Chapter VI Part Four



THE east of Europe shows a gradual transition of the racial mixtures of Central Europe into predominantly East Baltic, Hither Asiatic, and Inner Asiatic regions. Just as the Asiatic plant and animal kingdoms begin far west of the Ural mountains and river, so in European south Russia and in the Balkan Peninsula the appearance of the peoples begins to change; men of Inner and Hither Asiatic racial origin appear, becoming more and more frequent. The north-east of Europe is mainly characterized by the predominance of the East Baltic race, the south-east by various transitions between the East Baltic and the Inner Asiatic and Hither Asiatic races. Owing to the likeness between East Baltic and Inner Asiatic bodily characters it will often be hard to fix a sharp boundary between these two races. We have to bear in mind that from 1237 to 1480 Russia was under the rule of the Mongols, and that these were only stopped in Silesia (the battle of Wahlstatt) in 1241 by an army of German knights after having marched through Poland.


There is thus an area which, going from north to south, is first Nordic-East Baltic and Nordic-Alpine; then Alpine-East Baltic, Dinaric-East Baltic, and Mediterranean-East Baltic; and lastly Hither Asiatic-East Baltic. Within it, however, are important exceptions. The Lithuanians are a predominantly Nordic people with a strong East Baltic mixture; their language is Indo-European. The Letts are Nordic with an East Baltic mixture; their language, too, is Indo-European. The Nordic-East Baltic Esthonians, speaking a Finnish-Ugrian language, are just as predominantly Nordic with an East Baltic strain, perhaps somewhat more so; at any rate they are in general almost dolichocephalic. They are looked on as 'hard,' as opposed to the 'softer' Letts. The districts of Great Russia, bordering on the four peoples just mentioned, are also predominantly Nordic. Above all, we find Nordic blood along the Vistula, more clearly along the Neva, and still more along the Dwina, and in southern Volhynia. Nordic blood dies away gradually towards south and east, the East Baltic blood increases correspondingly, and finally regions begin where there is a strong Inner Asiatic admixture. The Nordic blood in the Russian-speaking regions, however, may be reckoned at 25 per cent. to 30 per cent. In Poland the decrease in Nordic blood and the increase in East Baltic, Alpine, and Inner Asiatic as we go east seems to gather speed. The average height in Poland seems, too, to be lowered owing to the heavy proportion (16 per cent.) of Jews. In northern Poland there is, however, still much Nordic blood, relatively speaking, and in the upper classes throughout Poland.


The Finnish people, speaking a Finnish-Ugrian language, is predominantly Nordic in the south-west and south of Finland, where, however, a Swedish-speaking upper class of predominantly Nordic race is strongly represented; as we go north and east the Nordic blood dies away and predominantly East Baltic districts begin.


Fig. 182 - German woman from Transylvania, E, blue, H, fair, Nordic

Fig. 183 - German from Transylvania, Dinaric with Nordic strain, chin neither Nordic nor Dinaric

Fig. 184 - Magyar woman (Szekler), Nordic with slight Dinaric strain

Fig. 185 - Magyar (Szekler), Nordic with East Baltic strain

Figs. 186a, 186b - Georgian (Imeretian) from Kutais district, according to Weninger, C, 83.24, F, 88.89, Nordic-Hither Asiatic


In Finland light eyes are reckoned to be in a proportion of 78 per cent. Most of the brown-eyed people (who are, however, not 10 per cent.) are found in north Finland in the Finnish tribe of the Quanes, who through unions with Lapps have taken over Inner Asiatic (?) blood. The Finnish Tavast tribe, dwelling in the middle of Finland, seems to be very strongly East Baltic, but with a Nordic admixture.


The Finnish Karelian tribe, occupying eastern Finland, has not been investigated as to its racial composition. They are, contrasting especially with the Tavasts, of rather slender build, and middling height, and show a rather large proportion of brown hair with brownish skin, curly hair, rather narrow face, long, narrow nose, and thick beard. In their mental constitution, too, the Karelians stand out from the other Finnish tribes: they are merrier, more talkative, of greater decision, but less enduring; they are friendly, and give a nobler impression by their good carriage and more refined movements.18 What racial mixture do they represent? One is tempted to think of connexions with the 'Riazan type', mentioned below, and to assume (in this district with its poor communications) special selective forces, which have been favourable to a certain cross.


