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Forum LockedAmerindian roots of the Americas

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    Posted: 18-May-2008 at 17:33
This is a thread I opened to debate the issue of identity in the Americas. Everyone's comments is welcome.
 
The idea is simple. Are the current populations of the Americas genetically or at least spiritually descendents of the Ancient Amerindians or not. It is also an opportunity to share about those heritages we are proud of. For instance, I am proud of Incas, Aymaras and Mapuche cultures and material achievements.
 
Let's debate in a friendly manner. Everyone here knows my possition on the topic, but don't be afraid to present your own visions.
 
This is a picture of the original inhabitants of the Americas, from wiki, of course.
 
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 18-May-2008 at 17:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2008 at 17:50
When you say current populations you mean everyone or just the natives.

Cause obvioulsy North Americans have nothing to do with Amerindians, unlike South Americans where Spanish mixed with the Indians.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2008 at 17:56
I mean current populations.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2008 at 18:24
Then no for US and Canada and yes for Latin America

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2008 at 18:46
Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:

Then no for US and Canada and yes for Latin America

 
I don't know why you have such a binary attitude with respect to the topic. Do you live in the Americas? Actually many Americans and Canadians do have Amerindian blood, more than, I believe, you think. On the other hand, there are hundred of millions of European descendents in Latin America too, many of which still look European.
 
Actually, these times, some cities of Latin America look more European that many corners of the United States, either you accept it or not Wink
 
 
The topic points to other thing, though. How much identification with Amerindian roots still exist accross the Americas.
 
 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ehecatzin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2008 at 19:54
well I had to vote no.2
 I will talk about Mexico in this regard, I do think that natives are the real heirs of mesoamerican civilizations, them, not the meztizos. The history of indigenous peoples in Mexico has been a nightmare since the conquest, almost all of their legacy was destroyed, books, language, tradition, religion, etc. the only parts that remained did so because they were assimilated into the cristian doctrine, or because of isolation in dusty patches of dirst the Spainards wouldnt bother to take away from them.

Independence came and while it meant the world for meztizos and criollos, the indigenous would still be treated like crap (old Spanish tradition you see) and Im not going to explain a lot of exactly how they where treated, but it retty much continued the same until the revolution. The interesting part of the revolution, its that while it was a mess, in the sense that many armies fought against the bobernment, they all fought for diferent things, the dinigenous poluation played a very important role in the souther armies forexample...but if you see how the revolution ended, its no wonder why things didnt improve for indigenous.

and then BAM jump to present day, lack of oportunities, poverty, and corrup rural gobernment have caused a lot of migration of indigenous to cities, where of course they are still poor, and whats worst they are beeing agressivily assimilated.

300 years of Spanish control didnt kill the indigenous culture, but some decades of modern Mexico are doing it, large part of the problem is that many gobernments simply dont give a damm, if anything they see native culture as a turism asset...a sad example of this is in Yucatan.

Mexican gobernment seems content with the overall idiotic belief that Mayans somehow "dissapeared" when the truth is that Mayans never dissapeared they are still here and are direct descendants from the piramid builders..but nooo, why bother with that, selling the idea of "mistic Maya lands" is more attractive to tourist, the same happends with the Hollywoodesque portrayal of classical Mayans, turism creates shows about Mayans dancing in lion cloth with Moctezuma like featehrs on their heads, and claim to renaact real Mayan ceremonies...heck real Mayan ceremonies are nothing like that.

Of course since the gobernment doesnt really give a damm about them, whats wrong with that portrayal?

this is transforming into a rant, I'll get back on point.

The thing is that natives in Mexico are being stripped of ownership of their own culture, being transformed into trourism assets in the best of cases. and the Mexican gobernment wont do anything drastic i favor of indigenous without changing some of the ideas this country has been built on.

"Mexico is a meztizo nation, born out of the cultural clash of indigenous and Spaniards" this along with promoting the idea that meztizo culture is rooted on mesoamerican cultures..wich isnt true, meztizo culture is rooted on New Spain, and the sincrethism it existed back then, but meztizos hold no claim whatsoever to say Teotihuacan, or Chichen Itza, the ones that can claim them are the natives.

Now Im not saying mesoamerican culture doesnt not belong to Mexico, of course it does, but not all mexicans have that direct claim.

