Indigenous peoples of the Americas

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An independent origin and development of writing is counted among the many achievements and innovations of pre-Columbian American cultures. The region of Mesoamerica produced a number of indigenous writing systems from the 1st millennium BCE onwards. What may be the earliest-known example in the Americas of an extensive text thought to be writing is illustrated above. These undeciphered glyphs, which appear on a stone tablet discovered in the late 1990s near San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán in Veracruz, Mexico, have been termed "Olmec hieroglyphs". The tablet has been indirectly dated from ceramic sherds found in the same context to approximately 900 BCE, around the time that Olmec occupation of San Lorenzo began to wane.[1]

The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Americas, their descendants, and many ethnic groups who identify with those peoples. They are often also referred to as Native Americans, First Nations and by Christopher Columbus' historical mistake "American Indians" or "AmerIndians".

According to the still debated New World migration model, a migration of humans from Eurasia to the Americas took place via Beringia, a land bridge which formerly connected the two continents across what is now the Bering Strait. The minimum time depth by which this migration had taken place is confirmed at c. 12,000 years ago, with the upper bound (or earliest period) remaining a matter of some unresolved contention.[2] These early Paleoamericans soon spread throughout the Americas, diversifying into many hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes.[3] According to the oral histories of many of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, they have been living there since their genesis, described by a wide range of traditional creation accounts.

Application of the term "Indian" originated with Christopher Columbus, who thought that he had arrived in the East Indies. This has served to imagine a kind of racial or cultural unity for the autochthonous peoples of the Americas. Once created, the unified "Indian" was codified in law, religion, and politics. The unitary idea of "Indians" was not originally shared by indigenous peoples, but many now embrace the identity.

While some indigenous peoples of the Americas were historically hunter-gatherers, many practiced aquaculture and agriculture. The impact of their agricultural endowment to the world is a testament to their time and work in reshaping, taming, and cultivating the flora indigenous to the Americas.[4] Some societies depended heavily on agriculture while others practiced a mix of farming, hunting, and gathering. In some regions the indigenous peoples created monumental architecture, large-scale organized cities, chiefdoms, states, and massive empires.



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Original peopling of the Americas

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Language families of North American indigenous peoples
Painting of various ethnic groups from the Americas, early 20th century.

Scholars who follow the Bering Strait theory agree that most indigenous peoples of the Americas descended from people who probably migrated from Siberia across the Bering Strait, anywhere between 9,000 and 50,000 years ago. The timeframe and exact routes are still matters of debate, and the model faces continuous challenges.

A 2006 study (to be published in Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology) reports new DNA-based research that links DNA retrieved from a 10,000-year-old fossilized tooth from an Alaskan island, with specific coastal tribes in Tierra del Fuego, Ecuador, Mexico, and California.[5] Unique DNA markers found in the fossilized tooth were found only in these specific coastal tribes, and were not comparable to markers found in any other indigenous peoples in the Americas. This finding lends substantial credence to a migration theory that at least one set of early peoples moved south along the west coast of the Americas in boats. However, these results may be ambiguous, as there are other issues with DNA research and biological and cultural affiliation as outlined in Peter N. Jones' book Respect for the Ancestors: Cultural Affiliation and Cultural Continuity in the American West.

One result of these waves of migration is that large groups of peoples with similar languages and perhaps physical characteristics as well, moved into various geographic areas of North, and then Central and South America. While these peoples have traditionally remained primarily loyal to their individual tribes, ethnologists have variously sought to group the myriad of tribes into larger entities which reflect common geographic origins, linguistic similarities, and lifestyles.[6]

Remnants of a human settlement in Monte Verde, Chile dated to 12,500 years B.P. (another layer at Monteverde has been tentatively dated to 33,000-35,000 years B.P.) suggests that southern Chile was settled by peoples who entered the Americas before the peoples associated with the Bering Strait migrations. It is suggested that a coastal route via canoes could have allowed rapid migration into the Americas.

