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
As no information in relation to the intervening strip is available,
it is considered best to connect it with that of the Jicaque.
As the Carib of the gulf coast of Honduras were not established
in this region until near the close of the eighteenth century, they
may be omitted from extended consideration here, as they have been
from the map. It is necessary to remark only that they are confined to
the northern coast of Honduras. But one dialect has been noticed-
the Moreno-a vocabulary of which is given by Membrefio. He
refers to the pueblo of Santaf6 de Punta-hicacos as inhabited by
Morenos. Stoll locates a small colony about Livingstone, at the
embouchure of the Rio Dulce, on the northeast coast of Guatemala.
This is the chief if not the only language of a small stock named by
Brinton (8: 149) the Matagalpan. Squier applies the name Chondal
(Chontal of Oviedo and Gomara) in part to the people speaking this
language, but without mention of any distinction. Recognition of
this distinction is due to Doctor Brinton(3: 149), who obtained among
the papers of Doctor Berendt a vocabulary of the language. The
area occupied, having the city of Matagalpa as its central point, em-
braced a large part of the Matagalpa district, and extended into the
districts of Segovia and Chontales in Nicaragua. Sapper (1: 29-30)
says, "At present the Matagalpan language is spoken as an isolated
dialect only in the Salvadorean villages Cacaopera and Lislique by
some 3,000 persons." Whether this dialect differs in any respect
from Matagalpa proper is not stated. The two villages mentioned
are situated in the extreme northeastern corner of Salvador; As
they are a considerable distance from Matagalpa, it is best, perhaps,
to consider the language spoken in them as a subdialect of Matagalpa
Extending along the Pacific coast from the Bay of Fonseca in
Honduras to the Gulf of Nicoya in Costa Rica, and living between
the lakes and the ocean, were several small tribes belonging to
different linguistic stocks: three-Mangue, Dirian, Orotinan-to the
Chiapanecan; one-Niquiran-to the Nahuatlan; and another-
Subtiaban-forming an independent family. "
Mangue, or Choluteca, as Squier designated it, a Chiapanecan dia-
lect, was the most northwesterly tribe of the series, the area occupied
extending, according to this writer (3: 1, 310), northward from the
MOMatl INDIAN LANI AGE8 OP MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 17
territory of the Subtiaba (Squier's Nagrandans) "along the Gulf of
Fonseca into what is now Honduras." The distance it extended into
the interior of this territory is not given, but it has been carried on
the map in this direction to the southern boundary of the Lencan ter-
ritory, though it must be admitted that the data on this point are
exceedingly meager and unsatisfactory. In locating the tribes form-
erly dwelling along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua we have the benefit
of Doctor Berendt's statements in his address (2:132-145), which
agree very closely with Squier's conclusion, though neither indicates
the extent into the interior, except where limited by the lakes.
Gomara (1: 264; 2: 457) and Herrera mention a tribe (the Corobici)
which seems to be identical with the Mangue (or Chorotega). The
latter author says (iI, dec. 3, 121), "Hablaban en Nicaragua cinco
Lenguas diferentes, Coribici, que lo hablan much en Chuloteca," etc.
Nevertheless, Peralta thinks the Coribici were the ancestors of the
Guatuso (see 'below). It would seem that Mangue is a comprehen-
sive term precisely equivalent to Chorotega, properly used, that is,
to include the Chiapanecan element in this region-Choluteca, Dirian,
and Orotinan. However, as Squier (3: 311-312) has created con-
fusion in the use of the terms Chorotegan and Cholutecan, it is best
to follow Brinton in restoring the old term Mangue to supersede Cho-
(Synonyms: Nagrandan, Maribi)
This language, which forms a distinct family known by the same
name, is the same as Squier's Nagrandan and Berendt's Maribi.
The territory throughout which it was spoken is described by Squier
(3: 310) as the Plain of Le6n, or district between the northern extrem-
ity of Lake Managua and the Pacific;" this probably included the
greater portion of the district of Le6n. As the same author states
in another place, it was bounded on the northwest by the territory
of the Choluteca or Mangue. This language, which, judging by
Sapper's map (1) is not yet entirely extinct, though Sapper gives no
vocabulary, is generally conceded by philologists to be not connected
with any known family, and the vocabulary furnished by Squier (3)
appears to justify this conclusion, notwithstanding a slight resem-
blance to the Dorasque on the one hand and to the Matagalpan on
This language,. which belongs to the Chiapanecan family, was
spoken by the people who formerly occupied the territory between
the upper extremity of Lake Nicaragua, the river Tipitapa, and the
southern half of Lake Managua and the Pacific. Their principal
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
towns were situated where now stand the cities of Granada, Masaya,
and Managua, and the villages of Tipitapa, Diriomo, and Diriamba.
(Squier, 3 :310). They are supposed to be now extinct. The name
Dirian signifies "people of the hills."
This language, which belongs to the Nahuatlan family, and is
closely related to Pipil and Aztec, was spoken by a colony proba-
bly from the Pipil group of Salvador and Guatemala. The area
occupied was the narrow strip between Lake Nicaragua and the
Pacific Ocean, and the neighboring islands of the lake. The fact
that these Indians belonged to the "Mexican" (Nahuatlan) stock
was noticed by Oviedo, who applied to them the name Niquirans.
Even the short vocabulary given by Squier makes the relation
clear, showing that the people now under consideration pertained to
the Aztec group and were closely related to the Pipil.
This third Chiapanecan dialect of the southern section was spoken
throughout an area-in northwestern Costa Rica extending from the
southern shore of Lake Nicaragua southward to and along both
shores of the Gulf of Nicoya for the greater part of its length, and
westward to the Pacific Ocean. Squier (3: 310) says merely, "occupy-
ng the country around the Gulf of Nicoya, and to the southward of
Lake Nicaragua." Brasseur de Bourbourg (1:In, 110) says the
Orotinas in the vicinity of the Gulf of Nicoya have as their principal
villages Nicoya, Orotina, Cantren, and Chorote. Oviedo (iv, 108)
also locates them about the Gulf of Nicoya. Peralta (1: 720) gives -
the river Barranca as their southern limit on the east side of the gulf.
Fernandez (1: 548) gives the latitude of the city of Punta Arenas as
their southern limit on the east coast, agreeing closely in this respect
with Peralta's conclusion.
The writer has no vocabulary of this particular colony, but from
their discovery by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century history
speaks of them as "Chorotegans," thus connecting them with the
Mangue and Dirian tribes. Additional remarks on this tribe will be
made in treating of the peoples of Costa Rica.
