Chiriguano - Orientation



Identification. The name "Chiriguano" is of foreign origin, most commonly believed to be of Quechuan derivation. A more probable explanation, however, is that this term refers to the mixed ethnic origin of the Chiriguano. Historically, the Chiriguano referred to themselves as "Ava" (men).

Location. Before the Conquest the Chiriguano occupied a vast territory that ranged from the upper Río Pilcomayo to the upper Río Grande in Bolivia. Presently, the Chiriguano are settled in dozens of communities in the foothills of the Bolivian Andes, in the Izozo region of Bolivia, and in several communities near the city of Santa Cruz. Other groups have settled, since the beginning of the twentieth century and particularly during the Chaco War (1932-1935), in border towns of Paraguay and in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy in northwest Argentina.

Demography. In the eighteenth century the total Chiriguano population was between 100,000 and 200,000. Today in Bolivia it is estimated at 22,000, in Argentina at about 21,000, and in Paraguay at approximately 3,000.

linguistic Affiliation. The Chiriguano language belongs to the Tupí-Guaraní Family. All four Chiriguano ethnic groups (Ava, Izoceño, Simba, and Chane) speak the same language with slight differences in pronunciation and vocabulary.


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Sep 30, 2011 @ 4:16 pm
I am surprized that all the studies end at 1800 and 1700 the most. These people have been living in Americas for over 12000 years. If one cannot recognize this, then there is no reason to dicuss languages and cultures. I believe you would find a better answer if you look to origins of mankind in Central Asia.

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