A Mixture of Culturas: The New Mestiza

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2012-04-08 17:36Z by Steven

A Mixture of Culturas: The New Mestiza

CHST 404 – Chicana Feminisms (Spring 2012)

Erika Meza
Loyola Marymount University

Mestizaje is commonly known as the mixture of the European race with the Indians living in the Americas, something that began very long ago when the Americas were first being conquered. According to anthropologists on Mestizaje and Indigenous Identities, a majority of the Mexican population is the genetic product of mixing of “Amerindians with Europeans” and mestizaje is a biological fact. However, taking this into consideration then raises another question, which of the two ends is granted the most importance. A mixture in race also involves a mixture in cultures and according to these anthropologists; the European culture was always seen as the better one. “Europeanness” was associated with ideas of progress and modernization. The living indigenous people were seen as a backward and traditional “in need of modernization and progress” but this progressiveness was defined by having whiter skin, thus looking more indigenous became socially degrading (Mestizaje). In other words, mestizos became a combination of the oppressor and the oppressed. As Margaret Cantú Sánchez puts it in A Mestizaje of Epistemologies in American Indian Stories and Ceremony, “today Americans must accept the fact that we are all a mixture of cultures and must learn to accept the struggle with being both a part of the culture of the oppressed and the oppressors.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,