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? asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 9 years ago

Are Latin Americans Native Americans?

The other day I was watching an American TV show in which one character asked another where he was from and he said Mexico, then she asked him if he had any “Indian” in him which confused me as I thought Mexicans where Indians? I mean I thought they where descended from the Aztecs?

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  • Gary C
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Some Latin Americans are of Native American origin and some are not, and many have a mixture of Native American and European, African, or other heritage.

    "Latin American" is a very broad category. It can refer to anyone from the Americas who speaks Spanish or Portuguese (Latin-derived languages), or anyone who comes from the American countries where Spanish and Portuguese are spoken (Mexico, Central America, most of South America, and some of the Caribbean islands).

    As for Mexico, the Aztecs were one of many indigenous ethnic groups in pre-conquest Mexico, so some, but not all, Mexicans are descended from Aztecs. Nobody alive in Mexico now is called an Aztec, but Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs and some of their neighbors, is still spoken by a significant number of Mexicans.

    The majority of Mexicans are either partly or entirely of indigenous (Indian) descent, but there are also many people in Mexico who have no native ancestry, their ancestors having come from Europe, Africa, Asia, or elsewhere.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    Absolutely not! Latin americans are descendents of people from spain and portugal who immigrated to the Americas. American Indians, which include the aztecs, are people who migrated into North and South America from asia millions of years ago. There may be people who are a mix of both, but latin american and american indian are two separate races. What you were saying would be the equivelant of saying canadians are all iroquois indians because they occupy the region that was once inhabited by the iroquois.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I can't understand why people are saying that the indigenous Indians of Mexico are not Native Americans. Mexico is in the Americas and those people are native to it. The indigenous inhabitants of the whole of the Americas are all related to each other and were part of the same migration of peoples. Modern Central and South Americans are very ethnically mixed as a result of colonisation by Europeans and the import of enslaved Africans.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    I would have thought that anyone born on the American continent North, Central or South were in fact native Americans not just Eskimos, Indians Aztecs Incas etc. but also descendants of the Spanish French British African German Dutch, Chinese etc.

    As the word Native comes from the latin natus or similar referring to being born although through misuse it seems to have come to mean the original inhabitants often with innuendo of aboriginal or less educated.

    Latin Americans are usually those who live in former Spanish colonies or who have emigrated to or are descended from immigrants to other countries many of whom continue to use Spanish as their natural language.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    If their ancestors were here before the arrival of Columbus they are "Native Americans" or "Indians." The populations south of the Rio Grande are mixed. There are still tribes of Indians who are mostly pure Indian blood. There are also pockets of citizens who are descended from European colonial stock with little or no mixing of the native populations (that existed pre-Colombian). But much of the population of Latin America are descended from ancestors from both sources. There was much more intermarriage between colonists and natives in Latin America then there was in North America.

    Source(s): History-buff....
  • ?
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Not all people from central and/or south american are "indians" any more than all Americans are. Many of those from central and south america are predominantly european (Spanish mostly). All depends on that individual's heritage. But yes, the native people of central and south america are "native americans" thus are "indians". Anyone who thinks natives of central and south america don't qualify as "native americans" is a moron. Perhaps they're confusing the fact that the "american" in native american refers to the continent, not the country, as in south AMERICA or central AMERICA......

    Source(s): Member of Cherokee Nation with a CDIB.
  • ?
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    There are a few ethnicities that contribute to what being a " mexican" is today but generally they're Indian mixed with Spanish. They're are not native Americans

  • 9 years ago

    Uh..no their not. Native Americans lived in North America. Latin Americans live in Central America.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    "indian" inhabitant of the americas before "discovery" by columbus

    there may have been visitors from north Europe, china or even egypt much much earlier

    noone is sure just how humans reached America

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