This is a summary of three chapters dedicated to Africa, taken from the books The Living Races of Man (1965), Anthropology A to Z (1963) and The Races of Europe (1939), by Carleton S. Coon.
The peoples of Africa as a whole may be divided into the North African Europids; the mixed peoples of Ethiopia and the East African highlands; and the Pygmies, the Negroid Africans, the Bushmen, and the Hottentots.
In some parts of the continent, tribes and races have come and departed, mixing, absorbing and becoming absorbed, reemerging and adapting to new conditions. In others, time’s clock seems to have stopped. If we hope to understand the living races of Africa, we will do best to start with the oldest, least complicated populations and end with the most recent and heterogeneous. We shall start with the Pygmies, and end up with another kind, the Negroids.
The Pygmies, or Twides: Their History, Distribution, and Numbers
Because the Pygmies occupy a key position in the racial history of Africa, some historical and cultural background is necessary before they can be described. Our earliest knowledge of these people is derived from an Egyptian document of the Old Kingdom in which a Pharaoh instructed the leader of an expedition to the far south to bring him back a Pygmy dancer. The mission succeeded. The next account comes from Herodotus, who told of the Pygmies’ annual battle with cranes, and gave them their name, Pygmaioi, meaning people as tall as the distance from a man’s elbow to his knuckles. This name has persisted, but specialists in African anthropology have created a new and more specific designation, Twides, from the Bantu syllable -twa, as in BaTwa, the Small People.
We have every reason to believe that from before the time of the pyramids the Twides were the sole inhabitants of the central African rain forest, from Liberia to Rwanda. That forest is now divided into two parts by a stretch of open country reaching the coast between Accra and Lagos. In the smaller, isolated western part, no unmixed Pygmies may be left, although small bands of them have been reported in various places until the beginning of the present century. In the much larger eastern part, three geographically distinct groups of Pygmies are recognized: the Western, the Northern, and the Southern Twides.
The Western Twides live scattered in Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the Ubangi-Shari region of the Central African Republic, and the Congo. They number about 25,000. To them may be added 80,000 to 100,000 BaTwa or Ba-Cwa living south of the Congo River, who physically resemble those living to the west. The Eastern Twides are the Pygmies of the Ituri forest, near the Uganda border and beyond it. They number about 32,000. The Southern Twides are the Pygmies of Rwanda and Burundi, numbering about 9,300. The Pygmies, then, total between 146,000 and 166,000, if these estimates are correct. If they err, it is probably on the low side, because Pygmies are shy and hard to count.
Speaking primarily of the Western and Northern Twides, Gusinde has convincingly shown that the Pygmies are perfectly adapted to the dark damp sour-smelling selva, where they live in small bands in an east-west Belt between 5° N. latitude and 5° S. latitude from the Atlantic coast to the escarpment of the East African highlands. In their home there is no perceptible annual change in the length of the day. The temperature rises to 86° F by day and falls to 68° F at night, or a little lower if it rains, and except for a brief relatively drier season there is rain for an hour or two every day, accompanied by violent thunderstorms that send dead limbs crashing to the ground.
Whereas a European or a Bantu has difficulty walking through this forest, the Pygmies glide through, jumping, grasping lianas and branches with their hands, and even running along low-lying limbs of trees. Their small size, light weight, great flexibility of joints, and sudden bursts of energy make this mode of locomotion possible for them and indeed enable them to survive as foodgatherers.
In the forest, fruits and seeds are scarce. So are birds and game animals. That is why Pygmies live in small bands and one band is only rarely in communication with other bands. Before the arrival of Bantu pioneers who cleared small patches of forest long enough to grow a few crops in one place before the vegetation returned or elephants trampled their gardens, the Pygmies lived largely on animal products, including termites in season, and honey. Since the Bantu arrived, the Pygmies have formed symbiotic relations with them. The Pygmies give the Bantu meat and warn them of the approach of human enemies and elephants. The Bantu give the Pygmies iron objects, pottery, and bananas. The Pygmies visit the villages occasionally, speak the languages of their patrons, and send their boys to the Bantu’s puberty schools, where future patron-client relationships are confirmed or created.
Despite this integrated educational system, no influx of Negroid genes into the Pygmy pool takes place. To the contrary, some Pygmy women become plural wives of Bantu men, remain in the relative comfort of the village, and bear half-Pygmy children who are classed as Bantu. Bantu women will not go out into the forest with Pygmies, and might not survive its rigors if they did.
Because this one-way gene flow may have begun on the edges of the forest before the Bantu invaded it, the Bantu must have been partly Pygmy for a long time. When they moved into the selva they brought Pygmy genes with them and the present genetic trickle reinforces this trend, whereas the Pygmies remain unchanged.
Pygmies and Bantu both have the sickle-cell trait, one of their genetic shields against malaria. In view of the direction of gene flow, it seems more likely that the Pygmies first gave it to the ancestors of the Bantu than vice versa. But the Bantu have given the Pygmies another disease, not genetically but indirectly through bananas. That is kwashiorkor, a protein-deficiency disease that induces red hair color, bad teeth, atrophy of the pancreas, a fatty enlargement of the liver, and severe anemia. It also affects the growth of the Skeleton, and body weight.
Kwashiorkor is caused by the lack of a component found in mother’s milk. Since Pygmy mothers wean their babies on bananas, which are obtained from the Bantu and are easier to come by than foods suitable for weaning taken from the forest, bananas can be said to be responsible for the incidence of the disease among the Pygmies. The deficiency may even begin before weaning if the milk of a particular mother is low in this component. Kwashiorkor may contribute to dwarfing, but it is not its sole cause. Many healthy Pygmies are as small as the sick ones, and at the time of the Pharaohs the Pygmies had no bananas.
The story of the Southern Twides is different. The Hutu (Bahutu) settled the highlands of Rwanda and Burundi at the time of the Bantu expansions, perhaps between A.D. 500 and 1000. Before then the whole region was forested and its only inhabitants were Pygmies. As the Hutu cleared the land to plant their crops, the edge of the forest was pushed back. Some of the Pygmies retreated behind it, and others stayed in the open country, on the bank of Lake Kivu, to serve the Hutu as potters and in other menial capacities. These stranded Pygmies became a despised caste like the Untouchables of lndia. While there is some disagreement on this point, sexual relations between the Hutu and the Pygmies have probably been minimal. The same is true of Pygmy-Tutsi (Watusi) relations after the arrival of the latter from the northeast at about A.D. 1450, the time of the Oromo invasion of Ethiopia. The principal effect of the Tutsi on the Pygmies was to thrust the ones who were still forest hunters farther back and higher up on the slopes of the volcanoes, to make room for the Tutsi’s great herds of cattle.
