ETHNONYMS: Cakchiquel, Kakchiquel

The 445,000 or more Kaqchikel are a Quichean Maya people who live in the Guatemala departments of Chimaltenango, Quiché, Guatemala, Sololá, Escuintla, and Sacatepéquez. Following are the names and locations of the ten major subgroups of the Kaqchikel, each of which speaks a separate sister language: Central (Chimaltenango Department), Eastern (near Guatemala City), Northern (central highlands), Santa Maria de Jesus (southeast of Antigua Guatemala), Santo Domingo Xenacoj (west of Guatemala City), South Central (west of Guatemala City), Southern (south of Antigua Guatemala), Acatenango Southwestern (municipio of Acatenango), Yepocapa Southwestern (municipio of Yepocapa), and Western (San José Chacaya and Santa Cruz La Laguna).

Conquered by the K'iche' Maya in the fifteenth century, the Kaqchikel allied themselves with the Spanish in the 1520s to retaliate against them. In 1526 they attacked their new masters, the Spanish, but were defeated and fled to the hills. In the seventeenth century, they lived as farmers under control of Spanish missionaries and government. The Kaqchikel lost much of their lands, and many became agricultural laborers. Political repression caused many to leave Guatemala for Mexico and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s.


Olson, James S. (1991). The Indians of Central and South America. New York: Greenwood Press.

Tax, Sol, and Robert Hinshaw (1969). "The Maya of the Midwestern Highlands." In Handbook of Middle American Indians, edited by Robert Wauchope. Vol. 7, Ethnology, Part One, edited by Evon Z. Vogt, 69-100. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Also read article about Kaqchikel from Wikipedia

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