Open main menu
Painting showing 16 hierarchically arranged, mixed-race groupings, an idealized depiction of race in 18th c. colonial Mexico that likely did not correspond to social reality. Ignacio Maria Barreda, 1777.

Casta (Spanish: [ˈkasta]) is a term generally used for a mixed-race individual in Spanish America, offspring of unions between individuals of different racial classifications established by the colonial regime. For race and ethnicity in Latin America, the terminologies for race, race mixture, "nation," and status are the subject of ongoing scholarly debates.[1] Spaniards (españoles), Amerindians (indios), and Africans were the three basic categories recognized in the idealized system. Late eighteenth-century casta paintings show offspring of European-Amerindians labeled Mestizos, offspring of Europeans and Africans labeled Mulatos, and the offspring of Africans and Amerindians and other mixtures had a variety of terms. Those labeled Mulatos (or pardos) were usually persons of Afro-Mexican and Indian descent.[2] Racial categories had legal and social consequences. Españoles were exempt from payment of tribute to the crown; free blacks, Amerindians, and mixed-race castas were required to pay tribute. Amerindians were considered free vassals of the crown and were not to be enslaved, except in the case of rebellion. Amerindians were exempt from the jurisdiction of the Inquisition, and military service.

In Spanish colonial law, racial groups were divided into two broad categories, the república de españoles, in which comprised Europeans, Africans, and mixed-race castas in the Hispanic sphere, and the república de indios, likewise a construct lumping all indigenous peoples into a racial category that did not exist prior to the Spanish conquest. Amerindians outside the Hispanic sphere under crown protection. Other colonial-era terminology for classification is categorization based on the degree of acculturation to Hispanic culture distinguished between gente de razón (Hispanics, literally, "people of reason") and gente sin razón (non-acculturated natives), concurrently existed and supported the idea of the racial classification system. The sistema de castas or the sociedad de castas was an elite colonial construct.

From the colonial period, when the Spanish imposed control, many wealthy persons and high government officials were of peninsular (Iberian) and/or European background, while African or indigenous ancestry, or dark skin, generally was correlated with inferiority and poverty. The "whiter" the heritage a person could claim, the higher in status they could climb; conversely, darker features meant less opportunity.

The process of mixing ancestries in the union of people of different races came to known in the modern era as mestizaje (Portuguese: mestiçagem [meʃtʃiˈsaʒẽj], [mɨʃtiˈsaʒɐ̃j]). In parts of Latin America, mestizaje was the ideological celebration of race mixture as a unifying factor for building nation-states, in contrast to ideas of "racial purity" in modern Europe.



Casta is an Iberian word (existing in Spanish, Portuguese and other Iberian languages since the Middle Ages), meaning "lineage", "breed" or "race". It is derived from the older Latin word castus, "chaste", implying that the lineage has been kept pure. Casta gave rise to the English word caste during the Early Modern Period.[3][4] In the Spanish American context, casta "should never be translated as "castes."[5]

Use of terminologyEdit

There is no question that ideas of racial difference existed and colonial documentation records categories of difference that had legal and social consequences. In the historical literature, how racial distinction, hierarchy, and social status functioned over time in colonial Spanish America has been an evolving and contested discussion.[6][7] Although the term sistema de castas (system of castes) or sociedad de castas ("society of castes") are utilized in modern historical analyses to describe the social hierarchy based on race, with Spaniards at the apex, archival research shows that there is not a rigid "system" with fixed places for individuals.[8][9]. rather, a more fluid social structure where individuals could move from one category to another, or maintain or be given different labels depending on the context. In the eighteenth century, "casta paintings," imply a fixed racial hierarchy, but this genre may well have been an attempt to bring order into a system that was more fluid. "For colonial elites, casta paintings might well have been an attempt to fix in place rigid divisions based on race, even as they were disappearing in social reality."[10]

In New Spain (colonial Mexico) during the Mexican War of Independence race and racial distinctions were an important issue and the end of imperial had a strong appeal for non-whites. Mixed-race insurgent priest José María Morelos called for the abolition of the formal distinctions the imperial regime made between racial groups, advocating for "calling them one and all Americans."[11] As leader of a large mixed-race insurgent force in southern Mexico, Morelos issued regulations in 1810 to prevent disturbances between Indians and castas, black against whites, and whites against mulattos. "He who raises his voice should be immediately punished."[12] In 1821 race was an issue in the negotiations resulting in the Plan of Iguala. Royalist military officer-turned insurgent, Agustín de Iturbide, and Vicente Guerrero, a mixed-race leader of the insurgency in the south, differed on the matter. Iturbide and other American-born Spaniards, who saw political independence from Spain increasingly a viable option, did not want to grant legal equality to Afro-Mexicans. Guerrero held his ground for equality, since he would have been unable to convince fellow insurgents to support the plan if equality were not explicitly written into it.[13] Article 11 of the Plan reads: "The distinction of castes is abolished, which was made by the Spanish law, excluding them from the rights of citizenship. All the inhabitants of the country are citizens, and equal, and the door of advancement is open to virtue and merit."[14] The imperial regime ("Spanish law") created the distinctions between races; independence and the creation of the sovereign Mexican state abolished them.

"Purity of blood" and Spanish American racial classificationEdit

The idea of "purity of blood", limpieza de sangre developed in Christian Spain during the period of Islamic control of the Iberian peninsula to denote those without the "taint" of Jewish (or, later Muslim/Moorish) heritage ("blood"). It was directly linked to religion and notions of legitimacy, lineage and honor following Spain's reconquest of Moorish territory. It was institutionalized during the Inquisition.[15] The Inquisition only allowed those Spaniards who could demonstrate not to be free Jewish and Moorish blood to emigrate to Spanish America. Both in Spain and in the New World, the Inquisition prosecuted crypto-Jews, (Jewish converts to Christianity who continued to secretly practice Judaism). Some emigrated were Portuguese merchants to Mexico City and Lima, but following the successful revolt of Portugal in 1640 against the Castillian Crown, the Inquisition in Mexico City vigorously prosecuted them. Several spectacular autos de fe in New Spain in the mid-seventeenth century featured the public punishment of those convicted of being "Judaizers" (judaizantes).[16]

In Spanish America, the idea of purity of blood was in a complex fashion linked to ideas of race, particularly pertaining to mixing of European whites ("españoles") and non-whites (Indians, Africans, and mixed-race castas). "In this kingdom, limpieza de sangre means to not have any mixture of castas."[17] Spaniards had become obsessed with lineage, following the expulsion of Moors and Jews, and forced conversion of those who chose to remain. Evidence of lack of purity of blood had consequences for marriage, men's eligibility for office, entrance into the priesthood, and emigration to Spain's overseas territories. Having to produce genealogical records to prove one's pure ancestry gave rise to a trade in the creation of false genealogies to conceal non-Christian ancestry.[18]

When the concept of purity of blood was transferred overseas, it retained the concerns about tainted ancestry of Jews or Muslims in a family line. During the early colonial decades, the Spanish in the New World form unions either fleeting or more permanent with non-whites, resulting in generations of mixed-race children. In the late sixteenth century, some investigations of ancestry classified as "stains" any connection with Black Africans ("negros", which resulted in "mulatos") and sometimes mixtures with indigenous that produced Mestizos.[19] While some casta paintings from the eighteenth century Mexico depict men of African descent dressed in fashionable clothing, the idea that any hint of black ancestry was a stain on person's status developed by the end of the colonial period. It was illustrated in eighteenth-century paintings of racial hierarchy, known as casta paintings.

