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Encyclopedia > Native American (Americas)
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Brazilian Indian chiefs

The scope of this indigenous peoples of the Americas article encompasses the definitions of indigenous peoples and the Americas as established in their respective articles. The term indigenous peoples has no universal, standard or fixed definition. ... The Americas (sometimes referred to as America) is the area including the land mass located between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, generally divided into North America and South America. ...

Contents


Early history

See also: Archeology of the Americas, Models of migration to the New World The Archeology of the Americas is the study of the archeology of North America, Central America (or Mesoamerica), South America and the Caribbean, which is to say, the pre-history and Pre-Columbian history of Native American peoples. ... When did people first enter the New World and how did they get there? This question has been debated for centuries and will probably continue to be for many more years to come in the anthropological community. ...


The Bering Strait Land Bridge Theory

Based on anthropological and genetic evidence, scientists generally agree that most indigenous peoples of the Americas descend from people who migrated from Siberia across the Bering Strait, between 17,000–11,000 years ago. Anthropology (from the Greek word άνθρωπος, human) consists of the study of humankind (see genus Homo). ... Genetics (from the Greek genno γεννώ= give birth) is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. ... Human migration denotes any movement of groups of people from one locality to another, rather than of individual wanderers. ... Siberia Siberia (Russian: , common English transliterations: Sibir’, Sibir; from the Tatar for “sleeping land”) is a vast region of Russia and northern Kazakhstan constituting almost all of northern Asia. ... Satellite photo of the Bering Strait Nautical chart of the Bering Strait The Bering Strait is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, the eastmost point of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, the westernmost point of the American continent, about 85 km in width, with a depth of...


The exact epoch and route is still a matter of controversy, as is whether it happened at all. Until recently there was a consensus among anthropologists that the alleged migrants crossed the strait 12,000 years ago via the Bering Land Bridge which existed during the last ice age (which occurred 26,000 to 11,000 years ago), and that they followed an inland route through Alaska and Canada that had just been freed of its ice cover. There are a number of difficulties in this theory — in particular, growing evidence of human presence in Brazil and Chile 11,500 years ago or earlier [1]. Thus other possibilities, not necessarily exclusive, have been suggested: (Pleistocene, Paleolithic – 10th millennium BC – 9th millennium BC – other millennia) Beginning of the Mesolithic, or Epipaleolithic time period, which is the first part of the Holocene epoch. ... Nautical chart of Bering Strait, site of former land bridge between Asia and North America The Bering land bridge, also known as Beringia, was a land bridge roughly 1600 km (1000 miles) north to south at its greatest extent, which joined present-day Alaska and eastern Siberia at various times... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ... The Upper Paleolithic or Palaeolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. ... Beginning of the Neolithic time period of the Holocene epoch. ...

  • The migrants may have crossed the land bridge several millennia earlier and followed a coastal route, thus avoiding the ice-covered interior.
  • They may have been seafaring people who moved along the coast, a theory disputed due to the relative lack of seafaring skills of peoples of this time period.
  • The crossing of the Bering Land Bridge may have occurred during the previous ice age, around 37,000 years ago. This is also supported by the archaeology dating of some sites in South America prior to the previously assumed date of 12–14,000 years ago.
  • A more radical alternative is that the Siberians were preceded by migrants from Oceania, who arrived either by sailing across the Pacific Ocean or by following the land route through Beringia at a much earlier date. Proponents of this theory claim that the oldest human remains in South America and in Baja California show distinctive non-Siberian traits, resembling those of Australian Aborigines or the Negritos of the Andaman Islands. These hypothetical American Aborigines would have been displaced by the Siberian migrants, and may have been ancestral to the distinctive indigenous peoples of the Tierra del Fuego, who are nearly extinct.

