¿Pipil o Maya?
  • January 25, 2011 at 11:42pm Jose Velasquez

It amazes me that Pipil didn't use Mayan words at all but Mayans use Nahua words (by NAHUA I am including Pipil and I am using nahua for lack of a better term)

January 26 at 12:14am ~ Alan R King
I'll tell you why. Chronology.

We all know that there was a great Maya civilization. But that was long, long ago. The pyramids are ANCIENT! That was already all over before the Pipils showed up. By then, Maya civilization had vanished, and only the architectural ruins we now know remained.

This doesn't mean the Maya PEOPLES disappeared. Just like the Angles and Saxons didn't DISAPPEAR when they were overrun by the Normans - they just ceased to possess their former social, political, religious and economic structures, but their descendants were still there and still spoke what remained of their language. And the Pipils came into contact with those Maya peoples.

But the Pipils were the invaders, the dominant groups, the ones with better organisation and more of everything. The Mayas were the local inhabitants, and eventually in some places they were assimilated and lost their Maya identity. Someof the present present-day Pipils may perhaps be their descendants. In other places, the remaining Mayas lived on side by side with the Pipils and were in contact. Their Maya languages, having been around for much much longer, varied from place to place, and then there were the Lencas and all the rest; Nawat was relatively homogeneous, and as the language of a dominant or powerful group, probably was adopted as a lingua franca in the area. Mayas, Lencas etc. may have borrowed Nawat words into their own languages for somewhat the same reasons that Salvadoreans borrow English words into their Spanish. For the most part, Pipils didn't have the same motivation to borrow the "locals'" words into Nawat.

January 26 at 12:31am ~ Jose Velasquez
AHHH! UGH!!! I just found out the Pipil abandoned the Mayan pyramids around 1200 AD! >_< DAMNIT! PLEASE tell me they had towns. "cause I wanna make the mod as historically accurate as possible. I haven't started but I am doing a LOT of research before I begin

January 26 at 12:40am ~ Alan R King
Sounds like you NEED to do a lot of research before beginning, Jose. Please do it well, because there is already enough confusion and nonsense over this, your first aim should be to avoid adding any more or reinforcing current misconceptions, PLEASE!

January 26 at 12:57am ~ Jose Velasquez ‎
I only said "PLEASE tell me they had towns" because they are easier to create than villages. Besides, I just reread that page and they had a town so I am all set…now I just need to know how the towns looked like -_-. I dunno if it looked like Joya de Ceren or not. Where is a time machine when we need one? LOL

January 26 at 1:18am ~ Alan R King
I doubt it. Joya de Ceren was a Maya settlement, pre-Pipil.

January 26 at 1:45am ~ Jose Velasquez
OH You are right! Joya de Ceren is too old to be Pipil… *sigh* I have no choice but to give them a generic settlement. I'll have to add a side-note saying that we have no evidence on what the town has looked like…

January 26 at 1:55am ~ Alan R King
that's a great idea

  • July 10, 2011 at 6:43am ~ Magnus Pharao Hansen

Alan you are quite wrong about Maya civilization being overrun by Pipiles. There were plenty of Maya citystates during the Pipil apogee and they continued up untill the conquest. The Pipil-Invasion hypothesis of the "Fall of the Maya" has been discredited for many decades by now. There was considerable Nahua influence in most of the highland Maya realms, but the influence went both ways and there is solid evidence that at the time of Spanish conquest Pipiles had been subjugated to Maya polities such as the K'iché and Kaqchikel for quite awhile.

July 10 at 11:22am ~ Alan R King
Magnus, thanks for correcting me. I am not a historian of course. But does what you say refer to the Pipils in the historical Salvadorean "Pipil territory" or to other areas of Pipil settlement in Guatemala, Honduras etc. or even perhaps in the extreme northwestern area contiguous to the present "Pipil" area, which is known to have been Maya-speaking at conquest? It would be most useful to clarify as far as possible the historical background, and I found mostly confusion and ignorance even among educated Salvadoreans when I was there and tried to get clarification. I think it is clear that the Pipils have substratal or adstratal Maya influences. On the other hand, the popular misconception that "the Pipils are Mayas" (or that if you are a Pipil you are a Maya, or something resembling that) which seems to be implied by some initiatives ought to be corrected, don't you agree?

July 11 at 12:58am ~ Magnus Pharao Hansen
I thinik there is some degree of confusion in the use of "Pipil" since it is often used to refer to the earliest Nawa speakers in southern Mesoamerica (Nicaragua and El Salvador) (who arrived when the Classic Maya was period was drawing to a close) as well as to the later arrivals in Guatemal and Honduras who arrived much later in the 13th and 15th century. In any case all of these "Pipiles" were Nahua speakers who coexisted with powerful Mayan (and Xinca and Lenca) policies. I did not know that there was a misunderstanding that Pipiles are Mayas.

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