By Pedro Samuel Rodríguez R.
What is the importance of the ethnic issue of miscegenation in the Dominican Republic? We understand that its importance lies, among other things, that it is difficult to understand the economic and social inequality of this society, but through the phenomenon originated from the 'encounter and cross-breeds' occurred since the beginning of the formation of this people. From the very origins of the Dominican people, belonging to a particular ethnic group linked to a particular economic and social position. The result of the processes initiated in this area for five centuries from the biological fusion of Spanish colonizers, indigenous and imported African slaves , found that as a society have been making and what we are today. From our past, then, could not be excluded for relations of 'discoverers' Spanish arrived here from the late fifteenth century and those Africans brought here from the early sixteenth century and may still be excluded from the relatively brief contact with those 'disappeared' natives. It is obvious that in Dominican society has existed and still exists a close relationship between ethnicity and economic inequality. Consideration of issues such as ethnic hybridity must then raise a particular interest in this town mostly mixed.
You may need to remember: the Africans came here as settlers nor any authority, nor had it the natives. If the majority share of the Dominican population today is a product of the merger of those ethnic groups and their contrasting differences, it is understandable that to understand the present Dominican would be considering such relations of origin as managers of our current realities. Probably, however, because of our early and intense ethnic hybridization where Iberian participated in almost permanent state of economic ruin, the phenomenon of 'race meeting "has been here less connection with the generation of a manifest racial discrimination, because rather, this phenomenon explains realize and respect of our inequalities. In principle, the Spanish colonizers would have the purpose of establishing a future economic relations of massive exploitation of slave arm, but were later modified for such purposes, among other things, to the poverty of the settlers themselves were unable to cover the expenses involved in the additional purchase of African slaves by the continued refusal of the crown to provide the financing for and by intense mixing that was slowing the number of slaves, since in general, all mestizo or mulatto son of Spanish was considered born with the status of a free person.
The mixture was not only diminishing the contrast matching of ethnic origin found here. This process of relaxation via mixing in poverty was forming the substrate of our inequalities. Therefore, our socio-economic inequalities, past and present not-necessarily-originated in the ruthless exploitation and permanent mass of slaves by a small group of wealthy and inhuman masters, as it was in other colonial societies of the time . Consequently, the widespread poverty hybridization saved the worst consequences of Dominican society. We therefore reiterate the importance of the topic. Probably these aspects concerning ethnic hybridization, the encounter and fusion of races, arouse little interest in companies whose historical tradition of racial mixing is irrelevant as is the case, for example, the Japanese society today (98.5% Japanese without racial mixture, 1.5% other), the Armenian society (97.9% Armenians without mixture, 2.1% other), of Haitian society (95% black with no mixing, 5% mulatto and white) or Jamaica (90.9% Black unmixed, mixed 7.3%, 1.3% white) (1). If these percentage data are correct, then it is unlikely that consideration of mixing can explain the economic and social reality of these people mentioned here. In the Dominican scenario, however, the reverse occurs. In general, here, beyond the basic racial aesthetic view to the physical characteristics of a particular individual, ethnicity has played and continues to play its economic and social position. Thus, we reiterate, the importance of ethnic and racial mixing in the Dominican nation.
Ethnic composition of the Dominican people:
book a year Let 2009 (2):
Mixed (mixed) --- 73%
Black ------------- 11%
Converting these percentages into numbers of people from the total current population of the Dominican Republic, we get the following figures:
current population of the Dominican Republic = 9,650,054 people (July 2009)
73% = 7, 044.539 hab. (mixed)
16% = 1, 544.008 white
11% = 1, 061.505 blacks
100% = 9, 650.054 hab.
The proportion of the composition appears to have remained unchanged for centuries sensitive. She is the product originated in the intense mixing process started from the sixteenth century whose ethnic and cultural elements have been melting and re-melted in a crucible of race matching in our territory. For these reasons, an elemental analysis of Dominican history teaches us that the majority proportion of these people (73%) is a dynamic human resulting, particular and relatively new. Now, to talk about ethnic hybridization we must exclude human groups unmixed racial and refer exclusively to the social conglomerate mixed.
In this regard, to study this cluster could do starting the majority mixed primarily answering the following question: majority of the ethnically mixed population (73%) which is the composition and proportion of its mix?
