[Documents menu] Documents menu

From TAINO-L@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU Thu Dec 21 08:08:48 2000
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 00:42:41 -0500
Sender: Taino-L Taino interest forum <TAINO-L@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU>
Subject: TAINO-L Digest - 18 Dec 2000 to 20 Dec 2000 (#2000-218)

Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 15:49:01 -0500
From: Director of Cultural Affairs <cultural-affairs@TAINO-TRIBE.ORG>

Proverbs and prejudice: El Indio in Hispanic proverbial speech

By Shirley L. Arora, De Proverbio,
Vol. 1, no. 2, 1995

Some twenty years ago, in an article on Slurs International, Alan Dundes observed that a proverb or a joke told by members of one national group about another may be more responsible for attitudes held by the first group about the second than any other single factor (Dundes 15). As his study makes clear, proverbial sayings and other kinds of folk stereotypes are not merely a passive reflection of attitudes toward ethnic or national groups; they play an active role in the creation or propagation of those attitudes. In keeping with the title of his article, the examples with which Dundes illustrates his remarks focus largely on national stereotypes, but he also takes care to point out that slurs are equally common in referring to ethnic or other folk groups within a country as they are to national groups outside a country (p. 17).

In a recent study of proverbial stereotyping, Wolfgang Mieder has traced the history, evolution, and meaning of the American proverb The only good Indian is a dead Indian from its nineteenth-century roots down to the present day. Though not, as he points out, the only North American proverb to encapsulate a stereotypic view of the Native American, it appears to be by far the most widely known and firmly entrenched, giving rise even today to variations on the same pattern that, while divergent in meaning and application, still preserve undertones of the original saying (Mieder 1993: 52). Yet another widely disseminated stereotype regarding the Native American appears in the phrase Indian giver, referring either to someone who violates social rules by seeking to retrieve an item previously bestowed or--particularly in its earliest occurrences--to one who gives a gift in the expectation of receiving an even more valuable one in return. As a childhood taunt the phrase is no doubt repeated by its young users, as in the case of many such slurs, with little real awareness of its ethnic application; but the record of its currency in adult discourse, in more serious contexts, is a substantial one, dating back at least to the early eighteenth century (Mieder 1992: 329).

Just as we often tend, in English, to restrict the term American to the United States, so also we may sometimes unwittingly equate the term Native American with Native North American; but of course the indigenous peoples of what are now the United States and Canada constituted only a fraction of the population with which Europeans came into contact from the end of the fifteenth century onward. The proverbial speech of Hispanic America preserves, even today, numerous traces of the interaction between explorers, conquerors, or settlers and the native populations they found in the various regions of the so-called New World, while printed sources record others that have apparently disappeared from current usage. Many, though not all, of these expressions involve stereotypes of the Native American, some resembling those found in English, others diverging markedly from them.

Stereotypic images of the Native American--North and South--are present from the earliest encounters, and from the outset they involved contrasting sets of generalizations. The recently-concluded Columbian Quincentennial has refreshed our recollection of Columbus' description of the Caribbean islanders whom he met on his first voyage: gentle people, innocent of all evil, timorous, ignorant of murder or even of weapons, affectionate, smiling, credulous, quick to learn and to remember, and of course buenos servidores, good servants.[1] Bartolomé de las Casas, famed for his defense of the Indian (and the one to whom we owe our knowledge of the contents of Columbus' diary of that first voyage) concurred with this initial assessment and added some superlatives of his own:

God made all the peoples of this area, many and varied as they are, as open and as innocent as can be imagined. The simplest people in the world--unassuming, long-suffering, unassertive, and submissive--they are without malice or guile, and are utterly faithful and obedient both to their own native lords and to the Spaniards in whose service they now find themselves. Never quarrelsome or belligerent or boisterous, they harbour no grudges and do not seek to settle old scores; indeed, the notions of revenge, rancour, and hatred are quite foreign to them. . . They are also among the poorest people on the face of the earth; they own next to nothing and have no urge to acquire material possessions. As a result they are neither ambitious nor greedy, and are totally uninterested in worldly power.[2]

Innocent and pure in mind and at the same time possessing a lively intelligence (ibid.), the indigenous peoples were, in Las Casas' estimation, ideal candidates for conversion to the Catholic faith. Sharply contrasting views of the native population were provided by chroniclers such as Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, Las Casas' contemporary, who despaired of success in the Spanish mission of conversion and acculturation and saw New World man as the embodiment of all that was corrupt: vice-ridden, false, inconstant, ungrateful, lazy, melancholic, cowardly, bestial, inclined only to eat, drink, indulge bodily appetites, and worship idols. It should be noted that Oviedo was also repeatedly and sharply critical of those Spaniards who mistreated the indigenous people, and that he did not hesitate to remark on the good qualities he observed in individual Indians with whom he came into contact. His generally negative assessment of New World man probably represented, as José Miranda has suggested, the views of the average European who participated in the conquest and colonization of the Americas.[3] In any event, and with few exceptions, these early negative stereotypes regarding the Native American are the ones that have survived in popular tradition and been augmented over the years by other equally dubious generalizations.

Abraham Roback reminds us, in the concluding section of his Dictionary of International Slurs, of the variety of historical, sociological, and psychological factors that must be taken into account in any examination of verbal expressions of prejudice (Roback 256f.); and such factors are clearly at work in the configuration of proverbs concerning the Native American in the various regions of Spanish-speaking America as well as in the differences to be observed between those proverbs and the sayings used among speakers of English. Indeed, there are not, so far as I have been able to discover, any proverbial references to el indio that are truly pan-American in their distribution, although some sayings are clearly known across international borders. Vast cultural differences among the native populations themselves and varying modes of interaction and coexistence with members of the dominant society in what Mary Louise Pratt has called, in a somewhat different context, the contact zone,[4] are reflected in diverse and, occasionally, contrasting proverbial images of the Native American, current as well as past. On the by and large (but with, as we shall see, a few exceptions), Spanish-language proverbs referring to el indio are not concerned with his extermination (as in The only good Indian is a dead Indian) but with his integration, or non-integration, into the dominant society; and their primary focus, therefore, is on stereotypic traits that allegedly render the process of assimilation problematical if not impossible.

