A report on Indigenous peoples of the Americas

Current distribution of the indigenous peoples of the Americas (not including mixed people like mestizos, métis, zambos and pardos)
Diné boy, in the desert of Monument Valley, AZ, United States of America. The Three Sisters buttes are visible in the background.
Mapuche man, in Chile
Mayan women in Antigua Guatemala, Central America.
Language families of Indigenous peoples in North America: shown across present-day Canada, Greenland, the United States, and northern Mexico
The Kogi, descendants of the Tairona, are a culturally-intact, largely pre-Columbian society. The Tairona were one of the few indigenous American civilizations that were not fully conquered.
"The Maiden", one of the discovered Llullaillaco mummies. A Preserved Inca human sacrifice from around the year 1500.
Cultural areas of North America at time of European contact
Eight Crow Nation prisoners under guard at Crow agency, Montana, 1887
Drawing accompanying text in Book XII of the 16th-century Florentine Codex (compiled 1540–1585), showing Nahuas of conquest-era central Mexico suffering from smallpox
Indigenous people at a Brazilian farm plantation in Minas Gerais ca. 1824
A bison hunt depicted by George Catlin
Ancient mesoamerican engraving of maize, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico
Main indigenous language families of South America (except Quechua, Aymaran, and Mapuche).
Maya glyphs in stucco at the Museo de sitio in Palenque, Mexico
Textile art by Julia Pingushat (Inuk, Arviat, Nunavut, Canada), wool, embroidery floss, 1995
Chimu culture feather pectoral, feathers, reed, copper, silver, hide, cordage, ca. 1350–1450 CE
Indigenous man playing a panpipe, antara or siku
Indigenous protesters from Vale do Javari, one of the largest indigenous territories in Brazil
A map of uncontacted peoples, around the start of the 21st century
Bill Reid's sculpture The Raven and the First Men (collection of the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver). The Raven represents the Trickster figure common to many mythologies.
Some Inuit people on a traditional qamutiik (dog sled) in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada
Tunumiit Inuit couple from Kulusuk, Greenland
Wixarika (Huichol) woman from Zacatecas
Tenejapa Carnival with Tzeltal people, Chiapas
Rarámuri marathon in Urique.
Choctaw artist from Oklahoma
A Navajo man on horseback in Monument Valley, Arizona
Indigenous Salvadoran Pipil women dancing in the traditional Procession of Palms, Panchimalco in El Salvador
Maya women from Guatemala
A Mayan woman
Owners of a roadside cafe near Cachi, Argentina
Indigenous woman in traditional dress, near Cochabamba, Bolivia
Indigenous man of Terena tribe from Brazil
Mapuche man and woman. The Mapuche make up about 85% of Indigenous population that live in Chile.
Guambía people relaxing in Colombia
Shaman of the Cofán people from the Ecuadorian Amazon Ecuador Amazonian forest
Quechua woman and child in the Sacred Valley, Cuzco Region, Peru
A Warao family from Venezuela traveling in their canoe
Evo Morales (Aymara), former President of Bolivia
Schematic illustration of maternal (mtDNA) gene-flow in and out of Beringia, from 25,000 years ago to present
Wayúu artisan women, in the Colombian-Venezuelan Guajira.
Quechua women in festive dress, on the island of Taquile (Lake Titicaca).

The Indigenous peoples of the Americas are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who now identify themselves with those peoples.

- Indigenous peoples of the Americas
Current distribution of the indigenous peoples of the Americas (not including mixed people like mestizos, métis, zambos and pardos)

154 related topics with Alpha

Overall

1990s CIA political map of the Americas in Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection

Americas

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The Americas, which are sometimes collectively called America, are a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America.

The Americas, which are sometimes collectively called America, are a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America.

