June 2nd, 2008

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Autochthonous

 

autochthonous \aw-TOK-thuh-nuhs\, adjective:

1. Aboriginal; indigenous; native.

2. Formed or originating in the place where found.

 

Autochthonous derives from Greek autochthon, "of or from the earth or land itself," from auto-, "self" + chthon, "earth." One that is autochthonous is an autochthon.

 

For cultures are not monoliths. They are fragmentary, patchworks of autochthonous and foreign elements.

-- Anthony Pagden, "Culture Wars", The New Republic, November 16, 1998