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variety. Their colour may be said to be brown, in various shades, from a light tawny, to almost a black; the forehead is low and round; the nose full and broad; nostrils wide; mouth large; hair thick, crisp, and always black, as well as the iris. Fig. 119 exhibits an individual of this race: it is the head of a New Zealand chief. Cuvier, Rudolphi, Virey and others consider the Malay variety to be a mixture of the Mongol of Asia and the negro of Africa.
In New Guinea, and the small islands around, the Papous are found, who resemble the negroes yet more strongly; and similar races are met with in the Archipelago of the Holy Ghost, and in the isles of Andaman and Formosa. They are presumed to belong really to the negro race, and to have descended perhaps from individuals of that variety, who had wandered, or been driven, from their original settlements. Some of them resemble the Guinea negro in every particular.
Of late years, many other races have been added to those admitted by Blumenbach; especially by Messrs. Virey, Desmoulins, and Bory de Saint-Vincent. Virey admits two distinct species, which he determines by the size of the facial angle. To the one he refers all those in whom this angle is from 85° to 90°, including three races:—the white, the tawny and the copper-coloured. As subdivisions of the first of these he distinguishes,—the Indo-Arab, the Keltic, and the Caucasian; of the second, the Chinese, the Mongolian Kalmuck, and the Ostiack Laplander; and of the third the American or Caraib. To the second species, in which the facial angle is only from 75° to 82°, he refers the darkbrown, the black, and the blackish races; the first of which comprises the Malay or Indian variety; the second, the Caffre and the Negro; and the third, the Hottentot and the Papous.
Desmoulins, from the state of the hair, the character of the features, the arrangement of the teeth, the colour of the skin, and the size of the facial angle, reckons eleven species, whom he denominates after the countries they inhabit;—viz. the Kelto-Scythian Arab, the Mongol, the Ethiopian, the Euro-African, the Austro-African, the Malay or Oceanic, the Papous, the Oceanic Negro, the Australasian, the Columbian, and the American. The seven first of these are but subdivisions of the Caucasian, Mongolian, and negro divisions of Cuvier, and Desmoulins conceives, that an improved acquaintance with anthropology may justify subdivisions in the Columbian and American races, which he has separated. Bory de Saint-Vincent adopts the same principles as Desmoulins, and extends the species to fifteen, viz. the Japhetic, Arabic, Hindoo, Scythian, Sinic, Hyperborean, Neptunian, Australian, Columbian, American, Patagonian, Ethiopian, Caffre, Melanian, and Hottentot.
We have briefly stated the various classifications of the naturalist, to exhibit the vacillation, which yet exists on the precise number of races that should be admitted. Every division must necessarily be arbitrary, and the individuals composing each variety are
far from being alike. We find the greatest diversity, for example, amongst the nations of the Caucasian variety, and even amongst any of its subdivisions. The French can be distinguished from the German, the Spaniard from the English, &c. and if we were to push the system of subdividing, which appears at present to be fashionable, we might constitute almost every nation of the globe into a distinct variety.
It has been an oft agitated question, whether all the varieties amongst mankind must be regarded as belonging to the same species, the differences, which we observe, having been accomplished by extraneous circumstances acting through a long succession of ages; or whether they must not be regarded as distinct species, ab origine. By many, the discussion of this subject has been esteemed not only unnecessary but profane, inasmuch as the sacred historian. has unequivocally declared that all mankind had a common origin. We have already remarked, however, that this is not a question, which concerns our first parents, but belongs exclusively to the family of Noah; for, in his descendants, all these varieties must necessarily have occurred. From the part of Asia, previously described, his immediate descendants probably spread abroad to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west; Europe being peopled by the migratory hordes which proceeded towards the north-west, and Africa by those from south-western Asia. These migrations probably all took place by land, except in the case of our own continent, where a slight sea-voyage, of not more than thirty-nine miles, across Behring's Straits, even in frail vessels, would be sufficient to transport the emigrants without much risk of misadventure; and even this short voyage would be rendered unnecessary during the winter season, the Strait being solidified into a continuous mass of ice.
