Definitions

Chorotega

Chorotega

Chorotega, aboriginal people and language group of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Little is known of the Chorotega, primarily beause of the absence of extensive ruins. Contemporaneous with the Maya to the northwest, they inhabited principally the Ulúa River valley and the Mosquito Coast. With other tribes to the south and the Chibcha of Colombia, they formed a cultural link between the peoples of the Andean area and those of Mexico. The Chorotega were probably democratic, with a chief chosen by elected council. Chorotega culture became extinct in the Spanish colonial period.
Chorotega [tʃoro'tega] is the name of an indigenous people of Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The ethnic population number around 795 according to the ethnologue 2000 survey The Chorotega language, which was a member of the Manguean branch of the Oto-Manguean linguistic family, is now extinct.

The Oto-Manguean languages are spoken mainly in Mexico and it is thought that the Chorotega moved south from Mexico together with the speakers of Subtiaba and Chiapanec well before the arrival of the Spaniards in the Americas.

Some sources list "Cholutega" as an alternative name of the people and their language and this has caused some, for example Terrence Kaufman (2001) to speculate that they were the original inhabitants of the city of Cholula, who were displaced with the arrival of Nahua people in central Mexico. The etymology for the nomenclature "Chorotega" in this case would come from the Nahuatl language where "Cholōltēcah" means "inhabitants of Cholula". The Region south of Honduras derives it´s name from this nahuatl word, present day Choluteca, and Choluteca City. Choluteca was originally inhabited by Chorotega groups.

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