Some mainstream anthropologists and archaeologists consider the genetic and cultural evidence for a primarily Siberian origin overwhelming. According to their theories, at least three separate migrations from Siberia to the Americas are highly likely to have occurred: The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic (Greek παλαιός paleos=old and λίθος lithos=stone or the Old Stone Age) was the first period in the development of human technology of the Stone Age. ... Map of Oceania. ... The Bering land bridge, also known as Beringia, was a land bridge roughly 1600 km (1000 miles) north to south at its greatest extent, which joined present-day Alaska and eastern Siberia at various times during the ice ages. ... Baja California (highlighted) Alternative use: Baja California (state) Baja California or Lower California is a peninsula in the west of Mexico. ... Australian Aborigines are the main indigenous people of Australia. ... The Negritos include the Atis, and at least 5 other tribes of the Philippines, the Semang of the Malay peninsula, and 12 Andamanese tribes of the Andaman Islands. ... Satellite photo of the Andaman Islands The Andaman Islands are a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal, and are part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory of India. ... The American Aborigines are a hypothetical group of people, originally from Pacific Ocean and arrived in South America long before the ancestors of todays American Indian peoples came there. ... Tierra del Fuego (Spanish: land of Fire) is an archipelago at the southernmost tip of South America. ...

  • The first wave came into a land populated by the large mammals of the late Pleistocene, including mammoths, horses, giant sloths, and woolly rhinoceroses. The Clovis culture would be a manifestation of that migration, and the Folsom culture, based on the hunting of bison, would have developed from it. This wave eventually spread over the entire hemisphere, as far south as Tierra del Fuego.
  • The second migration brought the ancestors of the Na-Dene peoples. They lived in Alaska and western Canada, but some migrated as far south as the Pacific Northwestern U.S. and the American Southwest, and would be ancestral to the Dene, Apaches and Navajos.
  • The third wave brought the ancestors of the Eskimos and the Aleuts. They may have come by sea over the Bering Strait, after the land bridge had disappeared.
  • In recent years, molecular genetics studies have suggested as many as four distinct migrations from Asia. These studies also provide surprising evidence of smaller-scale, contemporaneous migrations from Europe, possibly by peoples who had adopted a lifestyle resembling that of Inuits and Yupiks during the last ice age.

