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The Quingnam language was a pre-Columbian language that was spoken by the Chimú people, who lived in the former territories of the Mochicas: an area north of the Chicama Chao River Valley. At the height of Chimú conquests, the language was spoken extensively from the Jequetepeque River in the north, to the Carabayllo (near present-day Lima) in the south.

Native to Peru
Extinct 16th century?
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog quig1235[1]
Quingnam language.png
Extent of Quingnam/Pescadora before replacement by Spanish

Fishermen along the Chimú coast spoke a language called Lengua Pescadora (fisherman language) by Spanish missionaries, and disambiguated as Yunga Pescadora by linguists; this may be the same as Quingnam. A letter found during excavations at Magdalena de Cao Viejo in the El Brujo Archaeological Complex includes a list of decimal numerals which may be Quingnam or Pescadora, but they are not Mochica.[2]

The Quingnam language became extinct shortly after the arrival of the conquistadors. The core Chimú city, Chan Chan, was in the vicinity of the new Spanish city of Trujillo and became overwhelmed by it, with people needing to pick up the language of the conquerors for trade and survival.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Quignam [sic]". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ "Traces of a Lost Language Discovered". Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. August 23, 2010.