The Remains of Castas in Latin America


casta paintings

How to Cite

Escobar Zelaya, S. (2021). The Remains of Castas in Latin America. Global Insight: A Journal of Critical Human Science and Culture, 2.


Casta paintings are a collection of works that were predominantly produced in colonial Mexico. These paintings are a representation of the different classifications of race between Spaniards, Blacks, and Indigenous people. The paintings emphasize clothing and setting as a way to distinguish social and economic standings in regard to race. Casta paintings are more than racial documentation; they are a guide to understanding how ideas and beliefs on race came to be in Latin America. This article explores the origins of casta paintings and their long-lasting impact in Latin America. Casta paintings are investigated in books, academic journals, essays, and lectures. Principle sources include scholarship by Ilona Katzew and Magali Marie Carrera. A major focus is how casta paintings came to be and how the ideas that went into their formation are still present in Latin America.