The idea in New Spain that native or "Indian" (indio) blood in a lineage was an impurity may well have come about as the optimism of the early Franciscans faded about creating Indian priests trained at the Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco, which ceased that function in the mid-sixteenth century. In addition, the Indian nobility, which was recognized by the Spanish colonists, had declined in importance, and there were fewer formal marriages between Spaniards and indigenous women than during the early decades of the colonial era.[19] In the seventeenth century in New Spain, the ideas of purity of blood became associated with "Spanishness and whiteness, but it came to work together with socio-economic categories", such that a lineage with someone engaged in work with their hands was tainted by that connection.[20]

Indians in Central Mexico were affected by ideas of purity of blood from their own perspective. Crown decrees on purity of blood were affirmed by indigenous communities, which barred men from holding office who had any non-Indian ancestry in their lineage. In indigenous communities "local caciques (rulers) and principales were granted a set of privileges and rights on the basis of their pre-Hispanic noble bloodlines and acceptance of the Catholic faith."[21] Indigenous nobles submitted proofs (probanzas) of their purity of blood to affirm their rights and privileges that were extended to themselves and their communities. This supported the division of society into the república de indios, a legal division of society that separated indigenous from non-Indians (república de españoles).[22]

In the mid to late eighteenth century, the pace of race mixture increased in New Spain, political changes of the Bourbon Reforms privileged peninsular-born Spaniards over American-born Spaniards. It was also the period when the purported power of the sistema de castas declined significantly.[23]

Racial classification and legal consequencesEdit

In Spanish America (and in other places), racial categories were formal legal classifications. The crown divided the population of its overseas empire into two legal categories, separating Indians from non-Indians. Indigenous were the República de Indios, and all non-Indians -- Spaniards, Africans, and mixed race persons-- were the República de Españoles, essentially the Hispanic sphere. Despite obvious differences in color and status, Spaniards, Africans, and mixed-race castas were legally slotted into this category. The offspring of Indian and an non-Indian became part of the República de Españoles.

Official censuses and ecclesiastical records noted an individual's racial category, so that these sources can be used to chart socio-economic standards, residence patterns, and other important data. Parish registers, where baptism, marriage, and burial were recorded, had three basic categories: Español (European whites), Indio, and Color Quebrado ("broken color", indicating a mixed-race person). In some parishes in colonial Mexico, Indios were recorded with other non-Spaniards in the Color quebrado register.[24] Españoles and mestizos could be ordained as priests and were exempt from payment of tribute to the crown. Free blacks, Amerindians, and mixed-race castas were required to pay tribute and barred from the priesthood. Being designated as an Español or mestizo conferred social and financial advantages.

The colonial regime designated all indigenous peoples in a single category of Indios. This is a construction of the colonial regime with significant consequences in their legal and religious status. Indigenous persons generally identified themselves by their residence in a particular community, or their affiliation within one of the many groups of languages, but not as an Indio. They were considered free vassals of the crown and were not to be enslaved, except in the case of rebellion. Since the Roman Catholic Church considered indigenous as perpetual neophytes and not capable of a full understanding of Christian doctrine, indigenous men were barred from the priesthood. On the other hand, being a neophyte meant that Amerindians were exempt from the jurisdiction of the Inquisition. Indios were exempt from military service when the crown established a standing army in the late eighteenth century. Non-Indian men were liable for such service.

General racial groupings had their own set of privileges and restrictions, both legal and customary. So, for example, only Spaniards and indigenous, who were deemed to be the original societies of the Spanish dominions, had recognized aristocracies.[25][26] Also, in the Americas and other overseas possessions, all Spaniards, regardless of their family's class background in Europe, considered themselves equal to the Peninsular hidalgía and expected to be treated as such. Access to these privileges and even a person's perceived and accepted racial classification, however, were also determined by that person's socioeconomic standing in society.[27][28][29]

Whiteness as the ideal and generational return to whitenessEdit

From the beginning of the colonial era, racial mixing occurred, but a constant in the hierarchy of races and colors that elites created placed European whites at the apex of that hierarchy.  In practice until the mid-eighteenth century, Iberian-born (Peninsulares) and American-born Spaniards were treated equally in society. During the Bourbon Reforms, however, the crown privileged peninsular-born men for appointment to high civil and ecclesiastical offices, leading American-born (Criollos) sons to feel resentment as their career paths were blocked.  Around the same time, Criollos became obsessed with the notion racial purity, perhaps because Peninsular Spaniards cast doubt on it. The idea that over generations the mixing of European Spaniards and Indigenous could return a person to European status, what can be considered "restoration of racial purity,"[30]  or "racial mending"[31] was seen visually in many sets of casta paintings. It was also articulated by Don Pedro Alonso O’Crouley in 1774. "If the mixed-blood is the offspring of a Spaniard and an Indian, the stigma [of race mixture] disappears at the third step in descent because it is held as systematic that a Spaniard and an Indian produce a mestizo; a mestizo and a Spaniard, a castizo; and a castizo and a Spaniard, a Spaniard. The admixture of Indian blood should not indeed be regarded as a blemish, since the provisions  of law give the  Indian all  that he could wish for, and Philip II granted to mestizos the privilege of becoming priests. On this consideration is based the common estimation of  descent  from a  union of  Indian and European or creole Spaniard."[32]  O’Crouley states that the same process of restoration of racial purity does not occur over generations for European-African offspring marrying whites. “From the union of a Spaniard and a Negro the mixed-blood  retains  the stigma for generations without losing the original quality of a mulato."[33]

When German scientist Alexander von Humboldt spent a year in Mexico in 1804, he made observations about not just the natural world, but also the social order.  He too was struck by resident Europeans’ attention to race and status. "In America the greater or lesser degree of whiteness of skin decides the rank which a man occupies in society. A white who rides barefooted on horseback thinks he belongs to the nobility of the country. Color establishes even a certain equality among men who, as universally the case where civilization is either little advanced or in a retrograde state, take a particular pleasure in dwelling on the prerogatives of race and origin. When a common man disputes with one of the titled lords of the country, he is frequently heard to say, 'Do you think me not so white as yourself?' This may serve to characterize the state and source of the actual aristocracy. It becomes, consequently, a very interesting business of public vanity to estimate accurately the fractions of European blood which belong to the different castes."[34]. In Mexico, as colonial society’s fluidity increased in the eighteenth century and non-whites more easily entered the elite ranks, "Spanish families reacted by ridiculing successful mestizos and mulattos as Spanish 'wannabes' or imaginary whites."[35]

A person’s light color could allow them to "pass" for white.  For some, passing for white was not enough, and they purchased certificates of whiteness (cédulas de gracias a sacar).[36]  Castizos could pass for white and many Castizas were chosen as marriage partners by Españoles.[37]  Passing for white could be psychologically stressful, if the masquerade were discovered, but "caste shifting" can be seen as a "more natural state of affairs," and much less demanding.  Although whiteness was privileged in colonial society, the fluidity of the categories, where individuals could have multiple casta identities, was probably a more typical strategy.[38]

Racial terminologies in theory and practiceEdit

There are a plethora of terms for racial categories found in the genre known as casta paintings, which depict a hierarchical system of racial classification. Such paintings show father in one racial category, mother in another, and their offspring in yet a third category. By the time these paintings were created in eighteenth-century Mexico, many individuals were manipulating their racial classification, particularly when they were upwardly mobile. Some were able to buy "certificates of whiteness" (cédulas de gracias a sacar) so that their classification matched their social status.[39] Casta paintings are important for the understanding of racial classification. The proliferation of racial labels might also be a construct, since the terminology is not uniform in casta paintings for individuals further down the hierarchy. For those painting the idealized racial hierarchy, the fine points of plebeian classification might well have been of little interest.[40]

List of terms in colonial-era documentationEdit

The initial three categories at conquest.

