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Thread: Evaluation of the Ethnic Composition in the Population of Argentine

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    Post Re: Evaluation of the Ethnic Composition in the Population of Argentine

    Hum Biol. 2004 Aug;76(4):543-57. Related Articles, Links


    Characterization of admixture in an urban sample from Buenos Aires, Argentina, using uniparentally and biparentally inherited genetic markers.

    Martinez Marignac VL, Bertoni B, Parra EJ, Bianchi NO.

    Multidisciplinary Institute of Cell Biology, Department of Population Molecular Genetics, La Plata, CP 1900, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    In this study we analyzed a sample of the urban population of La Plata, Argentina, using 17 mtDNA haplogroups, the DYS 199 Y-chromosome polymorphism, and 5 autosomal population-associated alleles (PAAs). The contribution of native American maternal lineages to the population of La Plata was estimated as 45.6%, whereas the paternal contribution was much lower (10.6%), clearly indicating directional mating. Regarding autosomal evidence of admixture, the relative European, native American, and West African genetic contributions to the gene pool of La Plata were estimated to be 67.55% (+/-2.7), 25.9% (+/-4.3), and 6.5% (+/-6.4), respectively. When admixture was calculated at the individual level, we found a low correlation between the ancestral contribution estimated with uniparental lineages and autosomal markers. Most of the individuals from La Plata with a native American mtDNA haplogroup or the DYS199*T native American allele show a genetic contribution at the autosomal level that can be traced primarily to Europe. The results of this study emphasize the need to use both uniparentally and biparentally inherited genetic markers to understand the history of admixed populations.

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    Exclamation Re: Evaluation of the Ethnic Composition in the Population of Argentine

    Euclides, do you have a link for that study? I wasn't aware that such a study was made in my home city, and it's been more than 2 months already!


    Well, as a matter of fact, one of Argentina's most important newspapers, Clarín, published an article once on a study about Argentina's gene pool. I don't have a link for that, but i think it was from late January or February. I'll try to look into the older editions someday. The thing is that when i read it, i found the article to be distorted (not surprising coming from such newspaper...). Also, after reading it, i tried to find a source for the study but i didn't find anything related to it on the web.
    All in all, making the whole issue very suspicious to me...



    I'll be grateful if you could provide any source for the study you've mentioned before.
    Last edited by ÅnÐReS; Sunday, May 29th, 2005 at 06:20 AM.

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    Re: Evaluation of the Ethnic Composition in the Population of Argentine

    Am J Phys Anthropol. 2006 Dec 18


    Argentine population genetic structure: Large variance in Amerindian contribution.

    Seldin MF, Tian C, Shigeta R, Scherbarth HR, Silva G, Belmont JW, Kittles R, Gamron S, Allevi A, Palatnik SA, Alvarellos A, Paira S, Caprarulo C, Guilleron C, Catoggio LJ, Prigione C, Berbotto GA, Garcia MA, Perandones CE, Pons-Estel BA, Alarcon-Riquelme ME.
    Rowe Program in Human Genetics, Departments of Biological Chemistry and Medicine, University of California Davis, Davis, CA.

    Argentine population genetic structure was examined using a set of 78 ancestry informative markers (AIMs) to assess the contributions of European, Amerindian, and African ancestry in 94 individuals members of this population. Using the Bayesian clustering algorithm STRUCTURE, the mean European contribution was 78%, the Amerindian contribution was 19.4%, and the African contribution was 2.5%. Similar results were found using weighted least mean square method: European, 80.2%; Amerindian, 18.1%; and African, 1.7%. Consistent with previous studies the current results showed very few individuals (four of 94) with greater than 10% African admixture. Notably, when individual admixture was examined, the Amerindian and European admixture showed a very large variance and individual Amerindian contribution ranged from 1.5 to 84.5% in the 94 individual Argentine subjects. These results indicate that admixture must be considered when clinical epidemiology or case control genetic analyses are studied in this population. Moreover, the current study provides a set of informative SNPs that can be used to ascertain or control for this potentially hidden stratification. In addition, the large variance in admixture proportions in individual Argentine subjects shown by this study suggests that this population is appropriate for future admixture mapping studies. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2007. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


