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Term: Morisca

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By jimenec80 - Posted on 19 July 2021

Hello, is anyone familiar with the term "Morisca'? I believe it appears after the daughter and mother's name on Pasquela Prudencia's 1749 San Luis Potosi birth record on the link listed below. I first thought it was their middle name.

I googled the term and it means Spanish Muslim.

Thank you,


The following might help.

It is a good exercise to take the "casts" with a grain of salt, this terms were, in real life very loosely used in colonial México, thus you will see for example that among siblings there could be different casts, or very often the word "mulato" for actual "meztiso" people. etc.

Although Moro refers originally to an African Muslim, in my personal point of view, I found that "morisco" was likely used to denote a child of darker skin color but not dark enough to be a "mulato" probably similar to what we call today "trigueño", this regardless of the actual ethical background.

The terms used for castes in Spain differed from those used in the Colonies. While in Spain, “Morisca/o” meant “Muslim,” in Mexico, it was used for a person with one European parent (white) and one Mulato parent (of European and African parentage). Basically, a child with 3 White grandparents and 1 Black grandparent. But as RJQ mentions, the caste system was ambiguous and arbitrary.

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