Tiwa languages

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Native to United States
Region New Mexico, Arizona
Ethnicity Tiwa people
Native speakers
2,700 (2007)[1]
  • Tiwa–Tewa?
    • Tiwa
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
tix – Southern Tiwa
twf – Northern Tiwa
pie – Piro
Glottolog tiwa1254[2]
Linguasphere 64-CA

Tiwa /ˈtwə/[3] (Spanish Tigua, also E-nagh-magh[4]) is a group of two, possibly three, related Tanoan languages spoken by the Tiwa Pueblo, and possibly Piro Pueblo, in the U.S. state of New Mexico.

Subfamily members and relations[edit]

Southern Tiwa is spoken in Isleta Pueblo, Sandia Pueblo, and Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (Tigua Pueblo).

The remaining two languages form a subgrouping known as Northern Tiwa. Northern Tiwa consists of Taos spoken in Taos Pueblo and Picuris spoken in Picuris Pueblo.

The extinct language of Piro Pueblo may also have been Tiwa, but this is uncertain. See Piro Pueblo language.


After the Pueblo Revolt against the Spanish conquistadors in 1680, some of the Tigua and Piro peoples fled south with the Spanish to El Paso del Norte (present-day Ciudad Juárez, Mexico). There they founded Ysleta del Sur, Texas; Socorro, Texas; and Senecú del Sur, Mexico.[5] Their descendants live in these communities to this day.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Southern Tiwa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Northern Tiwa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Piro at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Tiwa–Piro". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
  4. ^ Lane in Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe (1851-1883) Historical and statistical information respecting the history, condition, and prospects of the Indian tribes of the United States; collected and prepared under the direction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs per act of Congress of March 3rd, 1847 Lippincott, Philadelphia, OCLC 6202862
  5. ^ Marshall, Michael P. and Walt, Henry J., (1984) "Chapter 11: Pre-Revolt Place Names: Senecú," in Rio Abajo: Prehistory and History of a Rio Grande Province, New Mexico Historic Preservation Division, Santa Fe, p. 252, OCLC 11553460
  6. ^ Eickhoff, Randy Lee (1996) Exiled: The Tigua Indians of Ysleta del Sur, Republic of Texas Press, Plano, Texas, ISBN 1-55622-507-5