By concentrating on the different cultural components of Creoles’ rising ‘collective identity’ in early colonial Guatemala, its attitudinal and behavioural patterns, this paper reconsiders the validity of racial designations attached by past studies to distinct groups in colonial society in general. It also determines to demonstrate that colonial labelling of such groups, and these groups’ self-identification, was far from being homogenous. The change in the social and racial equilibrium among the different ethnic groups and castes in early colonial society is a dominant theme in this paper. The change was particularly noticeable in the rural areas, where miscegenation increased dramatically. The most prevalent trait of the interaction among these groups was continuous conflict, as they struggled over a common space and a limited autonomy. But interaction, as this paper demonstrates, also gave rise to a distinct subculture, the product of years of mutual accommodation and adaptation of diverse cultural patterns that were formerly unique to each of the groups. This particular phenomenon, characterized here as the ‘melting pot’ for race relations, is given special attention.
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