IN EASTERN Sonora there are several socio- racial designations in common use today. A definition of these is necessary if we are to examine the place of the Indians in that area at the present time. Although terms vary to some extent from district to district and from person to person, their use is roughly consistent over the whole region. In the case of the Opatas and Jovas, where present cultural differences from the non-Indian population are slight to non-existent, these classifications appear to be based largely on known or assumed physical ancestry with some consideration as to socio-economic position and village of origin. The Indian category, nevertheless, coincides to a high degree with those families still retaining features of "Indian" culture. In much of the Pima area, the designations have a language basis as well. In most cases, as there is no definite line of division between the groups, the categories overlap. It should be mentioned that often "Indianness" is a matter of generation. The grandparents may be classed as Indians while the continually more mixed and Mexicanized second and third generations become gente de razon (people of reason, i.e. non-Indian). These terms carry some social rank connotations in that the Whites are characteristically at the top, both economically and socially, while the Indians most often are in evidence at the lower levels. Mestizos are found at all levels, but appear to be most numerous between the two extremes.
Blanco or white is used in two senses. In its primary use the word is applied to people of complete or nearly complete European physical appearance. In the area under discussion this physical type is confined largely to the upper class of the larger towns, being more in evidence in the northern part of the territory and in the vicinity of the old Spanish mining camps. In a wider sense the term blanco is used when referring to all those not tagged inditos or indios, being used interchangeably with gente de razon. In this paper blanco will be used in the primary sense.
Mestizo, also called el tipo mexicano, refers to the mixed European-Indian population where physical features are not pronouncedly Indian. These people are also often labeled blanco with the majority calling themselves mestizos only when discussing their ancestry.
The indiada, the Indians, is subdivided into