Categories Anthropology I

I.9.5 Racial classification

  1. Caucasoid
    1. Mediterranean
    2. Nordic
    3. Alpine
    4. East Baltic
    5. Dinaric (Adriatic or Illyrian)
    6. Armenoid
    7. Keltic
    8. Lapp
    9. Indo-Dravidian (Dra vidian)
    10. Polynesian
    11. Ainu
  2. Mongoloid
    1. Classical Mongoloid or Central Mongoloid
    2. The Arctic or Eskimoid
    3. Indonesian-Malay Mongoloid
    4. The American Indian or Amerindian
  3. Negroid
    1. African Negro
    2. Oceanic Negro
  4. Australoid or Archaic Caucasoid
      • Australian Aborigines
      • Pre Dravidian (or Australoid or Veddoid)


Caucasoid incorporates a number of sub-groups with an array of racial elements and generalised characters among people. Skin colour varies from white to brown and at times dark brown with flat wavy to varied degrees of curliness of hair, lighter but seldom jet black. Hair texture is usually medium to fine while quantity of body and facial hair is generally moderate or abundant. Caucasoids possess dolichocephalic to brachycephalic head, leptorrhine to mesorrhine nose, high nasal bridge, high forehead, thin lips, distinct chin, prominent cheek bones without facial prognathism, lighter shades of eye colour and tall stature.

The Caucasoid are further divided into eleven subgroups namely Mediterranean, Indo-Afgan, Nordic, Alpine, East Baltic, Dinaric, Armenoid , Keltic, Lapp, Indo- Dravidian, Polenesian and Ainu.

  1. Mediterranean

Mediterranean, the oldest white sub-race is named after their original home – the Mediterranean shore – that migrated later to all directions. They are present in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, some parts of North Africa, Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. These people developed Neolithic culture in Europe, North Africa, Near-East, South-East Asia and the region of Upper Nile. They demonstrated domestication of plants and animals, weaving, pottery, erection of monuments, etc., during the Neolithic period. The Mediterranean people exhibit light body build, dark complexion with narrow head form. Further, three distinct sub-types have been distinguished among the Mediterranean sub-group.

Classical Mediterranean (Basic Mediterranean or Ibero-Insular)

These people inhabit in Mediterranean basin and also in Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, etc. Similar physical features are also found among the Egyptians of North-Africa, the Berbers of Morocco, Arabia and the Jewish population of Palestine.

The physical features of Classical Mediterranean are: White skin colour, black and curly hair, dolichocephalic to mesocephalic head form with a cephalic index of 73 to 76, straight and medium thick leptorrhine nose with long oval face, pointed chin, flat cheekbones, slightly high fore head, dark eye colour, medium stature with slender and delicate body built.

Atlanto-Mediterranean (or Littoral)

Atlanto-Mediterranean people are distributed in North-Africa, Palestine, Iraq with little representation in the British Isles, Spain and Portugal. The physical features are: dark skin and hair colour, wavy to curly hair with dolicocephalic to mesocephalic head form, deep rooted and straight nose with medium breadth and height, long face with deep jaws, prominent cheek bones, receding forehead with well developed eye-brow ridges, medium brown to dark brown eye colour with tall stature and more robust than the Classic Mediterraneans.

  1. Indo-Afghan (or Irano-Afghan)

These are mostly found in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, North- West India and Pakistan. The Physical features are: Light brown skin colour, wavy and black hair with abundant hair on body and face showing dolichocephalic to mesocephalic head with a cephalic index of 71 to 77, leptorrhine nose having straight or convex nasal bridge with pointed tip, long and narrow face with dark eyes, medium to tall stature with an average height of 167 cm.

2. Nordic

Nordic are said to be originally Aryans, the people of Scandinavia who represent Nordic racial type distributed in Scandinavia, Baltic region, Northern Germany, Northern France, parts of Netherlands, Belgium, British Isles, United States and some of the British colonies and sporadically in parts of Europe.

