Native Indian languages * Native Indian cultures * Native Indian heritage

Gayon Language (Gayones, Coyones)

Language: Gayon was a Jirajaran language once spoken in Venezuela. It had SVO word order. The meaning of the name "Gayón" is not clear. Though this word was used as an old-fashioned insult for a playboy in Spain, that was probably not the origin of the tribe's name, which was also spelled Cayon, Coyon or Cuyon by early settlers in Venezuela. It may have come from an indigenous word for "brother," recorded as gayo or coyo.

The Gayon language has not been spoken since the early 1900's. There are still people of Gayon ancestry in Venezuela today, but the Gayon Indians were displaced and resettled in missions together with indigenous people from other tribes, where they lost their languages and assimilated. For this reason, there is no official Gayon tribe today, and little traditional Gayon culture is still practiced.

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Our Gayon Language Materials

Gayon Words:
    Our list of vocabulary words in the Gayon language, with comparison to words in other Jirajaran languages.
Gayon Animal Words:
    Picture dictionary of animals in the Gayon language.
Gayon Body Parts:
    Worksheet for learning parts of the body in the Gayon language.
Gayon Food:
    Worksheet with pictures of food words in the Gayon language.

Gayon Language Resources

Gayón Language Tree:
    Theories about Gayon's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Lengua Gayón
    Information on the Gayon language. Page in Spanish.

Gayon Culture and History Links

Jirajaran Languages * Map of Precolumbian Venezuela:
    Maps showing the original locations of the Gayon and other Jirajaran tribes.
Los indios Ayomanes, JiraJaras y Gayones
    Ethnography of the Gayon Indians, with photographs. Page in Spanish.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

  Wikipedia: Jirajaran:
  Encyclopedia article about Gayon and other Jirajaran languages.
  Gayones, etnia de Venezuela: * Indigenas Gayones en Estado Lara:
  Information about the Gayon tribe in Spanish.

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