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).


San Martin Region, Sisa, Lamas, and other districts, and along Ucayali river, Lamas town is cultural center; into Amazonas Region, Roderigo de Menedez province; separate enclave, Loreto Region.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Recognized language (1993, Constitution, Article 48).


Several minor dialects. A member of macrolanguage Quechua [que].



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. 13,000 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 [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian (Protestant).