Europe probably received its inhabitants long before navigation occurred to any extent. Subsequently, when a coasting trade was first established, to which the enterprise of nations would necessarily be limited in the first instance, until by improved vessels and a better system of management they were enabled to brave the terrors of the ocean and undertake their adventurous voyages of discovery, many of the coasts, especially of the Mediterranean, received swarms of emigrants, a circumstance which accounts for the motley population observable, at an early period, in these regions. Carthage, we know, was settled by the Phoenicians, and Southern Italy and Spain, in this manner, received their Greek colonies. Dr. Copland has even expressed his belief in the view, that this continent was visited "by Phoenician navigators, the greater part of whom settled in it, particularly in Mexico; and that the imperfect navigation of that era prevented many of the adventurers, if not all of them, from returning." The notion is, however, altogether hypothetical.
The greatest difficulty has been, -to comprehend how the
Caucasian and Ethiopian varieties could have originated from the same source. The other varieties of mankind, if we exclude the negro, could be referred, without much hesitancy, to the same primitive stock,—the changes being caused by adventitious circumstances operating for an immense period,—but it has seemed to many naturalists impossible to suppose, that the characters of the negro could, by any process, become converted into those of the European, or vice versa.
The people of antediluvian times probably possessed but few physical differences, constituting one large family, modified, perhaps, to a certain extent, by circumstances, but not materially; the two antithetical races,—the white and the black,—first arising in postdiluvian periods. If we adopt this view, the question regarding the difference of species between the white and the black varieties requires no agitation. But how are we to explain the essential differences, as to form and colour, which we notice amongst the nations of the earth?
In the infancy of anthropology it was asserted, that the white races inhabit the cold and temperate regions of the earth, whilst the tawny and the darker races are situated under a more vertical sun. Within certain limits the sun is certainly possessed of the power of modifying the colour. The difference between one who has been for some time exposed to the rays of a tropical sun, and his brethren of the more temperate climates, is a matter of universal observation. The inhabitant of Spain is, in this way, distinguished from the French, German, English, &c.; and hence we can understand, why the Southern Asiatic and African women of the Arab race, when confined within the walls of the seraglio, are as white as the fairest Europeans. There are many exceptions, however, to the notion which has prevailed, that there is an exact ratio between the heat of the climate and the blackness of the skin. For example, at the extreme north of Europe, Asia, and America, we find the Laplanders, Samoiedes, Esquimaux, &c. with the skin very brown, and the hair and iris black; whilst in the vicinity of the Laplanders are the Fins, people of large stature compared with the Laplanders, with fair skins and bluish-gray eyes. In the same manner, to the south of the Greenlander,—of short stature, brown skin, and dark hair, is the tall and fair Icelander. The Kelt of Wales, and of the western coast of Ireland, of the north of Scotland, and of the west of Bretagne, is still distinguished by his dark hair and eyes, from the light-haired descendants of the Goth,—the German and the Scandinavian. A number of distinct tribes exist in the interior of Africa, having a red or copper hue, with lank black hair, and in the midst of the black varieties of their species. A similar fact was observed by Humboldt in different parts of South America.
Again, the negro race is not always found in the torrid zone. On our own continent none have ever been met with, except what have been imported; and these, after repeated descents, have still retain
ed their original character; whilst, as we have seen, negroes are met with in Australia under a climate as cold as that of Washington. The fact of the slight mutation, effected by ages on the character of a race, is strikingly shown by the circumstance to which we have referred elsewhere, that in some of the monuments of Egypt, visited by Belzoni and Champollion, representations of the negro, presumed to be upwards of three thousand years old, exhibit the features to be almost identical with those of the negro of the present day. The Jew affords an example of the same immutability, as well as the Esquimaux, who strikingly retain the evidences of their Kalmuck origin. Complexion, and, to a certain extent, the figure are doubtless modified by organization, but the essential characters of the organization remain little if at all changed.
