Regional Geography 105
South America

Latin America

Class discussion of the following questions:
Why are the Middle and South American Realms often called "Latin America"?
Why has the term "Latin America" been applied to Middle and South America?
How has the term "Latin America" been misapplied to Middle and South America?

How Does Overprinting Occur?


South American Cultural Spheres

Five cultural sphere model of South America, proposed by John Augelli (1963; Middle AmericaM ainland-Rimland)
What were Augelli’s purposes in describing cultural spheres of Latin America?

Tropical-Plantation Region

Similar to the Rimland of Middle America.
Coastal areas - largest part of this sphere is found along the Brazilian coast.
Hot, humid climate.
Plantation crops dominate.
Widespread poverty due to:
Culturally dominated by African societies.

European-Commercial Region

"Latin" applies to this region - 85% of population is of European decent.
Rural economics: Livestock grazing
More advanced economically due to the European influences and connections.
Highly developed in some areas.

Amerind-Subsistence Region

Located in the central Andes.
Approximately the same area occupied by the Inca Empire.
Economic activities:
– Subsistence farming
– Working on haciendas
– Mining
SA's poorest areas due to:
– harsh climatic conditions
– Poor soils
– little outside trade (except for mining)

Mestizo-Transitional Region

Zone of mixture: European/African influences and indigenous influences.
Mixed economically - subsistence and trade.
Dominated by native and mixed parentage populations.
"Mestizo" means of mixed parentage.
- part of a caste system used in South America.

Caste System

A system of rigid social stratification characterized by hereditary status, marriage, and social barriers sanctioned by custom, law, or religion.
– Dictates an individual's place in society.

Various terms were used in S. America to designate an individual’s caste:
Peninsulare - person from the Iberian Peninsula
Español - Spanish
Blanco - whites
Criollo - whites born in the Americas
Indios - native Americans
Negros Esclavos - African slaves
Negros Libres - Free Africans
Mestizos - persons born of European and Native parents
Mulatto - persons born of Criollo and African parents
Zambo - person born of Native and African parents

These terms were not used the same way in all countries - below are some of the variations on these uses.

All people of color - Colombia
Whites - Chile

Mulatto and Zambo were called:
Caboclos in Brazil
Gauchos in Argentina
Criollos in Peru
Montuvios in Equador

Undifferentiated Region

Isolated, poor access, sparsely populated areas.
Changing rapidly due to migrating population.