The traditional view of a relatively recent migration has also been challenged by older findings of human remains in South America; some dating to perhaps even 30,000 years old or more. Some recent finds (notably the Luzia skeleton in Lagoa Santa, Brazil) are claimed to be morphologically distinct from Asians and are more similar to African and Australian Aborigines. These American Aborigines would have been later displaced or absorbed by the Siberian immigrants. The distinctive Fuegian natives of Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of the American continent, are speculated to be partial remnants of those Aboriginal populations. These early immigrants would have either crossed the ocean by boat or traveled north along the Asian coast and entered America through the Northwest, well before the Siberian waves. This theory is presently viewed by many scholars as conjecture, as many areas along the proposed routes now lie underwater, making research difficult. Some scholars believe the earliest cranial anthropoligical origin/forensic evidence for early populations appears to more closely resemble Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders, and not those of Northeast Asia. [7]

Scholars' estimates of the total population of the Americas before European contact vary enormously, from a low of 10 million to a high of 112 million.[8] Whatever the figure, scholars generally agree that most of the indigenous population resided in Mesoamerica and South America, while about 10 percent resided in North America.[9]

The Solutrean hypothesis suggests an early Atlantic migration route into the Americas.[10][11][12][13] Stone tool technology of the Solutrean culture in prehistoric Europe may have later influenced the development of the Clovis tool-making culture in the Americas. Some of its key proponents include Dr. Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution and Dr. Bruce Bradley of the University of Exeter. In this hypothesis, peoples associated with the Solutrean culture migrated from Ice Age Europe to North America, bringing their methods of making stone tools with them and providing the basis for later Clovis technology found throughout North America. The hypothesis rests upon particular similarities in Solutrean and Clovis technology that have no known counterparts in Eastern Asia, Siberia or Beringia, areas from which or through which early Americans are known to have migrated.

European colonization

Cultural areas of North America at time of European contact.

Template:See The European colonization of the Americas forever changed the lives, bloodlines and cultures of the peoples of the continent. The Population history of American indigenous peoples postulates that disease exposure, displacement, and warfare may have diminished populations.[14][15] The first indigenous group encountered by Columbus were the 250,000 Tainos of Hispaniola who were the dominant culture in the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas. In thirty years, 80 to 90% of the Tainos died. [16] Enslaved, forced to labour in the mines, mistreated, the Tainos began to adopt suicidal behaviors, with women aborting or killing their newly-born children, men jumping from the cliffs or ingesting manioc, a violent poison [16]. They were not immune to European diseases, so outbreaks of measles and smallpox decimated their population.[17]

Reasons for the decline of the Native American populations are variously theorized to be from diseases, conflicts with Europeans, and conflicts among warring tribes. More recently, collective mobilization among the indigenous peoples in the Americas has required the incorporation of closely-knit local communities into a broader national and international framework of political action.

Scholars now believe that, among the various contributing factors, epidemic disease was the overwhelming cause of the population decline of the American natives.[18][19] After first contacts with Europeans and Africans, some believe that the death of 90 to 95% of the native population of the New World was caused by Old World diseases.[20] Half the native population of Hispaniola in 1518 was killed by smallpox.[21] Within a few years smallpox killed between 60% and 90% of the Inca population, with other waves of European disease weakening them further.[22] Smallpox was only the first epidemic. Typhus (probably) in 1546, influenza and smallpox together in 1558, smallpox again in 1589, diphtheria in 1614, measles in 1618 - all ravaged the remains of Inca culture. Smallpox had killed millions of native inhabitants of Mexico.[23] Unintentionally introduced at Veracruz with the arrival of Panfilo de Narvaez on April 23, 1520, smallpox ravaged Mexico in the 1520s, killing 150,000 in Tenochtitlán alone, including the emperor, and was credited with the victory of Cortes over the Aztec empire at Tenochtitlan (present-day Mexico City) in 1521.[24]

Even after the two mighty empires of the Americas were defeated by the virus, smallpox continued its march of death. In 1633 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the Native Americans were struck by the virus. As it had done elsewhere, the virus wiped out entire population groups of Native Americans. It reached Lake Ontario in 1636, and the lands of the Iroquois by 1679, killing millions.[25]

Later explorations of the Caribbean led to the discovery of the Aruak peoples of the lesser Antilles. The culture was extinct by 1650. Only 500 had survived by the year 1550, though the bloodlines continued through the modern populace. In Amazonia, indigenous societies weathered centuries of colonization[26]

The Spaniards and other Europeans brought horses to the Americas. Some of these animals escaped and began to breed and increase their numbers in the wild. [27] The re-introduction of the horse had a profound impact on Native American culture in the Great Plains of North America and of Patagonia in South America. This new mode of travel made it possible for some tribes to greatly expand their territories, exchange many goods with neighboring tribes, and more easily capture game.


