Ethnologue: Areas: Americas

Panama

Republic of Panama, República de Panamá. 2,659,000 (1995). Literacy rate 87% to 88%. Also includes Arabic 15,000. Information mainly from SIL 1995. Christian, Muslim, secular, traditional religion, Baha'i. Blind population 2,000 (1982 WCE). Data accuracy estimate: A1, A2. The number of languages listed for Panama is 13.

BUGLERE (BOKOTA, BOGOTA, BOFOTA, BOBOTA, BOCOTA, BUKUETA, NORTENYO, MURIRE, VERAGUAS SABANERO) [SAB] 2,500 (1986 SIL). Mountains of western Panama. Chibchan, Guaymi. Dialects: SABANERO, BOKOTÁ. Speakers of Sabanero are few and integrated among the Guaymí. NT 1988. Bible portions 1980.

CHINESE, HAKKA [HAK] 6,000 speakers in Panama out of an ethnic group of 30,000 to 60,000 including Cantonese (1981 MARC); 34,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Panama City, Colón, larger towns of interior. Sino-Tibetan, Chinese. Merchants. Bible 1916. NT 1883-1993. Bible portions 1860-1995.

CHINESE, YUE (CANTONESE, YUE, YUEH) [YUH] 66,000,000 in all countries (1992 WA). Panama City, Colón, larger towns of interior. Sino-Tibetan, Chinese. Merchants. Bible 1894-1981. NT 1877, in press (1996). Bible portions 1862-1903.

CATÍO (CATIO, KATIO, EMBENA, EPERA) [CTO] 40 in Panama (1982 SIL); 15,000 to 20,000 in Colombia (1992 SIL). Choco, Embera, Northern. Bible portions 1975-1987. Work in progress.

EMBERÁ, NORTHERN (EMPERA, EBERA BEDEA, ATRATO, DARIEN, DARIENA, PANAMA EMBERA, CHOLO, E~BERÃ) [EMP] 7,000 to 8,000 in Panama; 13,000 to 15,000 in Colombia (1988 Aguire & Pardo-Rojas); 20,000 to 23,000 total. Southeastern Panama, Darien area, lowland jungle. Choco, Embera, Northern. Grammar. Dictionary. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:40%, 1:32%, 2:25%, 3:2.5%, 4:.5%, 5:0%. Interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 100 to 400 meters. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1993. Bible portions 1972-1980.

GUAYMÍ (VALIENTE, CHIRIQUI, NGOBERE, NGÄBERE) [GYM] 128,000 in Panama (1990 census); 5,000 or more in Costa Rica (1995 SIL); 150,000 in both countries (1995 W. Bivin SIL). Northeastern Chiriqui, Bocas del Toro, western Veraguas (western provinces). Chibchan, Guaymi. Dialects: VALIENTE, EASTERN GUAYMÍ (TOLÉ, CHIRIQUÍ). 'Ngäbere' is name preferred by speakers. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:30%, 1:40%, 2:15%, 3:10%, 4:4.5%, 5:.5%. Slope, coastal. Swidden agriculturalists, hunters, fishermen. Altitude: 100 ti 6,000 feet. Bible portions 1924-1995. Work in progress.

KUNA, BORDER (PAYA-PUCURO KUNA, KUNA DE LA FRONTERA, COLOMBIA CUNA, CAIMAN NUEVO, LONG HAIR CUNA, CUNA) [KUA] 700 in Panama (1991 SIL); 600 to 800 in Colombia (1991 SIL); 1,300 to 1,500 total. Southeastern Panama, villages of Paya and Pucuro. Chibchan, Kuna. Classification of Kuna is uncertain; it may be an isolate with certain Chibchan features. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:20%, 1:70%, 2:7%, 3:3%, 4:0%, 5:0%. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 300 to 400 feet. NT 1993. Bible portions 1980.

KUNA, SAN BLAS (SAN BLAS CUNA) [CUK] 50,000 to 70,000 (1995 SIL), including about 10,000 in Panama City, Colón, and on banana plantations (1991 SIL). San Blas Islands and on the mainland. Chibchan, Kuna. Dialects: CHUANA, CUEVA, BAYANO (ALTO BAYANO, MAJE). Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:60%, 1:20%, 2:12%, 3:2%, 4:3%, 5:3%. Island, riverine. Swidden agriculturalists, fishermen. Altitude: 0 to 200 feet. Christian. NT 1970-1995. Bible portions 1951-1965.

SAN MIGUEL CREOLE FRENCH [SME] Creole, French based. Ancestors came from St. Lucia in mid-19th Century as laborers. The Creole has Spanish influences. Education is in Spanish. Survey needed.

SPANISH (ESPAÑOL, CASTELLANO) [SPN] 2,100,000 in Panama (1995 estimate); 266,000,000 in all countries (1987 Time). Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. National language. Bible 1553-1979. NT 1543-1986. Bible portions 1514-1985.

TERIBE (TERRABA, TIRIBI, TIRRIBI, NORTENYO, QUEQUEXQUE, NASO) [TFR] 3,000 in Panama (1996 SIL); 400 in the ethnic group in Costa Rica (1996 SIL). Northwestern area, Changuinola, Teribe River. Chibchan, Talamanca. 'Naso' is the name preferred by speakers. Typology: OVS. Tropical forest. Interfluvial. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 200 feet. Bible portions 1979-1984. Work in progress.

WAUMEO (WAUNANA, WOUNAAN, NOANAMA, NOENAMA, NONAMA, CHOCAMA, CHANCO, WOUN MEU, WOUNMEU) [NOA] 3,000 in Panama; 3,000 in Colombia (1991 SIL); 6,000 in both countries. Southeastern Panama, lowlands. Choco. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 0:10%, 1:50%, 2:25%, 3:13.5%, 4:1.0%, 5:0.5%. Riverine. Swidden agriculturalists. Altitude: 50 feet. NT 1988. Bible portions 1972-1982.

WESTERN CARIBBEAN CREOLE ENGLISH [JAM] 100,000 to 299,600 in Panama, 14% of the population (1986); 2,756,000 in all countries. Bocas del Toro, Colón, and Rio Abajo in Panama City. Also in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Belize, Jamaica, British West Indies, San Andrés and Providencia (Colombia). Creole, English based, Atlantic, Western. Dialects: RIO ABAJO, BOCAS DEL TORO, COLÓN. Ancestors came from Barbados and Jamaica in mid-19th century to work in fruit plantations, and later to build the railway and canal. Influences from both eastern and western Caribbean creole English. Apparently intelligible with Jamaican and other Central American creoles. Four distinct creole varieties in Panama; Bocas del Toro has an English base with Guaymí, Spanish, and possibly French influence. Colón and Rio Abajo have an English base with recent Spanish influence. Formerly education was in English, but is now in Spanish. Work in progress.


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