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mestizos, Copan, Spanish conquest, indigenous population, Spaniards

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Western Honduras was at the southeastern edge of the great Maya civilization during the 1st millennium ad, and the ruins at Copan attest to the advanced stage of the countryís culture. The Maya, however, were already in decline by the time Christopher Columbus reached their shores on his fourth voyage in 1502. Several non-Maya tribes also inhabited the Caribbean coastal region. The indigenous population was decimated by the Spanish conquest and by the European diseases the Spaniards introduced, but the number of Spanish settlers was small and included few women. As a result, marriage between Spaniards and Native Americans was common, and mestizos became Hondurasís dominant ethnic group.

Article key phrases:

mestizos, Copan, Spanish conquest, indigenous population, Spaniards, Native Americans, ruins, decline, marriage, women, culture, shores, result, country

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