Indian, Native or Native American are the names given to the inhabitants of the New World before the arrival of the Europeans, and their present descendants. The most accepted (questionable) hypothesis for its origin is that the first inhabitants of America came from Asia, crossing the Strait of Bering at the end of the ice age 12,000 years ago.
The term "Indian" stems from the fact that Christopher Columbus, when he arrived in America, was convinced that he had arrived in India, since the Spanish gentile for the native person of India is Indian (Indian), and so called the Indigenous people who found it there. For this reason also, it still refers to the Caribbean islands as the West Indies.
Later, these people were considered a distinct breed and were also dubbed red skins. The term Amerindian is used to designate the natives of the American continent, replacing the words "Indians", "Indigenous" and others considered prejudiced.