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Puquina (or Pukina) is an extinct language once spoken by a native ethnic group in the region surrounding Lake Titicaca (Peru and Bolivia) and in the north of Chile. It is often associated with the culture that built Tiwanaku.

Region south shore of Lake Titicaca
Extinct 18th century
Language codes
ISO 639-3 puq
Glottolog puqu1242[1]
Pukina language distribution around 1600 CE, Pukina toponyms, and pre-Inca Pukina ethnicities.

Remnants of Puquina can be found in the Quechuan and Spanish languages spoken in the south of Peru, mainly in Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna, as well as in Bolivia. There also seem to be remnants in the Kallawaya language, which may be a mixed language formed from Quechuan languages and Puquina. (Terrence Kaufman (1990) finds the proposal plausible.[2])

Some theories claim that "Qhapaq Simi", the cryptic language of the nobility of the Inca Empire, was closely related to Puquina, and that Runa Simi (Quechuan languages) were spoken by commoners.

Sometimes the term Puquina is used for the Uru language, which is distinctly different.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Puquina". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Willem Adelaar; Simon van de Kerke. "The Puquina and Leko languages". Symposium: Advances in Native South American Historical Linguistics, July 17-18, 2006, at the 52nd International Congress of Americanists, Seville, Spain. Retrieved 2007-09-19. 
  • Adelaar, Willem and van de Kerke, Simon (2009). "Puquina." In: Mily Crevels and Pieter Muysken (eds.) Lenguas de Bolivia, vol. I, 125-146. La Paz: Plural editores. (in Spanish)