List of indigenous peoples

List of indigenous peoples

This is a partial list of the world's indigenous / aboriginal / native peoples. Indigenous peoples are any ethnic group of peoples who inhabit a geographic region, with which they have the earliest known historical connection.

Note that this is a listing of peoples, groups and communities.

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).



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 Great Rift Valley.

  • Pygmy peoples: Central and Western Africa

East Africa

East Africa generally includes the Horn of Africa region and (parts of) surrounding countries.

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.

  • Taíno: Amerindians who inhabited the Caribbean island of Hispanola and Puerto Rico, of Arawakan descent.
  • Galibi
  • 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.[2] These groups include;

Central America and Mexico

Central America generally includes the part of the North American continent from southern Mexico to and including Panama; this section includes indigenous peoples of Mexico.

North America

North America generally includes Greenland, Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the eastern Aleutian Islands; however, Mexican peoples are listed above.

South America

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

Urarina shaman, 1988


The (sub-)continent of Asia, including related islands, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asian Republics, the Middle East and Arabia.

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.

North Asia

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

South Asia

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

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia generally includes the mainland region sometimes known as Indochina, and the Malay archipelago.

Southwest Asia

Women of the Ghilzai tribe of Pashtun people

Southwest Asia generally includes the region (formerly Persia) westwards of Pakistan, the Arabian peninsula, the Middle East, the Levant, Mesopotamia, the South Caucasus region and Anatolia.

  • Bahrani people — The indigenous Shi'a inhabitants of the archipelago of Bahrain and the oasis of Qatif on the Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia (see historical region of Bahrain). The term is sometimes also extended to the Shi'a inhabitants of the al-Hasa oasis. They are all Arabic speaking, and some claim descent from Arab tribes.
  • AssyriansAramaic-speaking people mostly found in Assyria Today's North Of Iraq. They're also found in Syria, Turkey, Iran and Armenia.
  • Armenians – A people native to the Armenian Highlands. Most Armenians fled during the Armenian Genocide, the remainder live in the Republic of Armenia.
  • Marsh Dwellers (Ma'dan) – Arabic-speaking group in the Tigris-Euphrates marshlands of southern Iraq / Iranian border[4]
  • Negev Bedouin – Arabic-speaking people in the Negev Desert of southern Israel[5]
  • Palestinians – The predominantly Muslim and Arabic-speaking people inhabiting Israel and the territories nominally controlled by the Palestinian Authority.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]
  • Tribal Arabs Arab speaking people who live in a tribal societies and maintaining ancient tribal affilialion, customs and culture. Found in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Jordan, Israel, Sinai (Egypt), Saudi Arabia, Lebanon (Beka'a valley), Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman and Yemen. Also see Bedouin.

Circumpolar North

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


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


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


Australia includes the continental landmass, and associated islands.


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 wu tang 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.


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

  • Chuukese: Island of Chuuk – Federated States of Micronesia
  • Kosraean: Island of Kosrae – Federated States of Micronesia
  • Pohnpeian: Island of Pohnpei – Federated States of Micronesia
  • Yapese: Island of Yap – Federated States of Micronesia
  • Chamorros:Northern Marianas
  • Marshallese:Marshall Islands- Republic of the Marshall Islands


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

See also

Related articles

See all pages that start with indigenous people or indigenous


  1. ^ Kipuri (2007, p.472)
  2. ^ Rouse (1992)
  3. ^ COUNTRY PROFILE: AFGHANISTAN, Library of Congress Country Studies
  4. ^ Sawahla & Dloomy (2007, pp. 425–433)
  5. ^ Bachmann (2007, pp. 420–424)
  6. ^ Dowty (2008, pp. 40, 57-8, 220-1)
  7. ^ Farsoun (2005, pp. 233ff.)
  8. ^ The Local Preparatory Committee of Palestinian NGOs in Israel
  9. ^ Minority Rights Group International (1997, pp. 366ff.)
  10. ^ Mossawa (2006, p. 20)
  11. ^ Forman & Kedar (2003)
  12. ^ Peled (2007, 616)
  13. ^ United Nations (1978)


Bachmann, Anna Sophia (2007). "The Marsh Dwellers of Iraq". In Sille Stidsen (compilation and ed.) (PDF online edition). The Indigenous World 2007. International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs yearbooks (ISSN 1024-0217). Copenhagen: IWGIA, distributed by Transaction Publishers. pp. 420–424. ISBN 978-87-91563-23-2. OCLC 30981676. 
Dowty, Alan (2008). Israel/Palestine. London, UK: Polity. ISBN 978-07-45642-43-7. "Palestinians are the descendants of all the indigenous peoples who lived in Palestine over the centuries; since the seventh century, they have been predominantly Muslim in religion and almost completely Arab in language and culture." 
Farsoun, Samih K. (2005), "Palestinian Diasporas", in Ember, Melvin; Ember, Carol R.; Skoggard, Ian, Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World, 2, New York, NY: Springer, ISBN 978-03-06483-21-9, OCLC 315151735, "The Palestinians are the indigenous people of Palestine." 
Forman, Geremy; Kedar, Alexandre (2003), "Colonialism, Colonization and Land Law in Mandate Palestine: The Zor al-Zarqa and Barrat Qisarya Land Disputes in Historical Perspective", Theoretical Inquiries in Law 4 (2): 491–539, 
Kipuri, Naomi (2007). "Kenya". In Sille Stidsen (compilation and ed.) (PDF online edition). The Indigenous World 2007. International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs yearbooks (ISSN 1024-0217). Marianne Wiben Jensen (Horn of Africa and East Africa regional ed.). Copenhagen: IWGIA, distributed by Transaction Publishers. pp. 468–476. ISBN 978-87-91563-23-2. OCLC 30981676. 
The Local Preparatory Committee of Palestinian NGOs in Israel (Undated), Statement submitted to: World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Haifa, Israel: Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel,, retrieved 6 April 2011, "Palestinians are also an indigenous group entitled to the recognition of their historical claims and the receipt of compensation, as outlined in the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples." 
Minority Rights Group International (1997), World Directory of Minorities, London, UK: Minority Rights Group International, ISBN 978-18-73194-36-2 
Mossawa Center – The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel (June 2006), The Palestinian Arab Citizens of Israel: Status, Opportunities and Challenges for an Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Haifa, Israel: Mossawa Center – The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel,, retrieved 6 April 2011, "Consisting of those who remained and were internally displaced during the creation of the state and their descendents, Palestinian Arab citizens are an indigenous population to Israel." 
Peled, Yoav (2007), "Citizenship Betrayed: Israel's Emerging Immigration and Citizenship Regime", Theoretical Inquiries in Law 8 (2): 603–628,, "Israel is the effective sovereign in the entire area of Mandatory Palestine, and it has incorporated the indigenous Palestinian population of this area into its control system in two different ways: some as second-class citizens of Israel, but most as subjects devoid of rights living under military rule." 
Rouse, Irving (1992). The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People who greeted Columbus. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-05181-6. OCLC 24469325. 
Sawalha, Faisal; and Ariel Dloomy (2007). "The Arab Bedouins of Israel". In Sille Stidsen (compilation and ed.) (PDF online edition). The Indigenous World 2007. International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs yearbooks (ISSN 1024-0217). Copenhagen: IWGIA, distributed by Transaction Publishers. pp. 425–433. ISBN 978-87-91563-23-2. OCLC 30981676. 
United Nations (30 June 1978), The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem: 1917–1988, Part I, New York: United Nations,, retrieved 5 April 2011 

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