Pages

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mextizo

Mestizo is a term that has been used traditionally in Latin America and Spain for people of mixed European and Native American heritage or descent.

"A different world cannot be built by indifferent people."

The term originated as a racial category in the Casta (Caste) system that was in use during the Spanish empire's control of their American colonies; it was used to describe those who had one European-born parent and one who was member of an indigenous American population.

In the Casta system, the highest being the European born persons called "Peninsular", and "Criollos" a bit lower, who were persons born in the New World of two European-born parents. The Mestizos were in the middle, higher than the Indians and the Negros who were at the bottom.

"Aprendelo Como Yo" By Bobby Quesada

Mestizos were not accepted in European society and were accepted somewhat reluctantly in the Indian communities. However with the establishment of towns and cities, they quickly became the majority in much of what is today Latin America.

The word mestizo later on acquired its current double meaning of mixed cultural heritage and actual racial descent. And since they are overwhelmingly in the majority they enjoy it. For us we can establish the type of dancing that we inherited from these people as Mestizo dancing because of the erroneous assumption that it is from Africa.

"Bahama Mama" By Boney Maroney

Many changes ocurred with influence from the Europeans and Africans. But it was not from Europe or Africa. It as definitely from those that were born and raised after several generations in the Americas. Mestizo dancing was always at the bottom of the totem pole and did not begin to emerge until the end of the 19th century.