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Let's say we are talking about the indigenous pukapuka who live in Pluto.

What is correct: "the pukapuka people" or "the pukapuka peoples"?

I've read somewhere the usage of "peoples" in this context, and it has surprised me.

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The native peoples of Canada. –  kiamlaluno Sep 3 '10 at 9:37
    
Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples. –  MT_Head Jun 8 '11 at 0:27

2 Answers 2

up vote 23 down vote accepted

"Peoples" means a group of populations. So for example "the native American peoples" means the tribes that were living in America before Columbus. "the pukapuka peoples" would mean "the group of tribes/groups collectively known as pukapuka", whereas "the pukapuka people" would mean "the group of people known as (the) pukapuka (tribe/group/etc.)"

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7  
Right. Person = an individual human being. People= a group of persons. Peoples= a group of such groups. –  T.E.D. Jun 7 '11 at 17:32

"People: Persons composing community, tribe, race, or nation."

OED

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