THE KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD
Quadroons, Octoroons, Sacatra, and Griffe (page 72)
These descriptions are used in The Kingdom of This World to identify individuals of varying mixtures of race. A Quadroon was half mulatto and half white, or one fourth black. An octoroon was the child of a quadroon and a white, so their blood was one fourth black at most. However, oftentimes any black blood in a person's lineage was enough to identify them as black, and/or a slave. A Griffe was half black and half mulatto, so they were at least three fourths black. A Sacatra was half Griffe and half black.
Other identifications used included Metif (same as Octoroon), Meamelouc (half white and half Metif), Quarteron (half Meamelouc and half white), Sangmele (half quarteron and half white), and Mango (half Griffe and half black). This was the origin of the black stereotype "Sambo" - as Sambo was the word for a child of a mulatto and a black, or a Griffe child.
It was often the case that those inidividuals who were one thirty-second black or less could "pass" for white, but at the time of the slave rebellion in Haiti, many plantation owners called for all and any person with any black heritage to be killed. This illustrates not only the fear of the whites in the book, but their racism too. As blacks outnumbered whites 10 to 1 in Haiti, this was a sign of the French planters' desperation.
For more on this topic, go to:
For a link to a photo gallery showing some of the different racial categories (inc. Sacatra and Griffe), based upon blood quantum, go to: