Ethnology


The word ethnology is made up of Greek words, erected from “ethnos” which means “people” or “nation”, in addition to “logos” which means “study” or “treaty” and by the suffix “ia” of alludes to a “quality”; so it can be understood that it is a science that deals with the study of the customs of human peoples. The RAE declares that ethnology is the «Science that studies the causes and reasons of the customs and traditions of the people». This discipline as part of the social sciences and cultural diversity is based on the complete analysis of the productions and inventions of everything that concerns the different existing human social groups.

In general, ethnology seeks to study and establish the different relationships between the characteristics of the various human groups based on their different aspects and elements such as the relationship or kinship that societies in the world have and their influence on it; religions and symbolic expressions that transcend history; subsistence in addition to the economic systems of civilizations; It also includes the different social and family organizations and political systems; but it is in the cultural diversity on which ethnology is based more where culture as a plurality is understood.

The Franciscan missionary, Bernardino de Sahagún is considered the father of ethnology, this character made great writings on ethnic groups, one of them called “General history of the things of New Spain” which dealt with an analysis of the features of ethnic groups with a scientific type criterion; he also produced a bilingual work, given that it was written in Spanish and in the Nahuatl language.

Years ago, ethnology was considered to be the one that dealt with the study of those “unwritten” or primitive societies; but given its great controversy, the term “primitive” was rejected because it can be perceived as something savage or barbaric; Well, that’s how the authors of the 19th century saw it, so that meaning of this human science was removed.