ELL: RE: Re: indigenous

Victor Golla vkgolla at UCDAVIS.EDU
Thu Jun 21 21:14:40 UTC 2001


Curtis gives us another instance in which "pre-European expansion"
is inadequate as a replacement for "indigenous":

> Or Navajo and Apache, which apparently didn't arrive in the
> southwest of the United States until after Spanish did.

This is unlikely.  Most of the evidence (which is admittedly
indirect) points to the Southern Athabaskans arriving in the
Southwest no later than 1350-1400 AD, although they came to
occupy their historic territories subsequent to that -- after
1865 in the case of most of the Navajo Nation.

But whatever the dates, are the Southern Athabaskan languages
to be considered less "indigenous" than Zuni and Hopi?  -- The
distinction seems an invidious one, prompted by the ideological
implications of the word.  Are not the modern social and
political facts--sovereignty over reservation land, legal status
as "recognized" Indian tribes, etc.--far more important than
(putative) antiquity?

--Victor Golla

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