La Canoa: Mulattos of Cochiti: Caste in Spanish New Mexico
September 15, 2018
Please join Deputy State Historian Rob Martinez, as he 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.
Deputy 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. Rob has presented papers and lectures on his research at the University of New Mexico as well as history conferences throughout the southwestern United States. He has also spoken to historical groups in New Mexico such as the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico, the Albuquerque Historical Society, and the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies about research methodology, unique findings, New Mexico Hispanic culture, and general History of New Mexico. Mr. Martinez is also a folk musician, performing and promoting New Mexican Hispanic musical traditions for the past twenty years with his brother Lorenzo and their father Roberto Martinez in the group Los Reyes de Albuquerque. With his musical family, he has performed in all parts of New Mexico, and on multiple occasions has presented music and New Mexican culture at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C., the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship Awards, and also at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.