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Central American whose primary language is Spanish and who wears modern dress. Genetically ladinos may be of Indian, African, or mixed descent. An Indian may become a ladino by abandoning the Indian dress and customs. Many rural ladinos practice subsistence agriculture much like that of their Indian neighbours, but they tend to emphasize cash crops and modern farming techniques, which the Indians shun. In small towns ladinos commonly engage in commerce as well as farming. In the cities they engage in all occupations, from day labourer to university professor.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ladino, visit Britannica.com.