  • Español (fem. española), i.e. Spaniard – person of Spanish or other European ancestry; a blanket term, subdivided in the late colonial period into Peninsulares (Iberian born) and Criollos (American born)
  • Negro (fem. negra) – a person of black African descent, primarily African slaves brought by Spaniards and their descendants.
  • Indio (fem. india) – a person of pure Amerindian ancestry.

Later Categories of Racially Mixed Persons that developed during the colonial era whose use often varied by region.

  • Castizo (fem. castiza) – a person with primarily European and some Amerindian ancestry born into a mixed family; the offspring of a castizo and an español was considered español; in some places in colonial Mexico, coyotes were equivalent to castizos.[41]
  • Chino (fem. China) - In Mexico, it could denote a person from the Asia, or a person of mixed Amerindian and African ancestry.[42][43]
  • Cholo (fem. chola) - a person of Mestizo and Amerind ancestry; term in Spanish South America
  • Coyote - Persons with Mestizo and Amerindian ancestry, used mainly in Mexico. In some places equivalent to Mestizos[44]
  • Lobo (fem. loba) (Spanish word for wolf) - in colonial Mexico a person of mixed black African and Amerindian ancestry;equivalent to zambo
  • Mestizo (fem. mestiza) – a person of extended mixed European and Amerindian ancestry;
  • Moreno (fem. morena) - a person of African ancestry, born in Africa; "pure blacks", synonymous with Negro[45]
  • Morisco (fem. morisca) - person of mixed white European and black ancestry; off-spring of a Spaniard and a mulatta
  • Mulato (fem. mulata) – a person of mixed white European and black African ancestry; also used for a person of mixed African and Amerindian ancestry[46]
  • Pardo (fem. parda) – a person of mixed white European, Amerindian and black African ancestry;
  • Zambo (fem. zamba) – in some parts of Spanish America, a person of mixed black African and Amerindian ancestry.

Racial categories in sample casta paintingsEdit

Presented here are casta lists from three sets of eighteenth-century Mexican casta paintings. Note that they only agree on the first five combinations, which are essentially the Indian-White ones. There is no agreement on the Black mixtures, however. Also, no one list should be taken as "authoritative". These terms would have varied from region to region and across time periods. The lists here probably reflect the names that the artist knew or preferred, the ones the patron requested to be painted, or a combination of both. A number of labels appear that are not found in colonial-era legal documentation. Single canvas casta paintings had more variations in terminology than those that were separate canvasses.

Las castas. This single-canvas depiction of racial types and racial hierarchy from the point of view of elites is part of the genre of "casta paintings". Anonymous, 18th century, oil on canvas, 148x104 cm, Museo Nacional del Virreinato, Tepotzotlán, Mexico.
Miguel Cabrera, 1763[47] Andrés de Islas, 1774[48] Anonymous (see image, right)[49]
  1. De Español y d'India, Mestiza
  2. De Español y Mestiza, Castiza
  3. De Español y Castiza, Español
  4. De Español y Negra, Mulata
  5. De Español y Mulata, Morisca
  6. De Español y Morisca, Albina[50]
  7. De Español y Albina, Torna atrás
  8. De Español y Torna atrás, Tente en el aire
  9. De Negro y d'India, China Cambuja.
  10. De Chino cambujo y d'India, Loba
  11. De Lobo y d'India, Albarazado
  12. De Albarazado y Mestiza, Barcino
  13. De Indio y Barcina, Zambuiga
  14. De Castizo y Mestiza, Chamizo
  15. De Mestizo y d'India, Coyote
  16. Indios gentiles (Heathen Indians)
  1. De Español e India, nace Mestizo
  2. De Español y Mestiza, nace Castizo
  3. De Castizo y Española, nace Española
  4. De Español y Negra, nace Mulata
  5. De Español y Mulata, nace Morisco
  6. De Español y Morisca, nace Albino
  7. De Español y Albina, nace Torna atrás
  8. De Indio y Negra, nace Lobo
  9. De Indio y Mestiza, nace Coyote
  10. De Lobo y Negra, nace Chino
  11. De Chino e India, nace Cambujo
  12. De Cambujo e India, nace Tente en el aire
  13. De Tente en el aire y Mulata, nace Albarazado
  14. De Albarazado e India, nace Barcino
  15. De Barcino y Cambuja, nace Calpamulato
  16. Indios Mecos bárbaros (Barbarian Meco Indians)
  1. Español con India, Mestizo
  2. Mestizo con Española, Castizo
  3. Castiza con Español, Española
  4. Español con Negra, Mulato
  5. Mulato con Española, Morisca
  6. Morisco con Española, Chino
  7. Chino con India, Salta atrás
  8. Salta atras con Mulata, Lobo
  9. Lobo con China, Gíbaro (Jíbaro)
  10. Gíbaro con Mulata, Albarazado
  11. Albarazado con Negra, Cambujo
  12. Cambujo con India, Sambiaga (Zambiaga)
  13. Sambiago con Loba, Calpamulato
  14. Calpamulto con Cambuja, Tente en el aire
  15. Tente en el aire con Mulata, No te entiendo
  16. No te entiendo con India, Torna atrás

Casta paintingsEdit

Las castas mexicanas by Ignacio María Barreda, 1777

Artwork created mainly in eighteenth-century Mexico purports to show race mixture as a hierarchy. These paintings have had tremendous influence in how scholars have approached difference in the colonial era. The vast majority of casta paintings were produced in Mexico, by a variety of artists over a century, with a single set clearly identified for eighteenth-century Peru. In the colonial era, artists primary painted religious art and portraits, but in the eighteenth century, casta paintings emerged as a completely secular genre of art.[51] An exception to that is the painting by Luis de Mena, a single canvas that has the central figure of the Virgin of Guadalupe and a set of casta groupings.

It is unclear why casta paintings emerged as a genre, why they became such a popular genre of artwork, who commissioned them, and who collected them. One scholar suggests they can be seen as "proud renditions of the local,"[52] at a point when American-born Spaniards began forming a clearer identification with their place of birth rather than the metropole of Spain.[53]

Many sets of these paintings still exist (around one hundred complete sets in museums and private collections and many more individual paintings), of varying artistic quality, usually consisting of sixteen paintings representing as many racial combinations. Some of the finer sets were done by prominent Mexican artists, such as Miguel Cabrera, José Joaquín Magón (who painted two sets), José de Ibarra, and Juan Patricio Morlete Ruiz. At least one Spaniard, Francisco Clapera, also contributed to the casta genre. In general, there is little known about artists who did sign their work. Most casta paintings are unsigned.