1990s CIA political map of the Americas in Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection
America is named after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
The Plaza Occidental in Copán, Honduras
Map of early human migrations based on the Out of Africa theory.
Statue representing the Americas at Palazzo Ferreria, in Valletta, Malta
Christopher Columbus leads expedition to the New World, 1492.
Map showing the dates of independence from European powers. Black signifies areas that are dependent territories or parts of countries with a capital outside the Americas.
Satellite photo of the Americas on Earth
Aconcagua, in Argentina, is the highest peak in the Americas
Climate zones of the Americas in the Köppen climate classification system.
Languages spoken in the Americas
Mexico City – Largest metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of 22,300,000 in 2017
São Paulo – Largest city in the Americas, with a population of 12,038,175 (city) in 2016
New York City – Largest urban area in the Americas, with a population of 18,351,295 in 2010

The subsequent migration of the Inuit into the neoarctic around 3500 BCE completed what is generally regarded as the settlement by the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Posthumous portrait of Columbus by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1519. There are no known authentic portraits of Columbus.

Christopher Columbus

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Italian explorer and navigator who completed four Spanish-based voyages across the Atlantic Ocean sponsored by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, opening the way for the widespread European exploration and colonization of the Americas.

Italian explorer and navigator who completed four Spanish-based voyages across the Atlantic Ocean sponsored by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, opening the way for the widespread European exploration and colonization of the Americas.

Posthumous portrait of Columbus by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1519. There are no known authentic portraits of Columbus.
Christopher Columbus House in Genoa, an 18-century reconstruction of the house in which Columbus grew up. The original was likely destroyed during the 1684 bombardment of Genoa.
Columbus's copy of The Travels of Marco Polo, with his handwritten notes in Latin written on the margins
Toscanelli's notions of the geography of the Atlantic Ocean (shown superimposed on a modern map), which directly influenced Columbus's plans
"Columbus map", drawn c. 1490 in the Lisbon mapmaking workshop of Bartolomeo and Christopher Columbus
Columbus offers his services to the King of Portugal; Chodowiecki, 17th century
The Alhambra, where Columbus received permission from the Catholic Monarchs for his first voyage
The voyages of Christopher Columbus (conjectural)
First voyage (conjectural). Modern place names in black, Columbus's place names in blue
Columbus's second voyage
Third voyage
Columbus's fourth voyage
Coat of arms granted to Christopher Columbus and the House of Colon by Pope Alexander VI motu proprio in 1502
Replicas of Niña, Pinta and Santa María sailed from Spain to the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893
Landing of Columbus at the Island of Guanahaní, West Indies (1846), by John Vanderlyn. The landing of Columbus became a powerful icon of American genesis in the 19th century.
Discovery of America, a postage stamp from the Faroe Islands commemorates the voyages of discovery of Leif Erikson (c. 1000) and Christopher Columbus (1492)
The Columbus Monument in Columbus Circle, New York City
The remains of the pedestal base of the Columbus statue in the Baltimore inner harbor area. The statue was thrown into the harbor on 4 July 2020, as part of the George Floyd protests.
Captain's ensign of Columbus's ships
The Discovery of America sculpture, depicting Columbus and a cowering Indian maiden, stood outside the U.S. Capitol from 1844 to 1958.
Spanish Empire (red) in 1598, under Philip II, King of Spain and Portugal
Lighthouse in homage to Christopher Columbus in Santo Domingo.

He also gave the name indios ("Indians") to the indigenous peoples he encountered.

Squamish woman

First Nations in Canada

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Term used to identify those Indigenous Canadian peoples who are neither Inuit nor Métis.

Term used to identify those Indigenous Canadian peoples who are neither Inuit nor Métis.

Squamish woman
A traditional Iroquois longhouse.
Details of Ojibwe Wigwam at Grand Portage by Eastman Johnson
Chief Anotklosh of the Taku Tribe.
Linguistic areas of North American Indigenous peoples at the time of European contact.
Non-indigenous land claims in North America, 1750–2008.
Conference between the French and First Nations leaders by Émile Louis Vernier.
Fur traders in Canada, trading with First Nations, 1777
Assiniboine hunting buffalo, c. 1851
Pîhtokahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker)
Mi'kmaq Grand Chief Jacques-Pierre Peminuit Paul (3rd from left with beard) meets Governor General of Canada, Marquess of Lorne, Red Chamber, Province House, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1879
St. Paul's Indian Industrial School, Manitoba, 1901
Buying provisions, Hudson's Bay territory, 1870s
Ethnomusicologist Frances Densmore recording Blackfoot chief Mountain Chief (1916)
Aboriginal War Veterans monument
Defence of Cree rights
David Laird explaining
terms of Treaty 8, Fort Vermilion, 1899
Ovide Mercredi, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations
Haida totem pole, Thunderbird Park, Victoria, British Columbia
Pow-wow at Eel Ground First Nation
People who self-identify as having North American Indian ancestors are the plurality in large areas of Canada (areas coloured in brown).

