Friday, May 25, 2012

The American Indian: Part 1

    The American Indian: Part 1: Types
   Thomas Allen

    The American Indian is a subspecies of the great Turanian species of man although an argument can be made that he is a species in his own right. An exception is the Paleo-American (Haddon) or Fuegian (Imbelloni), whom others call Laguian and Magallanic, should be considered part of the Australian or Indo-Australian species.

    A general description of the American Indian follows:[1]
    Skin color:  generally, various shades of brown with a reddish undertone, yellowish-brown; reddish or coppery; cinnamon; burnt coffee; some very dark brown; some yellowish.
    Hair color:  black or black with faint reddish undertone.
    Head hair:  long, straight, coarse, stiff; occasionally fine and silky or slightly wavy or curly; round in transverse section; thick, baldness rare.
    Facial hair:  beardless or nearly beardless although some have beards.
    Body hair:  scant, weakly developed.
    Face:  large, broad.
    Jaws:  massive with moderate, though sometimes weak, projection; predominately mesognathous although some orthognathous.
    Cheekbone:  moderately prominent or prominent; wide.
    Forehead:  straight or slightly sloping; well-developed superciliary ridge.
    Eyes:  moderately wide eye slot; small; round; straight; sunken; eye slits straight or moderately oblique.
    Eye color:  dark brown or black; bluish conjunctiva in child, pearly white in adolescent, dirty-yellowish in adult.
    Eyelids:  fold on upper eyelids, but epicanthus very rare except in Eskimo and found only in males.
    Nose:  mesorrhine or leptorrhine; large, prominent, highly projecting; medium to very high bridge; usually aquiline although occasionally straight; base average width.
    Lips:  medium; sometimes thick.
    Mouth:  large.
    Teeth:  mesodont, medium; shovel-shaped upper incisors; deeply concave.
    Chin:  medium; well developed.
    Ears:  rather large.
    Head shape:  variable; mesocephalic typical although dolichocephalic or brachycephalic common.
    Cranial volume:  slightly less than Aryan’s.
    Cranial walls:  slightly thinker than Aryan’s.
    Body characteristics:  mesomorphous or brachymorphous; medium or short legs compared to trunk; typically rather slender calf; medium length neck; chest deeper than Aryan’s; moderate lumbar curvature; arms longer in proportion to other members than in Aryans, but not as much as in Negroes; the disproportion between the female pelvic region and shoulders is less marked than in Aryans.
    Female breast:  more or less conical in form.
    Feet and hands:  moderate but smaller than Aryan of same height.
    Statute:  short to tall, generally above average.
    Body odor:  generally free.
    Pulse:  slow.
    Expression:  stolid (caused by strong tonus of the muscles) except Eskimo who expresses a happy face.
    Temperament:  generally reserve; moody, taciturn, wary; deep feelings masked by an impassive exterior towards strangers; indifference to physical pain; high sense of personal dignity though somewhat colored in romance; keen sense of justice.

    No consensus exists on the number of racial types of Indians. They range from one or two to more than eleven. Below are a few of these classifications.

    Daniel G. Brinton (1890) contends that only slight variation exists among the American Indians. He divides them by regions into seven groups. They are:
    1. Arctic Group:[2] Skin color: dark. Hair: black, coarse. Facial hair: Scant. Face: check bones high. Head: long, dolichocephalic. Statue: medium.

    They stretch from the Aleutian Islands along the west coast of Alaska to the Arctic Ocean then along the Arctic coast to the Straits of Belle Isle, Labrador,  and Greenland.[3]

    2. North Atlantic Group:[4] Skin color: varies but tends toward brown. Face: broad: prominent cheek bones. Head shape: long. Body characteristics: superior muscular development. Statue: average.

    They inhabit the region between the crests of the Rocky Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean and from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.[5]

    3. North Pacific Group: Brinton provides no description.

    They range along the Pacific coast from the southern coast of Alaska south to Mexico and east through New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.[6]

    4. Mexican Group:[7] Skin color: light to dark brown. Head hair: occasionally wavy. Facial hair: presents more beard than most other Indians. Face: broad, narrow forehead. Nose: prominent. Ears: large. Head shape: long or medium, though a few are brachycephalic. Body characteristics: strongly built and muscular. Statue: medium or less.

