THE RACIAL ELEMENTS OF EUROPEAN HISTORY

Chapter II Part Four

THE BODILY CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EUROPEAN RACES

ALPINE RACE

THIS race is short, stocky, and square-built, thus offering, although of nearly the same height, an appearance which is quite different from that of the Mediterranean race. The latter is elegant and slender, the Alpine race is thick-set and broad. The average height of the Alpine man is about 1.63 metres. This small height is brought about by the relatively short, squat legs. This broadness and shortness is repeated in all the details: in the broadness of the hand and its short fingers, in the short, broad feet, in the thick, short calves. Seen in relation to its height the Mediterranean body gives an effect of heaviness. The pelvis in the woman would seem to be narrower than in the other European races. The shape of the head is likewise broad.

Fig. 98 Vorarlberg, predominantly Alpine

Fig. 99 English Soldier, predominantly Alpine

The Alpine race is short-headed and broad-faced. The cephalic index is about 88 on the average, the facial index under 83. In the Alpine race the length of the head is only a little or barely greater than the breadth, owing to the relatively considerable measurement of this latter. The Alpine head may be called round. It juts out only slightly over the nape, and this back part is fairly roomy, so that in the Alpine man only a little of the neck is to be seen above the coat-collar.

Figs. 100, 101 Alpine skull seen from the front and from the side, Sk, 84.61, F, 83.33

Figs. 102, 103 The same skull as Figs. 100 and 101, seen from above and from behind, Sk, 84.61, F, 83.33

The cast of countenance gives the effect of dullness, owing to the steeply rising forehead, vaulted backwards, the rather low bridge to the nose, the short, rather flat nose, set clumsily over the upper lip, the unprominent, broad, rounded chin.

The fleshy parts carry on the impression of broadness and roundness, for the Alpine face, broad in itself, has often layers of fat, and in general, it would seem, a thicker outer covering. Deposits of fat are found on the upper part and the bridge of the nose, on the cheek-bones, and in and over the upper lid of the eye. The eyes give an effect of smallness (contrary to the effect of the eyes of the narrow-faced European races), since the opening between the lids is narrower and shorter; this opening sometimes takes a slightly upward direction outwards. The groove (philtrum) between the septum of the nose and the upper lip is often rather faintly marked. In old age, when the tissues become flabby and the deposits of fat disappear, the Alpines, especially the women, may grow very ugly.

Figs. 104a, 104b Germany (Baden), back of the head projects too far, Nordic strain

Fig. 105 Germany (Black Forest, Baden)

Fig. 106 Germany (Black Forest, Baden)

The skin is a yellowish brown and has a very lifeless effect. The hair is stiff, sometimes almost wiry. The individual hair is thick. Its colour is brown to black; the beard is thinner than in the narrow-faced European races; the hair on the body, too, seems to be scantier.

The colour of the eyes is brown to brown-black, but has not so warm an effect as the brown of the Mediterranean eye. The expression of the eyes is dull, uncommunicative, or even sullen, at any rate without joyousness, an effect which is strengthened by their flat setting and the narrow opening of the lids.


Alpine Gallery

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