Collectively, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis (FNIM) peoples constitute Indigenous peoples in Canada, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, or "first peoples".

Native Americans in the United States

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Comanche Indians Chasing Buffalo with Lances and Bows, by George Catlin
The Cultural areas of pre-Columbian North America, according to Alfred Kroeber
This map shows the approximate location of the ice-free corridor and specific Paleoindian sites (Clovis theory).
A Folsom point for a spear
Artists conception of Ohio Hopewell culture Shriver Circle with the Mound City Group to the left
Cahokia, the largest Mississippian culture site
Map showing the approximate locations of the Native American nations circa 16th century
Discovery of the Mississippi by William Henry Powell (1823–1879) is a Romantic depiction of Spanish explorer de Soto's seeing the Mississippi River for the first time. It hangs in the United States Capitol rotunda.
1882 studio portrait of the (then) last surviving Six Nations warriors who fought with the British in the War of 1812
Early Native American tribal territories color-coded by linguistic group
The Treaty of Penn with the Indians by Benjamin West, painted in 1771
Yamacraw Creek Native Americans meet with the Trustee of the colony of Georgia in England, July 1734. The painting shows a Native American boy (in a blue coat) and woman (in a red dress) in European clothing.
Benjamin Hawkins, seen here on his plantation, teaches Creek Native Americans how to use European technology, painted in 1805
Native-controlled territories in the West, 1836
Tecumseh was the Shawnee leader of Tecumseh's War who attempted to organize an alliance of Native American tribes throughout North America.
The Rescue sculpture stood outside the U.S. Capitol between 1853 and 1958. A work commissioned by the U.S. government, its sculptor Horatio Greenough wrote that it was "to convey the idea of the triumph of the whites over the savage tribes".
Mass grave for the dead Lakota following the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre, which took place during the Indian Wars in the 19th century
Ely Parker (of the Seneca people) was a Union Civil War general who wrote the terms of surrender between the United States and the Confederate States of America.
Republican Charles Curtis, of Kaw, Osage, Potawatomi, French and British ancestry from Kansas, was 31st vice president of the United States, 1929–1933, serving with Republican Herbert Hoover.
General Douglas MacArthur meeting Navajo, Pima, Pawnee and other Native American troops
A Navajo man on horseback in Monument Valley, Arizona, United States
Byron Mallott, an Alaskan Native, was the lieutenant governor of Alaska.
Proportion of Indigenous Americans in each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico as of the 2020 United States Census
This Census Bureau map depicts the locations of differing Native American groups, including Indian reservations, as of 2000. Note the concentration (blue) in modern-day Oklahoma in the South West, which was once designated as an Indian Territory before statehood in 1907.
Indian reservations in the continental United States
Native peoples are concerned about the effects of abandoned uranium mines on or near their lands.
