Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr has played a pivotal role in my travels and awareness recently. I have already traveled to the same locales he visited during the filming of his documentaries on Africa, in particular, Ethiopia. A little more than four years ago he also produced a PBS series entitled Black in Latin America which piqued my curiousity and has led me to choose Mexico, Cuba, and Peru, which were all destinations he discussed in his documentaries.

In particular, Dr. Gates visited the Castillo de Chapultepec where he examined portraits that were used to explain the origins of the people of the day. There are twelve categories portrayed in all.

Each portrait attempts to explain how babies of mixed ethnicity are produced and identified.

The classification of one’s ethnicity is displayed here.

Here are the portraits up close for you to inspect for yourself.

#1 Spanish + Indian = Mestizo; #7 Spanish + Albino = Turn-back
#2 Mestizo + Espanola = Castiza; #8 Mestizo + Turn-back = Alobo
#3 Castiza + Español = Español; #9 De Lobo + India = Sambalo

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