Christian, Mexico




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Spaniards, colonial, Indian, Spain, Blood, quantum, laws, Black

Casta Painting

Casta Paintings
During the Spanish colonial period, Spaniards developed a complex caste system based on race, which was used for social control and which also determined a person's importance in society.


There were four main categories of race: (1) Peninsular, a Spaniard born in Spain; (2) Criollo (feminine, criolla), a person of Spanish descent born in the New World; (3) Indio (fem. india), a person who is descendent of the original inhabitants of the Americas; and (4) Negro (fem. negra) - a person of black African descent, usually a slave or their free descendants. Ilona Katzew (New York University)


Since the sixteenth century, Spaniards had transposed their own social schema onto their colonies in the New World. The subordination of State to Church and the ideology of limpieza de sangre (purity of blood)--where the absence of Jewish or Muslim blood defined an honorable Old Christian--were factors contributing to Spain's hierarchically organized society, whose members had clearly delineated social roles.


When the Spanish colonized the New World, they brought with them this division of society into nobles and plebeians. By converting the Indians to the Christian faith, an imperative that gave justification to the colonial enterprise, Spaniards became the aristocracy of Mexico regardless of their origins or occupations.




Casta Painting

The supremacy of Spaniards (or whites) was remarked at the end of the colonial period by Alexander von Humboldt (1769 - 1859), a German natural scientist who traveled in the New World: "any white person, although he rides his horse barefoot, imagines himself to be of the nobility of the country.


Indians, who, with the exception of their own nobility, were associated with agriculture, became the tribute-paying plebeians. Nevertheless, the Spanish system admitted the existence of an Indian Republic within the colony, which meant that the Spaniards recognized the existence of an internal hierarchy for Indian society.


Because Indians were destined collectively to become "New Christians," they merited the protection of the Spanish Crown. Blacks, on the other hand, were brought to the New World as slaves and were in theory situated at the lowest echelons of society; they worked as domestic servants for the Spaniards and as laborers on the sugar plantations, mines, and estates. Blacks were considered a homogeneous group with no rights and were redeemable only on an individual level, once they had proven their loyalty to the Church and their masters.


Casta Painting

In both cases above, the author is clearly saying that ALL Blacks in the Americas were brought there as Slaves, and that Blacks were the lowest class. The truth is that the great majority of Blacks in the Americas were indigenous people: Many Black Spanish and Portuguese citizens came to the Americas, and as all these paintings clearly indicate, Blacks were among the wealthy elite.


It is also indisputable that all of "North Americas - Native Americans" are Mulattoes and Whites. It is possible that "SOME" are "ANCIENTLY" derived from European Albino/Mongol and Black stock!


Though it can not be gauged how much mixing occurred between the very first Europeans in the Americas (the Frontiersmen), and the Native Americans. However, resent research indicates that the admixture from frontiersmen was extensive, as new artifacts demonstrate that "Pure" Indians were Blacker than first thought.


Blood quantum laws or Indian blood laws; is legislation enacted in the United States to define membership in Native American tribes or nations. "Blood quantum" refers to describing the degree of ancestry for an individual of a specific racial or ethnic group, for instance: 1/2 by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (equivalent to one parent), 1/4 by the Hopi Tribe of Arizona (equivalent to one grandparent), 1/8 by the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma (equivalent to one great-grandparent), 1/16 by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina (equivalent to one great-great-grandparent), 1/32 by the Kaw Nation (equivalent to one great-great-great-grandparent).


Native, Americans, Nation, tribal


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Its use started in 1705 when Virginia adopted laws that limited colonial civil rights of Native Americans and persons of half or more Native American ancestry.


The concept of blood quantum was not widely applied until the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.


The government used it to establish the individuals who could be recognized as Native American and be eligible for financial and other benefits under treaties that were made or sales of land.


Since that time, however, Native American nations have established their own rules for tribal membership, which vary among them.


In some cases, individuals may qualify as tribal members, but not as American Indian for the purposes of certain federal benefits, which are still related to blood quantum.


In the early 21st century some tribes have tightened their membership rules and excluded people who had previously been considered members, such as in the case of the Cherokee Freedmen.