Welcome to CINWA 1.0

Database of Cultivated plants and their names in the indigenous languages of South America

CINWA is an online database that reunites the vernacular names of (semi-)cultivated plants in the diverse indigenous languages of western South America from published sources. The list of plants is derived with modifications from Denevan (2001). Highlands and lowlands of this region are early hotspots of plant domestication and cultivation, but the centers of incipient domestication for the individual plants are diffuse within the larger area. The data contained in CINWA is primarily to be analyzed in search for evidence for prehistoric borrowing of plant names to create an independent pillar of evidence for the spread of plant cultivation and individual crops in prehistoric South America, but it may serve other purposes as well.

Quinoa plants at 3.800 meters altitude in Apurímac, Peru. Photo by Maurice Chédel in public domain.