One result of these successive 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 life styles. (See Classification of indigenous peoples of the Americas.) Orders Subclass Embrithopoda (extinct) Subclass Creodonta (extinct) Hyaenodontidae Oxyaenidae Subclass Multituberculata (extinct) Plagiaulacida Cimolodonta Subclass Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Subclass Triconodonta (extinct) Subclass Placentalia Afrosoricida Artiodactyla Carnivora Cetacea Chiroptera Dermoptera Desmostylia (extinct) Hyracoidea Insectivora Lagomorpha Macroscelidea Perissodactyla Pholidota Primates Proboscidea Rodentia Scandentia Sirenia Tubulidentata Xenarthra Subclass Marsupialia Dasyuromorphia Didelphimorphia Diprotodontia Microbiotheria Notoryctemorphia... The Pleistocene Epoch is part of the geologic timescale, usually dated as 1. ... Species Mammuthus columbi Columbian mammoth Mammuthus exilis Pygmy mammoth Mammuthus jeffersonii Jeffersonian mammoth Mammuthus meridionalis Mammuthus primigenius Wooly mammoth A mammoth (from Russian мамонт) is any of a number of an extinct genus of elephant, often with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair. ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The Horse (Equus caballus) is a sizeable ungulate mammal, one of the seven modern species of the genus Equus. ... Families Rathymotheriidae Scelidotheriidae Mylodontidae Orophodontidae Megalonychidae Megatheriidae Ground sloths are extinct edentate (Order Xenarthra) mammals that are believed to be relatives of tree sloths and three-toed sloths. ... Binomial name Coelodonta antiquitatis (Blumenbach, 1807) The Woolly Rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) is an extinct species of rhinoceros that survived the last ice age. ... The Clovis culture is a prehistoric Native American culture that first appears in the archaeological record of North America around 13,500 years ago, at the end of the last ice age. ... The Folsom Tradition is a name given by archaeologists to a sequence of Paleo-Indian archaeological cultures of central North America. ... Binomial name Bison bison Linnaeus, 1758 The American Bison (Bison bison), also called Buffalo, is a bovine mammal that is the largest terrestrial mammal in North America. ... Tierra del Fuego (Spanish: land of Fire) is an archipelago at the southernmost tip of South America. ... Na-Dené or Na-Dene is a Native American language family which includes the Athabaskan languages, Eyak, and Tlingit. ... State nickname: The Last Frontier, The Land of the Midnight Sun Other U.S. States Capital Juneau Largest city Anchorage Governor Frank Murkowski (R) Official languages English Area 1,067,653 mi² / 1,717,854 km² (1st)  - Land 1,481,347 km²  - Water 236,507 km² (13. ... ... The Southwest region of the United States is drier than the adjoining Midwest in weather; the population is less dense and, with strong Spanish-American and Native American components, more ethnically varied than neighboring areas. ... The Dene are a group of indigenous peoples that live in the Arctic regions of Canada. ... This article is about the Native American tribe, for other uses of the word see Apache (disambiguation). ... Manuelito, Navajo chief Navajo Nation (Navajo Naabeehó Dineé) is the name of a sovereign Native American nation established by the Diné. The Navajo Nation Reservation includes about 27,000 square miles (70,000 km²) of land, slightly smaller than Maine or South Carolina) over part of three states, and is... Eskimo or Esquimau is a term used for a group of people who inhabit the circumpolar region (excluding circumpolar Scandinavia and all but the easternmost portions of Russia). ... The Aleuts (self-denomination: Unangax) are the indigenous people of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, U.S.A.. // Location For specific tribal village names, see List of Native Alaskan Tribal Entities. ... World map showing location of Asia Asia is the central and eastern part of Eurasia, defined by subtracting Europe from Eurasia. ... World map showing location of Europe When considered a continent, Europe is the worlds second smallest continent in terms of area, with an area of 10,600,000 km² (4,140,625 square miles), making it larger than Australia only. ... It has been suggested that List of Native American tribes be merged into this article or section. ...


While many indigenous peoples of the Americas retained a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle through the time of European occupation of the New World, in some regions, specifically in the Mississippi River valley of the United States, in Mexico, Central America, the Andes of South America, they built advanced civilizations with monumental architecture and large-scale organization into cities and states. Length 6,270 km Elevation of the source 450 m Average discharge Saint Louis¹: 5,500 m³/s Vicksburg²: 16,800 m³/s Baton Rouge³: 12,800 m³/s Area watershed 2,980,000 km² Origin  Lake Itasca Mouth  Gulf of Mexico Basin countries United States (98. ... Central America is the region of North America located between the southern border of Mexico and the northwest border of Colombia, in South America. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... A civilization or civilisation has a variety of meanings related to human society. ... // Scope and intentions According to the very earliest surviving work on the subject, Vitruvius De Architectura, good buildings should have Beauty (Venustas), Firmness (Firmitas) and Utility (Utilitas); architecture can be said to be a balance and coordination among these three elements, with none overpowering the others. ... City lights from space. ... A state is an organized political community occupying a definite territory, having an organized government, and possessing internal and external sovereignty. ...


