Asháninka is an Arawakan language spoken by about 26,000 people along the Apurímac, Ene, Perené, and Tambo rivers and tributaries in Peru. It is also known as Campa, though this is considered offensive by the Asháninka people as it comes from a Quechua word, thampa, which means ragged and dirty.

Asháninka is closely related to Gran Pajonal Campa, Ashéninka, Axaninca, Machiguenga and Nomatsiguenga. These are all linguistically very close and are considered separate languages for social and political reasons.

Asháninka has official status in the region where it is spoken. There is no standardised way to write it, and only 10-30% of the Ashánika people can read and write in their own language.

Asháninka alphabet & pronunciation

Asháninka alphabet & pronunciation

Download an Asháninka alphabet chart (Excel)


Sample text

Aquempetavacaajeita maaroni atiri. Timatsi aquenqueshirejeitantari maaroni, timatsi amejeitari, ayojeiti paitarica ocameetsati antajeitiri: te oncameetsateji intsaneapitsajeiteero itsipapee. Te oncameetsateji imperanajeitee, te ameetsateji iroashinoncaajeitee, irointi ocameetsati aacameetsatavacaajeitea.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Asháninka folk song sung by Yéssica Sánchez Comanti

Asháninka myth about the origin of sorcery from Elena Mihas on Vimeo.


Information about the Asháninka language and people

Videos in Asháninka about Asháninka culture

Arawakan languages

Achagua, Apurinã, Arawak, Asháninka, Ashéninka, Baniwa, Baniwa of Guainía, Baure, Caquinte, Chamicuro, Curripaco, Garifuna, Iñapari, Machiguenga, Nanti, Nomatsiguenga, Palikúr, Paraujuano, Paresi, Pauna, Piapoco, Taíno, Tariana, Terêna, Wapishana, Wayuu, Yanesha', Yine, Yucuna

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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