May 14, 2009

Admixture in Mexican Mestizos

Gene Expression points me towards a new open access paper in PNAS about genetic diversity in Mexican Mestizos:
We analyzed data from 300 nonrelated self-identified Mestizo individuals from 6 states located in geographically distant regions in Mexico: Sonora (SON) and Zacatecas (ZAC) in the north, Guanajuato (GUA) in the center, Guerrero (GUE) in the center– Pacific, Veracruz (VER) in the center–Gulf, and Yucatan (YUC) in the southeast. Considering that Zapotecos have been shown as a good ancestral population for predicting Amerindian (AMI) ancestry in Mexican Mestizos (16), we included 30 Zapotecos (ZAP) from the southwestern state of Oaxaca (Fig. 1). For comparative purposes, we included similar data sets from HapMap populations: northern Europeans (CEU), Africans (YRI), and East Asians (EA), including Chinese (CHB) and Japanese (JPT).
As expected, Mestizo admixture is mainly between Caucasoids and Amerindians, with a very little Sub-Saharan African thrown in at the individual level. Moreover, as with many populations, such as the Uyghur, where admixture took place several generations ago, individual admixture levels are fairly uniform, with very few individuals deviating strongly towards either the Caucasoid or Amerindian end of the spectrum.

The variation in individual admixture appears only somewhat stronger than in the Uyghur, which may be explained either by the smaller number of markers used here, making the assessment of admixture "noisier", or alternatively might be the result of the fact that admixture in Mexican Mestizos happened more recently, and immigration into the Americas from Europe continued hence, hence the homogenization of the population is still ongoing.

Table S1 from the Supplementary material (pdf) shows the exact admixture proportions in the studied Mestizo populations and the HapMap populations.

Related:

PNAS doi:10.1073/pnas.0903045106

Analysis of genomic diversity in Mexican Mestizo populations to develop genomic medicine in Mexico

Irma Silva-Zolezzi et al.

Abstract

Mexico is developing the basis for genomic medicine to improve healthcare of its population. The extensive study of genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium structure of different populations has made it possible to develop tagging and imputation strategies to comprehensively analyze common genetic variation in association studies of complex diseases. We assessed the benefit of a Mexican haplotype map to improve identification of genes related to common diseases in the Mexican population. We evaluated genetic diversity, linkage disequilibrium patterns, and extent of haplotype sharing using genomewide data from Mexican Mestizos from regions with different histories of admixture and particular population dynamics. Ancestry was evaluated by including 1 Mexican Amerindian group and data from the HapMap. Our results provide evidence of genetic differences between Mexican subpopulations that should be considered in the design and analysis of association studies of complex diseases. In addition, these results support the notion that a haplotype map of the Mexican Mestizo population can reduce the number of tag SNPs required to characterize common genetic variation in this population. This is one of the first genomewide genotyping efforts of a recently admixed population in Latin America.

Link

17 comments:

argiedude said...

I want to call attention to something I've said before, though I'm not completely sure about it. Because most of the samples are from mixed-race people, could it be possible that STRUCTURE incorrectly assigns some of the European dna to the Indian cluster (blue)? What I mean by this is, most of the European dna in this study is in mixed-race people, not in European people, so the program might confuse to which genetic cluster it belongs.

This wouldn't be a problem with the Nigerian samples because the vast majority of the combined African dna in this study is inside the Nigerian samples, and effectively, the program has correctly assigned 0% Nigerian dna to CEU, but it has assigned almost 5% Indian dna to CEU, which is obviously incorrect (amongst other things, if CEU had 4% Indian ancestry then it would have an FST distance to UK of at least 0,0050; instead, it has 0,0002). Perhaps they should have run the program with the pure populations only, and then assigned the results of the mixed-race people based on the results of the first run? Of course, this would require that the program be re-written, I wouldn't expect the authors of the study to do all that for this study, I'm just pointing it out. But anyhow, I'm still not completely convinced that my argument is solid. Anyone wanna comment on this?

The black ancestry in Mexicans is 2%. What were the population of black people and the rest of the country 100 years ago, 200 years ago, etc.? How many black slaves were sent to Mexico?

Maju said...

The Native American cluster is Zapoteco. It is an specifically Native cluster. I'd be in agreement with you if the Native ancestry would be tiny but the case is that it is very large, as one would expect from the appearence of most Mexicans anyhow (once a friend sent me a pic of a Native American friend of her from Oklahoma and I asked if he was Mexican - she was puzzled but makes total sense).