The Physical Attributes of the Pygmies
With a few notable exceptions, we can generalize that in every measurable or observable character known the Pygmies stand at one extreme, the East Africans at another, and the Negroids in between. One exception is the Pygmies’ most conspicuous feature: stature. Before more than a few groups of Pygmies had been measured, over half a century ago someone (we are not sure who, nor do we care) decreed that all groups of alleged Pygmies that had mean adult male statures of below 150 centimeters were true Pygmies, and all those with statures above that figure were Pygmoids and, by definition, had been mixed with Negroids. This obvious absurdity, which takes into account only a single character, has passed unchallenged to this day and some writers still believe it. Otherwise we would not have mentioned it.
The shortest Pygmies noted to date are the Northern Twides, the tribes of the Ituri forest. Their mean stature is 144.03 centimeters (4 feet, 81/2 inches) for 510 men, and 137.04 (4 feet, 6 inches) for 382 women. Both the Western and the Southern Twides range from 152 centimenters (4 feet, 111/2 inches) to 155 centimeters (5 feet, i inch) for males. The females are about 9 centimeters (31/2 inches) shorter. The average weight of the Southern Twides, who are the biggest of all, is 48.7 kilos (72 pounds), and the lturi Pygmies must be considerably lighter. In other words, they are about half the weight of most Europeans.
Except for local variations in height and weight, all are alike in body build. They have relatively short legs, particularly short in the thigh, and long arms, particularly long in the forearm. The femur head shows extreme torsion, and the tibia head even more retroversion than those of the French Neanderthals. These features are associated with extreme mobility and with squatting.
In conjunction with their short legs, Pygmies have relative sitting heights of 52 percent or 53 percent of stature, as do Northern and Central Europeans and the mountaineers of Western Asia. Arabs, Berbers, and Negroids have longer legs, and relative sitting heights two or three percent lower. But if the Pygmies’ vertebral columns were as nearly straight as those of Europeans, their relative sitting heights might be one or two percent higher than they are. Even more than Negroids they are lordotic, that is, swaybacked. Pygmy children usually have swollen abdomens, and the combination produces umbilical hernia, which is also very frequent in Negroids.
D. B. Jelliffe found that in a large sample of the Negroids whom he examined 97 percent of the hernias were of the “skin” type, in which not only the intestine but the lining of the abdominal wall protrudes outward, rendering the condition harmless. This type of umbilical hernia is not found among any peoples of the world except African Pygmies and Negroids; it is not found even among Papuans, whom some anthropologists have thought to be related to the Negroid race. For this reason R. H. Post considers it a valid racial criterion.
If Negroids are loose-jointed compared to Europeans, Pygmies are even more so. Being loose-jointed not only makes them good dancers but also helps them dart through the forest. Boris Adé, who spent years as a doctor to the Pygmies in the Ituri country, attributes their flexibility to a combination of two unusual endocrine conditions, a hereditary deficiency in growth hormones in the anterior lobe of the pituitary and an excess of female sex hormone, particularly notable in the male. The former condition would explain a retarded proliferation of cartilages in the joints, affecting growth, and the latter a reduction of bony crests throughout the skeleton, a general flexibility of joints, and the frequent appearance of gynecomasty (female-like breasts) in the males.
On one occasion Adé tried in vain to save the life of a Pygmy woman who had been clawed by a Leopard. Had he returned the remains to her camp, her body would have been placed in her hut and the camp abandoned. Instead he preserved the body so that he could dissect it later, planning in particular to study the endocrine glands. But the local authorities forced him to bury it, and no one has yet, to our knowledge, published a detailed autopsy of a Pygmy cadaver – or injected growth hormone into Pygmy children year after year to see what would happen.
Such an experiment, which would harm no one, could help us determine what makes the Pygmies dwarfs and whether different dwarfing mechanisms might be found to operate in different dwarf populations, not only in Africa but elsewhere. At the moment we are not in a position to state from simple observation, as some have stated, that certain Pygmies are infantile, others partly achondroplastic, and so on. We can state that the Pygmies are well adapted to their environment, where it is to their advantage to be small and lithe, that they are very fertile, and that at least as far as their genitalia are concerned they are not infantile, for their male organs are as large as those of Negroids.
The Pygmies also differ from most Negroids in skin color. The Western Twides have been described as having yellowish skin and pink lips. The Eastern Twides are said to have a clay-yellow skin color with brownish overtones, and also pink lips. Gates calls the skin color of the Ituri Pygmies mahogany. He has postulated that the Pygmies possess three genes for skin color: mahogany, yellow, and brunette. The Bushmen have only the last two, and the Bantu all three and in addition a fourth, which makes them black.
The darkest-skinned Pygmies are the potters of Lake Kivu, who, according to Hiernaux, have reddish brown skins more or less matching Numbers 28 and 29 on von Luschan’s widely used skincolor chart, on which Number 30 is the darkest. This makes them little if any lighter than their overlords the Hutu, but unlike the latter, mang Kivu Pygmies have large, relatively unpigmented yellow patches on their bodies. The Kivu Pygmies also have deeply furrowed foreheads, wrinkles on their bodies, and their skin is characteristically coarse-grained. In these respects they differ from the Western and Eastern Twides.
Pygmies are born covered with a thick lanugo, or fetal hair, which is usually blond to reddish, and when retained in adults turns dark brown. Both sexes also have rich terminal hair, particularly on their armpits and pubis. ln some males it is distributed over much of the body, and males characteristically have heavy beards. This rich body hair must be well equipped with apocrine glands, for the Pygmies exude a strong and pungent body odor that their Bantu neighbors find offensive. Pungent body odor may oller protection against insects. This suggestion has been offered because blacks are less frequently bitten than whites.
As one would expect in dwarfs, the Pygmies’ heads appear large in proportion to their body size. Their heads are usually submesocephalic, with cephalic index means between 75 and 77 for both sexes. They are also relatively high-vaulted, except for the Lake Kivu potters, who are also aberrant in other respects. Pygmies’ heads are usually oval to globular, like those of infants, and bulbous foreheads are common, particularly in children and women. The eyeballs usually protrude from shallow sockets, the sclera is unpigmented and the iris is brown.
Their noses are broader than they are long, with nasal indices characteristically over I00, except among the Lake Kivu potters. Among the males of this group, the mean is 90, with a range from 68 to 117. Most Pygmy noses have depressed roots and low bridges, with very broad wings. The tip is either flattened or shaped like a double funnel. The Kivu Pygmies are again exceptional in that 10 percent of them have convex nasal profiles.
Most Pygmies, the Kivu potters included, have long, convex upper lips with little eversion. Most of them have much alveolar prognathism, and retreating chins are common. To our knowledge, nothing has been published about their teeth.
Pygmies resemble Negroids in the blood groups so far studied among Pygmies, and in that they have the sickle-cell trait. This will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 9. Here we need say only that this resemblance is not surprising. Because the genes that flow between Pygmies and Negroids characteristically follow a one-way channel, the logical deduction is that the Pygmies gave these genes to the ancestors of the Negroids, among whom further selection subsequently took place in response to local selective pressures.
