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The adjective "indigenous" is used in slightly different, but related, ways depending on one's field of study:

  • In biology, an indigenous species is one that originates in a particular place.
  • In the social sciences, the term is most often used to refer to indigenous peoples. In this context, the word still means "originating in or native to a certain place" but it also carries ethnic and political connotations. Occasionally, the term is used to indicate that a practice or idea originated in a certain place without necessarily referencing indigenous peoples, but this usage is much less common in the more recent literature.