What is the Pipil Tribe

Other Central American Peoples - Description of the Tribes

Kuna (a tribe of the San Blas Islands), Chiriqui, Chorotega, Coclé, Nicarao, Pipil, Tarahumara, Veraguas & Disquis and Talamanca cultures

The tribes that produced the gold cultures in the northwest of South America are Chibcha-speaking tribes who also lived in the south of Central America in pre-Columbian times. In Panama, Kostarica, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, they have developed into remarkable cultures. However, knowledge about these cultures is much less than that of the cultures in the central Andes and central Mexico.

In the area south of the Maya - that is, south of today's Guatemala and Honduras and north of the Andes - peoples have immigrated from both the north and the south. From the north, Nahua-speaking tribes settled - that is, relatives of the Aztecs and Toltecs - and from the south Chibcha-speaking tribes - that is, tribes that were related to the Muisca.

Their cultures produced elaborate goldwork. The Spaniards called today's Panama «Golden Castile» and Kostarika received the name "Rich Coast" on their maps.

In both areas, no such large state structures emerged as the Aztecs and Maya produced, instead the whole territory was split up into smaller states in pre-Columbian times. The name of these cultures originated from the name of the area in which they lived.

An identical geographical term gave them their name. They lived in pre-Columbian times and worked gold and gold alloys.

Chorotega (Chorotegen)
400 years before the Conquista, tribes who immigrated from Mexico lived in Nicaragua and El Salvador. The Chorotega, which are linguistically related to the Mexican Otomi, are known. They were corn farmers who lived in Nicaragua before the arrival of the Europeans - more precisely in today's provinces of Granada, León and Masaya. They painted ceramics with motifs of alligators, jaguars and birds.

They are the best known of the unknown cultures. Their home was western Panama, especially the Azuero peninsula on the Gulf of Panama. The Coclé did agriculture - cultivated maize, potatoes and cotton. They hunted deer, tapirs, iguanas and umbilical pigs - the peccary - as prey. They belonged to the gold people of pre-Columbian America. Gold and salt were their barter goods. Golden objects - the cenotes - of the Coclé culture were found in Mayan fountains. Based on Spanish reports, a cult of the dead and corresponding burial rituals are known. A deceased Kazike was mummified over the fire and buried in a shrine of his clan, in which mummies were already lying. The women and servants chosen by the Kaziken during his lifetime were killed to accompany the ruler into the realm of the dead. At least this is what the records of the Spanish expedition from Gaspar des Espinosas report. Gold work and ceramics from Coclé have been preserved mainly in the form of plates and bowls. Three-legged vessels were decorated with jaguar and crocodile motifs. The same animal motifs are also dominant in the Coclé's pottery, but the design was highly idiosyncratic.

Disquis culture
Their name is derived from the river of the same name in whose valleys they lived and where archaeologists discovered their culture. Disquis means "great river" in the language of neighboring tribes. The Spaniards called the Disquis Rio Grande de Terreba. This culture has left behind the strangest and most puzzling relics of ancient America. These works include hundreds of stone balls of the highest precision, but also stone sculptures depicting people and jaguars with jaguar masks. Their language was Chibcha.

A Nahua-speaking group has settled in Nicaragua and named itself after the name of its chief Nicarao. From this the later name of the state of Nicaragua arose. They lived on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. The archaeologist Bovallius had already discovered statuettes on the islands of the lake in the 19th century. Who their creators were is still unknown today. At the Lago de Managua in Nicaragua one also came across an unknown 2000 year old culture. It points to the oldest big game hunters in Central America.

A Nahua-speaking tribe in Central America were the Pipil, which means "prince". They are a Toltec group who left Tula and moved to the Pacific coast of El Salvador.

Talamanca culture
The people of the Talamanca culture inhabited an area in which there is a mountain range of the same name in the west and the Caribbean Sea in the east.

The Tarahumara Indians, who live in the impassable Barranca del Cobre in the north-western state of Chihuahua in the copper canon and sought protection from the colonial rulers, practice the religious ceremony of the peyotl. They allowed themselves to be Christianized in the 17th century and noticed far too late that the colonial rulers were cruelly suppressing them. They fiercely resisted and returned to their beliefs. In their own language they call themselves Rarámuri, which means "running". At the time of the harvest festival, the Tarahumara celebrate their ritual running competition, in which distances of up to 200 kilometers are covered. The runners drive a small wooden ball in front of them with their feet.

They are also named after an identical geographical name. They are a pre-Columbian culture that processed pure gold as well as made copper gold alloys.

Kuna (a tribe of the San Blas Islands)
The Kuna Indians live off the coast of Panama on the San Blas Islands. The tribe is spread over several islands. Their traditional clothing consists of a blouse, wrap skirt and headscarf for women. Strings of pearls are traditional arm and foot jewelry. Chibcha.
Indian tribes of Central America

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