|Department of Putumayo
Departamento del Putumayo
Putumayo shown in red
Topography of the department
|• Governor||Sorrel Parisa Aroca Rodriguez(2016-2019)|
|• Total||24,885 km2 (9,608 sq mi)|
|• Density||14/km2 (35/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||CO-PUT|
The word putumayo comes from the Quechua languages. The verb p'utuy means "to spring forth" or "to burst out", and mayu means river. Thus it means "gushing river".
Originally, the south west of the department was the territory of the Cofán Indians, the north west that of the Kamentxá Indians, and the center and south belonged to tribes that spoke Tukano languages (such as the Siona), and the east to tribes that spoke Witoto languages. Part of the Kamentxá territory was conquered by the Inca Huayna Cápac in 1492, who, after crossing the Cofán territory, established a Quechua population on the valley of Sibundoy, known today as Ingas. After the Inca defeat in 1533, the region was invaded by the Spanish in 1542, and from 1547 was administered by Catholic missions.
The current territory of Putumayo was linked to Popayan during the Spanish Colonial Period and in the first Republican decades belonged to the "Azuay Department", that included territories in Ecuador and Perú. Later a long process of territorial redistributions began:
- 1831: Popayán Province.
- 1857: Estado Federal del Cauca.
- 1886: Cauca Department.
- 1905: Intendencia del Putumayo.
- 1909: Intendencia del Caquetá.
- 1912: Comisaría Especial del Putumayo.
- 1953: Department of Nariño.
- 1957: Comisaría Especial del Putumayo.
- 1968: Intendencia Especial del Putumayo.
- 1991: Putumayo Department.
- (in Spanish) Government of Putumayo official website
- Territorial-Environmental Information System of Colombian Amazon SIAT-AC website