Indigenous peoples in Asia: a long history

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    Abstract

    Seventy per cent of the worlds 250 million Indigenous people live in Asia, most often in highlands and other regions remote from the fertile agricultural plains that formed the heartland of the continents great civilisations. They have shared with the first peoples in North America and Australasia the historical experience of slaughter, dispossession, epidemic disease, and socio-economic disruption and marginalisation as a consequence of settler intrusion into their lands. The violent encounter between Asian first peoples and Asian settler societies, however, has often been overshadowed by the history of cultural, economic, and political contact that has blurred the distinction between the two groups. The incorporation of Asian first peoples into larger polities was a much older and longer process, marked by extended periods of prior contact during which first peoples themselves selectively adopted technology and culture from what were to become settler metropoles. First peoples and settlers, moreover, were subject to both Western colonialism and imperialism in Asia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Global Indigenous History
    EditorsAnn McGrath and Lynette Russell
    Place of PublicationUK
    PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
    Pages86-110
    Volume1
    Edition1st
    ISBN (Print)9781138743106
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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