Portal:Indigenous peoples of the Americas

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The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South, and Central America, and their descendants. Pueblos indígenas (indigenous peoples) is a common term in Spanish-speaking countries. Aborigen (aboriginal/native) is used in Argentina, whereas "Amerindian" is used in Guyana but not commonly in other countries. Indigenous peoples are commonly known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, which include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. Indigenous peoples of the United States are commonly known as Native Americans or American Indians, and Alaska Natives.

According to the prevailing New World migration model, migrations of humans from Eurasia to the Americas took place via Beringia, a land bridge which connected the two continents across what is now the Bering Strait. The majority of authorities agree that the earliest migration via Beringia took place at least 13,500 years ago, These early Paleo-Indians spread throughout the Americas, diversifying into many hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes. 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.

Many parts of the Americas are still populated by indigenous Americans; some countries have sizable populations, especially Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Greenland, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. At least a thousand different indigenous languages are spoken in the Americas. Some, such as Quechua, Aymara, Guaraní, Mayan languages, and Nahuatl, count their speakers in millions. Many also maintain aspects of indigenous cultural practices to varying degrees, including religion, social organization, and subsistence practices. Like most cultures, over time, cultures specific to many Indigenous peoples have evolved to incorporate traditional aspects, but also cater to modern needs. Some indigenous peoples still live in relative isolation from Western society, and a few are still counted as uncontacted peoples. (Full article...)

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picture of an Aztec woman with a speech scroll coming out of her mouth, from the florentine codex

Nahuatl (/ˈnɑːwɑːtəl/; Nahuatl pronunciation: [ˈnaːwatɬ] (About this sound listen)), known informally as Aztec, is a language or group of languages of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Varieties of Nahuatl are spoken by an estimated 1.5 million Nahua people, most of whom live in Central Mexico. All Nahuan languages are indigenous to Mesoamerica.

Nahuatl has been spoken in Central Mexico since at least the 7th century AD. It was the language of the Aztecs who dominated what is now central Mexico during the Late Postclassic period of Mesoamerican history. During the centuries preceding the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the Aztec Empire had expanded to incorporate a large part of central Mexico, and its influence caused the variety of Nahuatl spoken by the residents of Tenochtitlan to become a prestige language in Mesoamerica. At the conquest, with the introduction of the Latin alphabet, Nahuatl also became a literary language, and many chronicles, grammars, works of poetry, administrative documents and codices were written in it during the 16th and 17th centuries. This early literary language based on the Tenochtitlan variety has been labeled Classical Nahuatl and is among the most studied and best-documented languages of the Americas.

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Young Ashaninka girl in an Apiwtxa village, Acre state, Brazil.jpg
Ashaninka girl, Acre state, Brazil
image credit: Pedro França / Ministério da Cultura

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[[Image:{{{image}}}|right|100px|]] Francisco Javier Eugenio de Santa Cruz y Espejo (Royal Audiencia of Quito, 1747–95) was a medical pioneer, writer and lawyer of mestizo origin in colonial Ecuador. Although he was a notable scientist and writer, he stands out as a polemicist who inspired the separatist movement in Quito. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in colonial Ecuador. He was Quito's first journalist and hygienist. As a journalist he spread enlightened ideas in the Royal Audiencia, and as a hygienist he composed an important treatise about sanitary conditions in colonial Ecuador that included interesting remarks about microorganisms and the spreading of disease.

Espejo was noted in his time for being a satirist. His satirical works, inspired by the philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment, were critical of the lack of education of the Audiencia of Quito, the way the economy was being handled in the Audiencia, the corruption of its authorities, and aspects of its culture in general. Because of these works he was persecuted and finally imprisoned shortly before his death.

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First day in school for the new pupils in first grade at the Prinsesse Margrethe School in Upernavik, Greenland. All pupils are wearing the national costumes of Greenland
image credit: Kim Hansen

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American indigenous language Wikipedias

Avañe'ẽ (Warani)  · Aymar aru (Aymara)  · ᏣᎳᎩ (Cherokee)  · Chahta (Choctaw)  · ᐃᔨᔫ (Cree)  · ᐃᓄᒃ (Inuktitut)  · Iñupiak  · Kalaallisut (Greenlandic Inuit)  · Mvskoke (Muscogee)  · Nahuatlahtolli  · Diné bizaad (Navajo)  · Qhichwa Simi  · Tsêhesenêstsestôtse (Cheyenne)

Indigenous languages in Wikimedia Incubators: Alabama  · Blackfoot  · Chinook Jargon  · Choctaw  · Creek  · Lakota  · Micmac  · Mohawk  · Nheengatu  · Northwestern Ojibwa  · O'odham  · Shoshoni  · Unami-Lenape  · Wüne pakina (Mapudungun)  · Yucatec Maya  · Central Alaskan Yup'ik  · Zuni

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