See also: Mississippian culture, Cahokia, Mesoamerica, Maya, Olmec, Zapotec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Aztec, Aymara, Inca, indigenous people of Brazil. The Mississippian culture was a Mound-building Native American culture that flourished in the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States in the centuries leading up to European contact. ... This article is about the Native American city. ... Mesoamerica is the region extending from central Mexico south to the northwestern border of Costa Rica that gave rise to a group of stratified, culturally related agrarian civilizations spanning an approximately 3,000-year period before the African discovery of the New World by Columbus. ... The word Maya or maya can refer to: The Maya – a Native American people of southern Mexico and northern Central America the modern Maya people the pre-Columbian Maya civilization the Maya language Maya – a concept in Hindu/Vedic philosophy a state of misperception of reality the inherent force of... The Olmec were an ancient people living in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, roughly in what are the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. ... Zapotec refers to a native people of Mexico, their language family consisting of more than 15 languages, and their historic culture and traditions. ... The Toltecs (or Toltec or Tolteca) were a Pre-Columbian Native American people who dominated much of central Mexico between the 10th and 12th century AD. Their language, Nahuatl, was also spoken by the Aztecs. ... Teotihuacan was the largest Pre-Columbian known city in the Americas, and the name Teotihuacan is used to refer to the civilization this city dominated, which at its greatest extent included most of Mesoamerica. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Aymara is the name of a South-American people and of their language. ... For other meanings of Inca, see Inca (disambiguation). ... The indigenous peoples of Brazil (povos indígenas in Portuguese) comprise a large number of distict ethnic groups who inhabited the countrys present territory prior its discovery by Europeans around 1500. ...


European colonization of the Americas

The European colonization of the Americas forever changed the lives and cultures of the indigenous peoples of the continent. In the 15th to 19th centuries, their populations were ravaged, by the privations of displacement, by disease, and in many cases by warfare with European groups and enslavement by them. The first indigenous group encountered by Columbus, the 250,000 Arawaks of Haiti, were enslaved. Only 500 survived by the year 1550, and the group was extinct before 1650. Although there is some debate as to whether the prehistoric, Clovis culture was European in origin, the first generally accepted European colonists were the Norse, starting but then abandoning a colonisation process. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Arawakan languages are an indigenous language family of South America and the Caribbean. ... Events February 7 - Julius III becomes Pope. ... // Events June 23 - Claimant King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland arrives in Scotland, the only of the three Kingdoms that has accepted him as ruler. ...


In the 15th century 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. Ironically, the horse had originally evolved in the Americas, but the last American horses, (species Equus Scotti and others [2]) died out at the end of the last ice age. The re-introduction of the horse had a profound impact on Native American and First Nations culture in the Great Plains of North America. This new mode of travel made it possible for some tribes to greatly expand their territories, exchange goods with neighboring tribes, and more easily capture game. (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The Horse (Equus caballus) is a sizeable ungulate mammal, one of the seven modern species of the genus Equus. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ... The Great Plains states. ... Game is any animal hunted for food. ...


Europeans also brought diseases against which the indigenous peoples of the Americas had no immunity. Chicken pox and measles, though common and rarely fatal among Europeans, often proved fatal to the indigenous people, and more dangerous diseases such as smallpox were especially deadly to indigenous populations. It is difficult to estimate the total percentage of the indigenous population killed by these diseases. Epidemics often immediately followed European exploration, sometimes destroying entire villages. Some historians estimate that up to 80% of some indigenous populations may have died due to European diseases. For more information, see population history of American indigenous peoples. A disease is any abnormal condition of the body or mind that causes discomfort, dysfunction, or distress to the person affected or those in contact with the person. ... In a medical sense, immunity is a state of having sufficient biological defenses to avoid infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasion. ... Chicken pox, also spelled chickenpox, is a common childhood disease caused by the varicella_zoster virus (VZV), also known as human herpes virus 3 (HHV_3), one of the eight herpesviruses known to affect humans. ... Smallpox (also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera) is a highly contagious disease unique to humans. ... An epidemic is a disease that appears as new cases in the population in a period of time at a rate (the number of new cases in the population during a specified period of time is called the incidence rate) that substantially exceeds what is expected, based on recent experence. ... There were millions of people living in the Americas when Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492. ...


Indigenous peoples in the United States

For more detailed information, see Native Americans. A Sioux in traditional dress including war bonnet, circa 1908. ...


Indigenous peoples in what is now the United States are commonly but controversially referred to as Native Americans. A Sioux in traditional dress including war bonnet, circa 1908. ...


Indigenous peoples in Canada

For more detailed information, see Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Aboriginal peoples in Canada are indigenous peoples recognized in the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982 as the Indians (First Nations), Métis, and Inuit. ...


In Canada, the most commonly preferred term for the indigenous peoples of what is now the country 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% of the Canadian population. The official term for First Nations people — that is, the term used by both the Indian Act which regulates benefits received by members of First Nations, and the Indian Register which defines who is a member of a First Nation — is Indian. Aboriginal peoples in Canada are indigenous peoples recognized in the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982 as the Indians (First Nations), Métis, and Inuit. ... Inuit woman Inuit (Inuktitut syllabics: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, singular Inuk or Inuq / ᐃᓄᒃ) is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples of the Arctic who descended from the Thule. ... The Métis (pronounced MAY tee, IPA: , in French: or ) are one of three recognized Aboriginal peoples in Canada. ... The Indian Act of Canada (1876) (full title An Act respecting Indians) is an Act which establishes the rights of registered Indians and of their bands. ... The Indian Register is the official record of Status Indians or Registered Indians in Canada. ...


Indigenous peoples in Mexico

The territory of modern-day Mexico was home to numerous indigenous civilizations prior to the arrival of the European conquistadors: The Olmecs, who flourished from between 1200 BC to about 800 BC 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; and, of course, 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. Conquistador (meaning Conqueror in the Spanish language) is the term used to refer to the soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who achieved the Conquista (this Spanish term is generally accepted by historians), i. ... The Olmec were an ancient people living in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, roughly in what are the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. ... Gulf of Mexico. ... Zapotec refers to a native people of Mexico, their language family consisting of more than 15 languages, and their historic culture and traditions. ... Codex Zouche-Nuttall, a pre-Columbian piece of Mixtec writing, now in the British Museum The Mixtec (or Mixteca) are a Native American people centered in the Oaxaca state of Mexico. ... Oaxaca is the name of a city and a state in Mexico. ... The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is an isthmus in Mexico. ... This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... The Yucatán Peninsula separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. ... Central America is the region of North America located between the southern border of Mexico and the northwest border of Colombia, in South America. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Plan of Tenochtitlan (Dr Atl) Mexico City statue commemorating the foundation of Tenochtitlan Tenochtitlan (pronounced ) or, alternatively, Mexico-Tenochtitlan, was the capital of the Aztec empire, which was built on an island in Lake Texcoco in what is now central Mexico. ... Hernán Cortés Hernán Cortés, marqués del Valle de Oaxaca (1485–December 2, 1547) (who was known as Hernando or Fernando Cortés during his lifetime and signed all his letters Fernán Cortés) was the conquistador who conquered Mexico for Spain. ... Veracruz from space, July 1997 The city of Veracruz is a major port city on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of 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. World map showing location of North America A satellite composite image of North America North America is a continent in the northern hemisphere, bounded on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west... Flag of New Spain New Spain (Spanish: Nueva España) was the name given to viceroy-ruled colonial territories of the Spanish Empire from 1525 to 1821. ... Mestizo (Portuguese, Mestiço; Canadian French, Métis: from Late Latin mixticius, from Latin mixtus, past participle of miscere, to mix) is a term of Spanish origin used to designate the peoples of mixed European and Amerindian racial strain inhabiting the region spanning the Americas, from the northern prairies in... Mestizo (Portuguese, Mestiço; Canadian French, Métis: from Late Latin mixticius, from Latin mixtus, past participle of miscere, to mix) is a term of Spanish origin used to designate the peoples of mixed European and Amerindian racial strain inhabiting the region spanning the Americas, from the northern prairies in...


With mestizos numbering some 60% of the modern population, estimates for the numbers of unmixed indigenous peoples vary from a very modest 10% to a more liberal (and probably more accurate) 30% 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. Chiapas is a state in the southeast of Mexico. ... The Mexican state of Oaxaca is in the south west of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. ... The Yucatán Peninsula separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Tarascan men reeling cord for nets & making nets, 1899. ... Codex Zouche-Nuttall, a pre-Columbian piece of Mixtec writing, now in the British Museum The Mixtec (or Mixteca) are a Native American people centered in the Oaxaca state of Mexico. ... The Tarahumara are a Native American people of northern Mexico, renowned for their long-distance running ability. ... This article is about the state in Mexico; for the city of Chihuahua, see: Chihuahua. ... Yaqui is also the name of the language of the Yaqui people, and the name of a river that flows through Sonora. ... This article is about the Mexican state of Sonora. ...


While Mexicans are universally proud of their indigenous heritage (generally more so than of their Spanish roots), modern-day indigenous Mexicans are still the target of discrimination and outright racism. 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. Chiapas is a state in the southeast of Mexico. ... Oaxaca is the name of a city and a state in Mexico. ... Puebla is the name of a city and a state in Mexico. ... Guerrero is a state in the United Mexican States. ... The Huichol Indians of Western Central Mexico live in the Sierra Madre Occidental. ...


Indigenous peoples in Belize

Mestizos (European with indigenous peoples) number about 45% of the population; unmixed Mayans make up another 10%. The Maya people are a native American people of southern [[in this area at the start of the 21st century. ...


Indigenous peoples in Guatemala

The indigenous peoples of Guatemala are of Maya stock. Pure Mayans account for some 45% of the population; although around 40% of the population speaks an indigenous language, those tongues (of which there are more than 20) enjoy no official status. The Maya people are a native American people of southern [[in this area at the start of the 21st century. ...


Indigenous peoples in Brazil

Main article: Indigenous peoples in Brazil

Indigenous peoples in Brazil (povos indígenas in Portuguese) comprise a large number of distict ethnic groups who inhabited the countrys present territory prior to its discovery by Europeans around 1500. ...

Indigenous peoples in Argentina

Argentina's Native American population is a subject of controversy. Estimates vary from a minimum of 300,000 (0.7% of total population) to a maximum of two million (5.6% of the population). 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, Chané, Tapieté, Mapuche, Tehuelche and Selknam (Ona). Diaguita. ...


Indigenous peoples in 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, Argentina, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay. At least three of the Amerindian languages (Quechua in Peru and Bolivia, Aymara also in Bolivia, and Guarani in Paraguay) are recognized along with Spanish as national languages. Quechua (Standard Quechua, Runasimi Language of People) is an Native American language of South America. ... Help wikipedia by translating [Spanish article] into this article. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


Cultural aspects

Though cultural features, including language, garb, and customs vary enormously from one tribe to another, there are certain elements which are encountered frequently and shared by many indigenous peoples.


Gender

Most indigenous peoples had traditional gender roles. Agriculture was often women's work while war and hunting was men's. In some tribes, social and clan relationships were matrilinear and matriarchal but several different systems were in use. Men filled the war leader role. The cradle board is used by mothers to carry their baby whilst working or traveling. It has been suggested that Masculinity be merged into this article or section. ... Matrilineality is a system in which one belongs to ones mothers lineage; it may also involve the inheritance of property or titles through the female line. ... A matriarchy is a tradition (and by extension a form of government) in which community power lies with the eldest mother of a community. ... Kinship and descent is one of the major concepts of cultural anthropology. ... A cradle board is a typical North American baby carrier used to keep babies secure and comfortable and at the same time allowing the mothers freedom to work and travel. ...


As in many indigenous cultures around the world, homosexual and transgender individuals (and animals) are considered routine and expected. Many indigenous groups formally recognize these homosexual and transgender individuals in the role of the "two-spirit" person (previously labeled by Europeans as "berdache", a term now considered obsolete). Two-spirit transgender and homosexual roles are known to have been recognized and honored, at the present time or historically, in more than 150 different tribes. Since its coining, the term homosexuality has acquired multiple meanings. ... Transgender (TG) is also a style of fanart. ... Berdache (from French, from Arabic bardajo meaning kept boy) is a generic term used by some for a third gender (woman-living-man) among many, if not most, Native American tribes. ...