As the data at hand are too meager to justify an attempt to indi-
cate on the map the limits of the tribal areas of the Ulvan family,
now to be dealt with, it seems best to give only the boundaries of
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 79
the area occupied by the entire family, indicating the tribal or sub-
tribal names at such points therein as, from the best evidence acces-
sible, appear to have been occupied by them respectively. The fact
must be borne in mind, however, that the very existence of some of
these tribes or subtribes is disputed.
After comparing what is said by Squier and other authorities on
the subject, Brinton, the principal authority here followed in the
classification of the Ulvan tribes; gives (3: 162-163) the following
with their respective habitats:
Carchas, or Cukras, on the Rio Mico, above the Matlack Falls.
Cocos, on the Rio Coco (Segovia).
Melchoras, on the Rio de los Ramas (Bluefields).
Micos, on the Rio Mico.
Pantasmas, in the upper basin of the Rio Coco.
Parrastahs, on the Rio Mico.
Siquias, on the upper Rio Mico.
Subironas, on the Rio Coco.
Taocas, or Twakas, at San Bias, on the Rio Twaka.
Ulvas (Woolwas or Smoos), on the headwaters of the Bluefields river.
It must be added, however, that Brinton does not furnish his
authority for some of these names and localities, and that Sapper
(1: 29) seems to doiubt the correctness of his list and peoples the areas
very largely with the Sumo. He says:
The Sumos are mentioned by Brinton under the name Ulvas; aside from the Indians
given as Bulbuls, Carchas, Cocos, Micos, Parrastahs, Pantasmas, Melchoras, Siquias,
Smoos, Subironas, Twakas, and Woolwas, all however seem to belong to the Sumos.
Squier and other authorities mention the Twaka, Cukra, and Ulva;
and Reclus (283) names in addition the Pantasma, Melchora, Siquia,
and Laman. The last-named author locates on his map most of the
names he gives, but not consistently with his text. Bell (1: 242-
268) mentions the following tribes: The Smoos, "the most numerous
tribe," on the headwaters of all the rivers from Bluefields to Patook
[Patuca]; the Twaka, "a tribe of Smoos," along the Twaka river, a
branch of the Prinz Awala; the Toongla, along the other branch of the
same river-a mixed race of Smoos and Mosquito Indians; the Cookra,
Young (80) says the principal residence of the Twaka at that time
was about the head of the Patuca river.. Squier (4) locates them, on
his map, on the middle section of Segovia river, which forms in part
the boundary line between Honduras and Nicaragua. Reclus (261)
makes the tribe a member of the Lenca group and locates them on the
upper affluents of the Patuca river.
As before noted, Brinton locates the Cookra (Cukra, Carcha) on the
Rio Mico above Matlack Falls. According to Squier's map, the Mico
is the same as the Bluefields river, which has received also the name
Escondido, and was by the Indians called Lama and Siguia, the latter
name referring probably only to a tributary. Squier places the
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
Cukra in the interior, midway between the Bluefields and Segovia
rivers. Reclus (283) locates them well up the Segovia river. This
author, however, gives the Carca as a different tribe.
As has been seen, Brinton places the Ulva (Ulua, Woolwa, Walwa,
Smoos, Sumo) on the headwaters of the Bluefields river; Squier, on
the middle course of the same river. Squier locates the Melchora
immediately east of the southern end of Lake Nicaragua. The name
Sumo (or Smoos) appears to be used rather indefinitely, but more
generally as an equivalent of the stock name (Ulvan), the people
embraced being considered as properly forming but one tribe, and the
above-named supposed tribes as mere minor and local subdivisions.
It is probable that the Ulvan dialects were related to Chibcha, but
for the present it has been thought best to keep them distinct.
As stated by Brinton and Sapper, the Indians speaking this language
are restricted at present to a small island in the Bluefields lagoon, and
were confined to the same island at the time Bell lived in the Mos-
quito territory (1846-1862). There is evidence, however, that formerly
they occupied a much larger area on the neighboring mainland, but
whether this region lay along the Bluefields river or farther south it
is impossible to decide with certainty from the meager data obtainable.
Bell (259) says:
The Ramas inhabit a small island at the southern extremity of Blewfields lagoon.
They are only a miserable remnant of a numerous tribe that formerly lived on the
St. Johns and other rivers in that neighborhood. A great number of them still live at
the head of the Rio Frio, which runs into the St. Johns river [Rio San Juan] at San
Those at the head of the Rio Frio, Costa Rica, are without doubt
Squier (4: 366) locates them between the Bluefields and San Juan
rivers, indicating, as does Bell, a former more southerly habitat.
This conclusion agrees with the indications furnished by the very
brief vocabulary of the language which has been obtained, and which
shows slight affinity with the Talamancan dialects, but a closer rela-
tion with those of the Doraskean group of the Chibchan family.
Following Brinton, the writer has associated it with the latter.
Bell's supposition that the Rama are identical with the people living
on the Rio Frio, Costa Rica-that is to say, with the Guatuso-is,
however, an error, as appears from comparison of the languages of the
two peoples and from the great difference in their characteristics so
far as known, although both belong to the Chibchan stock.
The mixed race designated by this name inhabits the Gulf coast of
Honduras and Nicaragua from Cape Gracias southward to a point
THOMAs] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND1 CENTRAL AMERICA 81
about midway between Bluefields and San Juan rivers, extending
but a comparatively short distance toward'the interior, except along
the banks of some of the larger rivers. The statements-of writers of
some years ago in regard to the extent of country occupied by these
Indians must be received with some reserve, being more or less
warped by their relations with the contending governments. Even
Squier must be included in this class. It is unnecessary to quote
here the statements referred to. It may be stated, however, that
Pittier (9), judging by the local names, is of the opinion that in the
past people of this race occupied the coast of Costa Rica from San
Juan river to Chiriqui lagoon. In the present paper Sapper is fol-
lowed as to the area embraced in the Mosquito territory.
The language is considered distinct. Lucien Adam, who has
studied its grammatical construction, decides that it can not be
brought into relation with either the Caribbean or the Chibchan
stock. Notwithstanding this high authority, the writer is inclined
to accept the traditional, or perhaps it may be said the semihis-
torical, assertion that the primary element of the mixture was Carib.
That the language contains Carib elements, whether borrowed or not,
soon becomes evident on comparison.
