Interethnic marriage

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Interethnic marriage is a form of exogamy that involves a marriage between spouses who belong to different ethnic groups or races. Intra-racial interethnic marriage was not historically a taboo in the United States.[1][2]


Gold croeseid of Croesus c.550 BC, depicting the Lydian lion and Greek bull - partly in recognition of interethnic parentage.

In more ancient times, some marriages between distinctly different tribes and nations were due to royalty trying to form alliances with or to influence other kingdoms or to dissuade marauders or slave traders. Two examples, Hermodike I c.800BC[3] and Hermodike II c.600BC[4] were Greek princesses from the house of Agamemnon who married kings from what is now Central Turkey. These unions resulted in the transfer of ground-breaking technological skills into Ancient Greece, respectively, the phonetic written script and the use of coinage (to use a token currency, where the value is guaranteed by the state)[5]. Both inventions were rapidly adopted by surrounding nations through trade and cooperation and have been of fundamental benefit to the progress of civilization.



During the Manchu-led Qing dynasty (1644–1912), Manchu and Han bannerwomen were punished if they married Han civilian men.

South Korea[edit]

In recent years, the number of interethnic marriages in Korea has increased substantially. However, most of non-Korean spouses of Koreans are other Asians.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Interracial marriage flourishes in U.S. – US news – Life – Race & ethnicity. MSNBC (2007-04-15). Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  2. ^ Yen, Hope (2012-02-16). Interracial marriage In the U.S. Climbs to New High, Study Finds. Huffington Post
  3. ^ The Cambridge Ancient History, edited by John Boederman, Cambridge University Press, 1997, pg 832
  4. ^ Mycenaean Origin of Greek Mythology, Martin Nilsson, 1983 Univ of California Press, p. 48.
  5. ^ Amelia Dowler, Curator, British Museum; A History of the Wold;