Ethnologue: Areas: Americas

Ecuador

Republic of Ecuador, República del Ecuador. 12,314,000 (1995). 2,300,000 speakers of American Indian languages (Adelaar 1991). Literacy rate 70% to 90%. Also includes Arabic 1,800, Chinese 7,000. Information mainly from SIL 1991. Christian, secular, traditional religion. Blind population 10,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population 150,000 or more (1986 Gallaudet University). Deaf institutions: 3. Data accuracy estimate: A1, A2. The number of languages listed for Ecuador is 22.

ACHUAR-SHIWIAR (ACHUAR, ACHUAL, ACHUARA, ACHUALE, JIVARO, MAINA) [ACU] 2,000 in 7 villages in Ecuador; 3,000 to 3,500 in Peru (1981 G. Fast SIL); 5,000 to 5,500 total. Pastaza and Bobonaza river areas. Jivaroan, Shuar. Many people in the Ecuador group are fairly bilingual in Shuar, but their comprehension is limited. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:60%, 1:20%, 2:10%, 3:7%, 4:3%, 5:0%. Interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 150 to 500 meters. NT 1981. Bible portions 1972-1979.

CHACHI (CAYAPA, CHA' PALAACHI) [CBI] 5,000 (1987 N. Wiebe SIL). North coastal jungle, Esmeraldas Province, Cayapas River and its tributaries (Onzole, Canandé, Sucio, Cojimíes, and others). Barbacoan-Paezan, Barbacoan, Cayapa-Colorado. The name of the people is 'Chachilla'. Women, older people, and those living in the isolated headwaters of the river are less bilingual. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:6%, 1:25.5%, 2:26.5%, 3:34.5%, 4:6%, 5:1.5%. Coastal, riverine. Swidden agriculturalists: plantain; fishermen: shrimp, fish; hunters. Altitude: 10 to 400 meters. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible portions 1964-1980. Work in progress.

COFÁN (KOFÁN, A'I, KOFANE) [CON] 780 in Ecuador; 520 in Colombia (1995 SIL); 1,300 total. Both sides of the Colombia and Ecuador border, Napo Province near Santa Rosa de Sucumbios, and Aguarico River. Chibchan, Cofan. Chibchan with Western Tucanoan features (Ferndon, Borman), Barbacoan (J.A. Mason), or Jivaroan (Ruhlen 1987). Speakers are fairly monolingual. Radio broadcasts in Cofán. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:1%, 1:33%, 2:28%, 3:25%, 4:12%, 5:1%. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 200 to 1,000 meters. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1980, in press (1991). Bible portions 1964.

COLORADO (TSACHILA) [COF] 1,800 (1987 SIL). Northwestern jungle west of Quito, around Santo Domingo de los Colorados. Barbacoan-Paezan, Barbacoan, Cayapa-Colorado. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Interfluvial. Peasant agriculturalists. Altitude: 550 to 600 meters. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1980-1990. Bible portions 1964-1990.

CUAIQUER (COAIQUER, QUAIQUER, KWAIKER, AWA, AWA-CUAIQUER) [KWI] 1,000 in Ecuador (1991 Adelaar); 20,000 in Colombia (1986 SIL). Extreme north, on the western slopes of the Andes, Colombia-Ecuador border, Carchi Province. Barbacoan-Paezan, Barbacoan, Pasto. More distantly related to Chachi and Colorado. Speakers call themselves 'Awa' in Ecuador. Bible portions 1979-1982. Work in progress.

ECUADORIAN SIGN LANGUAGE [ECS] (188,000 deaf persons, 2% of the population; 1986 Gallaudet Univ.). Deaf sign language. Slight regional variants in sign languages. Some influences from USA Peace Corps, others from people educated in Spain or Argentina. Some deaf schools use total communication; speaking and signing.

QUICHUA, HIGHLAND, CALDERÓN (CALDERÓN QUICHUA, PICHINCHA QUICHUA, CAYAMBE QUICHUA) [QUD] 25,000 to 30,000 (1987 SIL). Calderón and Cayambe areas of Pichincha Province around Quito. Quechuan, Quechua II, B. Distinct from Chimborazo, Imbabura, and Tungurahua lexically. A strong Quichua speaking area; spoken by children and in the home. All Quichua are called 'Quechua' in most other countries. Typology: SOV.

QUICHUA, HIGHLAND, CAÑAR [QQC] 100,000 (1991 UBS). Southern highlands, Cañar Province. Quechuan, Quechua II, B. Strong use of Quichua, especially away from the road. They consider Chimborazo to be a separate language. Lexical differences and a strong sense of linguistic and cultural identity make separate literature necessary. Typology: SOV. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible portions 1990-1994. Work in progress.

QUICHUA, HIGHLAND, CHIMBORAZO [QUG] 1,000,000 (1990 UBS); total Quichua in Ecuador 4,320,000, or 41.3% of the population (1987). Central highlands, Chimborazo and Bolivar provinces. Dialects of Cotopaxi (large) and the rest of Tungurahua (large towns around Ambato not called Salasaca). Quechuan, Quechua II, B. High percentage of monolinguals. Typology: SOV. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible 1989. NT 1954-1973. Bible portions 1917-1968.

QUICHUA, HIGHLAND, IMBABURA (OTAVALO QUICHUA) [QHO] 300,000 (1977 SIL). Northern highlands, Imbabura Province. Quechuan, Quechua II, B. Many monolinguals; especially women. Children speak Quichua as first language. Typology: SOV. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible 1994. NT 1976.

