Kaqchikel people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kaqchikel (Cakchiquel)
A Kaqchikel family
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Guatemala (Sacatepéquez, Sololá)
 Mexico (Chiapas, Campeche)
Kaqchikel, Spanish
Catholic, Evangelical, Maya religion
Related ethnic groups
K'iche', Tzutujil

The Kaqchikel (also called Kachiquel[2]) are one of the indigenous Maya peoples of the midwestern highlands of Guatemala and of southern Mexico. They constitute Guatemala's third largest Maya group.[3] The name was formerly spelled in various other ways, including Cakchiquel, Kakchiquel, Caqchikel, and Cachiquel.


The Kaqchikel language, one of the Mayan languages from the Quichean branch, is spoken today by 400,000 people. It is closely related to the Tzutujil language.[4]


In Mexico, the Kaqchikel communities are located in the state of Chiapas, in the municipalities of Amatenango de la Frontera, Mazapa de Madero, Motozintla, Frontera Comalapa, El Porvenir and Villa Comatitlan, due to recent migrations, there are small Kaqchikel communities in the state of Campeche located in the municipalities of Campeche and Champotón.[5]

In Guatemala they live in the departments of Sololá, Chimaltenango and Sacatepéquez.


In Postclassic Maya times the capital of the main branch of the Kaqchikel was Iximché. Like the neighboring K'iche' (Quiché), they were governed by four lords: Tzotzil, Xahil, Tucuché and Acajal, who were responsible for the administrative, military and religious affairs. The Kakchikel recorded their history in the book Annals of the Cakchiquels, also known as Memorial de Sololá.[6]

The Chajoma were another Kaqchikel-speaking people; the ruins of Mixco Viejo have been identified as their capital.

Iximché was conquered by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado in 1524. At that time, the Kaqchikel were the enemies of the neighbouring K'iche' Kingdom, and helped the Spaniards to conquer it. The first colonial capital of Guatemala, Tecpán Guatemala, was founded near Iximché on July 25, 1524. On November 22, 1527, after several Kaqchikel uprisings, the capital was moved to Ciudad Vieja, near Antigua Guatemala.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Resultados Censo 2018" (PDF). Instituto Nacional de Estadistica Guatemala. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  2. ^ Baily, John (1850). Central America; Describing Each of the States of Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. London: Trelawney Saunders. p. 83.
  3. ^ Carlsen, Robert S. "Kaqchikel." In Davíd Carrasco (ed). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures. : Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 9780195188431
  4. ^ "Atlas de los Pueblos Indígenas de México: Kaqchikeles – Lengua".
  5. ^ "Atlas de los Pueblos Indígenas de México: Kaqchikeles – Localización".
  6. ^ "The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Annals of the Cakchiquels, by Daniel G. Brinton". www.gutenberg.org. Retrieved 2018-02-07.