The breeding of pure whites in Latin America was thus both scanty and slow.
On the other hand, the breeding of mixed-bloods began at once and attained notable proportions. Having slaughtered the Indian males or briganded them in slave-gangs, the Conquistadors took the Indian women to themselves. The humblest man-at-arms had several female attendants, while the leaders became veritable pashas with great harems of concubines. The result was a prodigious output of half-breed children, known as “mestizos” or “cholos.”
And soon a new ethnic complication was added. The Indians having developed a melancholy trick of dying off under slavery, the Spaniards imported African negroes to fill the servile ranks, and since they took negresses as well as Indian women for concubines, other half-breeds mulattoes appeared. Here and there Indians and negroes mated on their own account, the offspring being known as “zambos.” In time these various hybrids bred among themselves, producing the most extraordinary ethnic combinations.
As Garcia-Calderon well puts it: “Grotesque generations with every shade of complexion and every conformation of skull were born in America a crucible continually agitated by unheard-of fusions of races. . . . But there was little Latin blood to be found in the homes formed by the sensuality of the first conquerors of a desolated America.”