I would instead argue that an specifically Spanish sample (one taken at Madrid for instance, as the city is variegated in ancestry from all the state) would be a better European reference than CEU. But the difference should be very small anyhow, as all Europeans cluster very closely in intercontinental contexts, so CEU is probably a pretty good approximation. It might reduce somewhat the YRI component though as Spaniards cluster slightly closer to Africans than most Brits.

One could also argue that it is very likely that US Caucasoids like CEU have some Native American blood anyhow - a lot of white US-Americans do, it's a well known fact.

Mexico had very little African slavery but there was some anyhow, specially in the Caribbean coasts. Near Guatemala or Belize (not sure right now if it's at Tabasco or Quintana Roo) there is still a minority that is mostly of African ancestry and are often discriminated against, treated as immigrants by default, for what I've heard. I'm not sure if the state of Guerrero was affected by this practice but seems so from the genetic data.

The residual ammounts of East Asian ancestry could be derived from Filipinos (who integrated very well after independence) or maybe from Chinese (who did not integrate as easily for what I know).

pconroy said...

Maju,

But isn't it true that most of the Conquistadors and early Spanish explorers were disproportionally from the region of Extremadura - like Francisco Pizarro, Fernando (Hernán) Cortés, Pedro de Valdivia, Basco Núñez de Balboa.

Extremadura is towards the South West of Spain, an area subject to colonization by the Phoenicians and Moors (Berbers) - so should be quite distinct from the CEU population. A sample from Trujillo would be more appropriate than Madrid.

Also, Madrid sits in the Castile region, an area where the percentage of NRY I-M26 is between 19-33% of males, depending on study. Haplogroup I-M26 is associated with the Gravettian culture, and the Paleolithic in general; whereas Extremadura has only about 2% of this, and has been more influenced by Neolithic population expansions, like much of the rest of Spain.

Maju said...

1. Both the conquistadores and in general colonists were from all the Kingdom of Castile. Colonization did not stop at conquest and certainly most colonists were not Extremeños, much less all. Basques for instance played a major role but so did other Castile subjects, notably Castilian-Leonese themselves and, at a later period, Galicians notably. In many Latin Amarican countries Spaniards in general are colloquially known as "Gallegos" for a reason. Andalusia and the Canary Islands were also source of colonists indeed. Additionally there was also migration from other parts of Western Europe, specially at later periods: from the Crown of Aragon (only really incorporated to the American colonial enterprise at a very late stage, as it was a separate kingdom in the Habsburgian period), from France, Italy, Britain, Ireland, Germany, etc.

2. The "colonization" of Southern Iberia by the Moors was never realy intense as genetic data shows once and again. This is just logical if you know some history:there was some Berber colonization in highland Andalusia, nothing else of relevance, and nearly all Iberian Muslims were native converts. The ruling elite was largely (but not exclusively) "Arab" but if you consider the ancestry of Abd al-Rhaman III, the last great Ummayad, you notice that he was 75% Basque, even if he descended directly from the first Caliph by puerly paternal line. This was surely even more noticeable among the rest of Moriscos (= Moor-ized), who made up the backbone of society (peasants).

3. Extremadura itself was not particularly colonized by Moors anyhow, much less by Phoenicians (WTF - Phoenicians only had a dozen of coastal cities before the Barcids went on expanding the Carthaginian influence and Extremadura is deep inland). It was instead "colonized" by many Castilian-Leonese gentry as it was a border march, where their military abilities could get them a living as later happened in America (the name extremadura, or extreme land, had that meaning of borderland in Medieval times and was variedly used for different regions until the name consolidated in the two modern regions near the Tagus: one in Spain and the other, written with "s" instead of "x", in Portugal).

These military wannabees, notably those whose ancestors had less fortune or whe were younger or even bastard children, had little choice but to embark into adventure and hope to gain gold and privileges in the new borderlands of Africa first and America later. Mutatis mutandi, Basques were also involved in a similar dynamic, because of the custom that the household was inherited only by one son: the rest had to go into business, become servants, priests/monks, mercenary soldiers or sailors. Basques were dominant among Castilian sailors but had also a significative presence among landed explorers and colonists. While the leaders were almost always Castilian (including Extremeños) for ethnic dominance reasons and also because Basques were legally gentry but were often treated in fact as serfs, because the Castilians had an active feudalist society and mentality (see the case of Lope de Aguirre). All Extremeño conquistadores were hidalgos (gentry, military caste) while Basques were only legally that but were actually more like yeomen. And peasants in general, not just Basques, were not given leadership positions in the Castilian army at that time.