Throughout this brief and by no means exhaustive overview of proverbial stereotypes of el indio, it is important to keep in mind the nature and the limitations of the sources of documentation on which such a survey must necessarily depend. It might appear, for example, that the proverbial tradition of some regions abounds in such sayings, whereas in others they seem absent altogether, but such impressions are no doubt a result, in large part, of the relative abundance of published materials from some countries (e.g., Argentina, Mexico, Colombia) and their scarcity with regard to others. Very few investigators have devoted any special attention to proverbs concerning el indio (a notable exception being Peña Hernández, who has provided us with a list of twenty such sayings from Nicaragua); and some investigators may deliberately avoid recording such overtly negative material, even with a disclaimer intended to disassociate the collector from the sentiments expressed. Furthermore, the published sources that do exist often provide little or no indication of a standard meaning or definition for the items given, or of the ways in which they are actually used. Thus, although I shall, in the following pages, indicate wherever possible the specific countries from which individual items have been recorded (generally limiting the annotations to a single reference for each area), it must borne in mind that we have very limited evidence as to the currency of individual items or the manner in which they may be employed in everyday speech. Where, in a few instances, I have been able to supplement the published record with information obtained from informants in the field, I have included these comments with appropriate identification.

Notwithstanding the long history of Spanish interaction with the native peoples of the Americas, proverbial references to el indio in collections from Peninsular Spain are extremely rare. In the case of contemporary collections their absence is not surprising, given the lack of continuing contact or geographical proximity that would serve to maintain such expressions in popular speech; but one might expect to find at least some trace of such allusions in older compilations dating back to the centuries of conquest and colonization. One enormous modern compilation by Martínez Kleiser brings together, organized by topic, over 65,000 sayings taken from collections as far back as the sixteenth century or earlier; but it has no entry for indio,, either in the body of the work or in the index. The dictionary of the Real Academia Española lists, under indio, the phrase ¿Somos indios?--Are we Indians?--as a way of reprimanding someone who appears to be trying to deceive us or who seems to assume that we are incapable of understanding what is being said (II, 767).[5] Sbarbi's Gran diccionario de refranes de la lengua española, which is arranged by keyword, has three entries under indio (p. 507), one of which is ¿Somos indios? (taken, judging by the wording of its definition, from the Academia's dictionary). One of the other entries is actually a verse, quoted from an eighteenth-century poet, in which the people of the province of Extremadura are described as los indios de la nación--our nation's Indians--por pereza--on account of their apathy or laziness. Why the collector should have considered this clearly literary item as a proverb is not clear, unless he assumed it to be based on some unidentified item of proverbial speech. Indolence, to be sure, is included in the litany of defects attributed to el indio by Fernández de Oviedo (see the reference above), but I have not found it in any clearly proverbial expression to date. Sbarbi's remaining entry, and the only one for which there is evidence of a certain measure of currency in modern Peninsular Spain, is the phrase hacer el indio, to act the Indian, meaning to be the victim (or the patsy, to use a colloquial English equivalent). Hacer el indio is found also in at least two dictionaries of contemporary Spanish slang, where the meaning is given as hacer el ridículo, el tonto--to be or act ridiculous, foolish (Oliver 156) or hacer tonterías--to do foolish things (León 87).

The rapid disappearance of the native populations from the islands of the Caribbean in the early years of colonization no doubt explains the scarcity of proverbial references to el indio in the speech of that region, where the language of prejudice focuses instead on persons of African descent. Early attempts to replace the diminished labor force on the islands with Native Americans captured on the South American mainland soon gave way to the importation of African slaves, a process of substitution that has left its trace in the modern-day use of the word indio as a euphemism for the more offensive term negro. According to Carlos Deive, to refer to someone as indio carries with it a certain acepción afectuosa--an affectionate connotation--along with its allusion to skin color (Deive 79). In a few regional phrases, however, the term indio appears to preserve its literal reference to the vanished native populations. Reminiscent of the Spanish hacer el indio are the Dominican coger de indio a uno, to take someone for an Indian, that is, to befool or victimize him (Cruz 36), and its reverse equivalent, so to speak, caer de indio, to fall [for something] like an Indian (Malaret 1946: 478f.). A Cuban collection records the phrase estar como los indios, to be like the Indians, referring to someone who appears detached from reality, who is out of it, on the moon, in another world. (Sánchez 409). The only proverb alluding to the Indian that I have found from this region--and it is presumably not in current use--is Sin indios no hay Indias (Without Indians there are no Indies), which the Dominican folklorist Rodríguez Demorizi explains as a response by sixteenth-century encomenderos to attempts by the Spanish crown to control their exploitation of native labor: without such exploitation, they contended, the Indies would cease to be the source of wealth and enhanced social status that the name had come to symbolize (p. 245).[6] The proverb is dated not only by its meaning but also by its use of the word Indias to refer to Spain's New World possessions. Curiously, the only other record I have found of this saying is in the large proverb collection from Argentina, edited by Ismael Moya in 1944. The collection consists primarily of material gathered directly from oral tradition with the assistance of teachers and students throughout the country, but this particular item appears among the Addenda provided by Moya himself, either from his own repertoire or from his personal investigations (Moya 629). His footnote commenting that the encomenderos used to say this when they were ordered not to overwork the Indians suggests, again, historical usage rather than actual currency.

Among the countries of mainland Spanish America there is an enormous variation in the size and proportion of indigenous populations: from a numerical majority (in Bolivia and Guatemala, both almost 60% Amerindian) to a minimal minority, as in Costa Rica (.6%). According to data provided in the Statistical Abstract of Latin America, Mexico had (at the time the data were compiled, in 1978) the largest number of individuals considered by themselves or by others to be Indian, approximately 8,000,000, although the number represented only 12.4% of the total population of the country; Costa Rica, in contrast, had only 10,000. In Peru and Ecuador slightly over one-third of the total population (approximately 6,000,000 and 2,500,000, respectively) was classified as indigenous. Among countries in which Indians constituted a small minority, four--Venezuela, Colombia, Paraguay, and Panama--were grouped together has having indigenous populations that were principally tribal. (Brazil is also a member of this group, but we are concerned here only with Spanish-speaking countries.) In all, the indigenous population of Spanish America (i.e., excluding Brazil and the United States) was estimated to be in the neighborhood of 26,000,000 at the time these figures were compiled, or roughly twice the corresponding estimate for the mid-1950s.[7] The Amerindian population continues to increase; indeed, recent projections suggest that it will again double by the year 2005.[8]

