- The name Columbus gave to the natives of America, a name which has survived
to this day and has passed into the languages of the civilized world, including
that of india. The early French called the natives sauvages
(savages) and peaux-rouges (redskins), and the early English termed
The attempt to rename them "Amerind," a
combination of "American" and "indian" proved unpopular.
Congress has never given a general definition
of an Indian in it legislation, nor have the courts ever interpreted the
term. In 1879 certain rights were denied the Ponca indians on the
ground that they were "not persons within the meaning of the law."
But in the same year Judge Dundy rendered his famous decision that "an
indian is a person within the meaning of the law of the United States."
Indians had no general name for themselves
as a race, and their own tribal names usually meant simply "people," or
"men." Most tribal names, as we know them, were given by other tribes
or by the white man.
within this Site
][ Amerind ][ Bright
Eyes ][ Columbus ]
Man ][ Sauvage ][ Standing