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List of indigenous peoples

Related subjects: Peoples

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This is a partial list of the world's indigenous / aboriginal / native peoples. 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".

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, in a proces 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."

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).

East Asia
North Asia


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

Central Africa

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

East Africa, including the African Great Lakes region and the Indian Ocean islands.

Horn of Africa

The Horn of Africa includes Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.

North Africa

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.

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.

West Africa

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


the Americas is the continent (or supercontinent) comprising North and South America, and associated islands.

The Caribbean

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

  • Carib: Lesser Antilles
  • Galibi
  • Taíno: Amerindians who inhabited the Caribbean island of Hispanola and Puerto Rico, of Arawakan descent.
  • Neo-Taíno nations Some scholars distinguish between the Taíno and Neo-Taíno groups. Neo-Taíno groups were also Amerindians of the Antilles islands, but had distinctive languages and cultural practices that differed from the High Taíno. These groups include;
    • Ciboney: a term preferred in Cuban historical texts for the neo-Taino-Siboney nations of the island of Cuba.
    • Ciguayo. Eastern Hispaniola.
    • Lucaya. Based in Cuba and the Bahamas.
    • Macorix. Hispaniola.
    • Guanahatabey. Far Western Cuba, at the Guanahacabibes Peninsula.
    • Eyeri Often called Carib.

Central America

North America

  • Aboriginal peoples in Canada
  • Alaska Natives
  • Indigenous peoples of California
  • Indigenous peoples of the Great Basin
  • Indigenous peoples of the Great Plains
  • Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands
  • Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Plateau
  • Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast
  • Indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands
  • Indigenous peoples of Florida
  • Indigenous people of the Everglades region
  • Indigenous peoples of the American southwest
  • Indigenous peoples of the Subarctic
  • North American Arctic: Aleut, Kalaallit/ Inuit, Iñupiat, Métis, Yup'ik


  • Amuzgo ( Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Chocho ( Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Cocopa ( Baja California, Mexico)
  • Guarijío ( Sonora, Mexico)
  • Kikapú ( Coahuila, Mexico)
  • Paipai ( Baja California, Mexico)
  • Tepehuán ( Chihuahua and Durango, Mexico)
  • Chontal de Oaxaca (Tequistlatecan people of Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Chatino ( Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Chichimeca Jonaz ( San Luis Potosí, Mexico)
  • Chinantec ( Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Ch'ol (Mayan language of Chiapas Mexico)
  • Chontal Maya (Mayan language of Tabasco, Mexico)
  • Cochimí ( Baja California, Mexico)
  • Cora ( Jalisco and Nayarit Mexico)
  • Cuicatec( Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Huastec ( San Luis Potosí, Mexico)
  • Huave ( Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Huichol ( Jalisco and Nayarit Mexico)
  • Ixcatec ( Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Kiliwa ( Baja California, Mexico)
  • Kumeyaay ( Baja California, Mexico)
  • Lacandón ( Chiapas, Mexico)
  • Matlatzinca ( Mexico (state), Mexico)
  • Mayo ( Sonora, Mexico)
  • Mazahua ( Mexico (state), Mexico)
  • Mazatec ( Puebla and Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Mexicanero ( Durango, Mexico)
  • Mixe ( Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Mixtec ( Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Nahua (Mexico)
  • Pame ( San Luis Potosí, Mexico)
  • Pima Bajo ( Chihuahua, Mexico)
  • Popoloca ( Oaxaca, and Puebla, Mexico)
  • P'urhépecha ( Michoacán, Mexico)
  • Seri ( Sonora, Mexico)
  • Tarahumara ( Chihuahua, Mexico)
  • Tlapanec (Me'phaa) ( Guerrero, Mexico)
  • Totonac ( Veracruz and Puebla, Mexico)
  • Trique ( Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Tzeltal ( Chiapas, Mexico)
  • Tzotzil ( Chiapas, Mexico)
  • Yaqui ( Sonora, Mexico)
  • Yucatec Maya ( Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Campeche Mexico)
  • Zapotec ( Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Zoque ( Oaxaca and Chiapas Mexico)

South America

South America generally includes all of the (sub-)continent and islands south of the Isthmus of Panama.