Of all the regions of Spanish-speaking America, it is Argentina that most resembles the United States with regard to the history of interaction between the native peoples and the European settlers. The indigenous tribes of the River Plate region were predominantly hunters and gatherers, without the highly organized, sedentary societies, densely populated urban centers, and highly developed agriculture found among the peoples of the Andes or of Mesoamerica. With time they acquired European weapons to supplement their own and became skilled horsemen, carrying out an armed resistance--including frequent livestock raids and other attacks on outlying settlements--that continued until the last decades of the nineteenth century. They were, as a consequence, the targets of frequently merciless military action that eventually resulted in the virtual elimination of the native population. (The data for 1978, cited above, put the estimated indigenous population of Argentina at less than 400,000, or 1.5% of the total population of the country at that time; the corresponding figure for the United States, based on the 1980 census, is slightly more than 1,400,000, or .7%.)[9] Although there is no evidence of an Argentinian equivalent of the North American dictum The only good Indian is a dead Indian, the violent conflict between Native American and European settler has left traces in Argentine proverbial speech that appear to be unique in Spanish-speaking America. Al indio caído, lanzada fuerte, for example--For a fallen Indian, a great thrust of the lance (Moya 312)--is a variant of an old and widely recorded Spanish proverb that harks back to the era of the Reconquest--A moro muerto, gran lanzada, For a dead Moor, a great thrust of the lance (Correas 27, Sbarbi 641)--and is employed to criticize those individuals who are or pretend to be courageous only when there is in fact no danger. The older form of the saying is still recorded throughout Spanish-speaking America, including Argentina (Moya 322), but so far as I have been able to discover it is only in Argentina that one finds the variant with indio and its vivid evocation of frontier combat. (In the Argentinian variant, we note, the Indian is merely fallen, defenseless but not necessarily dead.) A similar martial imagery characterizes the proverb Es conocido el indio en la lanza--The Indian is known by his lance (Moya 452); while in the comparison como indio fuera de la rastrillada,--like an Indian off the trail (Moya 380)--we find, if not a direct reference to combat, at least an allusion to frontier conditions, where raiding parties of Indians driving captured cattle across the pampas created trails, or rastrilladas, that became prominently visible through frequent use. Most revealing of all, perhaps, is the jocular expression parece matanza de indios--it looks like an Indian massacre--applied, we are told, to any confused mixture of objects or of morsels of food, especially if dark in color (Granada 1890:215 and 1959:69). The collector specifies that the matanza in question is to be understood as a massacre of Indians by the military, a tragic and not infrequent occurrence almost up to time of his writing. I have not found any indication that the expression survives in contemporary speech, but the fact that such a reference could acquire a jocular tone perhaps speaks as eloquently of a popular attitude toward the Native American as the bluntly expressed North American proverb on which Mieder focuses his attention. Phrases such as these do not directly involve stereotyping, but they are clearly indicative of a particular kind of interaction between the minority group and the dominant majority. At the same time, one finds in Argentinian tradition a kind of proverbial counterbalance in the more sympathetic comment El indio pega porque a éI le pegaron, The Indian strikes because he has been struck [by others] (Moya 458), as well as one of the rare proverbial references to the Native American woman: India que se aquerencia, criará tus hijos y tu descendencia, The Indian woman who becomes part of your household will bring up your children and your descendants (Moya 479), which may refer either to loyalty or to longevity, or perhaps to both.

Armed resistance on the part of the indigenous population also continued until the 1880s in Chile, Argentina's neighbor on the other side of the Andean mountain range, but proverbial allusions to the violent confrontation there appear to be lacking, or at least have not been recorded in the relatively limited published sources available. One large regional dictionary notes that the term indio may be applied figuratively to anyone who exhibits the defects considered to belong to the Indian, that is, to someone who is terco, rebelde, poco comunicativo, incivilizado (stubborn, rebellious, uncommunicative, uncivilized) (Morales III 2460). The same source lists several variations of allusions to the Indian's supposed penchant for abrupt loss of temper or self-control, e.g., le afloró el indio, the Indian in him came to the surface; and also one proverb that is widely recorded elsewhere, Indio comido, indio ido, roughly translated as Once the Indian has eaten, he leaves (ibid.). The proverb will be considered at greater length below.

It is in two Central American countries that we find the nearest parallel to the proverb The only good Indian is a dead Indian, in its apparent sanction of deadly violence against Native Americans. The Nicaraguan Al indio, la culebra y el zanate, dice la ley que se mate, An Indian, a snake, and a grackle, the law says they should be killed (Peña 94) is described by the collector as having encomendero overtones, in its implication that the Indian is as pernicious as the dangerous reptile or the crop-threatening bird. In a Guatemalan variant of the same dictum the three supposedly legitimate targets of destruction are the Indian, the guanaco, and the grackle: Indio, guanaco, y zanate, manda la ley que se mate (Sandoval I 671); guanaco does not refer here to the Andean relative of the llama, but is a regional term variously used to refer to a provincial or small-town inhabitant; an individual from any Central American nation other than Guatemala; or--most broadly--a fool or a stupid person (Sandoval I 591f.).

The two sayings just cited are representative of a technique used in a number of proverbs that, by grouping el indio with various kinds of animals, imply that the Native American is less than human, or at least occupies a low place on the scale of humanity. Few sayings are as blunt as the Venezuelan Indio no es gente, ni cazabe es pan, An Indian is not a person, and manioc bread is not bread (Erminy 57) or the Mexican Indios y burros, todos son unos, Indians and donkeys are all one and the same (Rubio I 263), but the depiction of qualities shared by Indians and non-human animals achieves the same effect. Usually the qualities cited are undesirable, but even when the basis of comparison is more positive, as in El indio y el perro nunca se pierden, An Indian and a dog never get lost (Peña 94), the effect is to suggest the animal-like nature of the Indian, not only in this regard but also perhaps in other respects as well.[10] The technique is, to be sure, common to many languages (cf., in English, An Indian, a partridge, and a spruce tree can't be tamed [Mieder 1992: 329]) and lends itself to a wide variety of proverbial targets.[11]

More typical of proverbs using the technique of comparing the Indian to an animal is the Colombian Indio, mula y mujer, si no te la han hecho te la van a hacer--An Indian, a mule and a woman, if they haven't done it to you yet, they will (Acuña 53), which actually constitutes a kind of double-barreled attack on either Native Americans or women or both. (Cf. a Peruvian variant that uses the same pattern to express distrust of government officials: Subprefecto, mula, y mujer, si no te la han hecho te la van a hacer, A subprefect, a mule, and a woman . . .[etc.], [Vargas 86].) The somewhat ambiguous New Mexican proverb Indio, pájaro y conejo, no metas en tu casa aunque te mueras de viejo, An Indian, a bird, and a rabbit, don't take them into your house even if you are dying of old age (Cobos no. 843) is explained by the collector as an expression of the colonial feeling that Indians were untrustworthy, while a similarly cryptic Mexican variant, Indio, pájaro y conejo, en tu casa ni aún de viejo, An Indian, a bird, and rabbit--[don't have them] in your house, even in old age elicits from the collector, in lieu of a definition, the almost equally vague comment that the real target of the proverb is not the bird that requires care or the rabbit that may cause damage, but simply the Indian, who never ceases to pay the price for being what he is (Rubio I 262). The same collector provides, however, another form of the proverb in which the meaning is more explicit: Indio, pájaro y conejo no conocen gratitud, An Indian, a bird, and a rabbit know nothing of gratitude (ibid.).