The main physical features are: Pinkish or reddish white skin colour possessing slightly wavy with varying shades of head hair either fine or medium and hair on body and face are neither sparse nor medium. They possess mesocephalic head with a cephalic index of 76 to 79 consisting of straight, prominent and leptorrhine nose with high nasal root and bridge, long and narrow face with strong facial bones and flat cheek bones. Their forehead is vertical with moderately developed eye-brow ridges showing prominent chin, blue or grey eye colour with very thin lips and tall stature with 172 cm of average height.

3. Alpine

The origin of Alpines traces to Central Asia. Anthropologists tried to correlate this sub-group with Asiatic Mongoloid race. The admixture of Alpines with other racial types Nordic, Mediterranean, etc. is also evidenced. The Alpine population is found mainly in Central and Eastern Europe especially from France to the Urals. They are also found in the Denmark, Balkan, Norway, Northern Italy, and in the mountains of Asia Minor with sporadic distribution in whole of Europe.

The main physical features are: Olive or brunette white or bronze skin colour, slightly wavy, medium brown to dark brown hair with medium to fine texture and abundant hair on body and face, brachycephalic head with a cephalic index of 85, straight or slightly curved leptorrhine or mesorrhine nose, with short, thick and fleshy tip and moderately developed high nasal root. They are differentiated with round, broad and short face with high forehead and prominent chin. Their eyebrow ridges are either moderately or strongly developed with straight, dark to medium brown eyes and blue occasionally, moderately thick lips, medium to short stature with 165 cm of average height and strong body built.

4. East Baltic

The East Baltic group exhibits an admixture of Nordic and the Alpine traits. Certain features suggest an Asiatic Mongoloid influence. They are concentrated in North-Eastern Germany, Baltic States, Poland, Russia, Finland, etc.

The main physical characters are: Tawny or creamy white skin colour, straight or wavy hair with medium to coarse texture exhibiting ash-brown, rarely reddish colour. The facial hair is moderate and body hair is scanty. Head form is brachycephalic with a flat occiput, convex mesorrhine nose with broad nasal wings and snubbed tip, medium nasal root with moderately high and broad nasal bridge. Face is square with prominent cheeks and high forehead resulting in squared lower jaws and developed chin. Their eye-brow ridges are moderate having medium lips, light-blue or grey eye colour and medium stature.

5. Dinaric (Adriatic or Illyrian)

This race exhibits both the Nordic, Armenoid Alpine and Atlanto-Mediterranean in Dinaric Alps region, especially the Yugoslavia, Albania, Austrian Tyrol and also in Central Europe.

The main physical features are: Light bumet to olive shade skin colour, straight or wavy or curly hair with medium texture and dark brown colour, abundant body and facial hair with flat occiput, brachycephalic head, leptorrhine nose with narrow and fleshy tip, high nasal root and bridge, long and narrow face with deeper, heavier and more projecting chin, straight and slopy forehead with brown eyes, thick lips and tall stature with an average of 172 cm.

6. Armenoid

They are admixture of classical Mediterranean, Alpine, Nordic and Indo-Afghan racial elements. But recent studies reveal that Armenoid is an admixture between the Mediterranean and the Alpine. Asia Minor is the earliest known area from which the Armenoid race might have been spread southward to Arabia and India.

The sculptor of a man discovered from the ruins of Mohenjo-daro shows Armenoid physical features concentrated in Turkey, Syria and Palestine and also amongst people of Iraq, Iran and Balkan Countries. Typical Armenoid representatives are the ancient Hittites. Similar racial elements have also been projected among the Babylonians, Assyrians and Hittites.

The physical features are: Tawny white or olive skin colour, wavy or curly hair with coarse to medium texture and colour varies from dark brown to black, abundant body and facial hair with brachycephalic head and vertical occiput, very prominent leptorrhine nose with convex profile, depressed and fleshy nasal tip and high nasal root. Armenoid possess narrow and elongated face with welldeveloped cheek bones, sloppy forehead, thick eye-brow ridges especially in males. The chin confirms medium prominence that have medium-brown to dark brown eyes, thick and medium lips, tall stature with an average height of 167 cm. The body is well built with a predisposition towards obesity.

