Imagini ale paginilor

Character of the Hair.

we learn that with greater flatness of the hair, especially if combined with greater fineness, the tendency to become curly and frizzly is considerably increased.


It is necessary to distinguish between frizzly hair and the fascicular agglomeration of many hairs into separate ropes, which have not been inaptly compared to the matted locks about the ears of a thorough-bred poodle. Both Dr. Maklucho Maclay and Dr. A. B. Meyer say that the hair of the Papuans is as evenly distributed on the scalp as in the case of Europeans; the latter adds that it is only when the hair is not combed that it becomes matted into tufts. This tuft-like combination is aided by an external cement, that is to say, by the secretion of grease and tallow.35 By their tufted locks it is possible actually to distinguish the separate branches of the Papuan race from Malay and Australian tribes. This character is far less trustworthy in South Africa. There the tufted growth of hair is most distinctly marked in the Hottentots, in the Bushmen who resemble them in bodily structure, and in some scattered tribes in the interior of Africa, extending to the neighbourhood of the equator. The agglomeration of the hair into separate tufts was supposed to be visible in heads recently shorn, which, to quote a prosaic but accurate remark of Barrow's, look and feel like a worn-out blacking-brush. The coarseness of this hair, however, prevents its comparison with sheep's wool. Unfortunately, neither is this character quite peculiar to one family of nations, for according to Gustav Fritsch, the hair of the South African Bantu negroes is matted, though in a slighter degree, into small tufts.36 This growth of hair occurs not only in the Amaxosa Kaffirs, 37 37 in whom there is probably some admixture of blood, as they have adopted some of the clicking sounds of the Hottentot language, but is also often plainly perceptible, and is indeed never entirely absent, in the Betschuans who live more in the interior. Hence, owing to its gradual transitions, this character affords means of sharply separating nations into classes. Frizzly hair, which marks African negroes and Australians, is distinguishable

35 Goette, Das Haar des Buschweibes, p. 34. Tübingen, 1867.
36 Fritsch, Die Eingebornen Südafrika's, pp. 15, 16, 275, 276.
37 Fritsch, Atlas, plates xi.-xx.

from the matted form by the absence of tufts, and from the curly hair by its shortness, its strong spiral twist, and a longitudinal division which separates the hair into two flat bands.38 Without this last character, if the hair be coarser and more cylindrical, we get a slighter curvature of the masses of hair such as we see in the curls of Europeans and Semites. Finally the coarsest and roundest hair is a persistent character of the American Indians and their kindred in Northern and Eastern Asia. Where a mixture has taken place between the frizzly-haired Africans and the coarse and straight-haired American Indians, the hair preserves its crispness but increases in length and rigidity. In these Cafusos, as such hybrids are called in Brazil, a profusion of hair standing up from the head is developed, which gives them a deceptive resemblance to the Papuans.39 The hair of the latter probably surpasses that of all other nations, in point of thickness of growth. In length of hair on the head, the hunting tribes of North America are unrivalled.40 That of the men of the Blackfeet, and of the Sioux or Dacotas, reaches nearly to the heels, and in one Crowhead it actually attained a length of 10 ft. 7 in.41

The hairy covering of other parts of the body is more or less abundant, but is sometimes wanting in both sexes. The covering most rarely disappears about the parts of generation. Its scantiness or entire absence in North Asiatic Mongols, in American and Malay families, as well as in Hottentots and Bushmen, afford some of the most persistent and best authenticated racial characters, only it must be added that the natural baldness of the body is artificially exaggerated by the careful extraction of single hairs. The beard is either wanting or is extremly limited in all nations with stiff coarse hair, namely, in American Indians, Northern and Eastern Asiatics, as well as in Malays. It is scantily developed in Hottentots; it appears more abundantly and more frequently in negroes of Central and Southern Africa. In all those races,

38 Goette.

39 On the origin of the name Cafuz, see Martius, Ethnographie, vol. i. p. 150. In Guayana they are called Cabocles, or Capucres. Appun in the Ausland, 1872, p. 967.