Over the course of thousands of years, a large array of plant species were domesticated, bred and cultivated by the indigenous peoples of the American continent. These species now constitute 50-60% of all crops in cultivation worldwide [28]. In certain cases, the indigenous peoples developed entirely new species and strains through artificial selection, as was the case in the domestication and breeding of maize from wild teosinte grasses in the valleys of southern Mexico. A great number of these agricultural products still retain native names (Nahuatl and others) in the English and Spanish lexicons.

Innumerable crops first domesticated by indigenous Americans are now produced and/or used globally. Largest among these is maize or "corn", arguably the most important crop in the world [29]. Other significant crops include cassava, squash (pumpkins, zucchini, marrow, acorn squash, butternut squash, others), the pinto bean, Phaseolus including most common beans, tepary beans and lima beans were also all first domesticated and cultivated by indigenous peoples in the Americas); the tomato, the potatos, avocados, peanuts, cacao beans (used to make chocolate), vanilla, strawberries, pineapples, Peppers (species and varieties of Capsicum, including bell peppers, jalapeños, paprika and chili peppers) sunflower seeds, rubber, brazilwood, chicle, some species of cotton, tobacco, coca.


Hopi man weaving on traditional loom

Cultural practices in the Americas seem to have been mostly shared within geographical zones where otherwise unrelated peoples might adopt similar technologies and social organisations. An example of such a cultural area could be Mesoamerica, where millennia of coexistence and shared development between the peoples of the region produced a fairly homogeneous culture with complex agricultural and social patterns. Another well-known example could be the North American plains area, where until the 19th century, several different peoples shared traits of nomadic hunter-gatherers primarily based on buffalo hunting. Within the Americas, dozens of larger and hundreds of smaller culture areas can be identified.

Music and art

Native American music in North America is almost entirely monophonic, but there are notable exceptions. Traditional Native American music often includes drumming but little other instrumentation, although flutes are played by individuals. The tuning of these flutes is not precise and depends on the length of the wood used and the hand span of the intended player, but the finger holes are most often around a whole step apart and, at least in Northern California, a flute was not used if it turned out to have an interval close to a half step.

Music from indigenous peoples of Central Mexico and Central America often was pentatonic. Before the arrival of the Spaniards it was inseparable from religious festivities and included a large variety of percussion and wind instruments such as drums, flutes, sea snail shells (used as a kind of trumpet) and "rain" tubes. No remnants of pre-Columbian stringed instruments were found until archaeologists discovered a jar in Guatemala, attributed to the Maya of the Late Classic Era (600-900 AD), which depicts a stringed musical instrument which has since been reproduced. This instrument is astonishing in at least two respects. First, it is the only stringed instrument known in the Americas prior to the introduction of European musical instruments. Second, when played, it produces a sound virtually identical to a jaguar's growl. A sample of this sound is available at the Princeton Art Museum website.

Art of the indigenous peoples of the Americas comprises a major category in the world art collection. Contributions include pottery, paintings, jewellery, weavings, sculptures, basketry,carvings and hair pipes.

Demography of contemporary populations

The following table provides estimates of the per-country populations of indigenous people, and also those with part-indigenous ancestry, expressed as a percentage of the overall country population. of each country that is comprised by indigenous peoples, and of people with partly indigenous descent. The total percentage obtained by adding both of these categories is also given (One should note however that these categories, especially the second one, are inconsistently defined and measured differently from country to country).