In order to obtain answers to this question and aware of the lack of studies carried out in accordance with modern methods of DNA analysis, we note the findings of research conducted by the Dominican doctor Dr. Jose de Jesus Alvarez Perello, who presented to the VI Dominican Medical Congress, a job which was later published in June 1951 in English, in the NS Vol. 9, No. 2, American journal American Journal of Phisical Antropology. His thesis entitled "Race Mixture in Santo Domingo and the blood factor '(3) deals with the relationship of blood type referenced to the ethnic components in the mixed population Dominican throwing this study the following general results:
17% - Indian native
43% - Negroid
40% - White
Dr. Alvarez Perelló, Appendix of his thesis, divided into two main phases of the Dominican people training, which lists and explains as follows: 1st. Phase: During the Conquest and the first phase of colonization, there was, as stated by Rosenblat (Angel Rosenblat, "The Indigenous and the Mestizaje in Latin ', June, 1954/psr) that' while the Indians are going extinct , mestizos soon constituted an important part of the population. " We could say that during this period the population of Santo Domingo was formed mainly by mestizos and Spanish white. Given the rapid extinction of the Indian labor was the second phase. 2nd. Phase: This begins with the importation of African slaves, who no doubt had mixed to white European populations and people of mixed native mulatto trihíbrido creating this for me I refer, then came the gradual absorption of pure black and white and mestizo to produce, as Rosenblatt says, 'in Cuba, Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico the prevalence of white and mulatto. " In Santo Domingo have been other causes have increased the mulattoes, but always based on the absorption of black. "
Persistence of the indigenous component.
In further dimensions to his thesis, Dr. Alvarez Perelló adds: "Some will find it impossible to persist through many generations the influence of a vanished race, but if we reflect on Weismann's theory, see , says De la Loma in his work of Genetics, 'all organisms that are born are destined to die, but there is a material portion of the body that follows it, and instead of falling apart with the death of the individual who formed serves as a starting point for the formation of a new being. There is thus a race of living matter that does not die, but as a stream of life passed down from generation to generation: The race has been called to distinguish germ lineage of the race condemned to die with the individual, known with the name of somatic lineage. " Dr. Alvarez Perelló asserts that "the germ lineage of the Indian race has not died, has passed through generations to manifest itself in some nuclei of the country."
"These concepts expressed by me in the previous paragraph, in my view, says Dr. Alvarez Perelló," are a confirmation of the excellent work of notable historical researcher Prof. Frank Moya Pons entitled "The Spanish in the sixteenth century, 1493 - 1520 '. Although in this work the author does not specifically address the issue of miscegenation, however, there are data that historically tend to justify the thesis that I support in this work. In fact, Chapter Relations, 1514 Repartimiento quantification, pg. 336, found that 'of the 551 Indians who were Spanish in that division were 141 married women and 62 married Castilla Indian, leaving a surplus of 189 unmarried'. If we aggregate the data provided by Rosenblat in his work cited above, p. 20., Vol II: "But in the history of mestizaje was without doubt the most important union took place outside marriage. chroniclers and missionaries often provided a grim picture of the relations between the conqueror and Indian women: rape, robbery, sale and exchange of women, concubinage and the harem system, etc ... Indian service were both concubines'. As cited by Rosenblat, "The royal decree authorizing intermarriage is January 14, 1514. It was a de facto general. A Memorial sent from the Spanish by 1516, accused the Secretary Lope de Conchillos to take home eight or ten girls in public concubines'. "
Spanish and Africans in Santo Domingo in the sixteenth century:
To complete the outline of the racial mix of the Dominican people majority we must incorporate the remaining two ethnic components: the Iberian (Spanish) and the African. Could be considered that globalization began in the island Santo Domingo in the sixteenth century, and further, that in this contact area single-island U.S. territory in history in the fifteenth century, originated the process of westernization of European and African cultures. Additionally, it is worth considering here that we begin the process of ethnic and cultural hybridity in the New World which only later were irradiated to other American territories. With the incorporation of African ethnic groups from the early decades of the sixteenth century begins in Hispaniola a multicultural process involving the participation of three continents. Hybridisation processes occurring in our territory had, however, the particular condition verified by intense fusion of three races, two of which-the African and Spanish, were emerging as predominant in the quantitative aspect, while the strong showing of the influence of these two cultural vectors was and has been instrumental in the future of the Dominican nation.
