Criollo people

Last updated
Criollo
Regions with significant populations
Spanish colonial empire in the Americas
Languages
Spanish
Religion
Predominantly Roman Catholic

The Criollo (Spanish pronunciation:  [ˈkɾjoʎo] ) are Latin Americans who are of full or near full Spanish descent, distinguishing them from both multi-racial Latin Americans and Latin Americans of post-colonial (and not necessarily Spanish) European immigrant origin. Historically, they were a social class in the hierarchy of the overseas colonies established by Spain beginning in the 16th century, especially in Hispanic America, comprising the locally born people of Spanish ancestry. [1] Although Criollos were legally Spaniards, in practice, they ranked below the Iberian-born Peninsulares . Nevertheless, they had preeminence over all the other populations: Amerindians, enslaved Africans and peoples of mixed descent.

Spaniards people native to any part of Spain or that hold Spanish citizenship

Spaniards, or the Spanish people, are a Romance ethnic group that are indigenous to Spain. They share a common Spanish culture, history, ancestry, and language. Within Spain, there are a number of nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history and diverse culture. Although the official language of Spain is commonly known as "Spanish", it is only one of the national languages of Spain, and is less ambiguously known as Castilian, a standard language based on the medieval romance speech of the Kingdom of Castile in north and central Spain. Historically, the Spanish people's heritage includes the pre-Celts and Celts.

Spanish colonization of the Americas Overseas expansion under the Crown of Castile

The overseas expansion under the Crown of Castile was initiated under the royal authority and first accomplished by the Spanish conquistadors. The Americas were incorporated into the Spanish Empire, with the exception of Brazil, Canada, the eastern United States and several other small countries in South America and The Caribbean. The crown created civil and religious structures to administer the region. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Catholic faith through indigenous conversions.

Hispanic America Region comprising the American countries inhabited by Spanish-speaking populations

Hispanic America, also known as Spanish America, is the region comprising the Spanish-speaking nations in the Americas.

Contents

According to the Casta system, a criollo could have up to 1/8 (one great-grandparent or equivalent) Amerindian ancestry without losing social place (see Limpieza de sangre ). [2] In the 18th and early 19th centuries, changes in the Spanish Empire's policies towards its colonies led to tensions between Criollos and Peninsulares. [3] The growth of local Criollo political and economic strength in their separate colonies coupled with their global geographic distribution led them to each evolve a separate (both from each other and Spain) organic national personality and viewpoint. Criollos were the vanguard and the main supporters of the Spanish American wars of independence.[ citation needed ]

<i>Casta</i> mixed-race people of Spanish and Portuguese colonial regions in the 17th and 18th centuries

A casta was a term to describe mixed-race individuals in Spanish America, resulting from unions of European whites (españoles), Amerindians (indios), and Africans (negros). Racial categories had legal and social consequences, since racial status was an organizing principle of Spanish colonial rule. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, European elites created a complex hierarchical system of race classification. The sistema de castas or the sociedad de castas was used in the 17th and 18th century in New Spain, a vast area of land starting just below Alaska stretching all the way to the Isthmus of Panama, plus the entire Caribbean, the Floridas and Spanish Philippines, to formally rank the mixed-race people who were born during the post-Conquest period. The process of mixing ancestries in the union of people of different races was known as mestizaje. In Spanish colonial law, mixed-race castas were classified as part of the república de españoles and not the república de indios, which set Amerindians outside the Hispanic sphere. Other terminology for classification is categorization based on the degree of acculturation to Hispanic culture, which distinguished between gente de razón and gente sin razón, concurrently existed and supported the idea of the racial classification system.

Spanish Empire world empire from the 16th to the 19th century

The Spanish Empire, historically known as the Hispanic Monarchy and as the Catholic Monarchy, was one of the largest empires in history. From the late 15th century to the early 19th, Spain controlled a huge overseas territory in the New World and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called "The Indies". It also included territories in Europe, Africa and Oceania. The Spanish Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description also given to the Portuguese Empire. It was the world's most powerful empire during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, reaching its maximum extension in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets".

Spanish American wars of independence series of armed conflicts in the Americas between 1808 and 1835

The Spanish American wars of independence were the numerous wars against Spanish rule in Spanish America with the aim of political independence that took place during the early 19th century, after the French invasion of Spain during Europe's Napoleonic Wars. Although there has been research on the idea of a separate Spanish American ("creole") identity separate from that of Iberia, political independence was not initially the aim of most Spanish Americans, nor was it necessarily inevitable. After the restoration of rule by Ferdinand VII in 1814, and his rejection of the Spanish liberal constitution of 1812, the monarchy as well as liberals hardened their stance toward its overseas possessions, and they in turn increasingly sought political independence.