According to J. P. Bouckaert, the Pygmies have the highest basal metabolism rate in the world, which, through the agency of a high thyroid level, could explain their protruding eyeballs. ln comparing the Rwanda-Burundi Pygmies with their neighbors the Hutu and Tutsi, Hiernaux found that the Pygmies have the lowest heart beat and the highest blood pressure of the three, but there is little differente in respiration rate. lt would be interesting to know if other Pygmies, those who live in the forest, for example, are the same.
The Importance of Being a Pygmy
The Pygmies, as we have indicated, are a distinctive people who cannot be shown to have migrated into their rain forest from anywhere else or to have been produced by mixture. They are very much alike everywhere except in the highlands of Rwanda and Burundi, where most of them have been living for centuries in open country at a high altitude in the midst of Negroids. Hiernaux believes that these particular Pygmies are mixed. When the Pygmies which he measured are divided according to stature into the potters of Lake Kivu and the hunters of the forested mountain slopes and crests, we see that the former have a mean stature of 159 centimeters (5 feet 3 inches) and that some of the others fall as low as 149.5 centimeters (4 feet 11 inches), an ordinary figure for Pygmy height.
The Kivu Pygmies may, as Hiernaux says, be mixed, but if so, perhaps less with the Hutu or Tutsi than with earlier peoples moving down the highland corridor. This is indicated by the fact that the body proportions of the potters are still those of Pygmies in general, that they are the hairiest of all, and that their skin is wrinkled. None of these traits occur among the Hutu or Tutsi. An alternative hypothesis is that for the thousand years or more that the potters have been living at a high altitude and in open, less humid country the selection that has kept the forest Pygmies small and button-nosed has been relaxed. Thus the Lake Kivu potters may have returned to an approximation of their ancestral body size, and acquired a less extreme nose form.
According to Gates, the Pygmies derive from a hypothetical full-sized ancestor with mahogany-colored skin, heavy body hair, a flat nose, and great prognathism. If such a race ever existed, the rule of parsimony may warrant the theory that it had evolved from an ancient African line whose last-known representative was Rhodesian Man. Such a people may have been driven into the forest by drought, in which case mutations for dwarfing, which appear everywhere, would ensure a precarious survival, impossible for simple food-gatherers on the desiccated plain. This hypothesis is a combination of Gates’s reconstruction and our own study of the evidence of archaeology and human paleontology. It must remain a hypothesis until more fossils are found. It’s bearing on the origin of the Negroid race will be discussed later in this chapter.
Today the 50,000 Bushmen – more or less, as their exact numbers are undetermined – live mostly on the Kalahari Desert. Four hundred and fifty years ago they hunted on well-watered grasslands and in scrub forests teeming with game. In contrast to the Pygmies, who are perfectly adapted to moving rapidly through dense vegetation in the cathedral-like shade of the tall, interlocking trees of the rain forest, the Bushmen walk and run great distances over open ground, and are exposed to the brightest sunlight of Africa except for that of the eastern Sahara. The Pygmies live in a moisture-laden atmosphere varying no more than a few degrees in temperature either daily or annually; the Bushmen are exposed to a temperature range from below freezing to 104° F in the shade and 140° F in the sun. Two entirely different sets of adaptations are indicated. Whether the ancestors of the Bushmen came from North Africa, as the present evidence indicates, or evolved locally, as most South African scholars believe, makes little differente in this respect. The Sahara and the Kalahari are climatic counterparts to each other, flanked by strips of Mediterranean climate on their poleward sides.
As before the Bushmen were forced onto the desert they had luxuriant game and ample wild vegetable foods within reach, there seems to be no reason for them to be small, but they are. The mean stature of local groups of males ranges from 149 centimeters (4 feet 11 inches) in the south to 158 centimeters (5 feet 2 inches) in the north. The women are 8 to 10 centimeters (1 inch) shorter. Their stature increases in the groups that live nearer the Equator and decreases in those nearer the South Pole. We are reminded of the situation in Europe, where the mean stature decreases with the mean winter temperature on the poleward side of the line of maximum stature, and reaches its minimum among the Lapps, who are not much taller than the Bushmen.
On the Basis of a brilliant paper by Alice Brues entitled “The Spearman and the Archer,” Tobias suggests that the size of Bushmen is somehow related to his use of the small weak bow and arrows tipped by poison. The poison is made from either an insect or a plant, depending on which is available locally. Armed with his diminutive weapons, the Bushman hunter, who need not be big and strong, creeps up, with consummate skill and sometimes in disguise, close to his prey. A rapid volley of tiny arrows pierces or scratches the animal’s skin, and its fate is sealed. It runs off, eventually staggers and falls to its knees or haunches, and the Bushmen, who have been following patiently for hours or even days, move in for the kill.
This type of hunting sets a premium on litheness, endurance, economy in consumption of water, and a defiance of the elements. All these the Bushman is capable of.
Some shattered pieces of skull and teeth – probably from early in the last glaciation – was found at Rabat, on the northwest coast of Morocco. The teeth show slight shoveling of the incisors, cingulums on the upper canines, and some features of the premolars recalling Peking man. Roughly contemporaneous is an immature maxillary fragment called Tangier man, again with this kind of dentition. A nearly complete cranium of an adult, primitive ancestral Bushman and the left half of a similar, adolescent second skull were found in 1961 and 1962, respectively, at Jebel Ighoud, Morocco. Coon thought that they are ancestral to the Khoisanids because to this day tenuous similarities can be found between this subspecies and the Mongoloids in facial flattening, skin color, slight shoveling of the upper incisors, and enamel pearls on some upper molars.
Incontestable remains of Homo sapiens in Africa are very difficult to sort into evolutionary lines, and even harder to relate to local forms of Homo erectus. One obstacle is the scarcity of known archaeological sites in or near the tropical forests, and another is man’s way of life in such an environment. In the wet tropics, the soils leach with great speed, corpses are quickly destroyed through decay and predation, and many forest dwellers may be remote from sources of good stone for implements. Thus, in a rain forest, we may have no bones for the diagnosis of the subspecies of early man, no tools, and not even ashes from whatever fires he may have made. These factors may lead us to underestimate grossly the antiquity of Homo sapiens in equatorial Africa, to say nothing of his earliest use of fire and other evidences of high intelligence. With these formidable obstacles in mind, we shall review some of the fossil remains of Homo sapiens in Africa south of the Sahara.
At Cape Flats, near Capetown, three skulls were found in a deposit with a Stillbay culture reminiscent of that of Broken Hill man. One has heen described. It has a cranial capacity of 1,250 cc. and has large brow ridges and a rugged face. The teeth are like those of Negroids. Another Stillbay site on the border of Swaziland and Zululand (Border Cave) has yielded a similar skull. They are early post-Pleistocene inhabitants of South Africa, but not Khoisanid. They are either very late forms of Homo erectus or actually the southernmost Paleo-Negrids.
