where did Indians come from ?

Did Indians come from central asia as aryans or are they native to the Indian sub continent.
Also where did American Indians come from?Are they native to the Americas?

“Indians” are generally believed to be descended from the Kurgan peoples of north/west/central Asia (the Caucasus, east through Kazakhstan), as are modern Europeans. There are other groups dotted around the subcontinent who have slightly different possible ancestry; in the south, particularly on the coast, Arab sailors settled or blended into the populace, just as several Arab states (particularly Oman) have ancient Indian communities.

American Indians migrated across what is now the Bering Strait between 40k and 10k years ago, depending on who you believe, and followed a few possible routes through retreating glaciers.

Several people (Tamerlane?) should be along shortly to provide much more in-depth coverage.

Thankyou for that wonderful reply Dutchboy208.I really appreciate it.

No, no, no Dutchboy, do not confuse linguistically related groups with genetically related groups. Looking at India linguistically you see that in the north languages of the Indo-European (formelry known as the Ayran family and indeed the name Ayran means ‘nobleman’/‘ruler’ in one of the North Indian members of this family) family predominate, but in the South India languages of the Dravidian family dominate, however this is NOT necessarily a good guide to the ethnic origins of the people of that region.

To further add the introduction of Indo-European languages to the region is thought to of happened when nomadic Indo-European speaking tribes conquered and ruled over parts of Northern India after migrating from their northerly homes.

And in the south of India, there are Australoid peoples.

Can you tell me more abt the “Australoid” connection.:confused: This the first time in my life I have heard abt this .:smack:


You should perhaps try looking into the work of Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, who is leading avery large program to compare the tree of languages with the tree of population genetics.


The people of Bengal are thought to be largely of Dravidian descent, although they speak an Indo-Aryan language. In classical Sanskrit geography, Gujarat was classified as a “Dravida” region, even though Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language. Recent research in linguistic prehistory has confirmed that Gujarat was indeed a Dravidian-speaking region prior to the people’s adopting an Indo-Aryan language. See “Reconstructing Social Context from Language: Indo-Aryan and Dravidian Prehistory” by Franklin C. Southworth, in The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture, and Ethnicity, edited by George Erdosy (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1995), p. 270.

The Indus Valley civilization was most likely Dravidian-speaking, and what we know today as “India” had its early roots there. What is known as “Hinduism” is the result of blending the Vedic religion of the Aryan influx with the indigenous religion of the Dravidian-speaking inhabitants.

The Indo-Aryan languages (Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu, etc.) are a subbranch of the Indo-Iranian languages, related to Iranian languages like Persian, Kurdish, and Pashto.

The Indo-Iranian languages probably originated somewhere east of the Caspian Sea (present-day Türkmenistan). The speakers of the Iranian branch of these languages moved into Iran, which had been inhabited by earlier non-Aryan populations, such as the Elamites, whose language was related to Dravidian. The speakers of the Indo-Aryan branch first showed up in Mesopotamia during the Mitanni kingdom, but then moved into India, where they interacted in various ways with the earlier Dravidian-speaking populations.

just to add to Jomo Mojo’s post…

There are currently two main competing hypotheses on how India was first populated. Both presume that the original population were associated with Austro-Asiatic speaking groups, who are today in India represented by small minority groups in eastern India that are both ethnically Australoid ( most ) and Mongoloid ( some ). One hypothesis is that they entered via a northeast corridor from China, part of a circular Africa>Central Asia>China>India & Southeast Asia ( two-pronged )>Australia path of migration, the other is that entered from the west from Africa, part of a more direct Africa>India>Southeast Asia>Australia migration. The dates for these movements into India probably date to before the last interglacial period, around 65,000-60,000 BP.

The Dravidian-speaking groups appear to have been later migrants from the Middle East, perhaps 8,000-6,000 BP. Approximately the same time ( perhaps just a little later ), Sino-Tibetan speaking groups infiltrated in on the northern fringe. The final entry would have been the Indo-Iranians, maybe 4,000 BP.

  • Tamerlane

Oh, as to the Americas, there are also two main competing hypotheses here ( which need not be mutually exclusive, by the way ).

One is roughly as dutchboy208 suggested, via crossing the Bering Land Bridge ( exposed by glaciation ), some 11,500 years BP. The other ( gaining some ground recently due to the discovery of what might be remains pre-dating the existence of Beringia ), is that settlement derives from cross-Pacific rafting ( i.e. the same way Polynesia was settled ).

  • Tamerlane

Mitochondrial DNA studies also link certain Native American groups to a supposed migration from Polynesia, independent of the Bering migration.

Although, some researchers have suggested that the opposite occured, i.e., Siberian source migrants arrived in the Americas then sailed or rafted west. Although contrary to the prevailing understanding of Pacific currents, the feat has been replicated with kontiki balsa. This would also account for the presence of typically South American plants in Indonesia.

Wandering through again, I should perhaps amend my language slightly to say that modern-day Austro-Asiatic speakers in India are phenotypically both australoid and mongoloid. Not a big deal - One can define ethnicitiy in several different ways, including physical appearance. But since I usually use the term a little differently on these boards, I should probably be more precise with my language in this case.

  • Tamerlane

All that means is that there was trade going on. Heyerdahl’s hypothesis that Peruvian Indians settled polynesia has been debunked through linguistic study of the Austronesian languages (which orignated in South China/Taiwan), and also the fact that most of the culture appears to have headed east, not west (Read up on Lapita culture sometime).

The cross-Pacific rafting hypothesis is pretty far fetched. Are there any credible anthropologists who advocate this? A more realistic scenario is that the pre-Clovis finds are from people who “rafted” down the coast of North America from Siberia and bypassed the glacial barrier that way. During the Ice Age, the sea levels were much lower and what were coastal settlements then would be submerged now.

For the latest in genetic info on the migration of humans around the globe, check out The Journey of Man by Spence Wells. There was a PBS show based on this book recently, although it wasn’t nearly as good as the book itself.

I’m reading a series of articles from various news sources about this subject:

Recently, however, archaeologists have discovered evidence of people reaching South America by 12,500 years ago, well before the ice-free inland corridor would have been passable.

Further, bones were found on Santa Rosa Island (off the coast of California) that supposedly date to 13,000 years old. HOWEVER, another test said they were 11,000 years old.

It makes more sense to me to go by ocean vessel rather than cross the land corridor, which one documentary i’ve seen about this subject said it would have been riddled with dangerous glacier melt rivers, so a coastal journey would have been easier, and probably quicker too.

Quite a few. I gather it is now more or less mainstream to accept at the very least the possibility of minor Australoid incursions into the Americas prior to the last major Mongoloid incursion.


More recently there has been increasing evidence of early cross Atlantic rafting:


The bizarre thing is that I first spotted this when I noticed how some Indian people looked so remarkably like Aboriginal people I’d seen in Australia. I thought it was just a coincidence, then I mentioned it to a friend in Australia, who told me about the link.

Actually *Istara languages of the Austro-Asiatic family aren’t actually spoken on the Austrailian continent. The Aboriginal languages, most of which belong to the Pama-Nyungan family, have not shown to be related to any other languages of the world.

Actually, MC Master of Ceremonies, Pama-Nyungan is a subfamily of the Australian language family:


Australian aboriginal languages are not related to any other languages of the world. (At least, they aren’t related as far back as we’re currently able to trace relationships. It’s likely that all the languages of the world are distantly related, but we just can’t trace the relationships that far back.) However, it does appear that Australian aborigines are genetically related to some of the peoples of India.