The overall themes that emerge in these paintings are the "supremacy of the Spaniards", the possibility that Indians could become Spaniards through miscegenation with Spaniards and the "regression to an earlier moment of racial development" that mixing with Blacks would cause to Spaniards. These series generally depict the descendants of Indians becoming Spanish after three generations of intermarriage with Spaniards (usually the, "De español y castiza, español" painting).[54]

In contrast, mixtures with Blacks, both by Indians and Spaniards, led to a bewildering number of combinations, with "fanciful terms" to describe them. Instead of leading to a new racial type or equilibrium, they led to apparent disorder. Terms such as the above-mentioned tente en el aire and no te entiendo ("I don't understand you")—and others based on terms used for animals: mulato (mule) and lobo (wolf), chino [55]—reflect the fear and mistrust that Spanish officials, society and those who commissioned these paintings saw these new racial types.[54]

At the same time, it must be emphasized that these paintings reflected the views of the economically established Criollo society and officialdom. Castas defined themselves in different ways, and how they were recorded in official records was a process of negotiation between the casta and the person creating the document, whether it was a birth certificate, a marriage certificate or a court deposition. In real life, many casta individuals were assigned different racial categories in different documents, revealing the fluid nature of racial identity in colonial, Spanish American society.[56]

In New Spain, one of the Viceroyalties of the Spanish Empire, casta paintings illustrated where each person in the New World ranked in the system. These paintings from 18th and 19th centuries were popular in Spain and other parts of Europe. They reflected the Spaniards’ sense of racial superiority by illustrating an orderly hierarchical society where socio-economic status depended on skin color and limpieza de sangre (purity of blood).[57][58]

Some paintings depicted the innate character and quality of people because of their birth and ethnic origin. For example, according to one painting by José Joaquín Magón, a mestizo (mixed Indian + Spanish) was considered generally humble, tranquil, and straightforward; while another painting claims from Lobo and Indian woman is born the Cambujo, one usually slow, lazy, and cumbersome. Ultimately, the casta paintings are reminders of the colonial biases in modern human history that linked a caste/ethnic society based on descent, skin color, social status, and one's birth.[57][58]

Often, casta paintings depicted commodity items from Latin America like pulque, the fermented alcohol drink of the lower classes. Painters depicted interpretations of pulque that were attributed to specific castas. Pulque abuse was shown in some casta paintings as a social criticism of the lower castas, and the Spanish desire for regulation over pulque consumption and distribution.

Gallery of Casta PaintingsEdit

Further description of racial categoriesEdit

Españoles (Spaniards)Edit

De español e indio – Mestizo. Miguel Cabrera

These were people of Spanish descent, or socially accepted as such. "Mestizos" and "Castizos", many people with some Amerindian ancestry were considered Españoles.[59]

Españoles were one of the three original "races", the other two being Amerindians and Blacks. Both immigrant and American-born Españoles (criollos) generally shared the same rights and privileges, although there were a few cases in which the law differentiated between them.[59] For example, it became customary in some municipal councils for the office of alcalde to alternate between a European and an American. Spaniards were therefore divided into:

Peninsulares (Spaniards and other Europeans born in Europe)Edit

Persons of Spanish descent born in Spain (i.e., from the Iberian Peninsula, hence their name). Generally, there were two groups of Peninsulares. The first group includes those who were appointed to important jobs in the government, the army, and the Catholic Church by the Crown. This system was intended to perpetuate the ties of the governing elite to the Spanish crown. The theory was that an outsider should be appointed to rule over a certain society, therefore a New Spaniard would not be appointed Viceroy of New Spain. These officials usually had a long history of service to the Crown and were moved around the Empire frequently, as in career civil service positions. They usually did not live permanently in any one place in Latin America.

The second group of Peninsulares did settle permanently in a specific region and came to be associated with it. The first wave were the original settlers, the Conquistadors, who became lords of an area through their act of conquest. In the centuries after the Conquest, more Peninsulares continued to immigrate to New Spain under different circumstances, usually for commercial reasons. Some came as indentured servants to established Criollo families in order to gain passage. Peninsulares were of all socioeconomic classes in America. Once they settled, they tended to form families, so Peninsulares and Criollos were united and divided by family ties and tensions.

Criollos (Spaniards and other Europeans born in America)Edit

A Spanish term meaning "native born and raised", criollo historically was applied to both white and black non-indigenous persons born in America, in addition to animals and products. Because of the lack of white people in the Spanish colonies, during the first generations after the conquest, legitimately-born biological criollos were simply considered españoles criollos, a term not often seen until the eighteenth century (see, Hyperdescent). In today's historiography, the term "criollo" means only European whites born in Spanish America, who had unmixed Spanish or European ancestry both matrilineal and patrilineal. In the reality of the period, as noted, many criollos ended up forming relationships and marriages with the financially successful mestizos and castizos, who physically appeared white, but had some native ancestry. The knowledge of mixed ancestry was usually disregarded for families that had maintained a certain status and they were accepted as American-born Spaniards.[60]

Criollos tended to be appointed to the lower-level government jobs[61]—they had sizable representation in the municipal councils. But, with the sale of offices that began in the late 16th century, they gained access to high-level posts, such as judges on the regional audiencias. The 19th-century wars of independence have often been characterized as a struggle between Peninsulares and Criollos, but both groups can be found on both sides of the wars.

Español - Indio mixturesEdit

Mestizos (mixed Native American and European)Edit

Español + India = Mestizo

Persons with one Spanish parent and one Amerindian parent. The term was originally associated with illegitimacy because in the generations after the Conquest, mixed-race children born in wedlock were assigned either a simple Amerindian or Spanish identity, depending with which culture they were raised. (See Hyperdescent and Hypodescent.) The number of official Mestizos rises in censuses only after the second half of the 17th century, when a sizable and stable community of mixed-race people with no claims on being either Amerindian or Spanish appeared.


One of the many terms, like the ones below, used to describe people with varying degrees of racial mixture. In this case Castizos were people with one Mestizo parent and one Spanish parent. The children of a Castizo with a Spaniard or another Castizo, were often classified and accepted as a Criollo Spaniard.[60]\

Negro and mixtures with EspañolesEdit

Negros (Africans)Edit

Español + Negra = Mulata. Miguel Cabrera

With Spaniards and Amerindians, this was the third original race in the paradigm, but low on the social scale because of their association with slavery. These were people of full Sub-Saharan African descent. Many, especially among the first generation, were slaves, but there were sizable free-Black communities. Distinction was made between Blacks born in Africa (negros bozales) and therefore possibly less acculturated, Blacks born in the Iberian Peninsula (Black Ladinos), and Blacks born in the Indies, these sometimes referred to as negros criollos. A synonym for negro was moreno.[62]

Their low social status was enforced legally. They were prohibited by law from many positions, such as entering the priesthood, and their testimony in court was valued less than others. But they could join militias created especially for them. In contrast with the binary "one-drop rule", which evolved in the late-19th-century United States, people of mixed-Black ancestry were recognized as multiple separate groups.