    Title: American journal of physical anthropology
    ISSN: 0002-9483 (Print)
    1096-8644 (Electronic)
    Title Abbreviation: Am J Phys Anthropol
    ISO Abbreviation: Am. J. Phys. Anthropol.
    Publication Start Year: 1918
    Publisher: Wiley-Liss
    Language: English
    Country: United States
    Subject Term(s): Anthropology
    NLM ID: 0400654

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    Re: Evaluation of the Ethnic Composition in the Population of Argentine

    Quote Originally Posted by ÅnÐReS View Post
    Euclides, do you have a link for that study? I wasn't aware that such a study was made in my home city, and it's been more than 2 months already!
    Well, as a matter of fact, one of Argentina's most important newspapers, Clarín, published an article once on a study about Argentina's gene pool. I don't have a link for that, but i think it was from late January or February. I'll try to look into the older editions someday. The thing is that when i read it, i found the article to be distorted (not surprising coming from such newspaper...). Also, after reading it, i tried to find a source for the study but i didn't find anything related to it on the web.
    All in all, making the whole issue very suspicious to me...
    I'll be grateful if you could provide any source for the study you've mentioned before.

    source is Hum Biol. 2004 Aug;76(4):543-57

    http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/human_b...c/hub76.4.html

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    Re: Evaluation of the Ethnic Composition in the Population of Argentine

    This debate points out really well how "white" as an anthropological term is outdated. According to the original use Jefferson made of this word, Anglo-Saxons and the lightest european continental individuals would be white, period. For sure, 95% of Argentina would not.

    This said, except small culturally isolated communities, most argentinians have Amerind blood. I feel in latinos a similar feeling than in many Eastern Europeans, the urge of being accepted as "whites" or "Europeans (a much reasonable claim)". Your people and cultures are the borders of the great Europe, with significant amount of non-europid blood. Develop your own way of life, focus on your European roots if you wish, but stop worrying about whiteness. Stop justify yourself, simply be yourself.
    "The heavenly motions... are nothing but a continuous song for several voices, perceived not by the ear but by the intellect,
    a figured music which sets landmarks
    in the immeasurable flow of time."

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    Re: Evaluation of the Ethnic Composition in the Population of Argentin

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
    This debate points out really well how "white" as an anthropological term is outdated. According to the original use Jefferson made of this word, Anglo-Saxons and the lightest european continental individuals would be white, period. For sure, 95% of Argentina would not.
    Well, you've got a point there. The definition of whiteness is quite vague and some Colonial Americans such as Franklin (whom I quote) are known to have been quite extreme:

    The number of purely white people in the world is propotionately very small. All Africa is black or tawny; Asia chiefly tawny; America (exclusive of the newcomers) wholly so. And in Europe the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes are generally of what we call a swarthy complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English make the principal body of white people on the face of the earth. I would wish their numbers were increased...But perhaps I am partial to the complexion of my country, for such kind of partiality is natural to mankind.

    This said, except small culturally isolated communities, most argentinians have Amerind blood.
    Well, while I agree that a large portion, if not over 50%, of the country has Amerindian blood to varying degrees, those "isolated communities" are:

    a) not so isolated
    b) not so small

    Actually, the Argentinian society is mostly a non segregated yet heterogenous mix where you can find fully Europid individuals living next to swarthy mestizos. Plus, there's another problem when we talk about Argentina: immigration. An enormous number of "Argentinians" are second generation Paraguayans, Bolivians or Peruvians, who are now "Argies" and are in fact changing the face of my country. I personally find them completely alien, in the same way a Frenchman might not feel any relation to his sub-saharan neighbor, a French citizen as well.


