Chimila language

Native to Colombia
Ethnicity 1,500 (2009)[1]
Native speakers
350 (2009)[1]
  • Arwako–Chimila

    • Chimila
Language codes
ISO 639-3 cbg
Glottolog chim1309[2]

Chimila (Shimizya) is a Chibchan language of Colombia, spoken by the Chimila. At one time the Malibu languages were grouped with Chimila, before Chimila was considered a Chibchan language.

The "Cesar" name of the Cesar River and Cesar Department is an adaptation from the Chimila indigenous word Chet-tzar or Zazare ("calm water") into Spanish, in reference to the Cesar River.[3]

Guatapurí derives from the Chimila for "cold water", and provides the name of the Guatapurí River.[4]


  1. 1 2 Chimila at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Chimila". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. LABLAA - Luis Galvis: Don Gonzalo (Spanish)
  4. (Spanish) Marcos Fidel Vega Seña (2005), Vallenato: Cultura y sentimiento, U. Cooperativa de Colombia. p14.

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