In 1924, a skull some 5,000-10,000 years old was found on the bank of the Blue Nile, 200 miles south of Khartoum, at Singa. The Singa specimen coexisted with extinct species of antelope, porcupine, and giraffe. The skull has a paedomorphic occiput, a narrow, bulging forehead and parietals, rectangular orbits, a flat face, and a large jaw. Except for it’s moderately large brow ridges, the features of the skull could hint towards an original Khoisanid of large body size.
At Homa, Lake Victoria, Kenya, two skulls have been found in a Mesolithic Shell mound with Early Wilton (Bushman) artifacts. These, too, are the remains of large-bodied Khoisanids. At Boskop, on the east bank of the Mooi River in the southwestern Transvaal, a third such skull has been located. From Florisbad, a mineral spring twenty-five miles north of Bloemfontein in the Transvaal, has come what seems to be a fourth. All are presumably post-Pleistocene.
Some 8,000-9,000 years ago, Khoisanids were the main, if not the only, inhabitants of southern Africa. The fairly abundant skeletal remains indicate that some populations became small and others did not. Dwarfism and fetalization of the face were most extreme in the marginal, desert-dwelling Bushmen. The Hottentots were larger and less fetalized, and were also probably more hybridized with Negroids.
Less than 1,000 years ago, large Khoisanids built hilltop forts or shrines at Mapungwe and Bambandyanolo, near the Limpopo River in the northern Transvaal. These forts were in use until less than 200 years before the Dutch settled in Capetown. The abundant skeletal remains of these people were unequivocally Khoisanid, and clay figurines of the women show the steatopygia and elongated labia minora which can still be found in living Bush and Hottentot women.
Another large Khoisanid people (the Duwwud) still live by three salt lakes in the Fezzan, Libya. The Sandawe, a tribe speaking a language related to Bush and Hottentot, still live in central Tanganyika.
The sum of this evidence suggests that the Khoisanids are a northern people who have moved south since the Pleistocene. Perhaps they were displaced by Mouillians and Capsians along the Mediterranean coast. They are a sizable ingredient in the racial ancestry of the present-day Bantuid and Cape Colored peoples of tropical and southern Africa.
Bushman Physical Attributes
The Khoisanids exhibit a great disproportion of size between the large cranial skeleton and the short face, especially in the small-sized groups. The brain case is swollen and globular, with a prominent forehead and a markedly bent cranial base (nasion-sella-basion angle). The face is short, flat, puny, and infantile. Certain features of the Bushman’s physique which have been commonly noted have led to a theory that they are paedomorphic, or infantile, a trait more apparent in some individuals than in others. One of these features is a prominent forehead, found among children, some women, but not many adult males. Another is a low nasal bridge and a flattish nasal tip. These features are racial as well as infantile, and contribute, along with their yellowish skins, to the oft-noted Mongoloid appearance of the Bushmen. The teeth often show moderate shoveling of the maxillary incisors and some enamel pearls of the upper molars. Third molars are seldom missing, but the maxillary third molars are a bit more reduced in complexity than in most Negroids. Taurodontism is sporadic. Although the teeth in general seem closest to those of the Negroids, Coon thought that their tenuous resemblances to those of Mongoloids indicates a common ancestry of the two races, perhaps in the Lower or Middle Pleistocene.
The legs are of medium length in proportion to their stature. In contrast to the bunchy, long-tendoned muscles of the Pygmies and the Negroids, their limb muscles are long-bellied and have short tendons, like those of Mongoloids. Their hands and feet are small. The yellowish skin, which tans to light or medium brown, reflects 43 percent of sunlight, as compared to the 23 percent reflected by the black skin of Negroid Africans. In this the Bushman is as well adapted to life in the desert as are the Arabs and the American Indians. In contrast to the bulging eyeballs common in Pygmies, the Bushman’s eyes are protected from the glare by slitted, often fat-laden lids, like those of Eskimos. His glabrous body, bare neck, and peppercorn hair, which leaves patches of scalp exposed, facilitate heat loss at high temperatures. The head hair is never long because it breaks off. He protects his body against the cold with warm skins.
The usual pubertal form of the feminine nipple, with its swollen areola, is exaggerated among Bushman girls, to the extent that the nipples look like bright orange balls loosely attached to the breasts, a startling sexual attraction that wanes after the first baby has been suckled and weaned. Another Bushman specialty concerns the female genitalia. Owing to a deficiency of growth in the labia majora which thus fail to seal the vaginal entrance, the inner lips fall through the gap. As a Bushman woman grows older, her inner lips protrude all the more, and they may ultimately bang down three or four inches. Despite much study, no one really knows to what extent this sexual feature is a product of nature and to what extent of artifice. It is quite possible that both factors are involved.
According to early accounts, all unmixed Bushman males have penises which protrude forward as in infants even when not in erection, but this is not always true. Another oddity of Bushmen is monorchy, or the descent of only one testicle, but this also is not universal among Bushman males.
The most famous physical attribute of the Bushman is of course steatopygia, which is most commonly found and most highly developed in the women. The gluteal fat is held out by fibrous tissue, preventing the buttocks from sagging. The Bushmen are not the only steatopygous people in the world, nor is the protrusion of their buttocks wholly or even largely an artifact of lordosis, or forward-curvature of the lumbar region. The Bushman buttocks have often been compared to the hump or humps on camels and zebus and to the tail of the fat-tailed sheep. It has been proposed, without proof, that the fat on the Bushman’s buttocks provides nourishment needed for survival. If so, it’s absence or minor development in the males seems contradictory. On the other hand, the Bushmen gorge themselves after a successful kill, as their deeply wrinkled abdominal skin indicates. One suggestion that we have not heard is that steatopygia is advantageous in the nutrition of the mother and the fetus during pregnancy and also during prolonged lactation when associated with a scarcity of food and especially of foodstuffs suitable for weaning. This suggestion is only an idea, and needs to be tested.
Several other features distinguish the Bushmen. Their skins wrinkle deeply in maturity and old age, and not just in the abdomen. They lack the body odor of Pygmies and Negroids. Their ears are small, square on top, and often lobeless, though the contour Pattern of helix and antihelix is deep and complex. Their hands and feet are quite different from those of Negroid Africans, and their nails much more curved. Despite the evidente of blood-group studies, to date incomplete, the Bushmen are a race sui generis, and their relationship to Negroids is probably due to the Negroids’ having absorbed Bushman genes, for of the two the Bushman seems to be the older race.
When the Dutch settled Capetown in order to provide a watering and ships’ chandlering station for their vessels sailing to and from the rich East Indies, they saw more Hottentots than Bushmen. Once the Dutch had begun to farm and graze the rich Cape Province, they competed for pasture with the cattle-breeding Hottentots more than with the Bushmen. Today the Bushmen outnumber the Hottentots, who have been largely absorbed through mixture.
