This presentation examines the role of racial mixing, identity, and the categorizing of humans living in Spanish Colonial New Mexico. The approach will be through the lens of the casta, or caste system. Historical research, genealogy, and DNA all converge to provide a clearer understanding of Hispano roots in New Mexico, as well as in Latino-Meso America and Hispanic Europe.
State Historian Rob Martinez is a native New Mexican born and raised in Albuquerque. A graduate of the University of New Mexico with a B.B.A. in International Business Management, Rob went on to pursue his interest in New Mexican culture and history at UNM, earning an M.A. in Latin American history, with an emphasis on church, cultural, and social practices of the Spanish Colonial period in New Mexico.
Mr. Martinez worked for fourteen years as a research historian for the Sephardic Legacy Project, scouring civil and church archives in New Mexico, Mexico, Spain, France, Italy, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, analyzing documents for a research and publishing project about the Crypto-Jewish phenomenon in New Mexico and the Caribbean.