    They inhabit Mexico.[8]

    5. Inter-Isthmian Group:[9] Skin color: dark. Nose: prominent. Head shape: usually long, dolichocephalic. Body characteristics: muscular force superior. Statue: medium height.

    They range between the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Isthmus of Panama.[10]

    6. South Atlantic Group:[11] Skin color: dark (Bakairi), dark olive-brown (Tehuelche). Eyes: long, narrow (Fuegians). Nose: well-shaped. (Fuegians); large, narrow (Bakairi). Lips: thin. Mouth: wide. Head shape: long skulls (Fuegians, Bakairi). Body characteristics: robust (Tehuelche); finely formed (Bakairi). Statue: tall (Tehuelche).

    They stretch from Haiti and the Lesser Antilles through Brazil, across the Pampas to the tip of South America and from the Andes to the Atlantic.[12]

    7. South Pacific Group:[13] Face: round. Nose: short, rather flattened. Head shape: brachycephalic. Body characteristics: robust. Statue: tall.

    They range along the Pacific Coast of South American inland into the Andes.[14]

    J. Deniker (1900) identifies seven racial types of the American Indian. They are the Paleo-American, Patagonian, South American, Central American, Atlantic North American, Pacific North American, and Eskimo. He describes them as follows:

    1. Paleo-American:[15] Skin color: yellow. Head hair: wavy even frizzy. Body hair: scant. Eyes: dark or black. Nose: prominent, straight or concave. Head shape: dolichocephalic. Statue: short.

    They are found in a small part of California and the western and southern coast of Tierra del Fuego.[16]

    2. Patagonian:[17] Skin color: warm yellow. Head hair: straight. Face: square. Nose: straight. Head shape: brachycephalic. Statue: tall.

    They inhabit the Chaco, Pampas, and Patagonia, i.e., the area south of 30̊  latitude and east of the Andes.[18]

    3. South American:[19] Skin color: yellow. Head hair: straight although wavy found in some. Body hair: scant, Face: cheekbone slightly prominent to prominent. Nose: prominent, aquiline. Head shape: mesocephalic, some brachycephalic. Body Characteristics: broad chest; typically thick set. Statue: short although some tall.

    They occupy the Antilles and most of South America north of 30̊  latitude. They also inhabit Chile and the southern Andes.[20]

    4. Central American:[21] Skin color: warm yellow to dark brown. Head hair: straight. Face: high prominent cheek bones. Nose: prominent, aquiline or straight. Head shape: brachycephalic. Statue: short.

    They range from central Mexico through Central America.[22]

    5. Atlantic North American:[23] Skin color: warm yellowish. Nose: straight or aquiline. Head shape: mesocephalic. Statue: tall.

    They occupy most of the United States and Canada into Mexico.[24]

    6. Pacific North American:[25] Skin color: warm yellowish. Head hair: straight. Body hair:  better developed pilous system. Face: rounded though some elongated. Eyes: straight. Nose: straight or aquiline. Head shape: sub-brachycephalic or brachycephalic; more rounded than Atlantic North American. Statue: tall but shorter than Atlantic North American.

    They inhabit Alaska and British Columbia through Oregon and California down into Baja California and Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico and eastward into Arizona and New Mexico and southern Utah and northern Mexico.[26]

    7. Eskimo:[27] Skin color: brownish yellow. Head hair: straight. Face: round, flattened; projecting cheekbones. Eyes: black, straight. Nose: somewhat prominent. Lips: rather thick. Head shape: dolichocephalic. Statue: short.

    They range from Greenland along the Arctic coast of Canada to the mouth of the Copper River, Alaska.[28]

    Ronald B. Dixon (1923) identifies eight basic racial types based on three indexes. These indexes are the cephalic index, length-height index, and nasal index. The first six contributed to the formation of today’s Indians. The last two contributed little or nothing. The eight racial types are:[29]

    1. Proto-Negro: dolichocephalic, hypsicephalic, platyrrhine.
    2. Proto-Australoid: dolichocephalic, camaecephalic, platyrrhine.
    3. Mediterranean: dolichocephalic, camaecephalic, leptorrhine.
    4. Caspian: dolichocephalic, hypsicephalic, leptorrhine.
    5. Alpine: brachycephalic, hypsicephalic, leptorrhine.
    6. Paleo-Alpine: brachycephalic, hypsicephalic, platyrrhine.
    7. Ural: brachycephalic, camaecephalic, leptorrhine.
    8. Mongoloid: brachycephalic, chamaecephalic, platyrrhine.

