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Family of about 30 American Indian languages and language complexes, spoken by more than three million people, mainly in southern Mexico and Guatemala. While some have few remaining speakers, Yucatec in Mexico and K'iche (Quiché), Kaqchikel (Cakchiquel), Mam, and Q'eqchi' (Kekchí) in Guatemala count speakers in the hundreds of thousands. Maya languages were recorded in an indigenous script (seeMaya Codices; Mayan hieroglyphic writing), as well as in colonial documents in a Spanish-based orthography, including the Popol Vuh and the Yucatec prophetic texts known as the Books of Chilam Balam.
Variants of MAYA LANGUAGES
Maya languages or Mayan languages
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Maya languages, visit Britannica.com.
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