List of indigenous peoples

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This is a partial list of the world's indigenous / aboriginal / native people. Indigenous peoples are any ethnic group of peoples who are considered to fall under one of the internationally recognized definitions of Indigenous peoples, such as United Nations, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank, i.e. "those ethnic groups that were indigenous to a territory prior to being incorporated into a national state, and who are politically and culturally separate from the majority ethnic identity of the state that they are a part of".[1]

Note that this is a listing of peoples, groups and communities. Many of the names are externally imposed, and are not those the people identify within their cultures. As John Trudell observed, "They change our name and treat us the same." Basic to the unethical treatment of indigenous peoples is an insistence that the original inhabitants of the land are not permitted to name themselves. Many tribal groups have reasserted their traditional self-identifying names in recent times,[2] in a process of geographical renaming where "The place-name changes herald a new era, in which Aboriginal people have increasing control over the right to name and govern their homelands."[3]

In this list, native ethnonyms (autonyms or endonyms) are given in round brackets. In some cases the endonym is the name by which the ethnic group/people is called by other peoples. However, in most cases, exonyms predominate.

This list is grouped by region, and sub-region. Note that a particular group may warrant listing under more than one region, either because the group is distributed in more than one region (example: Inuit in North America and eastern Russia), or there may be some overlap of the regions themselves (that is, the boundaries of each region are not always clear and some locations may commonly be associated with more than one region).


Afro-Eurasia is the supercontinent comprising the continents of Africa, Europe, and Asia, and associated islands.

List of peoples by geographical and ethnolinguistic grouping:


The continent of Africa, including associated islands such as Madagascar.

North Africa

Shilha Berbers in Morocco
A Nubian woman circa 1900

North Africa generally includes African countries with borders on the Mediterranean and northern Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean, bounded largely by the Sahara Desert to the south. Generally includes lands and countries north of the Sahara Desert. Due to ethnic, cultural and climatic characteristics, among others, it is a different region of the African continent, having close ties to Southwest Asia (Middle East).

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa includes the lands and African countries south of the Sahara desert. It is the biggest part of the African continent and has its own ethnic and cultural characteristics.

Central Africa
Baka pygmy dancers in the East Province of Cameroon.
Batwa Pygmy with traditional bow and arrow

Central Africa generally includes the lands mainly of the Congo River basin, south of the Sahara and west of the East African Rift.

East Africa
Hadza people, who are indigenous to East Africa

East Africa generally includes the lands from the east of the East African Rift to the Indian Ocean coast.

West Africa

West Africa generally includes the region bounded by the Sahara to the north and the Gulf of Guinea to the south.

Southern Africa
San people, who are indigenous to Southern Africa.

Southern Africa generally includes lands from the Cape of Good Hope northwards to the borders of Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania, and islands such as Madagascar.


The supercontinent of Eurasia includes both the continents of Asia and Europe.


The continent of Asia including: the Asia Minor, south of the Caucasus Mountains, the West Asia to continental Eastern Mediterranean and the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, North Asia east of the Ural Mountains, Eastern Asia, continental South-East Asia and archipelagic regions of the Pacific and Indian oceans bordering the Australian continental shelf.

Central Asia

Central Asia generally includes the landlocked region east of the Caspian Sea, south of the Russian Taiga, to the Himalayas, and extending eastwards to Mongolia and the western Chinese provinces and autonomous regions.

East Asia
Miao (Hmong) girls in China
Bunun dancer

East Asia generally includes the People's Republic of China, the Korean Peninsula, and the associated Pacific islands, principally Japan and Taiwan.

North Asia
Representation of a Chukchi family by Louis Choris (1816)
Buryat shaman of Olkhon, Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia.
Nenets child

North Asia generally includes the Russian Far East and the northern and eastern parts of Siberia.

South Asia/Indian Subcontinent
An old Munda man, Dinajpur
Kodava men in traditional attire, India
An Adivasi woman from the Kutia Kondh tribal group in Odisha, India
A tribal woman of Assam
Veddha chief Uruwarige Wannila Aththo, leader of the indigenous people Sri Lanka

South Asia generally includes the Indian subcontinental region, adjacent areas, and related islands of the Indian Ocean.

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia generally includes the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia.

A Wa woman carrying her child
Akha girl in Laos
Yi/Nuosu women
A Murut man (a member of one of the Dayak ethnicities) in Monsopiad Cultural Village, Kg. Kuai Kandazon, Penampang, Sabah, Borneo Island
Ati woman, the Philippines, 2007[4] The Negritos were the earliest inhabitants of Southeast Asia.[5]

Mainland Southeast Asia

Maritime Southeast Asia

Southwest Asia
Marsh Arabs/Ma'dan poling a mashoof
Baloch of Nimruz Province, Afghanistan

Southwest Asia or Western Asia (also known as the Middle East) includes the region of the Levant, the Dead Sea Transform, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor (Anatolia), the Caucasus region, the Iranian Plateau and the Arabian Peninsula.


