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Pygmy the face projects beyond the brain case more than in the others. The Bushman face is nearly vertical. The Andamanese skull is intermediate between the two. All have a more or less vertical forehead but this characteristic is most pronounced in the Bushman. In all three skulls the mastoid processes, found just behind the ear openings, are small.

The cranial capacity, which may be taken as an index of gross size of the brain, is small in all the Pygmy types. The Veddah have the smallest cranial capacity so far recorded, 1250 cubic centimeters. The Bushmen are next in size with 1260 cubic centimeters. The average cranial capacity of the Andamanese is 1269 cubie centimeters, of the Philippine Negritos 1409 cubic centimeters, and of the Semang Negritos 1338 cubic centimeters. The average cranial capacity of Europeans is somewhat above 1500 cubic centimeters. Of course the small size of these Pygmies must be taken into consideration in connection with their small cranial capacity.

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The Negritos and Negrilles have not been very successful in developing a chin. On page 694 are shown the lower jaws of a Congo Pygmy, an Andamanese Negrito, a South African Bushman, and a modern European. The first two have poorly developed chins. The Bushman, however, has typically a rather prominent and peculiarly pointed chin. In this respect he is almost as highly specialized as the modern European. No other Negroid group has the chin developed to such an extent as the Bushman.

We have seen now that, although the Negroid Pygmies have a few characteristics in common, they have, to a very large extent, developed local peculiarities which distinguish them from one another. The Bushmen, perhaps, have carried this specialization the farthest and differ more from the Negrillos and Negritos than do these two from each other. In fact, it seems clear

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South African Bushmen
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Australoid Pygmies

Senoi, Malay Peninsula.
Veddah, Ceylon

Toala, Celebes Island.
Indonesian Type


Nabaloi, Philippine Islands.


Ulu Ayars, Borneo.


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Tomekongka, Celebes Island.
Tenggerese, Java

Orang Kubu, Sumatra.
Arctic Mongoloid Type

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that if the Bushmen are related to the Negritos and Negrillos, this relationship is a very distant one. The Australoid group, including the Veddah, Senoi, and Toala, are quite different from the Negroid Pygmies in several important characters. The Indonesian group of short stature are Mongoloid in their affinities. Many other groups of Mongoloid affinities have very short stature. Among these should be mentioned certain Siberian tribes, some American Indians in Mexico and South America, and the Eskimo. So then we have Pygmies or a tendency to very short stature in three distinct racial types. The Caucasian or European racial type alone has no marked examples of extremely short stature, except

as individuals. But the Negritos, Negrillos, Bushmen, and Australoid groups alone are true Pygmies.

When considered culturally, most of these Pygmy tribes are undoubtedly very primitive. They are all in the hunting stage.

Lower jaws of the Negro Pygmy types compared with a European jaw. From above downward are the jaws of a Central African Pygmy, an Andamanese Negrito, a South African Bushman, and a European. Of all Negro types the Bushman alone has succeeded in developing a chin. In this respect the Bushman is almost as highly specialized as the European

This fact has been largely instrumental in their being regarded as primitive anatomically and consequently as ancestral to mankind as a whole. Such a theory is due to a confusion of culture and anatomy. There is not necessarily any direct correlation between a primitive culture and a primitive anatomical structure. The two things are distinct and different. While we may have a primitive culture associated with a group having a primitive anatomical structure, the two are not related in the sense of cause and effect but are merely an association. Very few primitive anatomical characters found in modern man could influence culture to any great extent.


At the very outset it seems questionable whether short stature, the most characteristic trait of the Pygmies, is a primitive character. In the figure opposite is plotted the stature of mankind as a whole. Each small rectangle represents the average stature of one tribe or group of men. The average stature of 514 different groups is used. This should give us a fair idea of the distribution of stature in mankind. From about 150 centimeters to 180 centimeters we have a normal frequency curve with the greatest frequency at 164 to 165 centimeters. On the other hand, the Negroes, represented by the shaded rectangles, have an irregular distribution of stature with points of greatest frequency at 168 to 169 centimeters, 154 to 155 centimeters, and 148 to 149 centimeters. In other words, the bulk of mankind, and even of the Negroes proper, has a stature decidedly above that of the Pygmies. It is rather difficult to believe that only these few groups have retained the primitive form of stature while all the others have specialized in this respect. It is very seldom that such a thing occurs within a group.

Another proof that excessively short stature is not a primitive trait is found in the fact that the earliest types of man on whom we have any data for this trait were decidedly taller than the Pygmies. I refer of course to the Neanderthal race who lived in Europe during the Pleistocene. Their average stature was about 163 centimeters (5 feet 4 inches). Going back still further to Pithecanthropus erectus, a type showing certain characters of both the apes and man, we find a femur or thigh bone 45.5 centimeters long. This length of femur cor

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Taken all together they are no more primitive than other Negro groups and perhaps slightly less so. Anatomically it is by no means clear that the Negro race is the most primitive. Certain Australoid and Mongoloid groups seem, on the whole, to approach more nearly to the generalized type of mankind. The extremely dark skin, the absence of body hair, the closely curled hair, thick lips, and the form of the calcaneum in Negroes are undoubtedly specializations.