Indigenous populations of the Americas1
as estimated percentage of total country's population
Country Indigenous Part-indigenous Combined total
Argentina11 1.1 percent 3-15 percent 3-15 percent
Bolivia 55 percent 30 percent 85 percent
Brazil² 0.4 percent [?] [?]
Canada³ 1.9 percent4 2.7 percent 4.6 percent
Chile 3 percent 60 percent 63 percent
Colombia 3.4 percent5 82.1 percent 85.5 percent6
Costa Rica7 1 percent 90 percent 91 percent
Cuba7 1 percent 20 percent 21 percent
Dominican Republic 1 percent 40-60 percent 41-61 percent
Guatemala 40 percent 45 percent 85 percent
Ecuador 25 percent 55 percent 80 percent
El Salvador 1 percent 90 percent 91 percent
French Guiana,
Guyana and Suriname
5 – 20 percent [?] [?]
Honduras 7 percent 90 percent 97 percent
Mexico 30 percent8 60 percent 90 percent
Nicaragua 5 percent 69 percent 74 percent
Panama 6 percent 70 percent 76 percent
Paraguay 5 percent 93.3 percent 98.3 percent
Peru 45 percent 37 percent 82 percent
Puerto Rico 0.4 percent 61.2 percent 61.6 percent9]
Venezuela 2 percent 69 percent 71 percent
USA10 .74 - .9 percent .57 - .74 percent 1.31 - 1.64 percent
Uruguay 0 percent 8 percent 8 percent

1 Source : The World Factbook 1999, Central Intelligence Agency unless otherwise indicated.
² 2000 Brazil Census
³ Canada 2001 Census
4 1.9 percent is for single origins only, Aboriginal identity population is 3.3 percent
5 DANE 2005 National Census
6Yunis, Emilio y Juan José Yunis (2006) quoted by Bejarano, Bernardo El 85,5 por ciento de las madres colombianas tiene origen indígena
7 indigenous peoples mixed into the general population; NA = "not available".
8 Of Amerindian and "predominantly" Amerindian as reported in the CIA Factbook. National statistics report a 12% of pure Amerindian.[30]
9 Kearns DNA
10 2000 U.S. Census
11 Primeros Resultados de la Encuesta Complementaria de Pueblos Indígenas (ECPI)

History and status by country


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Argentina's indigenous population is about 403.000 (0.9 percent of total population).[31] Indigenous nations include the Toba, Wichí, Mocoví, Pilagá, Chulupí, Diaguita-Calchaquí, Kolla, Guaraní (Tupí Guaraní and Avá Guaraní in the provinces of Jujuy and Salta, and Mbyá Guaraní in the province of Misiones), Chorote (Iyo'wujwa Chorote and Iyojwa'ja Chorote), Chané, Tapieté, Mapuche, Tehuelche and Selknam (Ona).


Mestizos (European with indigenous peoples) number about 45 percent of the population; unmixed Maya make up another 6.5 percent. The Garifuna, who came to Belize in the 1800s, originating from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with a mixed African, Carib, and Arawak ancestry make up another 5% of the population.


In Bolivia about 2.5 million people speak Quechua, 2.1 million speak Aymara, while Guaraní is only spoken by a few hundred thousand people. The languages are recognized; nevertheless, there are no official documents written in those languages. However, the constitutional reform in 1997 for the first time recognized Bolivia as a multilingual, pluri-ethnic society and introduced education reform. In 2005, for the first time in the country's history, an indigenous Aymara president, Evo Morales, was elected.


Brazilian Indigenous chiefs of the Kayapo tribe: Raony, Kaye, Kadjor, Panara.
Korubo man from the Brazilian Amazon.

Template:See also Template:See also The Amerindians make up 0.4% of Brazil's population, or about 700,000 people.[32] Indigenous peoples are found in the entire territory of Brazil, although the majority of them live in Indian reservations in the North and Centre-Western part of the country. On 18 January 2007, FUNAI reported that it had confirmed the presence of 67 different uncontacted tribes in Brazil, up from 40 in 2005. With this addition Brazil has now overtaken the island of New Guinea as the country having the largest number of uncontacted tribes.[33]


Main article: Aboriginal peoples in Canada

The most commonly preferred term for the indigenous peoples of what is now Canada is Aboriginal peoples. Of these Aboriginal peoples who are not Inuit or Métis, "First Nations" is the most commonly preferred term of self-identification. First Nations peoples make up approximately 3.3 percent of the Canadian population[2], and includes Inuit, and Metis peoples.