Ingratitude is also the charge implied in the Nicaraguan El indio y el alcaraván, apenas echan alas, se van, The Indian and the stone curlew, as soon as they grow wings, they leave (Cuadra 300) and its expanded variant, also from Nicaragua, Indio, piche o alcaraván, no se crían porque se van, An Indian, a tree duck, and a stone curlew, don't raise them [in your household] because they'll run away (Peña 94). Among domestic animals the cat, in particular, is often accused of failing to reciprocate the care or affection it receives. A proverb recorded from Peru and Bolivia proclaims forthrightly: El indio y el gato, animal ingrato, An Indian and a cat, ungrateful animals (García no. 628; Fernández 193), and a Panamanian variant adds a dove to make an ungrateful trio: Indio, paloma, y gato, animal ingrato (Aguilera 353, 606). In this latter instance the collector, far from disassociating herself from the stereotype contained in the proverb, remarks that the saying expresses something very true when it says that the animals named are ungrateful since it is well known that Indians hired for domestic service--especially those from the island of San Blas--are in the habit of leaving their employment without so much as a farewell, never to return again (Aguilera 606). (The Indians of San Blas are a prominent segment of Panama's tribal indigenous population, which in 1978 was estimated at 121,000, or close to 7% of the population as a whole.)

Ingratitude is one of the stereotypic faults most widely attributed to el indio, from as far back as Fernández de Oviedo in the sixteenth century (though not necessarily beginning with him) down to the present time, and throughout virtually every geographical region for which we have sources of information available. (Argentina appears to be a notable exception.) In addition to the ungrateful animal combinations just quoted, another widely used proverb, with several variants, charges el indio with the ungracious (or ungrateful) behavior known colloquially in English as eat and run: Indio comido, indio ido, Once the Indian has eaten, he's gone (Guatemala: Sandoval I 671; Central America: Malaret 1946: 479; Panama, Ecuador: field; Colombia: Cadavid 184). In general terms, and given the history of interaction between Native Americans and European colonizers as well as the social conditions in which many native populations live at the present time, one might be led to wonder precisely what it is that el indio is deemed to be ungrateful for. But Indio comido, indio ido belongs to a cluster of proverbs in Spanish that concern themselves in a general way with interpersonal or intergroup relations and that are commonly used to censure what may be looked upon as exploitation of one person or group by another. One of the oldest of these, still current and widely recorded throughout the Spanish-speaking world, is (El) pan comido, (la) compañía deshecha, Bread eaten, company disbanded (Correas 107, Sbarbi 750; Argentina: Moya 572) or Comida hecha, compañía deshecha, Meal done, company undone (Correas 432, Sbarbi 256; Mexico: Conde 78; New Mexico: Cobos no. 205), together with such variants as Comida acabada, amistad terminada, Meal finished, friendship ended (Sbarbi 256) or Comida hecha, amistad deshecha, Meal done, friendship undone (Argentina: Moya 359; Colombia: Pinzón 25). These and other variations on the same proverb are used in general to chastise those individuals who maintain a friendship or association only so long as material benefit is to be had from it; they are exploiters, in other words, of the kindness and generosity of others for purely selfish purposes and without regard for reciprocity. By attributing to the Indian as a class the ungrateful actions to which the more generalized proverbs refer, Indio comido, indio ido in effect depicts the Indian as exploiting the European who offers him food and similar benefits in the reasonable expectation of being appropriately compensated--whether in the form of labor or other assistance, or by personal loyalty, or in some other fashion--when the meal is finished. In effect, the proverb turns history upside down, projecting onto the long-exploited indigenous population the charge of being the exploiters. Herein may lie, perhaps, part of the evident appeal of the proverb (and of other proverbs dealing with alleged ingratitude): its capacity to suggest that it is not, after all, the members of the dominant society who have, over the centuries, victimized the Native American, but the Indian who has succeeded in manipulating the good will and generosity of the white colonizer, landowner, employer, etc., receiving benefits that have gone unappreciated and unreciprocated.

Apart from the charge of general ingratitude, Indio comido, indio ido lends itself (as does the English phrase eat and run) to the less significant accusation of mere bad manners, i.e., leaving a social gathering immediately after a meal, thus foregoing the expected period of socializing that customarily follows. Particularly is this true in first person usage,

that is, when the speaker in effect assumes the role of el indio, using the proverb as a humorous justification or appeal for pardon for the social infraction he is about to commit. A Mexican variant of the proverb makes this use explicit: Soy como el indio, ya comí, ya me voy, I'm like the Indian, now I've eaten, now I'm leaving (Aranda 24); yet despite its first-person grammatical form it is still described by the collector as sarcasm directed against the Indian. (Cf. the second-person variants Blas [or Nicolás], ya comiste, ya te vas, Blas [or Nicholas], now you've eaten, now you're leaving [Spain: Rodríguez Marín 58; Venezuela: Carrera no. 19; Panama: Aguilera 520], in which generalized proper names are used to supply a rhyme for the verb form; and a third-person variant from Guatemala that makes similar use of a local place name: ser como los de Cobán, que comen y se van, to be like the people of Cobán, who eat and leave [Armas no. S-133].)