National Indian Youth Council demonstrations, Bureau of Indian Affairs Office
A discriminatory sign posted above a bar. Birney, Montana, 1941
Chief Plenty Coups and seven Crow prisoners under guard at Crow agency, Montana, 1887
Protest against the name of the Washington Redskins in Minneapolis, November 2014
Secotan Indians' dance in North Carolina. Watercolor by John White, 1585
Sandia Casino, owned by the Sandia Pueblo of New Mexico
Three Native American women in Warm Springs Indian Reservation, Wasco County, Oregon (1902)
Geronimo, Chiricahua Apache leader. Photograph by Frank A. Rinehart (1898).
Pre-contact: distribution of North American language families, including northern Mexico
Oklahoma Cherokee language immersion school student writing in the Cherokee syllabary
The Cherokee language taught to preschoolers as a first language, at New Kituwah Academy
Maize grown by Native Americans
Ojibwe baby waits on a cradleboard while parents tend wild rice crops (Minnesota, 1940).
Frybread, made into an Indian taco.
Makah Native Americans and a whale, The King of the Seas in the Hands of the Makahs, 1910 photograph by Asahel Curtis
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the patron of ecologists, exiles, and orphans, was canonized by the Catholic Church.
Baptism of Pocahontas was painted in 1840 by John Gadsby Chapman, who depicts Pocahontas, wearing white, being baptized Rebecca by Anglican minister Alexander Whiteaker (left) in Jamestown, Virginia. This event is believed to have taken place either in 1613 or 1614.
Susan La Flesche Picotte was the first Native American woman to become a physician in the United States.
Jim Thorpe—gold medalist at the 1912 Olympics, in the pentathlon and decathlon events
Ball players from the Choctaw and Lakota tribe in a 19th-century lithograph by George Catlin
Billy Mills crosses the finish line at the end of the 10,000-meter race at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Fancy Dancer at the Seafair Indian Days Pow-Wow, Daybreak Star Cultural Center, Seattle, Washington
Jake Fragua, Jemez Pueblo from New Mexico
Lillian Gross, described as a "Mixed Blood" by the Smithsonian source, was of Cherokee and European-American heritage. She identified with the Cherokee culture in which she was raised.
The 1725 return of an Osage bride from a trip to Paris, France. The Osage woman was married to a French soldier.
Five Indians and a Captive, painted by Carl Wimar, 1855
Charles Eastman was one of the first Native Americans to become certified as a medical doctor, after he graduated from Boston University.
Buffalo Soldiers, 1890. The nickname was given to the "Black Cavalry" by the Native American tribes they fought.
Ben Nighthorse Campbell, one of only four Native Americans elected to the U.S. Senate
Sharice Davids became one of the first two Native American women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Deb Haaland became one of the first two Native American women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Yvette Herrell became the first Cherokee woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ada E. Brown, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation with mixed-African-American heritage, nominated by President Donald Trump in 2019 to be a federal judge in Texas
Members of the Creek (Muscogee) Nation in Oklahoma around 1877; they include men with some European and African ancestry.