It would not be idle to reiterate: the set of "typical" in an individual etnotipo Dominican mixing is not necessarily a product of external cultural intervention, as in the processes of transculturation and acculturation, but direct result of intense ethnic mergers , as noted in the previous paragraph.
The Dominican historian Carlos Larrazabal Blanco (1894-1989), draw the scene of such social phenomena occurring in our territory, specifically between human groups arrived on the island (white and black, Spanish and African) . Larrazabal said that: "From the beginning, white women have children in black, very general phenomenon, sometimes without establishing another link to the carnal, other established stable cohabitation. The children born of such unions are mulatto or brown. Whites also joined mulatto women, or mulatto to white women. Sometimes these relationships are covered by the church to celebrate marriages correct blurred. The mixtures were happening between whites and mulattos, mulattoes one another, blacks and mulattos, and even Blacks and Indians, so that soon there in Santo Domingo a true racial melting "(4).
Larrazabal provides additional details regarding the origin and as to the future consequences of the processes of early crossbreeding in Santo Domingo from the sixteenth century: "From the earliest days of slavery, the great lords of the colony, the main authorities The rich owners of herds and their children are free with the black. So did the priests themselves, and often. Many slaves, then, born of blood ties with the masters. This, ultimately, it is assumed in many qualms of conscience, brought as a consequence the abundance of manumission which certainly helped to smooth relations black and white body (...) The Spanish colony of Santo Domingo was not setting but livestock. Hence the difference in slave regimes between the French colony of western and eastern Spanish colony. Haiti, mainly agricultural, slave arm was indispensable for its development. Santo Domingo, given to livestock that it was not indispensable factor. The herds were usually entrusted to slaves or former slaves who lived a life quite bearable. Also slavery was also developed in the cities, home services, and nothing better than live calmed home of masters and slaves. Santo Domingo was a poor colony, Haiti was a rich colony "(5).
Larrazabal Blanco reports on the various designations used to identify these mixtures racial epithet from the mulatto, whose name corresponded to the product mix between white and black. Larrazabal said that: "The children of mulatto and white llamáronse 'tercerones', those of these and white, 'quadroon', mestizo understood every individual child 'quadroon'. But met other designations. So they called ‘grifos’ the children of blacks and mulattos, especially if they had black skin. The children of black and Indian they called 'Alcatraz'. We have documentary proof, if somewhat belated, of the latter kind of union with the marriage of a man named Pedro Manuel Ortiz, free black, born in Guinea and Luisa Ortiz, 'Float natural Indian users "who was born a son who was baptized in the city of Santo Domingo on 25 April 1761 (6). Larrazabal Blanco concluded by stating that: "By the force of blood, then, blacks are linked to the Dominican family, for the nexus of work and Christianity is linked to society through the loop of their ideas of freedom is linked to the country's history "(7).
Position and value of the Dominican population majority ethnically mixed hybrid Dominican:
The human type-product of the white ethnic fusion, Indian and black, "can be and is richer than the European, Indian and African origin was given, as , that lacked the native European telluric force of black and indigenous, and black and native Indian lacked embryonic germ Western European civilization. The Dominican Human type hybrid is, therefore, the depositary and synthesis of the diversity of values that it has converged. This tri-ethnic mix would be the natural versatile illustrated, the hybrid biographical exceptional conditions which have been in line with the trend humanity that points to the planetarization of diversity. This individual may only would lack a clear awareness of their potential, understanding the historical processes that gave rise, and the myths and shed limiting arguments and stakeholders. It is not a reckless advocacy of hybridity or cosmic race, but a present reality, organic and vital, in the Dominican case, exhibits and tangible positive results could be enhanced. "The world is moving towards miscegenation, we outline the new face of humanity", has expressed Martinique writer and winner of the Prix Goncourt 1992, Patrick Chamoiseau (8).
Complexities of ethnic hybridization: Identification of the ancestors:
As a people, the Dominicans has a catalog of outstanding and unquestionable values, but also survives within their own culture a host of complexities for define, clarify and resolve. Let's start this schematic and elementary remarks concerning the broad theme of miscegenation examining only one of these complexities, -characteristic of the condition of hybridity-, taking for that matter, the difficulty which sometimes manifests Dominican citizen to identify ethnically mixed heritages. In this regard, we note that an expression could be perfectly correct, but complex and unusual "if it eventually Dominican ethnically mixed, referring to his ancestors said:
'My Spanish ancestors exterminated my natives ancestors and brought and enslaved my Africans ancestors' .
