A language of Colombia

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

12,000 in Colombia (Civallero 2008), decreasing. Population total all countries: 13,000. 0 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 13,000 (Crevels 2007).


Pacific slopes of Andes, Nariño Department, from Ecuador border north, near Barbacoas; Cumbal, Mallama, Ricaurte, Cuambíyaslambi, and Cuaiquer del Alto Albí reservations.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


None known. Distantly related to Chachi [cbi] and Colorado [cof].



Language Use

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

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

Latin script [Latn].

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.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All