My problem wiht this is that meztizo culture very often acts like if Mayans, Nahuas, Mixtecs, etc are a thing of the past..loooong extinguished, well of course not they are still around and kicking. If they werent around anymore, if indigenous cultures would in deed be over, then sure claim whatever you want, but its not the case.

To give you a clear idea of this problem:  Chichen Itza the ancient Maya city was granted the title of new wonder of the world!!!!! OMFG Mexico went crazy with it, we have a wonder, we are getting recognition, we deserve it, we are that cool, and all the media nonsense you can picture.  
A big celebration was being held at the Maya city, everyone importnt in the gobernment, society and entertainment industry was there, rejoicing themselves
 in the city....

and the Mayans?

ahh yes them....well lots and lots of Mayans flocked to the city to sell their products to tourism (because without any gobernment support for a real living, thats what they resort to) and..guess what.    the horror   why are this filty people there? they are going to scare the tourist this is our moment of triumph!!! and so the Mayans where kicked out o the city, and anywhere near it, how dare the decendant of the people that build the world wonder to come here without an invitation?

unfortunedly this attitude towards indigenous, is not new here, and as long as they are being kept poor, the abuse and agressive assimilation will continue.

so yes...No.2 they are a minority being replaced..but I wouldnt go as far as saying by "progressive" people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2008 at 23:52

Interesting comment, Ehecatzin, with respect to Mexico, which is a country that push its "Aztec" identity all over the world, in the arts, literature and even in the products it manufactures, branded this symbol:

 
Every country in Latin America has histories that are similar, in general, but of a different character. In all of them there are myths associated, like the myth of the "dissapearence" or "extinction".
 
During too long a time, the only people counted as Indians were the people of pure Amerindian descend, living in isolated communities that still spoke Amerindian languages. All the rest were considered "Spanish", "White" or "Westerners". That happened in Cuba, Argentina and many other places, where "extinctions" happened.
 
I found that kind of weird. For instance, in the History Channel I saw a chapter of "Digging for the Truth", where the conductor spoke about the "extincted Patagonians" while talking with gauchos. He wasn't informed that Gauchos do have not only a rich Amerindian culture but lot of theirs genetics as well, no matter they could look European to the outsider.
In Chile, the idea that the Kawashkar went extinguished go against a fact: there are thousand of theirs descendents that migrated from the South long ago. I have seen an official figure of 4.000 mixed descendents of Kawashkars! At contact that people had circa 1.000 people! So, It doesn't make more sense the "extinction".
 
With respect to identity, Chile is a country more uniform than Mexico. The main division in this respect is between the average Chilean which is mainly castizo, against the Mapuche people who was a independent nation up to 1881, and that still has its own character and culture.
 
With respect to the average Chilean, we know mixing happened long ago, and that we are descendents mainly of "colaborating" Indians, Spanish settlers and immigrants. Our identity is associated with Chile and with our own countryside, or huaso, culture, which is hybrid.
 
Unlike Chilean culture, Mapuche culture preserve much of the pre-colombian past, besides having a language alived. There relation between both groups haven't been easy, but the tendency is to assimilation on both sides.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 19-May-2008 at 00:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2008 at 18:38
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:

Then no for US and Canada and yes for Latin America

 
I don't know why you have such a binary attitude with respect to the topic. Do you live in the Americas? Actually many Americans and Canadians do have Amerindian blood, more than, I believe, you think. On the other hand, there are hundred of millions of European descendents in Latin America too, many of which still look European.
 
Actually, these times, some cities of Latin America look more European that many corners of the United States, either you accept it or not Wink
 
 
The topic points to other thing, though. How much identification with Amerindian roots still exist accross the Americas.
 
 


Nope I don't live in Americas.  SO? Do I have to live there to post an opinion?

And it doesn't matter if there are even a million Americans with mixed blood.  The population of US is vast and they eliminated the Indians. They are not related to them neither culturally or ethnologicaly.

So no Amerindians have little importance in either US or Canada except for a source of shame and remorse.

Latin America on the other hand, is entirely different. And I am not talking about "who looks Indian". People in Peru, Argentina etc still have many Indian customs, traditional clothes etc and millions of them not a few survivors disposed in limited areas that dress up for tourists.


