Magnus Mörner presents his reader with both the concepts and the details of the centuries-long process of miscegenation, racial mixing, and acculturation, culminating in the national character of Latin America. This mix over time is awash with regional political, religious and social intrigues. Whether it is a source of discrimination, the logical effects of assimilation within a geographic area, or simply the result of gender-specific immigration, the synthesis and evolution of Latin Americans from their three main lineage roots, Indians, Blacks Africans and Europeans. it has a long and storied history.

Mörner points out various aspects of the transitions over time that interbreeding or mixing or combining of races went through in marriage or breeding. Although he often comments that there is little physiological difference that defines the term race, he expresses that the question of the importance of miscegenation in psychological and intellectual terms is “violently debated.” In this way, it is launched in historical contexts to clarify to what extent socioculture instituted efforts to promote, prohibit, and also control the safe mestizaje of “races.”

Race Mixture illuminates the many faceted trials that instigated economic, imperial, social and legal obstacles in which Latin Americans of all shades, backgrounds, and social classes were entwined.

One of the most ironic points that Mörner raises is that of classes and stratification. The book establishes that the characteristics of class and stratification in force in various times and regions of Latin America were an arbitrary location and limited by the ability to discern “nuances.” It became a matter of “dress and movement” to pass as a higher caste in some cases, a well-placed monetary gift in others. It is inconceivable today that there are detailed policies that specifically address taxes, marriage, military obligation, and the social stigma precariously attached to something as indiscriminate and subjective as skin “tone.” Since it also points out that the domestic Spanish population was well mixed prior to New World contact with African Moors, Jews, and other Europeans, the assumed phenotype or outward appearance of these Iberians begs to refute them as ethnically pure or superior. .

After listing various historical, colloquial, and short-sighted ethnic variants pigeonholed and based on derived, assumed, or controversial statistics, Mörner moves on to what would become, in my opinion, the most poignant chapters from today’s perspective. events and changes in systems and status related to the many castes, ethnic classes and cultures that were found sharing the Latino world. What was once the basis of religious, imperial and economic policy would become not only accepted, but also the norm. Mörner rightly points out throughout the book that the aforementioned systems, prejudices, and discrimination eventually disappeared or were overturned over time. The fact that it took so long, economic and social revolution to eliminate restrictions, prejudices and discrimination based solely on reproduction (which was often forced or ill-conceded) is one of humanity’s greatest shames.

Specifically, I find the word miscegenation to be strangely appropriate, since the root “mis” is so often identified with the meaning of incorrect, bad and hate … however, it is the very mixture of races that created the unique culture of Latin America that is represented today. .

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