7. Keltic

Keltics are found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and also sporadically distributed in England and in parts of Western Europe.

The physical features are: Pale white skin colour with wavy or curly rarely straight hair usually medium brown to dark brown and rarely black colour, mesocephalic head and leptorrhine nose with straight or convex profile having long nose with narrow and high nasal bridge, long and narrow face with compressed cheek bones and deep chin, blue or grey eyes and tall stature with 172 cm of average height.

8. Lapp

Lapps are found in Northern Scandinavia, Northern Finland, Sweden, Norway and North Western region of Russia formed with an admixture of Russians, Fins, Swedes, Norwegians, etc. The distinct features identified them as a separate ethnic group. Infact some of the Lapps are found to be classified with the Mongoloids as they bear more similarity with the Caucasoids than the Mongoloids.

The physical features are: Greyish yellow tinge skin colour with straight or slightly wavy and dark brown or black hair, sparse hairs spread on body and face, brachycephalic head, mesorrhine nose, concave nasal profile with snubbed nasal tip, broad and short face with forward projection and prominent cheekbones showing little or no prognathism and well developed eyebrow ridges on the narrow forehead. Eye colour is highly variable with occasional epicanthic fold and thick lips among Lapp who exhibit medium stature (159 cm).

9. Indo-Dravidian (Dravidian)

Indo-Dravidian people are distributed in South and Central India and mostly Caucasoid. An admixture of Classical Mediterranean and Australoid (Veddid) is found among these people.

The physical features are: Light to dark brown skin colour and wavy or curly, black hair colour with sparse to medium bodily hair, dolichocephalic head, mesorrhine nose depicting depressed nasal root with high nasal bridge and thic tip, narrow and medium face with little prognathism at times with thick lips, round forehead, moderately developed eyebrow ridges, medium to dark brown eyes and medium stature with an average height of 164 cm.

10. Polynesian

The Polynesians, a composite race originated as white people but got mixed with the peoples of early Mediterranean, Asiatic Mongoloid and Oceanic Negro and thus concentrated in Polynesian Islands of the Pacific Ocean namely New Zealand, Friendly Islands Samoa, Marquesas and Hawaii.

Their physical characteristics are: Light to yellow brown skin colour with wavy sometimes straight or curly hair depicting dark brown to black colour, sparse body and facial hair, predominantly brachycephalic though dolichocephalic and mesocephalic forms of head with flat occiput, prominent and mesorrhine nose with straight or convex profile resulting in depressed or high nasal root and bridge, thick tip and broad nasal wings. Face is long and broad with prominent cheek bones, high and narrow forehead with slight slope, less developed eyebrow ridges and well developed chin. Eye colour is medium to dark brown with a rare epicanthic fold. Lips are moderately thick exhibiting tall stature with muscular and well built body.

11. Ainu

Ainus are basically Caucasoid but Mongoloid features are also found and exhibit close resemblance with the Australian aborigines in physical features. They are found in Northern Japan, South Sakhalin and Yezo.

The physical features are: Light brown to brownish white skin colour, wavy hair with dark brown to black colour and spread abundantly on body and face referred as the “Hairy Ainu”. Head form is usually mesocephalic and sometimes dolichocephalic, short nose with mesorrhine to platyrrhine form having straight to convex profile, slightly depressed nasal root, moderately high nasal bridge, short and medium face with mesoprosopic and orthognathic form and well developed chin, medium to dark brown horizontal eyes and thin lips having medium to short stature with thick body.


Mongoloids have probably originated in Central Asia and moved to different directions .The Mongoloids are divided into four main subdivisions on the basis of their geographical distribution. These are (1) The Classical or Central Mongoloid, (2) The Arctic or Northern Mongoloid or Eskimoids, (3) The Southern or Indo-Malayan Mongoloids and (4) The American Indians.

