Asturians (English) Asturianos (Spanish)
Regions with significant populations
Asturians in Asturias: 973,427
(for a total population of 1,018,706)[1]
 United States7,440[2]
Other countries23,362[2]
Asturian, Eonavian
Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Galicians, Leonese, Cantabrians, Extremadurans, Mirandese, Vaqueiros de alzada, Spaniards

Asturians (Asturian: asturianos) are a Romance[4] ethnic group native to the autonomous community of Asturias, in the North-West of the Iberian Peninsula.

Culture and society


Asturians are directly descended from the Astures,[5] who were Celtic inhabitants of the northwest Iberian Peninsula before the conquest of the peninsula by the Romans which resulted in their Latinization.[6] By the early Middle Ages, their Celtic language had fallen into disuse and was replaced by a Latin-derived language still spoken today called Asturian. Their original language can be found in toponyms throughout Asturias, including the name of Asturias itself, which is believed to derive from the Celtic root stour meaning 'river'.[7] Other aspects of Asturian culture have not been Latinized or Hispanicized, such as the music, mythology, and festivals which remain Celtic.[8][9]


Asturians' religious affiliation is predominantly Roman Catholic. The Catholic faith has historically been important to Asturians, as the Battle of Covadonga and the founding of an independent Asturian Kingdom by Pelayo were believed to have been due to the fact that Pelayo prayed to a statue of the Virgin Mary in a cave before his victory in battle. Believing that Mary miraculously aided the Asturians in the battle, a shrine was set up in her honour in Covadonga.[citation needed]

Prior to their Christianization, Asturians followed a polytheistic Celtic religion. Many elements of this faith have survived in the form of Asturian mythological creatures and folkloric legends told today.[10]


Main article: Asturian language

Throughout history, Asturian people have been subject to multiple language shifts. They originally spoke a Q-Celtic language, similar to that of the neighbouring Gallaeci people.[11] However, due to the Roman conquest of Asturias, the language became replaced with the modern Asturian language, also known as bable, which is a Romance language. Since few records of the original Celtic language remain, it cannot be revived and has gone extinct.[12]

The Asturian language, once also widely spoken by Asturians, has been in decline since the early 20th century, although around 40% of Asturians still speak the language (10% as a mother tongue).[13] As Asturias is presently part of Spain, language shift toward Castilian Spanish continues to occur. Whilst not recognized as an official language in Spain, it is protected under the Autonomous Statute legislation, and efforts to preserve the language continue to be made. In the western part of Asturias, Eonavian (which is a transition language between Galician and Asturian) is also spoken, and its promotion also falls under the responsibility of Law 1/1998.[14]


Main article: Asturian cuisine

The most famous traditional dish is Fabada Asturiana, a rich stew made with large white beans (fabes), pork shoulder (llacón), morciella, chorizu, and saffron (azafrán). Apple groves foster the production of the traditional alcoholic drink, a natural cider (sidra). It is a very dry cider, and unlike French or English natural ciders, uses predominantly acidic apples, rather than sweet or bittersweet. Sidra is traditionally poured in by an expert server (or escanciador): the bottle is raised high above his or her head to oxygenate the brew as it moves into the glass below.[15]


The Danza Prima is the most famous Asturian dance.[16] The most characteristic instrument is the gaita asturiana, or Asturian bagpipe.[17] Similar bagpipes can be found in neighbouring regions such as Cantabria and Galicia.[18]


In March 2019, it was reported that there are 133,854 Asturians living in 65 countries.[2]


Asturians were involved in the development of the New World and their descendants in present-day Latin America, esp. in Argentina and Cuba; and other countries where Asturians moved to during the rule of the Spanish Empire. The Industrial Revolution came to Asturias after 1830 with the discovery and systematic exploitation of coal and iron resources. At the same time, there was significant migration to the Americas (i.e. Mexico, Cuba[19][20][21][22] and Puerto Rico); those who succeeded overseas often returned to their native land much wealthier. These entrepreneurs were known collectively as 'Indianos', for having visited and made their fortunes in the West Indies and beyond. The heritage of these wealthy families can still be seen in Asturias today: many large 'modernista' villas are dotted across the region, as well as cultural institutions such as free schools and public libraries. Asturian communities, social clubs, sporting teams, financial banks and amateur vocal groups are still found in Mexico and Argentina as well across South America.