Edited by Vorian - 19-May-2008 at 18:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SearchAndDestroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2008 at 19:01
Just an American viewpoint on the subject. It's true that not many Americans are Native American, but you wouldn't know looking at alot of them. Hulk Hogan, Billy Bob Thorton, Johnny Depp, and Angelina Jolie have native backgrounds, you couldn't tell that with Hulk Hogan.
With the people I met that have it, they seem to take pride in it, we all want to feel connected to the land we call home. When I was told my family might have Native bloodlines, I was pretty proud of the idea and when I was young, I have to confess I bragged about it. Now I'm not entirely sure it's true, but I'd lik to find out.
My cousins on the other hand do have Native blood, and they like to mention it. Other people have met do the same.
 
Americans like to identify with their families background, I remember it almost seeming like a contest to see who have the most national origins in their family. Or how far back we can track our ancestors in the Americas. I guess we take pride of who we are.
 
On another note, to some extent, I think we also take pride in the Native Americans. Maybe it's just my state, Connecticut(which is a Native name might I add), with the Native American Casino's we have, which promote their history and culture.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2008 at 19:28
Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:



Nope I don't live in Americas.  SO? Do I have to live there to post an opinion?
 
Of course you can post your opinion. However, I bet you miss some perspective that only people that lives in the Americas have.

Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:


And it doesn't matter if there are even a million Americans with mixed blood.  The population of US is vast and they eliminated the Indians. They are not related to them neither culturally or ethnologicaly.
 
It is more than a million. According to certain calculations it is at least 15 million people that has enough Amerindian ancestry that shows in genetical tests. And I am not counting there American Indians (2 millions) and some immigrants from Latin America (15 millions) that have sizable percentages of Amerindian ancestry.

Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:


So no Amerindians have little importance in either US or Canada except for a source of shame and remorse.
 
That's politics. With respect to Canada, the Meti people there is foundamental to understand the identity of that nation. In the United States to have Amerindian blood is a source of pride for many people. Besides, you won't believe how many American traditions are also rooted in Amerindian customs, like canoing, eating syrup or drinking root beer.

Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:


Latin America on the other hand, is entirely different. And I am not talking about "who looks Indian". People in Peru, Argentina etc still have many Indian customs, traditional clothes etc and millions of them not a few survivors disposed in limited areas that dress up for tourists.
 
Indeed. In Hispanic America more Amerindian tribes survived, but they are still a minority in the population. People in general, though, recognizes Amerindians like theirs "ancestors", either actual ancestors or at least spiritually. For instance, in the Andes countries, the Incas are a source of pride as much as the Roman Empire could be for Italy.
 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2008 at 19:30
Originally posted by SearchAndDestroy SearchAndDestroy wrote:

Just an American viewpoint on the subject. It's true that not many Americans are Native American, but you wouldn't know looking at alot of them. Hulk Hogan, Billy Bob Thorton, Johnny Depp, and Angelina Jolie have native backgrounds, you couldn't tell that with Hulk Hogan.
With the people I met that have it, they seem to take pride in it, we all want to feel connected to the land we call home. When I was told my family might have Native bloodlines, I was pretty proud of the idea and when I was young, I have to confess I bragged about it. Now I'm not entirely sure it's true, but I'd lik to find out.
My cousins on the other hand do have Native blood, and they like to mention it. Other people have met do the same.
 
Americans like to identify with their families background, I remember it almost seeming like a contest to see who have the most national origins in their family. Or how far back we can track our ancestors in the Americas. I guess we take pride of who we are.
 
On another note, to some extent, I think we also take pride in the Native Americans. Maybe it's just my state, Connecticut(which is a Native name might I add), with the Native American Casino's we have, which promote their history and culture.
 
That's interesting. A question, was intermarriage present in Connecticut because the fur trade, or was just that certain native tribes assimilated into white towns or territories?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2008 at 20:15
Originally posted by Pinguin Pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:


And it doesn't matter if there are even a million Americans with mixed blood. The population of US is vast and they eliminated the Indians. They are not related to them neither culturally or ethnologicaly.


It is more than a million. According to certain calculations it is at least 15 million people that has enough Amerindian ancestry that shows in genetical tests. And I am not counting there American Indians (2 millions) and some immigrants from Latin America (15 millions) that have sizable percentages of Amerindian ancestry.