Mulato (mixed African and European)Edit

Persons of the first generation of a Spanish and Black/African ancestry. If they were born into slavery (that is their mother was a slave), they would be slaves, unless freed by their master or manumitted. In popular parlance, mulato could also denote an individual of mixed African and Native American ancestry.[63] Pardo became a synonym for mulato by the eighteenth century in Mexico.[64]


"From Spaniard and Mulatta: Morisca" (Miguel Cabrera)

Further terms to describe other degrees of mixture included, among many others, Morisco, (not to be confused with the peninsular Morisco, from which the term was borrowed) a person of Mulatto and Spanish parents, a light-skinned person with African ancestry. In some cases, a light-skinned person was called a mulato blanco ("white mulato") or simply mulatto.[65]


The casta category Albino (fem. Albina) does not appear in official documentation of the colonial era, but it is a standard label in casta paintings. A person of Morisco (not to be confused with the peninsular Morisco, from which the term was borrowed) and Spanish parents, a light-skinned person with African ancestry.

Torna atrásEdit

De Albina y Español, Torna atrás. Attributed to Juan Patricio Morlete Ruiz (1701-1770)

The casta label Torna atrás, sometimes seen as Torna atrás Negro[66] is a term for a fictive casta category that only appears in casta paintings. The translation of the Spanish term is "turn back", better translated as "throwback". It denotes the mixture of a Spanish person with a light-skinned albino/a who is much darker than either of the parents.

Indios (Native Americans)Edit

The original inhabitants of the Americas were considered to be one of the three "pure races" in Spanish America; under Spanish colonial law, they were classified and regulated as minors, and as such were to be protected by royal officials. In practice, they often suffered repression and abuse by the local elites. After the initial conquest, the elites of the Inca, Aztec and other Amerindian states were assimilated into the Spanish nobility through intermarriage.[67][68]

The regional Native nobility, where it existed, was recognized and redefined along European standards by the Spanish. It had to deal with the difficulty of existing in a colonial society, but it remained in place until independence in 1821. Amerindians could belong to any economic class depending on their personal wealth,[67][68] but most were peasants and poor.

Indio - Negro mixturesEdit


People who are the product of the mixing over the generations of the European, Black African, and Amerindians. In eighteenth-century Mexico, the term was synonymous with Mulato.[69] "Pardo may have even been a preferred euphemism in the eighteenth century for blackness."[70] The term is in current use in Brazil, where they form slightly less than one-half the population (although pardo in Portuguese merely means brown and is used for any sort of mixed-race ancestry other than the mix of white and Asian). Pardos in Spanish America were common in the Caribbean, such as Puerto Rico (see here), Dominican Republic, and Cuba.[71]


A Zambo was a persons who were of mixed Amerindian and Black ancestry. As with Mulattos, many other terms existed to describe the degree of mixture.

Other termsEdit

A number of racial labels appear in casta paintings, but generally not in official documentation.


This term that possibly derives from albino, "white" and might mean "white spotted." The term appears as of 1605. An albarazado is shown as the result of the the pairing of a Mulato and Tente en el aire; Indio and Lobo; Morisco and Coyote woman; Indian and Zambaigo woman; Cambujo and Mulatta; Chino and Jenízara; Barcino and Mulatta; Jíbara and Mulatta; Chino and Mulatta; and Indian and Cambuja.[72]

Barcino, offspring of an Albarazado and Mestiza. Miguel Cabrera, painter

Barcino is a term of unknown origin, and appears to indicate white and brown, possible reddish color; the term is first seen in Spain in 1475. In casta paintings, a Barcino is the offspring of an Albarazado and Mulatta; Albarazado and Indian woman; Albarazado and Mestiza; Jenízaro and Mulatta; Calpamulo and Coyote woman; Español and Chamiza; Zambaigo and Mulatta; and Jíbaro and Loba.[73]

Calpamulo or CalpamulatoEdit

These labels are given to the offspring of a Negro and Albarazada; Mulatto and Indian woman; Barcino and Cambuja; Barcino and Indian woman; Zambaigo and Loba; Zambaigo and Mulatta; and Mestizo and Mulatta.[74]

Cambujo, offspring of Lobo and Mestiza

The term seems to refer to any dark-skinned person and derive from a term for a reddish-brown stallion. A Cambujo is the offspring of an Indio and Loba; Indio and Negra; Chino and India; Chamizo and India; Zambaigo and India; Zambaigo and China; Albarazado and Negra; Tente en el aire and India; Coyote and India; Lobo and Mestiza.[75]

Chamizo, offspring of a Castizo and Mestiza. Miguel Cabrera, painter.

The comes from the Portuguese word chamiço, and derives from the word for flame. It seems to be a term related to color, since one meaning is "half-burned tree." A Chamizo is the offspring of a Coyote and India; and Castizo and Mestiza.[76] In colonial Texcoco, Mexico offspring of pardos and indios were called chamizos.[77]


Chino in the category of castas usually described someone as having Mulatto and Amerindian parents. The phrase pelo chino, means "curly hair".[55] Since there was some immigration from the Spanish East Indies during the colonial period, chino can be confused, even by contemporary historians, as a word for Asian peoples. In casta paintings, a Chino is the offspring of a Lobo and Negra; Lobo and India; Mulatto and India; Coyote and Mulatta; Español and Morisca; and Chamicoyote and India.[78]


Persons with one Amerindian parent and one Mestizo parent.[79]


The term grifo appears only once in one casta painting to refer to someone with "crisp hair," the offspring of an Indio and Loba. The casta painting with the term labels the offspring Grifo Tente en el aire. It is part of a set considered the earliest casta paintings, created around 1725.[80]


Jíbaro is a term of uncertain origin. In casta paintings a Jibaro is the offspring of a Calpamulo and India; Negro and India; Calpamulo and Albarazada; Lobo and China; Barcino and India; and Tente en el aire and Loba.[81]

Loba, offspring of a Chino Cambujo and India. Miguel Cabrera, painter.

In Spanish Lobo means "wolf." In casta paintings Lobo is the offspring of a Negro and India; Cambujo and India; Torna atrás and India; Mestizo and India; Mulatto and India; Saltra atrás and Mulatta.[82]


A requinterón was a label used in Peru,[83] which implied that a child of only one-sixteenth Black ancestry is born looking Black to seemingly white parents.