Less than 5 percent of Chileans belong to indigenous peoples, such as the Mapuche in the country's central valley and lake district, and the Mapuche successfully fought off defeat in the first 300-350 years of Spanish during the War of Arauco. Relation with the new Chilean Republic were good until the Chilean state decided to occupy their lands. During the Occupation of Araucanía the Mapuche surrendered to the country's army in the 1880s. The former land was opened to settlement for mestizo and white Chileans. Conflict over Mapuche land rights continued until present days.

Sculpture of a chibchan-sutagao native american standing at the entrance of Fusagasugá, Colombia


Main article: Indigenous peoples in Colombia

A small minority today within Colombia's overwhelmingly Mestizo and Afro-Colombian population, Colombia's indigenous peoples nonetheless encompass at least 85 distinct cultures and more than 1,378,884 people[34]. A variety of collective rights for indigenous peoples are recognized in the 1991 Constitution.

One of these is the Muisca culture, a subset of the larger Chibcha ethnic group, famous for their use of gold, which led to the legend of El Dorado. At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Chibchas were the largest native civilization between the Incas and the Aztecs.


Ecuador was the site of many indigenous cultures, and civilizations of different proportions. An early sedentary culture, known as the Valdivia culture, developed in the coastal region, while the Caras and the Quitus unified to form an elaborate civilization that ended at the birth of the Capital Quito. The Cañaris near Cuenca were the most advanced, and most feared by the Inca, due to their fierce resistance to the Incan expansion. Their architecture remains were later destroyed by Spaniards and the Incas. Many Ameridian natives still exist today living in isolation with little contact to the outerworld. Most natives remained unmixed in the fusion that occurred after colonization because they inhabited such remote areas like the jungle, and the Andes. Many of the Cañaris, and other natives still occupy their ancestors' original locations.


Many of the indigenous peoples of Guatemala are of Maya heritage. Other groups are Xinca people and Garífuna.

Pure Maya account for some 40 percent of the population; although around 40 percent of the population speaks an indigenous language, those tongues (of which there are more than 20) enjoy no official status.


Main article: Indigenous peoples of Mexico
Benito Juárez, an indigenous Zapotec and President of Mexico from 1858 to 1872. He was the first Mexican president with indigenous roots.

The territory of modern-day Mexico was home to numerous indigenous civilizations prior to the arrival of the European conquistadores: The Olmecs, who flourished from between 1200 BCE to about 400 BCE in the coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico; the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs, who held sway in the mountains of Oaxaca and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec; the Maya in the Yucatán (and into neighbouring areas of contemporary Central America); the Purepecha or Tarascan in present day Michoacán and surrounding areas, and the Aztecs, who, from their central capital at Tenochtitlan, dominated much of the centre and south of the country (and the non-Aztec inhabitants of those areas) when Hernán Cortés first landed at Veracruz.

In contrast to what was the general rule in the rest of North America, the history of the colony of New Spain was one of racial intermingling (mestizaje). Mestizos quickly came to account for a majority of the colony's population; however, significant pockets of pure-blood indígenas (as the native peoples are now known) have survived to the present day.

With mestizos numbering some 60 percent of the modern population, estimates for the numbers of unmixed indigenous peoples vary from a very modest 10 percent to a more liberal 30 percent of the population. The reason for this discrepancy may be the Mexican government's policy of using linguistic, rather than racial, criteria as the basis of classification.

In the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca and in the interior of the Yucatán peninsula the majority of the population is indigenous. Large indigenous minorities, including Nahuas, Purépechas, and Mixtecs are also present in the central regions of Mexico. In Northern Mexico indigenous people are a small minority: they are practically absent from the northeast but, in the northwest and central borderlands, include the Tarahumara of Chihuahua and the Yaquis and Seri of Sonora. Many of the tribes from this region are also recognized Native American tribes from the U.S. Southwest such as the Yaqui and Kickapoo.