If I suggested Madrid is for a reason: it is a city (formally a town, "villa") that has grown massively since its humble origins and specially in the last decades, incorporating people from all the state and beyond. It is very representative of Spain as whole even if the Castilian specificty may still have some higher that overall presence. It's much like you'll find a very diverse mix of people from all Britain and Ireland in London and not just from the SE. Madrid and Extremadura anyhow are not far away from each other and both are historically part of the Kingdom of Castile (and were conquered and "repopulated" in about the same time).

pconroy said...

Maju,

I understand that later colonizers were from Castile and elsewhere, but in Mexico (New Spain) the majority of the initial colonizers were from Extremadura - and Concise Encyclopedia of Mexico says that.

I'd imagine that most of the admixing took place initially, as men comprised the initial settlement, and took native wives. Later colonizers brought Spanish wives.

Bram said...

Fascinating study. I agree that it would have been better to have used a sample from Spain for comparison. In general, the father south you go in Mexico, the more native admixture there is and the purer the natives. There are still a few Mexican natives in the remote, mountainous areas of southern Mexico who can barely speak Spanish!

Maju said...

@PConroy:

I don't see that very clear, sincerely. It's just a vague sentence with no data behind it and could be the same kind of impression you already posted before nased on the names of some commanders who have passed to history (and many of whom may have died and left heirs in Spain, not America).

But if you prefer a sample from Cáceres, well, I couldn't care less. I was just implying that a creole group with basically NW European ancestry as the CEU might not be the best reference to represent the Iberian input, even if the difference is surely minor. The difference between Madrid and Cáceres is surely so negligible that is not worth even discussing.

Kepler said...

Maju is right: immigration happened from all over the Iberian Peninsula and at all possible stages. There were lots of colonizers from the South at the beginning and in part that influence the way we speak (at the time of the Invasion the old Castilian z/c pronounced as ds dz became th in the North and Centre and s in the South). Otherwise people came from all of the Iberian Peninsula.

There were also the Marranos as Maju mentioned in his blog. There were the Basques.
Simon Bolivar's first male ancestor in the Americas was a man who came from a village in the Basque country called BOLIBAR!

In Venezuela there were lot of Canarians and later
Gallegos. People said at one time there were more Canarians in Venezuela than in the Canary Islands (but then they mixed very quickly).

I am Venezuelan, I look rather "Spanish", my haplogroup is J2 although I only know that part arrived earlier than 1896 and after 1498, I know at least two males of two branches arrived in the XIX century from the Canary Islands, my mom could look like somebody from any part of Europe (rather central or North, as with freckles and very white), her dad looked like a Scandinavian and her female haplogroup is sub-Saharan African.

Well, Mexico does have a much bigger Indian heritage than Venezuela for a couple of reasons: civilization was more developed and the state was very centralized and once it fell, a lot of the rest fell. In Venezuela population density was lower but above all it was a myriad of very different ethnic and "political" groups and the Iberians could only conquer by massive slaughter or massive rape.

A study on haplogroups in Venezuela showed this for the paternal haplogroups:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_rZbKKDohSyc/SUQZi6i2XPI/AAAAAAAAAbA/BkDsTK4Z7D0/s1600-h/paternalhaplogroup.jpg

And this for the maternal:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_rZbKKDohSyc/SUQZpSfEnEI/AAAAAAAAAbI/3Tod007ZykI/s1600-h/mhaplogroup.JPG

I ask you to consider something as well: there are some cases of mtDNA that is A, B, C in Spain as well. I was checking mitosearch and there were some of B I checked randomly that have been in Spain since mid XIX century.

Maju said...

I would add to what Kepler said that there was a very limited emigration of women from Spain to America. In general it was considered, specially early on, a too savage and remote land for ladies (though this surely changed somewhat in later centuries). So the, often brutish, men who arrived from Spain and elsewhere in Europe, took natives as consorts, by grade or force, legally or not.

Additionally the "inverse" mestizage was not well seen so the few white women would never (or almost never) have offspring with native males. Instead the "correct" (patriarchal) mestizage was no big deal. Mestizos could be seen as less than purebreed Spaniards but they were also percieved as much better than "savage indians" and certainly soon made up the actual backbone of the economy and even administration of the colonial empire (even if the elite was white and preferably born in Europe).