Origin

Portrait of Juan Manuel de Rosas, a criollo of full Spanish descent Juan Manuel de Rosas by Descalzi oval retouch(B).png
Portrait of Juan Manuel de Rosas, a criollo of full Spanish descent

The word criollo and its Portuguese cognate crioulo are believed by some scholars, including the eminent Mexican anthropologist Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán, to derive from the Spanish/Portuguese verb criar, meaning "to breed" or "to raise"; however, no evidence supports this derivation in early Spanish literature discussing the origin of the word. [4] Originally, the term was meant to distinguish the members of any foreign ethnic group who were born and "raised" locally, from those born in the group's homeland, as well as from persons of mixed ethnic ancestry. Thus, in the Portuguese colonies of Africa, português crioulo was a locally born white person of Portuguese descent; in the Americas, negro criollo or negro crioulo was a locally-born person of pure black ancestry. In Spanish colonies, an español criollo was an ethnic Spaniard who had been born in the colonies, as opposed to an español peninsular born in Spain. [5] Whites born in colonial Brazil, with both parents born in the Iberian Peninsula, were known as mazombos.

Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán was a Mexican anthropologist known for his studies of marginal populations. His work has focused on Afro-Mexican and indigenous populations. He was the director of the National Indigenous Institute and as Assistant Secretary for Popular Culture and Continuing Education he was responsible for forming government policy towards indigenous populations. For this reason he is important in the field of applied anthropology.

White people is a racial classification specifier, used mostly and often exclusively for people of European descent; depending on context, nationality, and point of view. The term has at times been expanded to encompass persons of Middle Eastern and North African descent, persons who are often considered non-white in other contexts. The usage of "white people" or a "white race" for a large group of mainly or exclusively European populations, defined by their light skin, among other physical characteristics, and contrasting with "black people", Amerindians, and other "colored" people or "persons of color", originated in the 17th century. It was only during the 19th century that this vague category was transformed in a quasi-scientific system of race and skin color relations. The term "Caucasian" is sometimes used as a synonym for "white" in its racial sense and sometimes to refer to a larger racial category that includes white people among other groups.

Black people is a term used in certain countries, often in socially based systems of racial classification or of ethnicity, to describe persons who are perceived to be dark-skinned compared to other populations. As such, the meaning of the expression varies widely both between and within societies, and depends significantly on context. For many other individuals, communities and countries, "black" is also perceived as a derogatory, outdated, reductive or otherwise unrepresentative label, and as a result is neither used nor defined.

Limpieza de sangre or "cleanness of blood" was a legal concept in use since the Spanish Reconquista, and introduced to the Spanish colonies in the Americas. In 15th-century Spain, the concept was used to distinguish old Christians of "pure" unmixed Iberian Christian ancestry (either Southern Spanish Mozarabs or Christians from the northern kingdoms of Spain) from new Christians descending from converted Moriscos (Iberian Muslims) and Sephardim (Iberian Jews), together known as conversos (converts), whose real allegiance was institutionally distrusted.

Limpieza de sangre, limpeza de sangue or neteja de sang, literally "cleanliness of blood" and meaning "blood purity", played an important role in the modern history of the Iberian Peninsula.

<i>Reconquista</i> Medieval Christian extended conquest of Muslim areas in the Iberian Peninsula

The Reconquista is a name used in English to describe the period in the history of the Iberian Peninsula of about 780 years between the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 711 and the fall of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada to the expanding Christian kingdoms in 1492. The completed conquest of Granada was the context of the Spanish voyages of discovery and conquest, and the Americas—the "New World"—ushered in the era of the Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires.

Old Christian was a social and law-effective category used in the Iberian Peninsula from the late 15th and early 16th century onwards, to distinguish Portuguese and Spanish people attested as having cleanliness of blood from the populations categorized as New Christian, mainly persons of partial or full Jewish descent who converted to Christianity, and their descendants. The term was also used to distinguish "clean-blooded" Christians from Christians who descended from Muslim families – although the overwhelming majority of Spain's Muslims were themselves descendants of native Iberians who converted to Islam under Muslim rule.

The English word "creole" was a loan from French créole, which in turn is believed to come from Spanish criollo or Portuguese crioulo.

