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Abipon Language (Abipones)

Language: Abipon was a Guaicuruan language once spoken in Argentina and Paraguay. It was morphologically complex and had SVO word order. The Abipon language has not been spoken since the mid-1800's.

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Names: The same language is referred to in Spanish as either Abipón or Callaga. Since the tribe no longer exists as a distinct cultural entity, it is not known which name they preferred. The Abipones also got the names Ecusgina and Quiabanaite from their Lengua and Macu neighbors, and the Spanish called them and many other tribes of this region Frentones ("Big Foreheads") due to their hairstyles which were shaved high in front. There were three Abipon Indian subgroups, known as the Yaucaniga or Water People, the Riikahé or People of the Open Country, and the Nakaigetergehé or Forest People. Another extinct indigenous group of Argentina, the Mepene, may have been speakers of the same language. Other common spellings include Abipon, Abipona, Abispon, Abispón, Abiponi, Abipone, Abiponian, Callagá, Callagaic, Callagaes, Callages, Kalyaga, Callagaik, Acallagaec, Quiabanabaite, Yaaukanigá, Yaaucaniga, Yaukaniga, Jaaukanigá, Rukahe, Rucahe, Nacaiguetergehé, Naquetagué, Kakaikétergehe, Nakaiketergehe, Mepone, Mapeni, and Mapenuss.

Our Abipon Language Materials

Abipon Vocabulary
    Our list of vocabulary words in the Abipon language, with comparison to words in other Guaicuruan languages.
Abipon Pronunciation Guide:
    How to pronounce Abipon words.
Abipon Animal Words:
    Illustrated glossary of animals in the Abipon language.
Abipon Indian Colors:
    Worksheet showing color words in the Abipon language.
Abipon Numbers:
    Worksheet showing how to count in the Abipon language.

Books for sale on the Abipons

An Account of the Abipones, an Equestrian people of Paraguay:
    Ethnography of the Abipon tribe by a 19th-century missionary who lived with them.
Native Books:
    Evolving list of books about Native Americans in general.

Abipon Language Resources

Abipon Prayers:
    Translations of the Lord's Prayer into the Abipon language.
Lengua Abipon
    Brief information on the Abipon language. Page in Spanish.
Wikipedia: Abipón:
    Encyclopedia entry on the Abipon language.
Abipon Language:
    Demographic information about Abipon from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Abipón Language Tree:
    Theories about Abipon's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Abipon Language Structures:
    Abipon linguistic profile and academic bibliography.

Abipon Culture and History Links

Abipon Tribe
    Information about the culture and history of the Abipon people.
Tattooing in the Gran Chaco of South America:
    History of tattoo art among the Abipones and other Chacoan tribes. With pictures.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

  Wikipedia: Abipón * Britannica: Abipon * Abipones * Abipone * The Abipones:
  Encyclopedia articles on the Abipon Indians.
  Los Abipones * Los Abipon * Los Abipones:
  Information about the Abipones in Spanish.



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