Bibliographic data

García Aparicio, Benjamín: Geografía física y económica de la República Argentina. Alsina y Bolívar, Librería del colegio, 1918, 145–147.


[p. 145]


Ethnography. – Ethnic elements that contributed to the formation of the Argentinian people. – Immigration and emigration.


The ethnography 1 of the Argentinian people, when considered in its origin and brief historical development, stands out in its relative homogeneity, which is the ethnic feature of all American nations of Latin origin.

The Spanish race, b which conquered the territory and was the only one to colonise it until the time of the political organization, c

[p. 146]

has produced the creole type. d This type, the genuine representative of the native population, conserves the physical characteristics of his ancestors, but, mostly because of the geographical factor, differs from them in his way of life. In the four regions of the territory, the common people’s creole type exhibits significant changes due to cross-breeding with the indigenous population and the conditions imposed by the people in their social interactions.

This cross-breeding has generated the mestizo type , in which traits of the Iberian and the American race combine in an incredible way.

There is also, albeit in a very small portion of the cross-breeding, the negro type from Guinea, imported at the beginning of the XVIII century, but whose immigration current completely stopped in 1825 when the abolition of slave trade was declared 2 .

As examples of mestizos, one could cite the guaraní from the coast (of the Corrientes province), the quichúa (of Santiago del Estero province) from the

[p. 147]

N. e lowlands, the gaucho from the S. f lowlands, the coya from the Puna g and the huarpe (of the Cuyo region). But all of these types have tended to change due to contact with h European immigration, which since the last third of the past century has settled down in the main production centers of the country. It is in the natives of the Federal Capital that the influence of cosmopolitism is the most striking, above all in the ethnic characteristics.

[1] [Textbook's footnote no. 1, p. 145:] Ethnography studies peoples, native tribes or ethnographic groups ( etnos = people). A species is a type of animal that exists throughout the ages and resists the influences of time and place. Race is a term for the fluctuations of the species in different places and at different times.

Species and race are a set of individual features passed on from generation to generation. Species represents stability and race variability.

One species comprises as many races as modifications compatible with the type, and since the modifications take place in the organs, it follows that the number of possible races directly depends on the organic complexity, and that the human species is the one that offers most variations.

In order to distinguish between the races, one takes into account different features; such as height, brain volume, Camper Plane a , skin color, eye color, color and structure of the hair, etc.

[2] [Textbook's footnote no. 1, p. 146:] The creole type, descending equally from Europeans, Indians and in minimal proportion from blacks, has excellent intelligence as well as admirable skills and endurance for the manual and rural industries, which brought about our initial prosperity. […]

[a] Translator´s note: The Dutch anatomist Petrus Camper (1722–1789) developed the idea that human races could be distinguished by a certain datum plane of the human cranium, the Camper plane or Camper’s plane (named after him), as well as by other physiognomic features. From this data, he calculated another figure, the facial angle. According to Camper’s measurements and calculations, Europeans, Africans and Asians had different characteristic facial angles. See Meijer, Miriam Claude: Race and Aesthetics in the Anthropology of Petrus Camper (1722-1789), Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1999, here 1, 96-100.

[b] Translator’s note: The term raza can be translated as nation or people as well.

[c] Translator’s note: This probably means until the independence of Argentina .

[d] Translator´s note: In this context, the term creoles ( criollos ) designated people of European, mostly Spanish, descent who had been born in the territory of what was to become Argentina. The term served to differentiate Creole people from Spanish colonial administrators and more recent immigrants who had been born in Europe. On the diverse and varying meanings of the term in Spanish, Portuguese, English and French see Bauer, Ralph; Mazzotti, José Antonio: Introduction. Creole Subjects in the Colonial Americas, in: Bauer, Ralph; Mazzotti, José Antonio (eds.): Creole Subjects in the Colonial Americas. Empires, Texts, Identities, Chapel Hill NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2009, 1–57, here 3-6, 52-54.

[e] Translator’s note: Northern.

[f] Translator’s note: Southern.

[g] Translator’s note: Name of an Argentinian high plain.

[h] Translator’s note: Literally: due to or through.


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