|Anthropology, Articles, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2014-04-06 01:52Z by Steven|
Jack D. Forbes, Professor Emeritus of Native American Studies
University of California, Davis
What is the concept of Mestizaje? What are its origins? What role does it have to play in the liberation, or rather the obstructing of the liberation, of occupied Abya Yala? These are important questions that face Our liberation movement, both here in Anówarakowa Kawennote, but also in Anawak and Tawantinsuyu, indeed all of occupied Abya Yala.
The well known radical onkwehón:we scholar Jack D. Forbes examines these questions in the following essay.
The terms mestizo and metis (as well as such comparable words a half-caste, half-breed, ladino, cholo, coyote, and so on) have been and are now frequently used in Anishinabe-waki (the Americas) to refer to large numbers of people who are either of mixed European and Anishinabe (Native American) racial background or who poses a so-called mixed culture.
In Canada, people of mixed European and Anishinabe background are ordinarily referred to as metis, that is, “mixed.” In the United States, terms such as half-breed, half-blood and quarter-blood are most commonly used but, mustee (derived from mestizo) and even mulatto have been used in the South. From Mexico through Argentina mestizo (“mixed”) is the standard term, but cholo, ladino, coyote, and other words are also commonly used. In Brazil, caboclo, mameluco and a variety of other terms are used, along with mestizo. The concept of mestizo has also been introduced into the United States scholarly literature and is becoming accepted among anthropologists and sociologists as a technical term replacing half-breed and similar words…
…The Mestizo Concept and the Strategy of Colonialism
One of the fundamental principles of the European invaders, and especially of the Spaniards, was to follow the policy of divide and conquer, or keep divided and control. This policy pitted native against native, and tribe against tribe, until Spanish control was established. Later this same policy prevented a common front of oppressed people from developing, by creating tensions and jealousies between the different sectors of the population…
…The concepts of mestizo, coyote, lobo, cholo, pardo, color quebrado, and many others, were invented by the Spaniards, and Spanish policy kept these categories alive throughout the colonial epoch. Were those concepts of any real objective value, apart from being useful to the ruling class? It is extremely doubtful if the differences between a coyote (three-quarters Anishinabe), a mestizo (one-half Anishinabe), a lobo (Anishinabe-African), a pardo (Anishinabe-African European), and so on were at all significant except in so far as the Spanish rulers sought to make them significant. It is true that there may have been cultural differences between natives and mixed-bloods speaking a native language and living in a native village, on the one hand, and Spanish-speaking person (of whatever ancestry) on the other hand. But those differences relate to political loyalty and culture and not directly to mestisaje as such…
Read the entire article here.