Where do Indians come from

Origin of the Indians

Since the Europeans colonized America, there has been a question that has remained unanswered for a long time: Where do the Indians come from?

There have been many theories about it:

  • The biblical theories: In the colonial times one tried to answer this question with the help of the Bible. For example, it was thought that the Indians descended from the 10 Jewish tribes that were expelled from Israel.
  • Others said that the Indians come from the fabulous land of Ophir ("First Book of the Kings" 9th chapter, verses 27-28).
  • Due to the Charles Darwinian doctrine of ancestry, the question arose whether there were perhaps great apes in America from which humans later developed. But even this theory did not lead any further.
  • For a long time it was thought (even today some people still believe in it) that the Indians are descendants of surviving inhabitants of Atlantis or other disappeared continents.

But how did the first hunters really get to America?

Until a few years ago it was believed that all Indians reached the North American continent over 10,000 years ago via the Bering Strait. Probably there were even several waves of immigration.

With the help of various sciences, these assumptions could also be confirmed:

    anthropology: Many Indians have Mongolian body features, such as the characteristic protruding cheekbones, the Mongolian spot, which, however, disappears again in early childhood.
    genetics: There are genetic similarities between the indigenous people of Siberia and the majority of North American Indians. There are also genetic similarities between Europeans and Indian tribes settling north, such as the Nootka, Ojibwa, Sioux and the Navajo, who once lived in the north.
    ethnography: There are many similarities in the material and spiritual culture of today's inhabitants of East and Southeast Asia with that of the Indians in North America: worship of the same animals and plants, shaman ceremonies, worship of the number 4, etc.

In the meantime, however, there are also suspicions that the Bering Strait was not the only gateway to the New World. It is believed that immigrants may have found their way to America by sea. It could be that sailors from Siberia reached North America via the North Pacific (the so-called "Siberia thesis") or that South Pacific sailors crossed the Pacific to land in South or North America ("Polynesia thesis"). Overseas immigrants from Europe ("Europe thesis") are also being considered, as the Clovis stone tools are very similar to stone tools of the Solutréen culture. The Solutréen culture was at home around 16,500 - 22,000 years ago in what is now France, Portugal and Spain.

These theses have not yet been proven. There are hardly any bones left by the immigrants, a complete skeleton has not yet been found, and water vehicles (boats, rafts, etc.) have not yet been discovered. However, this can also be due to the fact that the sea level at the end of the last ice age was about 90 m lower than today and there was therefore a different coastline. The coastal settlements of that time are now deeply under water.

However, several waves of immigration from different areas of the world would also explain the linguistic diversity in America.

Not so long ago it was thought that the mystery of the origin of the Indians had been solved and that all Indians were descended from Asians who immigrated via the Bering Strait. Now there are even more puzzles than before and it is not clear whether the mystery of the origins of the Indians can ever be fully revealed.