This racism was anyhow never made law and in theory all were equally subjects of the same monarch. But the encomiendas (and other similar systems) made the natives become feudal serfs of the colonists and succesful colonists could enjoy in America situations equivalent to those of aristocrats in Europe even if they did not have the pedigree nor the baronial title.

Gioiello said...

Maju says: “The "colonization" of Southern Iberia by the Moors was never really intense as genetic data shows once and again. This is just logical if you know some history: there was some Berber colonization in highland Andalusia, nothing else of relevance, and nearly all Iberian Muslims were native converts. The ruling elite was largely (but not exclusively) "Arab" but if you consider the ancestry of Abd al-Rhaman III, the last great Ummayad, you notice that he was 75%Basque, even if he descended directly from the first Caliph by a pure paternal line. This was surely even more noticeable among the rest of Moriscos (= Moor-ized), who made up the backbone of society (peasants)”.

I agree completely with you. But why, when I said the same on Sicilians and Italians in general re the Arab domination, I had everyone against me?

BO7156 said...

The universal Nobility of the Basque people was based on the limpieza de sangre or purity of the blood defined as, and I quote from these proofs, “freedom from the bad blood of the Moors and Jews.” The supposed fact that Euskal Herria was never conquered and held by Moors supported this. However, the Moors did take and hold Iruna and parts of Nafaroa and southern Araba but never for very long. It was much the same with the Visigoths and to a much lesser extent with the Romans; even my ancestral village of Eskoriatza has some Roman remains and the Real Valle de Leniz used to be very off the beaten track. Given my G2a3a M406+ haplogroup, I wonder if my male lineage is a relic of the Romans.

The old law of Bizkaia did define a class of Basque nobility above that of the general population; such families had several rights not afforded others. The most important rights were the right to fortify one’s house and the absolute freedom from being removed involuntarily from that house by any agent of the King or the government. One of the unfortunate effects of this law was that it helped fuel the War of the Banderizos (we were Gamboinos, vassals of the Gebara.) There are many proofs of Hidalguía in both my paternal line and the distaff lines of my father's family; many of these were done in Valladolid or other Real Audiencias outside Euskaldi which gives evidence of integration with the Castilian society. There is as well as evidence of our family's presence in the new world from the 1500s onward though we did not stay until recently in the 1700s. For medieval Basque law, see The Old Law of Bizkaia 1452, Monreal Zia, UNR 2005; for proofs of hidalguía, http://pares.mcu.es/

The Basque people in those days of the 1500s were not so discriminated against, if anything they were over represented in the universities and corridors of power. In spite of some relation I have to some of these conquistadors and the mythology surrounding them, from what I can tell many of the conquistador leaders were essentially uneducated thugs; Pizarro was illiterate and driven by the extreme poverty of his family to go to any means to enrich himself.

Admixture is everywhere.

My own genetic makeup shows some American Indian blood as given by a genetic test from relative genetics; by this test I have over 5 % Amerindian genes. I suspect it came from a Basque lawyer in Mexico who sent his daughter home to be married in Arrasate in the 1570’s; no mention is ever made of her mother. There is, however, great deal of mention of some trouble he got into in Mexico but not too clear a mention.

A close examination of the registros parroquiales in the XVI century for San Joan Bataiatzailea in Arrasate reveal a number of baptisms for the children of women described variously as “Negro criada de” “Esclavo de” and “Indio criado de?.” One wonders if these children grew to maturity in Arrasate, married, and left their genetic material behind even into today’s population. I have not yet found direct evidence of this.

I am not sure where you find a “European” sample to test against if admixture was going on the remote reaches of Gipuzkoa in the 1500s.

Regards,

Bolinaga

Maju said...

I agree completely with you. But why, when I said the same on Sicilians and Italians in general re the Arab domination, I had everyone against me?.

I am with you in principle. :)

This doesn't mean that there was never no influence from North Africa or West Asia/Balcans in Italy and specially in the south. But whatever there is is certainly not a product of such a recent anecdotical event.

A lot of people just prefer to think in terms of "well" known history or protohistory, as they feel that Prehistory is way too obscure and "nameless". It is just their ignorance of Prehistory what brings them to such position, much like the ignorance of science by (most) "creationists" brings them to their far-fetched ideas - or like most people in a pre-scientific context would interpretate reality largely based on mere mythology and other analogical methods like sympathic magic.

Even scientists often fall in such traps and look for the "easiest" answer just out of interdisciplinary ignorance.

...