GENERAL REMARKS ON THE TRIBES OF COSTA RICA
Continuing the investigation southward, Costa Rica next engages
attention. On account of its bearing on the determination of the
boundaries of the areas throughout which other dialects were spoken,
it is necessary to refer again to Orotina,' already noticed (see p. 78),
in order to fix more definitely the eastern and southeastern boundary
of the area throughout which it was spoken. As already stated
(p. 78), Peralta appears to give the Barranica river, which enters the
Gulf of Nicoyh on the eastern side, near the city of Punta Arenas, as
the southeastern boundary. Fernandez (1:548) asserts it was
proven that Orotina was a generic speech applicable to all the Gulf
region of Nicoya. He says also (1:35, note b), in commenting on
the Relaci6n of Andr6s de Cereceda, who accompanied Gil Gonzales
de Avila (about 1522) on his expedition northward along the western
coast, that the Orotina occupied the coast (on the eastern side of the
gulf) between the rivers Aranjuez and Chomes (Guasimal). These
are two small rivers, but a few miles apart, which enter the gulf on
the eastern side a short distance north of Rio Barranca. Fernandez
thus locates their southern boundary substantially at the same point
as that indicated by Peralta.
The northern and western limits, however, are not so definitely
'Orotina: Sn. Urutlna, Gurutina, Nicoya. The name Nicoya was seldom used as referring to the
people or language, but was used Interchangeably with Orotina as referring to the gulf, and sometimes
to the surrounding regions occupied by the Orotina.
BUtREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
Peralta (1: 720) says their seat was north of the Rio Barranca and
southeast from the Rio Zapandi (or Tempisque), the river which
flows south and enters the Gulf of Nicoya at its extreme northwestern
point. But the statement of Fernandez given above includes the
western peninsula, as does that of Brasseur de Bourbourg, mentioned
in the first reference to the Orotina. Oviedo (III, 111) says, "The
Indians of Nicoya and Orosi are of the language of the Chorotegas."
This apparently includes the area now embraced in the district of
Guanacaste, which includes the peninsula, and is probably what Squier
based his conclusion on, the word "Chorotegas" being used here in a
generic sense, and hence including the Orotina. Peralta says (1:806,
note) that in Nicoya (the peninsula) the Orotinan language was spoken,
as conjectured by Orozco y Berra, following Oviedo and Torque-
mada. The data seem to justify, therefore, outlining the Orotinan
area as on the accompanying map.
It appears from a later paper by Peralta, however, that he includes
as Orotinan territory the area now embraced in the district of Guana-
caste as marked on the writer's map. This paper was prepared by
Peralta as part of his report as commissioner of Costa Rica to the
Columbian Historical Exposition at Madrid in 1892. Not having
access to the original paper, the writer here quotes from the extract
given by Doctor Brinton (5: 40-42), one of the commissioners of the
United States to that exposition. As Peralta's paper bears on the
ethnography of the entire territory of Costa Rica, the portion
relating to the ethnographic distribution is quoted in full for the
purpose of further reference:
On the shores of the Pacific, in the peninsula of Nicoya, in all that territory which
n6w constitutes the province of Guanacaste, and embracing all the vicinity of the
gulf of Nicoya to the point of Herradura, lived the Chorotegas or Mangues, divided
into various tribes or chieftancies, feudataries of the Cacique of Nicoya, to wit, Diria,
Cangen, Zapanci, Pococi, Paro, Orotina, and Chorotega, properly so called, in the
valley of the Rio Grande. By the side of these dwelt the immigrant Nahoas, who
carried this far the arts and traditions of the Aztecs, and the cultivation of cacao, and
obtained a supremacy over the previous inhabitants. The Chorotegas spoke the
language of the same name, or the Mangue, a branch, if hot the trunkl.nd origin, of
the Chiapanec. ... The Nahuas, whose most important colonies :ntrolled the
isthmus of Rivas between Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific, were established in Nicoya
and spoke the Mexican or Nahuatl language. ;1
A Mexican colony also existed in the valley of Telorio (valley of the Duy, or of the
Mexicans) near the Bay del Almirante, and inhabited the island of Tojer, or Zorobaro
(now of Columbus), and the towns of Chicaua, Moyaua, Quequexque, and Corotapa,
on the mainland, this being the farthest eastward in C6sta Rica, or in Central America,
to which the Nahuas reached, so far as existing evidence proves.
Between the Lake of Nicaragua and the gulf of Nicoya, to the east of the volcano
of Orosi and the river Tempisque, near longitude 850 west of Greenwich, dwelt the mys-
terious nation of the Corobicies, or Corbesies, ancestors of the existing Guatusos.
To the east of the same meridian were the Votos, occupying the southern shores of
the Rio San Juan to the valley of the Sarapiqui.
MrOMAs] INDIAN LANGUAGE OP ME=I X AND CENT RAL AMERICA 83
To the east of the Sarapiqui, and from the mouths of the San Juan on the Atlantic
to the mouth of the river Matina, was the important province of Suerre, belonging
to the Guetars, who occupied the ground to Turrialba and Atirro, in the valleys of
the Reventazon and the river Suerre or Pacuar.
Between the river Natina and the river Tarire were the provinces of Pococi and of
the Tariacas. To the east of the Tarire to the Bay del- Almirante, dwelt the Viceitas,
Cabecares, and Terrabas (Terrebes, Terbis, or Tiribies).
On the Bay del Almirante to Point Sorobeta or Terbi there was the Chichimec
colony, already referred to, whose cacique Iztolin conversed in the Mexican language
with Juan Vasquez de Coronado in 1564.
The Changuenes occupied the forests about the headwaters of the Rio Ravalo.
The Doraces, south of the Laguna of Chiriqui, and at the foot of the Cordillera,
adjoined in the valley of the river Cricamola or Guaymi with the warlike nation of
the latter name.
The Guaymies occupied the coast and the interior lands situated between the rivers
Guaymi and Conception, of Veragua.
In front of the valley of the Guaymi lies the Island del Escodo, the governmental
limit of Costa Rica; so that the Guaymis were distributed in nearly equal parts be-
tween the jurisdiction of Costa Rica and of Veragua.
In the interior, in the highlands about Cartago, on the slopes both of the Atlantic
and the Pacific, were the provinces Guarco, Toyopan, and Aserri; farther west, toward
the gulf of Nicoya, Pacaca, Garabito, and Chomes adjoined along the summits of
La Herradura and Tilaran with the Chorotegas.
