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4 Dec 2021

  • Japanese
  • English (UK)
  • English (US)
  • Spanish (Spain)
Question about English (US)

Does "Indian" in the following context mean native American or "indio"? The text is from a novel written in the 80's and the place here is New Mexico. Joe Sanchez is not Mexican but of Spanish descent.

"Sometimes a man called Joe Sanchez comes in. He’s a sports and feature writer. He’s a student, but much older than the boys in my classes, because he is a veteran, here on the GI bill. He tells us about Japan, where he was a medic. He looks like an Indian, has shiny black hair, long, combed in a ducktail."

A few paragraphs later is the following paragraph.

"I mentioned to my roommate Ella that Joe, the reporter, was funny and nice and she said, “Yes, but he’s Mexican.” He’s not from Mexico, that’s what they call anybody of Spanish descent here."

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