Latin American racial and cultural diversity

Latin America is one of the world's most racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse regions. Despite this, U.S. American society has created an image of a homogeneous monolith when it comes to those aspects.
The point of this tumblr is to display the diversity among the different populations located in Latin America, specifically the racial and ethnic diversity.

I'll be focusing on the following groups:

1) The Native American or Indigenous people of Latin America:

These are descendants of the original pre-Columbian inhabitants of the region that make up a variety of different distinguished ethnic groups. They include Quechuas, Wayyus, Mayans, Guaranis, Mapuches, Aymaras, Emberas, Zapotecs, Garifuna, Miskitos and Payas.

2) White Latinos (which include three groups):

a) Criollos or Creole Whites: descendants of European colonizers from Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, and Britian.

b) Post-colonial immigrants from: Spain (including Basques, Catalans, Andalusians, Canarians, and Galicians), France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Ireland, Wales, other countries of Europe and the United States.

c) Immigrants from the Middle Eastern countries such as: Armenia, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. They're generally grouped with Europeans as whites in all Latin American countries.

3) Black Latinos:

Descendants of enslaved Africans taken to the region by European colonizers. Some of the ancestral groups of Black Latinos include: Yorubas, Mandinkas, Kongos, Makuas, Ewes, Akans, Igbos, Fulanis, and Malagasies.

Black Latinos can be separated into different groups.

a) Criollo or Creole Blacks: descendants of the blacks that were absorbed into the general population of a country or region.

b) Cimarrons/Quilombolas/Maroons: descendants of runaway African slaves such as the Palanqueros that were isolated and able to retain more of their African cultural practices

c) Chombos/Cocolos/English Creoles: descendants of Black Anglo-Caribbeans found mostly along coastal Central America, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.

4) Asian Latinos (which make up two groups)

a) The descendants of coolies. These were primarily Chinese people taken to Cuba, Panama, Peru to work as indentured laborers.

b) The descendants of immigrants that came mainly from Japan and China to different parts of Latin America. Other ethnic groups include Filipinos and Koreans.

Mixed-race Latinos. Latin America is without a doubt one of the most racially mixed places in the world and mixed-race people make up the majority in many countries of the region.
The most common mixtures include:

a) Mestizos/Caboclos/Cholos: the mixed-race descendants of European and Indigenous people.

b) Mulatos/Mulâtres: the mixed-race descendants of European and African people.

c) Zambos/Cafuzos/Marabous: the mixed-race descendants of Indigenous and African people.

d) Afro-Mestizos: the mixed-race descendants of Indigenous, African, and European people.

e) Other mixtures such as: Blaisians, Eurasians, and Multiracial people.

A mosaic of White Brazilians from the city of São Paulo 

White Brazilians are Brazilians of full or predominate European or Levantine ancestry.White Brazilians descend from colonial era settlers and post-colonial immigrants. Most post-colonial immigrants settled in the Southern and South-Eastern parts of the country, with the city of São Paulo being one of the largest centers of immigration. At the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1850, the city replaced African labor with voluntary immigrants to work its coffee plantations. This brought in a wave of German, Portuguese and Swiss immigrants, followed by additional waves of Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and other European immigrants from the mid-19th century through the beginning of the 20th century. Immigrants from non-European countries came mainly from Lebanon followed by Syria; the vast majority of them Catholic. Due to their similar appearance with Europeans, white skin color, and Christian faith these Levantine immigrants were considered white alongside their European counterparts. By 1897 Italians became the dominant ethnic group in the city, they accounted for more than 50% of São Paulo’s population.

Self-reported white ancestries of inhabitants in São Paulo include the following:

6 million of Italian descent, 

3 million of Portuguese descent,

2 million of Spanish descent, 

1 million of Levantine descent, 

400,000 of German descent, 

250,000 of French descent, 

150,000 of Greek descent, 

120,000 of Jewish descent, 

74, 000 of Lithuanian descent, 

65, 000 of Ukrainian descent, 

60, 000 of Hungarian descent,

56, 000 of Polish descent,

25, 000 Armenian descent,

22, 000 Russian descent,

20, 000 Croatian descent, 

and a variety of others.

A Mosaic of East Asian Brazilians from the city of São Paulo

East Asian Brazilians are Brazilians who descend mainly from Japanese, Chinese, and Korean immigrants that began entering Brazil in significant numbers at the end of the 19th century. The city of São Paulo has the largest concentration of East Asian Brazilians.

From the time of their first arrival to Brazil in 1908, the Japanese formed the largest single national group of non-European immigrants. In 1890 the government prohibited Asian and black immigration unless specifically authorized by an act of Congress. Under pressure from powerful planters who saw Asian immigrants as a way of cheaply filling their labor shortage, the Brazilian government lifted the restriction in 1907. On June 18, 1908, the Japanese vessel Kasato Maru docked in Santos, the port for the city and state of São Paulo. The ship carried 165 families, a total of 786 people, who had come from Japan to work as “colonists” in the coffee fields of Brazil. Over the next six years, approximately 14,200 immigrants, referred to by the Japanese word nikkei (Japanese-American) were brought under similar contracts. Most left the plantations after fulfilling their labor contracts and moved to the city and suburbs of São Paulo. The flow of immigrants from Japan was interrupted at different points because of wars (especially during the 10 years surrounding World War II) and other restrictions, but continued until 1961. The estimated more than 250,000 nikkei settled in São Paulo (73 percent) and Paraná (20 percent), with a scattering to other states: Mato Grosso (2.5 percent) and Pará (1.2 percent). Originally concentrated in agriculture, especially in truck farming, the community spread to many social niches, in particular commerce and, since the influx of Japanese investment beginning in the 1960s, into industry. Although there have been two state ministers in the government of Japanese background, most of the nikkei have concentrated in business and in the intellectual and artistic strata. They have had little impact on Brazilian political life. Through natural increase the Japanese Brazilian community is estimated at approximately 800,000 and is now in its fourth generation. It is the largest concentration of Japanese outside of Japan.

