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Critics of this movement, including some indigenous peoples, may regard leavers as interlopers or pirates of native culture, or seeking to dilute native sovereignty or threaten regard for native culture in general. Other critics believe that "new tribalists" are not mimicking indigenous peoples but rather mimicking their own fantasies or modern memories of them, for credibility or publicity or otherwise. Still others criticize the the degree to which new tribalists exploit modern technologies.
Historians and anthropologists who study Nearctic and Neotropic peoples are divided. Almost all are very sympathetic to the situation of indigenous peoples, and admire their cultures to varying degrees. Many of these scholars, in the Rousseauian tradition, prefer these societies to European societies of the same period (possibly due to the self-selection of these same historians but just as possibly due to a relatively deep need for stable social support beyond the family). Other scholars criticize this attitude as a form of romanticism that distorts the cultures and situations of indigenous peoples.
An important expression of this movement is the trend towards modern eco-villages. Ecoregional Democracy and peace movement advocates are also often new tribalists as well, as the groups share common ideals.