The Mongoloid physical features are: Yellowish brown tinge skin colour consisting of straight and black hair, scanty body and facial hair, brachycephalic head with concave or straight nose having low nasal root and bridge, broad and flat face with prominent cheek bones, narrow slit-like opening of eyes with epicanthic fold and variable stature.

  • Classical Mongoloid or Central Mongoloid

These are distributed mainly in Siberia and Amur River district and sporadically in Northern China, Mongolia and Tibet. The representative groups are Buriat, Koryak, Goldi, Gilyak, etc.; this racial element is present in Tibetans and some other Northern Chinese.

The physical features are: Yellow or yellowish brown skin colour, straight, coarse and black hair spreading sparsely on body and face, usually brachycephalic headbut mesocephalic and dolichocephalic are also found with a projected occiput region, straight or concave nasal profile consisting of low nasal root without any depression, low nasal bridge with medium breadth and moderately spread nasal wings. The sketch of the face is very broad with square jaws and round forehead of medium height. The cheekbones are strongly developed and projected laterally as well as forwardly. Eyes are medium dark brown, obliquely set with slit-like opening with typical epicanthic fold. Stature is variable and well built body.

  • The Arctic or Eskimoid

These are found in Northern Asia, the Arctic coast of North America, Greenland, Labra and Western Alaska, the representative populations are the Eskimos, Chukchis, Kamtchadales, Yakuts, Samoyedes, etc.

The physical features are: Yellow to brownish skin colour, hair is straight, coarse and black colour on head with scanty hair on face and body. Head varies from brachycephalic to mesocephalic as observed from Eastern Aleuti Eskimo. Kuskokwin Eskimo are brachycephalic; Greenland Eskimo and Arctic Eskimo are mesocephalic. Their nose is narrow but prominent consisting of large and broad face with flat prominent cheek bones, black and straight eyes, sometimes epicanthic fold is present. Stature is mostly short. Western Eskimos are taller than Alaskan Eskimos. The body proportion is peculiar with small hands and feet, large trunks and relatively short legs.

  • Indonesian-Malay Mongoloid

Indonesian-Malay Mongoloid reflects admixture of Caucasoid and Negroid elements. They are distributed throughout the South Asia and are referred Indonesian-Malay Mongoloid racial type further divided into two groups-Malay type and Indonesian type.

  1. Malay type

Malays are distributed in Southern China, Indo-China, Burma, Thailand, Dutch East Indies, the Philippines, Japan, etc. The Japanese mostly belong to this Malayan type of racial sub-group.

The physical features are: Light to dark yellow brown skin colour purport to be straight and black hair with occasional reddish tinge, brachycephalic head, mesorrhine or platyrrhine nose with slightly depressed nasal root and low nasal bridge, short and broad face with prominent cheek bones, medium to dark brown eyes, sometimes black, internal epicanthic fold present and short stature with average of 158 cm.

  2. Indonesian type or Nesiot

These are found in Southern China, Indo-China, Burma, Thailand, etc.

The physical features are: Light red to medium brown skin colour, straight or wavy black hair, sometimes with a reddish tinge, mesocephalic head form with mesorrhine narrow, high and long nose. Face renders narrower, longer and more oval than the Malay type. Eye colour is black with occasional reddish tint with a less frequent internal epicanthic fold. Lips profess to be thick with stature slightly shorter than the Malay type averaging 155 cm. The body is slender in form.

  • The American Indian or Amerindian

They are Mongoloids, despite the presence of racial elements from Caucasoid, Australoid and Negroid people. The American Indians are distributed in different areas of North, Middle and South America.

The characteristic features are: yellow to red brown skin colour that present straight or slightly wavy, coarse and black hair, sparse distribution of hair on body and face, dolicho-mesocephalic or brachycephalic head, predominantly mesorrhine long nose and high nasal bridge with convex profile and medium
thick lips. Broad face is embodied with typical Mongoloid cheek bones, sloping forehead and prominent chin. Eye-brow ridges and glabella are strongly elevated showing shovel-shaped incisors with medium prognathism. Dark brown to black eye colour with frequent internal epicanthic fold present in women and children whereas external epicanthic fold is a common phenomenon both in males and females. Lips are thin with varied stature.


