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see East IndiesEast Indies,
name formerly used for the Malay Archipelago, but also more restrictively for Indonesia and more widely to include SE Asia. It once referred chiefly to India.
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; West IndiesWest Indies,
archipelago, between North and South America, curving c.2,500 mi (4,020 km) from Florida to the coast of Venezuela and separating the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean.
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a geographic term prevalent in Western Europe in the 14th century under the influence of the Book of Marco Polo, where the names “Great India” and “India” (signifying the peninsula of Hindustan with the Indo-Gangetic Plain), “Small India” (Indochina), and “Middle India” (Ethiopia) are found. Thus, in the 14th and 15th centuries the lands of South and Southeast Asia and a part of East Africa were known as the Indies. After the discovery by Columbus in 1492 of the Antilles, it was mistakenly believed that he had come upon one of the Indies. Columbus himself used the term “Indias” for the first time on Feb. 14, 1493, in referring to the newly discovered transatlantic lands, and he called their inhabitants Indians (indios). In official documents the term was first used in instructions from the throne to Columbus on May 29, 1493. In the 16th century in European literature the terms “East Indies” and “West Indies” established themselves. In official Spanish documents the term “Indies,” as applied to Spain’s American possessions, was used until the end of the War of Independence of the Spanish Colonies in America (1810-26).


Kniga Marko Polo. Moscow, 1955. (Translated from Old French.)
Puteshestviia Kh. Kolumba: Dnevniki, Pis’ma, Dokumenty. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from Spanish.)



1. the territories of S and SE Asia included in the East Indies, India, and Indochina
2. See East Indies
3. See West Indies
References in periodicals archive ?
magazine cover girl Ani DiFranco is the current sensation of the radically indie philosophy in music.
The excitement surrounding the relationship between Salt Lake Comic Con and the Indie Lounge adds an entirely new dimension in what to expect in gifting and entertainment offered at the festival," stated Indie Lounge Producers.
Composing a photo or shooting video is much more intuitive thanks to the indie i5's exclusive "on center" design.
It's just a great idea, and it's really well done,'' said real-estate agent and music aficionado Yvonne O'Connor, 45, of Chatsworth, who catches Indie 103.
The books are winners of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the largest not-for-profit book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors.
Keltie Knight of the entertainment news program, “The Insider” will grace the cover of the fall 2014 print issue of Indie Chick Magazine.
The family announced the death through a Facebook account set up for two-year-old Indie Rose.
They're not as geeky as the other big geek indie bands of the moment but they're not lad indie either.
As the story slowly unfolds, we learn how kind-hearted Indie and her boyfriend Rick have found themselves in an unspeakable mess.
The Drink to the Pink Martini blends together Indie Tea s "Cranberry Boobilicous" tea, cranberry flavored vodka, fresh lime juice and agave nectar.
Chanderpaul (44 not out) and Kemar Roach (16) at least took West Indies past its lowest total at the World Cup before Afridi (4-30) finished off the innings in the 44th over by bowling Ravi Rampaul for 0 to take his tournament-leading tally to 21 wickets.