Native South American Nations - Indigenous Peoples and Cultures Overview
Overview of Native South American Nations
Today's descendants of the pre-Columbian Indigenous Peoples native to South America live in the countries of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, northwestern Argentina, and Chile, all along the northern portion of the continent of South America.
Our Native South Americans are located all along the continent from Panama at the south end of Central America to Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost point on the continent, where you might see some penguins.
An estimated 30 million people were living throughout what is now South America when the Europeans arrived. These particular first contact Europeans were explorers and business adventurers and also Spanish and Portuguese. However, some anthropologists have thought about the possibility of Far East Asians having visited the continent long before the Hispanic explorers appeared here. This is an open question for research.
The nations of the Mochica, Chimu, and Nazca peoples in Peru, the Chibcha and Aymara of the Andes Mountains, and the Araucanos and Mapuche nations of the country of Chile were original pre-Columbian peoples with complex societies. All of them were surpassed by the Inca civilization, however.
Map Related to the Pre-Columbian Peoples Mentioned Above
Quecha is the language that was spoken by the Inca in ancient days, It is still used the most widely of any of the native languages in South America today.
Quecha is as popular as Spanish and Portuguese in South America. Most of the native peoples on the continent live in small groups, similar to the independent bands or communities of Native Americans and First Nations peoples living together in North America. This fracturing of larger groups is often a result of the advent of the Europeans on both continents, driving back the indigenous peoples that were not equipped to deal with them and killing them off with foreign diseases inadvertently, or even purposefully at times.
In North America, the explorers wanted the land and all its resources, while in South America, the Europeans wanted particularly gold and the mythic fountain of youth, about which many books and films have been produced.
Native South Americans remain largely isolated or work as low wage laborers. A few groups related to the Arawaks and Caribs live in Venezuela, the Guianas, and Northern Brazil.
The Guaran' in Brazil are very few, but their language is well spoken in Paraguay. Guaran' is even the official national language of Paraguay.
Other indigenous peoples include the J'varo in the country of Ecuador and the Yanomami in Brazil and Venezuela. The Colorado people live in Western Ecuador and the Puelches and Tehuelches are very few. A tiny number of Fuegians, near Tierra del Fuego, hunt and fish for their living.
South America - Native South Americans
Detail Close-up of the Caribbean Sea
Native South American Resources: Northern South America
- NOVA Online | Ice Mummies of the Inca
NOVA presents an online expedition to Peru to search for Incan mummies at the top of Mt. Sara Sara
- Museo del Oro del Banco de la República | banrepcultural.org
Bogota, Columbia and its Museum of Gold.
- The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
A short illustrated guide to the Inca Trail, a hiking route through the mountains near Cuzco, Peru, leading to the Inca city of Machu Picchu. This is an excellent interactive site that tales the viewer all along the Inca Trail and provides interactiv
Museum of Gold n Bogota
Native South American Groups
Native South American Groups in VENEZUELA
This include 28 different tribes. A few of them are:
- Sionas and Secoyas
- Mestizos - Indian and white
- Zambos - Indian and black
- and several others
Caribe Languages of Kalihna, Carib, Cariña, Kalinya, and Galibi are used in four countries: Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana among the bands of native South Americans found in these countries.
Nukak Tribe in Colombia
Colombian Tomb 700 BC
Amerindians In Guyana
GUYANA - Different from French Guiana
- Amerindian Peoples Association - 200 Charlotte Street, Bourda, Georgetown, Guyana
- Amerindians of Guyana - Caribbean Amerindian at Centrelink on the web.
- Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology - 61 Main Street, Georgetown, Guyana
SURINAME & FRENCH GUIANA
Also at Centrelink on the Internet:
- Amerindians of Suriname
- Amerindians of French Guiana
Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana
Additional Native Peoples In the Western Hemisphere
- Native American Nations in Peru and Bolivia
The Incas have influenced a large sector of the middle portion of South America, including other native nations. All of their secrets have not yet been discovered. Here are some of them.
- Native American Nations in Mexico
Mexico is full of significant art finds by Aboriginal Peoples. Some of the artistic representations of the Indigenous residents are similar to some of that in the Ukraine and the far northern reaches of Russia.
- Sports - Mayan Football
Mayan ball courts in Mexico required passing a ball through a hole high on the court wall, while kicking and throwing a larger ball at statues. It was a very intense and vital sport in Mayan culture.
© 2008 Patty Inglish
More by this Author
Native Americans criss-crossed through the Northwest Territory of America and the Northeast until the were driven back by other nations and the European settlers. The nations themselves lost track of one another. From...
DNA and other evidence have connected the Indigenous Peoples of all the nations in sub-polar regions around the Arctic Circle, as of 2011. See what this means in this article.
I have learned much from my Polish American friends about the important of Easter in their culture, friendships, families, and faith. Please enjoy the recipes and information.