These provinces formed the territory of the Huetares, or Guetares, uei tlalli, in
Nahuatl, "great land," a general term, which included various tribes and chieftan-
cies of the same linguistic stock, one entirely diverse from those of the neighboring
Mangues and Nahuas, toward whom they were unfriendly, although maintaining
The province of Guarco was considered by both the natives and the Spaniards as
one of the most favored localities in the country, and for that reason was selected by
the Guetares, and later by the whites, as the site of their principal town. It was here
that the city of Costa Rica was founded in 1568. The name is a corruption of the
Nahuatl Qualcan, from "qualli," good, convenient, with the locative suffix "can."
Qualcan means, therefore, "good place," or, as it is translated in Molina's Vocabulary,
"a well-sheltered and desirable place, which answers well to the valley of Cartago.
Southeast of Chorotega and the heights of Herradura, and south of the Guetares,
extending to the Pacific Ocean, between the rivers Pirris and Grande of Terraba,
was the province of the Quepos, of which the Spanish Government formed the dis-
trict of Quepo, whose extreme limit toward the southeast was the old Chiriqui River.
According to the most probable conjectures, the Quepos belonged to the family
of the Guetares and lived, by preference, on the coasts. They were also enemies of
the Mangues And the Cotos and Borucas, and in consequence of their wars with them
and with the whites and with the burden of labors laid upon them by the latter,
their towns disappeared in the middle of the eighteenth century without leaving any
positive traces which will enlighten us upon their origin.
Adjoining the Quepos, the Cotos or Coctos occupied the upper valley of the river
Terraba, formerly known as the Coto.
These formed a numerous and warlike tribe, skillful in both offense and defense.
They are not known in Costa Rica by this name; but there is no doubt that the Bo-
rucas are their descendants. These Borucas occupied the region about Golfo Dulce,
formerly the gulf of Osa, east of the river Terraba, and gave their name Buricas,
Burucas, or Bruncas to the province of Borica, discovered by the Licentiate Espinosa
in the first voyage of exploration made by the Spaniards to this region in 1519, and
also to Point Burica, the extreme southern limit of Costa Rica, in latitude 8 north.
84 BUVEAtU OP AMERIWAN ETHNOLOGY [sOLL. 44
The province of Burica extended toward the east to the Llanos of Chiriqui, and
formed a part of the government of Quepo. It belongs today to the district of Punta
The Terrabas, who have given their name to the river formerly called the Coto, do
not belong to the tribes of the Pacific Slope. They were brought to the location there,
which they now occupy, in Aldea or Terraba, partly by the persuasion of the mis-
sionaries, partly by force, having been obliged to abandon the rough mountains to
the north about the headwaters of the Tilorio or Rio de la Estrela, the Yurquin, and
the Rovalo, about the year 1697. They have been variously called Terbis, Terrebes,
Terrabas, and Tirribies, but there are no differences of dialect between them and
their relatives to the north, other than would necessarily take place in any tongue
from a separation of this length.
At the time of the Conquest, therefore, the tribes occupying the territory of Costa
Rica were Nahuas, Mangues, Guetares, Viceitas, Terrabas, Changuenes, Guaymies,
Quepos, Cotos, and Borucas.
. It is almost impossible to determine the ethnic affinities of the Guetares as
long as no vocabularies of their tongue can be found, though such were certainly
written by such able linguists as Fray Pedro de Betanzos, Fray-Lorenzo de Bienve-
nida, Fray Juan Babtista, and other Franciscans, who founded missionary establish-
ments and taught the natives around Cartago; but the testimony of archaeology
proves that if they were not related to the Nahuas, they were subject to their influ-
ence, perhaps through the active commerce they had with the Chorotegas and Nahuas
about the gulf of Nicoya.
S. .As to the Guaymies, Terrabas, Changuenes, and Borucas, their affinities to
the tribes to the east of them are well marked, and it would not be surprising if they
were also closely related to the natives between Paria and Darien, and even with the
Chibchas of Colombia, as has been maintained by Brinton.
The eastern and western boundaries of the Guatusan area on the
map are based largely on inference, rather than on positive evidence.
That the tribe occupied the valley of the Rio Frio to the San Juan
river, and the region about the headwaters of the former, is the
general consensus of the authorities. There is some evidence also
that they frequently wandered down the San Carlos river, and Carl
Sapper (1 : 31) speaks of a small body on a branch of the Sarapiqui.
Gabb (483) states merely that at the time of his visit-
They occupy a part of the broad plains north and east of the high volcanic chain of
North-Western Costa Rica and south of the great lake of Nicaragua, especially about the
headwaters of the Rio Frio.
Fernandez (3:676) says:
The lands occupied by the Guatusos are very extensive, level, fertile, and inter-
sected by navigable rivers, with a slight incline from the right bank of the San Juan
river to the Central Cordillera, which divides the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific.
Bishop Thiel (2 : 12) says they live dispersed in the skirts of the
Cerro Pelado, of the Tenorio, and on the banks of the affluents of the
Rio Frio, principally between the Pataste, the Muerte, the Cucaracha,
and the Venado. He appears to have succeeded in obtaining a
vocabulary of their language, judging from that given in his Apuntes
THoxAs] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 85
Lexicograficos. As indicating the southern boundary may be cited
the statement by Gabb (484) that the town of San Ramon is "not far
from the borders of the Guatuso country." Attention is directed
likewise to what is said of this tribe by Peralta in the extract from
his paper given above.
As will be seen by reference to the List of Families and Tribes on
the map, the writer has followed the philologists in placing the
Guatusan dialect in the Chibchan family. This relation appears to
be borne out by the vocabularies, though not to a very marked
DoctorBrinton (3 : 146) at first associated this idiom with theChiapa-
necan linguistic stock, but afterward (4: 498) decided from material
which had come into his possession that it pertained to the Talaman-
can linguistic group. While it is very probable that Doctor Brinton
is correct in his later conclusion, which is here followed, the evidence
he presents is not entirely satisfactory. This consists in the com-
parison of very brief vocabularies, as follows:
GUETARE OTHER TALAMANCAN DIALECTS
man pejelilli pejettill=vir.
woman palacrak palacrak
sun cagune cagune
moon furia two
fire yoc6 yoc6
water dicre dire
head sotacii sotacu
eye aeguebra seguebra, or wohra
ear secuque zgo-ku
mouth sequeque ko-kwu
nose seyiquete jik
tongue seguecte kok-tu
tooth saka ka
hand seyura ura
foot ecuru kru-kwe
house tu hu
The agreement between the two idioms, as shown by these brief
lists, is so close that they may be considered as one and the same
language. In other words, the evidence proves too much in view of
the fact that the Guetare vocabulary, which was obtained by Doctor
Berendt, was marked by him "Ancient Talamanca," and not
Guetare. Moreover, this was obtained about forty-four years ago
from some natives residing near San Jos6 de Costa Rica, but not a
word, it seems, was said in regard to their relation to the Guetare
tribe. Doctor Brinton adds, "It is called Talamanca, but Mr. Gabb,
1 From Gabb.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
who saw it, pronounced it to be of a different dialect." The real
evidence, therefore, is limited to the fact that the vocabulary was
obtained from Indians living in the region formerly embraced in the
Guetare territory. It is deemed safest, however, to include the
idiom for the present in the Talamancan group.