The north of Russia is occupied by Lappish tribes, and tribes related by language to the Finns; the north-east is occupied by tribes speaking Finnish-Ugrian tongues, who are the nearest kinsmen of the Finns, and like them of predominantly East Baltic race, with the exception of the Ostyaks and Voguls, who are made up of a mixture of the East Baltic race and the 'Riazan type,' and have taken over Finnish-Ugrian languages. These last have been borrowed, too (according to Wiklund's investigations), by the Samoyedes and the Lapps.


In the Esthonian and Livonian peoples, therefore, and above all in the Finnish people, the phenomenon is often seen of a Nordic man speaking a Finnish-Ugrian language. On the other hand, Russian, that is, an Indo-European tongue, is spoken by many of the East Baltics, and by men who belong by blood more to Asia than to Europe. Race and language must be very sharply kept apart in Eastern Europe.


Central and north-western Russia are (with the exception, perhaps, of the somewhat more Nordic regions at the boundaries of the Baltic States) on the whole predominantly East Baltic. About 80 per cent., it is reckoned, are light-eyed; only 13 per cent. have a cephalic index under 80. Going southward, the East Baltic race gradually grows less, though the East Baltic strain still shows itself clearly in South-eastern Europe; south Russia still has 40 per cent. light-eyed blondes, whose fairness is due only in a very slight degree to Nordic descent. Inner Asiatic blood shows itself as a more or less strong admixture all over the east of Europe. It is said to be very evident in the Russian district of Yaroslav.


In the western and northern Ukraine we meet once again with a Dinaric region, this element being, it would seem, particularly prominent in the districts of Kharkov, Poltava, Kiev, and Chernigov; it dies out to the north in Volhynia, and to the east apparently only when the Volga region is reached. Podolia would seem to be predominantly Dinaric-Alpine; but towards Galicia the Alpine race increases, and in west Galicia clearly predominates. The Carpathians seem to have an Alpine-Dinaric mixed population. The districts in the bend between the Carpathians and the Transylvanian Alps are Alpine-East Baltic-Dinaric with a Nordic mixture.19 The Magyar Szeklers show a fairly strong Nordic strain (due to absorbing the remains of Germanic tribes during the migrations of the peoples?). They are mesocephalic on the average, as opposed to the other Magyars, who are on the average brachycephalic. The Balkan Mountains and the ranges connected with them have a predominantly Alpine or Alpine-Dinaric population, this being an extension of the Alpine and the Alpine-Dinaric race into the Balkan Peninsula (Greece), which is predominantly Mediterranean (Mediterranean-Hither Asiatic-Dinaric), just as the Alps show a Dinaric-Alpine extension into northern Italy, central France, and southern Germany. The Dinaric race seems to reach from the district where it is purest to about Salonica along the Vardar. Crete perhaps, too, shows Dinaric blood. All over south-east Europe, however, Dinaric and Hither Asiatic blood are represented side by side, and can barely be marked off from one another. The plain of the Danube in Rumania and Bulgaria is predominantly Mediterranean in its population, with a not very heavy Dinaric strain.20 The Mediterraneans reach, indeed, as can be seen from the existence here of a region of long heads, from the mouth of the Danube a long way towards Bessarabia, and into Moldavia and the southern Ukraine. In a few cases Mediterraneans, or at any rate their blood, seem to have penetrated along this northern road into the populations of the Ukraine and Poland; indeed, Poland seems even to show a heavier strain of the Mediterranean race.


There is a region in Great Russia which should be especially mentioned, a region of short, mesocephalic, dark-haired, brown-eyed people, south and south-east from Moscow in the districts of Riazan and Tambov, and reaching thence in a north-east direction to the districts of the (generally dolichocephalic) Cheremisses, the Wotyaks, the Ostyaks, and the Voguls in Asia. Are we to suppose a Mediterranean strain in the case of these people, who have been called 'proto-Finnish' or (by Chepurkovsky) 'the Riazan type,' or (by Bunak) 'Uralic'? However, it does not accord with the picture of the Mediterranean race that these 'proto-Finns' should have flat, broad foreheads and cheek-bones set at an outward slant. These characters would again remind us of an 'Asiatic' type; and Bunak suspects in this race a 'proto-Mongoloid' form. What is very noteworthy, however, in this region is the marked mesocephaly (cephalic index 76-79), which in a brachycephalic environment like this points to the admixture of a dolichocephalic race.


