MundoAndino Home : Andes Bolivia Guide at Mundo Andino

Kallawaya language

Kallawaya is an endangered, secret, mixed language in Bolivia. It is spoken by the Kallawaya people, a group of traditional itinerant healers in the Andes in their medicinal healing practice. The language dates back at least to the pre-Inca period.

It is a mixed language. The grammar is partially Quechua morphology, but most of its words are from either unknown sources or from an extinct language family, Pukina, and based on Pukina lexicon. Pukina, once spoken in the region, was abandoned in favor of Quechua, Aymara or Spanish.

Kallawaya is also a secret language, passed only by father to son, or grandfather to grandson, or rarely, to daughters if a practitioner has no sons. It is not passed on for use in normal family dialogue. Although its use is primarily ritual, used secretly for initiated men, Kallawaya may be a part of everyday conversation between those familiar with it.

Further reading

Aguilo, Federico. Diccionario kallawaya. La Paz, Bolivia: MUSEF, 1991. (Spanish language)

Bastien JW. 1989. Differences between Kallawaya-Andean and Greek-European Humoral Theory]. Social Science & Medicine (1982). 28, no. 1: 45-51.

Girault, Louis. Kallawaya: el idioma secreto de los incas : diccionario. [La Paz, Bolivia?]: UNICEF, 1989. (Spanish language)

Oblitas Poblete, Enrique, and Jan Szeminski. Lexico Kallawaya. [S.l: Bet Xemex?, 1994. (Spanish language)

External links

Kallawaya language project and photos of language speakers

Other ways to spell Kallawaya

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Languages of Bolivia or help others to find answers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Kallawaya language