Definitions

Pardo

Pardo

Pardo, Manuel, 1834-78, president of Peru (1872-76). After assisting José Balta in establishing a constitutional government, Pardo succeeded him as president. To recover from the monetary ruin brought on Peru by the Balta regime, he advocated financial and administrative reforms. His term is chiefly noted for the signing (1873) of the treaty of alliance with Bolivia that led to war with Chile (see Pacific, War of the) in 1879. Later, because of his opposition to militarism, he was assassinated by a soldier. He is remembered for his benevolence and humanitarianism and especially for his services during the yellow-fever epidemic of 1867.
In Brazil, the Pardos are a mixture of Whites, Blacks and Amerindians, varying from light to dark complexion, as used by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in censuses since 1950. The word is Portuguese for "brown" or "grey-brown". The other classifications are "branco" (White), "negro" (Black), "amarelo" (yellow) (East Asian), and "indígena" (Amerindian).

Pardo is a broad classification that encompasses Brazilians of mixed race ancestry, mulattos, and assimilated indigenous people ("caboclos").

Pardo began as a miscellany, or "none of the above" racial category. The first census of the 20th century to ask a colour question was the census of 1940. Colour was determined by the census enumerator, and the three options were white, black, and yellow. If the respondent did not fit into any of the categories, the enumerator simply drew a horizontal line. When the census data came to be tabulated, all responses with horizontal lines were collected into the single category of "pardo". The IBGE excluded pardo as an answer in response to the rise of European fascism at the time, as an assurance to the public that census data would not be used for discriminatory purposes. In the 1950 census, "pardo" was actually added as a choice of answer, and colour was chosen by the respondent instead of being determined by the enumerator.

Unofficially, Brazilians also use a racial classification of "moreno", a word that also means "brown". In a 1995 survey, 32% of the population self-identified as "moreno", with a further 6% self-identifying as "moreno claro" ("light brown"), and 7% self-identified as "pardo". Telles describes both classifications as "biologically invalid", but sociologically significant.

Pardo was also a casta classification used in Colonial Spanish America from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, and was more or less synonymous with Mulatto.

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