Indigenous peoples in Peru, or Native Peruvians, comprise a large number of ethnic groups who inhabit territory in present-day Peru. Indigenous cultures developed here for thousands of years before the arrival of Spaniards in 1532.
In 2017, the 5,972,606 indigenous people formed about 25.7% of the total population of Peru. At the time of the Spanish invasion, the indigenous peoples of the rain forest of the Amazon basin to the east of the Andes were mostly semi-nomadic tribes; they subsisted on hunting, fishing, gathering, and migrant agriculture. Those peoples living in the Andes and to the west were dominated by the Inca Empire, who had a complex, hierarchical civilization. It developed many cities, building major temples and monuments with techniques of highly skilled stonemasonry.
Many of the estimated 2000 nations and tribes present in 1500 died out as a consequence of the Spanish colonization of the Americas, especially due to exposure to Eurasian infectious diseases among the colonists, to which they had acquired no immunity.
Descendants ofindigenous and Spanish unions are considered the mestizo (“mixedrace”) portion of the Peruvian population. All of the Peruvianindigenous groups, such as the Urarina, and even those who liveisolated in the most remote areas of the Amazon rainforest, such asthe Matsés, Matis, and Korubo, have changed their ways of life tosome extent under the influence of European-Peruvian culture. Theyhave adopted the use of firearms and other manufactured items, andtrade goods at a remove from mainstream Peruvian society. However,many indigenous groups work to uphold traditional cultural practicesand identities.