A language of Colombia

Alternate Names
Awa, Awa Pit, Coaiquer, Cuaiquer, Kwaiker, Quaiquer

12,000 in Colombia (Civallero 2008), decreasing. No monolinguals. Population total all countries: 13,000. Ethnic population: 13,000 (Crevels 2007).


Pacific slopes of Andes, Nariño, from Ecuador border north, near Barbacoas. Nariño and Putumayo departments, Cumbal, Mallama, Ricaurte, Barbacoas. Cuambíyaslambi, and Cuaiquer del Alto Albí reservations. Also in Ecuador.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Distantly related to Chachi [cbi] and Colorado [cof].



Language Use

Majority are monolingual in Spanish [spa] and no evidence of monolingualism in Awa Cuaiquer.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: Below 5%. Grammar. NT: 2002.
Latin script.
Other Comments

Ethnic autonym: Awa and Înkal Awa, both in Ecuador and Colombia. The presence of petroleum companies, paramilitary groups, guerrilla forces, the cultivation of illicit crops and subsequent widespread fumigation of their territory has had extremely disruptive effects on the Awa society that currently is coping with a very serious acculturation process. Traditional religion, Christian.

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