    By Proto-Negro, Dixon does not mean that these people look like modern-day Negroes with black skin, woolly hair, etc. He means that the cephalic index, length-height index, and nasal index are similar to the skull of the Negro. Likewise, for the other ancestral stock of the Indian, he does not mean that their outward appearances are like those of the people today who bear this label.

    Using these eight basic racial stocks, Dixon identifies six racial types of Indians. They are:

    1. Northeastern Dolichocephals:[30] This group includes “(1) all the Eskimo tribes of Greenland and the Arctic archipelago and those of the mainland living east of Point Barrow in Alaska; (2) the eastern Algonkian tribes south of the St. Lawrence to and including the Lenape or Delaware; and (3) the proto-historic and early historic Iroquoian tribes of Ontario and New York.”[31] They are various mix of Caspian, Mediterranean, Proto-Negroid, and Proto-Australoid types with perhaps some Alpine. The Caspian and Mediterranean type dominate the north and east while the Proto-Negroid and Proto-Australoid dominate in the south and west.

    2. Southwestern Dolichocephals:[32] This group extends “from the southern part of the British Columbia coast south to the tip of Lower California, and eastward through southern Nevada, northern Arizona and southern Utah, into the states of Sonora and Chihuahua in northern Mexico.”[33] They are a mixture of Caspian, Mediterranean, Proto-Australoid, Alpine, and Paleo-Alpine types. The Caspian followed by the Mediterranean dominates northern and southern California. Dominating the Lower California Peninsula is the Proto-Australoid. The Alpine characteristic is found primarily in the south, and the Paleo-Alpine, in the north. As for the Proto-Negro type, it contributes but little; it appears slightly in the Ute and Paiute. In the present population, the Alpine and Paleo-Alpine types dominate while in the ancient population the other three types dominate.

    3. Central Brachycephals:[34] This group covers “(1) what may be called the Plateau Area comprising the region lying west of the Rocky Mountains and south of the Columbia River; (2) an Appalachian Area including the whole of the southeast of the continent, and (3) all the remainder, covering the vast plains which extend from the Gulf of Mexico northward to the Arctic Ocean, together with all the rugged mountain country west of the Rocky Mountains and north of the Columbia.”[35]

    In the Plateau Area, the Paleo-Alpine dominates with some Alpine overlay. Traces of the Mongoloid type are found in the Indians of this area.

    In the Appalachian Area, a mix of Alpines (e.g., Choctaw) and Paleo-Alpine (e.g., Chickasaw and Creeks) occurs. Some dolichocephalic characteristics appear. To the north the Alpine and Paleo-Alpine types overlay the Proto-Australoid and  Proto-Negroid types.

    In the third area, the predominant type is the Alpine. However, toward the southwest, the Paleo-Alpine dominates. The Alpine appears to overlay the Paleo-Alpine in the northwest (British Columbia and Northwest Coast). Moreover, traces of the Mongoloid type (e.g., Ojibwa and Ponca) and Caspian or Mediterranean (e.g., Kiowa, Caddo, and Tonkawa) are found. A considerable amount of the Mediterranean type appears in the Algonkian tribes of the plains (e.g., Blackfoot, Arapaho, and Cheyenne).

    4. Southeastern Dolichocephals:[36] This group is found in “Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, at least the southern portion of the Chilean archipelago, and the coastal districts of Brazil south of Rio Janeiro, where the ancient but not the historic population were of this type.”[37] Among these people, the leptorrhine, dolichocephalic form, i.e., the Caspian type, prevails. However, they show some mix with the Alpine, Proto-Australoid, and Proto-Negroid.