Urarina shaman, 1988


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.

Western Asia

Western Asia includes the region of Dead Sea Transform, the Arabian peninsula, the Levant, Asia Minor, the Caucasus region and extending to the southern Caspian coast, Kopet Dag mountains and the eastern Dasht-e Lut desert.

  • Assyrians – Aramaic-speaking people mostly found in Assyria Today's North Of Iraq. They're also found in Syria, Turkey, Iran and Armenia.
  • Kurdish people - An Iranic people that are native to West Asia, including areas that are now parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Kurds speak the Kurdish language, which is a member of the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages.
  • Marsh Dwellers (Ma'dan) – Arabic-speaking group in the Tigris-Euphrates marshlands of southern Iraq / Iranian border
  • Samaritans – An ethno-religious group of the Levant, closely related genetically and culturally to the Jewish diaspora and are understood to have branched off from the latter around the time of the Assyrian exile. Religiously, the Samaritans are adherents of Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism. Their sole norm of religious observance is the Pentateuch. (See also: Jews)

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

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

  • Ainu: Hokkaido, Japan and (until the end of World War II) on Sakhalin Island, Russia
  • Ryukyuans: Ryūkyū Kingdom, now Japan
  • Taiwanese aborigines: the island of Taiwan
    • Amis
    • Atayal
    • Bunun
    • Kavalan
    • Paiwan
    • Puyuma
    • Rukai
    • Saisiyat
    • Sakizaya
    • Seediq
    • Tao
    • Thao
    • Tsou
    • Truku
  • " Indigenous inhabitants": New Territories, Hong Kong
  • Salar people: China

North Asia

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

  • Northern indigenous peoples of Russia: over 40 distinct peoples, each with their own language and culture in Siberia and Russia
  • Sakha:
  • Tuvans:
  • Altayans: Titular nation of Altai Republic
  • Buryats:
  • Khakas:
  • Tungus:

South Asia/Indian Subcontinent

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

  • Adivasi: collective term for many indigenous peoples in India (see also List of Scheduled Tribes in India)
    • Andamanese: indigenous peoples of the Andaman Islands, India which include:
      • Great Andamanese: formerly at least 10 distinct groups living throughout Great Andaman, now confined to a single community on Strait Island, Andaman Is.
      • Jarawa: South Andaman and Middle Andaman
      • Onge: Little Andaman
      • Jangil (Rutland Jarawa): now extinct, formerly of Rutland Island, Andamans
      • Sentinelese: North Sentinel Island, Andaman Is.
    • Indigenous peoples of Sikkim: India
  • Bhutia
  • Lepcha
  • Kisan Tribals: indigenous peoples of the Orissa Sundergarh, India :
    • Nicobari: Nicobar Islands, India
    • Shompen: Nicobar Islands, India
  • Vedda people: Sri Lanka
  • Wanniyala-Aetto: Sri Lanka.
  • Naga: North-East India
  • Kalasha of Chitral: Ancient pre-Muslim ethnic minority in Chitral District, Northern Pakistan
  • Khasi-Jaintia: North-East India
  • Raute: Nepal, North India
  • Giraavaru people: Maldives

