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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/292

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

ence is no greater, and it is even more significant that among the anthropoid brutes no instance of fair head hair is known, just as no instance is known of blue or gray eyes. As regards, moreover, the hair color of the lower races of man in relation to that of the apes it is well to keep in mind the statement of Quatrefages in "The Human Species" that there are "isolated cases in all races of individuals with hair of more or less reddish color."

The favorable and unfavorable auguries, however, in which the folk-wisdom of mankind has indulged have dealt more in detail than science has sanctioned with the characteristics of the hair. Thus, in nearly all countries popular superstition has looked askance at red hair. Yellow hair, too, has. never in the proverbs of nations been conspicuously associated with talent or deep character. In the ancient tapestries, Judas and Cain are pictured with yellow beards. Fair hair, strangely enough, has not figured in popular maxim as the accompaniment of great constancy of purpose. More often to brown or chestnut hair has this tribute been paid, and indeed most of the other virtues ascribed. Black hair, notwithstanding its association with the lower races, has not been deemed an unhappy omen, where fine and abundant, though straight, and the lighter shades of red in women—auburn and golden—are often, where the hair is soft, linked in folklore with great steadiness of purpose and an unfaltering loyalty in love. These generalizations, however, it should be said, are made up from a loose article upon "Hair" as found in a rather crude "Encyclopedia of Superstitions and Folklore" printed in three volumes some years ago—no really authentic work upon the folklore of physiognomy being published so far as the present writer has been able to ascertain.

It is of more than passing interest that the facts of criminology should afford quite marked support to the view which would look upon the hair as an index to racial development. "The proportion of darkhaired persons," says Havelock Ellis, one of our highest authorities, in "The Criminal," "is considerably greater among criminals than among the ordinary populations in England, Italy and America," and he adds, "The beard in criminals is usually scanty. On the head the hair is usually, on the contrary, abundant. Marro has observed a considerable proportion of wooly-haired persons—a character very rarely found in normal individuals. The same character has been noted among idiots. Among criminal women remarkable abundance of hair is frequently noted and it has sometimes formed their most characteristic physical feature accompanied by an unusual development of fine hair on the face and body." As to the predominant hair-color among criminals authorities do not agree. Even as to the general statement that the hair-color of criminals is commonly darker than that of the normal man authorities are not altogether in agreement, for Dr. Charles E. Woodruff, of the United States Army—himself a painstaking worker