In particular, in areas such as Chiapas — most famously, but also in Oaxaca, Puebla, Guerrero, and other remote mountainous parts — indigenous communities have been left on the margins of national development for the past 500 years. Indigenous customs and uses enjoy no official status. The Huichols of the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Zacatecas, and Durango are impeded by police forces in their ritual pilgrimages, and their religious observances are interfered with[citation needed].


Main article: Miskito

The Miskito are Native American people in Central America. Their territory expands from Cape Cameron, Honduras, to Rio Grande, Nicaragua along the Miskito Coast. There is a native Miskito language, but large groups speak Miskito creole English, Spanish, Rama and others. The creole English came about through frequent contact with the British. Many are Christians.

Over the centuries the Miskito have intermarried with escaped slaves who have sought refuge in Miskito communities. Traditional Miskito society was highly structured, with a defined political structure. There was a king but he did not have total power. Instead, the power was split between him, a governor, a general, and by the 1750s, an admiral. Historical information on kings is often obscured by the fact that many of the kings were semi-mythical.


Main article: Indigenous Peoples in Peru
Peruvian indigenous people, learning to read.

Most Peruvians are either indigenous or mestizos (of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry). Peru has the largest indigenous population of South America, and its traditions and customs have shaped the way Peruvians live and see themselves today. Cultural citizenship--or what Renato Rosaldo has called, "the right to be different and to belong, in a democratic, participatory sense" (1996:243)--is not yet very well developed in Peru. This is perhaps no more apparent than in the country's Amazonian regions where indigenous societies continue to struggle against state-sponsored economic abuses, cultural discrimination, and pervasive violence.

Throughout the Peruvian Amazon, indigenous peoples have long faced centuries of missionization, unregulated streams of colonists, land-grabbing, decades of formal schooling in an alien tongue, pressures to conform to a foreign national culture, and more recently, explosive expressions of violent social conflict fueled by a booming underground coca economy. The disruptions accompanying the establishment of extractive economies, coupled with the Peruvian state-sanctioned civilizing project, have led to a devastating impoverishment of Amazonia's richly variegated social and ecological communities.[35]

The most visited tourist destinations of Peru were built by indigenous peoples (the Quechua, Aymara, Moche, etc.), while Amazonian peoples, such as the Urarina, Bora, Matsés, Ticuna, Yagua, Shipibo and the Aguaruna, developed elaborate shamanic systems of belief prior to the European Conquest of the New World. Macchu Picchu is considered one of the marvels of humanity, and it was constructed by the Inca civilization. Even though Peru officially declares its multi-ethnic character and recognizes at least six–dozen languages —including Quechua, Aymara and hegemonic Spanish— discrimination and language endangerment continue to challenge the indigenous peoples in Peru.[36]

United States

An Inuit woman
Main article: Native Americans in the United States

Indigenous peoples in what is now the contiguous United States are commonly called "American Indians" but are also often referred to as "Native Americans". In Alaska, indigenous peoples, which include Native Americans, Yupik and Inupiat Eskimos, and Aleuts, are referred to collectively as Alaska Natives. Native Americans and Alaska Natives make up 2 percent of the population, with more than 6 million people identifying themselves as such, although only 1.8 million are registered tribal members. A minority of U.S. Native Americans live in zones mistakenly called Indian reservations. There are also many Southwestern U.S. tribes, such as the Yaqui and Apache, that have registered tribal communities in Northern Mexico and several bands of Blackfoot reside in southern Alberta. There is further Native American ancestry by various extraction existing across all social races that is mostly unaccounted for.

Native cultures in Hawaii still thrive following annexation to the US.