The two-spirit is a man or woman who mixes gender roles by wearing clothes of the opposite or both genders, doing both male and female (or primarily "opposite-gender") work, and often engaging in same-sex relations with other members of the tribe. Two-spirit people often are shamans, performing religious and/or mediating functions. Their special status is thought to invest them with exceptional spiritual power, as a result of which they are both feared and respected. Shamanism is a range of traditional beliefs and practices that involve the ability to diagnose, cure, and sometimes cause human suffering by traversing the axis mundi and forming a special relationship with, or gaining control over, spirits. ...


Music and art

Mystic River Singers performing at a powwow in 1998
Mystic River Singers performing at a powwow in 1998

Native American music 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. Download high resolution version (908x1124, 214 KB)Drummer Wayahsti Richardson of the Saponi tribe and the Native American drum Mystic River perform at the 1998 National Veterans Pow-wow. ... Download high resolution version (908x1124, 214 KB)Drummer Wayahsti Richardson of the Saponi tribe and the Native American drum Mystic River perform at the 1998 National Veterans Pow-wow. ... This article is about a Native American gathering. ... There are hundreds of tribes of Native Americans (called the First Nations in Canada), each with diverse musical practices, spread across the United States and Canada (excluding Hawaiian music). ... In music, the word texture is often used in a rather vague way in reference to the overall sound of a piece of music. ... For other kinds of drums, see drum (disambiguation). ... This article pertains to the musical instrument. ...


Art of the indigenous peoples of the Americas comprises a major category in the world art collection. Contributions include pottery, paintings, jewelry, weavings, sculptures, basketry, and carvings. A man shapes pottery as it turns on a wheel. ... The Mona Lisa is perhaps the best-known artistic painting in the Western world. ... Jewelry (the American spelling; spelled jewellery in Commonwealth English) consists of ornamental devices worn by persons, typically made with gems and precious metals. ... Weaving is an ancient textile art and craft that involves placing two sets of threads or yarn made of fiber called the warp and weft of the loom and turning them into cloth. ... Ancient Greeks depiction of ideal form of the body is expressed through sculptures such as this one. ... Four styles of household basket. ... Carving can mean Rock carving Wood carving Meat carving See also: Sculpture, Lapidary This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

Hopi man weaving on traditional loom
Hopi man weaving on traditional loom

Image File history File links Hopi man weaving a blanket; with back to cam- era and holding a wooden sley in both hands. ... Image File history File links Hopi man weaving a blanket; with back to cam- era and holding a wooden sley in both hands. ... Hopi woman dressing hair of unmarried girl Part of a Hopi pueblo Hopi House near Grand Canyon, stereoptical view c. ...

Controversial terminology

Generally, ethnic groups desire that others use the name they give themselves. This preference has gained importance recently as a means of avoiding ethnic discrimination. The principle applies poorly to larger, multi-ethnic groups since different sub-groups often have incompatible preferences. English, like other natural languages, has traditionally ignored this principle, exerting its privilege to invent its own ethnic terms, such as German, Dutch, and Albanian, and disregarding the self-appellations and preferences of the subjects. Not surprisingly, English names for the pre-Columbian Americans are largely assigned by tradition, and are not always accepted by the peoples themselves. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


The terms Indian or American Indian were born of the misconception by Christopher Columbus that the Caribbean islands were the islands in Southeast Asia known to Europeans as the Indies. Despite Columbus's mistake, the name stuck, and for centuries the native people of the Americas were collectively called Indians. Christopher Columbus (conjectural image) For information about the film director, see the article on Chris Columbus. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... The Indies, on the display globe of the Field Museum, Chicago The Indies or East Indies (or East India) is a term used to describe lands of South and South-East Asia, occupying all of the former British India, the present Indian Union, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and...


