We explain what miscegenation is and what its general characteristics are. Also, the types that exist and their consequences.
What is miscegenation?
Mestizaje is the biological and cultural crossing of individuals who come from different ethnic groups . The word mestizo comes from the Latin mixticius which means “to mix”. Throughout history , the union of ethnic groups has received different names, such as Creoles for the children of Spaniards born in America or mulatto for the children of parents of different complexions (white and black).
The concept of mestizo arose at the time of Spanish colonization in America , after the origin of new links between both cultures . The concept referred, in particular, to the mixture of indigenous people with European people. Over the years, mixtures were generated between people from the rest of the continents .
Miscegenation goes beyond skin color, it has to do with physical features in general, customs, language and cultural characteristics . Throughout history there have been nations where miscegenation was illegal. But in an increasingly globalized world in which different cultures interact constantly, the harmonious linking of lineages is inevitable and necessary.
Characteristics of miscegenation
The word race refers to the division between living beings , according to a series of physical and biological characteristics that they have in common. In the case of the human race, in turn, it is subdivided into different human populations , each with its own characteristics, which makes up groups of different ethnicities . In other words, the people who make up each group share particular physical, biological, social, religious and idiomatic characteristics, different from those of other groups.
Mestizaje consists of a mixture or union of people of different ethnic groups . The concept arose with the Spanish conquest of the American continent, where Europeans mixed with indigenous people. However, unions of this type date back to prehistoric times and taboos on miscegenation have existed throughout the world throughout the development of humanity.
From genetics and anthropology different theories have emerged that discredited the false belief that miscegenation could cause anatomical failures in offspring. Modern populations are the result of a continuous mix of varied populations. The discrimination by race or ethnicity is merely an ideological question as a result of poor social systems.
Types of mestizos
The main types of miscegenation, according to the origin of the different ethnic groups, are:
- Half Blood. Mix of indigenous with European.
- Mulatto. Mix of African with European.
- Baboon. Mix of African with indigenous.
- Moorish. Mix of mulatto and European.
- Cholo. Mix of mestizo and indigenous.
- Castizo. Mix of mestizo with European.
- Creole. Children of Spaniards who were born in America.
Consequences of miscegenation
The Spanish invasion interrupted the evolution of the indigenous civilizations of America. Indigenous peoples were destitute of their lands , their wealth, their homes, their culture, and their polytheistic religion (which was displaced by monotheistic Catholicism).
New ethnic groups emerged due to the crossing between the indigenous and the Europeans . These links were crossed by pain, violence and resentment, and were not well accepted from the beginning, both among indigenous peoples and in European societies .
Over the centuries, that rejection was transformed into racial discrimination without any logic, in various societies around the world, just because it was something that happened previously: discrimination based on skin color.
Currently, the United Nations Organization promotes and demands in its official declaration the end of racist thought and action in all its forms. The main author of that 1950 reform was Ashley Montagu, a British anthropologist and humanist of Jewish descent.
- “Miscegnation” on Britannica.
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