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Thread: Racial classifications in Latin America

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    Racial classifications in Latin America

    The following classifications were instituted in Mexico under Spanish rule:

    1. Mestizo: Spanish father and Indian mother
    2. Castizo: Spanish father and Mestizo mother
    3. Espomolo: Spanish mother and Castizo father
    4. Mulatto: Spanish and black African
    5. Moor: Spanish and Mulatto
    6. Albino: Spanish father and Moor mother
    7. Throwback: Spanish father and Albino mother
    8. Wolf: Throwback father and Indian mother
    9. Zambiago: Wolf father and Indian mother
    10. Cambujo: Zambiago father and Indian mother
    11. Alvarazado: Cambujo father and Mulatto mother
    12. Borquino: Alvarazado father and Mulatto mother
    13. Coyote: Borquino father and Mulatto mother
    14. Chamizo: Coyote father and Mulatto mother
    15. Coyote-Mestizo: Cahmizo father and Mestizo mother
    16. Ahi Tan Estas: Coyote-Mestizo father and Mulatto mother

    Brazil:

    In 1976, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) conducted a study to ask people to identify their own skin color. Here are the 134 terms, listed in alphabetical order; curious classifications indeed


    1. Acastanhada (cashewlike tint; caramel colored)
    2. Agalegada
    3. Alva (pure white)
    4. Alva-escura (dark or off-white)
    5. Alverenta (or aliviero, "shadow in the water")
    6. Alvarinta (tinted or bleached white)
    7. Alva-rosada (or jamote, roseate, white with pink highlights)
    8. Alvinha (bleached; white-washed)
    9. Amarela (yellow)
    10. Amarelada (yellowish)
    11. Amarela-quemada (burnt yellow or ochre)
    12. Amarelosa (yellowed)
    13. Amorenada (tannish)
    14. Avermelhada (reddish, with blood vessels showing through the skin)
    15. Azul (bluish)
    16. Azul-marinho (deep bluish)
    17. Baiano (ebony)
    18. Bem-branca (very white)
    19. Bem-clara (translucent)
    20. Bem-morena (very dusky)
    21. Branca (white)
    22. Branca-avermelhada (peach white)
    23. Branca-melada (honey toned)
    24. Branca-morena (darkish white)
    25. Branca-pálida (pallid)
    26. Branca-queimada (sunburned white)
    27. Branca-sardenta (white with brown spots)
    28. Branca-suja (dirty white)
    29. Branquiça (a white variation)
    30. Branquinha (whitish)
    31. Bronze (bronze)
    32. Bronzeada (bronzed tan)
    33. Bugrezinha-escura (Indian characteristics)
    34. Burro-quanto-foge ("burro running away," implying racial mixture of unknown origin)
    35. Cabocla (mixture of white, Negro and Indian)
    36. Cabo-Verde (black; Cape Verdean)
    37. Café (coffee)
    38. Café-com-leite (coffee with milk)
    39. Canela (cinnamon)
    40. Canelada (tawny)
    41. Castão (thistle colored)
    42. Castanha (cashew)
    43. Castanha-clara (clear, cashewlike)
    44. Castanha-escura (dark, cashewlike)
    45. Chocolate (chocolate brown)
    46. Clara (light)
    47. Clarinha (very light)
    48. Cobre (copper hued)
    49. Corado (ruddy)
    50. Cor-de-café (tint of coffee)
    51. Cor-de-canela (tint of cinnamon)
    52. Cor-de-cuia (tea colored)
    53. Cor-de-leite (milky)
    54. Cor-de-oro (golden)
    55. Cor-de-rosa (pink)
    56. Cor-firma ("no doubt about it")
    57. Crioula (little servant or slave; African)
    58. Encerada (waxy)
    59. Enxofrada (pallid yellow; jaundiced)
    60. Esbranquecimento (mostly white)
    61. Escura (dark)
    62. Escurinha (semidark)
    63. Fogoio (florid; flushed)
    64. Galega (see agalegada above)
    65. Galegada (see agalegada above)
    66. Jambo (like a fruit the deep-red color of a blood orange)
    67. Laranja (orange)
    68. Lilás (lily)
    69. Loira (blond hair and white skin)
    70. Loira-clara (pale blond)
    71. Loura (blond)
    72. Lourinha (flaxen)
    73. Malaia (from Malabar)
    74. Marinheira (dark greyish)
    75. Marrom (brown)
    76. Meio-amerela (mid-yellow)
    77. Meio-branca (mid-white)
    78. Meio-morena (mid-tan)
    79. Meio-preta (mid-Negro)
    80. Melada (honey colored)
    81. Mestiça (mixture of white and Indian)
    82. Miscigenação (mixed --- literally "miscegenated")
    83. Mista (mixed)
    84. Morena (tan)
    85. Morena-bem-chegada (very tan)
    86. Morena-bronzeada (bronzed tan)
    87. Morena-canelada (cinnamonlike brunette)
    88. Morena-castanha (cashewlike tan)
    89. Morena clara (light tan)
    90. Morena-cor-de-canela (cinnamon-hued brunette)
    91. Morena-jambo (dark red)
    92. Morenada (mocha)
    93. Morena-escura (dark tan)
    94. Morena-fechada (very dark, almost mulatta)
    95. Morenão (very dusky tan)
    96. Morena-parda (brown-hued tan)
    97. Morena-roxa (purplish-tan)
    98. Morena-ruiva (reddish-tan)
    99. Morena-trigueira (wheat colored)
    100. Moreninha (toffeelike)
    101. Mulatta (mixture of white and Negro)
    102. Mulatinha (lighter-skinned white-Negro)
    103. Negra (negro)
    104. Negrota (Negro with a corpulent vody)
    105. Pálida (pale)
    106. Paraíba (like the color of marupa wood)
    107. Parda (dark brown)
    108. Parda-clara (lighter-skinned person of mixed race)
    109. Polaca (Polish features; prostitute)
    110. Pouco-clara (not very clear)
    111. Pouco-morena (dusky)
    112. Preta (black)
    113. Pretinha (black of a lighter hue)
    114. Puxa-para-branca (more like a white than a mulatta)
    115. Quase-negra (almost Negro)
    116. Queimada (burnt)
    117. Queimada-de-praia (suntanned)
    118. Queimada-de-sol (sunburned)
    119. Regular (regular; nondescript)
    120. Retinta ("layered" dark skin)
    121. Rosa (roseate)
    122. Rosada (high pink)
    123. Rosa-queimada (burnished rose)
    124. Roxa (purplish)
    125. Ruiva (strawberry blond)
    126. Russo (Russian; see also polaca)
    127. Sapecada (burnished red)
    128. Sarará (mulatta with reddish kinky hair, aquiline nose)
    129. Saraúba (or saraiva: like a white meringue)
    130. Tostada (toasted)
    131. Trigueira (wheat colored)
    132. Turva (opaque)
    133. Verde (greenish)
    134. Vermelha (reddish)

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    Re: Racial classifications in Latin America

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercator
    The following classifications were instituted in Mexico under Spanish rule:
    1. Mestizo: Spanish father and Indian mother
    2. Castizo: Spanish father and Mestizo mother
    3. Espomolo: Spanish mother and Castizo father
    4. Mulatto: Spanish and black African
    5. Moor: Spanish and Mulatto
    6. Albino: Spanish father and Moor mother
    7. Throwback: Spanish father and Albino mother
    8. Wolf: Throwback father and Indian mother
    9. Zambiago: Wolf father and Indian mother
    10. Cambujo: Zambiago father and Indian mother
    11. Alvarazado: Cambujo father and Mulatto mother
    12. Borquino: Alvarazado father and Mulatto mother
    13. Coyote: Borquino father and Mulatto mother
    14. Chamizo: Coyote father and Mulatto mother
    15. Coyote-Mestizo: Cahmizo father and Mestizo mother
    16. Ahi Tan Estas: Coyote-Mestizo father and Mulatto mother
    in other words;

    Fiendishly complicated!

    {{{I link to a hosted image here, but it doesn't always show when I view the thread. Can you all see it?}}}
    Last edited by Oswiu; Wednesday, July 5th, 2006 at 06:36 PM.

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    Re: Racial classifications in Latin America

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercator
    The following classifications were instituted in Mexico under Spanish rule:
    1. Mestizo: Spanish father and Indian mother
    2. Castizo: Spanish father and Mestizo mother
    3. Espomolo: Spanish mother and Castizo father
    4. Mulatto: Spanish and black African
    5. Moor: Spanish and Mulatto
    6. Albino: Spanish father and Moor mother
    7. Throwback: Spanish father and Albino mother
    8. Wolf: Throwback father and Indian mother
    9. Zambiago: Wolf father and Indian mother
    10. Cambujo: Zambiago father and Indian mother
    11. Alvarazado: Cambujo father and Mulatto mother
    12. Borquino: Alvarazado father and Mulatto mother
    13. Coyote: Borquino father and Mulatto mother
    14. Chamizo: Coyote father and Mulatto mother
    15. Coyote-Mestizo: Cahmizo father and Mestizo mother
    16. Ahi Tan Estas: Coyote-Mestizo father and Mulatto mother
    That's interesting. Spain ruled Mexico from 1521 to 1821. This list of classifications includes 14 generations. Now, in my family, 14 generations goes back to 1534 from the present day — that makes a time period quite a bit longer than the time period we're disucssing here. But let's be generous and assume that the generations would average 25 years (a typical assumption made by professional genealogoists). And let's also assume that the first mulatto born in New Spain was born in 1521, at the very start of Spanish rule. That would mean that the first poor Ahí Tan Estás would be born 325 years later in 1846 — after Mexico lost not only the Spanish crown, but also Texas and Alta California.

