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highlanders. On the table-land of Anahuac, whose elevation surpasses at least twice that of the clouds which in summer are suspended over our heads, are assembled together copper-coloured men from the north-west part of North America, Eu. ropeans, and a few negros from the coasts of Bonny, Calabar, and Melimbo. When we con. sider that what we now call Spaniards is a mixture of Alani and other Tartar hordes with the Visigoths and ancient inhabitants of Iberia; when we also consider the striking analogy between the most part of the European languages, the Sanscrit, and the Persic; and, in short, when we reflect on the Asiatic origin of the pastoral tribes who have been pouring into Mexico since the seventh cen. tury, we are almost tempted to believe, that from one and the same centre, though by roads diametrically opposite, have issued part of those nations, who, wandering about for a long time, and after making, as it were, the tour of the globe, meet once more on the ridge of the Mexican Cordilleras.
To complete the table of the elements of which the Mexican population is composed, it remains for us to point out rapidly the differences of cast which spring from the mixture of the pure races with one another. These casts constitute a mass almost as considerable as the Mexican Indians. We may estimate the total of the individuals of mixed blood at nearly 2,400,000. From a refinement of vanity, the inhabitants of the colonies
have enriched their language with terms for the finest shades of the colours which result from the degeneration of the primitive colour. It may be so much the more useful to explain these denominations*, as they have been confounded by many travellers, and as this confusion frequently causes no small embarrassment to those who read Spanish works on the American possessions.
The son of a white Creole or European), and a native of copper-colour, is called Mestizo. His colour is almost a pure white; and his skin is of a particular transparency. The small beard and small hands and feet, and a certain obliquity of the eyes, are more frequent indications of the mixture of Indian blood than the nature of the hair. If a Mestiza marry a white man, the second generation differs hardly in any thing from the European race. As very few negros have been introduced into New Spain, the Mestizos probably compose į of the whole casts. They are generally accounted of a much more mild character than the mulattoes, descended from whites and negresses, who are distinguished for the violence
of their passions and a singular volubility of . tongue. The descendants of negros and Indian women bear at Mexico, Lima, and even at the Havanah, the strange name of Chino, Chinese.
* Sobre el Clima de Lima, por el Doctor Unanue, p. xlviii. a work printed in Peru, in 1806.
On the coast of Caraccas, and, as appears from the laws, even in New Spain, they are called zambos. This last denomination is now principally limited to the descendants of a negro and a female mu. latto, or a negro and a Chinese female. From these common zambos, they distinguish the zambos prietos, who descend from a negro and a fe. male zamba. From the mixture of a white man with a mulatto comes the cast of quarterons. When a female quarteron marries a European or creole, her son bears the name of quinteron. A new alliance with a white banishes to such a degree the remains of colour, that the children of a white and female quinteron are white also. The casts of Indian or African blood preserve the odour pe. culiar to the cutaneous transpiration of those two primitive races. The Peruvian Indians, who in the middle of the night distinguish the different races by their quick sense of smell, have formed three words to express the odour of the European, the Indian American, and the negro: they call the first pezuña, the second posco *, and the third grajo. Moreover, the mixtures, in which the colour of the children becomes deeper than that of their mother, are called salta-atras, or back-leaps.
In a country governed by whites, the families reputed to have the least mixture of negro or mu. latto blood are also naturally the most honoured.
* Old word of the Qquichua language.
In Spain it is almost a title of nobility to descend neither from Jews nor Moors. In America, the greater or less degree of whiteness of skin decides the rank which man occupies in society. A white who rides barefootel on horseback thinks he belongs to the nobility of the country. Colorir establishes even a certain equality among men, who, as is universally the case where civilization is either little advanced or in a retrograde state, take a particular pleasure in dwelling on the prerogatives of race and origin. When a common man disputes with one of the titled lords of the country, he is frequently heard to say, “Do you think me not so white as yourself?” This may serve to characterize the state and source of the actual aristocracy. It becomes, consequently, a very interesting business for the public vanity to estimate accurately the fractions of European blood which belong to the different casts. According to the principles sanctioned by usages, we have adopted the following proportions:
It often happens that families suspected of being of mixed blood demand from the high court of justice (l'audiencia) to have it declared that they belong to the whites. These declarations are not always corroborated by the judgment of the senses. We see very swarthy mulattoes who have had the address to get themselves whitened (this is the vulgar expression). When the colour of the skin is too repugnant to the judgment demanded, the petitioner is contented with an expression somewhat problematical. The sentence then simply bears “ that such or such individuals may consider themselves as whites (que se tengan por blancos ).”
It would be interesting were we enabled to discuss thoroughly the influence of the diversity of casts in the proportion of the sexes to one another. I saw, from the enumeration in 1793, that in the city of Puebla and at Valladolid there were among the Indians more men than women, while among the Spaniards or the white race there were more women than men. The intendancies of Guanax. uato and Oaxaca exhibit in all the casts the same excess of men *. I never could procure sufficient ::
* This hardly makes in favour of John Rheinhold Forster's theory, embraced with so much ardour by the far-famed Mary Wollstonecroft in her Rights of Women, that the sex of the offspring is determined by the side on which the preponderance of ardour lies in the sexual intercourse. Hence, says she,
there are more females than males in the east; for the females bé ing deprived of their just share in that intercourse, have consequently a more than ordinary share of ardour. Yet