The Mestizo Concept: A Product of European Imperialism

As published in:  In Xinachtli, In Milpa

By Jack Forbes
The Mestizo Concept 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.