Although it is difficult at this late day to mark the boundaries of
the Guetare territory as they existed at the time of the Spanish con-
quest, the area in a general sense is readily determined from historical
and other data.
Oviedo (lib. 29, cap. 21) says-
Los Giietares son much gente, 4 viven engima de las sierras del puerto de La Herra-
dura, 6 se extienden por la costa deste golpho [Nicoya] al Poniente de la banda del
Norte hasta el confin de los Chorotegas.
According to this statement, the territory of the tribe reached the
Pacific coast and extended along it toward the northwest to Punta
Arenas or Rio Barranca, the limit, as stated above, of the southern
extension of the Orotina, or "Chorotegas" as Oviedo terms them. As
the tribe extended back into the sierras behind Herradura bay, their
territory must have embraced the Sierras de Turrubales, as stated
by Fernandez (1: 34, notef).
Peralta (1: 768-769) mentions several provinces which, he says,
were peopled by the Indians of this tribe, as follows:
Garabito, Catapa, Tice, and Boto (Voto), comprehending the territory south of
Lake Nicaragua and San Juan river to its confluence with the Rio Sarapiqui (south)
to the mountains of Barba. Including the valley of Coyoche between the rivers
Barranca and Grande; Abra (or Curriravo, Curridabat) and Tayopan; Accerri and
Pacaca. Guarco, between the rivers Taras and Toyogres. Turriarba (or Turrialba)
and Cooc (or Cot). The aborigines of these provinces were Guetares.
This includes the Boto, or Voto, Indians in the Guetare group, who,
Peralta says (1: 401), were situated on the right margin of the Desa-
guadero (San Juan) between the Frio, Pocosol, and Sarapiqui rivers.
Adding the province of Suerre, as he does in the extract given above,
would make the San Juan river from its mouth up to the Rio Frio the
northern boundary of the Guetare territory. As the mountains of
Barba are in the district of Heredia and those of Turrialba are along
the northern boundary of the district of Cartago, this description
applies to a wide strip extending from the San Juan river on the
north and the Caribbean sea on the northeast, to the Pacific ocean
on the south, the coast line on the south reaching from Barranca
river at the northwest probably to, or nearly to, the Rio' Grande de
Terraba on the southeast.
Fernandez (1: 587), quoting from Licenciado Cavallon, seems to
include the district of Cartago in the Guetare territory. In regard
to the seat of the Voto tribe or subtribe, he says (1: 64, note e):
Boto or Voto includes the Indians who occupied the southern cordillera of Costa
Rica from the river of Barva up to the Rio de Orosf, called Sierra de Tilaran. The
name is preserved in that of the Volcano de los Votes or de Puas.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 87
The Sierra de Tilaran, as marked on the map of Costa Rica, extends
along the extreme northwestern border of the district of Alajuela,
while the volcano of Puas (or Poas) is on the extreme eastern border,
where it joins the district of Heredia. That the Sierra de Tilaran
formed the extreme southern boundary of the Guatusan territory is
certain. In fact, one portion of it is named the Cerro de los
Guatusos. It seems, therefore, that the range to which Fernandez
refers is that which extends east and west across Heredia and the
southeastern portion of Alajuela; but what stream is referred to by
the name "Barva" is uncertain (possibly it should be "Brava,"
though this does not solve the difficulty with the limited data at
The statement made by Peralta in the excerpt from his pen on
page 83 agrees with his conclusion, as stated above. The assertion
that "to the east of the Sarapiqui, and from the mouths of the San
Juan on the Atlantic to the mouth of the river Matina, was the
important province of Suerre, belonging to the Guetars," is open to
question, however, as there is no means of comparing the languages.
Nevertheless, the writer has followed Peralta in the accompanying
According to all the evidence remaining on record, this tribe occu-
pied the country south of the Rio San Juan from the river San Carlos
to the Sarapiqui, their territory extending southward to, and proba-
bly across, the district of Heredia and the southern part of Alajuela.
The writer has failed to find the data on which Peralta and
others base the conclusion that the people of this tribe were con-
nected with the Guetare. Carl Sapper (1: 31) speaks of them as a
distinct tribe, although not alluding to their ethnic relations. As no
vocabulary, not even a few words of their language, has been pre-
served, so far as known, its affinities can be only guessed at or inferred
from other data. Is it not possible that they were the Rama, part of
whom Bell mistook for the Guatuso. (See p.80.) If his statement was
based on some tradition, the supposition may not be wholly gratui-
tous; otherwise it is. On the whole it is considered best for the pres-
ent to follow here the Costa Rican authorities, who are on the ground
and familiar with the history of their country so far as recorded;
hence the Voto are assigned to the Guetare territory, although not
referred to on the map.
It is doubtful whether the territory included under this name
should be considered a separate linguistic area. In the extract
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
given above (p. 83) from Peralta's paper on the ethnography of
Costa Rica, and in his work heretofore cited (1: 769, note 1), he
To the east of the Sarapiqui, and from the mouths of the San Juan on the Atlantic
to the mouth of the river Matina, was the important province of Suerre, belonging
to the Guetars, who occupied the ground to Turrialba and Atirro, in the valleys of
the Reventazon and the river Suerre or Pacuar.
The chief evidence of the relation of the people of this province
to the Guetare is found in the letter of Juan Vasquez de Coronado
(December 11, 1562, given by Peralta, 1: 760-765) where, referring
to the expedition of Cavallon and the submission of the provinces of
the Guetare, he mentions the provinces of Suerre and Turucaca, the
former on the Sea of- the North and the latter on the Sea of the
The name is not referred to on the accompanying map.
