Home    Number 1, 2020

Why Had Mestizos Disappeared in Cuba?

[Pochemu ischezli metisy na Kube?]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150008765-1

About author(s)

Edward Aleksandrenkov | http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2139-7353 | ed_alex@mail.ru | Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences (32a Leninsky prospekt, Moscow, 119991, Russia)


African slaves, Сuba, Indians, mestizos, Spaniards


The initial Spanish immigration to Cuba was predominantly male. Aboriginals’ dependent status allowed the Spaniards with impunity to take local women as concubines. When the number of Aboriginals had dropped, the island began to import slaves from Africa. These, too, were mostly male and, despite the ban of the authorities, had relations with native women. African women and their daughters became partners (in some cases wives) of the Spaniards. Thus conditions were created for the continued growth of mixed population. Because of the reduction in the Aboriginal population and the increasing number of immigrants from Spain and slaves from Africa, the significance of descendants of Spaniards and Natives in the population structure of the island began to diminish; and now in Cuba, there is no socially recognized category of “mestizos”, unlike some other countries in the Americas.


Aleksandrenkov, E.G. 2020. Why Had Mestizos Disappeared in Cuba? [Pochemu ischezli metisy na Kube?]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 1: 153–163. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150008765-1

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