    I feel in latinos a similar feeling than in many Eastern Europeans, the urge of being accepted as "whites" or "Europeans (a much reasonable claim)". Your people and cultures are the borders of the great Europe, with significant amount of non-europid blood. Develop your own way of life, focus on your European roots if you wish, but stop worrying about whiteness. Stop justify yourself, simply be yourself.
    Hmm, "latinos"... what a bloody generalizing term, eh? Honestly, if you bag in quite varied, heterogenous societies with, say Peru and Mexico (less diverse, overwhelmingly mixed), then I don't agree with you. Plus, you are labelling as "latinos" plainly European individuals who instead of going to North America or Australia headed towards the Southern cone. Ok, a Swiss Argentinean surely has many more things in common with a Mexican than with an actual European. Hey, if both of them were born south of Texas then they have got to be of the same kind! Yes, what you said pissed me off; I felt like you were denigrating many of my countrymen's European heritage by putting us next to people who have, both racially and culturally, little in common with Europe or North America, let alone ourselves!
    On the other hand, that apparent inferiority complex you refer to does indeed seem to be present in many of those who hail from the places you've mentioned, even some of those "latinos". But also consider that the rest of us, by holding to our roots, try to be ourselves. So, should those of European descent who live surrounded by people of mixed origins give in, surrender and forget were they've come from, forsake the history and traditions of their forefathers and be assimilated by an alien people, a foreign culture? I guess you wouldn't agree to that.
    I should also add that the proportion of Amerindian blood present in many of these Argentinians is similar to the admixture levels in many white Canadians and more than just a handful of white Americans. What did I sense from your post? Double standards.

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    Re: Evaluation of the Ethnic Composition in the Population of Argentin

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Jarl View Post
    Hmm, "latinos"... what a bloody generalizing term, eh? Honestly, if you bag in quite varied, heterogenous societies with, say Peru and Mexico (less diverse, overwhelmingly mixed), then I don't agree with you. Plus, you are labelling as "latinos" plainly European individuals who instead of going to North America or Australia headed towards the Southern cone. Ok, a Swiss Argentinean surely has many more things in common with a Mexican than with an actual European. Hey, if both of them were born south of Texas then they have got to be of the same kind! Yes, what you said pissed me off; I felt like you were denigrating many of my countrymen's European heritage by putting us next to people who have, both racially and culturally, little in common with Europe or North America, let alone ourselves!
    On the other hand, that apparent inferiority complex you refer to does indeed seem to be present in many of those who hail from the places you've mentioned, even some of those "latinos". But also consider that the rest of us, by holding to our roots, try to be ourselves. So, should those of European descent who live surrounded by people of mixed origins give in, surrender and forget were they've come from, forsake the history and traditions of their forefathers and be assimilated by an alien people, a foreign culture? I guess you wouldn't agree to that.
    I should also add that the proportion of Amerindian blood present in many of these Argentinians is similar to the admixture levels in many white Canadians and more than just a handful of white Americans. What did I sense from your post? Double standards.
    Your post looks like an answer to an attack, which never took place. I wrote my post having in mind a general view of Suramerica populations (which I saw in my trip in Paraguay and Brazil, BTW I met various "white" people there too). Let's be realistic one minute. You give me an argument with your post, which should prevent little reprisals at the end about North Americans. Argentina, and more or so in other parts of Suramerica, have no clear policy of segregation and, correct me if I'm mistaken, never had recently. This obviously led to a lot of admixture with Amerind, which never took place in N-Am because of
    1) Intensive wars against Natives to kill them and take their lands
    2) Indian reserves in which they are pretty much trapped

    The most "folkish" you get in SA, the more Amerind blood there will be in lower social stratas. This is sad but true, so it's hard for a European from either Europe or North-America to take a look at your continent and witness other things than a mixed population with various, among others, european roots.

    You and probably many of your friends are no "métis", but keep in mind that you're not the majority, even in Argentina. Of course I would not like you to be assimilated in an "alien" culture, but if you don't want so leave Argentina and South America because this continent must appear to you, by essence, "foreign".

    Sorry if I offended you (I never wished that): if I sound harsh, it's because I hate nothing more than complaisance
    "The heavenly motions... are nothing but a continuous song for several voices, perceived not by the ear but by the intellect,
    a figured music which sets landmarks
    in the immeasurable flow of time."

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    Re: Evaluation of the Ethnic Composition in the Population of Argentin

    """"Argentine population genetic structure: Large variance in Amerindian contribution.

