The capital is Merida, and its principal towns, inhabited almost exclusively by Indians and mestizos, are Valladolid, Acanceh, Tekax, Motul, Temax, Espita, Maxcanu, Hunucma, Tixkokob, Peto and Progreso, the port of Merida.
The population consists of a small percentage of whites of European descent, chiefly Spaniards, various tribes and settlements of Indians, largely of the Arawak and Carib families, and a large percentage of mestizos, or mixed bloods.
The first trustworthy enumeration of the people of Peru was made in 1793, when there were 617,700 Indians, 241,225 mestizos (Indian and white inter-mixture), 136,311 Spaniards, 40,337 negro slaves and 41,404 mulattoes, making a total of 1,076,977, exclusive of the wild Indians of the montana.
These Indians are generally described as Cholos, a name sometimes mistakenly applied to the mestizos, while the tribes of the eastern forests are called Chunchos, barbaros, or simply Indians.
The mestizos are of mixed Spanish and Indian blood.
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