While stating the obvious, this research by Stanford geneticists is fascinating. "Mexico harbors one of the largest amounts of pre-Columbian genetic diversity in the Americas," said Stanford’s Dr. Andres Moreno-Estrada.
At least a third of my own genetic makeup is Indigenous. The rest is Spanish Sephardic Jew, Irish, and trace mixtures from many other places. My indigenous ancestors, most likely Apache, came from the Sonoran, Southern California, and Western Arizona region. They also came from the Southern Michoacán, northern Guerrero region of Mexico. I have been told that I look Purépecha. Apache, too. I wish I knew.
While in Ireland recently, I must say that I did want to dwell on the O'Hara part of my identity. I asked a random, very friendly person at a grocery story counter what nationality she thought I was. "Canadian," she responded. Though amused, her answer didn't help much as I so wanted her to see the Irish in me. :-)
What should not get lost here is that the terms, "mestiza" or "mestizo" track back to racial classification that comes out of colonization by the Spaniards and other groups that colonized the continent (British, French, Dutch, and Portuguese). While hierarchy existed, the research is conclusive that race comes into existence with the conquest and colonization of native people. The term, "white," for example, didn't come into existence until the early 1600s and only so with the consolidation of slavery.
And since this is a more recent history relative to the much older, deeper one of blood mixture involving not just empires, but Indigenous people on this continent for millennia, the greatest part of "mestizaje"—the Stanford researchers' findings notwithstanding—involved pre-Columbian, pre-contact, Indigenous peoples.
Thanks to Dr. Rudy Acuña for sharing.
|A new study of Mexican genetics shows surprising diversity.|