The Cheremisses would seem to show the Riazan type in its strongest predominance; next to them, the Mordwins dwelling about the Moksha River (Finnish-Ugrian-speaking); then the Russians near them, especially in the north of the Tambov district, in the south of the Riazan district, and in the west of the Penza district. But the Chuvash and the Bashkirs also show strains from this race. Is it the race to which the 'kurgans' belong, at least those of central Russia, the conical or dome-shaped prehistorical burial mounds? These kurgans in central Russia belong to a long-headed race, who had a culture not to be despised (mainly influenced by Persia?). In the Caucasus, an area on the whole predominantly settled from Hither Asia, Europeans and Asiatics meet. The Ossetes, well known as a chivalrous people (probably descendants of the Alans), make a distinct impression through their height and the striking proportion of blonds (30 per cent. of the population) and light-coloured eyes. This appearance of Nordic characters is not strange, when considered along with the Indo-European (closely allied to the Germanic group?) language of the Ossetes. Many blond and light-eyed people (60 per cent. of the whole) are found among the Kurds about Karakush and Nimrud-Dag. The western Kurds have an average cephalic index of 75. The Kurdish speech, too, being a Persian dialect, is Indo-European -- that is, brought by men of Nordic race (cp. Chapter VIII).


The five European races are found in various combinations outside Europe also, wherever European peoples have made settlements; above all, in America (cp. Figs. 55, 56, and several in Chapter XI). The settlement of North America, especially, will be often discussed in the following.


In north Africa there are large areas with a predominantly Mediterranean population: the whole of the northern edge from Egypt to Morocco, and beyond Morocco a tract along the coast southwards and reaching over to the north-west African islands. The Spaniards have always been astonished at the likeness of their Berber foes in Morocco with themselves. In all these regions of north-west Africa, however, there are found also Oriental, Negro, and (especially, it would seem, in Algeria and Morocco) Hither Asiatic strains. Among the Berbers, particularly the Kabyles in the Riff and in the Aures range, a Nordic strain shows itself clearly, and in the Canary Islands there seems to be a strain of the Crô-magnon race (cp. Chapter Four).


Mediterranean blood seems to have gone some way up the Nile. Mediterranean features characterize the people of the islands of the Mediterranean Sea together with a somewhat strong Hither Asiatic and a weak Negro strain. Cyprus is said also to show a slight Nordic strain. Crete seems to show a stronger Hither Asiatic strain on the plain than in the mountains. The Cretan tribe of the Sphakiots, which has been distinguished for its bravery in Cretan history, has kept a Nordic strain. They are mostly tall, fair, and blue-eyed, and are held to be the remains of the Spartan tribe among the Hellenes.


The ethnographical maps drawn by Struck (of Dresden) of the distribution of certain bodily characters show their average distribution in Europe and throughout the world, as a result of the mixture of the several races of mankind. Only the aboriginal population in each region is taken into account; thus, for instance, in America or Africa, no account is taken of the European colonial population.21


Map XIV is an attempt to show the area in each case where the races given in this book are most strongly predominant.


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Footnotes for Chapter VI Part Four


18  This is how they are drawn by C. Retzius, Finska Cranier, 1878.


19 The Magyars are originally a people of East Baltic race with an Inner Asiatic strain, and a slight Nordic strain (through Scythian blood, cp. Chapter Eight), but which, since its settlement where it is found to-day -- that is, since the ninth century -- has very greatly changed its physical appearance through absorbing Alpine, Dinaric, and Nordic blood. The Magyars, however, have kept their Finnish-Ugrian tongue, and the East Baltic as also a slight Inner Asiatic strain are still unmistakable.


20 The Bulgars were originally of Inner Asiatic descent. This origin seems to be still quite visible. Yet the Bulgars have since their settlement in the fifth century not only absorbed very much European (especially Mediterranean) blood, but have also (since the tenth century) taken over a Slav (that is, Indo-European) tongue. The Turks, who are likewise originally an Inner Asiatic people, still speak an Altaic tongue, but physically, through their absorption of very much Hither Asiatic blood, they have become very different from the Inner Asiatic peoples.


21 On the races of the world cp. Fischer in the volume Anthropologie ('Kultur der Gegenwart,' Teil iii. Abt. v., 1923); Haddon, The Races of Man, 1924; and Deniker, Les races et les peuples de la terre, 1926.