Articles on Indigenous people

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Ceremonial cape designs by Mexica (Aztec) artists who created the Codex Magliabechiano in the mid-1500s. Tonatiu (left) represents the sun deity and ‘ataduras’ (right) depicts bindings. The Book of the Life of Ancient Mexicans, Z. Nuttall (1903)

Coronavirus: Europeans introduced devastating novel diseases to the Indigenous Americas – here’s what the survivors learned

When colonisers invaded the Americas, they brought with them waves of new diseases. This legacy continues to impact Indigenous communities.
South America’s bi-oceanic highway, which will stretch from the Pacific to the Atlantic – cutting right through Paraguay – is scheduled for completion in 2022. Joel Correia

Mennonites helped turn Paraguay into a mega beef producer – indigenous people may pay the price

Mennonites settled in Paraguay's arid Chaco forest a century ago, fleeing religious persecution. Their agricultural success is now driving deforestation, social change and rapid development.
Punta Ventana, a popular tourist attraction near Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, before and after the Jan. 6 earthquake. AFP/Getty/Wikipedia

Puerto Rico earthquakes imperil island’s indigenous heritage

Puerto Rico was once home to about 110,000 Taínos, an indigenous people decimated by the Spanish conquest. Their ancient homeland was located in the area hit hard by recent earthquakes.
A supporter of former Bolivian president Evo Morales tells a police officer to respect the nation’s indigenous people, in La Paz, Bolivia, Nov. 12, 2019. AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko

Bolivia after Morales: An ‘ungovernable country’ with a power vacuum

Evo Morales is at least the ninth Bolivian president to by forced out of office by a mass uprising. But even in exile he remains by far the most popular politician in the country.
Supporters of former Bolivian president Evo Morales rally with indigenous flags outside the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, Nov. 18, 2019. AP Photo/Juan Karita

Old religious tensions resurge in Bolivia after ouster of longtime indigenous president

Indigenous people, symbols and religious practices filled the halls of power in Bolivia during Evo Morales' 14-year tenure. Now a new conservative Christian leader seems to be erasing that legacy.
Revelers dressed as Catrina, an iconic Day of the Dead skeleton, at a holiday parade in Mexico City, Oct. 21, 2018. Reuters/Andres Stapff

Day of the Dead: From Aztec goddess worship to modern Mexican celebration

It may sound like a solemn affair, but the Day of the Dead – which blends indigenous and Catholic ritual – is a convivial celebration that allows Mexicans to reconnect with deceased loved ones.
Indigenous Marind in West Papua consider the forest and its plants and animals as kin. These culturally valued multispecies relations, however, are being disrupted by oil palm development projects. Sophie Chao

In West Papua, oil palm expansion undermines the relations of indigenous Marind people to forest plants and animals

Indigenous Marind in West Papua consider the forest and its plants and animals as kin. These culturally valued multispecies relations, however, are being disrupted by oil palm development projects.
A raised fist carving on a highway at Touho, Grand Terre. Kanaks, New Caledonia’s Indigenous people, have struggled for independence for over 150 years. Michael Webb

Rebel music: the protest songs of New Caledonia’s independence referendum

Indigenous New Caledonians, who will vote in an independence referendum next week, have been struggling since French colonisation in 1853. Through songs, they have chronicled past traumas and resistance heroes.
Animals in the western Arctic have higher levels of mercury in their bodies than those in the eastern Arctic. (Shutterstock)

How we solved an Arctic mercury mystery

A new study demystifies regional differences in mercury levels in marine animals in the Canadian Arctic.
A villager in Papua carries a baby across a river. Indigenous people in Indonesia and Australia value the importance of community and a wide circle of carers in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. www.shutterstock.com

‘It takes a village to raise a child’

Participants of roundtable forums in Australia and Indonesia last year agree that parents' extended family and community hold an important role in caring for children within their first 1000 days.

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