A language of Colombia

Alternate Names
Lengua, Palenque

500 (Holm 1989). Ethnic population: 3,500.


Bolivar Department, San Basilio de Palenque village southeast of Cartagena; Atl√°ntico Department, small border area and 2 neighborhoods in Barranquilla.

Language Maps
Language Status

8a (Moribund).


None known. Linguistic influences from Koongo [kng] in Democratic Republic of the Congo (Hancock 1987).

Language Use

10% of those under 25 speak it (1998 A. Schwegler). Most speakers are older, but younger people are increasingly learning it as L2 and marker of identity (2011 A. Schwegler). Positive attitudes. Also use Spanish [spa].

Other Comments

People are culturally distinct from nearby Spanish [spa] speakers. Palenque is Spanish for a fortified village of runaway slaves.