The Role of Mestizaje of Surnames in Paraguay in the Creation of a Distince New-World Ethhnicity

Christina Bolke Turner, New College of the Universityof South Florida
Brian Turner, University of Southern Mississippi


Most Paraguayans have Spanish, rather than indigenous, surnames. This paper argues that Guarani surnames have not simply been replaced, but have been incorporated into a mestizo naming system that is recognized as part of a distinct Paraguayan national ethnicity. The process by which surnames changed drew upon both the indigenous naming system and Paraguayan history and social structure to create a specific marker of ethnicity and social class.