Spanish colonial caste system

Ball in colonial Chile by Pedro Subercaseaux. In Spain's American colonies, the upper classes were made up of Europeans and American-born Spaniards and were heavily influenced by European trends. Baile del Santiago antiguo.jpg
Ball in colonial Chile by Pedro Subercaseaux. In Spain's American colonies, the upper classes were made up of Europeans and American-born Spaniards and were heavily influenced by European trends.
Portrait of the family Fagoga Arozqueta. An upper class colonial Mexican family of Spanish ancestry (referred to as Criollos) in Mexico City, New Spain, ca. 1730. Retrato de familia Fagoga Arozqueta - Anonimo ca.1730.jpg
Portrait of the family Fagoga Arozqueta. An upper class colonial Mexican family of Spanish ancestry (referred to as Criollos) in Mexico City, New Spain, ca. 1730.

Criollo status was attained by people of full Spanish origin, and in very few cases in some administrative divisions within some Viceroyalties to people of a slight mixed origin (Castizo) who had one-eighth or less (the equivalent of a great grandparent) Amerindian ancestry, although in some cases individuals had more. Such cases might include the offspring of a Castizo parent and one Peninsular or Criollo parent. [2] This one-eighth rule, also in theory, did not apply to African admixture. In reality, officials assigned various racial categories to mix-raced people depending on their social status, what they were told or due to testimony from friends and neighbors.

A viceroyalty is an entity headed by a viceroy.

Castizo race

Castizo is a Spanish word with a general meaning of "pure", "genuine" or representative of its race. The feminine form is castiza. From this meaning it evolved into other meanings, such as "typical of an area" and it was also used for one of the colonial Spanish race categories, the castas, that evolved in the 17th century. In Latin America Castizo is used to describe the individuals with an admixture of at least 75% European and 25% Native American.

To preserve the Spanish Crown's power in the colonies, the Spanish colonial society was based on an elaborate caste system, which related to a person's degree of descent from Spaniards. The highest-ranking castes were the españoles, Spaniards by birth or descent. The Peninsulares were the persons born in Spain, while the Criollo comprised locally born people of proven unmixed Spanish ancestry, that is, the Americas-born child of two Spanish-born Spaniards or mainland Spaniards ( peninsulares ), of two Criollos, or a Spaniard and a Criollo.[ citation needed ] People of mixed ancestry were classified in other castes — such as castizos , mestizos , cholos , mulatos , indios , zambos , and enslaved Africans, called blacks.

Mestizo race

Mestizo is a term traditionally used in Spain, Latin America and the Philippines that originally referred to a person of combined European and Indigenous American descent, regardless of where the person was born. The term was used as an ethnic/racial category in the casta system that was in use during the Spanish Empire's control of its American and Asian colonies. Nowadays though, particularly in Spanish America, mestizo has become more of a cultural term, with culturally mainstream Latin Americans regarded or termed as mestizos regardless of their actual ancestry and with the term Indian being reserved exclusively for people who have maintained a separate indigenous ethnic identity, language, tribal affiliation, etc. Consequently, today, the vast majority of Spanish-speaking Latin Americans are regarded as mestizos.

Cholo is a loosely defined Spanish term that has had various meanings. Its origin is a somewhat derogatory term for mixed-blood descendants in the Spanish Empire in Latin America and its successor states as part of castas, the informal ranking of society by heritage. The exact usage and meaning has diverged heavily across Latin America, however. Cholo no longer necessarily refers only to ethnic heritage, and is not always meant negatively. Cholo can signify anything from its original sense as mestizo, "gangster" (Mexico), "person who dresses in the manner of a certain subculture", or as a grievous insult.

While the casta system was in force, the top ecclesiastical, military and administrative positions were reserved for crown-appointed Peninsulares, most of the local land-owning elite and nobility belonged to the Criollo caste.

Poole argues that the Virgin Mary, especially as Our Lady of Guadalupe, became the chief religious devotion of the criollos. They used the story to legitimize their own social position and infuse it with an almost messianic sense of mission and identity. [6]

Criollos and the wars of independence

Guatemalan Criollos rejoice upon learning about the declaration of independence from Spain on September 15, 1821. Independenciacentroamerica2.jpg
Guatemalan Criollos rejoice upon learning about the declaration of independence from Spain on September 15, 1821.

