Indigenismo: Reshaping an Old Perspective

Indigenismo is a wonderful concept. Even more powerful is it's application and implementation. That is, when the seed is cast out to be sown and takes root. Something even more eventful than the blooming of flowers and the fruit of the crops. It is the moment when the seed is planted, when it actually resinates with a person or people.

Indigenismo has been a strong unifying concept through the 'Americas'. Of course, like most things postive and unifying, there are those who are opposed to us. Through out 'Latin America' it has been the ruling Oligarchies, the Euro-elite (mainly those whose families descend from the wealth of Europe and the exploitation of others, namely Original people) who have opposed this idea with verocity. It is them who have plagued us with the label of mixing nothing more than a 'mixed raced people', with no real point of origin. Owing ourselves and our livelihood to that 'Iberian connection', that which is termed 'hispanismo'. And thus, the introduction and usage of the term 'hispanic.'

As I have touched on before, to identify with the oppressor is the goal of imperial indoctrination or colonialism. This is the mentality they have sought to kindle in us, to maintain their status quo and prevent 'us' from becoming powerful, over our own lives. Since their empires have been built from our blood and bondage, they ultimately fear the that which will unseat them from their colonial thrones. This is why they have down played the Indian and African in us. Yet, it was the Indian and African in us that would not accept a life of servitude.

The concept of a unifying identity stemmed from the criollos and intellectuals who attempted to establish a unifying concept, to combine with 'nationalism', to rally the people behind. As they sought independence from Spain, the cause to fight was the common reality they all had as being 'oppressed' by Spain. This common cause become 'nationalism' and ended up being to Latin America what Liberalism was to the U.S. However, in many cases, the revolution simmered down, people's vision who lost, and the oppression of Spain was replaced by the oppression of the intellectual elite. They then sought a common identity, something that spoke out to the universal heritage and infusion of blood throughout Latin America. It was an identity that was to speak of the differences between those in las Americas and the Peninsulares (those from the Iberian peninsula- Spain and Portugal). This identity tied them to their 'new land' where many of them were born and spoke of the bloodline that birthed this new reality. This concept was Indigenismo.

This is a perspective that speaks to so-called Latinos, not from a nationalist standpoint, but from a reality that harkens back further than Latin Nationalism. It goes beyond state established boundaries and ties us all in to a common history. It is not merely the product of intellectuals b-u-t a perspective taken on by many Native peoples through the documented history of the Americas. Tecumseh, of the Shawnee, sought to unite all nations and tribes, under one common Pan-Indigenous identity, in attempts to resist and prevent the westward expansion of the 13 American colonies and the genocide against the Original people. He travelled from his home in the Ohio River valley, down south to Cherokee country, amongst the Chickasaw and Seminole, and even west ward a bit until he travelled back north to Prophet's town (a city that he and his brother established as the center of their mission).

However, Indigenismo has been a double-edged sword. While unifying in many ways, it has been used at the hands of the elites to reshape 'Latin American' society in their particular image and taste. They purported that the average everyday Latino was a 'mestizo', a mixture of Spanish , Indian and African. However, this perspective was adopted to create a false sense of 'equality' throughout society and to attempt to erase any evidences or situations that could potentially spark future revolutions and revolts, thus disrupting the new position they had given themselves, and fought Spain so hard for. They did this for many reasons. First, to establish the fact that they considered themselves different from Europeans. They did not want to be considered 'white' (by others' standards, but many considered themselves 'white' by their own definition). Also, they wanted to firmly point out that they now considered this 'their' land, and tied in the 'Indian' identity. However, the Indian aspect of Indigenismo served as a buffer between being looked at as 'white' and being looked at as 'black' which was far worse for the intellectual elitest overseer's. Once formulated, this concept was then packaged in the form of literature and sent out to penetrate the mindset's of the people. Yet all the while, telling the masses of Indian/African people that the majority of Indians died out or had mixed with the Africans so much that no one was actually 'black' or 'African' or 'Indian' anymore). This mentality was so well massaged into the mindset of the people that many still believe in it today. You will have people from countries like Mexico or Peru or El Salvador that claim to have "no black in them" when this is far from the truth. And this truth does not contradict MY concept of Indigenismo, as my perspective is not of the criollo elite or of Tecumseh, b-u-t from Almighty God Allah, the father and founder of the Nation of Gods and Earths. We advocate the oneness of all people of color and consider Native Americans, Latin American and Africans (and so-called African Americans) to be all ONE people, all of which are BLACK. Just like the intellectual elite, we have our own concept of what being 'black' is.

This is our mission. This is what we teach. Somos personas Originales !!!

A growing phenomenon is the populations of brothers and sisters who come to the U.S. from Central America, and are very indigenous in appearance. On face value, through media, we look over these people as 'Mexicans', not aware of their unique history. They too, have had considerable amounts of African blood infused into them, although they may contest. Especially mi gente from Cuscatlan or as the devil now calls it, El Salvador. Descendants of the Pipil peoples, who are actually of the Maya, Salvi's or Salvadorenos have been colonized and victimized by Yakub's rules and regulations, as we understand them. The have been instituionally and systemically conditioned to think they are different from Africans and have no African blood in them. This is far from true. They have been the victim of a vicious campaign, similar to the Dominican Republic under Presidente Trujillo when he made every efforts to 'whiten' society and reduce the African prescence in the Dominican Republic to a myth, even by killing thousands of Haitians.

Posted here is a excerpt of an article pertaining to the African influence within El Salvador, please go to the link to read the entire article. It is a jewel to be shared during so-called 'Black History Month', yet so precious, it should be chreished for eternity.

"El Salvador is Central America’s smallest republic and the most densely populated country in the region. The 5,900,000 Salvadorenos are one of the most racially mixed populations in the western hemisphere. With 94% of its population considered to be mestizo, El Salvador ranks as having the highest percentage of "multi-racial" population in the Americas. The native American population makes up only 5%, those of European ancestry (mainly Spanish, German and English) are 1% of the population and own and control much of the land and economy. There are also smaller numbers of Palestinians and Chinese living in the larger cities and towns. Many Salvadorans today are unaware of El Salvador’s African heritage and the African contribution made to mestizo culture has often gone unrecognized by Salvadoran scholars.

A typical encyclopedia entry on El Salvador does not usually mention an African presence in the country. During my research I came across one entry that indicated the following regarding the ancestry of the Salvadoran people: "Their ancestors were predominantly Indians - Pipil, or Pokomam Maya, or Lenca - but also have included other strains - colonial African slaves, their Spanish masters, and a sprinkling of more recent immigrants from Europe and the Middle East. Except for a few white families who have remained apart, these ancestral groups have become submerged by a mixing of bloodlines". This is one of the more clearly written examples of what the population of El Salvador consists of, that is, a blending of several different racial and ethnic strains forming the population group known in Central America as mestizo ("mixtures").

El Salvador is the only country in Central America that does not have a Garifuna, Miskito or Afro-Antillean population. The other six republics have at least one, or all of these groups living within their borders. El Salvador’s connection with Africa goes back to a much earlier time, to the era of Spanish colonial rule. The latter migrations of African descended peoples settling in the other republics did not include El Salvador, and as a result Salvadorans will tell you that their country is the only one in Central America that does not have a "black population". This is not all together correct. For over four and a half centuries the population of El Salvador has mixed its blood lines so completely into one multi-racial society that the remote African origins of some of its citizens are unknown even to those that have such a background. "

- originally from http://www.bjmjr.net/afromestizo/el_salvador.htm

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