Latin Colonial America Analysis

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When Iberians conquered the Americas they were on their way to the formation of new racial groups. The three main groups of people were the Spaniards or Portuguese, the blacks and the Indian. Due to the lack of Iberian woman during the colonization period, many Iberian men had children with people from African and Indian descent. In Spanish America Spaniards developed an ethnic hierarchy that placed their ancestry at the very top, while everyone else was seen as inferior. During this time, people who resembled an Iberian where most likely accepted and possessed the ability to climb the capitalistic society. Although those who possessed Iberian ancestry accepted the ethnic hierarchy in Latin Colonial America, people who were non-Iberian criticized …show more content…
Instead of being at the top of the ethnic hierarchy for being the majority population, Indigenous people were seen below Spaniards. Despite being a Nobleman, Don Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala was not truly held with the same respect a Spaniard Noble would receive. As an Indigenous Peruvian writer he wrote a letter to the King of Spain, in which he expressed his true feelings about the treatment of his people. His’s letter was intended to let the King know that the Indigenous population should take charge of their own people. Guaman Poma de Ayala included his perspective of how he witness the exploitation of his people (Latin Colonial America, p.83). Like Siquenza y Gongora, he viewed the Mestizo in a negative manner. Guaman Poma de Ayala described the Mestizo as a “stain” to society (Latin Colonila America, p.90). As a Nobleman Guaman Poma de Ayala was outraged that he did not have a voice in this new government. He criticized the government because he held himself at high esteem, and felt that people with no nobility like corregidores were allowed to take advantage of the Indians population. Guaman Poma de Ayala did not possess Spanish blood and because of this he was restricted to what he could do. This letter serves as an example of how an Indigenous Nobleman was still considered less in the presence of Spaniards. The …show more content…
The mixed group of a Spaniard and Indigenous being was common. Many Spaniards accepted their Mestizo children which meant that they would have a higher opportunity to a better life. Garcilaso de la Vega was a Mestizo who with the help of his Spanish blood managed to receive an education. Since his father was a Conquistador, he was able to live a lifestyle of great opportunities. Although he was not fully accepted in the eyes of the true Spaniards, he possesses the right to write about his perspective. Garcilaso de la Vega identified himself with both his heritages. For example in his history work about Peru, Garcilaso de la Vega tried to convince the reader that the Indians and the Spaniards were worshipping the same God (Latin Colonial America, p.69). This is important because Garcilaso de la Vega wants to bring both his cultures together. Garcilaso de la Vega depicts the Spaniards as hero’s who arrived to save the Indians (Latin Colonial Amercia p.77). Garciliso de la Vega had great admiration towards his heritage, therefore he could not speak ill about either of his heritages. His way of writing depicts no hate or sense of superiority towards any group. For this mestizo, the ethnic/racial hierarchy did not stop him from becoming a recognized writer.

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