Until 1760, the Spanish colonies were ruled under laws designed by the Spanish Habsburgs, which granted the American provinces great autonomy. That situation changed by the Bourbon Reforms during the reign of Charles III. Spain needed to extract increasing wealth from its colonies to support the European and global wars it needed to maintain the Spanish Empire. The Crown expanded the privileges of the Peninsulares, who took over many administrative offices which had been filled by Criollos. At the same time, reforms by the Catholic Church reduced the roles and privileges of the lower ranks of the clergy, who were mostly Criollos.[ citation needed ]

By the 19th century, this discriminatory policy of the Spanish Crown and the examples of the American and French revolutions, led the Criollos to rebel against the Peninsulares. With increasing support of the other castes, they engaged Spain in a fight for independence (1809–1826). The former Spanish Empire in the Americas separated into a number of independent republics.

Modern colloquial uses

The word criollo retains its original meaning in most Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas. In some countries, however, the word criollo has over time come to have additional meanings, such as "local" or "home-grown". For instance, comida criolla in Spanish-speaking countries refers to "local cuisine", not "cuisine of the criollos". In Portuguese, crioulo is also a racist slang term referring to blacks. [7] [8]

In some countries, the term is also used to describe people from particular regions, such as the countryside or mountain areas:

In the United States

As the United States expanded westward, it annexed lands with a long-established population of Spanish-speaking settlers, who were overwhelmingly or exclusively of white Spanish ancestry (cf. White Mexican). This group became known as Hispanos . Prior to incorporation into the United States (and briefly, into Independent Texas), Hispanos had enjoyed a privileged status in the society of New Spain, and later in post-colonial Mexico.[ citation needed ]

Regional subgroups of Hispanos were named for their geographic location in the so-called "internal provinces" of New Spain:

Another group of Hispanos, the Isleños ("Islanders"), are named after their geographic origin in the Old World, namely the Canary Islands. In the US today, this group is primarily associated with the state of Louisiana.

See also

Related Research Articles

Creole people are ethnic groups which originated during the colonial-era from racial mixing between Europeans and non-European peoples, known as creolisation. Creole peoples vary widely in ethnic background and mixture, and many have since developed distinct ethnic identities. The development of creole languages is sometimes mistakenly attributed to the emergence of creole ethnic identities; however, they are independent developments.

Latin American wars of independence series of armed conflicts in Latin America between 1791 and 1830

The Latin American Wars of Independence were the revolutions or a revolutionary wave, that took place during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and resulted in the creation of a number of independent countries in Latin America. These revolutions followed the American and French Revolutions which had profound effects on the British, Spanish, Portuguese, and French colonies in the Americas. Haiti, a French slave colony, was the first to follow the United States; the Haitian Revolution lasted from 1791 to 1804, when they won their independence. The Peninsular War with France, which resulted from the Napoleonic occupation of Spain, caused Spanish Creoles in Spanish America to question their allegiance to Spain, stoking independence movements that culminated in the wars of independence, which lasted almost two decades. At the same time, the Portuguese monarchy relocated to Brazil during Portugal's French occupation. After the royal court returned to Lisbon, the prince regent, Pedro, remained in Brazil and in 1822 successfully declared himself emperor of a newly independent Brazil. Cuban independence was fought against Spain in two wars. Cuba and Puerto Rico remained under Spanish rule until the Spanish–American War in 1898.

Zambo ethnic group

Zambo and cafuzo are racial terms used in the Casta caste class system of the Spanish and Portuguese empires and occasionally today to identify individuals in the Americas who are of mixed African and Amerindian ancestry. Historically, the racial cross between enslaved African and Amerindians was referred to as a zambayga, then zambo, then sambo. In the United States, the word sambo is thought to refer to the racial cross between an enslaved African and a white person.

Portuguese creoles are creole languages which have Portuguese as their substantial lexifier. The most widely-spoken creole influenced by Portuguese is the Cape Verdean Creole.

Criollo or criolla may refer to:

In the context of the Spanish colonial caste system, a peninsular was a Spanish-born Spaniard residing in the New World or the Spanish East Indies. The word "peninsulars" makes reference to Peninsular Spain and was originally used in contrast to the "islanders" (isleños), viz. the native Canary Islanders.

Torna atrás

Torna atrás or Tornatrás is a term once used in Spain and its former overseas colonies to describe a mixed race person (mestizo) that showed phenotypic characteristics of only one of the "original races", that is, white, black, Amerindian or Asian. The term was also used to describe an individual whose parentage was half white and half "albino".

Slavery in the Spanish New World colonies

Slavery in the Spanish American colonies was an economic and social institution central to the operation of the Spanish Empire – it bound Africans and indigenous people to a relationship of colonial exploitation. Spanish colonists provided the Americas with a colonial precedent for slavery; however, early on opposition from the enslaved Indians and influential Spaniards moved the Crown to limit the bondage of indigenous people, and initiated debates that challenged the idea of slavery based on race. Spaniards regarded some indigenous people as tribute under the encomienda system during the late 1400s and part of the 1500s.

