Old terms : Black + White = Mulato, Mestizo + Blanco = Blanco..
Inspired by a friends’ comments (and surprise) on the diverse terminology applied to the population of American territories colonized by Spain , I decided to do some research on the usage of the following terms and combinations.
Negro + Blanco = Mulato or Pardo
Mulato + Blanco = Terceron ( 1/3 white)
Terceron + Blanco = Cuarteron (1/4 quarter white)
Cuarteron + Blanco = Mestizo
Mestizo + Blanco = Blanco
Negro (Male) + India(Female) = Alcatraz
Negra(Female) + Indio(Nale) =Zambo
Alcataraz or Zambo + Mulato = Grifo
Alcataraz or Zambo + Terceron = Grifo
Alcataraz or Zambo + Cuarteron = Grifo
I have heard about these terms, but never knew about the gender factor in relation to Alcatraz and Zambo..
There is even a more interesting term : “Saltapatras”; literally meaning “going backards” ;which is the combination of a Terceron or Cuarteron or Mulato with Black
I do recall my Venezuelan grandfather reciting, like almost reading from a book, these terms and knowing the exact “outcome” from any specific pair or combination. ,
I believe these charts were part of primary school curriculum during the first half of the 20th century.
Are still some of this terms, heard in DR or jokingly being applied to people ? Or perhaps it’s only the old generations who vaguely remember them and will occasionally make references to them ?
Nowadays, we hear of “Indio Oscuro” (dark Indian) and “Indio lavado” (washed out Indian) but it seems that “politically correctness” has made a joke of their real origins. It makes no sense that “Indio Oscuro” is the result of Mulato and Black; given the fact that there’s no “Indio” neither in Mulato nor in Black. Perhaps, the result of Trujillo’s or Balaguer’s intention on “whitening” the nomenclature used to designate different shades of skin color.
Ok..back to topic..Could those above mentioned expressions find their way back into regular everyday language or are they already too derogative, offensive and even wounding to be even spoken ?.
Any info or further addition to this topic is greatly appreciated.
I think it was a sociologist from Arizona, Nancy Gonzalez (????) that researched Dominican vocabulary. I have not kept up on this, but I remember many of the terms in my readings in LA History. Indio + Español = mestizo, by the way.
Anyway, Dominicans have some terms like "Jabao" or "grifo" "cenizo" "prieto" that are heard frequently...
Moderator - North Coast Forum
our cat is "mestizo" which i always thought to be equal to "mongrel". surely people would not call themselves mongrels? or would they?
While Chip and Ms. Guitar will disagree, there are really quite few "mestizos" in the DR. There are many, mulattos..
Definition of “Mestizo”
It seems that within the Americas context, the term mestizo is the one that tends to have the widest definition.
Originally Posted by Hillbilly
But Hillbilly is correct, the majority of well known sources describe mestizo as the product of a European parent and Amerindian parent or, of course, 2 mestizo parents.
That sounds wrong to me, because negro+blanco=mulato (1/2 white) then a mulato (1/2) and a blanco (1) mix and in my mind you get a 2/3 white?
Originally Posted by contasm
Same with the cuartero which should be i think 3/4 white.
I've also only heard about mestizo being indian mixed with white
I've heard the expression "quadroon", as another degree of blending after mulatto.
And then is there a term "octavo" something tht is the next level after quadroon?
Is quadroon the british colonial expression for cuetiron?
Can criollo also be blended or are they only 100% Spanish heritage born in the new world?
Originally Posted by lavidaloca
Yes..you could say that quadroon is a “translation” of the word cuarteron, but developed in southern United States (19th century, former French colonies).
Regarding the word criollo, its meaning has changed throughout Latin America’s history. Nowadays, it loosely refers to a person native, and somehow representative, of a specific region or country. Under Spain’s rule, it strictly referred to any person born in America to Spaniard parents, or descendant of “pure” Spaniard blood.
“Saltapatras” (“jumping backwards, “going back” ? ); anybody out there who could come up with a proper translation of this expression, please feel free to post it...
But the essence of the word, is to convey that the result is a step backwards.. a sort of “regression” from whiteness to blackness. Very representative of those days’ negative sentiments towards dark skin tones. Surprisingly enough, it seems this term is still used as a derogative expression.
What about “Saltapalante” (“jumping forward”) as “whitenization” of any mix with white ? Have not come across with this term..yet, but, does it exist ?
SALT PATRAS = SALT PETER
Salt Peter is an interesting chemical in history - it is one of the ingredients of gunpowder. 200 or 300 years ago until now, it has been used as not only a sex drive suppressant (it was sometimes added to the soldiers food to manage their extracurricular activities and so to keep their focus on war) but strangely is also believed to be an aphrodisiac.
Salt Peter, or Potassium Nitrate, is an oxidyzing agent in gunpowder - it causes white ingredients to turn black.
So its use here is quite interesting. It makes things go black. It has sexual behaviour connotations. It could be considered volatile (which it isn't on its own) when combined with the other ingredients that make up gunpowder. Hmmm....!
Tags for this Thread
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO