Half-caste - Half-caste in Other Languages

Half-caste in Other Languages

The term half-caste was common in British colonies, however not exclusive. Other colonial governments such as Spain devised terms for the mixed-race children. The Spanish colonies devised a complex system of castas, consisting of Mulattoes, Mestizos, and many others. The French colonies used terms such as Métis, while the Portuguese used the term Mestiço. French colonies in the Caribbean referred to half-caste people as Chabine (female) and Chabin (male). Before the American Civil War, the term mestee was common for certain people of mixed descent.

Other terms in use in colonial era for half-castes included - creole, casco, cafuso, caburet, cattalo, citrange, griffe, half blood, half-bred, half-breed, high yellow, hinny, hybrid, ladino, liger, mamaluco, mixblood, mixed-blood, mongrel, mule, mustee, octoroon, plumcot, quadroon, quintroon, sambo, tangelo, xibaro. The difference between these terms of various European colonies usually was the race, ethnicity or caste of the father and the mother.

Stoler has published a series of reviews of half-caste people and ethnic intermixing during the colonial era of human history. She states that colonial control was predicated on identifying who was white and who was native, which children could become citizens of the empire while who remained the subjects of the empire, who had hereditary rights of a progeny and who did not. This was debated by colonial administrators, then triggered regulations by the authorities. At the start of colonial empires, mostly males from Europe and then males of indentured laborers from India, China and southeast Asia went on these distant trips; in these early times, intermixing was accepted, approved and encouraged. Over time, differences were emphasized, and the colonial authorities proceeded to restrict, then disapprove and finally forbid sexual relationships between groups of people to maintain so-called purity of blood and limit inheritable rights.

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