The origins of the Hottentots are obscured by legends and complicated by anthropological interpretations. Because the Hottentots must have obtained cattle and the art of metallurgy from the northeast before the Bantu invasions, some anthropologists have concluded that they got these cultural advantages from East Africans, whom they absorbed racially and linguistically. Their present physical appearance, however, indicates that whomever they mixed with was more Negroid than Europid.
The living Hottentots are larger than the Bushmen, with a mean stature of 163 centimeters (5 feet 4 inches) for males. They tend to be a little darker in skin color, and if anything even more steatopygous. In general features, particularly of the face and hair, they are partly Negroid. Their blood groups do not help clarify the question of Hottentot origins, partly because the Bushmen and the Bantu are similar in most of the blood-group factors so far studied among the Bushmen, and partly because the Hottentots show certain serological peculiarities of their own. The Hottentots are, in sum, a clinal South African population mostly but not entirely of Bushman origin.
The Sandawe and Hatsa
The Sandawe and Hatsa (or Kindiga) are two groups of Khoisan-speaking peoples living in Tanzania. The Sandawe have been studied anthropometrically, the Hatsa have not.
According to their own tradition, the Sandawe were originally yellow-skinned hunters with peppercorn hair who came into their present country about a hundred years ago. Before that time they had met the Bantu-speaking Nyaturu and the Tatoga, who speak a dialect of Nandi (Eastern Sudanic). Both were herdsmen, and the Tatoga were also cultivators. The Sandawe traded women forcattle with both these tribes, before they entered their present country, and in recent times the Sandawe themselves have absorbed some Nyaturu genes. The living Sandawe are anthropometrically closer to Hottentots than to Bushmen, but have little steatopygia. Their hair form grades from peppercorn to frizzly, their skin is mostly brown. The Nyaturu, themselves part Sandawe, are intermediate between the latter and West African Negroids in many features.
The living peoples of North Africa are predominantly Europid. They apparently reached their present homeland before the end of the Pleistocene, with the incursion of a Palearctic fauna. One of their two cultures, both of which included blades and microliths, is called Mouillian. The second (Capsian) may be a little later. The Mouillian population was more rugged in physique, and the Capsians more linear. Their place of origin may have been the Middle East or, perhaps less likely, western Europe.
The descendants of those West Asian invaders are the Berbers. From the beginning the Berbers have had relationships with older African peoples. As their skeletal remains suggest, the Mouillians probably mixed with the preceding Aterian population. According to J. H. Greenberg, the Berber languages, like Ancient Egyptian, are of African origin and replaced whatever European or Western Asian languages the invaders may have spoken.
In this context, skeletally Europid individuals have small teeth, narrow and prominent noses, and faces with little or no anterior projection of the forehead or of the jaws. These individuals may vary in skin color from the paleness of a northern European to the darkest of browns. In general, the darker groups are admixed with Negroids.
All the living Berbers have some form or forms of symbiotic relationship with native Africans. In every Rifian village of any size, the ironwork is done by a Negroid smith. Other blacks serve as butchers and town criers at weekly markets, and still others are musicians who wander from tribe to tribe enlivening weddings and other festivities. Blacks, then, are the principal service personnel among agricultural Berbers, and probably have been so since the introduction of iron into North Africa early in the Christian era.
Among the part-time and full-time nomads the interracial relationship is more complicated. The Ait Atta, for example, who pasture their sheep in the Middle Atlas in summer and in the Dades Valley to the south in winter, have their castles and gardens in the Dades Valley. There they delegate the agricultural work to a taste of Negroid serfs, the Haratin. Other Haratin are found in oases all along the northern fringe of the Sahara, and indeed throughout the desert.
The camel nomads, particularly the famed Tuareg, or People of the Veil, are divided into castes of nobles, imghad, or camel-breeding dependents who also have their Haratin, and slaves. The merchant communities of the great oases, like the Mzabites of Ghardaia, foster endogamy as they belong to a schismatic sect of Islam, that of the Khawarij, or Kharijites. They too have their gardens tilled by Haratin.
Wherever or however they live, the Berbers refuse to mate with the Negroid lower classes, but human nature being what it is, there evidently has been a certain amount of mixture. In Morocco, the most Europid tribes are those of the Rif and the Middle Atlas; in Algeria they are the Kabyles and the Shawia; and in Libya, the sedentary tribesmen of Jebel Nefusa. In certain regions the trickle of mixture with Africans has been balanced by the absorption of Arabs, not so muck tribe by tribe but through the establishment of saintly families derived from the earlier of the two main Arab invasions. These Arabs came mostly from al Hijaz and Yemen, and were not Bedouin.
In various series of Berbers, the means for body, head, and face measurements fall somewhere between those of the Western Asian mountain peoples, the southwestern and western Europeans, and the Arabs. The range of stature is from about 165 centimeters to 172 centimeters (5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 7 inches). The range in body build is from stocky to lean, with relative sitting heights usually around 51, but falling to 49 in desert tribes. Most Berbers, none of whom practice cradling, are dolichocephalic or mesocephalic. Most of them have straight or convex nasal profiles. Their faces and jaws tend to be narrow, although some broad faces with snub noses may be seen.
The lightest pigmentation recorded is that of the Rifians, the most European-looking Berbers. They have a 65 percent incidence of pinkish-white unexposed skin color (von Luschan Numbers 1-3 and 6-9). This goes as high as 86 percent in some tribes. Twentythree percent are freckled. Ten percent have light brown or blond head hair; in some tribes, 25 percent do. In beard color, 45 percent of Rifians are reddish, light brown, or blond bearded; in some tribes, this figure rises to 57 percent, with 24 percent completely blond. The ratio of red head hair among Rifians is 4 percent, as in Scotland and Ireland. Seventeen percent have reddish beards; in some tribes 28 percent do. Light hair among Rifians is mostly golden or reddish, rarely ash blond.
In the Rif, dark eyes are found among 43 percent of the men, mixed eyes in 35 percent, and light eyes in 2 percent; and the mixed eyes have green or blue elements rather than gray. The tribe with the lightest pigmentation in general, the Beni Amart, has an incidence of 18 percent, 73 percent, and 9 percent in each of these categories. These mountain tribesmen and some of their neighbors on the coast are a little fairer than most southern European populations.
Their blondism is comparable to the blondism of Western Europe and Western Asia, not to that of Northern and Eastern Europe. They resemble the Western Europeans, however, rather than the Western Asians in development of body hair, which is light to moderate. Only 5 percent of Rifians have the bushy, concurrent eyebrows seen among Western Asian mountaineers. The hair of most Rifians is curly – that is, it forms ringlets – in over 50 percent of the men. No individuals with frizzly or woolly hair were measured or seen. This African form of hair, however, is found among 12 percent of Shluh, Berbers of the Atlas Mountains and the Sous Valley. The Shluh also have a 12 percent incidence of epicanthic fold.