Traditional Adyghe clothing.

The Caucasus is a mainly Highlands region (mountains and plateaus) between the Black and Caspian Seas, Asia (to the South) and Europe (to the North). Northern slopes are considered part of Europe and southern slopes are considered part of Asia.


Basques in a festival.
Faroese folk dancers, some in national costumes.
Galician bagpipers in New York.
Kashubian regional dress.
Gagauz old and young people.
Mordvin women of Penza Oblast dressed in traditional costumes.

The continent of Europe generally refers to the mass of the Eurasian peninsula westwards of the Ural Mountains, the islands of the northern area of the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern North Atlantic Ocean.


Oceania includes most islands of the Pacific Ocean, New Guinea and the continent of Australia.

List of peoples by geographical and ethnolinguistic grouping:


Aboriginal farmers in Victoria, Australia, 1858

Australia includes the continental landmass, and associated islands.



Melanesia generally includes New Guinea and other (far-)western Pacific islands from the Arafura Sea out to Fiji. The region is mostly inhabited by the Melanesian peoples.


Micronesia generally includes the various small island chains of the western and central Pacific. The region is mostly inhabited by the Micronesian peoples.


Samoan family

Polynesia includes New Zealand and the islands of the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The region is mostly inhabited by the Polynesian peoples.

Polynesian outliers

The Americas

The Americas is the supercontinent comprising North and South America, and associated islands.

List of peoples by geographical and ethnolinguistic grouping:

North America

North America includes all of the continent and islands east of the Bering Strait and north of the Isthmus of Panama; it includes Greenland, Canada, United States, Mexico, Central American and Caribbean countries. However a distinction can be made between a broader North America and a narrower Northern America and Middle America due to ethnic and cultural characteristics.


Two Inuit women in traditional amauti (packing parkas)


Pacific Northwest Coast

Northwest Plateau

Great Plains

Eastern Woodlands


Great Basin



Tzeltal dancers waiting to perform, San Cristobal.
Mam people.
Mayan family from Yucatán
Amuzgos in traditional dress.
Mazatec girls performing a dance in Huautla de Jimenez.
Huichol woman and child.

North American Circum-Caribbean

A Kuna woman in traditional dress.


Portrait of the Kali'na exhibited at the Jardin d'Acclimatation in Paris in 1892

The Caribbean, or West Indies, generally includes the island chains of the Caribbean.

South America

Emberá women
Bororo-Boe man from Mato Grosso at Brazil's Indigenous Games, 2007
Quechua woman and child in the Sacred Valley, Peru

South America generally includes all of the continent and islands south of the Isthmus of Panama.

South American Circum-Caribbean



Eastern Highlands

Gran Chaco


Southern Cone



Circumpolar peoples is an umbrella term for the various indigenous peoples of the Arctic. List of peoples by ethnolinguistic grouping:

See also

See also

See all pages that start with indigenous people or indigenous


  1. Sanders, Douglas (1999). "Indigenous peoples: Issues of definition". International Journal of Cultural Property. 8 (1): 4–13. doi:10.1017/S0940739199770591.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Ritzer, G., and Ryan, M.J., eds., The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology, Wiley, 2011, p.313
  3. Alia, V., Names and Nunavut: Culture and Identity in Arctic Canada, Berghahn Books, 2008, p.143
  4. "World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – Philippines: Overview, 2007", UNHCR | Refworld.
  5. Hanihara, T (1992). "Negritos, Australian Aborigines, and the proto-sundadont dental pattern: The basic populations in East Asia". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 88 (2): 183–96. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330880206. PMID 1605316.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Sawahla & Dloomy (2007, pp. 425–433)
  7. [1]"Jewish Genetics: Abstracts and Summaries"
  8. Tubb, 1998. pg-13-14.
  9. Mark Smith in "The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities of Ancient Israel" states "Despite the long regnant model that the Canaanites and Israelites were people of fundamentally different culture, archaeological data now casts doubt on this view. The material culture of the region exhibits numerous common points between Israelites and Canaanites in the Iron I period (c. 1200 – 1000 BC). The record would suggest that the Israelite culture largely overlapped with and derived from Canaanite culture... In short, Israelite culture was largely Canaanite in nature. Given the information available, one cannot maintain a radical cultural separation between Canaanites and Israelites for the Iron I period." (pp. 6–7). Smith, Mark (2002) "The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities of Ancient Israel" (Eerdman's)
  10. Rendsberg, Gary (2008). "Israel without the Bible". In Frederick E. Greenspahn. The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship. NYU Press, pp. 3–5
  11. Josephus. War of the Jews 9:2.
  12. The UN Refugee Agency | UNHCR, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples [2]
  13. Department of Evolutionary Biology at University of Tartu Estonian Biocentre | Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations From Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation, Molecular Anthropology Group [3]
  14. Unrepresented Nations and People Organization | UNPO, Assyrians the Indigenous People of Iraq [4]
  15. Rouse (1992)


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