The same uncertainty as to linguistic distinction exists in regard
to the people occupying the section known under this name as in the
case of the Suerre.
Peralta (1: 769, note 2) says Quepo was "a province south of the
Cordillera de la Candelaria, upon the Pacific Ocean, at 90 30' north
latitude." In the extract from his paper, given above, he locates
them southeast of Chorotega and the heights of Herradura, and
south of the Guetare, extending to the Pacific ocean between the
rivers Pirris and Grande of Terraba. He adds further that, accord-
ing to the most probable conjectures, the Qubpo belonged to the
family of the Guetare, and that they were the enemies of the Coto
and the Boruca.
These statements, when closely compared with those of the same
author in what precedes, show some confusion; moreover, for rea-
sons which will appear further on, the writer is not prepared to
accept the statement that the Guetare (the Quepo being included)
extended southeast to the Rio Grande de la Terraba, as the valley
of this river, in part at least, was occupied by the Terraba and the
Boruca. It is not indicated on the map.
It has been found most convenient for present purposes, and not
inconsistent with correct classification,.to retain the name Tala-
manca for that group of closely allied dialects spoken by certain
tribes of Indians inhabiting both sides of the cordillera in eastern
and southeastern Costa Rica. These dialects, which belong to the
Chibchan family, are known by the following names: Boruca, Bribri,
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 89
Cabecar, Estrella, Terraba, Tirribi, and Tucurric; some others are
mentioned which are now extinct. This course has been adopted
for present purposes, for the reason that, while it is possible to out-
line with approximate correctness the territory of the group, the data
do not justify the attempt to mark the areas of the separate dialects.
It is necessary to state here that on the present map the south-
eastern boundary of Costa Rica, that between this republic and
Panama, is not as given on most maps, but as defined by the Presi-
dent of France, who was appointed arbiter by the two republics of
the dispute concerning this boundary. By this decision a consider-
able strip of southeastern Costa Rica was awarded to Colombia. As
will be seen, part of the Talamancan territory falls within this strip.
It should be stated further that.Talamanca is here used as a generic
term for the group and not given to any one dialect. The name has
been very loosely applied; for instance Fernandez (1: 617) says the
"naciones" of the Talamanca are Cabecar, Viceite, Terraba, Toxare,
Changuene, Zegua, Torasque, and Guaymie, thus including tribes of
two different stocks-Chibchan and Nahuatlan (Zegua). It is some-
what strange that a citizen of the country should -have made this
mistake in 1889, especially as Dr. Max Uhle in 1888 (470) gave
correctly, so far as his reference extends, the Bribri, Cabecar, Estrella,
Tiribi, and Tucurrique. Moreover, B. A. Thiel in his Apuntos Lexi-
cograficos de las Lenguas, to which Fernandez refers, gives as the
dialects of the Talamanca or Viceite, Bribri, Cabecar, Estrella, and
Chirripo. He mentions Boruca and Terraba separately. Chirripo is
considered by some authorities merely a subdialect of Cabecar; by
others, Tariaca under another name, spoken by the people of a
particular village called Chirripo and the immediately surrounding
region. Sapper (1: 31) says:
The language of Tucurrique or Tucurriqui, a village situated on the banks of the
Rio Reventazon differs only in a few non-essential dialectic details from the language
of the Indians living on the banks of the Rio Chirripo, Rio Estrella, Coen and the upper
Teliri, which Pittier names Cabecara after their chief dwelling place, S. Jose Cabecar.
An examination of the vocabularies given by Thiel tends to confirm
this conclusion. Pittier and Gagini (7) consider three of these dia-
lects the principal ones-Bribri, to which are referred Cabecar, Chir-
ripo, Estrella and Tucurric; Terraba, which is considered identical
with Tirribi; and Boruca, which forms the third division.
According to Peralta's paper quoted above (p. 83),. the south-
eastern boundary of the Guetare territory, where it joined the Tala-
mancan area, extended from the mouth of the Rio Matina westward
to Terrialba on the north line of Cartago district. In his map (Mit-
teilungen, 1901) Sapper locates a small colony of Cabecar in the
northern part of this district, on the extreme headwaters of the Re-
ventazon river. From this it appears that the northern boundary
83470-Bull. 44-11- 7
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
of the Talamancan area ran slightly south of west from the mouth
of the Rio Matina, nearly or quite to the middle of the northern boun-
dary of Cartago district, where it turned south.
Notwithstanding the statement by Peralta given above, that the
Guetare territory (including that of the Quepo) extended southeast
to the Rio Grande Terraba, it is shown by Sapper's map that the
Terraba and the Brunca (or Boruca) tribes are located, even at the
present day, in the valley of this river, chiefly on the west side. The
name of the river (Terraba) is also significant. It has been decided
best, therefore, to include this river, or at least all except its head-
waters, in the Talamancan territory. The Pacific ocean forms the
southern boundary. It is apparent from Sapper's map that the
eastern limit on the Pacific side can be but slightly east, if east at all,
of Punta Boruca, as immediately to the east of it are encountered
the Doraskean element. In the extract given Peralta evidently
includes the Boruca peninsula in Doraskean territory. The eastern
boundary of the Talamancan territory on the Pacific slope falls
between the Boruca peninsula and the Rio Chiriqui Viejo.
The eastern boundary of the Talamancan territory, on the Atlantic
slope, can not be exactly determined. That this territory did not
include the Rio Rovalo, which falls into the western side of Chiriqui
lagoon, seems certain; and that the Doraskean territory included
some of the upper tributaries of the Telorio also seems certain.
Pinart (2:1) says the Doraskean tribes were situated back of the
Chiriqui lagoon, and from the name is inclined to believe their ter-
ritory formerly extended north to the Changuinaula river, Changuina
being a name sometimes applied to them. This condition of things, if
correctly stated, must have prevailed, however, before the incoming
of the Mexican colony. The line represented on the accompanying
map does not extend quite so far north.
Tariaca(?).-Starting with that part of the territory belonging to
the Atlantic slope and going south, the first tribe of which there is any
notice is the Tariaca. This tribe is considered by Pittier (41) identical
with the Chirripo of Thiel. The region occupied seems to have
extended along the coast from the Rio Matina well down toward the
Rio Teliri. Unless they were identical with the Chirripo the tribe is
extinct and nothing is known of their language; but accepting Pit-
tier's suggestion of identity with the Chirripo, as the writer is
inclined to do, there is evidence in Thiel's vocabulary (1) that they
belonged to the Talamancan group. Although Sapper (1: 32) appears
to draw his information regarding the Tariaca from Pittier, he evi-
dently distinguishes them from the Chirripo, as he says:
North of the district of the Chirripo and Bribri Indians along the Atlantic coast are to
be found the former dwelling places of the Tariaca (taken from Pittier) of which tribe
nothing has been preserved to the present time.