These have also been designated as Lagoa Santa type of Brazil, Ecuador: Orinaco. Basically it is an archaic South American race. A few of their living representatives are Botocudo, Bum, etc., some are found in the Eastern United States, Canada and America.

The physical features are: Dolichocephalic head with long and narrow face exhibiting more reddish brown than yellowish brown skin colour. Their hair is almost black and wavy.

Northern Amerind

North American Indians and the people of the Northern and Eastern Woodlands belong to this group.

The physical features are: Yellowish brown skin colour with straight and black hair, dolichocephalic or mesocephalic head with straight or convex profile, mesorrhine nose, oval shaped face with medium to dark brown eyes and an external fold. The stature ranges from 161 to 175 cm.


These are distributed in South America, Central America and North American plateau.

The physical features are: Yellow-brown skin colour is depicted consisting of straight and black hair. Neo-Amerind symbolizes brachycephalic head having mesorrhine nose with straight or concave profile. They have broad and short face with black eyes and an external fold. Short to tall stature and the height varies from 155 to 178 cm.Tehucleche

They live in Patagonia and probably the Onas of Tierra del Fuego constitute a branch of Tehucleche.

The physical characters are: Brownish skin colour, straight and black hair, brachycephalic head, mesorrhine nose with straight profile. They possess square and broad face, black eyes with external fold and have tall stature which varies from 173 to 183 cm.

North-West Coast Amerind

They live in the West coast of North America. There are two sub-types, Northern type and Southern type: The Northern type is taller. Skin and hair is lighter in colour than any other Northern Amerinds. Stature is medium with long arms and short body. Northern type has concave or straight nose and a broad face with moderate height. In southern type nose is convex and high face.


Negroids are mainly divided into two types-African Negro (Ulotrichi African designated by Haddon) and Oceanic Negro (Ulotrichi Orientalis designated by Haddon).

The physical characters are: Dark brown to black skin colour with woolly or frizzly and black hair, sparse body hair, dolichocephalic head with protruding occiput region, broad and flat nose, nasal root and bridge usually low and broad, facial prognathism often marked and round forehead with small eye-brow ridges, chin is rounded and receding dark brown to black eyes, short and wide ears with rolled helix, little or no lobe, thick and everted lips and varying stature.

  • African Negro

African Negro is further classified into five sub-divisions:

  • True Negro
  • Nilotic Negro or Nilotes
  • Bantu-speaking Negroes or ‘Bantu’,
  • Bushman-Hottentot and
  • Negrillo
  1. True Negro

True Negro is distributed in West Africa and in Guinea coast.

The physical characteristics are: Dark brown or black skin colour with woolly and black hair, dolichocephalic head, platyrrhine nose and prognathous face often with a bulging forehead. Their eyes are dark brown to black with thick everted lips and tall stature with an average height of 173 cm. Their body is well-built with short legs and long-arms.

The typical Forest Negroes show slightly different physical characters from that of True Negroes. Forest Negroes live in a region extending from the Senegal River in the West to Sudan, Uganda and Northern Rhodesia.

Their physical characters are: Dark brown to black skin colour often woolly and black hair and dolichocephalic head, broad platyrrhine nose with low nasal root and flat nasal bridge retreating forehead, marked facial prognathism, prominent chin and cheek bones, dark brown to black eyes with everted lips. Their stature is shorter than True Negroes and average height is about 165 cm. The face and body are very rough.

2. Nilotic Negro or Nilotes

Nilotic Negroes have different features from the True Negroes due to admixture of Mediterranean element since some prehistoric Mediterranean people moved into Nilotic regions resulting in Nilotic Negroes of North-

Eastern Africa. Besides, Nilotes as the Shilluk, the Dinka, the Kavirondo and others show certain Hamitic or Ethiopian elements. They are concentrated in the regions of Upper Nile Valley and Eastern Sudan.

