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By Yolie - Posted on 16 January 2018

I found some ancestors identified as Criollos, Indio Criollos and Mestizos Criollos. Can someone please tell me if Criollo was a Spaniard born in the colones, why say Indio or Mestizo? Some are just Criollos, does this mean they were Espanoles?
Appreciate any explanation from this group to help me understand.

Cast system descriptions and terms where rarely follow in real life, the more you read the records the more familiar you will get with them, reality is that there is no "true to all" situation, in some places and at some times writers would use terms that they thought to be more fit to it.

I've seen "Criollo" use mostly for person belonging to the town where is been recorded (baptism, marriage, etc) thus an interchangeable term with "Natural", to distinguish them from those who came to the town from other places usually called "Vecinos". A way to keep track of people moving, or in todays term, government surveillance.

My "History of Mexico" book describes the tern to a child (born in Mexico) who parents were born in Spain. The child had less status than his parents. Hope this helps.

It is not always true, as the book "History of Mexico" states, that criollos were the offspring of Spaniards. I agree with RJQ that time and place need to be considered when trying to determine how a writer uses the term criollo.

The Diccionario de la lengua española de la Real Academia Española has multiple meanings listed in its entry for criollo. The first four given relate directly to persons born and raised in the Americas. The first one is the most common, while the second one listed refers to persons of African descent who were born in the Americas as opposed to those taken from Africa and subsequently brought to the Americas. The third and fourth meanings could be applied more broadly.

See for yourselves.

Criollo, lla

Del port. crioulo, y este der. de criar 'criar'.
1. adj. Dicho de una persona: Hija o descendiente de europeos, nacida en los antiguos territorios españoles de América o en algunas colonias europeas de dicho continente. U. t. c. s.
2. adj. Dicho de una persona: De raza negra, nacida en los antiguos territorios españoles de América, por oposición a la que había sido llevada allí de África como esclava. U. t. c. s.
3. adj. Dicho de una persona: Nacida en un país hispanoamericano. U. para resaltar que esa persona posee las cualidades estimadas como características de su origen. U. t. c. s.
4. adj. Autóctono o propio de un país hispanoamericano, o del conjunto de ellos.
5. adj. Perteneciente o relativo al criollo (‖ lengua). Léxico criollo.
6. m. Lengua mixta, creada sobre la base de una lengua determinada y con la aportación de numerosos elementos de otra u otras, que surge con frecuencia en antiguos territorios coloniales y que, a diferencia de los pidgins, se transmite de padres a hijos, convirtiéndose así en lengua de una comunidad.
7. f. Cierta canción y danza popular cubana, en compás de seis por ocho.
a la criolla
1. loc. adv. A la manera criolla.
2. loc. adv. Arg., Bol., Col., Cuba, Ec., Par., Perú, R. Dom., Ur. y Ven. Llanamente, sin etiqueta.
bolas criollas
cambur criollo
Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

sometimes i think that term was used to refer to the elites who were born in americas in general. because i've seen people get refered to as criollos who were probably at least 1/4 amerindian.

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