Other parts of the Americas

Indigenous peoples make up the majority of the population in Bolivia and Peru, and are a significant element in most other former Spanish colonies. Exceptions to this include Costa Rica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay. At least three of the native American languages (Quechua in Peru and Bolivia, Aymara also in Bolivia, and Guarani in Paraguay) are recognized along with Spanish as national languages. And the controversial issue on the significance of indigenous peoples and their culture has on Chile, the South American country was treated more like an European-derived one by the fact European immigration was dense, but smaller than immigration to Uruguay and neighboring Argentina, but a majority of Chileans are mestizos of varied degrees of mixed European and native American ancestry. (see demographics of Chile)

Native American name controversy

Main article: Native American name controversy

The Native American name controversy is an ongoing dispute over the acceptable ways to refer to the indigenous peoples of the Americas and to broad subsets thereof, such as those living in a specific country or sharing certain cultural attributes. Once-common terms like "Indian" remain in use, despite the introduction of terms such as "Native American" during the latter half of the 20th century.

See also

Native American Warrior in Brazil, depicted by Jean-Baptiste Debret in the early 19th Century


  1. Skidmore (2006, pp.1-4). The numbers appearing next to each glyph are identifiers used by archaeologists investigating the find.
  2. See Jacobs 2001 for an extensive review of the evidence for migration timings, and Jacobs 2002 for a survey of migration models.
  3. Jacobs (2002).
  4. Mann (2005).
  5. "DNA Ties Together Scattered Peoples," Los Angeles Times (accessed September 11 2006); reprint
  6. See also Classification of indigenous peoples of the Americas.
  7. Jablonski, Nina (2001). The First Americans: The Pleistocene Colonization of the New World. Journal of Field Archeology (Vol 28, 2001, p. 459. Retrieved on August 10, 2007.
  8. See Thornton's (2006) review of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Mann 2005).
  9. Taylor (2001, p.40).
  10. Carey, Bjorn (19 February 2006).First Americans may have been European.Life Science. Retrieved on August 10, 2007.
  11. Conner, Steve, Science Editor, (03 December 2002).Does skull prove that the first Americans came from Europe?. Published in the UK Independent. Retrieved on August 14, 2007.
  12. Hecht, Jeff (4 September 2003).Skulls narrow clues to First AmericansNew Scientist. Retrieved on August 12, 2007.
  13. Gonzalez, Sylvia, C. Jimenez-Lopez, R. Hedges, D. Huddart, J.C. Ohman, A. Turner, J.A. Pompa y Padilla (2003). Earliest humans in the Americas: new evidence from Mexico, Journal of Human Evolution 44, 379-387.
  14. As characterized by Mann (2005)
  15. Native Americans of North America,, Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2006, Trudy Griffin-Pierce, accessed September 14, 2006
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Espagnols-Indiens: le choc des civilisations" in L'Histoire, n°322, July-August 2007, pp.14-21
  17. Smallpox Through History
  18. Cook, p. 1.
  19. BBC Smallpox: Eradicating the Scourge
  20. The Story Of... Smallpox
  21. American Indian Epidemics
  22. Smallpox: The Disease That Destroyed Two Empires
  23. Epidemics
  24. Smallpox's history in the world
  25. Smallpox
  26. See Varese (2004), as reviewed in Dean (2006).
  27. Ancient Horse (Equus cf. E. complicatus), The Academy of Natural Sciences, Thomas Jefferson Fossil Collection, Philadelphia, PA, (See: species Equus scotti and others died out at the end of the last ice age with other megafauna.
  28. "Native Americans: The First Farmers." AgExporter October 1 1999 [1]
  29. Michael Pollan,The Omnivore's Dilemma.
  30. Los pueblos indígenas de México
  31. INDEC: Encuesta Complementaria de Pueblos Indígenas (ECPI) 2004 - 2005
  32. Brazil urged to protect Indians
  33. Brazil sees traces of more isolated Amazon tribes
  34. DANE 2005 national census
  35. See for example Dean and Levi (2003)
  36. A view expressed by Dean (2003)


  • Cappel, Constance, "The Smallpox Genocide of the Odawa Tribe at L'Arbre Croche, 1763: The History of a Native American People," Edwin Mellen Press, 2007, ISBN-10:0-7734-5220-6
* Churchill, Ward (1997). A Little Matter of Genocide. City Lights Books. ISBN 0-872-86323-9. 

External links

Template:IndigPeopleAmericas nav Template:Indigenous Peoples by Continent

Template:Miscegenation in Spanish colonies

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