Quechua, San Martín


A language of Peru

Alternate Names
Lama, Lamano, Lamista, Lamisto, Motilón, Ucayali

15,000 (2000 SIL), decreasing. 2,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 44,000 (2000).


Loreto Region; San Martín Region, Sisa, Lamas, and other districts, and along Ucayali river. Lamas town is cultural center.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality (1993, Constitution, Article 48).


Several minor dialects.



Language Use

Little transmission to children. Bilingual parents want their children to learn Spanish. Used by shamans in chants. Protestants use it in singing with published hymnbook. Scattered occasional use in religious services apart from singing. Negative attitudes. Embarrassed to be heard using the language. Also use Spanish [spa].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 10%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. 1,500 readers, 400 can write. Some oral and a little written Quechua taught in primary schools. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1992–2008.
Latin script.
Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.