Certainly it seems extremely doubtful that the Pygmy types represent an ancestral stage in the evolution of mankind. It seems more reasonable to assume that they represent aberrant groups and that short stature has developed more than once as a racial character, than to assume that short stature is a primitive trait and that all mankind except the Pygmies are aberrant in this respect.

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Nomad Dwarfs and Civilization *



Assistant Curator of Mammalogy in the American Museum

FOREWORD-A splendid habitat group representing a Pygmy camp in the Rain Forest of the northeastern section of the Belgian Congo has recently been installed in the American Museum of Natural History. The scene depicts a lucky hunter returning with his faithful companion, a hunting dog, to the family circle consisting of a wife, two children, and an aged mother. There is thus given to the public, always eager for information about primitive types of man, an opportunity to become better acquainted with the Belgian Congo dwarfs, who still manage to eke out their meager existence in the primeval forests of Africa. The building of the group was made possible by the fact that the American Museum Congo Expedition, although chiefly zoological, had a wide range of activities and gathered during the six years of its stay (1909-1915), material and information necessary for the reproduction of Pygmy life. The group was designed and executed by Mr. Frederick Blaschke under the supervision of Director F. A. Lucas and the direction of the Author.

Especially interesting is the fact that the lifelike qualities of the new group are partly the result of the intelligence of the Pygmies themselves. They were the first to contribute to our valuable collection of more than 100 life masks representative of 16 different tribes of Central African races. Mr. James P. Chapin, my only white companion and an excellent linguist, explained to the first Pygmy we saw that we should like to reproduce his face by covering it with a layer of "soft, white mud" (plaster of Paris). Although apparently frightened, the little fellow suggested that before having his eyes and mouth covered with "mud," he would like to see it put on his hand or foot. The completed cast aroused his admiration, but he hastened to add that the cold plaster had become so uncomfortably hot when setting that in his mind fear arose that he was to be broiled alive. From then on, however, we had less difficulty in tak ing casts, and although the tall Negroes invariably became nervous and often trembled during the process, Pygmies submitted with comparative confidence.

Emandinia, chief of the Nala Pygmies, in reply to compliments on his equanimity while having his cast taken, said that fear to him was needless. Was not the white man alone, and Emandinia supported by one hundred well-tried archers, six of whom had never missed their mark? These are the bowmen shown in the photograph on page 705; they took aim at me but never released their arrows.

A counterpart of this was my experience with the Logos, when Maruka, an extremely agreeable but shrewd chief, made no objection to having his face cast, although his twelve councilors would not allow it unless they could assist, fully armed with spears, bows, and arrows, as is their custom in war. Much to their satisfaction, I invited them to be present-on condition, however, that five additional casts should accompany their chief's to America; and as the Museum enlarges its series of exhibitions, reproductions of these men may take their places in scenes representing native Negro life.-HERBERT LANG.


ROM time immemorial the imagination of poets has enriched the literature of many nations with legends of bearded, benevolent dwarfs, impish mountain sprites, and winged fairies, endowed with supernatural power and with passion for love and revenge. Today it is thought that perhaps some of these charming tales had their origin more in truth than in fiction. Homer's account of Pygmy nations, said by Aristotle to dwell beyond the lakes above Egypt, from which flows the Nile, was apparently not based upon mere fancy. More than two thousand years later, in 1870, Dr. Schweinfurth,1 during his memorable exploration in what is now the northeastern section of the Belgian Congo, discovered the "Akkas," perhaps remnants of that very race renowned in verse, and now known as the Central African Pygmies.

For centuries Africa's black sons have struggled with the horrors of famine, can

1 Georg Schweinfurth. The Heart of Africa, Vol. II, p. 122. New York, 1874.

nibalism, war, and slavery, while the white man has slowly evolved civilization. The Mediterranean region and eastern and southern portions have been well enough known but the vast area south of the Sahara has only lately received serious attention when European nations have taken a more active interest in their southern neighbors. Thus within the last few decades, the Dark Continent has been forced to surrender one by one its well-guarded mysteries.

Colonizing efforts, however, in Central Africa have continually had one great check, more formidable than a Chinese wall: the white man can seldom bear for any length of time the hot, moisture-laden atmosphere or escape the many diseases lurking in the equatorial forests. In West Africa all along the routes of the Caucasian's advance are the silent witnesses of indomitable life and eager adventure come to tragic termination. To prevent loss of life and to temper the zeal of an administrative staff which forms the pillars of colonization,

*The illustrations are from photographic studies of Pygmies made by the Author during the American Museum Congo Expedition.

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