- These charts are NOT meant to be taken as an absolute or definitive display of ethnic origins for modernday populations!
- Ethnic labels given by Europeans do NOT per se reflect how the slaves would have self-identified themselves! (see this article for more discussion)
- Take note of the sample size, time period, region and any other details given to familiarize yourself with the CONTEXT of the chart!
- Even if limited in scope, valuable information can still be obtained if you look for the patterns!
- Sorry for all the exclamation marks 😉 It’s just that i’ve seen these kind of charts being misinterpreted so many times, not only online but also by trained historians. Which is a shame really because misleading conclusions can easily be avoided if you just take these charts for what they are: a randomized subset of slaves who might provide us with extra clues about the ethnic composition of other slaves during a given time period and for a given place/region. All depending on how representative the samples might have been.
Northern Brazil (Maranhão & Pará)