African traits manifest themselves among various Berber populations in different ways and to different degrees. Among the Rifians and Kabyles it shows itself mostly in broad faces, heavy jaws, and snub noses. These features are sometimes associated with red hair, greenish eyes, and freckles. Among the Soussis the same broad-faced element is present, and some individuals actually look Mongoloid. The Soussi depicted on Plate 109c has a recombination of Bushman features: flattish face, low nasal profile, everted lips, and Bushman ears.
Legends persist along the fringes of the Sahara about the presence of an earlier, non-Europid people. According to the paramount chief of the Ait Atta, when their ancestors first came down from the mountains to their present winter quarters in the Dades Valley they found that region occupied by yellow-skinned people whom they conquered and reduced to the status of agricultural serfs. Later these yellow people mixed with Negro slaves, producing the present-day serfs, who are called Haratin. Many of the Haratin resemble Hottentots.
In the Fezzan in southern Libya live a people – the so-called Duwwud or Dawwada (worm-folk) – who speak Arabic, hunt jerboas, raise a few dates, and above all harvest the salt lakes, where they live, for Artemesia, a brine shrimp that multiplies in prodigious numbers. These shrimp are dried and compressed into cakes, which the Duwwud trade to Arab caravans. The Duwwud also look like Hottentots. Other partly Bushman and partly Negroid people are also to be found in the Sahara.
Since the Rise of Islam, or for the last twelve centuries, Arabs have been invading and infiltrating Africa by land and by sea. The first wave to reach North Africa came mostly from al-Hijaz or Yemen. Some of them passed quickly into Spain, along with many Berbers, whence both were ejected in A.D. 1492, along with the Sephardic Jews. These Arabs founded cities, converted Berbers to Islam, traded, and established centers of learning and religious foundations. Few of them settled on the land.
The second wave came in the twelfth century and consisted of entire Bedouin tribes of the Syrian desert, with their sheep, camels, and horses. Like swarms of locusts, they crossed the lowlands of North Africa and the high plateau, and some of them moved on into the Sahara, where their descendants still live. After this second invasion, most of the Berbers of the lowlands either became Arabized or withdrew to the mountains. Finally, in A.D. 1492, many so-called Moors returned to North Africa from Spain and Portugal to settle in the cities as merchants and skilled craftsmen.
It is easier to tell a Berber from an Arab by dress and behavior than by external physical characteristics, but there are statistical differences, particularly between the tribal Arabs of Bedouin origin and the mountain Berbers. The Arabs of this second group tend to be darker-skinned, less frequently light-eyed, and rarely blond. Compared to the Berbers, fewer have broad faces and more have convex nasal profiles.
The aristocratic City Arabs who have for centuries provided leadership in North Africa are descended from the first wave of invaders, who were mostly city people and traders in Arabia. Many of these families are also descended in part from converted Jews. These city Arabs tend to lack the hawk-like features of the descendants of the Bedouin, and many of them, whose ancestors have lived for centuries in shaded streets, are blond. The descendants of the Andalusian Moors, endogamous for almost five centuries, are anthropometrically indistinguishable from Spaniards. Most of their ancestors may have been converts to Islam.
When the invading Arabs reached the Nile Valley, some stayed in the cities, but most of them moved on, because the country was already densely populated, and with more than one kind of people. Since predynastic times, various invaders had settled in the Delta and on the banks of the Nile. And after the Arabs had come and gone, the Turks took over, bringing with them Caucasians, Albanians, and other fellow Muslims.
It is the fellahin and the Copts who most faithfully represent in a physical sense their already mixed ancestors, the Ancient Egyptians. They are people of medium stature and physique, brown-skinned, most of them with curly hair, with brown eyes except that 10 percent have mixed or light-colored eyes. They have straight nasal profiles, nasal tips of medium size, lips of medium thickness, and moderate beard development. They look like what they are – the product of an ancient blend of Europid and indigenous African elements, reinforced from time to time by Europid elements from Europe and Western Asia, and African elements from the Sudan.
Peoples of the Horn of Africa
At the other end of the Red Sea from Suez, the Bab el Mandeb has also served as a major corridor between Western Asia and Africa. As its name, “The Gate of Tears,” indicates, traffic flows in both directions, with Arabs moving westward and African slaves eastward. West of the Bab el Mandeb rises the steep escarpment of the Ethiopian highlands, a refuge of prime historical importance, and between the highlands and the Red Sea stretches the Dankali Desert, parts of which lie below sea level.
It is one of the hottest places on earth. Except for slaves recently imported from the steamy marshes of the lower Sudan, the most Negroid people are the Wattas, hippopotamus hunters along the rivers of Somaliland and southern Ethiopia. They are an endogamous caste, feared as magicians and despised because they eat hippopotamus meat. As far as we know, they have been neither measured nor subjected to blood-group studies.
Next most Negroid are the sedentary peoples of western Ethiopia who speak Central Cushitic languages: the Kafacitos, Soddo Oromo, Sidama, Agaus, and Falasha (Black Jews). These people are curly- or frizzy-haired, have dark brown skins, and are relatively
short in stature. Their mean stature is about 164 centimeters (5 feet 41/2 inches). Their facial features are partly Negroid.
The least Negroid peoples of the highlands are the Ethiopians proper – who speak Amharic, Tigré and Tigrinya – and the Oromos.
The former are descended from southern Arabians who invaded Ethiopia during the first millennium B.C., and the latter from cattle people who entered the highlands from the west in the sixteenth century A.D. Both are Ethiopid in body build and facial features. Both vary in skin color from a light yellowish brown, in some cases almost yellow, to the various shades of brown that they themselves recognize and of which they are acutely conscious. None is black. The majority have frizzy hair. The next commonest is curly hair, like that of Berbers and Egyptians. Both wavy and woolly hair are rare, and no straight hair was observed. All hair is black. Eyes are either dark brown or light brown, or a mixture of the two. No black eyes were found; mixed light eyes are found in only a few individuals.
