Timoto–Cuica people

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Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Venezuela extinct
Timote-Cuica language

Timoto–Cuica people were an indigenous group compromised primarily of two tribes, the Timotes and the Cuicas, that inhabited in the Andean region of western Venezuela.[1] They were closely related to the Muisca people of the Andes, who spoke a Chibchan based language. The Timoto-Cuicas were not only composed of the Timoto and the Cuica tribes, but also the Mucuchíes, the Migures, the Tabayes, and the Mucuñuques.

Culture and lifeways[edit]

Timoto-Cuica territory, in present day Mérida, Venezuela

Pre-Columbian Venezuela had an estimated indigenous population of one million,[1] with the Andean region being the most densely populated area. The two tribes lived peacefully in what are today the states of Mérida, Trujillo, and Táchira.

Timoto-Cuica society was complex with pre-planned permanent villages, surrounded by irrigated, terraced fields. They also stored water in tanks.[1] Their houses were made primarily of stone and wood with thatched roofs. They were peaceful, for the most part, and depended on growing crops. Regional crops included potatoes and ullucos.[2]

They left behind works of art, particularly anthropomorphic ceramics, but no major monuments. They spun vegetable fibers to weave into textiles and mats for housing. They are credited with having invented the arepa, a staple in Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine.

Timoto and Cuica toponyms


  1. ^ a b c Mahoney 89
  2. ^ "Venezuela." Friends of the Pre-Columbian Art Museum. (retrieved 9 July 2011)


External links[edit]