Along with the more or less humorous use just noted, Indio comido, indio ido shows other signs of an evolution away from its original depiction of stereotypic ingratitude and toward other, potentially more positive, kinds of applications, a process we shall observe in regard to other widely used proverbial stereotypes as well. Minor variations in wording may assist in this evolution. For example, Indio comido, al camino, [Once] the Indian has eaten, to the road [with him], is recorded in a Guatemalan collection as a literal reference to the Indian's alleged ingratitude as well as a general, and therefore metaphorical, allusion to friends (Indian or not) who terminate a relationship when there is no longer any material gain to be had; but it can also serve, we are told, as a statement to the effect that people as well as animals work more effectively if they are properly fed (Sandoval I 671). In a somewhat similar vein, Indio comido, al camino was used by a Costa Rican informant in the field to mean Now that we've eaten, let's get down to work, and in a published variant from Colombia the insertion of the word listo, ready, supports a similar interpretation: Indio comido, listo al camino, The Indian who has eaten [is] ready for the road (Alario 174). The Nicaraguan variant Indio comido, puesto en camino, [Once] the Indian has eaten, [he's] set on his way (Castellón 138) was linked by an informant in the field to a traditional concept of hospitality, which required that any wayfarer be fed but also assumed that the guest would not overstay his welcome. The same informant suggested, however, that the saying was similar to the English phrase eat and run in that it could be used to excuse one's early departure from a party or other social function.

Ingratitude might be viewed as a less serious fault than untrustworthiness, but the two are not unrelated. Both represent a failure to live up to the expectations of others and therefore constitute impediments to the establishment of normal social relationships based on mutual trust and reciprocity. Efforts to achieve such relationships between Indians and non-Indians are, it is alleged, doomed ultimately to fail, even in instances in which they may initially appear successful. The proverb quoted earlier, in which the mule and the Indian are depicted as equally to be mistrusted, is echoed in the Colombian El indio al fin da la patada, The Indian finally gives a kick (Devia 53), while the Ecuadorian La del indio nunca falta, The [inappropriate action, trick, etc.] of the Indian never fails, though elliptical in wording, conveys the same charge (Carvalho 126). It is further claimed that the Indian cannot be entrusted with any position of authority, however minimal, for he will invariably show himself to be arbitrary, unjust, and self-important: Si quieres saber quien es el indito, dale un puestito, If you want to know who the Indian [really] is, give him some small position [of authority] (Mexico: Keller 85). No hay cosa peor que poner a un indio a repartir chicha, There's nothing worse than putting an Indian to dole out chicha (Nicaragua: Peña 94) and Si quieres ver a un indio bravo, ponlo a repartir chicha, If you want to see a fierce Indian, put him to doling out chicha (Honduras: Aguilar no. 610) both entail a similar allegation, the position of authority being in this instance that of the individual in charge of the distribution of a popular indigenous beverage much used in the celebration of various kinds of festivals. On a more personal level, the Indian is depicted as a generally unsatisfactory companion, whether in work or travel or some other capacity: El que anda con indio, anda solo, He who travels with an Indian travels alone. The explanations are varied: the Indian is deemed incapable of friendship or loyalty and prone to abandon his (non-Indian) companion at any moment (Nicaragua: Peña 95), or he is of no help in any emergency or difficult situation (Peru: Vargas 85), or he is simply not considered compañía apreciable, worthwhile company (Colombia: León Rey no. 625). His inability to adapt himself to the ways of polite society will invariably result in unfortunate consequences: El indio siempre derrama el caldo, The Indian always spills the broth (Venezuela: Dubuc no. 642). (Elsewhere, it may be noted, the same assertion is made regarding el negro [Malaret 1943: 365].) And finally, it is alleged that even an apparently civilized Indian will inevitably, and without warning, revert to his innate behavioral patterns, a tendency reflected in such phrases as le salió el indio, The Indian in him came out, that is, he suddenly revealed his Indian nature (Nicaragua: Peña 94).

While these and other proverbial warnings serve to discourage efforts to integrate the indigenous population into the dominant society (or justify the absence of such efforts), special scorn and suspicion are directed at individuals who are perceived as deliberately attempting to achieve assimilation on their own. According to a Bolivian saying, Cuando el indio se refina, se desatina, When the Indian becomes refined, he goes 'haywire' [acts foolishly] (Paredes Candia 61), while an Argentinian proverb proclaims: Dios nos libre de indio calzado y mulato acaballerado, God save us from an Indian who wears shoes and a mulato who has become a 'gentleman' (Moya 401). A similar criticism of the Indian who adopts white ways is found in the Nicaraguan No hay peor cosa que poner a un indio a comer en un plato de china, There's nothing worse than having an Indian eat from a china plate, because, it is explained, he then begins to put on airs and consider himself the equal of his employer, landlord, etc. (Nicaragua: Peña 95). In Mexico the habit of smoking cigars is viewed as a symptom of the attempt to cross over social boundaries and is linked with various defects of character: Indio que fuma puro, ladrón seguro, The Indian who smokes is cigar is a thief for sure (Keller 65, Rubio I 262) has variants in which ladrón is replaced by ateo, atheist (Rubio I 261) or pendejo, a grossly offensive term for which a mild translation would be fool (Gómez Maganda I 249). Américo Paredes notes a similar use of the cigar as a symbol of misguided accculturation or social climbing in the Chicano proverb No te fíes del mexicano que fuma puro ni del gringo que te dice compadre, Don't trust a Mexican who smokes a cigar or a gringo [non-Mexican, Anglo] who calls you compadre (Paredes 97). The extreme reaction toward such attempts at cultural or social assimilation is expressed in the Mexican Indio que quiere ser criollo, al hoyo, Down with [lit., to the grave with] the Indian who tries to be a criollo (Rubio I 262). (The term criollo, creole, is commonly applied to persons of Spanish or European descent born in the New World, and the proverb therefore constitutes a condemnation of the Indian who tries to become or appear white.)

The Native American who deviates in appearance from the presumed norm for his group is particularly susceptible to charges of untrustworthiness, perhaps because the deviation suggests assimilation through racial mixture. The proverbs in this category are adaptations of long-established patterns that single out for suspicion various kinds of atypical appearance or behavior, and most combine more than one target: No te fíes de indio barbudo ni de blanco barbilampiño, Don't trust a bearded Indian or a beardless white man (Colombia: Acuña 62); No te fíes [or creas] de indio barbón, ni de español lampiño; ni en mujer que hable como hombre, ni en hombre que hable como niño, Don't trust a bearded Indian, a beardless Spaniard, a woman who talks like a man, or a man who talks like a child (Mexico: Conde 298; also field); Hombre tiple, mujer bajón, indio ñato y negro narigón, cuatro diablos son, A falsetto-voiced man, a deep-voiced woman, a snub-nosed Indian, a large-nosed Negro are four devils (Ecuador: Hidalgo 22; Peru (var.): García no. 166).