Their physical characters are :Very dark to bluish black skin colour, woolly and black hair, dolichocephalic head and cephalic index is 71-74. They have platyrrhine nose form with low nasal bridge and nasal root, broad and short face with less facial prognathism. Their forehead is retreating and chin better developed than Forest Negroes. They have dark brown eyes with lips thick and everted but little lesser than in those of True Negroes. Stature is very tall with an average height of 178 cm that pose to having long and slim figure.

3. Banta-Speaking Negroid or ‘Bantu’

Bantus are essentially Negroes among whom an infiltration of Hamitic, Negrito and Bushman-Hottentot elements is reflected. Large number of Bantu-speaking peoples of Central and Southern Africa has been included in this group; wide ranges of variation in physical characters have been noticed within the group.

The physical characters are: Dark chocolate varying from yellowish-brown to black skin colour, woolly or frizzly and black hair, dolichocephalic head, but mesocephalic is not unusual. Nose is narrow and more prominent than in the true Negroes. Facial prognathism is marked. Mesocephalic group possesses less marked prognathism with more flat forehead. Eye colour is dark brown. Stature is medium or above average while the mesocephalic group is shorter.

4. Bushman-Hottentot

The Bushman and the Hottentot are more or less same people in terms of physical characters. But, culturally they are different from each other. Hottentots are known as the Khoi Khoi and the Bushmen, the Khuai or San. The Bushmen mainly confined to the Kalahari Desert, though previously they occupied a greater part of Africa. The Hottentots are distributed in South-West Africa.

The physical features are: Light to brownish yellow skin colour in Bushmen and light reddish-yellow in Hottentot. Hair is pepper-corn, i.e., short and shows a tendency towards coil, simple coils to spiral knots are found on head: bare spaces are present between them, hair is black in colour. The hair on body and face is sparse or absent. Head is dolichocephalic and high in the Bushmen whereas it is mesocephalic and low in the Hottentots. Parietal bosses are more marked and occiput is less protruding in the Bushmen than in the Hottentots. Nose is platyrrhine with very broad and flat nasal root, low and broad nasal bridge and concave nasal profile. Lips are thick, short, square and orthogonathous in the Bushmen. It is more elongated, triangular and somewhat prognathous in the Hottentots. The chin is small and the cheek bone is very prominent. Bulbous forehead shows little developed eye-brow ridges. Eye is narrow and slant and colour is dark brown to black. Ears are frequently lobeless. Hottentots are taller than the Bushmen. Average height of Bushmen and Hottentots are 145 cm and 160 cm respectively. Their hands and feet are small. Steatopygia (immense deposit of fat in the buttock) is more pronounced in the Hottentot women than in the Bush women.

5. Negrillo (African pygmy)

The Negrillo type has been represented by the groups like Akka, Batwa, BamBute, etc., who live in Equatorial forests of Congo region.

Their physical characters are: Yellowish light brown to reddish brown, rarely very dark skin colour, short, woolly or pepper com and dark rusty brown head hair, yellowish body hair, hair under armpits is brown and black on pubis. Head is mesocephalic, nose is very broad and flat. The nasal wings are very broad and high. Face is prognathic with weak and narrow chin outlined with dark brown eyes. Lips are full but not everted. Very short stature; average height is 136 cm. Their arms are long and the legs are short with short trunk. Steatopygia is rarely present in women.

These pygmies are distributed in the Congo region of Equatorial Africa, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Andaman Islands, Philippines, New Guinea, etc. In reference to the geographical position, there are three sub-sections: African pygmy or Negrillo, Oceanic pygmy and Asiatic pygmy. Oceanic pygmy and Asiatic pygmy are generally grouped as Negrito.

  • Oceanic Negro

These types of people are mainly concentrated in New Guinea and neighbouring Islands.