QUICHUA, HIGHLAND, LOJA (SARAGURO QUICHUA, LOJA QUICHUA) [QQU] 10,000 to 25,000 (1976 SIL). Northern area of Loja Province in southern highlands. Quechuan, Quechua II, B. Lexically more distinct from Chimborazo and Imbabura. They claim little comprehension of Chimborazo. Lexical differences and a strong sense of linguistic and cultural identity make separate literature necessary. Typology: SOV. Traditional religion, Christian. Selections 1986. Work in progress.

QUICHUA, HIGHLAND, TUNGURAHUA (SALASACA QUICHUA, TUNGURAHUA QUICHUA) [QQS] 7,000 to 10,000 (1977 SIL); at least 15 towns in Salasaca area, not counting other possible dialects (1976 SIL). South and east of Ambato in Tungurahua Province. Quechuan, Quechua II, B. Lexically distinct from Chimborazo, Imbabura, and Calderón. Typology: SOV. Traditional religion, Christian. Work in progress.

QUICHUA, LOWLAND, NAPO (INGANO, LOWLAND NAPO QUICHUA, NAPO QUICHUA) [QLN] 5,000 in Ecuador; 6,000 to 10,000 in Peru (1981 SIL); number unknown in Colombia; 11,000 to 15,000 total. Eastern jungle along the Napo, Aguarico, and Putomayo rivers. Quechuan, Quechua II, B. Dialect: SANTA ROSA QUECHUA. 'Ingano' is a name for all lowland Quichua. Some radio broadcasts in Napo Quichua. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:15%, 1:21%, 2:50%, 3:10%, 4:3%, 5:1%. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 280 meters. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible portions 1972-1987. Work in progress.

QUICHUA, LOWLAND, TENA (YUMBO) [QUW] 5,000 (1976 SIL). Eastern jungle, Tena, Arajuno, Shandia area. Quechuan, Quechua II, B. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 600 meters. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1972. Bible portions 1946-1964.

QUICHUA, PASTAZA, NORTHERN (BOBONAZA QUICHUA, NORTHERN PASTAZA QUICHUA, PASTAZA QUICHUA, ALAMA, CANELOS QUICHUA, SARAYACU QUICHUA) [QLB] 4,000 in Ecuador; 2,000 in Peru (1976 SIL); 6,000 total. Eastern jungle along Bobonaza and Conambo rivers, Pastaza Province. Tigre Quechua is in Peru. Quechuan, Quechua II, B. Dialect: TIGRE QUECHUA. Distinct from Southern Pastaza Quechua of Peru. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 300 to 600 meters. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1992.

SECOYA [SEY] 290 in Ecuador (170 Secoya Angotero, 120 Ecuadorian Siona); 144 in Peru (120 Angotero, 24 Piojé); 434 total (1981 O. Johnson SIL). Northeastern jungle Aguarico, Cuyabeno, and Eno Rivers, near Colombian border. Tucanoan, Western Tucanoan, Northern, Siona-Secoya. Dialects: ECUADORIAN SIONA, ANGOTERO. Identical to Secoya in Peru. Ecuadorian Siona is distinct from Siona of Colombia. Once used as a wider contact language by the Spanish colonial administration. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:55%, 1:23%, 2:15%, 3:36%, 4:1%, 5:0%. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 300 to 350 meters. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1990. Bible portions 1969.

SHUAR (JIVARO, XIVARO, JIBARO, CHIWARO, SHUARA) [JIV] 30,000 to 32,000 (1981 SIL). Southeastern jungle, Morona-Santiago Province. Jivaroan, Shuar. Different from Achuar Jivaro of Peru. The people prefer to be called 'Shuar'. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism are 0:14%, 1:30%, 2:25%, 3:20%, 4:10%, 5:1%. Mountain slope, plains, interfluvial. Swidden, peasant agriculturalists. Altitude: 500 to 1,000 meters. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1976-1983. Bible portions 1939-1966.

SIONA [SIN] 300 in both countries (1982 SIL). Putumayo River. Primarily in Colombia. Tucanoan, Western Tucanoan, Northern, Siona-Secoya. Distinct fron Secoya (Siona-Secoya). Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 300 to 350 meters. NT 1982. Bible portions 1965.

SPANISH [SPN] 9,500,000 in Ecuador (1995 estimate); 266,000,000 in all countries (1987 Time). Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. National language. Christian. Braille Bible. Bible 1553-1979. NT 1543-1986. Bible portions 1514-1985.

TETETE [TEB] 2 elderly speakers in 1969 (SIL). Near the Colombian border, eastern jungle in Cofán area. Tucanoan, Western Tucanoan, Northern, Tetete. Closely related to Secoya but intelligible only with difficulty. Nearly extinct.

WAORANI ("AUCA", HUAORANI, WAODANI, HUAO, SABELA, AUISHIRI) [AUC] 800 (1993 SIL). Eastern jungle between the Napo and Curaray rivers. Unclassified. "Auca" means 'savage' in Quichua. Some bilingualism in Quichua and Spanish. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish, Quichua are 0:94%, 1:5%, 2:1%, 3:0%, 4:0%, 5:0%. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 300 to 400 meters. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1992. Bible portions 1964-1981.

ZÁPARO (ZÁPARA, KAYAPWE) [ZRO] 150 possibly; recent immigration from Peru (1987 SIL); extinct in Peru. Pastaza Province, Peru border, between the Curaray and Bobonaza rivers. Zaparoan. Distinct from Andoa (Shimagae) of Peru. A large ethnic group, which is integrated with the Quichua. Quichua is used exclusively in the home. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 300 to 400 meters. Survey needed.


External Links*


Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or updates on the Ethnologue, go to the Feedback page.

[Americas | Areas | Ethnologue Home | SIL Home]