    Seldin MF, Tian C, Shigeta R, Scherbarth HR, Silva G, Belmont JW, Kittles R, Gamron S, Allevi A, Palatnik SA, Alvarellos A, Paira S, Caprarulo C, Guilleron C, Catoggio LJ, Prigione C, Berbotto GA, Garcia MA, Perandones CE, Pons-Estel BA, Alarcon-Riquelme ME.
    Rowe Program in Human Genetics, Departments of Biological Chemistry and Medicine, University of California Davis, Davis, CA.

    Argentine population genetic structure was examined using a set of 78 ancestry informative markers (AIMs) to assess the contributions of European, Amerindian, and African ancestry in 94 individuals members of this population. Using the Bayesian clustering algorithm STRUCTURE, the mean European contribution was 78%, the Amerindian contribution was 19.4%, and the African contribution was 2.5%. Similar results were found using weighted least mean square method: European, 80.2%; Amerindian, 18.1%; and African, 1.7%."""



    I probably agree with the fact that the country is today around 75% european and that the official numbers (90%) are out of date. Tho they were true only three decades ago. Unluckily the report doesn't mention that 10% of our population are immigrants. Mostly from Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru with a few of Brazil. And that Peruvians and Bolivians are practically amerindians, and the Paraguayan are either amerindian or mixed race. I don't kow official numbers of 2nd generation immigrants but they surely are other 10% specially having in mind that their birth rate is unbelievable. I went to a school that was 50% Bolivian, Paraguaya and Peruvian.
    Your post looks like an answer to an attack, which never took place. I wrote my post having in mind a general view of Suramerica populations (which I saw in my trip in Paraguay and Brazil, BTW I met various "white" people there too).
    ok, that was a bit harsh. Are you comparing our country with Brazil a country that is half African? and with Paraguay a country that was pretty much a mixture of the big amount of natives in that country with Spanish conqueers and few isolated collectivities of europeans that toguether never were at most half of the population which led to a country similar to Mexico???



    This obviously led to a lot of admixture with Amerind, which never took place in N-Am because of
    First, that's not true at all. white americans are on averge 3,5% amerindians and almopst 1% african american (http://racialreality.shorturl.com/). Which means of course that many were Europeans and others were as much as 20% non-europeans, just like in this report. But note that the Argentine research was made to the complete population even when about 20% wouldn't be consider europeans, this was made to the people consider white by American standars and that was the result could you imagine a research of the complete population that is about as white as Argentina (both around 70-75%) ? What would be the result if you include all the whites, local amerindiansa and Mexicans? Probably much worst indeed.

    This obviously led to a lot of admixture with Amerind, which never took place in N-Am because of
    1) Intensive wars against Natives to kill them and take their lands
    2) Indian reserves in which they are pretty much trapped
    Both things happen in argentina too, more tribes here were nomads and savage besides the "fortines" (points were the europeans fought against the nomad tribes to gain territory), there were several wars and expeditions to finish with the savages that on the other hand eventually atacked the colonist. Probably one of the most important were the several expeditions called Conquest of the Desert (a campaign of genocide waged by the Argentine government, executed mainly in the 1870s, to wrest the control of the region's aboriginal tribes at the end of the 19th century.) exterminated the remaining indigenous tribes throughout the southern Pampas and Patagonia.[4].
    After the conquest the land was given to the immigrants and colonist. The most numerous and important cities in the south pampas and in the south, are now Bariloche (founded by Austrians and Germans immigrants), Trelew and Rawson (both cities founded by Welsh colonist). The same with lot of citis and towns around the country. Most of the lands were given to immigrants.

    Indian reserves existed here of course too, since the 18th century, according to the last census, stands at approximately 318,700 people (0.8 percent of the total population), most of them affiliated to reservations (http://www.indec.mecon.ar/webcenso/ECPI/). Then add the fact that there was always a minority of local mixed people (always estimated in around 5-7, at most 10% of the population tho in this last case counted with other nonwhite groups or minorities along with the asians that are around 1,5% of the population tho they were only 0,7% in the last census, because of the wave of Koreans and Chinese to the country in the las decade). But again if you count the enormous number of practically amerindian people we are receiving (2 millions only counting the illegals) then the number 18% of amerindians makes perfect sense.

