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Proportions of the Upper and Lower Limbs. 85

averages in antique statues, Quetelet ought not to have inferred an identity in the Belgian and ancient Greek types, but rather to have admired the quick eyes of the Belgian artists, which were able with unerring glance to eliminate from among the candidates for this profession such as differed too much from the recognized ideal. The height of the head, which with many artists constitutes the standard of measurement, varies, as we will here note, with the • dimensions of the body. Taking the perpendicular height of the skull as the unit, the stature, according to Welcker's estimate, is in new-born infants as 5 : 6, in boys of eight years of age 8 € 4, in short men it is as 11: 9, in men of average stature 12: 1, in tall men 13:2, so that tall people have, relatively, the smallest heads. 23

The proportions of the human limbs cannot be expressed unless the height of the body be taken as the standard. During the voyage of the frigate Novara, Von Scherzer and Schwarz extended their measurements of living men to the minutest details. The length of lower and upper limbs must always appear of the greatest importance. The part of the leg below the thigh is usually so related to the thigh that greater shortness of the former is compensated by increased length of the latter. This lower part of the leg is always longer than the thigh. If the latter be estimated at 1000, we find that in a native of Stewart's Island the lower leg reaches 1238, and in New Zealanders may, in exceptional cases, sink below 1000, even to 965. But it appears that the native of Stewart's Island, if we reckon the height of the body at 1000, has a very short thigh of 198 mm. (7·81341642 in.), the New Zealander a very long one of 229 mm.24 (9'02491101 in.) The length of the leg also varies considerably. In the Chinese it may be only the 0'444th part of the height of the body, and in Bushmen it may be the 0'515th.

But the proportions of the upper limbs are much more important, as their comparative shortness forms a character which separates man from the animals which most resemble him. Carl Vogt has expressed this relation by stating that the orang, in an erect posture, is able to touch its ankles, the gorilla the middle of the

23 Bau und Wachsthum des Schädels, p. 31.

24 Weisbach, Reise der Fregatte Novara, part ii. p. 255. Anthropologie.

tibia, the chimpanzee the knee, with the tips of their fingers ; whereas man can scarcely reach as far as the middle of the thigh. 25 In the recruits for the American war, special attention was paid to this particular proportion of the human frame, and measurements were made of the interval between the middle finger in a stiff military attitude, and the upper edge of the knee-cap. In white men, American and European, the average amounted to 5′′036,26 in the negroes of the Free States 3"298, or somewhat more than in the negroes of the Slave States (2′′832); while in the latter, the variations were so great that, in individual cases, the tips of the fingers actually rested on the edge of the knee-cap.


No. of Measurements.

2020 Pure-bred Negroes 863 Hybrids

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4" 93 5" 57

New England.



It is also a curious fact that habits of life are capable of affecting these variations, for in the case of 1146 sailors the average of this distance was somewhat greater than in landsmen.

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2" 88 4" 13



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4" 92 6" 06 I" 14

New York, New Jersey,


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25 Vorlesungen über den Menschen, vol. i. p. 193.
26 Gould, Investigations, p. 279.

5" 08 6" 07


Thus the sailors' arms were shorter and their legs longer than those of the recruits who offered themselves for service in the

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Influence of the Profession on the Proportions. 87

field. According to the average of the different States, the length of the arm varied in American whites and Europeans from 0429 of the height of the body (Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois), to 0'441 (Scandinavia). 27 Pure-bred negroes of the Slave States (0-452) displayed a relatively greater length of arm than the negroes of the Free States (o'447), a proportion occurring also in mulattoes (0°445 and 0'460). The value of averages taken from large numbers is again palpable, for we here perceive far slighter fluctuations than other racial measurements would have led us to expect. According to Weisbach,28 we find the arms of the Germans reckoned at o‘469 of the length of the body, that of the Sclavonians at 0'467, of the Roumanians at 0'452, in a native of Stewart's Island at 0'511, and in a Sulu Malay, measured by Wilkes, at o'409. With such an amount of individual fluctuation, no characteristics, reliable in the delineation of races, can be deduced from existing statements, until we multiply our measurements of the different human families at least a hundred-fold.

Finally, the relative length of the fore-arm, as compared with the upper-arm, was statistically ascertained by measurements of the body taken during the voyage of the frigate Novara round the world. In the case of the orang, the result was a proportion of 877:1000. Precisely the same ratio was found in the Madurese. In the Roumanians the fore-arm even reaches a relative length of 883, and in the Sclavonians of at least 868. The proportions of Australians, Sundanese, and negroes also are nearly those of the orang; those of German men differ most from these (835); while the proportions sink as low as 822 in German women.29 Once more we must deplore the scanty supply of measurements; yet from those which we already have we find that the proportions of the human limbs vary considerably in the nations of the same race, and again individually in the nations themselves; that even habits of life may influence growth, so that difference of dimensions in the structure of the limbs must be declared inconstant.

