Timoto–Cuica people

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Timoto–Cuica people were an indigenous group composed primarily of two tribes, the Timote and the Cuica, that inhabited in the Andean region of western Venezuela.[1] They were closely related to the Muisca of the Andes, who spoke Muysccubun, a version of Chibcha. The Timoto-Cuicas were not only composed of the Timoto and the Cuica tribes, but also the Mucuchíes, the Migures, the Tabayes, and the Mucuñuques.

Timote-Cuica languages.png
Timoto and Cuica toponyms
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Timote-Cuica language
Related ethnic groups

Culture and societyEdit

Timoto-Cuica territory, in present-day Mérida, Venezuela.

Pre-Columbian Venezuela had an estimated indigenous population of one million,[1] with the Andean region being the most densely populated area. The two tribes lived in what are today the states of Mérida, Trujillo, and Táchira.

Timoto-Cuica society was complex with pre-planned permanent villages, surrounded by irrigated, terraced fields. They also stored water in tanks.[1] Their houses were made primarily of stone and wood with thatched roofs. They were peaceful, for the most part, and depended on growing crops. Regional crops included potatoes and ullucos.[2]

They left behind works of art, particularly anthropomorphic ceramics, but no major monuments. They spun vegetable fibers to weave into textiles and mats for housing. They are credited with having invented the arepa, a staple in Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine.


  1. ^ a b c Mahoney 89
  2. ^ Venezuela Archived 2011-09-04 at the Wayback Machine Friends of the Pre-Columbian Art Museum. (retrieved 9 July 2011)


  • Mahoney, James. "Colonialism and Postcolonial Development: Spanish American in Comparative Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-521-11634-3.

External linksEdit