40 Pruner Bey, Chevelure, p. 4.

41 Catlin, North American Indians, vol. i. p. 49.

Variability in the Amount of the Hair. 97

whiskers are not to be found, or only as a rarity. The Australians may easily be distinguished from their Malay and Polynesian neighbours by their scanty beards, while a profusion of beard distinguishes the Papuans. A luxuriant growth of hair on the body is one of the distinctive marks of the Semitic as well as of the Indo-European families. In Southern Europeans, especially in Portuguese and Spaniards, this character is most strongly developed. Beyond all the nations in the world the Ainos, the inhabitants of Jezo, Saghalien, and the Kuriles have had the reputation, since the visit of La Pérouse, of possessing an almost animal-like covering of hair on the upper part of the body.42 Recent observers have considerably modified this exaggeration, and it appears that the Ainos could not even be compared with European sailors. Wilhelm Heine found the beards of the Ainos only five or six inches long, the chest and neck were bald, and only in a single individual were seen a few tufts of hair on the above-named parts.43 Nevertheless, even this moderate degree of hairiness in the neighbourhood of such beardless people as the Japanese and Chinese, is perplexing when we try to place the Ainos in our division of races, for we are obliged to reckon the appearance of hair on the body among the most persistent distinctive marks of human races. Although among 2129 mulattoes and negroes of the 25th Army Corps who, at the time of the American civil war, were observed by physicians while bathing, only 9 proved to be quite hairless, while 21 on the other hand exhibited the highest degree, and two-thirds were on the average as hairy as white soldiers,44 we must not infer that the exchange

42 La Pérouse (Voyage autour du Monde, vol. iii. p. 125. Paris, 1798) contents himself with asserting that among the inhabitants of Saghalien in the Bay of Crillon, an amount of beard and hair on the arms and neck, such as is rare in Europeans, is with them the rule.

43 W. Heine, China, Japan, and Ochotzk. H. O. Brandt, German Consul in Japan, expressed himself in accordance with the statements of W. Heine at the sitting of the Anthropological Society of Berlin, held December 16th, 1871. (Compare their Verhandlungen, p. 27. Berlin, 1872.) In the Narrative of the Expedition under Comm. M. C. Parry (Washington, 1856), vol. i. p. 454, by Francis L. Hawks, mention is made only of the strong growth of beard and great hairiness of the legs in the Ainos in the vicinity of Hakodadi.

44 Gould, Investigations, pp. 568, 569.


of an African home for the New World has occasioned the growth of the hair of the body. This is perhaps the place in which to refute the mistaken idea that negroes belong to the smooth-skinned nations. Their beard, it is true, is not so fully developed as in the Mediterranean nations, but it is more abundant than in the Koi-Koin (Hottentots), and incomparably more so than in the Mongoloid families of the Old and New World. Even whiskers are not entirely absent, as some people have maintained, and in some tribes the chests of the men are always overgrown with hair, and in others occasionally.45

In summing up, we must needs confess that neither the shape of the skull nor any other portion of the skeleton has afforded distinguishing marks of the human races; that the colour of the skin likewise displays only various gradations of darkness, and that the hair alone comes to the aid of our systematic attempts, and even this not always, and never with sufficient decisiveness. Who, then, can presume to talk of the immutability of racial types? To base a classification of the human race on the character of the hair only, as Haeckel has done, was a hazardous venture, and could but end as all other artificial systems have ended. In the separation of the Koi-Koin from the Bantu negroes, this system has led to errors, and the combination of Australians, as a socalled straight-haired people, with the Mongols is due to ignorance of facts.

45 Comp. the Barolong negro in Fritsch's Atlas (Eingeborne Südafrika's), and the description of the Kissama negro given by Hamilton in the Journal of the Anthropol. Institute, vol. i. p. 187. London, 1872,

[ocr errors]


« ÎnapoiContinuă »