Indians say Red Indians offensive
Are you allowed to say "Indians"?
Yes, good question. It has been asked a lot in the past few days. In the book's subtitle there is a sentence that has annoyed some readers:
'An Indian warrior from the Amazon tells of the destruction of his homeland and of the spirits of the jungle'
We had already given some thought to this: the author Fischermann, the editors, our advisors on questions of anthropology. In the book itself there is a small explanation (on page 187). Today it is common to speak of “indigenous peoples”, especially in specialist literature. This is considered to be politically more correct than previously used terms such as "Indian", "Indio" or "primitive peoples" and "natives", which bring with them various problematic word stories from colonization.
Still, in the end it was decided that we wouldn't be so strict in this book. Apart from the fact that a politically correct choice of words has seldom solved social problems: The word “Indian” is not as problematic as many think. Unlike in Spanish, the term “Indian”, meaning Indian in Portuguese, does not have the same negative connotation. In fact, the state authority for the protection of these peoples is called “Fundação Nacional do Índio”.
In the end, the decisive factor was what Madarejúwa thinks is right. He describes himself as "Indio", sometimes also as "Indigenous". The question was discussed with him for this book and he considers both words to be identical and neither to be derogative. Wherever he speaks himself, his own choice of words is followed in the book. Wherever the author speaks Fischermann, he prefers “indigenous” or “indigenous peoples” - but not on the title, where everyone should first understand what it is about. Words like "Indian reservation" or "Indian protection authority" are so common and used.
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