The cast of facial features known to the world because of the wide publication of Emperor Haile Selassie’s picture is not uncommon, although his are somewhat extreme. Nasal profilos are more often straight than convex among both Amharas and Callas, and rarely concave. Nostrils, as seen from the side, are highly arched; nasal tips are medium to thick, and lips are medium to thick. There is no body hair or it is slight; and beards are characteristically of moderate development. In these respects the Amharas are more variable than the Oromo. Both are fairly tall peoples, with mean statures of around 169 to 170 centimeters (5 feet 7 inches ca.) and relative sitting heights of about 51 for the Amharas and 50 for the Oromo. This puts their body build in the category of most Mediterranean Europids, and of many Negroids. In other details of body build they are essentially Ethiopid. Particularly the Amharas and the upper-class Oromo, consider themselves as distinct from other Subsaharan Africans. The Oromo recognize two other classes, the Tumtu, some of whom are blacksmiths, and the Faki, or tanners. The two latter have not been measured. Both are descended from peoples who lived in southern Ethiopia before the Oromo invasion. The Somalis and the Dankalis are closely related and may be considered as a unit. Their stature and the proportions of their limbs are the same as those of the Amharas and the Oromo, but they have much narrower bodies and heads and faces. Most of them could be categorized as leptosomic. Almost without exception, their skins are a rich chocolate brown. Their hair is black, and their eyes are dark brown or black. More than a third have wavy hair, and a few have straight hair. Frizzly hair, which is the most prevalent among Amharas and Oromo, has only a 6 percent incidence among Somalis. These people are strikingly homogenous, so much so that Hiernaux considers them a separate race. In this context it must be remembered that the Somalis and the Dankalis live in desert country near or below sea level, where the heat is intense, the sunlight bright, and the water vapor pressure high, whereas the Amharas and the Oromo live at a high altitude in cool cloudy country. Environmental pressures cannot be discounted in a comparison of these two groups of people. Both are Ethiopid, but in different ways.
East Africa, with its highland plateaux of Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Kenya, and with its treeless grasslands, forms an environmental zone suitable for the economies of highland agriculture and of pastoral nomadism. Its early connections lie with the north and east, with Egypt and Arabia, rather than with the equatorial forests to the west.
The highlands of Ethiopia, according to studies conducted by economic botanists, seem to contain a number of indigenous varieties of cultivated cereals and legumes. It is possible, but by no means established, that these highlands formed one of the primary centers of Old World agriculture, in which the Neolithic economy originated. It is also possible that part of the agricultural impulse which initiated the high civilization of ancient Egypt was derived from this source.
Later than the development of highland agriculture in East Africa was the introduction and diffusion of pastoral nomadism. The cattle complex, with its elaborate set of social restrictions and of social differentiation on the basis of wealth in herds, was introduced from India by way of southern Arabia, along with the humped zebu, at some none too distant period, probably as late as the first millennium B.C. Its diffusion passed southeastward into the Lake Region, where it was taken up by Bantu peoples and spread, in modern times, as far south as the Cape of Good Hope, where an earlier version of the same complex had already arrived, in the hands of the Hottentots.
In the Horn of Africa region, however, and northward into Egypt, the humped cow is replaced by the more thirst-resisting camel; camel nomads are found in all regions in which agriculture is impractical. The antiquity of camel nomadism in East Africa is unknown, but it cannot be as old as in Arabia, for the camel is an Asiatic animal. Camels did not appear in any numbers in North Africa east of the Nile before 300 A.D., but they must have been earlier than that in East Africa, having been introduced, at some unknown period, from Arabia by way of Suez, of the Bab el Mandeb, or simply across the Red Sea.
The living peoples with whom this section is concerned live by all three economies mentioned—highland agriculture, cattle nomadism, and camel nomadism. They are the whites and near-whites who live east of the equatorial forests, of the Nilotic swamps, and of the deep escarpment of he Blue Nile. They are the Oromos, the Somalis, the Ethiopians, and the inhabitants of Eritrea.
Our knowledge of the racial history of East Africa in antiquity is limited to the southern frontier of the present Afro-Asiatic linguistic area. Excavations in Kenya and Tanganyika have uncovered remains of a tall, extremely long-headed, Mediterranean racial type, with a tendency to great elongation and narrowness of the face, in pre-Neolithic times. In Mesolithic times, if not earlier, some of these Mediterranean skeletons show evidence of Negroid admixture. The country east of Lake Victoria may be taken as the southern boundary of the area occupied by this race, since to the south all known sapiens skeletal remains belong to the ancestors of Bushmen. The center of this area, and its northern boundary, are unknown, owing to the lack of archaeological work in Ethiopia and the eastern Sudan.
The Cushitic languages of East Africa and of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan are shown in parallel line representation. The Semitic languages of this region which are derived from Geez are designated by cross-hatching. It should be noted that Tigrigna is the language of Tigré Kingdom; the Tigré language, however, is a related coastal speech. Sudanese Negro languages are shown by means of large dots, Arabic by means of vertical crescents. (Adapted from Meillet and Cohen, Les Langues du Monde.)
The living inhabitants of the Abyssinia-Somaliland-Eritrea area may be divided into the following groups:
(1) The Highland Cushites: Descendants of the pre-Semitic agricultural population of the northern Ethiopian plateau, speaking early Cushitic dialects. The most numerous and best known of this scattered group are the Agaus, peasants and agricultural serfs living mostly in the kingdom of Gojjam, in the Lake Tsana country.
(2) The Sidama: The corresponding pre-Semitic agricultural population of the present Oromo country, living in the midst of Oromo tribal territories, and in small separate kingdoms of their own, in southwestern Ethiopia. The best known Sidamo state is that of Kaffa, whose name has been given to coffee. Throughout the Oromo country, the numerous peasant class consists largely of linguistically altered Sidama.
(3) The Amharas: This is a general name applied to the Ethiopians proper, members of the four kingdoms of Tigré, Amhara, Gojjam, and Shoa. The Guraghes, who live south of Addis Ababa, speak Amharic, as do all the others named except the Tigrés, whose language is a parallel derivative of Geez. These people are the descendants of the Hadhrami invaders of the late pre-Christian era, and were, until the Italian conquest of 1935—37, the dominant people of Ethiopia.
(4) The Oromos: The inhabitants of most of southwestern Ethiopia, including the country as far north and east as Addis Ababa, are Oromos; descendants of a warlike confederation of nomadic tribes who invaded Ethiopia from the southwest in the sixteenth century. The original Oromos, who came in great numbers, were cattle people with the traditional East African dislike for agriculture or menial occupations, and settled down in their present territory as aristocrats. Oromo society today is divided into four classes: the Oromo, or Oromo proper, the aristocrats; the Tumtu or blacksmiths, the subservient class of artisans who are also farmers; the Faki, a low caste of tanners; and the Watta, outcaste hunters who live in separate villages. The Oromo have, for the most part, submitted to the pursuit of agriculture, while continuing at the same time their cattle raising.
(5) The Somalis: The whole Horn of Africa, including the three Somali lands and the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, is occupied by various tribes of Somalis, nomadic Hamites who profess Islam and claim descent from Arabian missionaries. Their origin is not clearly known, but it is evident that there must have been some Oromo as well as Arabian mixture, grafted onto a local East African population.
(6) The Danakil (also called Afar): In southwestern Eritrea and adjacent parts of the desert of northeastern Ethiopia, as well as in part of French Somaliland, live the Danakil, tribesmen culturally related to the Somalis, who also claim Arabian ancestry. North of the Danakil in Eritrea live other tribes of the same general type. The Somalis, Danakil, and their northern relatives form part of a continuous belt of nomadic Hamites reaching from the Horn of Africa to Egypt; the northern representatives, however, from the Eritrean Beja to the Egyptian Bisharin, have been subjected to strong admixture with Sudanese negroes.
