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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:
    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.

Abipon Language Resources

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

Books for sale on the Abipons
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An Account of the Abipones, an Equestrian people of Paraguay:
    Older ethnography of the Abipon tribe, written by a 19th-century missionary who lived with them.
The Chaco Mission Frontier: The Guaycuruan Experience:
    Modern history book examining how the Abipones and neighboring indigenous tribes adapted to colonial life.
Lengua Abipona:
    Dictionary and grammar of the Abipon language in Spanish.
Native Books:
    Evolving list of books about Native Americans in general.

Abipon Culture and History Links

Abipon Tribe
    Information about the culture and history of the Abipon people.
Map of the Gran Chaco Tribes * Patagonian Languages:
    Historical maps of Paraguay and Argentina showing the original territory of the Abipón tribe.
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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Additional Resources, Links, and References

  OLAC: Abipon:
  Reference list of Abipon language materials.
  Wikipedia: Abipón * Britannica: Abipon * Abipones:
  Encyclopedia articles on the Abipon Indians.
  Pueblo Abipón * Los Abipones * Los Abipon * Indios Abipones:
  Information about the Abipones in Spanish.
  Indigenous People of Argentina: * Indigenous People of Paraguay:
  Information about the indigenous culture and history of Argentina and Paraguay.

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