Our final example of an anti-assimilation proverb is of particular interest both for the firmness with which it appears to be established in current oral tradition and for the trajectory of its use and meaning over time. No tiene la culpa el indio, sino el que lo hace compadre, It's not the fault of the Indian, but of the one who makes him a compadre is, as Américo Paredes puts it, a proverb of social snobbery (Paredes 95), a warning of the unfortunate results of elevating the Indian to the position of social equality implied in the compadrazgo, the complex set of mutual relationships and obligations among co-parents, that is, parents and godparents. The saying has been recorded, with only slight variation, not only from Mexico (Rubio II 63, Conde 299, Keller 77, etc.), New Mexico (Cobos no. 1283), Texas (Glazer no. 216A), and California (field), but also as far south as Colombia (Alario 174) and Peru (Vargas 83). In pattern it is related to a broad family of sayings that concern themselves with the proper fixing of responsability and that are used to admonish an individual who complains about the adverse outcome of a situation, when in fact his own ill -advised actions precipitated that outcome: No tiene la culpa el loro, sino el que lo enseña a hablar, It's not the fault of the parrot, but of the one who teaches him to talk (Guatemala: Armas no. N-133), No tiene la culpa el chancho sino el que le rasca el lomo, It's not the fault of the pig, but of the one who scratches his back (Argentina/Uruguay: Guarnieri 32); No tiene la culpa el ratón sino el que le pone el queso, It's not the fault of the mouse but of the one who offers him cheese (Mexico: Molina 136); and so on. The pattern of these sayings consists essentially of two slots, one for the immediate or apparent cause of the unfortunate outcome, and the other--the slot of responsability--for the real cause--the individual who should have known better, the one at whom the proverb is aimed. (At least one other saying concerning el indio adopts this same pattern, the Colombian No tiene el indio la culpa, sino el que le da la chicha, It's not the fault of the Indian but of the one who gives him chicha [Pinzón 80]; and a variation of the pattern is found in the Texas/Chicano saying No tiene la culpa el sol de que ese indio no tenga techo, It's not the fault of the sun that that Indian has no roof [over his head] [Glazer no. 218A], a reversal of sorts that puts the Indian into the slot of responsability in order to chide those individuals who are inclined to blame others for their lack of material progress.)

There is considerable evidence to suggest that No tiene la culpa el indio sino el que lo hace compadre has evolved away from its literal meaning--the alleged incapacity or unwillingness of the Indian to fulfill the obligations of a fully functional member of society--and has acquired the same kind of metaphorical applications that are apparent in the comparable proverbs concerning a mouse, a parrot, a pig, etc. Mexican informants in the field have insisted, for example, that when they use the proverb they are not actually referring to el indio at all but are merely making a general statement concerning the results of an ill-advised or ill-thought-out action; and published collections concur in providing similarly generalized interpretations (cf., for example, Keller 77 and Glazer no. 216A). Américo Paredes, in an article published some twenty years ago, suggests that the indio/compadre imagery has in effect lost its literal function and become, at least in Mexico, an empty stereotype; and he cites as evidence an interesting example of the use of the same imagery in a saying of somewhat similar pattern but quite opposite meaning: ¿Qué culpa tiene el indio de que lo hayan hecho compadre?, What fault is it of the Indian that he has been made a compadre? (Paredes 96). According to Paredes, this clearly derivative proverb is used in a sympathetic spirit by a speaker wishing to defend the homespun (i.e., inelegant or natural) speech or behavior of a third party, or to excuse or justify a similar action of his own; the speaker, Paredes adds, is usually a mestizo with little or no visible evidence of Indian ancestry, a comment that serves to suggest, once again, the purely metaphorical rather than literal application of the proverb. No doubt changing social or cultural attitudes have been a factor in the evolution of this contemporary variant, in which natural behavior is accorded a positive value, while familiarity with, or adherence to, complex traditional customs or behavioral standards ceases to be the criterion for social acceptance.

In his discussion of modern-day variants of The only good Indian is a dead Indian, Mieder points out that even such seemingly innocuous constructions as The only good mouse is a dead mouse or The only good photojournalist is a live photojournalist carry with them an implicit, if subconscious, reference to the proverb on which they are modelled, thus perpetuating, even without seeming to do so, the original ethnic slur (Mieder 1993: 52). A similar observation may be made concerning the metaphorical use of proverbs such as No tiene la culpa el indio, sino el que lo hace compadre or Indio comido, indio ido. Even though no longer used, apparently, as a literal deprecation of the Native American, such sayings serve to perpetuate the stereotype of the Indian as unable, or perhaps unwilling, to assume successfully the role of social equal and its attendant responsibilities within the dominant culture. In a sense, then, the stereotype is not so much empty as submerged--no longer directly applied, but still functioning, as do all stereotypes, to justify (rationalize) our conduct in relation to a particular group or category of individuals (Allport 191); and it is perhaps all the more insidious in its effect because those who use the proverb do so with little or no conscious awareness of its stereotypic implications.

Dundes raises the question, in the article cited at the beginning of this paper, of the net effect, or even the advisability, of focusing scholarly attention on racial or international slurs--whether they be in the form of jokes, proverbs, or some other folkloric genre--but concludes that the potential benefits outweigh the possible disadvantages of publicizing such material (Dundes 38). It follows that an examination of the ways in which various regional traditions have sought to stereotype el indio and hence to justify the conduct of individuals and of society toward the Native American, can lead to a recognition of the fallacies expressed in such stereotypes and eventually, perhaps, to their weakening and to their ultimate disappearance from proverbial speech and from society as a whole.

Notes *Previously published in Proverbium, 11 (1994), pp. 27-46

These and similar observations are found throughout the diary of Columbus' first voyage, but see in particular the entries for October 12-13, December 16, and December 25, 1492. A convenient English translation is: Christopher Columbus, Journal of the First Voyage to America, introd. by Van Wyck Brooks (New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1924), pp. 23-28, 116-120, and 142-151.

The English version of this passage from the preface to Las Casas' Brevísima relación de la destruición de las Indias is taken from the translation by Nigel Griffin, published with the title A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (London: Penguin Books, 1992), pp. 9-10. The Brevísima relación has been published many times and in many languages since its original printing in 1552; a conveniently accessible version in Spanish is included in the volume of Las Casas' writings entitled Opúsculos, cartas y memoriales, vol. 5 of his Obras escogidas, Biblioteca de Autores Españoles no. 110 (Madrid: Atlas, 1958), pp. 134-181. The passage quoted is on p. 136.