Native Americans, also known as First Americans, Indigenous Americans, American Indians, and other terms, are the Indigenous peoples of the United States, including Hawaii and territories of the United States, and other times limited to the mainland.

Spanish Empire

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Colonial empire governed by Spain and its predecessor states between 1492 and 1976.

Colonial empire governed by Spain and its predecessor states between 1492 and 1976.

All areas of the world that were ever part of the Spanish Empire
Crowns and Kingdoms of the Catholic Monarchs in Europe (1500)
The Capitulation of Granada by F. Pradilla: Muhammad XII (Boabdil) surrenders to Ferdinand and Isabella.
El gran capitán at the Battle of Cerignola.
The conquest of the Canary Islands (1402–1496)
Iberian 'mare clausum' in the Age of Discovery
Monument to Columbus, Statue commemorating New World discoveries. Western façade of monument. Isabella at the center, Columbus on the left, a cross on her right. Plaza de Colón, Madrid (1881–85)
The return of Columbus, 1493
Castile and Portugal divided the world in The Treaty of Tordesillas.
Iberian-born pope Alexander VI promulgated bulls that invested the Spanish monarchs with ecclesiastical power in the newly found lands overseas.
Ferdinand the Catholic points across the Atlantic to the landing of Columbus, with naked natives. Frontispiece of Giuliano Dati's Lettera, 1493.
Columbus landing in 1492 planting the flag of Spain, by John Vanderlyn
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Founded in 1502, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the New World.
Cumaná, Venezuela. Founded in 1510, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European city in the continental Americas.
Battle of Vega Real (1494)
Spanish territories in the New World around 1515
Approximate reconstruction of the route of Juan Ponce de León on his voyage of discovery of Florida (1513)
Cerro de Potosí, discovered in 1545, the rich, sole source of silver from Peru, worked by compulsory indigenous labor called mit'a
Main trade routes of the Spanish Empire
Spanish galleon, the mainstay of transatlantic and transpacific shipping, engraving by Albert Durer
Cover of the English translation of the Asiento contract signed by Britain and Spain in 1713 as part of the Utrecht treaty that ended the War of Spanish Succession. The contract broke the monopoly of Spanish slave traders to sell slaves in Spanish America
Philip V of Spain (r. 1700–1746), the first Spanish monarch of the House of Bourbon.
Representation of the two powers, church and state, symbolized by the altar and the throne, with the presence of the king Charles III and the Pope Clement XIV, seconded by the Viceroy, Antonio Bucareli, and the Archbishop of Mexico, Alonso Núñez de Haro, respectively, before the Virgin Mary. "Glorification of the Immaculate Conception".
San Felipe de Barajas Fortress Cartagena de Indias. In 1741, the Spanish repulsed a British attack on this fortress in present-day Colombia in the Battle of Cartagena de Indias.
Portrait of Alexander von Humboldt by Friedrich Georg Weitsch, 1806
Spanish expedition to Oran (1732)
Battle of Cartagena de Indias (1741). Spain managed to defeat Britain and inflict heavy casualties.
Painting of Bernardo de Gálvez at the Siege of Pensacola (1781) during the American War of Independence. Gálvez cleared the south part of the United States of the British fortresses
Spanish and Portuguese empires in 1790.
Spanish territorial claims on the West Coast of North America in the 18th century, contested by the Russians and the British. Most of what Spain claimed in Nootka was not directly occupied or controlled.
Spanish Empire in 1790. In North America, Spain claimed lands west of the Mississippi River and the Pacific coast from California to Alaska, but it did not control them on the ground. The crown constructed missions and presidios in coastal California and sent maritime expeditions to the Pacific Northwest to assert sovereignty.
Churruca's Death, oil on canvas about the Battle of Trafalgar by Eugenio Álvarez Dumont, Prado Museum.
Spanish Constitution of 1812 enacted by the Cortes of Cádiz
The Americas towards the year 1800, the colored territories were considered provinces in some maps of the Spanish Empire.
Spanish troops routing Dominican rebels at Monte Cristi
The explosion of the USS Maine (ACR-1) in Havana Harbor led to U.S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence
Filipino soldiers during the near end of the Revolution
The Spanish Empire in 1898
A map of Equatorial Guinea
General Prim at the Battle of Tétouan
Spanish officers in Africa in 1920
Morocco and Spanish territories
Villa de Leyva, Colombia plaza de armas. Spain impregnate its public square style in present-day Hispanic America.
Roof tiles are a common Hispanic American architectural element because Spanish colonization. Hospital Escuela Eva Perón in Granadero Baigorria, Santa Fe, Argentina.
A photo of Cathedral of Mexico City, it is one of the largest cathedrals in Americas, built on the ruins of the Aztec main square.
Detail of a Mural by Diego Rivera at the National Palace of Mexico showing the ethnic differences between Agustín de Iturbide, a criollo, and the multiracial Mexican court
The realms of Philip II of Spain
Territories administered by the Council of Castile
Territories administered by the Council of Aragon
Territories administered by the Council of Portugal
Territories administered by the Council of Italy
Territories administered by the Council of the Indies
Territories appointed to the Council of Flanders
The clock of Inmaculate conception cathedral of Comaygua in Honduras is the oldest clock still in function in the world. It was brought from the Alhambra palace to america during the 17th centrury.
The city of Antigua Guatemala is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Some scholars have described the initial period of the Spanish conquest, from 1492 until the mid 16th century, as the largest case of genocide in history, with millions of indigenous people dying from imported Eurasia diseases that travelled more quickly than the Spanish conquerors.

Chile

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Country in the western part of South America.

Country in the western part of South America.