(7) Negroids in East African Territory: In Eritrea the tribes of Baria and Cunama, in the midst of East African-Tigré territory, probably represent, in the linguistic sense at least, and eastward thrust of Sudanese negroes. In Ethiopia proper many Shankalla, negroes brought as slaves from the Blue Nile country, have propagated both as a slave population and through mixture. In Italian Somaliland, it is said that some of the slave tribes subservient to the Somalis speak Bantu. The speech of the Wattas may also be neither Afro-Asiatic nor Semitic.
The study of the physical anthropology of this ethnologically and historically complex region may be said to have barely begun; nevertheless it has progressed far enough to warrant reasonably accurate statements as to the racial characters of the more numerous and better known peoples. Before proceeding further, it may be well to state that all of the peoples of this Afro-Asiatic area, whether Semitic in speech or not, represent a blend in varying proportions between Mediterraneans of several varieties, especially of the tall, Atlanto-Mediterranean group, and negroes. Other elements include, of course, the Veddoid brought in solution from southern Arabia; there is also a possibility of traces of dilute Pygmy and Bushman blood in southwestern Ethiopia and Somaliland, although neither of these has been proved. Needless to say, the Oromos and Amharas have mixed with each other greatly in the regions in which they have been in contact; both the Amharas and Oromos have absorbed the earlier Cushitic agricultural peoples in great numbers. The most important single influence has been the infiltration of negroes, through the slave trade, into the entire Ethiopian plateau region. So extensive has this infiltration been that it is unlikely that a single genetic line in the entire Horn of Africa is completely free from Negroid admixture; but individuals may be found among the Amharas, Oromos, and Somalis who show no visible signs of Negroid influence. These individuals are extremely rare. On the whole the Negroid element in the East Africans cannot be much more than one-fourth of the whole, but it has penetrated every ethnic group and every social level. Just when this penetration had become complete we do not know, but one suspects that it had already occurred by the sixth century A.D., when the Ethiopians ruled the Yemen. The Oromos, despite their tradition of descent from white men, were already partly Negroid at the time of their arrival in Ethiopia.
Despite this Negroid penetration, and despite a mixture between non-negroid elements, the four ethnic Units of Amharas, Oromos, Sidama, and Somalis are all statistically distinct from each other. What evidence we have for the Agaus suggests that this people constitutes a fifth anthropometric entity. As one would expect, the more purely East African peoples, such as the Agaus, Oromos, and Somalis, are taller than the Amharas. All of these three have stature means ranging from 169 to 174 cm., while 172 cm. seems to be the central mean for all of them. The Semitic speakers range from a mean of 164—467 cm for the Tigré, the most nearly Arabian of the four main groups, to 167—169 cm. for each of the other three, while a series of varied Ethiopians, mostly from Shoa, and measured in Addis Ababa, rose to the mean of 169 cm. This latter figure may reflect Oromo mixture—for Addis Ababa is in Oromo territory—or selection. The Sidama, in contrast to the Agaus, are apparently short (164 cm.).
In bodily build and proportions, all groups are much the same. The predominant type is leptosome, with a relative sitting height index of 50 to 51, a relative span of 103, and a relative shoulder breadth of 21. Long legs and relatively short arms, narrow shoulders, and even narrower hips, are the rule. Few Ethiopians of any category are thick-set, and what little corpulence is seen hangs ill on fine-boned frames. The hands and feet of all but the palpably Negroid are small and extremely narrow, the lower legs and wrists usually spindly and ill-muscled. This attenuation of the distal segments of the limbs reaches its maximum among the Somalis. The Sidama have the broadest shoulders in proportion to their height, and the narrowest hips.
There can be no doubt that the tall stature of the Oromos, Somalis, and Agaus is an old East African trait, since both the Sidama and the Semites of Hadhramauti origin are much shorter. The tallness of this East African Mediterranean strain stands in contrast to the moderate stature of the Mediterranean Arabs across the Red Sea, and constitutes a characteristic difference between them. The bodily build of the African Hamites is typically Mediterranean in the ratio of arms, legs, and trunk, but the special attenuation of the extremities among the Somalis is a strong local feature, which finds its closest parallels outside the white racial group, in southern India and in Australia.
The different groups studied in Ethiopia share a tendency to dolichocephaly or mesocephaly, and to a narrow face form. In the measurements of the head and face, all are fundamentally Mediterranean, and the Negroid traits manifested in the soft parts do not reveal themselves in the measurements, except in nose breadth and in the biorbital and interorbital diameters. The heads are larger than those of the Yemeni Mediterraneans; Amharas (in the sense of Semitic-speaking Abyssinians) have vault dimensions of 194 mm. (length) by 150 mm. (breadth) by 127 mm. (height); these figures could apply as well to Nordics as to Abyssinians. The mean cephalic index of 77 or lower for Amharic speakers is in the dolichocephalic to low mesocephalic class; the smaller diameters and higher index of the present-day Hadhramaut population seem to have yielded to the greater size and dolichocephaly of the indigenous East African farmers, as far as the total group is concerned. There is, however, some evidence that while the Tigré people are strongly dolichocephalic, brachycephaly may be common in the kingdoms of Gojjam and Amhara.
The Oromos are on the whole smaller headed than the Amharas, but also mesocephalic. Mesocephaly is also the prevalent head form of both Agaus and Sidama; among the latter the mean cephalic index is 78, and there is a definite brachycephalic minority. So far the inhabitants of the Abyssinian plateau, whatever their speech and ethnic origin, are dolichocephalic or mesocephalic, and comparable to Mediterraneans elsewhere, especially, as we shall later see, to North African Berbers, as well as to North European Nordics. Among the Sidama, however, the vault is lower (124 mm.) than among Amharas and Oromos. The Somalis, as contrasted with the highland bloc, are smaller headed and purely dolichocephalic, with vault dimensions of 192 mm. (length) by 143 mm. (breadth) by 123 mm. (height), and a mean cephalic index of 74.5. In this they resemble closely the finer Mediterranean type in Yemen, and some of the northern Bedouins.
Facially this division between highianders and Somalis is accentuated. The highlanders have minimum frontal means of 104 mm. to 106 mm.; the Somalis of 102 mm. The bizygomatics of the first group fall at 134—136 mm., of the Somalis at 131 mm. The bigonials of the highianders have means of 101—102 mm., of the Somalis, 96 mm. All are narrow faced, but the Somalis approximate a world extreme. The forehead is in all groups notably wider than the jaw, which reaches a record in narrowness among the Somalis. In face breadths as in vault dimensions the less extreme highland Ethiopians might as well be Nordics as Negroids.
The total face heights of the four groups under conside