    But now i wonder isn't the number similar in the US having in mind the insignificant but present amerindian blood in many of the"white americans", the fact that is 13% mexican and and that it's own amerindian people is according to the last census 2,5% of the population?

    Isn't that percentage (18%) at least almost similar in Canada if you have in mind that amerindians are almost 4% of the population and metis (mestizos, mix raced Canadians) are estimated in 700000 in a country (http://www12.statcan.ca/english/cens...or/groups2.cfm) of 20 millions?.



    Of course I would not like you to be assimilated in an "alien" culture, but if you don't want so leave Argentina and South America because this continent must appear to you, by essence, "foreign".


    If you read what he said was that now everyday more we have more and more people of noneuropean origin coming to the country, and it's ruined the old and only culture that the country ever has since the Argentina is Argentina (150 years ago). We are hearing everyday more and more subtropicak music from the immigrants that bring their ugly music their spicy food are cooking in the streets!!!. They are dirty and a long etc...
    And many Argentinians specially the poors that live along with the immigants but even most of the youth population (youth middle class children) think that this foreign culture belong them somehow.

    this continent must appear to you, by essence, "foreign".

    What the continen (subcontinent to be exact) has to do with the people and culture of one country? you are generalizing the most diverse place on earth like the Americas. Mexico is part of North America would you move outof Canda because of the continent were you are has a country full of amerindians?



    You can know even start to compare histories of countrioes i n the Americas (this said by someone who has studied and is study history at college a lot).
    Argentina was the country that received the largest amount of immigrants during the 19th and early 20th century in comparison to its previous population in the world!. Population at the begginig of the 19th century in Argentina was aprox 400,000 made up by Spanish colonists, some other European immigrants, gauchos (sons of spanish with some amerindian) who were given two choices go with the indians to the desert or work for the government killing the indians who hunted in the desert lands without permissions killing cows and horses of the families in the pampas. (http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum...0.01.06.x.html)
    With the immigration waves during mostly during 1850-1945 the country received millions of immigrants, 9 millions in a country of less than half a million. (http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum...0.01.06.x.html) At one point, nearly 75 percent of porteños (the standard nickname for a resident of Buenos Aires) were foreign-born. (http://www.travelandleisure.com/arti...s-steps-it-up). The origin of these millions immigarnts was Italian (initially from Piedmont, Veneto and Lombardy, later from Campania and Calabria), Spain (foremost among them ethnic Galicians and Basques), and France (mostly to Buenos Aires and Mendoza). Smaller but significant numbers of immigrants came from Germany and Switzerland (in the so-called Lakes Region of Patagonia; and in Córdoba), Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden), Greece,the United Kingdom and Ireland (to Buenos Aires, Santa Fé, and Patagonia), and Portugal. Eastern Europeans were also numerous, from Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Lithuania, as well as Balkan countries (Croatia and Montenegro, particularly in Chaco). And the patagonian Chubut Valley has a significant Welsh-descended population. Smaller waves of settlers from Australia, South Africa and the United States are recorded in Argentine immigration records. (http://www.feditalia.org.ar/arg/fede...#Demographics).
    From these mixture of cultures and ethnics is where our culture emerge. it's not foreigner our culture as you say, the only foreigner thing are the immigarnts arriving in the last decades... (here i found a brief review of Argentine customs http://cometoargentina.tripod.com/id6.html)

    I hope you can get a good close to Argentine culture with this article i think it show the Argentine spirit and everyday culture (in his up and downs lol what you argentinians think? lol) seeing through the eyes of an American journalist quite well, since you haven't visiting (unfortunately).
    http://www.travelandleisure.com/arti...es-steps-it-up

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    Re: Evaluation of the Ethnic Composition in the Population of Argentin

    Quote Originally Posted by Here View Post
    """"

    ok, that was a bit harsh. Are you comparing our country with Brazil a country that is half African? and with Paraguay a country that was pretty much a mixture of the big amount of natives in that country with Spanish conqueers and few isolated collectivities of europeans that toguether never were at most half of the population which led to a country similar to Mexico???
    What it´s interesting about the Ethnic comparison between Brazil and Argentina is that ethnic variance is higher in the first.Congoid presence in Argentina is so small that is almost not considered.In Brazil you will find more blacks , but more whites too.

