posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 07:31 PM
reply to post by TheWalkingFox
Thanks for that. I was just about to start a new thread on the issue of labels, and how politically correct labels are sometimes viewed as less
imposed than former ones. Arguably they are often imposed from academic ivory towers, in the hope that they somehow stick to remedy past injustices.
We have similar labelling conundrums in South Africa. We have the racial slur for black people: "kaffir" (ironically an Arabic word for "infidel")
and that is so insulting nowadays that one would refer to it as the "k" word. Other disputed terms that can be insults or affirmations are
"Afrikaner", "Boer", "Afrikaanses" (for whites) or coloureds and Bushmen (for the "brown" people). The Hottentots and Bushmen amongst the
"brown people" are now called Khoisan. Khoi (herders) and San (hunter-gatheres) are especially popular amongst academics, although the terms were
coined by white anthropologists (see www.sanculture.org.za...
). Moderen hunter-gathering tribes do not identify with "San" at
all, and prefer the term "Bushman". Not only do they claim to love the bush (and the term "soanqua" was once a Khoi term for cattle thief), but
they realize the romantic appeal this has to global support when their lands and rights are threatened - as is currently the case in Botswana. The
!Khomani clans of the southern Kalahari used their tribal loin-cloths to great effect in their public campaigns for land rights. Similarly Native
American dress and historic "Indianism" has had great impact in protest movements. It appears that stereotypes can work for advantage or
disadvantage. Sometimes it seems a feather or hairstyle can act as metonymy or synechdoche for an entire identity.
I'm interested however in how the term "Native American" applies to Latin America. From what I've read the dominant genes amongst Latinos are
"Indian", although the term for mixed or "Meztiso" also applies. The term "Native American" does not seem to translate well to Latin America,
and hardly at all to Amazonia. One does note "indigenous" at times, but there seems to be some regionalism around these definitions. At least for a
complete outsider this seems confusing.
[edit on 21-12-2009 by halfoldman]