An cliché, guaranteed to be found in any newspaper article or TV show about indigenous peoples, is the moniker “ancient people”. The idea is that their way of life has remained unchanged for centuries. It is a nice fantasy, but it is almost never true, anthropologist Kerim Friedman writes and summarizes some central points:
We find it amusing that they might listen to rock music and enjoy Hollywood movies. It must all be so strange for them! But it is really strange for us. We need them to be ancient and traditional so that our own alienation can be better comprehended. (...) It is also an important myth for those who self-identify as members of an ancient people.