Ethnic Groups in Brazil - Miscegenation


The degree of miscegenation in Brazil has been very high, as Brazil was colonized by male Portuguese adventurers who tended to procreate with Amerindian and African women. This made possible a myth of "racial democracy" that tends to obscure a widespread discrimination connected to certain aspects of physical appearance: aspects related to the concept of cor (literally "colour"), used in a way that is roughly equivalent to the English term "race" but based on a combination of skin colour, hair type, and shape of nose and lips. It is possible for siblings to belong to different "colour" categories. So a "White" Brazilian is a person perceived and socially accepted as "White", regardless of ancestry or sometimes even immediate family.

While miscegenation has been one factor leading to a Brazilian population with features ranging from the stereotypically African to the stereotypically European, a second has been "assortative mating". The genome of the first generation offspring of European fathers and African mothers was 50% European and 50% African, but the distribution of the genes that affect relevant features (skin colour, hair type, lip shape, nose shape) was random. Those of the second generation with features considered closer to a "White" stereotype would have tended to procreate with others like themselves, while those considered closer to "Black" would also have tended to procreate among themselves; in the long term producing "White" and "Black" groups with surprisingly similar proportions of European and African ancestry.

Miscegenation has also been intense between immigrants and their descendants and the previous inhabitants of the country.

Read more about this topic:  Ethnic Groups In Brazil