The Panche or Tolima were a Cariban-speaking indigenous group of people in modern-day Colombia. They inhabited the southwestern parts of the department of Cundinamarca and the northeastern areas of the department of Tolima, close to the Magdalena River. At the time of the Spanish conquest, more than 30,000 Panche were living in what would become the New Kingdom of Granada. Early knowledge about the Panche has been compiled by scholar Pedro Simón. According to the latter, the word panche in their own Panche language means "cruel" and "murderer".
|Regions with significant populations|
|Cundinamarca, Tolima, Colombia|
|Cariban, Colombian Spanish|
|Traditional religion, Catholicism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Muzo, Muisca, Sutagao, Pijao|
The Panche were inhabiting the lower altitude southwestern areas of the Cundinamarca department, close to the Magdalena River. Their northern neighbours were the Muzo in the northeast and the Pantágora in the northwest, in the east the Muisca, in the southeast the Sutagao and to the south and southwest the Pijao. The northern limits were defined by the Río Negro and the Guarinó River and the southern limits the Coello and Fusagasugá Rivers.
The Panche people were organized in a loose confederation with different subgroups whose names still remain as municipalities of Cundinamarca.
Municipalities belonging to Panche territoriesEdit
|Guayabal de Síquima||Cundinamarca||1630|
|San Juan de Rioseco||Cundinamarca||1303|
(disputed with the zipa
of the Muisca)
The Panche hunted and fought wars with their enemies using sticks and clubs and poisoned arrows. They used poison of spiders and snakes for their arrows.
According to Pedro Simón, the Panche performed cannibalism on parts of their conquered enemies. Some sources state they ate everything except for the heads, which they hung in their bohíos. However, later research by various researchers has found no evidence for cannibalism and attribute the cannibalistic ideas to the Spanish conquistadores.
In terms of their burial practices the Panches differed from their neighbours that the dead were not oriented in a fixed position, like the Muisca with their heads to the east and the Muzo with their heads to the west.
After the Spanish conquest and the installation of the New Kingdom of Granada, the Panche quickly diminished due to their resistance against the Spanish conquistadores. The first Spanish conquerors who invaded the Panche territories were Juan de Céspedes and Alonso de San Martín. Later conquest was performed by Hernán Venegas Carrillo.
1543-44 - Expedition Hernán Venegas CarrilloEdit
- The lost Panches
- Martínez, 2005
- (in Spanish) Meaning Panche according to Pedro Simón
- De Perdomo, 1975, p.249-250
- (in Spanish) Petroglyphs of the Panche people
- De Perdomo, 1975, p.253
- (in Spanish) Cannibalism of the Panche - El Espectador
- Francis, 1993, pp.14-15
- De Perdomo, 1975, p.275
- (in Spanish) Panche culture and migrations
- Chair of the Panche chief, resistance against the Spanish
- (in Spanish) Official website Bituima
- (in Spanish) Official website Chaguaní
- (in Spanish) Official website Apulo
- (in Spanish) Official website Tocaima
- Francis, John Michael. 1993. "Muchas hipas, no minas" The Muiscas, a merchant society: Spanish misconceptions and demographic change (M.A.), 1-118. University of Alberta.
- Martínez, Ángel. 2005. Los Panches - Los inconquistables Panches del Magdalena - The Panche - the unconquerable Panches of the Magdalena River, 1-207. Liliana Pérez Illera, Ángel Martínez T & MJ Editores. Accessed 2016-07-08.
- De Perdomo, Lucia R.. 1975. Excavacaciones arqueológicas en zona Panche - Guaduas, Cundinamarca - Archaeological excavations in the Panche area - Guaduas, Cundinamarca, 247-289. Accessed 2016-07-08.