Oviedo's views are expressed at various points in his lengthy Historia general y natural de las Indias, first published in 1535 (Biblioteca de Autores Españoles, Vols. 117-121 [Madrid: Atlas, 1957]). The work as a whole has yet to be translated into English. For representative passages involving the qualities cited here, see Bk. 3, Ch. 6 (Vol. 117, p. 67 in the Biblioteca de Autores Españoles edition), in which Oviedo denounces those Spaniards who overwork or mistreat the Indians entrusted to their care, but follows that criticism with a generally negative portrait of the Native American. In contrast, in Bk. 6, Ch. 41, Oviedo recounts with admiration the extraordinary love shown by an Indian woman for her husband, who had been sentenced to be executed for his part in a local rebellion (pp. 199-201). José Miranda's assessment of Oviedo's opinions appears in the introduction to his edition of Oviedo's Sumario de la natural historia de las Indias (Mexico, D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1950), p. 68.

Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (New York: Routledge, 1992), pp. 6-7. Pratt uses the term to refer to the space of colonial encounters, the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations, usually involving conditions of coercion, radical inequality, and intractable conflict (p. 6).

Two other phrases listed in the entry for indio--caer de indio, to fall [for something] like an Indian, and subírsele a uno el indio, which may be roughly translated as for the Indian [in one] to rise up--are identified as American (i.e., Spanish American) rather than Peninsular Spanish. I will consider them along with other New World sayings later on.

Under the encomienda system, groups of Indians were assigned to Spanish conquerors or settlers, for whom they were required to labor and by whom they were to be protected, civilized, and Christianized. The Laws of Burgos, promulgated by King Ferdinand in 1512, stipulated that each Indian was to be given a house for himself and his family and a farm for raising crops and cattle. . .The Indians were to be persuaded to wear clothing, like 'reasonable men.' The children of each town were to be brought together twice a week for religious instruction. They were also to be taught reading, writing, the sign of the Cross, the confession, the Pater Noster, the Credo, and the Salve Regina; and, of course, they were to be baptized and forced to attend religious services (Lesley Byrd Simpson, The Encomienda in New Spain: The Beginning of Spanish Mexico, rev. ed. [Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1966], p. 11). For a more detailed overview of the Laws of Burgos, see Chapter 3 of the same work, pp. 29-38. As the result of widespread abuse of the provisions governing the encomiendas, even after repeated attempts at reform, the term encomendero has come to symbolize for many the worst degree of exploitation of, and cruelty toward, the indigenous peoples of America.

With the exception of the comparative figure for the 1950s, all data mentioned here are from the Statistical Abstract of Latin America, ed. James W. Willkie, co-eds. Carlos Alberto Contreras and Christof Anders Weber (Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center, 1993), vol. 30, pt. 1, p. 150. A footnote identifies the source of the data as an article published by the Inter-American Indian Institute in 1979. The estimates for the countries of Central America are labelled as unreliable. The population figure for the 1950s is taken from the Statistical Abstract for 1976 (vol. 17), ed. James Wilkie and co-ed. Paul Turovsky, pp. 83f.

See, for example, the article by Martin Edwin Andersen entitled Early Warning from Chiapas,

in the Los Angeles Times, Jan. 6, 1994, pt. B, p. 7.

Statistical Abstract, vol. 30, p. 150. The figures for the United States are taken from the 1980 census.

For a consideration of the effects of this kind of transference in relation to another set of proverbial metaphors, see Shirley L. Arora, A Woman and a Guitar: Variations on a Folk Metaphor, Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship 10 (1993), pp. 21-36, but especially pp. 21-23; reprinted in De Proverbio: An Electronic Journal of International Proverb Studies, http://info.utas.edu.au/docs/flonta/, Volume 1, Number 2, 1995.

Numerous Spanish proverbs concerning women adopt this pattern, e.g., La mujer y la oveja, a casa antes de anochezca, Women and sheep should be home before dark (Jara 247); A la mujer y al can, el palo en una mano y en la otra el pan, For women and dogs, a stick in one hand and bread in the other (Jara 279), El ánade, la mujer y la cabra, es mala cosa siendo magra, A duck, a woman, and a goat are bad if they are thin (Jara 285).


Annotations are by author's first surname and page or number; second surnames are used only when two or more authors share the same first surname. Multiple references by the same author are distinguished by publication date.

Abad de Santillán, Diego. Diccionario de argentinismos de ayer y de hoy. Buenos Aires: Tipográfica Editora Argentina, 1976.

Acuña, Luis Alberto. Refranero colombiano. Biblioteca de Folklore Colombiano, 2. Bogotá: Argra, 1947.

Aguilar Paz, Jesús. El refranero hondureño. Tegucigalpa: Guaymuras, 1981.

Aguilera P., Luisita. Refranero panameño; contribución a la paremiología hispanoamericana. Santiago de Chile, 1955.

Alario di Filippo, M[ario]. Léxicon de colombianismos. 2nd ed. 2 vols. Bogotá: Banco de la República, 1983.

Allport, Gordon W. The Nature of Prejudice. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1954.

Aranda, Charles. Dichos: Proverbs and Sayings from the Spanish. Rev. ed. Santa Fe: Sunstone Press, 1977.

Armas, Daniel. Diccionario de la expresión popular guatemalteca. Guatemala City: [Tip. Nacional], 1971.

Cadavid Uribe, Gonzalo. Oyendo conversar al pueblo: Acotaciones al lenguaje popular antioqueño. [Bogotá: Impr. de la Penitenciaría Central de La Picota], 1953.

Carrera Sibila, Antonio. Del saber popular venezolano. Cumaná: Universidad de Oriente, 1974.

Carvalho-Neto, Paulo. El folklore de las luchas sociales: Un ensayo de folklore y marxismo. Mexico, D.F.: Siglo Veintiuno, 1973.

Castellón, Hildebrando A. Diccionario de nicaraguanismos. [Managua: Talleres Nacionales], 1939.

Cobos, Rubén. Refranes: Southwestern Spanish Proverbs. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1985.

Conde, Manuel. Dichos ciertos ... y ciertos dichos. Mexico, D.F.: B. Costa- Amic, 1971.

Correas, Gonzalo. Vocabulario de refranes y frases proverbiales [1627]. Ed. Louis Combet. Bordeaux: Institut d'Etudes Ibériques et Ibéroaméricaines, Université de Bordeaux, 1967. Orthography has been standardized.

Cruz Brache, José A. Cinco mil seiscientos refranes y frases de uso común entre los dominicanos. Santo Domingo: Galaxia, 1978.

Cuadra, Pablo Antonio. Muestrario del folklore nicaragüense. [Managua]: Banco de América, 1978.

Deive, Carlos. El prejuicio racial en el folklore dominicano. Boletín del Museo del Hombre Dominicano, Año 4, No. 8 (1976-7), 75-96.

