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Indigenous as a concept

Synonyms found include also native, first (peoples), aboriginal.

Dictionary definitions

According to Dictionary.Com[1], indigenous means "...originating in and characteristic of a particular region or country; native (often followed by to)" a region or country", Thus one may speak of "..the plants indigenous to ...; the indigenous peoples of ...., the indigenous anguages of ...." and so on.

Indigenous peoples

According to Wikipedia[2] "(i)ndigenous peoples are those groups especially protected in international or national legislation as having a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory, and their cultural or historical distinctiveness from other populations". However, beyond this vague outline there are no really universally accepted definitions for "Indigenous". Nevertheless, according to the organization Cultural Survival[3], there are some characteristics that tend to be common among peoples to whom the term is normally applied. For example:

(1) they tend to have (or at one time had) their own language;

(2) they have distinctive cultural traditions that they still practice;

(3) they have (or used to have) their own land and sovereign territory and they identify themselves as indigenous.

The notion of indigenous in South Africa

Originally referred to by colonial powers as "native (languages, peoples, customs, etc.)"

Indigenous peoples

Indigenous languages

Indigenous performance forms


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