The universal Nobility of the Basque people was based on the limpieza de sangre or purity of the blood defined as, and I quote from these proofs, “freedom from the bad blood of the Moors and Jews”.

That's just the ideological justification. In fact it was part of the political pact that allowed citizens of a non-feudal democratic society without castes (there was some of that in the south though) to enjoy some rights within a feudalist kingdom such as Castile. Universal gentry was how Basques could enjoy similar "civil rights" such as they enjoyed at home within Castile proper and its colonies. These formal rights were not always respected though, as the case of Lope de Aguirre (who was flogged like a serf instead of just imprisoned or fined like a nobleman) shows. But Basques did consider them most important as is also clear in Aguirre's stubborn revenge.

Given my G2a3a M406+ haplogroup, I wonder if my male lineage is a relic of the Romans.

IMO, G2 is pretty old in Europe, like J2b. These lineages appear to me of similar antiquity as I2a an I2b. All surely older (as far as I can tell) than the more widespread R1b1b2a.

The old law of Bizkaia did define a class of Basque nobility above that of the general population; such families had several rights not afforded others. The most important rights were the right to fortify one’s house and the absolute freedom from being removed involuntarily from that house by any agent of the King or the government.

That's not correct. They just could afford to do that while the regular yeoman could not. It was a process of feudalization at the very end of the middle ages. This process affected more strongly Navarre maybe but influenced all the area.

The process of feudalization had ben ongoing since some time before and it seems that Castile managed to attract the landowners of La Rioja to their side, as "nobility" titles were not hereditary in Pamplona (would-be Navarre) but were mere office appointments by the King (supervised by the Parliament) that could be removed overnight.

One of the unfortunate effects of this law was that it helped fuel the War of the Banderizos...

Again this was largely intermixed with the Basque-Navarrese vs. Casilian interests. One of the factions was generally supportive of Castilian-Aragonese interests, while the other supported national ones. Funnily enough it was the Castilian monarch who supressed those fortresses altogether some time later (I guess so they could not become a threat to his own power).

many of these were done in Valladolid or other Real Audiencias outside Euskaldi which gives evidence of integration with the Castilian society.

Castile was a centralized state since early on. The Basque autonomy was the only (but very important) exception. All northern Castile was ruled from Valladolid (which was also the de-facto capital), while there was another tribunal at Seville for the south. Anyhow until these last decades a lot of bureaucratic stuff had to be done at Valladolid, notably universitary titles. My uncle, who is economist (actually worked as computer analist), had to pass exams as lawyer in that city in order to have a formal universitary title. The only homologated careers that for long could be studied in the Basque Country were engineering and other "college" (technical) ones. This, like the division of Basque provinces between the diocesis of Burgos and Pamplona, for instance, is just part of the subtle but persistent effort by Castile/Spain of denying an specific personality to Euskal Herria.

The Basque people in those days of the 1500s were not so discriminated against...

I don't think it can be said that Basques have been "discriminated against" in Castile/Spain at individual level. But they have not been privileged either. Few Basques have been part of the Castilian elite though a lot of them have taken secondary roles, notably in the navy and religious orders like the Jesuits or Franciscans, as well as entrepreneurs (something favored by the more egalitarian "yeoman" society we enjoyed, as well as the precept of not dividing the family land and household, who pushed so many in search for fortune at home or elsewhere).

I am not sure where you find a “European” sample to test against if admixture was going on the remote reaches of Gipuzkoa in the 1500s.

True. :D

Still it must be minor as I'm not aware of any Amerindian mtDNA findings in any Basque samples so far.

BO7156 said...

Maju said:
"That's not correct. They just could afford to do that while the regular yeoman could not. It was a process of feudalization at the very end of the middle ages. This process affected more strongly Navarre maybe but influenced all the area."

From The old Law of Bizkaia, Page 65
“Only hidalgos have the specified right, at their discretion, to fortify their dwellings. There is also explicit distinction between hidalgos and villanos ...”

Pp 70, and 79-80 have some interesting commentary on the concept of Universal Nobility. The book has a preview at Google Books and you have full view of anything that I have referenced.