Tente en el AireEdit
Tente en el aire, offspring of Albarazado and Torna atrás. José Joaquín Magón. 18th c. Mexico

The term Tente en el Aire is a Mexican localism, roughly meaning floating the in air, something not fixed. In casta paintings, Tente en el aire is the offspring of Torna atrás and Española; Cambujo and India; Salta atrás and Albarazada; Jíbaro and Mulatta; Albarazado and Jíbara; Cambujo and Calpamula.[84]

Zambaiga, offspring of an Indio and a Cambuja. José Joaquín Magón, 18th c. Mexico

The term possible derives from the term zambo or hijo de zambo (son of a zambo). A Zambaigo is the offspring of a Negro and India; Lobo and India; Cambujo and India; Chino and India; Coyote and India; Cambujo and Mulatta; Barcino and India.[85] The casta painting by Magón (right) includes the description, "Sambaygo [Zambaigo], the one no person understands who he is" (el que no ai Maturranga que no la Entiendo).[86]


Statue of José Vasconcelos in Mexico City

Mestizaje is a term that came into usage in the twentieth century for racial mixing and was not a colonial-era term.[87] In the modern era, is is used to denote the positive unity of race mixtures in modern Latin America. This is ideological stance is in contrast to the term miscegenation, which usually has negative connotations.[88]  The main ideological advocate of mestizaje was José Vasconcelos (1882-1959), the Mexican Minister of Education in the 1920s. The term was in circulation in Mexico in the late nineteenth century, along with similar terms, cruzamiento (“crossing”) and mestización (process of “mestizo-izing”). In Spanish America, the colonial-era system of castas sought to differentiate between individuals and groups on the basis of a hierarchical classification by ancestry, skin color, and status (calidad), giving separate labels to the perceived categorical differences and privileging whiteness. In contrast, the idea of modern mestizaje is the positive unity of a nation's citizenry based on racial mixture. “Mestizaje placed greater emphasis [than the casta system] on commonality and hybridity to engineer order and unity… [it] operated within the context of the nation-state and sought to derive meaning from Latin America’s own internal experiences rather than the dictates and necessities of empire... ultimately [it] embraced racial mixture.”[89]

The ideology of mestizaje sought to reverse the longstanding prejudice against darker skinned, mixed race individuals, which in the colonial era was enshrined in Spanish law. Although in post-independence Mexico, legal distinctions based on race were abolished, urban elites’ racial prejudice remained.

Mestizaje as an ideology in modern MexicoEdit

At independence in Mexico, the casta classifications were abolished, but discrimination based on skin color and socioeconomic status continued.  Liberal intellectuals grappled with the “Indian Problem,” that is the Indians’ lack of cultural assimilation to Mexican national life as citizens of the nation rather than members of their indigenous communities. Urban elites spurned mixed-race urban plebeians and Indians along with their traditional popular culture. In the late nineteenth century during the rule of Porfirio Díaz, elites’ sought to be, act, and look like modern Europeans, that is, different from the majority of the Mexican population.  Díaz was mixed race himself, but powdered his dark skin to hide his Mixtec indigenous ancestry.   At the end of the nineteenth century, however, as social and economic tensions increased in Mexico, two major works by Mexican intellectuals sought to rehabilitate the assessment of the mestizo. Díaz’s Minister of Education, Justo Sierra published The Political Evolution of the Mexican People (1902), which situated Mexican identity in the mixing of European whites and Indians. Mexicans are "the sons of two peoples, of two races. [This fact] dominates our whole history; to this we owe our soul."[90]  Intellectul Andrés Molina Enríquez also took a revisionist stance on mestizos in his work Los grandes problemas nacionales (The Great National Problems) (1909).  The Mexican state after the Mexican Revolution (1910-20) embraced the ideology of mestizaje as a nation-building tool, aimed at integrating Indians culturally and politically in the construction of national identity. As such it has meant a systematic effort to eliminate indigenous culture, in the name of integrating them into a supposedly inclusive mestizo identity.  For Afro-Mexicans,  the ideology has denied their historical contributions to Mexico and their current place in Mexican political life. In recent years, “The mestizos’ sole claim to Mexican national identity has begun to erode, at least rhetorically.” [91]  A constitutional changes to Article 4 that now says that the “Mexican Nation has a pluricultural composition, originally based on its indigenous peoples.  The law will protect and promote the development of their languages, cultures, uses, customs, resources, and specific forms of social organization and will guarantee their members effective access to the jurisdiction of the State.”