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 91
It is probable that a remnant fleeing from Spanish attacks found refuge
in the sierras, where from a local name theybecame known as Chirripo.
Cabecar.-Although in the statement quoted above Sapper implies
that the Tariacan territory lay immediately north of and adjoining
that of the Bribri Indians, in his map he places the Cabecar between
the two tribes; that is to say, he locates them north of the Bribri
territory. His map appears to be correct, as Gabb (487) says, "The
Cabecars occupy the country from the frontiers of civilization to the
western [left] side of the Coen branch of the Tiliri or Sicsola river."
Pittier says merely that they occupy the valleys of the upper Coen,
the middle branch of the Teliri (Teriri, or Sicsola).
Bribri.-According to Gabb (487) the Bribri occupied the region
watered by the eastern branches of the Teliri, and also that about the
mouths of this river; in other words, the region between the Coen on
the west and the Changuinaula on the east.
Tirribi.-According to Gabb (487) and other authorities the Indians
speaking this dialect occupied the region.watered by the Rio Tilorio
or upper Changuinaula.
Tucurric (Cuqueri).-Judging by the statements of Thiel (1:174),
the early documents quoted by Fernandez (1:371, 610), and Gabb
(486), the Indians speaking this dialect were located in the central
part of what is now known as the Cartago district, on the headwaters
of the Revantazon river.
Estrella.-Thiel gives a vocabulary of this idiom in his "Apuntes,"
but unfortunately omits to state where it was obtained. It is under-
stood that the Indians speaking it lived in the valley of Estrella river,
a stream entering the sea a short distance south of Limon, in the terri-
tory assigned to the Tariaca (or Chirripo). These appear to be the
people spoken of by Gabb (492), who says:
On the North or Estrella river, and on the Chiripo, there are a few more Cabecars
who have little communication with the headquarters of the tribe, but who are in the
habit of going out to Limon or Matina for what little trade they require.
As indicated by Thiel's vocabulary, the language is substantially
identical with the Chirripo; in fact, no good reason appears for retain-
ing the name as that of a different dialect.
Boruca (or Brunca).-Passing over the dividing range to the Pacific
slope, we reach the territory where the other dialects of the Talaman-
can linguistic group were spoken. The chief one of these was Boruca,
or Brunca. According to Sapper's map, those who still speak the
language live in close relation with the Terraba, in the middle and
lower parts of the valley of the Rio Grande de Terraba. Judging by
local names and other data, it is probable that the territory of the
Boruca in their palmy days extended eastward to and included the
peninsula of Burica.
Terraba.-Terraba is at most merely a subdialect of the Tirribi and
probably should not be considered as distinct therefrom. Gabb (487)
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
says "the Terrabas are tribally identical with the Tiribis." A tradi-
tion, which seems well authenticated, says that in the sixteenth
century, through the influence of the Franciscan friars, a portion of
the Tirribi was persuaded to break away and pass over to the Pacific
slope. (Sapper and Gabb.)
Coto.-So far as known, no vocabulary of this dialect has been pre-
served; in fact, it is not positively known that there was such a
dialect. As there is positive evidence, however, that there was a
tribe known by this name which cannot be identified with any of
those mentioned, one is justified in using the name as that of a dis-
tinct dialect or language. In the paper heretofore quoted (p. 83)
Peralta says they occupied the upper valley of the Rio Terraba, for-
merly known as Coto river. He thinks there can be no doubt that
the Boruca are their descendants.
This completes the list of the Talamancan dialects, none of which
have been located on the map, but before passing to another group
the following from Pittier's "Nombres Geograficos" is given in regard
to the Bribri tribe, as throwing light on the tribal distinctions of
The tribe was divided into two groups-the Tubor-uak, and the
Kork-uak, or Djbar-uak. Marriage between persons of the same
group or division was forbidden. Children belonged to the mother's
clan. The clans or subdivisions of the groups were as follows:
tubor-uak suritz-uak deer clan
dutz-uak bird clan
sark-uak monkey clan
dogdi-uak (river name)
orori-uak falls of the Arari river clan
kugdi-uak falls of the Uren river clan
tkiut-uak house-site clan
duri-uak broken clan
arau-uak ara, thunderclap; u, house
urij-uak ant-eating bear.
etc. (to 15 in number)
Gabb (487) states that there is no authority for the use of the name
Beceita, or Veceita, frequently applied as a tribal name, and that it
is unknown to the Indians of Costa Rica.
(Synonyms: Xicagua, Chicagua, Chichagua, Segua, Shelaba (Gabb,
487), Mexicanos (Fernandez, 1: 107)
That there was a Mexican or Nahuatlan colony on the northern
coast of Costa Rica in the neighborhood of Chiriqui lagoon has been
I Uak signifies "pueblo" or "clan."
THoMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 93
lately denied, but it is too clearly proven by historical evidence to
admit of doubt. In the paper heretofore quoted Peralta says:
On the Bay del Alpmirante [Chiriqui] to Point Sorobeta or Terbi there was the
Chichimec colony, already referred to, whose cacique Iztolin conversed in the Mexi-
can language with Juan Vasqliez de Coronado in 1564.
A previous statement in the same paper is as follows:
A Mexican colony also existed in the valley of Telorio near the Bay del Almirante,
and inhabited, the island of Tojar, or Zorobaro (now of Columbus), and the towns of
Chicaua, Moyaua, Quequexque, and Corotapa, on the mainland.
The foregoing information enables us to locate on the map with
approximate correctness the territory of this Nahuatlan colony,
which marks the southern limit of this conquering race.
According to all the authorities, the eastern boundary of the Tala-
mancan area forms the western boundary of the Doraskean area.
This area was in the form of a belt extending across this narrow
part of the continent from the Chiriqui lagoon to the Pacific Ocean.
In the extract from his paper heretofore given (p. 83) Peralta states
that the "Changuenes," who belonged to this group-
Occupied the forests about the headwaters of the Rio Ravalo. The Doraces, south
of the Laguna of Chiriqui, and 'at the foot of the Cordillera adjoined in the valley of
the river Cricamola or Guaymi with the warlike nation of the latter name.