Their physical characters are: Medium to dark brown skin colour with frizzly hair, rarely curly, dark brown to black in colour. The hair on body and face is scanty. Head is usually dolichocephalic, but sometimes it is brachycephalic. Nose is platyrrhine make out to be high and broad nasal bridge with depressed nasal root. Face is less prognathous with small prominent eye-brow ridges. Eye colour is dark brown or black outlined by medium thick lips. Stature is usually short, averaging less than 165 cm.

These divisions of Negroids are further divided into two sub-divisions namely the Negritos, both Asiatic and Oceanic, Papuans and Melanesians. Andamanese, Semang and Acta have been grouped as the Asiatic pygmy and the Tapiro is considered as the Oceanic pygmy.

Asiatic pygmy: They are mainly Andamanese from Andaman Islands.

Their physical features are: Bronze to sooty black skin colour, woolly and black hair with reddish tinge. The hair on body and face is scanty or absent. Asiatic pygmies are denoted by small head, brachycephalic with a cephalic index of 83. Nose is straight, sunken at the root. Face is broad at the molar region but the jaws are not projecting. Their eye colour is dark brown, lips are full but not everted and short stature (148 cm).

Semang: These people live in Central region of the Malay Peninsuala and in East Sumatra.

Their physical characters are: Dark chocolate brown skin colour, woolly and black hair with reddish tinge. The hair on body and face is scanty. They are embodied with mesocephalic head and cephalic index of 79. Their nose is short, flattened and very broad. Face is round and the upper jaw is slightly projecting. Eye colour is dark brown or black outlined with thin lips. Stature is short and average height is 152 cm having sturdy body-built.

Aeta: These people live in the Philippine Islands.

The physical characters are: Sooty brown skin colour that possess frizzly, dark brown or black hair. Abundant hair is present on body and face. Head form is brachycephalic with a cephalic index of 82. Their nose is very short, broad and flat with round or oval face. Eye colour is dark brown or black and moderately thick lips. Stature is short with an average height of 146 cm.

Oceanic pygmy: Tapiro: These people are the inhabitants of New Guinea.

Their physical characters are : Yellowish brown skin colour consisting of woolly and black hair on head, abundant hair on body and face. They possess mesocephalic head with a cephalic index of 79.5. Nose is short, straight and medium. Face outlined as average with dark brown eye colour, deep and convex upper lip. They have short stature with muscular body.

A. Hooton has distinguished two varieties among the Negrito viz., the Infantile Negro and the Adultiform Negro. Some anthropologists suggest a genetic interrelationship among the pygmies of different areas. But recent studies point out that pygmy is not a race. Several environmental factors are responsible for the formation of this physical type. Therefore, the concept of a particular race or a common stock is invalid with reference to the pygmies.

Papuans: These people are distributed in New Guinea and other Islands of Melanesia.

The physical characters are: Dark chocolate brown or sooty brown skin colour, frizzly hair with dark brown colour. The body hair, especially facial hair is abundant while the colour often ranges from dark brown to reddish brown. Head is typical dolichocephalic with broad nose showing depressed root with convex profile and thick tip. Face is outlined as prognathic and shows a high and narrow retreating forehead. It often possesses heavy and continuous eye-brow ridges. Eye colour is dark brown with thin lips. They have often medium stature with average height of 168 cm.

Melanesians: Melanesians live in the coastal plains of New Guinea and the neighbouring Islands in Fiji, Admiralty Island, New Caledonia, etc.

Their physical characters are: Dark chocolate, sometimes copper-colour or very dark skin colour with black and frizzly hair, but sometimes it is curly or even wavy. The hair on body and face is scanty. Head form is dolichocephalic but mesocephalic and brachycephalic are also found. The cephalic index varies between 67 and 85. They have platyrrhine nose with deeply depressed and straight or concave profile nasal root and nose tip is thick. Face projects to be average and rounded forehead, wider and longer than the Papuan. But the eyebrow ridges are less developed in comparison to Papuans. Eye colour is dark brown or black usually not outlined by thick lips with short or medium stature.