Mestizaje in other parts of Latin AmericaEdit

There has been considerable work on race and race mixture in various parts of Latin America in recent years. Including Central America;[92] Venezuela [93] Brazil, [94] Peru [95] and Colombia.[96]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Vinson, Ben III. Before Mestizaje: The Frontiers of Race and Caste in Colonial Mexico. New York: Cambridge University Press 2018.
  2. ^ Tutino, John. Mexico City, 1808: Power, Sovereignty, and Silver in an Age of War and Revolution. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press 2018, pp. xxii- xxiii
  3. ^ "Caste," Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition. (Springfield, 1999.)
  4. ^ "Caste," New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd edition. (Oxford, 2005).
  5. ^ Tutino, Mexico City, 1808, p. xix.
  6. ^ Giraudo, Laura. "Casta(s), 'sociedad de castas' e indigenismo: la interpretación del pasado colonial en el siglo XX", Nuevo Mundo Mundos Nuevos [En ligne], Débats, mis en ligne le 14 juin 2018, consulté le 03 août 2019. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/nuevomundo.72080
  7. ^ Vinson, Ben III. Before Mestizaje: The Frontiers of Race and Caste in Colonial Mexico. New York: Cambridge University Press 2018.
  8. ^ Cope, R. Douglas. The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebeian Society in Colonial Mexico City, 1660–1720. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994.
  9. ^ Valdés, Dennis N., "Decline of the Sociedad de Castas in Eighteenth-Century Mexico." PhD diss. University of Michigan, 1978
  10. ^ Cline, Sarah. "Guadalupe and the Castas: The Power of a Singular Colonial Mexican Painting." Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos Vol. 31, Issue 2, Summer 2015, p. 222.
  11. ^ quoted in Enrique Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power. New York: HarperCollins 1997, p. 112
  12. ^ quoted in Krauze, Mexico, p. 111.
  13. ^ Vincent, Theodore. The Legacy of Vicente Guerrero, Mexico's First Black Indian President, esp. Chapter 7, "Iguala: Attaining Peace with an Equality Clause." Gainesville: University of Florida Press 2001, pp.117-140.
  14. ^ [Plan of Iguala] accessed 3 August 2019.
  15. ^ Maria Elena Martinez, Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2008, p. 265.
  16. ^ Jonathan I. Israel, Race, Class, and Politics in Colonial Mexico, 1610-1670. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1975, pp. 245-46.
  17. ^ quoted in Vinson, Before Mestizaje, p. 54, citing an inquisition case.
  18. ^ Martinez, Genealogical Fictions, p. 266-67.
  19. ^ a b Martinez, Genealogical Fictions, p. 267.
  20. ^ Martinez, Genealogical Fictions, p. 269.
  21. ^ Martinez, Genealogical Fictions, p. 270.
  22. ^ Martinez, Genealogical Fictions, p. 273.
  23. ^ Dennis Nodin Valdés, "The Decline of the Sociedad de Castas in Mexico City". PhD dissertation, University of Michigan, 1978.
  24. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, p. 49.
  25. ^ MacLachlan, Colin; Jaime E. Rodríguez O. (1990). The Forging of the Cosmic Race: A Reinterprretation of Colonial Mexico (Expanded ed.). Berkeley: University of California. pp. 199, 208. ISBN 978-0-520-04280-3. [I]n the New World all Spaniards, no matter how poor, claimed hidalgo status. This unprecedented expansion of the privileged segment of society could be tolerated by the Crown because in Mexico the indigenous population assumed the burden of personal tribute.
  26. ^ Gibson, Charles (1964). The Aztecs Under Spanish Rule. Stanford: Stanford University. pp. 154–165. ISBN 978-0-8047-0912-5.
  27. ^ See Passing (racial identity) for a discussion of a related phenomenon, although in a later and very different cultural and legal context.
  28. ^ Seed, Patricia (1988). To Love, Honor, and Obey in Colonial Mexico: Conflicts over Marriage Choice, 1574-1821. Stanford: Stanford University. pp. 21–23. ISBN 978-0-8047-2159-2.
  29. ^ Bakewell, Peter (1997). A History of Latin America. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell. pp. 160–163. ISBN 978-0-631-16791-4. The Spaniards generally regarded [local Indian lords/caciques] as hidalgos, and used the honorific 'don' with the more eminent of them. […] Broadly speaking, Spaniards in the Indies in the sixteenth century arranged themselves socially less and less by Iberian criteria or frank, and increasingly by new American standards. […] simple wealth gained from using America's human and natural resources soon became a strong influence on social standing.
  30. ^ Cline, "Guadalupe and the Castas", p. 229
  31. ^ Katzew, Casta Painting, pp. 48-51
  32. ^ Sr. Don Pedro Alonso O’Crouley, A Description of the Kingdom of New Spain (1774),trans. and ed. Sean Galvin. San Francisco: John Howell Books, 1972, 20
  33. ^ O’Crouley, “A Description of the Kingdom of New Spain’’, p. 20
  34. ^ Alexander von Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain. abridged edition.  trans. John Black. New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1972, pp. 87-88
  35. ^ Altman, Ida et al. The Early History of Greater Mexico. Prentice Hall 2003, p. 278.
  36. ^ Twinam, Purchasing Whiteness.
  37. ^ Cline, “Guadalupe and the Castas”p. 229.
  38. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, p. 64.
  39. ^ Twinam, Ann. Purchasing Whiteness: Pardos, Mulatos, and the Quest for Social Mobility in the Spanish Indies. Stanford: Stanford University Press 2015.
  40. ^ Cline, "Guadalupe and the Castas", pp. 232-33.
  41. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, p. 70.
  42. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, pp. 9-10.
  43. ^ Slack, Edward R. "The Chinos in New Spain: A Corrective Lens for a Distorted Image." Journal of World History 20, no. 1 (2009): 35-67.
  44. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, p. 70
  45. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, pp. 76, 120.
  46. ^ Schwaller, R.C. "'Mulata, Hija de Negro y India': Afro-Indigenous Mulattos in Early Colonial Mexico." Journal of Social History 44, no. 3 (Spring 2011): 889-914
  47. ^ Katzew (2004), Casta Painting, 101-106. Paintings 1 and 3-8 private collections; 2 and 9-16 Museo de América, Madrid; 15 Elisabeth Waldo-Dentzel, Multicultural Music and Art Center (Northridge California).
  48. ^ Katzew, Ilona. Program for Inventing Race: Casta Painting and Eighteenth-Century Mexico, April 4-August 8, 2004. LACMA
  49. ^ Gracia, J. E. and Pablo De Greiff, eds. Hispanics/Latinos in the United States: Ethnicity, Race and Rights. New York, Routledge, 2000, 53. ISBN 978-0-415-92620-1
  50. ^ Christopher Knight, "A Most Rare Couch Find: LACMA acquires a recently unrolled masterpiece." Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2015, A1.
  51. ^ Cline, "Guadalupe and the Castas", pp. 222-23.
  52. ^ Katzew, Ilona, "Casta Painting: Identity and Social Stratification in Colonial Mexico," in New World Orders: Casta Painting and Colonial Latin America,ed. Ilona Katzew. New York: Americas Society Art Gallery 1996, 22
  53. ^ Brading, D.A. The First America: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriots, and the Liberal State, 1492-1867. New York: Cambridge University Press 1991.
  54. ^ a b Katzew, "Casta Painting."
  55. ^ a b Hernández Cuevas, M.P. The Mexican Colonial Term “Chino” Is a Referent of Afrodescendant. The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.5, no.5, June 2012.
  56. ^ Cope, The Limits of Racial Domination and Seed, To Love, Honor, and Obey, in passim.
  57. ^ a b Maria Elena Martinez (2002). "The Spanish Concept of Limpieza de Sangre and the Emergence of the Race/caste System in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, PhD dissertation". University of Chicago. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  58. ^ a b María Elena Martínez (2010). "Social Order in the Spanish New World" (PDF). Public Broadcasting Service, United States.
  59. ^ a b MacLachlan and Rodríguez O., p. 199.
  60. ^ a b Carrera, Magali M. (2003). Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings. University of Texas Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-292-71245-4.
  61. ^ Foster, Lynn V. (2000). A Brief History of Central America.. New York: Facts On File, Inc. ISBN 0-8160-3962-3.
  62. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, p. 79.
  63. ^ Schwaller, Robert C. (2010). "Mulata, Hija de Negro y India: Afro-Indigenous Mulatos in Early Colonial Mexico". Journal of Social History. 44 (3): 889–914. doi:10.1353/jsh.2011.0007. PMID 21853621.
  64. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, p. 87.
  65. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, p. 87.
  66. ^ García Sáiz, María Concepción. Las Castas Mexicanas. Olivetti 1989, pp. 140-41
  67. ^ a b MacLachlan and Rodríguez O., pp. 113-115.
  68. ^ a b Stern, Steve (1993). Peru's Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest (2nd ed.). Madison: University of Wisconsin. pp. 132–134, 163–164, 174–175. ISBN 978-0-299-14184-4.
  69. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, p. 87.
  70. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, p. 88.
  71. ^ "El Desafío de la Historia". Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  72. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 24.
  73. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 24.
  74. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 26.
  75. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 26.
  76. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 26.
  77. ^ Vinson, Before Mestizaje, p. 88.
  78. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 26.
  79. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 26.
  80. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 26, 54, 58.
  81. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 26.
  82. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 28.
  83. ^ Wegmann, Andrew N. (April 17, 2015). "The Vitriolic Blood of a Negro: The Development of Racial Identity and Creole Elitism in New Spain and Spanish Louisiana, 1763-1803". Journal of Transatlantic Studies. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  84. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 28.
  85. ^ García Sáiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 28.
  86. ^ García Saiz, Las castas mexicanas, p. 109.
  87. ^ Rappaport, Joanne. The Disappearing Mestizo, p. 247.
  88. ^ Lewis, Stephen. “Mestizaje” in The Encyclopedia of Mexico. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, p. 840.
  89. ^ Vinson, Ben III. Before Mestizaje. New York: Cambridge University Press 2018, pp. 61-2.
  90. ^ Sierra, Justo. The Political Evolution of the Mexican People’’. Trans. Charles Ramsdell. Austin: University of Texas Press.  P. xvii.
  91. ^ Lewis, “Mestizaje”, p. 841.
  92. ^ Hale, Charles R., ‘Mestizaje, Hybridity and the Cultural Politics of Difference in Post-Revolutionary Central  America,’Journal of Latin American Anthropology, vol. 2, no. 1 (1996)
  93. ^ Winthrop Wright, Cafe ́Con Leche: Race, Class and National Image in Venezuela. Austin: University of Texas Press 1990
  94. ^ Sueann Caulfield, ‘Interracial Courtship in the Rio de Janeiro Courts, 1918–1940,’ in Nancy P. Appelbaum, Anne S. Macpherson and Karin A. Rosemblatt (eds.) in Race and Nation in Modern Latin America.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003
  95. ^ Marisol de la Cadena,Indigenous Mestizos: The Politics of Race and Culture in Cuzco, 1919–1991. Durham: Duke University Press 2000
  96. ^ Wade, Peter, Blackness and Race Mixture: The Dynamics of Racial Identity in Colombia. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press 1993