Even if it's 15 million people that is about 5% of the population that's not a big proportion of the population. The population of the US alone is 300 million so out of 300 million 15 million have Amerindian ancestry. 5% of the population having Amerindian ancestry is not a big percentage and certainly not enough to make any real impact.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SearchAndDestroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2008 at 20:44
Quote That's interesting. A question, was intermarriage present in Connecticut because the fur trade, or was just that certain native tribes assimilated into white towns or territories?
I'm not really sure. Most of the people I know of who have Native background are from tribes outside of Connecticut. I haven't met anyone from the Mohegan or the Pequot.
The Pequot were decimated by the settelers and their allies, which included the Mohegans. First the Pequots lost almost 80% of their population to an epidemic, then during the Pequot war, many were masscred and enslaved. The Mohegans and I believe another tribe took some of them as slaves too.
Some how they came back, and today they own the Worlds Largest Casino, and the Mohegans the second largest.
 
This might interest you pinguin, sorry I can't give you more information, I'm pretty ignorant on the subject at the moment. http://www.mohegan.nsn.us/heritage/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2008 at 22:29
Originally posted by King John King John wrote:



Even if it's 15 million people that is about 5% of the population that's not a big proportion of the population. The population of the US alone is 300 million so out of 300 million 15 million have Amerindian ancestry. 5% of the population having Amerindian ancestry is not a big percentage and certainly not enough to make any real impact.
 
It is the five percent of both the White and Black populations, but not of the U.S. population as a whole. But you are not considering all the people.  First you are forgetting 4 million American Indians. And second, just remember that 20% of Americans are Latinos and that most of Latinos in the U.S. are Mexicans.


Edited by pinguin - 19-May-2008 at 22:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2008 at 23:39
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by King John King John wrote:

Even if it's 15 million people that is about 5% of the population that's not a big proportion of the population. The population of the US alone is 300 million so out of 300 million 15 million have Amerindian ancestry. 5% of the population having Amerindian ancestry is not a big percentage and certainly not enough to make any real impact.


It is the five percent of both the White and Black populations, but not of the U.S. population as a whole. But you are not considering all the people. First you are forgetting 4 million American Indians. And second, just remember that 20% of Americans are Latinos and that most of Latinos in the U.S. are Mexicans.


That still leaves 70-75% as having no Amerindian ancestry. My paternal grandfather came to this country (USA) from Argentina in the late 1930's early 1940's. I am considered 1/4 Argentinean (hispanic) and I have no Amerindian ancestry. Not all Latinos/Hispanics have Amerindian ancestry. With that being said 25-30% of a population is considered a significant minority.

You seem to be getting numbers mixed up Amerindian populations in the US are 2.4 million. That includes Alaskan Indians and American Indians. This was taken from the 2006 American Community Survey found at the US Census Bureau website. Table taken from the US Census Bureau Website and reproduced below re: Racial Population of US, 2006 I will post the entire table and then I will do the math about the percentage of the US population.

Originally posted by Detailed Tables: Race-Universe: Total Population Detailed Tables: Race-Universe: Total Population wrote:

B02001. RACE - Universe: TOTAL POPULATION
Data Set: 2006 American Community Survey
Survey: 2006 American Community Survey
      
United States

               Estimate      Margin of Error

Total:   299,398,485        ****
White alone 221,331,507 +/-120,829
Black or African American alone   37,051,483   +/-40,251
American Indian and Alaska Native alone   2,369,431 +/-25,930
Asian alone   13,100,095    +/-29,634
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone    426,194     +/-10,127
Some other race alone    19,007,129    +/-109,510
Two or more races:   6,112,646    +/-62,937
Two races including Some other race    1,390,337    +/-29,772
Two races excluding Some other race, and three or more races    4,722,309     +/-50,099


Notice here that only roughly 2.4 million people are of direct Amerindian ancestry. I know it does not include the hispanic population.



Edited by King John - 19-May-2008 at 23:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2008 at 02:20
Originally posted by King John King John wrote:


That still leaves 70-75% as having no Amerindian ancestry.
 
Well, it is about the same percentage that lacks African ancestry, and that minority is not irrelevant for the United States.
 
Originally posted by King John King John wrote:

My paternal grandfather came to this country (USA) from Argentina in the late 1930's early 1940's. I am considered 1/4 Argentinean (hispanic) and I have no Amerindian ancestry. Not all Latinos/Hispanics have Amerindian ancestry. With that being said 25-30% of a population is considered a significant minority.
 