Lautaro, toqui and hero of the Arauco war
Pedro de Valdivia, conqueror of Chile
Bernardo O'Higgins, Libertador and the Supreme Director of Chile
The Battle of Iquique on 21 May 1879. The victory of Chile in the War of the Pacific allowed its expansion into new territories.
Chile's Almirante Latorre dreadnought in 1921
Salvador Allende
Fighter jets bombing the Presidential Palace of La Moneda during the Chilean coup of 1973
Augusto Pinochet
Five presidents of Chile since Transition to democracy (1990–2022), celebrating the Bicentennial of Chile
The Palacio de La Moneda in downtown Santiago
The Palace of Justice in Santiago
Chile's territorial gains after the War of the Pacific in 1879–83
Karel Doorman-class frigate
F-16 Fighting Falcon
Chile map of Köppen climate classification.
Araucaria araucana trees in Conguillío National Park.
Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), the national bird of Chile.
Topographic map of Chile. To view maps based on SRTM topographic relief of the country, see here.
Osorno Volcano and the Petrohué River
Nef Glacier and the Plomo Lake
General Carrera lake, the largest in the country.
Population of Chile from 1820, projected up to 2050
Mapuche women of Tirúa
Chileans with flags of Chile
Chilean students in Santiago de Chile
German immigrants in southern Chile
Neoclassical Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC).
FONASA is the funding branch of the Ministry of Health.
A proportional representation of Chile exports, 2019
Chilean (blue) and average Latin American (orange) GDP per capita (1980–2017)
The financial district in Santiago de Chile
Santiago Stock Exchange
Chuquicamata, the largest open pit copper mine in the world
Vineyard in the Casablanca Valley
Elqui Valley, wine and pisco region
Valparaíso
Puerto Varas
The Santiago Metro is South America's most extensive metro system
Torre Entel in Santiago de Chile, with the Andes mountains in the background
La Zamacueca, by Manuel Antonio Caro.
Chilean asado (barbecue) and marraqueta
Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos
The Chilean national polo team with President Michelle Bachelet and the trophy of the 2015 World Polo Championship.
State of Chile's international relations in the world:
Chile
Country with diplomatic relations and Chilean embassy in the country.
Country with diplomatic relations and an embassy in Chile, but no Chilean embassy.
Country with diplomatic relations but without ambassadors.
Country with no diplomatic relations currently.

Other theories say Chile may derive its name from a Native American word meaning either 'ends of the earth' or 'sea gulls'; from the Mapuche word chilli, which may mean 'where the land ends'" or from the Quechua chiri, 'cold', or tchili, meaning either 'snow' or "the deepest point of the Earth". Another origin attributed to chilli is the onomatopoeic cheele-cheele—the Mapuche imitation of the warble of a bird locally known as trile.

A Maya family in the hamlet of Patzun, Guatemala, 1993

Indigenous peoples

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Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First peoples, First nations, Aboriginal peoples, Native peoples, Indigenous natives, or Autochthonous peoples (these terms are often capitalized when referring to specific indigenous peoples as ethnic groups, nations, and the members of these groups ), are culturally distinct ethnic groups whose members are directly descended from the earliest known inhabitants of a particular geographic region and, to some extent, maintain the language and culture of those original peoples.

Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First peoples, First nations, Aboriginal peoples, Native peoples, Indigenous natives, or Autochthonous peoples (these terms are often capitalized when referring to specific indigenous peoples as ethnic groups, nations, and the members of these groups ), are culturally distinct ethnic groups whose members are directly descended from the earliest known inhabitants of a particular geographic region and, to some extent, maintain the language and culture of those original peoples.

A Maya family in the hamlet of Patzun, Guatemala, 1993
Colorized photograph of an Amis couple in traditional clothing. Taken in pre-World War II Japanese-ruled Taiwan.
Guatemalan girls in their traditional clothing from the town of Santa Catarina Palopó on Lake Atitlán
Alonso Fernández de Lugo presenting the captured Guanche kings of Tenerife to Ferdinand and Isabella
Map with the main travels of the Age of Discovery (began in 15th century).
Depiction of a Spaniard entering Chalco with three Tlaxcalan soldiers and an Indigenous porter in the Lienzo de Tlaxcala (pre-1585)
The arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in Table Bay, South Africa in 1652. Painting by Charles Davidson Bell (1813–1882)
A map of uncontacted peoples, around the start of the 21st century
Starting fire by hand, San people in Botswana.
African Pygmies in Congo
Inuit on a traditional qamutik (dog sled) in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada.
A girl wears the traditional Nahua headdress in Yohualichan, Veracruz.
Quechua woman and child in the Sacred Valley, Andes, Peru
Kalash girls in Pakistan
Naga people in Northeast India
Marina A. Temina, a native speaker and teacher of the Nivkh language
Ainu man performing a traditional Ainu dance
Dayak people in Kalimantan
Sámi family in Lapland, 1936
Aboriginal Australian dancers
Dani people from the central highlands of western New Guinea
The New Zealand delegation, including Māori members, endorses the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2010.
Indigenous peoples march for their right to self-determination in Davao City (2008).
Indigenous protesters from Vale do Javari, one of the largest indigenous territories in Brazil
"Savages of Mokka and Their House in Formosa", pre-1945, Taiwan under Japanese rule
Helena Gualinga, an indigenous environmental and human rights activist
Native American dancer of the Save Our Ancestors Remains and Resources Indigenous Network Group (SOARRING) Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to educate people about indigenous ways of life

