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Thread: cuban autosomal genetics and pigmentation

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    cuban autosomal genetics and pigmentation


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    Regarding the feeling of white Latin Americans about whether or not they have Native American or African ancestors, I think that it is very influenced by the memory of the stratified colonial societies, where the darker the skin, the lower the place on the social scale, and obviously nobody wanted that. In many countries European immigration was favored in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, seeking a "whiter" society. An example of this can be seen in a Brazilian painting (I hope you can see it above), where the black grandmother seems to thank God that her mulatto daughter married a European immigrant and gave her a "white" grandson. Significant title of the painting is "A redencao de Cam", The Redemption of Ham .....

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    That's actually a famous 19th century Brazilian painting, named (suggestively) Redemption. It is the precise description of the idea of branqueamento (whitening) so common in the 19th century and early 20th century in Brazil: instead of racial segregation, sterilization or other drastic inhumane measures, Brazil supposedly needed to whiten its population gradually through intensive European immigration followed by an unofficial but socially powerful incentive to mixed-race marriages, usually involving a white man taking a dark-skinned mestizo or black woman for spouse. The idea, of course, was that, since Brazilians always thought of race just as a matter of looks, not of ancestry, a future Brazilian population would look white or white-ish regardless of the African and Native American components in their ancestry. According to the racist ideas of social darwinism so cherished at that time, they justified a process of miscegenation that had already begun centuries earlier by claiming that it was a matter of "national interest" to create a more intelligent and productive "Brazilian race" with the ingenuous and rational characteristics of the "white race" prevailing over the physical virtues of other races mixed into the "melting pot". A load of bullshit, of course. I think the same ideas were very popular in other Latin American countries.

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    Indeed, as you say, similar criteria were used in other countries of Latin America.
    (As you may guess, I tried to answer Angela's thread but accidentally opened a new one ...)

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