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Chelsea Ruiz

I'm married to a Salvadoran, and am very interested in the history and culture of indigenous Salvadoran people. So interested, in fact, that I studied anthropology in college and completed my senior thesis in El Salvador in 2006. Everything I ever read about the origins of indigenous peoples in El Salvador was about the Pipiles and how we know nothing about them due to La Gran Matanza. I cannot express how grateful I am to you for your enlightenment on the complex and diverse origins of El Salvador's indigenous population.

Tim Lohrentz

Chelsea, thanks for your kind words. El Salvador has a very rich history of indigenous peoples, of which the Pipiles are the most recent. There are many Maya place names in the northwest, most likely related to today's Ch'orti's. The Lenca have at least 10,000 years of history in eastern El Salvador and are very closely related to the Olmecs, whose name probably comes from Lago Olomega. Tim


i'm from el salvador and have been trying to learn about the pipiles. but i haven't found anything on them on the internet. i would LOVE to learn as much as possible. How have you learned all this? is there a way we can email each other, and teach my about natives from el salvador. i've been trying to learn for a while now. I got so happy to find someone that knows something. Thank you for posting this!

Felipe G Guevara

even though there were more then one civilization of indiginous tribes; all of us salvadorians, we are more directly decendents of the Pipil people whom took ove
El Salvador for 400 years. all the others fleed El Salvador.

Tim Lohrentz

Felipe, thanks for your comments. I would beg to differ. The only ones who appeared to flee were the Quiche and to an extant the Chortis. The Quiche were in the Suchitlan area and fled to Guatemala. The Chortis were in the volcanic region from San Salvador to the Guatemala border and moved to northern Santa Ana and Chalatenango, where they remained until the Spanish arrived. The Chortis and Pipiles got along quite well and even formed a new melded language. And then everything east of the Lempa (except for most of Chalate) was Lenca and that didn't change at all. There were likely Lenca in San Vicente area who did move east with the arrival of the Pipil. The Lenca have been in eastern El Salvador continuously for 11,000 years.

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