Meaning of Mestizaje
What is Mestizaje:
Mestizaje is the biological and cultural crossing of individuals from different ethnic groups.Formerly, miscegenation used to be related to the idea of racial mixing, that is, the union between individuals of different races; however, today the concept of race has been discarded by science.
For this reason, today we speak rather of miscegenation when there is a combination at a biological (genetic material) and cultural (customs, traditions, beliefs, etc.) level between individuals belonging to different ethnic groups. A new individual called mestizo results from this mixture.
Thus, the combination of different ethnic groups gives rise to a new mestizo ethnic group, which identifies with elements of both ethnic groups, although sometimes one of them predominates over the other.
Processes of miscegenation have taken place at different times in the history of humanity, either due to migration, the movement and exchange that trade gives rise to, for religious reasons or due to political and military domination of one people by another.
America is an important example of miscegenation, because due to the process of domination and colonization of the continent, indigenous people, Europeans and Africans produced different cultural and social realities, product of the unions that proliferated between these three groups.
Cultural miscegenation is a phenomenon product of the encounter, interaction, exchange and appropriation of the different traditions, customs, practices, beliefs and behaviors of different ethnic groups.
An example of cultural miscegenation is present-day Latin America, in which individuals from different ethnic groups (indigenous Americans, Spaniards, black Africans), with markedly different customs, traditions, beliefs and physical characteristics, made possible a new cultural reality that is recognized and it reflects, in different degrees and forms, in those human groups from which they come.
Thus, in cultural miscegenation the characteristics of the cultural particularities of different ethnic groups merge, which can be expressed in music, clothing, food, values, religion or speech. This process is also known as syncretism.