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Who are the Amerindians?

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Quick Answer

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Amerindians are the aboriginal peoples of the Western Hemisphere. Inuit and Aleut peoples, however, are frequently excluded from the category of Amerindian as they are considered closer genetically and culturally to other Arctic peoples than to Amerindians.

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Full Answer

Amerindian is a portmanteau of American Indian. Amerindians are also known as aboriginal Americans, indigenous Americans and Native Americans. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that the ancestors of Amerindians crossed a land bridge from Asia around 30,000 to 12,000 years ago when sea levels were low enough for that to be possible. These ancestral groups were nomadic, relying on hunting and gathering for sustenance.

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