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Mestizo is a colonial Spanish and Portuguese (Mestico) term that was used in the Spanish Empire and Portuguese Empire in Latin America to refer to people of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry.

In the early stages of racial intermingling in the Americas, if a child was born in wedlock, the child was considered and raised as a member of the prominent parent's ethnicity (See Hyperdescent). Often, the term "Mestizo" was associated with illegitimacy, however, it evolved in the ensuing centuries. According to historians Michael C. Meyer and William L. Sherman, early in the 16th century Spanish colonial usage of the term mestizo "was almost synonymous with bastard" (illegitimate child).

Mestizos do not appear in large numbers in official censuses until the second half of the seventeenth century, when a sizable and stable community of mixed-race people with no claims to being either Indian or Spanish appeared, although, of course, a large population of biological Mestizos had already existed for over a century in Mexico.

Related websites


University of Leiden publication

"Genetic Study Of Latin Americans Sheds Light On A Troubled History" - Science Daily

The 1921 Mexican Census

The Mestizo-Mexicano-Indian History

The Construction and Function of Race: Creating The Mestizo

The Mestizo Culture

Peru: Peru People and Preserved Culture

Bolivia: Indigenous and Mestizo Power Flexes Muscles

Dia Mundial del Mestizo

Aztlan Rising: The Indigenous Revolution (The Mestizo Concept)

Mestizo movement

Brazilian Multiracial Movement

Metis National Council

The Mestizo Concept: A Product of European Imperialism

Identity For Mexicans Central Americans Native Americans 3

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