A language of Colombia

Alternate Names
Cuveo, Hehenawa, Hipnwa, Kobeua, Kobewa, Kubwa, Pamiwa

6,100 in Colombia (Civallero 2008), increasing. 10% monolinguals. Population total all countries: 6,260.


Vaupés, Amazonas, and Vichada departments, Vaupés, Cuduyari, Querarí rivers and tributaries. Also in Guainía Department. Also in Brazil, Venezuela.

Language Status

4 (Educational).



Language Use

Vigorous. Cubeo is lingua franca for northwest Vaupés area. All domains. About 5% are 7 years old or younger. Positive attitudes. Most also use other Tucanoan languages, Spanish [spa], or Portuguese [por].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 35%. Literacy rate in L2: 60%. Written form used for religion and commerce. Both oral and written in primary school. Newspapers. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1970–2009.
Latin script.
Other Comments

Exogamous marriage pattern with speakers of other languages. Cubeo is the lingua franca of the northwest section of the Vaupés and Tucano is the lingua franca for the southeast section. Decrease in infant mortality has caused an increase in population. Traditional religion, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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