    Furthermore, going back 14 generations from the Ahí Tan Estás, one would find that 1136 of his 8192 ancestors on that generation are Indian, 3009 of the 8192 would be Black, and 4047 of the 8192 would be Spanish. That looks close enough to 1/8, 3/8, and 1/2 to be indistinghuishable to me. There would be no way of telling the difference (without the benefit of a 14-degree pedigree) between an Ahí Tan Estás and the child of a Castizo father and a mother who's a Mulatto-Black cross.

    Also, I suspect that most of the people that this classification scheme calls Wolves would probably be widely accepted as Mestizos, without any question. The throwback father, who is fully 15/16 Spanish, could pass as Spanish easily enough among folks who didn't know his pedigree (and in the undocumented nature of colonial expansion in New Spain, that would be the standard situation).

    I kind of doubt the widespread use of many of these terms. The terms high on the list are not hard at all to accept, but the lower ones are pretty dubious. I hardly think they were all readily acknowledged classifications that everyone accepted as the natural order of things during the colonial period. If they are authentic to the colonial period (not that I suspect you, Mercator, of making them up — there's been plenty of time since 1821 for some Mexican to fabricate such a list and call it colonial), then I would guess that they were composed by some breeding fanatic in Mexico City and that only he and perhaps his closest associates ever used the terms thus devised. And more likely than not, judging by the presence of a classification called Ahí Tan Estás, it was meant more to make fun of indiscriminate breeding practices among many of the people of New Spain than to represent an actual attempt at classification.

    It is entertaining, nevertheless. Thank you for passing it along.

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    AW: Racial classifications in Latin America

    Some pics from the first classification (Castes from Mexico under spanish rule):




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    Re: AW: Racial classifications in Latin America

    Do you know where I can find a bigger version of that third one? I can't read the captions in the size it's in now.

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    Re: Racial classifications in Latin America

    I know this, something similar but in other words:

    -spaniard + amerindian = mestizo (50 % or 1/2 amerindian)
    -spaniard + mestizo = terceron of mestizo (25% or 1/4 amerindian)
    -spaniard + terceron of mestizo = white people (12.5% or 1/8 amerindian)
    -spaniard + white people = almost pure origin ("cuasi limpios de su origen" in old spanish)

    the two lasts ones was social categories, but racially a "white people" was absolutely white, the same with black mixes but was needed one more generation.

    -spaniard + black = multato (50 % or 1/2 blck)
    -spaniard + mulatto = terceron of mulatto (25% or 1/4 black)
    -spaniard + terceron of mulatto = cuarteron of mulatto(12.5% or 1/8 black)
    -spaniard + cuarteron of mulatto= white people (6.25% - 1/16 black)
    -spaniard + white people = almost pure origin ("cuasi limpios de su origen" in old spanish)

    If the person wanted a "provanza de limpieza de sangre" (something like prove of blood purity, a nobility requeriment), needed to prove that in the last 6 generation, there weren´t any "gente vil" (vil people) like: black, indian, mestizo, mulatto, moor or jew, but if the personn have maybe in the generation 6 a "almost pure origin" there was no problem.

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    Question Re: AW: Racial classifications in Latin America

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    Do you know where I can find a bigger version of that third one? I can't read the captions in the size it's in now.
    I just found these searching for Google Images. I'm gonna search for more with Metacrawler or Altavista. It's very difficult to find pics of racial classifications indeed.

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    Re: Racial classifications in Latin America

    Quote Originally Posted by Oswiu
    in other words;

    Fiendishly complicated!

    {{{I link to a hosted image here, but it doesn't always show when I view the thread. Can you all see it?}}}
    Now, I can see it.

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    Re: Racial classifications in Latin America

    Well, that's what happens when you don't take the women with you...
    The thing is, such classifications can't be applied nowadays, as such direct mixtures occurred long ago, and the continued intermixing make it impossible to determine the exact blood proportion. So terms beyond mestizo and mulatto are, IMO, totally obsolete...of course, I'm mainly referring to "castizo" and similar things, which are still used by some over here. The rest of the terminology, as Leofric correctly points out, was even rather impractical for those times; some mixtures are impossible to differentiate from others.
    However, thanks for the info, Mercator, before this I was only aware of some of our local terms, such as "mestizo", "castizo", "mulatto" (already mentioned) and "zambo" (Indian + black African?)...aye, there were even more, but this is a rather complicated subject. By the way, what do you think about "criollo"? I believe it originally applied to sons of Spaniards and pure descendants, but it seems that the term has been bastardized. For example, I've heard it indiscriminately applied to all pre-immigration inhabitants, Euros and mixed, the old society. It does make a distinction between the "old stock" and the new waves of Spaniards, but it wrongly lumps together the whole colonial society, which was definitely stratified, not unified.

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    Re: Racial classifications in Latin America

    Yes, nowaday it's very difficult to classificate admixtures like this. BTW, what about these popular "classifications"?: "cabecita", "negrochino", "groncho", "bolita", "moishe" or "jacoibo"

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