Uwa Language
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Uwa Language
Uw Cuwa
Native toColombia, formerly in Venezuela
Regionthe largest groups live on the northern slopes of the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Boyacá Department
Native speakers
3,550 (2000)[1]
  • Chibcha-Motilon
    • Chibcha-Tunebo
      • Uwa
Language codes
tnd - Angosturas Tunebo/Bahiyakuwa
tbn - Barro Negro Tunebo (Eastern Tunebo/Yithkaya)
tuf - Central Tunebo (Cobaría/Kubaru'wa & Tegría/Tagrinuwa)
tnb - Western Tunebo (Aguas Blancas/Rikuwa)
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The Uwa language, Uw Cuwa, commonly known as Tunebo, is a Chibchan language spoken by between 1,800 and 3,600 of the Uwa people of Colombia, out of a total population of about 7,000.[3]


There are half a dozen known varieties. Communication between modern varieties can be difficult, so they are considered distinct languages.

Adelaar (2004) lists the living

Umaña (2012) lists Cobaría, Tegría, Agua Blanca, Barro Negro.[needs to be confirmed with footnote in original]

Berich lists the dialects Cobaría; Agua Blanca (= Uncasía, Tamarana, Sta Marta); Rinconada, Tegría, Bócota, & Báchira

Cassani lists Sínsiga, Tegría, Unkasía (= Margua), Pedraza, Manare, Dobokubí (= Motilón)

Osborn (1989) lists

  • Bethuwa (= Pedraza, extinct),
  • Rikuwa (Dukarúa, = Agua Blanca),
  • Tagrinuwa (Tegría),
  • Kubaruwa (Cobaría),
  • Kaibaká (= Bókota),
  • Yithkaya (= San Miguel / Barro Negro),
  • Bahiyakuwa (= Sínsiga),
  • Biribirá,
  • and Ruba,

the latter all extinct

Fabre (2005) lists:

  • Bontoca (perhaps the same as the Bókota = Kaibaká cited in Osborn), of the mountains of Guican
  • Cobaría, along the Cobaría River
  • Pedraza or Bethuwa [= Angosturas?], along the Venezuelan border; extinct
  • Sínsiga, in the Guican mountains, recorded from Chita, Boyaca in 1871
  • Tegría or Tagrinuwa, along the Cobaría River
  • Unkasia, along the Chitiga and Marga rivers (Telban 1988)

Additional names in Loukotka are Manare and Uncasica (presumably a spelling variant of Unkasía/Uncacía), as well as Morcote, of which nothing is known. Manare, at the source of the Casanare, is Eastern Tunebo.



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  1. ^ Angosturas Tunebo/Bahiyakuwa at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
    Barro Negro Tunebo (Eastern Tunebo/Yithkaya) at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
    Central Tunebo (Cobaría/Kubaru'wa & Tegría/Tagrinuwa) at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
    Western Tunebo (Aguas Blancas/Rikuwa) at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tunebo". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Adelaar & Muysken (2004:109)


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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