Canada and the North

A more serious difficulty with this term is that several ethnic groups traditionally excluded from the American Indians were just as "native" to the Americas as them. These groups include the Inuit, Yupik, and Aleut peoples of the far north of the continent. Eskimos was once used for these groups, but this term is in disfavor because it is perceived by many of them as derogatory. Inuit woman Inuit (Inuktitut syllabics: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, singular Inuk or Inuq / ᐃᓄᒃ) is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples of the Arctic who descended from the Thule. ... The Yupik or, in the Central Alaskan language, Yupik, are aboriginal people who live along the coast of western Alaska, especially on the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta and along the Kuskokwim River (Central Alaskan Yupik), in southern Alaska (the Alutiiq) and in the Russian Far East and St. ... The Aleuts (self-denomination: Unangax) are the indigenous people of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, U.S.A.. // Location For specific tribal village names, see List of Native Alaskan Tribal Entities. ...


In Canada the term First Nations has generally replaced the use of the word Indian, though the Canadian Indian Act which defines the rights of recognized First Nations, does refer to them as Indians. The term First Nations does not refer to the Inuit, Inuvialuit, or Métis. Collectively they and the First Nations are referred to as Aboriginals. In Alaska, the term Alaskan Native predominates, because of its legal use in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANSCA) and because it includes the Eskimo peoples. In Latin America, the preferred expression is Indigenous Peoples (pueblos indígenas in Spanish, povos indígenas in Portuguese). However, Indians (indios, índios) is often used too, even by indigenous peoples themselves. Red Indian is a common British term, useful in differentiating this group from a distinct group of people referred to as East Indians, but considered offensive in North America, where it is rarely if ever used. In the French language, the term Amérindien has been coined, and the English term Amerindian (sometimes abbreviated Amerind) is sometimes used in the social sciences to refer collectively to all indigenous peoples of the Americas or their cultures. First Nations is a term of ethnicity used in Canada that has widely replaced the use of the word Indian. It refers to the Indigenous peoples of North America located in what is now Canada, and their descendants, who are not Inuit or Métis. ... The Indian Act of Canada (1876) (full title An Act respecting Indians) is an Act which establishes the rights of registered Indians and of their bands. ... State nickname: The Last Frontier, The Land of the Midnight Sun Other U.S. States Capital Juneau Largest city Anchorage Governor Frank Murkowski (R) Official languages English Area 1,067,653 mi² / 1,717,854 km² (1st)  - Land 1,481,347 km²  - Water 236,507 km² (13. ... The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was signed into law on December 18, 1971, and the largest land claims settlement in United States history was concluded. ... Eskimo or Esquimau is a term used for a group of people who inhabit the circumpolar region (excluding circumpolar Scandinavia and all but the easternmost portions of Russia). ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... The Indies, on the display globe of the Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois The Indies or East Indies (or East India) is a term used to describe lands of South and Southeast Asia, occupying all of the former British India, the present Indian Union, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the Maldives... French (français, langue française) is one of the most important Romance languages, outnumbered in speakers only by Spanish and Portuguese. ...


See also

There were millions of people living in the Americas when Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492. ...

External links

  • Indigenous Women of the Americas

  Results from FactBites:
 
Indigenous peoples of the Americas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2558 words)
According to Ilya Zakharov of Moscow's Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, the Northern Native Americans are related to the Tuvans, a Turkic group of people located in the Tuva Republic at the southwestern edge of Siberia.
In the 15th to 19th centuries, their populations were ravaged by the privations of displacement, by disease, and in many cases by warfare with European groups and enslavement by them.
Native American music of North American Indians is almost entirely monophonic, but there are notable exceptions.
MSN Encarta - Native Americans of North America (1733 words)
Native Americans excelled at using natural resources and adapting to the climates and terrains in which they lived.
In the deserts of the Southwest, Native Americans grew corn and built multilevel, apartment-style dwellings from adobe, a sun-dried brick.
Archaeological evidence indicates that illness was increasing in the Native American population in many regions before the arrival of Columbus, probably in response to problems of population density, diet, and sanitation.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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