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tribe, tribal

Be careful using these terms in an African context.

From "Talking About 'Tribe,' " a background paper from Africa Policy Information Center:

For most people in Western countries, Africa immediately calls up the word "tribe." Yet today most scholars who study African states and societies—both African and non-African—agree that the idea of tribes promotes misleading stereotypes. The term "tribe" has no consistent meaning. It carries misleading historical and cultural assumptions. It blocks accurate views of African realities... At worst, it perpetuates the idea that African identities and conflicts are in some way more "primitive" than those in other parts of the world.

For use with Native Americans, see: AMERICAN INDIANS, NORTH AND SOUTH.