by Rafael Cardona, Honokai Hale
From the time of Columbus and the late 15th century forward, the Spaniards & Portuguese called the peoples of the Americas “Indians”—that is, inhabitants of India. Not only is the term erroneous by origin, but it did not correspond to anything in the minds of the indigenous people.
They had no word meaning “inhabitant of the Western Hemisphere,” and most of them appear not to have adopted any equivalent even after a couple centuries of contact. Any such word refers to the masses as seen from the outside & not to any unity perceived by themselves.
However the Mestizos (mixed) adopted the term, not rapidly but it was eventually accepted. It has been commonly on record; a Mestizo moves from the village to work in the city. "Cuando yo era Indio." "When I was an Indian." The mere process of moving from the village to the city could make you lose your Indianess.
Musical compositions, it should be remembered, do not inhabit certain countries, certain museums, like paintings and statues. The Mozart Quintet is not shut up in Salzburg: I have it in my pocket. ~Henri Rabaud
The base of all the Latin dances is indigenous.
They are the dances that were danced by the Indians centuries before the European arrived. The influence in these dances comes from the great civilizations in Mexico and Peru, and probably over 3000 different dances throughout the Americas.
Even today, there are over 600 documented steps in Cha Cha Cha, alone. You think you invented one? Don't kid me, kid. When the first illegal aliens arrived, the Indians kept their versions of the dance and the only outsiders that had any interest in this music and dance were the poorest of the poor immigrants. Those of the higher social levels had no such interest. With time there was a general acceptance that the European dance was better than the dance of the Indians and the modifications began to increase in the indigenous dances.