|Approximately 32 million|
|Bolivia||7.02 million (2016 est.)|
|Peru||5.9 million (2017)|
|Ecuador||4.5 million (2016 est.)|
|Chile||2.0 million (2012)|
|Colombia||1.4 million (2005)|
|Argentina||1.00 million (2016 est.)|
|French Guiana||c. 19,000|
|Indigenous languages of the Americas, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch|
The indigenous peoples of South America are the Pre-Columbian peoples of South America and their descendants. These peoples contrast with South Americans of European ancestry and those of African descent.
In Spanish, indigenous people are often referred to as indígenas or pueblos indígenas (lit. indigenous peoples). They may also be called pueblos nativos or nativos (lit. native peoples). The term aborigen (lit. aborigine) is used in Argentina, and pueblos aborígenes (lit. aboriginal peoples) is commonly used in Colombia. The English term "Amerindian" (short for "Indians of the Americas") is often used in the Guianas. People of mixed European and indigenous descent are usually referred to as mestizos.
It is believed that the first human populations of South America either arrived from Asia into North America via the Bering Land Bridge, and migrated southwards or alternatively from Polynesia across the Pacific. The earliest generally accepted archaeological evidence for human habitation in South America dates to 14,000 years ago, the Monte Verde site in Southern Chile. The descendants of these first inhabitants would become the indigenous populations of South America.
Before the Spanish colonization of the Americas, many of the indigenous peoples of South America were hunter-gatherers, and indeed many still are, especially in the Amazonian area. Others, especially the Andean cultures, practised sophisticated agriculture, utilized advanced irrigation and kept domesticated livestock, such as llamas and alpacas. In the period after the initial arrival of Europeans in 1492 the indigenous population of South America fell rapidly due to a variety of factors, such as disease and warfare.
In the present day, there are two South American countries where indigenous peoples constitute the largest ethnic group. These are Peru, where 45% are indigenous, and Bolivia, where 62% of people identify as feeling a part of some indigenous group.
South American indigenous peoples include:
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