The term Indigenous was first, in its modern context, used by Europeans, who used it to differentiate the Indigenous peoples of the Americas from the European settlers of the Americas and from the Africans who were brought to the Americas as enslaved people.

American Discovery Viewed by Native Americans, painting by Thomas Hart Benton (1922), Salem, Peabody Essex Museum.

European colonization of the Americas

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During the Age of Exploration, a large scale European colonization of the Americas took place between about 1492 and 1800.

During the Age of Exploration, a large scale European colonization of the Americas took place between about 1492 and 1800.

American Discovery Viewed by Native Americans, painting by Thomas Hart Benton (1922), Salem, Peabody Essex Museum.
Indigenous
Voyages of the Vikings to the Americas
Americo Vespucci wakes up "America", engraving from 1638
The Discovery of America (Johann Moritz Rugendas).
The silver mountain of Potosí, in what is now Bolivia. It was the source of vast of amounts of silver that transformed the world economy.
Discovery of Brazil.
Penn's Treaty with the Indians
New Amsterdam on lower Manhattan island, was captured by the English in 1665, becoming New York.
The Russian-American Company's capital at New Archangel (present-day Sitka, Alaska) in 1837
Franciscan Alonso de Molina's 1565 Nahuatl (Aztec) dictionary, conceived for friars to communicate with the Indigenous peoples in central Mexico in their own language.
Catholic cathedral in Mexico City
The Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue in Mauritsstad (Recife) is the oldest synagogue in the Americas. An estimated number of 700 Jews lived in Dutch Brazil, about 4.7% of the total population.
Drawing accompanying text in Book XII of the 16th-century Florentine Codex (compiled 1540–1585)
Nahua suffering from smallpox
Depiction of Spanish treatment of the indigenous populations in the Caribbean by Theodore de Bry, illustrating Spanish Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas's indictment of early Spanish cruelty, known as the Black legend, and indigenous barbarity, including human cannibalism, in an attempt to justify their enslavement.
Triangular trade between Europe, Africa, and the Americas
African slaves 17th-century in a tobacco plantation, Virginia, 1670.
Castas painting depicting Spaniard and mulatta spouse with their morisca daughter by Miguel Cabrera, 1763
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Founded in 1502, the city is the oldest continuously-inhabited European settlement in the New World.
Cumaná, Venezuela. Founded in 1510, it is the oldest continuously-inhabited European city in the continental Americas.
Mayflower, the ship that carried a colony of English Puritans to North America.

During this period of time, several empires from Europe—primarily Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia, the Netherlands and Sweden—began to explore and claim the land, natural resources and human capital of the Americas, resulting in the displacement, disestablishment, enslavement, and in many cases, genocide of the indigenous peoples already there, and the establishment of several settler colonial states.

18th-century portrait of Cortés based on the one sent by the conqueror to Paolo Giovio, which has served as a model for many of his representations since the 16th century

Hernán Cortés

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Spanish conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of what is now mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century.

Spanish conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of what is now mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century.

