Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/355

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
339
THE RACIAL GEOGRAPHY OF EUROPE.

kenazim type. This latter is said to be characterized by heavier features in every way. The mouth, it is alleged, is more apt to be large, the nose thickish at the end, less often clearly Jewish, perhaps. The lips are full and sensual, offering an especial contrast to the thin lips of the Sephardim. The complexion is swarthy oftentimes, the hair and eyes very constantly dark, without the rufous tendency which appears in the other branch. The face is at the same time fuller, the breadth corresponding to a relatively short and round head.

Does this contrast of the traditional Sephardim and Ashkenazim facial types correspond to the anthropometric criteria by means of which we have analyzed the various populations of Europe? And, first of all, is there the difference of head form between the two which our descriptions imply?[1] And, if so, which represents the primitive Semitic type of Palestine? The question is a crucial one. It involves the whole matter of the original physical derivation of the people, and the rival claims to purity of descent of the two branches of the nation. In preceding papers we have learned that western Asia is quite uniformly characterized by an exceeding broadheadedness, the cephalic index—that is to say, the breadth of the head in percentage of the length from front to back—often rising to 86. This is especially marked in Asia Minor, where some of the broadest and shortest crania in the world are to be found. The Armenians, for example, are so peculiar in this respect that their heads appear almost deformed, so flattened are they at the back. A head of the description appears in the case of our Jew from Ferghanah on our second portrait page, 344. On the other hand, the peoples of African or negroid derivation form a radical contrast, their heads being quite long and narrow, with indices ranging from 75 to 78. This is the type of the living Arab to-day. Its peculiarity appears in the prominence of the occipital region in our Arab and other African portraits. Scientific research upon these Arabs has invariably yielded harmonious results. From the Canary Islands,[2] all across northern Africa,[3] to central Arabia itself,[4] the cephalic indices of the nomadic Arabs agree closely. They denote a head form closely allied to that of the long-headed Iberian races, typified in the modern Spaniards, south Italians, and Greeks. It was the head form of the ancient Phœnicians and Egyptians also, as has re-


  1. The cephalic index by which we measure the head-form is merely the breadth of the head in percentage of its length from front to back. The index rises as the head becomes relatively more broad.
  2. Verneau, 1881 a, p 500.
  3. Primer Bey, 65 b; Gillebert d'Hercourt, 1868, p. 9; and especially Collignon, 1887 a, pp. 326-339; Bertholon, 1892, p. 41; also Collignon, 1896 b.
  4. Eliseev, 1883.