Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.




(both: kĕch`o͞oə, –wä), or


(kēch`wä), linguistic family belonging to the Andean branch of the Andean-Equatorial stock of Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (mainly in South America). Encompassing far more native speakers than any other aboriginal language group in the Americas, the languages of the Quechuan family are spoken by peoples in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Chile. There is a modern standard language of this family spoken by close to 10 million indigenous people in Peru and 2 million in Bolivia, as well as smaller populations in Ecuador and Argentina. Some 28 Quechuan languages are still in use. The official language of the ancient Inca empire, also called Quechua, was of this family. In the early 1400s, Quechua was dominant in S Peru. As the Incas' empire expanded, their language became the administrative and commercial tongue from N Ecuador to central Chile. After their conquest of the Incas in the 16th cent., the Spaniards spread the use of Quechua beyond the Inca empire.



Quichua, or Keshua, the largest of the present-day Indian peoples of South America, who make up a considerable part of the population of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Quechua also live in northern Chile and Argentina. The total population amounts to approximately 10 million (1970, estimate). They speak Quechuan. Most Quechua are Catholics, but vestiges of pre-Christian religious beliefs are maintained.

The rise of the Inca empire contributed to the ethnic solidarity of the Quechua tribes. The Spanish conquest of the 16th century and various forms of slaveholding and feudal exploitation of the Quechua by the conquerors led to the breakdown of tribal barriers, the development of a liberation movement, and the formation of a unified popular language. The revolt of Tupac-Amaru in the early 1780’s played an important role in the formation of the Quechua nationality. The Quechua nationality, which included many ethnic groups, was formed by the end of the colonial period (first quarter of the 19th century). The development of commodity-money relations facilitated the consolidation of economic ties among Quechua living in different regions.

The Quechua engage mainly in agriculture and, to a lesser extent, handicrafts (making of utensils, clothing, footwear, musical instruments, etc.). The small working class is concentrated primarily in the mining and textile industries; the Quechua bourgeoisie is few in number. The Quechua’s national revolutionary struggle for land and equality of rights and their fight against feudal and capitalist exploitation have often taken the form of powerful popular uprisings. The present-day national revolutionary movement of the Quechua is taking place within the general democratic movements of the countries in which they live.


Narody Ameriki, vol. 2. Moscow, 1959. (Bibliography.)




The Quechua are a people living in the southern Peruvian Andes. According to the early accounts of colonial, missionary priests, the Quechua have always been preoccupied with dreams and dream interpretation. Specially designated ritual specialists were considered particularly significant. In the pre-conquest period, indigenous curers attributed their calling to dreams, and dream specialists were employed for prognostication by the state.

Dreams are regarded by contemporary Quechua as premonitory signs about events of the day on which they are dreamed. They are said to be world-creating, in that they literally forecast an event. Generally, under normal circumstances, a person arises from sleep by standing first on the right foot, but when a bad omen appears in a dream, one stands first on the left foot.

In addition, dreams can be treated as a narrative from which particular elements are chosen and interpreted according to a lexicon of dream signs, which supplies a general conventional meaning for each. Selecting readily discernible dream signs and taking individual situational factors into account allows for a more specific interpretation, although the interpretation may have absolutely nothing to do with the manifest content of the narrative apart from the interpreted signs.

References in periodicals archive ?
8) "No obstante, como dialecto de superestrato en las zonas previamente quechuizadas, como segunda lengua en los territorios de habla diferente, o como idioma de relaciones en los confines del imperio, la variedad quechua koine, por lo mismo llamada general, garantizaba plenamente la comunicacion dentro de los ambitos del vasto imperio" (Calvo 2001: 521).
Como explica Elena Pardo --la directora de Ceprosi--, hay algunos temas --por ejemplo la fotosintesis-- que no tienen equivalente en el quechua y, por lo tanto, son desarrollados en castellano.
de la misma categoria son coincidentes a los registrados, salvo Desnutridos cronicos y Personas quechua hablantes, por las provincias del ambito urbano;
The entire notion of the colony resides in the dominant Spanish speaking group subordinating or "civilizing" the Quechua speaking natives of Peru.
Also launched was a Quechua university, called Casimiro Huanca University (named after an assassinated coca-producer union leader), in the central province of Cochabamba; and a Guarani university, called Apiaguaiki Tupa University, (named after a nineteenth century Guarani rebel leader), in the southern province of Chuquisaca.
Se conoce como quechua a un numero de dialectos emparentados, no todos mutuamente inteligibles, que se encuentra distribuido de manera irregular en buena parte del continente suramericano.
El pueblo quechua presenta distancias bajas con Brasil (noroeste), Bolivia (tierras altas y tierras bajas), Peru, Chile (Norte Grande, Norte Chico y Zona Central).
La gran dispersion de las vocales no bajas se ve favorecida por una regla fonologica del quechua segun la cual las vocales se producen [-alto] cuando estan en el contexto de una consonante uvular o postvelar, que tambien es [-alto].
Eu la segunda parte de este mismo capitulo, la autora analiza los tiempos verbales del espanol, el quechua y el guarani.
por que no invertimos en aprender el quechua u otra lengua originaria si sabemos que trabajaremos un ano con poblacion que habla estas lenguas?
attempt to reshape the sacrament of confession so that it valued and preserved the Quechua language and culture.
Su testamento tambien tenia como destinatario pocos lectores bilingues y biculturales, en castellano y quechua, a fines de los sesenta.