18th-century portrait of Cortés based on the one sent by the conqueror to Paolo Giovio, which has served as a model for many of his representations since the 16th century
Weiditz's depiction of Cortés in 1529.
A map depicting Cortés's invasion route from the coast to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.
Cortés scuttling his own fleet off the coast of Veracruz in order to eliminate the possibility of retreat.
Cortés and La Malinche meet Moctezuma in Tenochtitlán, November 8, 1519.
Cristóbal de Olid leads Spanish soldiers with Tlaxcalan allies in the conquests of Jalisco, 1522.
A painting from Diego Muñoz Camargo's History of Tlaxcala (Lienzo Tlaxcala), c. 1585, showing La Malinche and Hernán Cortés.
The coat of arms awarded to Cortés, by King Carlos I of Spain.
Sculpture of Juana de Zúñiga, second wife of Cortés, for her tomb.
Portrait of Cortés at Museo del Prado.
Emperor Charles V with Hound (1532), a painting by the 16th-century artist Jakob Seisenegger.
Hernán Cortés, with his coat of arms on the upper left corner. 16th c. Attributed to the Master Saldana. Museo Nacional de Historia. Chapultepec Castle
An engraving of a middle aged Cortés by 19th-century artist William Holl.
Bust Hernán Cortés in the General Archive of the Indies in Seville
Tomb of Cortés in the Hospital de Jesús Nazareno, which he founded in Mexico City.
1000 Spanish peseta note issued in 1992
Monument in Mexico City commemorating the encounter of Cortés and Moctezuma at the Hospital de Jesús Nazareno.
Monument in Mexico City known as "Monumento al Mestizaje".
Scene from the opera La Conquista, 2005
Hernán Cortés, with his coat of arms on the upper right corner, 17th century

Arriving on the continent, Cortés executed a successful strategy of allying with some indigenous people against others.

A casta painting of a Spanish man and an Indigenous woman with a Mestizo child

Mestizo

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A casta painting of a Spanish man and an Indigenous woman with a Mestizo child
A casta painting by Miguel Cabrera. Here he shows a Spanish (español) father, Mestiza (mixed Spanish–American Indian) mother, and their Castiza daughter.
Luis de Mena, Virgin of Guadalupe and castas, 1750. The top left grouping is of an indio and an española, with their Mestizo son. This is the only known casta painting with an indio man and española woman.
Casta painting showing 16 hierarchically arranged, mixed-race groupings. The top left grouping uses cholo as a synonym for mestizo. Ignacio Maria Barreda, 1777. Real Academia Española de la Lengua, Madrid.
A statue of Gonzalo Guerrero, who adopted the Maya way of life and fathered the first mestizo children in Mexico and in the mainland Americas (the only mestizos before were those born in the Caribbean to Spanish men and Indigenous Caribbean women).
Chavela Vargas Mixed-Costa Rican Born - Singer
Keylor Navas Mixed-Costa Rican - Real Madrid Goalkeeper
Painting of the First Independence Movement celebration in San Salvador, El Salvador. At the center, José Matías Delgado, a Salvadoran priest and doctor known as El Padre de la Patria Salvadoreña (The Father of the Salvadoran Fatherland), alongside his nephew Manuel José Arce, future Salvadoran president of the Federal Republic of Central America.
Mestizo, Mestiza, Mestizo Sample of a Peruvian casta painting, showing intermarriage within a casta category.
José Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner, former President of East Timor.
Brazilian footballer Ronaldo
Statue of José Vasconcelos in Mexico City
Español, India, Mestizo. José Joaquín Magón. 18th c Mexico
Casta painting. "Spanish and Indian produce Mestizo", 1780.
Español, India, Mestizo.
Castizo, Mestiza, Chamizo. Miguel Cabrera 1763.
Mulatto and Mestiza, produce Mulatto, he is Torna Atrás [throwback]" by Juan Rodríguez Juárez
Mestizo, India, Coyote. Miguel Cabrera 1763.
De mestizo e India, sale coiote (From a Mestizo man and an Indigenous American woman, a Coyote is begotten).
Mestizo, Albarazada, Barcina.
1919 Barrientos family in Baracoa, Cuba, headed by an ex Spanish soldier and his Indigenous wife
The dance group Joyas Mestizas ("Mestiza jewels") performs at the Fiestas Patrias Parade, South Park, Seattle, 2017

Mestizo ( ; fem. mestiza) is a term used both for racial classification used to refer to a person of mixed European and Indigenous American ancestry.