|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2013)|
|José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero, Carmelo Gómez, Manolo Martínez, Juanín García|
|approx. more than 1 million people worldwide|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Spanish (majority), Leonese (minority), Mirandese (minority in Portugal).|
|Roman Catholicism, Atheism, Agnosticism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Galicians, Asturians, Castilians and others Spanish peoples.|
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The Leonese (Leonese: Llïoneses, Spanish: Leoneses) are an ethnic group whose homeland is the former Kingdom of León, now known as region of Leon. This area was formerly a country in Southwestern Europe that covered a territory in northwestern Spain and northeastern Portugal.
The Leonese Kingdom was an independent kingdom in the Middle Ages,  until the 1833 territorial division of Spain. The languages of León are the Leonese language and Spanish in Spain and the Leonese and Portuguese in Portugal. A variety of Leonese called Mirandese (mirandês) is spoken in the Miranda do Douro Region of Portugal.
Geography and demographics
Political and administrative divisions
The former Kingdom of León was divided into three historical regions: Asturias, León and Extremadura, with the southern territories integrated into Andalucía, and some of the eastern territories into Castile. The Spanish division of 1833 recognised as Leonese the provinces of León, Salamanca and Zamora. They are now part of Castile and León and have lost their distinct identity as they fused with Old Castile.
There are Leonese minorities in the District of Bragança (Portugal) that maintain Leonese culture and Leonese language, mainly in the northwest (Riodonor, Guadramil) and in the Land of Miranda, where a Leonese dialect known as Mirandês was officially recognised by the Parliament of Portugal.
The Leonese language (Llingua Llïonesa in Leonese) developed from Vulgar Latin with contributions from the pre-Roman languages spoken in the Spanish provinces of León, Zamora, and Salamanca and in some villages in the District of Bragança, Portugal. Close to Mirandese and Asturian or Bable, it belongs to the Astur-Leonese subgroup of Iberian languages.
Leonese was the official language of the Leonese Kingdom in the Middle Ages and achieved a high codification grade. The first written text in Leonese was Nodicia de Kesos (959 or 974), and other old texts include Fueru de Llión, Fueru de Salamanca, Fueru Xulgu, Códice d'Alfonsu XI, Disputa d'Elena y María and Llibru d'Alixandre
Its precarious situation as a minority language has driven Leonese to near extinction; it is considered a seriously endangered language by UNESCO. There are ongoing language revival efforts to try to get the urban population interested in the language. There is the Leonese Council that promotes the language, and the municipalities of Zamora, Coyanza, Mansilla de las Mulas or La Bañeza have promoted the teaching of Leonese.
- Cecina from León: from beef. In Leonese, cecina means "meat that has been salted and dried by means of air, sun or smoke". Cecina de León is made of the hind legs of beef, salted, smoked and air-dried in the province of León in Northwestern Spain, and has PGI status.
- Botillo: from pig. Traditionally made in the western Leonese regions. Botiellu, in Leonese language, is a dish of meat-stuffed pork intestine. It is a culinary specialty of El Bierzo, a county in the Spanish province of León and the region of Trás-os-Montes in Portugal where it is known as Botelo. This type of Embutido (Spanish) ou Enchido (Portuguese) is a meat product made from different pieces left over from the butchering of a pig, including the ribs, tail, and bones with a little meat left on them. These are chopped; seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and other spices; stuffed in the cecum of the pig; and partly cured via smoking. It can also include the pig's tongue, shoulder blade, jaw, and backbone, but may never exceed 20% of the total volume. It is normally consumed cooked and covered with a sheet. Also has a PGI status.
- Bierzo: is in the west of the Province of León and covers about 3,000 km2 (1,200 sq mi). The area consists of numerous small valleys in the mountainous part (Alto Bierzo) and of a wide, flat plain (Bajo Bierzo). The DO covers 23 municipalities.
- Tierras de León: is in the southeast of the Province of León.
- Toro: is in the east of the Province of Zamora.
- Arribes: is in the southeast of the Province of Zamora and the northwest of the Province of Salamanca. There are 750 ha of vineyards registered with the Consejo Regulador (Governing Body)
- Mantecadas de Astorga
- Hojaldres de Astorga
- Lazos de San Guillermo
- Nicanores de Boñar
Nationalism and history
There are Leonese political parties who fight to give independent autonomous community status for the Leonese provinces.[who?]
- Astures (one of the Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula)
- Leonese language
- Kingdom of Asturias
- Kingdom of León
- Province of León
- Province of Salamanca
- Province of Zamora
- Nationalities of Spain
- Spanish people
- http://www.puntulli.org/ Top Level Domain for Leonese language
- http://www.elfueyu.net/ Leonese language Association
- http://archive.is/2012.07.30/http://www.eltoralin.com/ Leonese language Association from El Bierzo
- http://www.aytoleon.es/ Leonese City Council
- http://www.dipuleon.es/ Leonese Provincial Council