Devia M., Misael. Album de modismos, giros y refranes del campesino tolimense. Revista Colombiana de Folklore, Segunda Epoca, 4 (1964-1965), 11-188.

Dis, Emilio. Código lunfardo. Buenos Aires: Caburé, [1976].

Dubuc de Isea, Lourdes. Romería por el folklore boconés. Mérida (Ven.): Universidad de los Andes, 1966.

Dundes, Alan. Slurs International: Folk Comparisons of Ethnicity and National Character. Southern Follklore Quarterly 39 (1975), 15-38.

Erminy Arismendi, Santos. Refranes que se oyen y dicen en Venezuela. Caracas: [Editorial Oceánida, 195-?].

Fernández Naranjo, Nicolás, and Dora Gómez de Fernández. Diccionario de bolivianismos. 2nd ed. La Paz: Universidad de San Andrés, 1964.

García Corzo, Samuel E. Setecientos cincuenta refranes, proverbios, máximas, sentencias, adagios y dichos, recopilados en la capital arqueológica de Sud América. Cuzco: [Imprenta Garcilaso], 1955.

Glazer, Mark, comp. A Dictionary of Mexican American Proverbs. New York: Greenwood Press, 1987.

Gómez Maganda, Alejandro. ¡Como dice el dicho!: refranes y dichos mexicanos. 2 vols. Mexico, D.F., 1963.

Granada, Daniel. Reseña histórico-descriptiva de antiguas y modernas supersticiones del Río de la Plata. 2nd ed. Buenos Aires: Kraft, [1959].

---. Vocabulario rioplatense razonado. 2nd ed. Montevideo: Imprenta Rural, 1890.

Guarnieri, Juan Carlos. Sabiduría y folklore en el lenguaje campesino rioplatense: Refranes, sentencias, dichos y frases hechas, aclaradas y comentadas. Montevideo: Lidela, 1971.

Hidalgo, José Nicolás. Un puñado de refranes criollos usados en el Ecuador. Quito: Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1952.

Jara Ortega, José. Más de dos mil quinientos refranes relativos a la mujer soltera, casada, viuda y suegra. Madrid: Instituto Editorial Reus, 1953.

Keller, Andrea. Dichos de aquí y frases de allá. Mexico, D.F.: Libra, 1981.

León Rey, José Antonio. Del saber del pueblo: adivinanzas, supersticiones, y refranes. Bogotá: Instituto Caro y Cuervo, 1985.

León, Victor. Diccionario de argot español y lenguaje popular. Madrid: Alianza, 1980.

Malaret, Augusto. Diccionario de americanismos. 3rd ed. Buenos Aires: Emecé, [1946].

---. Paremiología americana. Universidad Católica Bolivariana, Publicación Bimestral, 9 (Jul-Sept. 1943), 347-367.

Martínez Kleiser, Luis. Refranero general ideológico español. Madrid: Real Academia Española, 1953.

Mieder, Wolfgang. 'The Only Good Indian Is a Dead Indian': History and Meaning of a Proverbial Stereotype. Journal of American Folklore, 106 (1993), 38-60; reprinted in De Proverbio: An Electronic Journal of International Proverb Studies, http://info.utas.edu.au/docs/flonta/, Volume 1, Number 1, 1995.

Mieder, Wolfgang, Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie B. Harder, eds. A Dictionary of American Proverbs. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Molina Molina, Flavio. Diccionario de dichos agudos y oportunos. Hermosillo (Mex.): Instituto Kino, 1985.

Morales Pettorino, Félix, Oscar Quiroz Mejías, and Juan Pérez Alvarez. Diccionario ejemplificado de chilenismos. 4 vols. Valparaíso: Academia Superior de Ciencias Pedagógicas, 1984-1987.

Moya, Ismael. Refranero: Refranes, proverbios, adagios, frases proverbiales, modismos refranescos, giros y otras formas paremiológicas tradicionales en la República Argentina. Estudios Sobre Materiales de la Colección de Folklore, 2. Buenos Aires: Instituto de Literatura Argentina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1944.

Norrick, Neal R. How Proverbs Mean: Semantic Studies in English Proverbs. Berlin: Mouton, 1982.

Oliver, Juan Manuel. Diccionario de argot. Madrid: Sena, [1985?].

Paredes Candia, Antonio. Literatura folklórica (recogida de la tradición oral boliviana). La Paz: A. Gamarra, 1953.

Paredes, Américo. Proverbs and Ethnic Stereotypes. Proverbium (Helsinki), no. 15 (1970), 95-97.

Peña Hernández, Enrique. Folklore de Nicaragua. Masaya, Nicaragua: Editorial Unión, 1968.

Pinzón, Carlos Ernesto, and Graciela Fandiño. Dichos y refranes oídos en Colombia. Bogotá: Instituto Colombiano de Cultura, 1973.

Polkinhorn, Harry, Alfredo Velasco, and Malcolm Lambert. El libro de caló. Rev. ed. [Oakland, Calif.]: Floricanto Press, 1986.

Real Academia Española. Diccionario de la lengua española. 20th ed. 2 vols. Madrid: Real Academia Española, 1984.

Roback, Abraham A. Dictionary of International Slurs (Ethnophaulisms) with a Supplementary Essay on Aspects of Ethnic Prejudice. 1944. Rpt. Waukesha, Wisconsin: Maledicta Press, 1979.

Rodríguez Demorizi, Emilio. Refranero dominicano. Rome: G. Menaglia, 1950.

Rodríguez Marín, Francisco. Más de veintiún mil refranes castellanos no contenidos en la copiosa colección del maestro Gonzalo Correas. Madrid: Revista de Archivos, Bibliotecas, y Museos, 1926.

Rubio, Darío. Refranes, proverbios y dichos y dicharachos mejicanos. 2nd ed. 2 vols. Mexico, D.F.: A. P. Márquez, 1940.

Sánchez Boudy, José. Diccionario de cubanismos más usuales (como habla el cubano. Miami: Ediciones Universal, 1978.

Sandoval, Lisandro. Semántica guatemalense o diccionario de guatemaltequismos. 2 vols. Guatemala City: Tip. Nacional, 1941-1942.

Sbarbi, José M. Gran diccionario de refranes de la lengua española. Buenos Aires: Librería El Ateneo, 1943.

Vargas Ugarte, Rubén. Glosario de peruanismos. 2nd ed. Lima, [1956?].

Shirley L. Arora
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
University of California
Los Angeles, California 90095-1532