- A western term meaning a person of mixed Indian and white blood.
In the Gulf States such a person was called a mustee, from the Spanish
form mestizo. In the northern sections he was called a metìs,
from the French Canadian word meaning mixture.
A fraction or less than one eighth
white blood is considered a full blood by the United States indian Service,
which listed 60.6 percent of all Indians in 1950 as full bloods.
But it is impossible to tell the amount of Indian blood in the veins of
the present white population, or the amount of white blood in the so called
Indian. Some writers have gone so far as to say no pure breed Indians
exist today, but this is undoubtedly untrue.
The mixture of white and Indian blood dates
back to the earliest colonial days. The first English colonists were
in favor of marriage with Indians. The most noted of such marriages
was that of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. The early fur traders married
Indian women and lived with their wives' tribes. The Five Civilized
Tribes of Oklahoma have much white blood, some dating back to the squaw
men of the West and some to the British and French fur traders before the
There is a tribe of Indians known as the
half Breeds, of the Red River section - a mixture of white and Algonquian
blood. These people live as Indians when with Indians and as whites
in a white community.
The old idea that people of mixed blood
had few of the good points of either parent, but all of the bad points,
has long since been discarded in America. The opposite has been found
true, especially with Indians and whites. There have been many cases
of prominent men in this country who were justly proud of their Indian
Many famous chiefs were of mixed Indian
and white blood.
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