Nowadays, among the 1.4 million Brazilians of Japanese descent, 28% have some non-Japanese ancestry. This number reaches only 6% among children of Japanese immigrants, but 61% among great-grandchildren of Japanese immigrants. Being that most Japanese Brazilians settled in predominately white areas of Brazil, the majority of intermarriages involving them have been with descendants of post-colonial white immigrants namely: Italians, Spaniards, and Lebanese people in São Paulo & Germans, Italians, Poles, and Ukrainians in Paraná.

The two groups of East Asians with the largest diasporas in Brazil after the Japanese, are respectably the Chinese and KoreansDespite the fact that Chinese people have had a presence in Brazil since at least the late 18th century, no significant waves of immigration occured until the 1950’s. São Paulo has the largest Chinese Brazilian population, in particular on the district of Liberdade. Besides being an area famous for its strong Japanese presence, a significant number of Taiwanese immigrants have settled in Liberdade, and many Chinese immigrants have come to Liberdade following the Communist revolution in 1949. Many Cantonese from Hong Kong and Portuguese-speaking Macau, including some Macanese of mixed Chinese and Portuguese descent, have also settled in Brazil. Korean immigration to Brazil also began in the 1950’s. The Korean descended population in Brazil is the largest in all of Latin America with the majority (around 92%) being centered in the city of São Paulo. Most Korean Brazilians in the metropolitan area live in the neighborhoods of Liberdade, Bom Retiro, and Aclimação. On 6 January 2010, the São Paulo City Council officially recognised Bom Retiro as Koreatown.

Self-reported East Asian ancestries of inhabitants of São Paulo include:

665,000 of Japanese descent, 

120,000 of Chinese descent, 

44, 550 of Korean descent. 

Faces of Paulistas (Part lV)

A mosaic of White, Black, Asian, and mixed-race Brazilians from the city of São Paulo, Brazil

Most spoken mother tongues in Brazil and Argentina by state and province after Portuguese and Spanish

Brazil and Argentina were two countries in Latin america that were heavily settled by immigrants in the post-colonial era. Most of these immigrants came from Europe (Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Netherlands and the British Isles), but a significant number also came from the Levant (Lebanon, Syria) and East Asia (Japan). Despite heavy assimilation processes, specifically in Brazil, the languages and cultures still survived by means of their descendants. The two most spoken ancestral languages Italian and German have formed their own distinct dialects particularly in Brazil. Both Italian and German have influenced various regional dialects of Portuguese and Spanish. Italian has particularly been a great influence on Rioplatense Spanish, which is the most spoken dialect in Argentina and Uruguay.

Newer waves of immigrants have also brought their languages with them to Brazil and Argentina in recent year, most of these immigrants come from other South American nations such as French Guiana (French Creole), Bolivia (Quechua, Aymara); but also from over-seas regions of Eastern Europe (Romani, Slavic languages, and Hungarian) and East Asia (Chinese and Korean).

In Northern Brazil colonial remnants of the Dutch and French survive.

Despite efforts of assimilation and historical genocide of Indigenous people by the colonial-era European colonizers, their languages have too managed to survive and thrive in both Argentina and Brazil. This is especially true of North-Western Argentina where European colonial settlement and post-colonial immigration was minimal compared to other regions in the country. Quechua a language descending from the Incas is prominent in this Andean region. Various Indigenous languages have also survived in Brazil’s Amazon, greatly thanks to its remoteness. Lastly, the Guarani language family, is one that prospers in both Argentina and Brazil. Guarani has been a very important language in both countries and was used as a lingua-franca in Brazil for much of its history. Guarani is also one of the official languages of neighboring Paraguay, where it is spoken by most of the population, which includes not only native Guarani’s but also the Mestizo, White, and Afro-Paraguayan populations of the country.

Faces of Paulistas

A mosaic of White, Black, Asian, and mixed-race Brazilians from São Paulo, Brazil.

Faces of Paulistas (Part lll)

A mosaic of White, Black, Asian, and mixed-race Brazilians from the city of São Paulo, Brazil

Faces of Paulistas (Part ll)

A mosaic of White, Black, Asian, and mixed-race Brazilians from the city of São Paulo, Brazil

A Brazilian boy sells Contas during a religious procession

Contas are a variety of colorful necklaces worn by practitioners of Candomble: a Yoruba based Afro-Brazilian religion. Each necklace represents a different Orixá (deity) and is worn by practitioners to seek the protection and aid of that particular Orixá.

An Afro Bolivian woman and her baby

Afro Bolivians are unique in that they’ve adopted many of cultural practices, traditions, and attire of the Aymara people who are the largest Indigenous group native to Bolivia. Most Afro Bolivians not only speak Spanish but also the Aymara language fluently.

A Young Brazilian Gaucho 

The term Gaucho refers to the cowboys occupying the Pampas of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Historically they were a nomadic people who traveled around the plains of this region herding their cattle.