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    Re: Evaluation of the Ethnic Composition in the Population of Argentin

    When songstress Josephine Baker visited Argentina in the 1950s she asked the biracial minister of public health Ramon Carillo, "Where are the Negroes?" to which Carillo responded laughing, "There are only two — you and I."

    Scholars have long pondered the "disappearance" of people of African descent from Argentina, long considered South America's "whitest" nation. A 1973 article in Ebony asked, "what happened to Argentina's involuntary immigrants, those African slaves and their mulatto descendants who once outnumbered whites five to one, and who were for 250 years 'an important element' in the total population, which is now 97 percent white?"

    One history book calls the country's lack of self-identifying black people "one of the most intriguing riddles in Argentine history," while another notes that "the disappearance of the Negro from the Argentine scene has puzzled demographers far more than the vanishing Indian." Was the Afro-Argentine community annihilated by disease and war, or absorbed into the larger white community?

    Of course, whiteness itself is relative. Many Argentines who proudly consider themselves white come to America and are shocked to find that in American racial discourse they are considered "Latino," "Hispanic" or vaguely "Spanish," and not white. Says Paula Brufman, an Argentine law student and researcher, "Argentines like to think of themselves as a white nation populated by Europeans. I was surprised when in the US, people — especially Latinos — told me I was not white but Spanish."

    Today in Argentina, there is a growing interest in the country's African past and Afro community, "la comunidad Afro," as it's called. The past decade has seen black clubhouses, religious institutions and dance clubs crop up in the capital, Buenos Aires. A group called Africa Vive (Africa Lives), made up of Afro-Argentines, has spearheaded the campaign to raise awareness of the country's Afro-culture and history. At the Durban UN Conference on Racism, Africa Vive presented a widely circulated study about the socio-economic situation of Afro-Argentines. The report documented the high unemployment and difficulties with naturalization that many blacks in Argentina encounter.

    "Minorities in Argentina — indigenous, Afro, etcetera — suffer from a problem of invisibility and poor organization," says Mercedes Boschi of the Buenos Aires City's Human Rights Commission, who worked with Africa Vive on the aforementioned report, as part of the municipal government's "Right to Identity" initiative.

    So, how many people in Argentina today can claim African ancestry? The numbers are themselves difficult to calculate, says Alejandro Frigerio, an anthropologist at the Universidad Catolica de Buenos Aires. "People of mixed ancestry are often not considered black in Argentina, historically, because having black ancestry was not considered proper. Today the term 'negro' is used loosely on anyone with slightly darker skin, but they can be descendants of indigenous Indians, Middle Eastern immigrants. People in Africa Vive say there are a million 'afrodescendientes' in Argentina. Although many people are not aware that they may have had a black great-grandmother or -father, I think that this is an overestimation. I would estimate that there are 2 or 3 thousand Afro-Argentines, descendants of slaves, 'negros criollos,' 8 to 10 thousand in the Cape Verdean community, most born in Argentina, and I'd add another 1,200 Brazilian, Uruguayan, Cuban and African communities."

    Created in 1996, Africa Vive has reached out to Afro-Argentine leaders with the aim of creating an organization that can battle poverty in Afro-Latino communities. It has single-handedly brought media and the mainstream's attention to the plight and legacy of Afro-Argentines.

    "Different groups have emerged, including Grupo Cultural Afro and SOS Racismo, but Africa Vive is probably the most important group that has rekindled interest in things African in Argentina," says Frigerio. "It is the main group composed of Afro-Argentines, descendants of the original Afro-Argentine population. Africa Vive has successfully drawn the media's attention — they organized a conference against discrimination at the University of Buenos Aires in 1999, and were written up in an eight-page article in the daily Clarin. The article was significant because for the first time in almost thirty years, the term 'Afro-Argentine community' was used, instead of 'black' community."

    Frigerio continues: "Last September, these black groups, led by Africa Vive, convinced a national deputy to organize a ceremony in memory of black soldiers who died fighting for Argentina's independence. The event took place in one of the traditional halls of the National Congress and was attended by the commander-in-chief of the army and the head of state. The national deputy spoke in honor of the fallen black soldiers and then awarded honorary degrees to the heads of several black organizations. It was quite remarkable that such an event could take place in Argentina."

