A language of Colombia

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

6,100 in Colombia (Civallero 2008), increasing. Population total all countries: 6,260. 610 monolinguals.


Vaupés Department, Vaupés, Cuduyari, Querarí rivers and tributaries; possibly some in Guainía Department.

Language Status

3 (Wider communication).Cubeo is lingua franca for northwest Vaupés area and Tucano [tuo] is the lingua franca for the southeast section.



Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. About 5% are 7 years old or younger. Positive attitudes. Also use Portuguese [por], Spanish [spa]. Most also use other Tucanoan languages. Used as L2 by Cacua [cbv].

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 [Latn].

Other Comments

Exogamous marriage pattern with speakers of other languages. Decrease in infant mortality has caused an increase in population. Traditional religion, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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