    5. Brazilian Highlands and Western Dolichocephals:[38] They occupy the Brazilian highlands, Chile, and the Pacific coast into Ecuador. In the Brazilian highlands, the ancient population was predominantly Proto-Negroid mixed with about an equal amount of the Proto-Australoid and Caspian. This type is still common today among some tribes, e.g., the Caraya, Arawakan Mehinaku, and Paressi. The other tribes are primarily brachycephalic with a predominance of the platyrrhine element in some (e.g., the Borroro) and the leptorrhine in others (e.g., the Trumai and Aueto). In Chile, they are a mix of the Proto-Negroid and Alpine types with the Proto-Negroid being more prominent in the south.

    6. South American Brachycephals:[39] They are scattered over most of South America, but are concentrated in the western and central regions. They are predominantly of the Alpine type. However, mixes with Paleo-Alpine, Caspian, Mediterranean, and Proto-Australoid are found. In southwest Bolivia, the Paleo-Alpine prevails.

    Because of a lack of data, Dixon does not identify the Indians of Mexico and Central America as an independent group or assign them to another group. Those in the north appear to be predominantly Paleo-Alpine with a large element of Proto-Negroid and Proto-Australoid present. The remainder of the Indians in Mexico is a mixture of Paleo-Alpine and Alpine types. Likewise, for the northern part of Central America, the Indians are Paleo-Alpine and Alpine types. For southern Central America, no data exist.[40]

 1. Robert B. Bean, The Races of Man: Differentiation and Dispersal of Man (New York, New York: The University Society, Inc. 1932) pp.38, 51, 108. Daniel G. Brinton, The American Race (New York, New York: N.D.C. Hodges, Publisher, 1891), pp. 38-40.  Robert Claiborne, “The First Americans” in The Emergence of Man (New York, New York: Time-Life Book, 1973), p. 11. A.H. Keane, Ethnology (London, England: C. J. Clay and Sons, 1896), pp. 228,336-337, 349-350. A.H. Keane, Man: Past and Present, revised and rewritten by A. Hingston Quiggin and A.C. Haddon (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1920), pp. 332-333. A.H. Keane, The World’s Peoples: A Popular Account of Their Body & Mental Characters, Beliefs, Traditions, Political and Social Institutions (New York, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1908), p. 22. M. Nesturkh, The Races of Mankind, Translator George Hanna (Moscow, Russia: Progress Publishers, 1963), pp. 28, 93-94. Robert Wauchope, Lost Tribes & Sunken Continents: Myths and Methods in the Study of American Indians (Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 1962), pp. 28ff.

2. Daniel G. Brinton, Races and Peoples: Lectures of the Science of Ethnography (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: David McKay, Publisher, [1901]),  pp. 249-250.

3. Ibid., pp. 249-250.

4. Ibid., p. 252.

5. Ibid., pp. 251-257.

6. Ibid., pp. 257-259.

7. Ibid., p. 259.

8. Ibid., pp. 259-263.

9. Ibid., p. 264.

10. Ibid., pp. 263-267.

11. Ibid., pp. 268, 271.

12. Ibid., pp. 267-271.

13. Ibid., p. 276.

14. Ibid., pp. 271-276.

15. J. Deniker, The Races of Man: An Outline of Anthropology and Ethnography (London, England: Walter Scott, Limited, 1900) pp. 286-292.

16. Ibid., pp. 524, 533, 575.

17. Ibid., p. 286.

18. Ibid., pp. 571-576.

19. Ibid., pp. 286, 292, 547, 550, 554-555, 559, 565, 566, 569.

20. Ibid., pp. 543-571.

21. Ibid., pp. 286, 291, 538, 540.

22. Ibid., pp. 535-542.

23. Ibid., pp. 286, 524.

24. Ibid., pp. 521-530, 535.

25. Ibid., pp. 286, 292, 524, 531, 534.

26. Ibid., pp. 531-534.

27. Ibid., pp. 286, 521.

28. Ibid., pp. 520-521.

29. Roland B. Dixon, The Racial History of Man (New York: New York: Charles Scriber’s Sons, 1923), p. 21.

30. Ibid., pp. 407-414.

31. Ibid., p. 407.

32. Ibid., pp. 415-419.

33. Ibid., p. 415.

34. Ibid., pp. 420-439.

35. Ibid., p. 420.

36. Ibid., pp. 454-458.

37. Ibid., p. 454.

38. Ibid., pp. 459-464.

39. Ibid., pp. 465-472.

40. Ibid., pp. 440-442.

Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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