Filipino mestizo

In the Philippines, Filipino mestizo or colloquially tisoy, are people of mixed Filipino and any foreign ancestry. The word mestizo itself is of Spanish origin; it was first used in the Americas to describe only people of mixed Native American and European ancestry.

Filipino people of Spanish ancestry

Spanish settlement in the Philippines first took place in the 16th century, during the Spanish colonial period of the islands. The conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi founded the first Spanish settlement in Cebu in 1565 and later established Manila as the capital of the Spanish East Indies in 1571. The Philippine Islands is named after King Philip II of Spain and it became a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain which was governed from Mexico City until the 19th century, when Mexico obtained independence. From 1821, the Philippine Islands were ruled directly from Madrid, Spain.

Jalpa, Zacatecas human settlement in Mexico

Jalpa is located in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, close to the border with Jalisco and Aguascalientes and about a two hours drive south of the capital city, Zacatecas. Jalpa is a colonial-style city, with cobble stone streets, narrow walkways, two main churches: El Señor de Jalpa and La Parroquia de San Antonio, and two plazas. Jalpa was modeled by the French in the 19th century. In the middle of the plaza is a kiosk which remains in good shape today, after hundreds of years. Most houses are painted in bright colors just as in colonial times. The houses are made of adobe and share common walls and most have flat roofs.

Hispanos are people of colonial Spanish descent traditionally from what is today the Southwestern United States, who retained a predominantly Spanish culture, and have remained living there since before that region was territorially incorporated into the United States, dating back as far as the early 16th century when it was a part of New Spain. The distinction was made to compensate for flawed U.S. Census practices in the 1930s which used to characterize Hispanic people as recent immigrants rather than centuries-long established settlers, or as non-whites.

Spanish immigration to Peru

A Spanish Peruvian is a Peruvian citizen of Spanish descent. Among European Peruvians, the Spanish are the largest group of immigrants to settle in the country.

Race and ethnicity in Latin America

There is no single system of races or ethnicities that covers all of Latin America, and usage of labels may vary substantially. In Mexico, for example, the category mestizo is not defined or applied the same as the corresponding category of mestiço in Brazil. In spite of these differences, the construction of race in Latin America can be contrasted with concepts of race and ethnicity in the United States. The ethno-racial composition of modern-day Latin American nations combines diverse Amerindian populations, with influence from Iberian and other European colonizers, and equally diverse African groups brought to the Americas as slave labor, and also recent immigrant groups from all over the world.

Portuguese Mexican ethnic group

The Portuguese arrived in Mexico around the time of the Spanish colonial period. Many of them were sailors, conquistadors, clergy, and members of the military. Later Portuguese arrivals included pirates in conflict with Spanish leadership. Today, the country's largest Portuguese community is concentrated in Mexico City, especially in the Colonia Condesa, the home of many restaurants and bars popular with people of Portuguese descent.

Timeline of Mexican War of Independence

The following is a timeline of the Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821), its antecedents and its aftermath. The war pitted the royalists, supporting the continued adherence of Mexico to Spain, versus the insurgents advocating Mexican independence from Spain. After of struggle of more than 10 years the insurgents prevailed.

References

  1. Donghi, Tulio Halperín (1993). The Contemporary History of Latin America. Duke University Press. p. 49. ISBN   0-8223-1374-X.
  2. 1 2 Carrera, Magali M. (2003). Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings (Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture). University of Texas Press. p. 12. ISBN   978-0-292-71245-4.
  3. Mike Duncan (12 June 2016). "Revolutions Podcast" (Podcast). Mike Duncan. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  4. Peter A. Roberts (2006). "The odyssey of criollo". In Linda A. Thornburg, Janet M. Miller. Studies in Contact Linguistics: Essays in Honor of Glenn G. Gilbert. Peter Lang. p. 5. ISBN   978-0-8204-7934-7.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  5. Genealogical historical guide to Latin America - Page 52
  6. Stafford Poole, Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Origins and Sources of a Mexican National Symbol, 1531-1797 (1995)
  7. "Portugal: Autarca proíbe funcionária de falar crioulo - Primeiro diário caboverdiano em linha". A Semana. Retrieved 2015-11-24.
  8. "Racismo na controversa UnB - Opinião e Notícia". Opiniaoenoticia.com.br. Retrieved 2015-11-24.

Bibliography