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Naming the original inhabitants of the America - Research Paper Example

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The main reason why there are many different terms describing the original inhabitants of North and South America is that it has not been possible to build consensus around a single term. Each of the terms ended up referring to a particular group of the people and not all of them. In some cases, the need for legal distinction between various indigenous people groups led to the multiplicity of terms. The source of controversy of names that include the term “Indian” is that the term is a misnomer. There are suggestions that the term came about after Columbus’ made a mistake by thinking that he had reached Asia (d'Errico 2011). He erroneously thought that the people he had found in the new continent were Asian Indians . However, the truth is that they were distinct from all other people groups across the world. On the other hand, the use of the names containing the term “American” also brings problems because the name America came from an Italian names Amerigos in the sixteenth century. In this sense, it is illogical to use a relatively recent name to refer to people who predated Amerigos. Finally, the term aboriginal refers to issues of “the beginning. It is problematic to use such as a term as a reference point for naming the indigenous people of America because of the vastness of its scale. The most appropriate term for the original inhabitants of North America should come from names that the natives ascribe to themselves (AADNC 2011).

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The main reason why there are many different terms describing the original inhabitants of North and South America is that it has not been possible to build consensus around a single term. Each of the terms ended up referring to a particular group of the people and not all of them…
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