Pinart (2:1) says the "Dorasque-Changuina" occupied the region
about the volcano of Chiriqui, or Enefia, and the high sierras of
Chiriqui and Talamanca, and that they adjoined the "naciones" of
the Talamanca, extending northward to the Chiriqui lagoon. Sapper
(l:map) shows them in the south near David bay and also in the
sierras midway between that bay and Chiriqui lagoon. Except in
the case of the two groups placed on his map, one of which at
least he seems to have visited, the latter author relies chiefly on
Pinart's statement. In addition to the statement above referred
to, Pinart speaks of settlements at Bugava, which is near the Pacific
coast at the Bay of David, and at Gualaca, which is in the inte-
rior about midway toward Chiriqui lagoon, around which Sapper
locates his interior settlement. He mentions another group on the
headwaters of the Changuinaula; others are mentioned at Calderas
and Potrero, all of which, except those on the Changuinaula, he
visited. He indicates that the former chief habitat of the "Dorasque-
Changuina" was on the Atlantic slope, but that they were transferred
by the missionaries in the eighteenth century to the Pacific slope.
Chaliva.-All ascertained in regard to this dialect is that it was
spoken, or perhaps more correctly supposed to be or to have been
I On account of the comparatively small size of the map of the region now entered in the progress south.
ward and the lack of data adequate for marking correctly the tribal areas, only the territory occupied
by the group or subfamily is outlined.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
spoken, by Indians living in the sierras about the headwaters of the
Changuinaula. If the supposition that they speak a Doraskean dia-
lect be correct, the fact tends to confirm Pinart's suggestion that
the Changuina formerly occupied the valley of the Changuinaula,
the river receiving its name, as Pittier (9) also says, from the
Indians. The latter author, however, asserts that it is a Mosquito
Changuina.-All that is known in regard to the Indians speaking
this dialect is that Pinart obtained his vocabulary from some three
or four Changuina Indians living at Bugava on the Pacific side.
Gabb (487) says it was reported to him that a part of the tribe still
lived on the headwaters of the Changuinaula, but that "their very
existence is known only by vague reports of'their savage neighbors."
It is possible that these were not Changuina but Talamanca Indians,
otherwise they must be identified with the Chaliva.
Chumula.-Nothing is known in regard to this dialect except that
information respecting it was obtained by Pinart from Indians living
at Caldera and Potrero in the interior.
Dorakc (proper).-The last Indian of this tribe died in 1882
(Pinart 2:2). The vocabulary given by this author was taken from
a manuscript of Padre Blas Jos6 Franco, obtained at Gualaca in the
interior. Dorask (or Doracho, as sometimes written) does not appear
to be a name mentioned by the early authors; at least Bancroft,
who certainly made a careful examination of their writings (be our
opinion of his conclusions what it may), says (in, 794), "The Tules,
Dariens, Cholos, Dorachos, Savanerics, Cunas, and Bayamos are new
names not mentioned by any of the older writers." What particular
section the Dorask proper originally occupied is therefore unknown.
Gualaca.-Knowledge of this dialect rests on precisely the same
evidence as that regarding the Dorask proper, namely, the vocabu-
lary of Padre Blas Jos6 Francb as given by Pinart (2). It was
obtained at the same place-Gualaca in the interior, where Sapper
locates his interior group.
Teluskie(?)-This is given by Brinton (3: 175) as one of the dia-
lects of his Changuina stock-here the Doraskean group. He gives
as the locality, "near Rio Puan," a branch of Rio Tclorio. The
writer has been unable to find the authority on which this habitat
is given, though he has access to all the works to which Bancroft
refers in this.connection. Pinart (5:118) merely mentions the name
without particulars, nor is any vocabulary available. Possibly
Teluskie is only another name for Chaliva.
This name is here used as employed by Pinart and Adam, that is,
rather as designating a group, or subfamily, including several dialects,
than as the name of a language. According to Pinart (3:2) there
THOMAS] INDIAN LANGUAGES OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 95
were three principal dialects: The Move-Valiente, called also the
Nortefio by the Spaniards; the Murire-Bukueta, called also the
Sabanero by the Spaniards; and the Muoi. Lucien Adam, however,
counts six dialects, which he arranges in two groups, thus: 1, Muoi,
Murire, and Sabanero; 2, Valiente, Guaymie, and Norteno.
The latter arrangement appears to be the correct one and that
which Pinart has in reality followed in his vocabularies, notwith-
standing his preliminary statement.
According to Pinart (3: preface), the group occupied at the time
of the Conquest that part of the Panama district extending on the
north from Chiriqui lagoon to Chagres river, and on the south, or
Pacific side, from Chorrera to the Rio Fonseca; the Pearl and other
islands of the Gulf of Panama, and Cebaco, Coiba, Jicaron, and other
islands in the vicinity of Chiriqui lagoon. Peralta says in the paper
heretofore quoted (p. 83) that "the Guaymies occupied the coast
and the interior lands situated between the rivers Guaymi and
Conception, of Veragua." According to Pinart (3:2) these dialects
appear to be spoken at present only in the plains and sierras in
the vicinity of the eastern end of Chiriqui lagoon, in the Valley
Miranda (or Guaymie), and "en las sierras del mineral de Veraguas."
He gives, however, at the end of his part 2, a list of the names of
places, rivers, etc.-
Pertaining to the dialects of the Guaymie language, in the departments of Panama,
Colon, Code, Veraguas, Los Santos and Chiriqui, and also in the comarcas of Balboa
The above territory extends to the Chagres river.
Sapper (1) very wisely has attempted to indicate on his map only
the area of the Guaymie in the group sense. Even this is not
marked on the present map, being included in the Doraskean area.
The linguistic material collected by Pinart has enabled philologists
to assign these dialects to the Chibchan family with reasonable cer-
tainty. Adam is here followed in counting six dialects, and Pinart
in fact gives six in his vocabularies.
This language, which shows no clear affinity with any other lan-
guage, in spite of certain leanings toward Chibchan, constitutes
a stock in itself, to which the name Cunan is applied. Pinart was
inclined to connect it with the Caribbean group, but this sugges-
tion has not been accepted by philologists generally. The Cuna
have been mentioned under various names, as Mandinga, Darien Indi-
ans, Chucunaque, Cunacuna, Bayano, Tule, Yule, San Blas Indians,
etc., and the old Spanish name Cueva also refers to them.
According to Pinart (1 : preface) the boundaries of the Cunan
territory at the time of the Conquest were as follows: On the west a