The Quichean languages are comprised of a family of related languages of the Mayan stock, spoken principally in the highlands of Guatemala in Central America. Some of the kinship terminologies currently in use by the speakers of these languages manifest a Hawaiian classification, while what seem to be vestiges of an Omaha system are also scattered throughout the area. In Tzeltal and Tzotzil, two languages of the Cholan family (also Mayan) spoken in Mexico, Omaha systems are currently in use. The question therefore arises as to what sort of system was present in Proto-Quichean (PQ).
On the basis of phonological and referential reconstruction, and with the aid of colonial documentary evidence, it is suggested that the PQ kinship system was probably Hawaiian, although in a state of transition. It is further suggested that an earlier horizon of Mayan also manifested a Hawaiian system, but with tendencies towards Iroquois, thus leading to the contemporary Iroguois and Omaha systems in the western branch of Mayan, and with the eastern branch retaining vestiges of both Iroquois-cum-Omaha and Hawaiian systems.