Tens of thousands of Asturians moved to the United States[23] en masse, mainly to agricultural industries of Florida[24] and California and the zinc smelters of West Virginia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were also involved in working in industrial bases of Midwestern factory towns. (see Asturian-American). A characteristic of the Asturian wherever they go is their attachment to the land of their birth. This is reflected in the 82 Asturian Centers[25] in America.[26] Well-known people whose ancestors are Asturian, include Gloria Estefan, Eva Longoria, Vicente Fox, Lauren Jauregui, Miguel Díaz-Canel or Pimpinela. Martín de Argüelles was the first european who has born in the current United States.

As of 2019, there are 103,655 Asturian living in the Americas.[2]


In the case of Europe, the largest Asturian community sits in Belgium, with 8,208 members. France, with 4,913, Germany, with 3,994, and Switzerland, with 3,786, are also traditional countries of Asturian emigration.[3]

Notable people of Asturian origin

See also


This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Asturians" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
  1. ^ García, Eugenia (21 April 2020). "Asturias pierde en un año 4.094 habitantes". El Comercio (in European Spanish). Archived from the original on 8 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "La diáspora asturiana se dispara: suma casi dos veces la población de Avilés". La Voz de Asturias (in European Spanish). 20 March 2019. Archived from the original on 22 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Con el mundo por montera picona". La Nueva España (in European Spanish). 27 May 2019. Archived from the original on 30 April 2023. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  4. ^ Minahan, James (2000). One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 776. ISBN 978-0313309847. Romance (Latin) nations... Asturians
  5. ^ "La genética de los asturianos, con rasgos de los asentamientos prerromanos". El Comercio (in European Spanish). 11 April 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  6. ^ Koch, John T. (2006). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781851094400.
  7. ^ García Arias, Xosé Lluis (2005). Toponimia asturiana: El porqué de los nombres de nuestros pueblos. Oviedo: Editorial Prensa Asturiana SA. ISBN 84-87730-78-7.
  8. ^ Cabal, Constantino. Mitología Asturiana.
  9. ^ "Festival Intercéltico de Avilés".
  10. ^ Arrieta Gallastegui, Miguel I. (2005). Gentes y seres mágicos de la mitología de Asturias. Gonzalo Gil. Somonte-Cenero, Gijón: Ediciones Trea. ISBN 84-9704-177-1. OCLC 63700502.
  11. ^ W., Cunliffe, Barry (2003). The Celts. Oxford University Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-19-280418-9. OCLC 51872321.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Adolfo Fernández Pérez; Florencio Friera (2005). Historia de Asturias. Oviedo: KRK Ediciones. ISBN 84-96476-60-X. OCLC 65461372.
  13. ^ M. Teresa Turell (2001). Multilingualism in Spain : sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic aspects of linguistic minority groups. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. ISBN 1-85359-710-4. OCLC 54379444.
  14. ^ Bauske 1995
  15. ^ "El Ayuntamiento de Oviedo se vuelca con la sidra y celebra su Día Mundial, el próximo viernes - Noticias -". Archived from the original on 31 May 2022. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  16. ^ "El texu de La Collada, testigo de la lucha por el medioambiente". El Comercio (in Spanish). 5 June 2022. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  17. ^ "Clemente Díaz, el gaitero de Ibias, un disco a los 87". La Nueva España (in Spanish). 17 June 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  18. ^ ""La gaita pertenece a la identidad musical de Cantabria"". El Diario Montañes (in European Spanish). 19 December 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  19. ^ "Asturian Center Building". Old Havana Web. Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. The Asturian Center opened ... in 1927. ... Today it houses the Universal Art Collection belonging to the National Museum of Fine Arts.
  20. ^ "Asturian Center, Old Havana, Cuba". Archived from the original on 10 August 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2016. Address: Calle O´Reilly e/ Zulueta y Monserrate. La Habana Vieja. Ciudad de La Habana.
  21. ^ Cervantes-Rodriguez, Margarita (31 May 2011). International Migration in Cuba. Penn State Press. ISBN 978-0271035390. Prominent among these clubs was the Centro Asturiano (Asturian Center), which was created in 1886 as an umbrella organization for immigrants from Asturias.
  22. ^ "Havana: Centro Asturiano (Asturian Center), built in 1927, now part of Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana (Museum of Fine Arts)". Branson DeCou Digital Archive. Archived from the original on 10 August 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  23. ^ "Introduction & Statement of Purpose". Asturian-American Migration Forum. Archived from the original on 18 May 2008. These Asturian immigrants established an informal but lively network which connected Spain, Cuba, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, California, and other locations within the US.
  24. ^ History of the Centro Asturiano de Tampa Building and Social Club
  25. ^ FICA – Federación Internacional de Centros Asturianos
  26. ^ Centro Asturiano de Nueva York