However, what is usually heard from the Dominican ethnically hybrid people are third-person expressions such as "the Spanish exterminated the natives and brought and enslaved Africans".
The latter expression could be interpreted as said for someone who is itself perceived as a descendant of a nonexistent people of spectators who were not involved in those events. However, an ethnically mixed Dominican is indeed a descendant of each of the ethnic groups who he has mentioned. His own ancestors were indeed involved directly in all of those events, and because these facts he should not be considered distant of such original events. Even our independence in 1844 not excludes him from being a legitimate human product of those events that began in the sixteenth century. Those in our country who may very properly be expressed in exclusionary meaning are the human minority collective of blacks and whites' pure 'because, for a Dominican black (belonging to 11% of black people not mixed), it is fair to say that in colonial times,' a Spanish enslaved some of his ancestors, 'and, in the same way, a White Dominican (belonging to 16% of mixed white population), whose ancestors come from the Colonial era, not of relatively recent immigration-could properly express that 'some of his Iberian ancestors could have bought, enslaved or abused of an African on this land.
Also, the current indigenous peoples of Mexico, Central America or South America, not having our ethnically mixed, with equal ownership and exclusive sense might say that 'the Spanish, in their respective colonial periods, mistreated their ancestors' . Similarly, the current Haitian-majority population, not having our complexities of racial mixing, can properly said that: 'the French colony of Saint Domingue, enslaved and massacred their African ancestors. " Along the same lines could be expressed Jamaican people regarding English settlers. That is because the current indigenous people of South America, Haiti and Jamaica are not the product of smelting and re-cast race as has been the Dominican case.
So far, the item on the complexity facing the majority proportion of ethnically mixed people in identifying their ancestors seems as an anecdotal curiosity without much significance. However, viewed from another angle, the same reference could lead-by analogy-a reflection on how difficult it is for a hybrid mostly people trying to fully identify with a particular ethnic roots. Because, which of those three ethnic groups could represent for us that who J.F. Lyotard has called 'that original faith, that freshness old, that pristine state, that indefinable greatness of the early '? (9) At this point, beyond political and economic remedies, most of the people (73%) can only be redeemed for the faith in what represents his own synthesis, its main quality. This is not easy to be understood in areas outside of the specific realities of a people like us mostly hybrid.
The difficulty of knowing and understanding the hybrid from external scenaries:
Knowing a black or white person -from areas outside of our individual realities, is an exercise that is usually conditioned by the prior information acquired about the culture that this person belongs seemed thru his race. This way teaches that ‘a white person is a human product of characteristics coming from the Greco-Roman-Western cultures’. Also the prior information teaches that a black guy is conformed for the characteristics of African cultures. The same relation is true of the Indian natives. That is, previously there is the idea of a direct correspondence between the culture (values, behavior and attitudes) of an individual or group of individuals and their distinctive physical characteristics (race).
However, to make the connection between the physical and cultural characteristics of an individual ethnically and culturally mixed by biological fusion, requires additional efforts. In that sense, understanding a person ethnically mixed, goes beyond the easy and habitual exercise of specific lineages connecting a manifest and preconceived cultural characteristics. Knowing a white, Indian or black person is relatively predictable, but, knowing a ethnically mixed person is not so obvious to the observer. This observer become disoriented in those complex coordinates, because the observer has no prior information that will enable pairing between race and culture of individual ethnic and culturally hybridized, since no such data are common because there are few people with such characteristics. Therefore, from areas outside our specific realities is not easy to understand us. This is understandable.
In other words, it is understandable that it is difficult to apply the classic exercise of linking race and culture to an ethnically mixed people like the Dominicans.
Consequently, is in this difficulty where lies one of the causes of external observers (Europeans, Americans, etc.) Will be difficult to know and understand 'the Dominican Republic. " Conversely, in a scenario with little ethnic mix (Japan, Haiti, Jamaica), know and understand the Japanese, Haitian, Jamaican or is this an exercise outside observer it relatively easy and predictable. The people mostly hybrids like the Dominican Republic are not common in the balloon, therefore, knowledge of hybrid entities is no general rule. Therefore, to be better understood and known in external fields, is up to us, the Dominicans, the disclosure of such knowledge, but first it is necessary to try to know ourselves better. That would be one of the purposes of this letter.-
End of part I