Sunday, July 6, 2014
Quadroon, and the associated words octoroon and quintroon are terms that, historically, were applied to define the ancestry of people of mixed-race, generally of African and Caucasian ancestry, but also, within Australia, to those of Aboriginal and Caucasian ancestry. The terms were used in law and government to provide a precise code of discrimination and the determination of rights. The use of such terminology is a characteristic of hypodescent, which is the practice within a society of assigning children of mixed union to the ethnic group which is perceived by the dominant group within the society as being "subordinate". The racial designations refer specifically to the number of full-blooded African ancestors, emphasizing the quantitative least, with quadroon signifying that a person has one-quarter black ancestry, etc.