Assigned collective code [ sai ] (South American Indian (Other)) UF Maka (Paraguay)

Maká - Pararaguay



Assigned collective code [ sai ] (South American Indian (Other)) UF Maka (Paraguay)





Maká is a Matacoan language spoken in Paraguay by the Maká people. Its 1500
speakers live primarily in Presidente Hayes Department
near the Río Negro, as well as in and around Asunción.











ETHNONYMS: Cochaboth; Enimacá; Enimagá; Etaboslé; Imacas; Inimacá; Lengua (ancient); Macca; Maká (in Spanish and Guaraní); Mak'á; Makká; Namaká (in Mataco); Ñimaqá, Njimaqá, Njomaqá (in Toba and Pilagá); TawaLáj Lawós (in Chulupí [Nivaklé]); TowoLi (in Lengua). The pronoun jekheweliL of the first person plural exclusive is the most appropriate alternative to ethnic auto-designation.


Kinship Groups and Descent. Bands are integrated by demes of bilateral descent, which bind extended families together with maximum solidarity. Within the deme most cooperative activities were organized according to sex and age.

Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology is of the Hawaiian type for cousins and linear for the first ascending and descending generations, with mourning terms.



Identification. The Maká are a group of South American Indians that used to roam in the Gran Chaco—the enormous plain that occupies part of the present-day republics of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay—and today live in the city of Asunción del Paraguay. A suprasegmental trait distinguishing them from the rest of the inhabitants of the Chaco is that adult men and women wear their hair long without ever cutting it, even when in mourning.

Location. The Gran Chaco is an enormous wooded plain with a subtropical climate and a dry season (winter); average rainfall does not exceed 80 centimeters per year. Its inland location gives it great thermal range, with maximum temperatures easily reaching above 40° C, whereas the lowest are well below 0° C. It is a plain of alluvial origin covered with vegetation, frequently spiny, in which leguminosae predominate. The terrain's relief is proof of intense fluvial activity: dry riverbeds, ravines, and madrejones (temporary or semipermanent lagoons caused by overflowing rivers). The Bermejo and Pilcomayo rivers have scarred the terrain by shifting their courses. They run in a parallel fashion, traversing the central area in a northwest to southeast direction. The Pilcomayo disappears at its central course in an area of extensive swamps, lagoons, and marshlands. This is the area where the Maká once lived. At the beginning of the twentieth century, they formed two separate tribes, settled at the mouths of the Montelindo and Confuso rivers (right tributaries of the Río Paraguay) respectively, with an additional band, which was allied with the Pilagá, located to the south of the Pilcomayo. After the Chaco War (1933-1936), the Maká were resettled in the periphery of Asunción.

Demography, Although their population appears to have diminished in the past fifty years, the Maká still number about 600 individuals. It is unlikely that they ever numbered more than 1,000, which is approximately the population of the typical Chaco tribe.

Linguistic Affiliation. Maká belongs to the Mataco-Maká Language Family. In Maká phonetics, voiceless sounds predominate. Maká differs especially from Mataco in the universality of gender category and the presence of deictic markers along the lines of Gauycurúan languages.




Paz y justicia

ISO / Ethnologue Language code 'mca'

Information about the ISO / Ethnologue 15th edition language code 'mca' - the MACA language.

GRN Language Number: #1900

Ethnologue 14th edition code: MCA

Other names for MACA


Where MACA is spoken


Audio recordings available in MACA

C04041 Words of Life Download Words of Life MP3 in MACA

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More information

If you can help in any way to identify dialects of language code "mca", or would like to volunteer to translate or record material in this language, or sponsor some recording, please contact our Language Hotline . Note that GRN is a non profit organization, and does not pay for translators or language helpers. All assistance is given voluntarily.

Get further details about this language from The Ethnologue , The Linguist List and The Rosetta Project .

See a map of where this language is spoken at LL-Map .

See what people groups speak this language from the Joshua Project .

Find other materials available for this language from the Minority Language Resource File .

See also the alphabetical language list and full country list .

Another reference on countries, languages and people groups is .

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Geography Submit Update:
Country: Paraguay
Continent: South America
Region: Central and South America
10/40 Window : No
Country Details: World Factbook
Population in this Country: 1,700
Largest Provinces on file:
Central Cordillera
Presidente Hayes San Pedro
Total Provinces on file: 4
Location within Country: Southwestern, Presidente Hayes Department Qemkuket village 7 kil from Chaco highway Colonia Juan B on Par. River?just one family. Main village north of Asuncion in Mariano Roque Alonso at kil 18 of Chaco highway.
People Submit Update:
People Name This Country: Maka, Maca
People Name General: Maka, Maca
Alternate People Names:
People Code : 105964
Population in this Country: 1,700
Population in all Countries: 1,700
Least-Reached : No
Ethnic Tree
Affinity Bloc : Latin-Caribbean Americans
People Cluster : South American Indigenous
People Name General: Maka, Maca
Ethnic Code : MIR39e
Language Submit Update:
Primary Language: Maka (1,700 Speakers)
Language Code (16th) : mca Ethnologue Listing
Language Code (14th) : MCA
Total Languages Spoken: 1
Religion Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
% Christian Adherents : 29.98 %
% Evangelical : 7.50 %
Joshua Project Progress Indicators
Least-Reached : No
Progress Scale : 3.2 Evangelicals >5%.
Need-Ranking Score : < 25 Details
Other Progress Indicators *
Global Evangelical Status : Level 6 Greater than or equal to 10% Evangelical
Agency Progress (API) : Level 4 Functioning agency partnership
Church Progress (CPI) : Level 4 Reproducing church movement
Bible Translation Status Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1985
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
World Bible Finder
World Christian Resource Directory
Ministry Tools and Links Submit Update:
Audio Recordings: MegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio Recordings: Global Recordings Listing
Ministry Activity Register Ministry Activity:
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Sources :
Maka, Maca of Paraguay
* Notes :
  • Significant effort is made to match photos with people groups. In most cases the photo source has identified the people group. However, in some instances when the exact people group is not identified Joshua Project has made educated attempts at matching. As a result some photos may be representative of the people cluster rather than the specific people group or possibly incorrectly matched altogether. Mismatches are the fault of Joshua Project, not the photographer.
    Please contact us if you believe a photo is not matched with the correct people group.
  • Percentages may be printed as '0.00%' because of space limitations, but some are slightly greater than zero.
  • The exactness of the above numbers can be misleading. Numbers can vary by several percentage points or more.
  • People group population figures are now maintained as a percentage of the national population. Click here for details.
  • Joshua Project does not have specific ministry activity data supporting the "Other Progress Indicators."
  • Discrepancies may exist between "Other Progress Indicators" because of the varying sources of information.
  • Joshua Project does not know the exact content of web audio recordings. In general they are Bible reading and teaching.
  • As on-site realities are understood, barriers of acceptance may be found in many of the larger people groups that will require multiple distinct church planting efforts.
  • This data may contain errors and needs continual correcting and updating. Click here to send feedback.


last update: 06-AUG-09.2009