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The Archaeology of EthnogenesisRace and Sexuality in Colonial San Francisco$
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Barbara L. Voss

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061252

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061252.001.0001

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From Casta to Californio, I

From Casta to Californio, I

Who Lived at El Presidio de San Francisco?

Chapter:
(p.70) 3 From Casta to Californio, I
Source:
The Archaeology of Ethnogenesis
Author(s):

Barbara L. Voss

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813061252.003.0003

The historical demography of the Presidio of San Francisco is not straightforward. The colonial population was composed of a diverse mix of households including adult men and women and children. In contrast, Native Americans living at the settlement were primarily adult men serving as military prisoners and laborers. As in other parts of Spain’s American colonies, the sistema de castas identified colonial subjects according to perceived degrees of African, Mexican Indian, and Iberian heritage. Most of the settlers were initially classified as mestizo and mulatto, but over time individuals manipulated these racial categories to assert an ”español” identity. The malleability of racial identity and the erosion of the sistema de castas may have been the first steps towards the ethnogenesis of a shared Californio identity. The politics of gender and sexuality, as well as race and ethnicity, permeated every aspect of colonial identity transformation.

Keywords:   Native Americans, ethnogenesis, identity, race, ethnicity, sistema de castas, gender, sexuality, Californio

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