Aboriginal refers to all those beings who are originally from where they live, regardless of whether they are human, animal or plant. The word, as such, is the singular formed from the Latin aboriginal plural , which means ‘from the origins’.
Aboriginal is also a usual term to contrast the inhabitant who is a descendant of the original inhabitants of a country, region or place, compared to those that have been subsequently established, already by colonization, invasion or intrusion processes.
This type of differentiation is common in countries that have experienced colonization situations, where a culture has been displaced, already in a violent way, and by assimilation of the new culture, already due to any other process, by another culture that has become the dominant
In that case, both the language and the culture, customs and traditions of the original inhabitants will be called aboriginal. This is the case, for example, of Aboriginal Australians, Americans, New Zealanders, Mexicans, etc.
With the name of American aborigines, there has been a tendency to designate the descendants of the original peoples of the continent, that is, those who inhabited it before the arrival of the European man, also called Indians (due to a geographical confusion of Christopher Columbus, who thought until his death that he had arrived in India) or indigenous, although the most successful way to call American aborigines is Native Americans or Indo-Americans.
Some of the oldest and most important aboriginal cultures that survive in America are Quechua (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru), Aymara (Bolivia and Peru), Guaraní (Paraguay), Mapuche (Chile), Nahuatl (Mexico) and the maya (Mexico and Guatemala), among others.
As aboriginal Argentines, those original inhabitants of what today comprises the territory of the Argentine Republic before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century are called. Currently, their descendants constitute about half a million people and celebrate Aboriginal Day on April 19.
The Australian aborigines are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands. It is suspected that they have inhabited the continent for more than 40,000 years, and have remained there even after the British colonization process, begun in the 18th century. Currently they speak about twenty languages and their culture is one of the oldest on the planet. They are recognized by the Australian State and its population is estimated at over four hundred thousand inhabitants.
Differences between aboriginal and indigenous
Aboriginal and indigenous are two terms usually confused, despite the differences in meaning they entail.
In this sense, aboriginal refers to those individuals originating from the place where they live, that is, whose ancestors are the most primitive inhabitants of the territory they inhabit. Aboriginal peoples are, then, all those who are framed under this concept, indifferently of the continent where they live. It can be Native American, African, Australian, European, etc.
Indigenous, meanwhile, specifically designates that person who is originally from a country, whatever, regardless of the origin of their ancestors. Thus, for example, the son of a German marriage born in Mexico would not only become natural there, but automatically become a Mexican indigenous.