There were a large number of Tower Houses (Dorretxe) in all of Euskal Herria prior to the late 1400s when the War of the Banderizoak ended, the King re-established control and the Hermandads arose. The war of the Banderizoak was a long bloody conflict; a vicious war of assassination and no holds barred battles between the factions of Euskal Herria. King Arthur meets the Sopranos. The tower houses were central to this fight. There is some wonderful documentation of this process online in both the Fuentes Documentales Medievales del Pais Vasco which are available in PDF format and in “Las Bienandanzas y Fortunas” by everyone’s favorite Banderizo Lope García de Salazar. There is also a website , http://www.banderizoak.net/, in Euskarra, which I can barely read given much time, labor and good dictionary. I am unfortunately not an Euskaldun. In the Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Bands

Maju said
“IMO, G2 is pretty old in Europe, like J2b. These lineages appear to me of similar antiquity as I2a an I2b. All surely older (as far as I can tell) than the more widespread R1b1b2a.”

I do not dispute that the age of G2a in Western Europe is ancient but is suspect that this age varies by clade or SNP.

The G2a group defined by the M406 SNP, G2a3a, of which I am a member, is between 4000-6000 years old and the UEP that defines this almost certainly occurred in the Middle East. It is indeterminate as to when and how it arrived in Euskal Herria. There is an Agirre listed in the FTDNA Basque group that has the same Haplogroup and similar markers with a TMTCA of 3500 years BP. G2a3a could have been brought by late arriving Neolithic farmers, Romans, Alans, Byzantines or traveling salesmen for all I currently know. The earliest documentation I can find of the Bolinaga/Borinaga is in the mid 1100’s; before that, who knows? I am user 7HEPW at Ysearch.org were I have a skeleton family tree.

Here are some links from the Eupedia on Haplogroups in Europe.:

Origins, age, spread and ethnic association of European haplogroups and subclades

http://www.eupedia.com/europe/origins_haplogroups_europe.shtml

Maps of Neolithic and Bronze Age migrations in Europe and the Near East

http://www.eupedia.com/europe/neolithic_europe_map.shtml

Comparative chronological tree of European Y-chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA haplogroups

http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_haplogroups_timeline.shtml

Distribution of European Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) haplogroups by region in percentage

http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_y-dna_haplogroups.shtml

I have written way too much. Enough.

Regards,

Bolinaga

Maju said...

All Biscaynes and Gipuzkoans were hidalgos (gentry). There were some distinctions in Araba and Navarre but these are not well understood.

Villanos were those living in villas (towns), who were not citizens of Biscay and had no voting rights (nor the foral law applied in those towns until a very recent legal reform of the 21st century). The villas were under general Castilian law.

As for G, I had never before stopped to study that specific haplogroup but I suspect the G node being c. 42 kya, what would make:
- G2: 38.5 kya
- G2a: 28 kya
- G2a3: 19.5 kya
- G2a3a: 15 kya

So IMO Magdalenian.

BO7156 said...

Greetings Maju,

Let me speak to the places that I have researched fairly extensively.

What is it you consider a town?

Arrasate/Mondragon?
Eskoriatza?
Aretxabaleta?
Leintz-Gatzaga?
Hermandad de Barrundia?
Durango?
Elorrio?

I have had ancestors, some of the Bolinaga, some of other families, litigate proofs of hidalgia in all of these places. An investigation by the inquisition in Errigoiti in 1624 into the Family of Pedro de Bolinaga y Axpee stated that his father had proved his nobility. I f all born in Euskal Herria are Hijosdalgos then why all of the proofs? The society in Euskal Herria was certainly more egalitarian than almost anywhere else in Medieval Europe but to say that everyone was exactly equal and that Castilian ideas of class had no hold in Euskal Herria is not true. If you will direct to some writings on the subject that say differently, I would appreciate it. I read Spanish and English very well but my Euskarra, as I have said earlier, is very poor.

Regards,
Bolinaga

Maju said...

I don't know for sure in Gipuzkoa, Araba or Navarre (which had each a different legal system even if all based in the old Navarrese usages and laws) but some time ago I created a map illustrating the formation of Biscay for Wikipedia that you can check.

Sadly upon transfer to Commons it's been deprived of the legend but it still partly referenced in this article. The blue dots are older townships and green dots are places that were given town status later on.

If all born in Euskal Herria are Hijosdalgos then why all of the proofs?

No idea, probably to justify before the Spanish tribunals. That's why he concept was invented anyhow: to give some civil rights to Basque citizens in a feudalist caste sytem.

Gentry was universal for Biscay and Gipuzkoa but was not (even if it was very common) in Araba and Navarre. The four territories (created upon Castilian conquest only) had each a different legal and political frame, even if similar.

BO7156 said...

Thank you Maju.

Here is a link to map of Bizkaia, map is at bottom of page.

http://es.geocities.com/historalia/senores_de_vizcaya.htm

Regards,

Bolinaga