    War heroism, in fact, is one reason Argentina lags so far behind in recognizing its people of African descent. Even after the official abolition of slavery, many blacks were still slaves and were granted manumission only by fighting in Argentina's wars, serving disproportionately in the war of independence against Spanish rule and border wars against Paraguay from 1865 to 1870. Blacks were also granted their freedom if they joined the army, but they were deliberately placed on the front line and used as cannon fodder. Historian Ysabelle Rennie notes that the government deliberately placed as many blacks as possible in "dangerous military service" and were sent into batte, "where they got killed off fighting Indians (another race Argentines were interested in exterminating.)"

    Argentine sociologist Gino Germani chalks up the "disappearance" to racist immigration policies, saying that the nation's "primary and explicit objective" was to "modify substantially the composition of the population," to "Europeanize the Argentine population, produce a regeneration of races." Marvin A. Lewis, author of Afro-Argentine Discourse: Another Dimension of the Black Diaspora, concurs, saying that "there was an official, concerted effort to eliminate the blacks from Argentine society."

    Many have argued that people of African descent simply "disappeared" by mingling into the waves of thousand of European immigrants. Argentine historian Mariano Bosch wrote in 1941 that Italian men had "perhaps an atavistic preference for black women: body odor led them to matrimony and the blacks accepted them as whites," or rather, "almost whites, because the Italian has much African in him, and his color is a dull pale."

    "There is a silence about the participation of Afro-Argentines in the history and building of Argentina, a silence about the enslavement and poverty," adds Paula Brufman. "The denial and disdain for the Afro community shows the racism of an elite that sees Africans as undeveloped and uncivilized....The poverty in the Afro community was terrible. Although slavery was abolished in 1813, the death rate of freed blacks was always higher than that of white people and of slaves. Why is that? Because in Buenos Aires, slaves were very expensive, so the masters took real good care of them. Once a black got his freedom, his living standards collapsed even further."

    The past few years, however, have seen a growing interest among young Argentines of all backgrounds in Afro-Argentine culture — in tango, the dance and music with such strong West African roots, and other dances such the milonga, the zamba and the malambo. For this, many thank immigrants from other parts of South America.

    "Afro-Uruguayan and Afro-Brazilian migrants to Buenos Aires have been instrumental in expanding black culture — teaching Afro-Uruguayan candombe, Afro-Brazilian capoeira, orisha and secular dances to white Argentines," says Frigerio, who has written of various Afro-Argentine cultural movements, including dancing saloons owned by blacks, carnival societies and black newspapers. One such dancing saloon, "The Shimmy Club," was founded in 1922 and lasted until 1974.

    Frigerio believes the newfound interest in Afro-Argentine culture is not only the result of immigration but also of a new state policy. In the 1970s and '80s, Argentina was ruled by a succession of military juntas who suppressed and almost eradicated black culture. "The military dictatorships from 1966 onwards prohibited or severely constrained the gathering of people in the street or in closed spaces — a practice which certainly negatively influenced carnivals, which almost disappeared; tango dancing, which died out until it was revitalized in the 1990s; and also black dance clubs such as The Shimmy Club. All genres of popular culture severely suffered during the dictatorships and many almost disappeared, but began resurfacing in the 1990s."

    Still, he cautions against too much optimism regarding race in Argentina. "The new laws and institutes help celebrate ethnic diversity and help groups like Africa Vive emerge and operate," Frigerio says, "but they have not undermined the dominant national narrative of racial homogeneity and whiteness." While the racial situation is much better today than it was half a century ago — when a review of Josephine Baker's performance wrote of her "monkey rhythm" — Frigerio says that "today blacks are more exoticized than stigmatized.... What scholar Livio Sansone said of Brazil, we can say of Argentina: there are hard and soft areas of racism, or areas in which it may be advantageous or disadvantageous to be black. In Buenos Aires, being black is advantageous in finding a girl/boyfriend, but less so for finding a job, unless the person is a musician or dance professor."


    source: http://blackvoices.aol.com/

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