The American Negroes

Slavery was practiced in United States throughout the first half of the 19th century AD resulting in inter breeding of the people with different ethnic groups such as African Negroes, American Indians and the Caucasoid for a long time. This resulted in admixture of two distinct groups-the North American Caucasoid and the American Negroes. .                       .

The North American Caucasoid group has the traits of European Caucasoid races, while some from the American Indians and the Negroes are also found in them while, the American Negroes are more complex. They include traits of Forest Negro, Caucasoid and American Indian.

The physical features of American Negroes are: Lighter skin colour from olive to dark brown, hair is woolly and colour is usually black or dark brown. Due to admixture of Caucasoid and American Indian elements hair has become longer. Their head is dolichocephalic. In comparison to Forest Negroes, nose is higher and narrower at the root and the bridge. Face is longer than the Forest Negroes with little or no prognathism. Eye colour is light brown or dark brown outlined with medium or thick lips. Stature is variable although taller in comparison to the Negroes of West Africa. Many people consider Australoid as the fourth major race. Let us view its characters and distribution.


The Australoids possess some primitive features similar to Caucasoids; so they are included in sub-division of the Caucasoid racial stock. The Australoids have been classified into two main groups: the Australian aborigines and the Pre- Dravidian or Australoid or Veddoid. These two groups have been further sub- divided into seven subtypes:

  • Australian Aborigines

These people are an admixture of an archaic Caucasoid type with some Negroids with certain amount of Oceanic influence in them. The people are concentrated chiefly in Australia.

The physical features are: Skin colour varies from medium brown to dark chocolate brown. Hair is wavy or curly but rarely straight and colour varies from medium brown to black with abundant hair on body and face. Head is dolichocephalic and narrow with a Cephalic index of 73. Nose is platyrrhine and very broad, nasal root is markedly depressed and nasal bridge is moderately high and broad, with thick tip. Face is outlined with short and shows medium to pronounced prognathism with receding forehead. Eyebrow ridges are extremely large but the chin is usually receding, medium to dark brown eyes with medium stature with an average of 165 cm.

  • Pre Dravidian (or Australoid or Veddoid)

This population is mainly concentrated in South and Central India. The typical representatives of this type are Kadar, Kurumba, Irula, Bhil, Gond, Khond, Oraon, etc.

The physical characters are: Skin colour ranges from dark brown to nearly black among Pre Dravidian people. Their hair is wavy or curly and black on head and scanty on body and face. Head is dolichocephalic and the cephalic index is between 73 and 75. Nose is platyrrhine and very broad with depressed nasal root and bridge is moderately high. Their face is short and narrow and moderate  prognathism with sloping forehead and prominent eye-brow ridges. The chin is somewhat receding. Eye colour is dark brown with very often thick lips. Stature is short and average height is 157 cm, with delicately body built.

Veddas: The Veddas of Ceylon is also a typical member of this group.

Their physical features are: Dark brown skin colour with wavy or curly and black hair. Head is the smallest of all living human groups. Their head form is dolichocephalic, with a cephalic index of 70. Nose is platyrrhine, depressed nasal root and low and broad nasal bridge. Face is short and broad, sometimes little prognathism is noticeable. Forehead is slightly receding and eye-brow ridges are often pronounced. Chin is receding. Eye colour is dark brown and lips are medium or thick. Stature is short; average height is 152 cm and small body size.

Sakai or Sanoi: The Sakai of Southern part of Malay Peninsula is also a member of Australoid group.

The physical characters are: skin colour varies from yellowish brown to dark brown with wavy, curly and black hair with reddish tinge. Head is mesocephalic, with a cephalic index of 75. Nose is mesorrhine but approaching towards platyrrhine; the nose is flat with medium breadth. Narrow face with little or no prognathism and the chin is weak. They possess dark brown eye colour with medium thick lips having short stature with an average height of 152 cm whose body is slender and small.

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