Southeast Asia

Mainland Southeast Asia
  • Idu mishmi: Of NortheastIndia, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Akha: of Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Chinese minority
  • Degar: of Vietnam
  • Hmong: of Thailand, Myanmar & Laos
  • Karen: One of the hill tribes of Myanmar and Thailand
  • Lahu: One of the hill tribes of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Yunnan, China
  • Karbi: Of Karbi Anglong, Assam, NortheastIndia
  • Lisu: One of the hill tribes of Myanmar, Thailand, Arunachal Pradesh, India & Yunnan and Sichuan, China
  • Negrito: includes the Semang of the Malay peninsula, the Aeta of Luzon, the Ati of Panay, the Mani of Thailand, and the Andamanese.
  • Orang Asli: in Peninsular Malaysia .They are divided into three main tribal groups – Semang (Negrito), Senoi, and Proto-Malay
  • Thai: (formerly Siamese) are the predominant ethnicity of modern Thailand with a minor regional diaspora.
Maritime Southeast Asia
  • Pribumi (Native Indonesians): of Indonesia
  • Bajau: Borneo and the Sulu Archipelago (Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines)
  • Dayak of Borneo
  • Igorot: Cordillera mountains in Luzon in the Philippines
  • Lumad: Mindanao in the Philippines
  • Mangyan: Mindoro in the Philippines
  • Tribes of Palawan: Palawan, Philippines
  • Penan: Sarawak, Malaysia


Europe generally refers to the mass of the Eurasian peninsula westwards of the Ural Mountains, the islands of the Mediterranean and North Atlantic Ocean.

  • Basques: Northern Spain and Southern France
  • Crimean Karaites: Crimean Peninsula in Southern Ukraine
  • Crimean Tatars: Crimean Peninsula in Southern Ukraine
  • Izhorians: Northwest of Russia
  • Komi: Komi Republic in Northeast of European Russia
  • Mordvins: of the western Ural Mountains in Russia
  • Nenets: Northeastern part of European Russia
  • Sami: Northern and central Norway, Sweden, Finland and Kola peninsula in the Northwest of Russia
  • Veps: Republic of Karelia, Northwest of Russia

Circumpolar North

The Circumpolar North generally includes the lands surrounding the Arctic Circle.

  • Evenks, China, Mongolia, Russia
  • Inuit: Greenland, Northern Canada ( Nunavut and Northwest Territories), Alaska
    • Kalaallit, Greenland
  • Koryaks, Russian Far East
  • Chukchi, Siberia, Russia
  • Sami: Northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Kola peninsula in Russia
  • Yupik: Alaska and the Russian Far East
    • Alutiiq, Alaska
    • Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Alaska
    • Cupik, Alaska
    • Siberian Yupik, Siberia, Russia
  • Inupiat: Alaska's Arctic and North Slope boroughs and the Bering Straits
  • Northern Samoyedic peoples
    • Nenets, Russia
    • Enets, western Siberia, Russia
    • Nganasan, Taymyr Peninsula, Siberia, Russia
  • Ugric peoples, Yugra, Siberia, Russia
    • Khanty, Yugra, Siberia, Russia
    • Mansi, Yugra, Siberia, Russia
  • Yukaghirs, East Siberia, Russia


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


Australia includes the continental landmass, and associated islands.

  • Indigenous Australians: Australia
  • Australian Aborigines
  • Torres Strait Islanders: Australia


Melanesian generally includes New Guinea and other (far-)western Pacific islands from the Arafura Sea out to Fiji.

  • Fijian: Fiji
  • Papuans: more than 250 distinct tribes or clans, each with their own language and culture. The main island of New Guinea and surrounding islands (territory forming independent state of Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian provinces of West Papua and Papua Considered "Indigenous" these people are a subject to many debates.
    • Wopkaimin: western PNG, Star Mountains.


Micronesia generally includes the various small island chains of the western and central Pacific.


Polynesia generally includes New Zealand and the islands of the central and southern Pacific Ocean

Related articles

  • Centre for World Indigenous Studies
  • Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Definitions and identity of indigenous peoples
  • Indigenous archaeology
  • Indigenous Dialogues
  • Indigenous (ecology)
  • Indigenous intellectual property
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Indigenous language
  • Indigenous medicine
  • Indigenous music
  • International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs
  • United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
  • World Council of Indigenous Peoples
  • Working Group on Indigenous Populations
See all pages that start with indigenous people or indigenous
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