Tiwa languages

Last updated
Ethnicity Tiwa
4 Pueblos throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo in El Paso, Texas
Linguistic classification Tanoan
  • Tiwa
Glottolog tiwa1255

Tiwa /ˈtwə/ [1] (Spanish Tigua, also E-nagh-magh [2] ) is a group of two, possibly three, related Tanoan languages spoken by the Tiwa Pueblo, and possibly Piro Pueblo, in the U.S. state of New Mexico.


Subfamily members and relations

Southern Tiwa is spoken in by around 1,600 people in Isleta Pueblo, Sandia Pueblo, and Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (Tigua Pueblo).

The remaining two languages form a subgrouping known as Northern Tiwa. Northern Tiwa consists of Taos spoken by 800 people in Taos Pueblo and Picuris spoken by around 220 people in Picuris Pueblo.

The extinct language of Piro Pueblo may also have been a Tiwan language, but this is uncertain (see Piro Pueblo language).


After the Pueblo Revolt against the Spanish conquistadors in 1680, some of the Tigua and Piro peoples fled south with the Spanish to El Paso del Norte (present-day Ciudad Juárez, Mexico). There they founded Ysleta del Sur, Texas; Socorro, Texas; and Senecú del Sur, Mexico. [3] Their descendants continued to live in these communities as late as 1996. [4]

See also


  1. Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
  2. Lane in Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe (1851-1883) Historical and statistical information respecting the history, condition, and prospects of the Indian tribes of the United States; collected and prepared under the direction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs per act of Congress of March 3rd, 1847 Lippincott, Philadelphia, OCLC 6202862
  3. Marshall, Michael P. and Walt, Henry J., (1984) "Chapter 11: Pre-Revolt Place Names: Senecú," in Rio Abajo: Prehistory and History of a Rio Grande Province, New Mexico Historic Preservation Division, Santa Fe, p. 252, OCLC   11553460
  4. Eickhoff, Randy Lee (1996) Exiled: The Tigua Indians of Ysleta del Sur, Republic of Texas Press, Plano, Texas, ISBN   1-55622-507-5

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