27 Gould, Investigations, pp. 298, 299.
28 Weisbach, p. 251.

29 Ibid, pp. 242, 243.


THE old geographers believed duskiness of skin to increase in proportion to the nearness of the equator, and that the latitude of a people's abode may be inferred from their colour. No experience within the territory then known contradicted this dogma. In the North dwelt fair, in Southern Europe and the north of Africa light-brown nations, on the Upper Nile negroes, and in India dusky people. More correct views were attained only when the Spaniards encountered people of a swarthy tint in every latitude of the New World, some lighter, some darker, according to the locality, but in no way corresponding to their equatorial position. Among the Abipones of Paraguay the hair was so fair, especially among the women, that in European costume they might have been mistaken for European women, while the Puelchas and Aucas, whose territory lay ten degrees of latitude further from the equator, were of a much darker hue.2 It was even noticed that exactly in the most northerly parts of the Old World, the brown Laplanders, Voguls, and Ostiaks lived nearer the pole than the fair-haired nations.

Microscopic research as yet only teaches us that the human skin consists of two layers, of which the external one is designated the outer skin (epidermis), the inner one, the true skin (cutis). The outer skin again consists of two parts, namely, the upper transparent cuticle (stratum corneum), and the lower stratum. mucosum or Malpighian tissue (rete Malpighi). The true skin (cutis) and the outer layer of the cuticle are recognized as homogeneous in all families of mankind, and it is only in the Malpighian tissue, enclosed between them, that the cells containing the finely granulated colouring matter are seen. According as these pigment cells are limited to the lower surface of the Malpighian tissue, or are more and more massed together, in rare cases are extending upwards into the cuticle, so does the darkness

Pliny, VI. 22.

2 Dobrizhoffer, Geschichte der Abiponer, vol. ii. p. 18. Vienna, 1783.


of the complexion proportionately increase. Certain parts of the body are coloured in all human races, such as the nipple, which, moreover, becomes darker during pregnancy.3 Freckles, moles, and claret-marks are also exactly analogous to the skin of the negro.4

The negro child is not born black, but of a colour almost like that of European children. Pruner Bey describes the colour as reddish tinged with nut brown, and adds that the full colouring makes its appearance in the first year in the Soudan, but in Lower Egypt only in the third year.5 Camper also saw a negro child which was reddish at birth, but became coloured first on the margin of the nails, on the third day in the sexual parts, and during the fifth and sixth days over the whole body. The eyes of negro infants are blue at first, their hair chestnut, and crimped only at the ends. Among the Pimos, or Pimas, in the north-west of Mexico, as well as among the Australians, infants are fair or dirty yellow at birth, but after a few days resemble their parents in the darkness of their skin.8 The Prince of Neuwied was informed that the Botocudo children are born yellow, but soon turn brown, although he inconsistently extols the fairness of the adults. The children of mulattoes and mulatto women are said to come into the world with black patches, especially in the region of the reproductive organs. On the colour of the skin depends the odour of the effluvia. Especially obnoxious are the strongly ammoniacal, rancid, goat-like exhalations of the negro, which,



3 Blumenbach mentions a young woman who, during pregnancy, became as black as a negress. A similar case of melanism was observed by Dr. Guyétant. Quatrefages, Unité de l'espèce humaine, p. 65. Paris, 1861.

* Flourens as cited by Waitz, Anthropologie, vol. i. p. 113.

5 Pruner Bey, Mémoire sur les Nègres, p. 327.

6 Waitz, vol. i. p. 114.

7 Darwin, Descent of Man, vol. ii. p. 318. 8 Waitz, Anthropologie. In Latham (Varieties), on the other hand, we find it asserted that at Hawai (Sandwich Islands) the Polynesian children are born completely black. vol. iv. p. 202, vol. vi. p. 713.


9 Reise nach Brasilien. The Jesuit Lafitau says very decidedly that the children of the North American Redskins "are born white like our own (Moeurs des Sauvages amériquains, vol. i. p. 104. Paris, 1724).

10 Bacmeister, Reise nach Brasilien, vol. i. p. 433. Berlin, 1853. It is said that the skins of Arabians returning from Africa emit a noxious smell, which is only lost in course of time; and in corpulent South Europeans, in a feverish condition, an almost negro-like exhalation is said to be developed.

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