Religion Past and Present

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Native American Indians
(4,560 words)

[German Version]

I. Terminology and Overview

The term “Indian” goes back to the erroneous identification by C. Columbus of the pre-European population of the American continents as the inhabitants of India. The term itself (or the Spanish-Portuguese form indio) is felt more to be derogatory by Indians themselves. For this reason the term indígenas (“natives”) is used in the Latin American realm (Latin America) as a self-definition as well as an external definition. As a generic term within religious…

Cite this page
Grim, John A., Smith, Theresa, Harrod, Howard L., Dauenhauer, Richard, Talamantez, Ines, Davis, Lee and Wright, Robin M., “Native American Indians”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 02 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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