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Tairona is a group of chiefdoms in the region of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in present-day Cesar, Magdalena and La Guajira Departments of Colombia, South America, which goes back at least to the 1st century AD and had significant demographic growth around the 11th century.

The Tairona people formed one of the two principal linguistic groups of the Chibcha family, and were pushed into submarginal regions by the Spanish colonial system during the 16th and 17th centuries. The indigenous Kogui, Wiwa, Arhuacos and Cancuamo people who live in the area today are believed to be direct descendants of the Tairona.

Etymological similarities of the word Tairona survive in the four main linguistic groups of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta: in Sanca Language it is pronounced Teiruna, in Kankuamo language Teijua or Tairuna and in Ijka Teruna, meaning "Males" or "sons of the Tiger".

Related websites

Pre-Columbian Tairona Gold

Information from the Tairona Heritage Trust

Tairona. (2006). Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved February 14, 2006

Jeffrey Quilter and John W. Hoopes, Editors, 2003: Gold and Power in Ancient Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia

Pensamiento Arhuaco


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

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