Further readingEdit

Race and race mixtureEdit

  • Althouse, Aaron P. "Contested Mestizos, Alleged Mulattos: Racial Identity and Caste Hierarchy in Eighteenth-century Pátzcuaro." The Americas 62, no. 2 (October 2005), 151-175.
  • Anderson, Rodney. "Race and Social Stratification: A Comparison of Working-Class Spaniards, Indians, and Castas in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1821." Hispanic American Historical Review 68 (1988): 209-243.
  • Andrews, Norah. "Calidad, Genealogy, and Disputed Free-Colored Tributary Status in New Spain." The Americas 73, no. 2, 2016: 139-170.
  • Burns, Kathryn. "Unfixing Race," in Rereading the Black Legend: The Discourses of Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires, ed. Margaret Greer et al. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2007.
  • Castleman, Bruce A. "Social Climbers in a Colonial Mexican City: Individual Mobility within the Sistema de Castas in Orizaba, 1777-1791." Colonial Latin American Review, vol. 10, No. 2, 2001.
  • Chance, John K. Race and class in Colonial Oaxaca, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1978.
  • Cope, R. Douglas. The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebeian Society in Colonial Mexico City, 1660-1720. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994. ISBN 978-0-299-14044-1
  • Fisher, Andrew B. and Matthew D. O'Hara, eds. Imperial Subjects: Race and Identity in Colonial Latin America. Durham: Duke University Press 2009.
  • Garafalo, Leo and Rachel Sarah O'Toole. "Constructing Difference in Colonial Latin America". Colonialism and Colonial History 7, no. 1 (Spring 2006.
  • Giraudo, Laura. "Casta(s), 'sociedad de castas' e indigenismo: la interpretación del pasado colonial en el siglo XX", Nuevo Mundo Mundos Nuevos [En ligne] URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/nuevomundo.72080
  • Gonzalbo Aizpuru, Pilar, "La trampa de las castas," in Alberro, Solange y Gonzalbo Aizpuru, Pilar, La sociedad novohispana. Estereotipos y realidades, México, El Colegio de México, 2013, p. 15-193.
  • Hill, Ruth. "Casta as Culture and the Sociedad de Castas a Literature," in Interpreting Colonialism. ed. Byron Wells and Philip Stewart. New York: Oxford University Press 2004.
  • Jackson, Robert H. Race, Caste, and Status: Indians in Colonial Spanish America. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press 1999.
  • Leibsohn, Dana, and Barbara E. Mundy, "Reckoning with Mestizaje," Vistas: Visual Culture in Spanish America, 1520-1820 (2015).
  • MacLachlan, Colin M. and Jaime E. Rodríguez O. The Forging of the Cosmic Race: A Reinterpretation of Colonial Mexico, expanded edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. ISBN 0-520-04280-8
  • Martínez, María Elena. Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico. Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8047-5648-8
  • McCaa, Robert. "Calidad, Class, and Marriage in Colonial Mexico: The Case of Parral 1788-90." Hispanic American Historical Review 64, no. 3. (aug. 1984): 477-501.
  • Mörner, Magnus. Race Mixture in the History of Latin America. Boston: Little Brown, 1967.
  • O'Crouley, Sn Pedro Alonso. A Description of the Kingdom of New Spain. Translated and edited by Sean Galvin. John Howell Books 1972.
  • O'Toole, Rachel Sarah. Bound Lives: Africans, Indians, and the Making of Race in Colonial Peru. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press 2012. ISBN 978-0-8229-6193-2
  • Pitt-Rivers, Julian. Race in Latin America: The Concept of 'Raza'. Paris: Plon 1973.
  • Pitt-Rivers, Julian, "Sobre la palabra casta", América Indígena, 36-3, 1976, p. 559-586.
  • Ramos-Kittrell, Jesús. Playing in the Cathedral: Music, Race, and Status in New Spain. New York: Oxford University Press 2016.
  • Rappaport, Joanne. The Disappearing Mestizo: Configuring Difference in the Colonial Kingdom of New Granada. Durham: Duke University Press 2014.
  • Rosenblat, Angel. El mestizaje y las castas coloniales: La población indígena y el mestizaje en América. buenos Aires, Editorial Nova 1954.
  • Seed, Patricia. To Love, Honor, and Obey in Colonial Mexico: Conflicts Over Marriage Choice, 1574-1821. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988. ISBN 978-0-8047-1457-0
  • Seed, Patricia. "Social Dimensions of Race: Mexico City 1753." Hispanic American Historical Review 62, no. 4. (Nov. 1982) pp. 569-606.
  • Twinam, Ann. Purchasing Whiteness: Pardos, Mulatos, and the Quest for Social Mobility in the Spanish Indies. Stanford: Stanford University Press 2015.
  • Valdés, Dennis N. "Decline of the Sociedad de Castas in Eighteenth-Century Mexico." PhD dissertation, University of Michigan 1978.
  • Vinson, Ben III. Before Mestizaje: The Frontiers of Race and Caste in Colonial Mexico. New York: Cambridge University Press 2018 ISBN 978-1-107-67081-5
  • Wade, Peter. "Rethinking 'Mestizaje': Ideology and Lived Experience." Journal of Latin American Studies 37, no. 2 (May 2005).

Casta paintingEdit

  • Carrera, Magali M. Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings. Austin, University of Texas Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0-292-71245-4
  • Cline, Sarah. "Guadalupe and the Castas: The Power of a Singular Colonial Mexican Painting." Mexican Studies/Esudios Mexicanos Vol. 31, Issue 2, Summer 2015, pages 218-46
  • Cummins, Thomas B. F. "Casta Painting: Images of Race in Eighteenth-Century Mexico" (Book review). The Art Bulletin (March 2006).
  • Dean, Carolyn and Dana Leibsohn, "Hybridity and Its Discontents: Considering Visual Culture in Colonial Spanish America," Colonial Latin American Review, vol. 12, No. 1, 2003.
  • Earle, Rebecca, "The Pleasures of Taxonomy: Casta Paintings, Classification, and Colonialism." The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 73, No. 2 (July 2016), pp. 427-466.
  • Estrada de Gerlero, Elena Isabel. "Representations of 'Heathen Indians' in Mexican Casta Painting," in New World Orders, Ilona Katzew, ed. New York: Americas Society Art Gallery 1996.
  • García Sáiz, María Concepción. Las castas mexicanas: Un género pictórico americano. Milan: Olivetti 1989.
  • García Sáiz, María Concepción, "The Artistic Development of Casta Painting," in New World Orders, Ilona Katzew, ed. New York: Americas Society Art Gallery, 1996.
  • Katzew, Ilona. "Casta Painting: Identity and Social Stratification in Colonial Mexico," New York University, 1996.
  • Katzew, Ilona, ed. New World Orders: Casta Painting and Colonial Latin America. New York: Americas Society Art Gallery 1996.
  • Katzew, Ilona. Casta Painting: Images of Race in Eighteenth-Century Mexico. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-300-10971-9

External linksEdit