Well, perhaps that's the reason you doubt about Amerindian Ancestry. Argentineans have the myth they are pure Europeans. However, genetics have shown otherwise. More that 50% of Argentineans have Amerindian mtDNA. That mean, one in two individuals, regardless their phenotype could be 100% European. So, by genetics, one in two Argentineans is Amerindian descendent. No matter that the Amerindian fraction of the genetic pool is just 10%.
 
Originally posted by King John King John wrote:


You seem to be getting numbers mixed up Amerindian populations in the US are 2.4 million. That includes Alaskan Indians and American Indians. This was taken from the 2006 American Community Survey found at the US Census Bureau website. Table taken from the US Census Bureau Website and reproduced below re: Racial Population of US, 2006 I will post the entire table and then I will do the math about the percentage of the US population.

Originally posted by Detailed Tables: Race-Universe: Total Population Detailed Tables: Race-Universe: Total Population wrote:

B02001. RACE - Universe: TOTAL POPULATION
Data Set: 2006 American Community Survey
Survey: 2006 American Community Survey
      
United States

               Estimate      Margin of Error

Total:   299,398,485        ****
White alone 221,331,507 +/-120,829
Black or African American alone   37,051,483   +/-40,251
American Indian and Alaska Native alone   2,369,431 +/-25,930
Asian alone   13,100,095    +/-29,634
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone    426,194     +/-10,127
Some other race alone    19,007,129    +/-109,510
Two or more races:   6,112,646    +/-62,937
Two races including Some other race    1,390,337    +/-29,772
Two races excluding Some other race, and three or more races    4,722,309     +/-50,099


Notice here that only roughly 2.4 million people are of direct Amerindian ancestry. I know it does not include the hispanic population.

 
 
Nope. Those statistics only show the self-identification of people. The don't have the same weight than genetical studies. What seems clear these days is that the early pioneer population intermarried with natives in the United States, but that mixture was diluted to a portion between 1/8 to 1/16 by the massive waves of European immigrants that flood that country since the end of the 18th century up to the middle of the 20th. Never heared about the policy of whitewashing? Well, that was the official policy of countries like the United States, Brazil and Argentina for a long time. And the target of that policy was precisely diluting the admixture of those countries by massive European immigration.
 
However, the point of this thread is not how much Amerindian current countries are, but how much the Amerindian heritage influenced modern populations.
 
If you go to Argentina, for example, you'll find out that the gaucho culture has many things that comes from the Amerindians, including ponchos and bolas. But still more important, the habit of drinking mate, which is so caracteristic of the Argentinean soul, is also Amerindian rooted. That's what I meant with this thread.
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 20-May-2008 at 02:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2008 at 04:32
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:

Then no for US and Canada and yes for Latin America

 
I don't know why you have such a binary attitude with respect to the topic.  
funny that, you gave us two options.
 
while the wording on the second option snares the voter with a subjective hook; 'more progresive people' .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2008 at 04:56
Touche!
 
It was biassed, I am afraid. However, that is the way many people talks about Amerindians. Either they admire them (sometimes too much) or downplay them (sometimes too much as well). That was the trick on the pool. Maybe I should have included a third option
 
By the way, as a writer, for me it is impossible to write anything without thinking in the psycological impact in the reader LOL 


Edited by pinguin - 20-May-2008 at 04:59
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2008 at 10:35
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

If you go to Argentina, for example, you'll find out that the gaucho culture has many things that comes from the Amerindians, including ponchos and bolas. But still more important, the habit of drinking mate, which is so caracteristic of the Argentinean soul, is also Amerindian rooted. That's what I meant with this thread.
Hmmm... Tell me, is part of the Argentine culture an old Amerindian game in which you punch the ball through the goal with your hand? Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2008 at 12:04
Originally posted by Pinguin Pinguin wrote:

What seems clear these days is that the early pioneer population intermarried with natives in the United States, but that mixture was diluted to a portion between 1/8 to 1/16 by the massive waves of European immigrants that flood that country since the end of the 18th century up to the middle of the 20th.
In a way, all humans on Earth have an African ancestry, but isn't this irrelevant to most discussions about today ethnicities? Do we call Chinese Africans because of that?
Do you think it really matters if from someone's 2^8 (though, it can be less) biological ancestors (i.e. 8 generations behind), one or two of them were Amerindians? It's irrelevant to their ethnicities today. And that's why King John's statistics are much more illustrative, because they reflect what people are and feel today.
And also, self-identification is very important in built identities.
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