WOLNEY has fancifully supposed, that the elongated visage of the negro is owing to the wry face habitually made under exposure to the rays of the sun. Independently, however, of the objection, that this would be wholly insufficient to account for the striking peculiarities of the negro head, it has already been remarked, that these peculiarities do not exist amongst other races, inhabiting equally hot climes; and that the negro himself is not confined to those climates, and ought, consequently, to lose the museau or snout, when the country is so cool as to render the wry face or moue unnecessary.
It may then, we think, be concluded, that the evidence, in favour of the colour of the negro, of the red man, or of the tawny, being produced directly or indirectly by the solar rays, is insufficient to establish the point. Still its effects are considerable: in all cases, however, the children are born fair, and would continue so, if not exposed to the degree of solar heat which had produced the change in their progenitors.
In addition to the influence of temperature and climate, that of food, and of different manners and customs has been frequently invoked, but without any precise results being deduced. The effect of difference in manners and customs is shown in the result of domestication on animals,—as in the case of the wild and the disciplined horse; of the bison and the ox; which last is regarded as the bison in a state of tameness. The precise causes of such modification we know not. It is not confined to the animal, but is signally evidenced in the vegetable. The flower of the forest, when received into the parterre and carefully nurtured, will develope itself in such a manner as to be with difficulty recognisable. The change seems to be produced by variation in climate and nutrition, but in what precise manner we know not.
The powerful modifying influence of locality on the development of the moral and physical powers has been more than once referred to. Perhaps the most remarkable examples are met with at the base of lofty mountains, particularly of the Alps, and in some
of the unhealthy districts of France especially. One of these is cretinism, a singular case of malformation, with which we are happily unacquainted in the United States.
This is a state of idiocy, which is remarkable in its subjects being always more or less deformed, and in its appearing to originate from local influences. The cretin has every characteristic of the idiot; and, in addition, is often distinguished by a large goître or swelling of the thyroid gland; by soft, flabby flesh; and by shrivelled, yellowish, or pale and cadaverous skins, covered at times with filthy cutaneous eruptions. The tongue is thick and pendent; the eyelids large and projecting; the eyes gummy, red and prominent; the nose flat; the mouth gaping and drivelling; the face puffy, and, at times, violet-colored, and the lower jaw elongated. In several the forehead is broad inferiorly, and flattened and retreating above, giving the cranium the shape of a cone rounded towards its smaller extremity. The stature of the cretin is generally small, scarcely ever exceeding four feet and a few inches; the limbs are frequently malformed, and almost always kept in a state of flexion. All the cretins are not affected with goître. Some have large and short, whilst others have thin, and long, necks. Like the idiot, the cretin does not generally live long, scarcely ever surviving the thirtieth year.
Authors have differed in opinion on the causes of this deplorable condition. It is observed almost exclusively in the deep and narrow valleys at the foot of lofty mountains, and in mountain gorges. Hence it is common in that part of the Alps called the Valais or Wallais; in the valley of Aost, La Maurienne, &c. It is met with, too, at the foot of the mountains of Auvergne, the Pyrenees, the Tyrol, &c. De Saussure, Esquirol, Foderé, Rambuteau, and all who have had an opportunity of observing these miserable wrecks of humanity, believe, that the great cause is the concentrated, moist, and warm air, which prevails throughout almost the whole of the year in the valleys and mountain gorges where it is found to exist.
After all, perhaps, the strongest arguments,—in favour of extraneous circumstances occasioning, in the lapse of ages, the different varieties, which we observe in the great human family,—are those derived from the changes that must have occurred amongst many of the inferior animals. The dog, in its wild state, has always pretty nearly the same characters; being covered with hair of the same colour; the ears and tail, and limbs, having the same shape; and it exhibits, apparently, the same powers and instincts; but on this matter our knowledge, derived from observation, is necessarily limited. Yet what a number of varieties are observed in the animal when it becomes domesticated; and how different from each other, in shape, colour, character of skin and instincts, are the spaniel, hound, greyhound, pointer, mastiff, terrier, cur, pug, lap dog, &c.; differences certainly as great as between the varieties of