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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 ?
biz/articles/2017-03-16-apple-ramps-up-its-support-for-indies) GamesIndustry that Apple's championing of indie titles is a clear upside for the industry.
This year's Beauty Awards program aims to level the playing field between indie and more established brands.
The couple met in July 2008, married in May 2012 and bought Indie the following April.
Singer-songwriter Christina Perri is among the supporters of The Indie Chicks, also contributing to the IndieGogo campaign.
Indie overhears the conversation and immediately takes Suzie under her wing, offering friendship, food and - eventually - a home in her parents' spare room.
The new Humble Indie Bundle lets users choose exactly how their purchases are divided: between the developers, the Child's Play Charity or the American Red Cross, or Humble Indie Bundle.
The significance of the race/class debate lies not only in its pertinence to a wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary scholarship on the Indies that encompasses the VOC/early-modern era (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) and the colonial/modern period (nineteenth and twentieth centuries).
The service aims to promote indie music to those unfamiliar with indies by providing opportunities to listen to them.
Queer-themed indie film plays an important part in changing people's hearts and minds and making a real difference to those questioning who they are.
It is divided into three sections: his early success in Canada; working as an indie filmmaker in Manhattan; and making a living in today's California.
Fellow indie Deirdre Davey adds, "It's nice to have a group where you can really be yourself and talk about common issues.
In the record field, many big labels create new subsidiaries to try to seem indie, emulating cheap-looking ad and promotion techniques that indies use out of financial necessity.