Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Ethnology

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ETHNOLOGY, the science which treats of various races of mankind and their origin. With anthropology, philology, psychology, and sociology it helps to cover the complete study of man.

Ethnologists rely, in their different schemes of classification, on what are called ethnical criteria. These criteria are partly internal, the skeleton in general, and particularly the cranium; partly external, color of skin, color and texture of hair, and such other determining elements, whether physical or mental, as may be studied on the living subject. Of mental or intellectual criteria immeasurably the most important is language. Different phonetic systems often involve different anatomical structure of the vocal organs.

The most eminent naturalists mainly agree in classifying the whole human family in three, four, or at most five fundamental divisions; but the term fundamental is to be understood in a relative sense, for all races are necessarily re- garded as belonging to a common primeval stock, constituting a single species though not sprung from a single human pair. Rather has the growth been the slow evolution of a whole anthropoid group spread over a more or less extensive geographical area, in a warm or genial climate, where the disappearance of an original hairy coat would be a relief. The difficulty of determining the exact number of these types is due to the fact, pointed out by Blumenbach, that none of them are found in what may be called ideal perfection, but that all tend to merge by imperceptible degrees in each other. They are the black, frizzly-haired Ethiopic (negro); the yellow lank-haired Mongolic; the white, smooth-haired Caucasic; the coppery, lank and long-haired American, and the brown, straight-haired Malayo Polynesian. The last is commonly rejected as evidently the outcome of a comparatively recent mixture in which the Mongolic elements predominate. Most authorities regard also the American as a remote branch of the same group; this view seems justified by the striking Mongolic features occurring in every part of the New World, as among the Utahs of the Western States and the Botocudos of eastern Brazil. The character of hair and color of skin has been used by Huxley as the basis of his classification, which divides mankind into Ulotrichi, crisp or woolly-haired people with yellow or black skin, comprising Negroes, Bushmen, and Malays; and Leiotrichi, smooth-haired people, sub-divided into Australoid, Mongoloid, Xanthochroic (fair whites), and Melanachroic (dark whites) groups. Peschel's classification, based on a number of different particulars, such as the shape of the skull, the color of the skin, the nature and color of the hair, the shape of the features, etc., is as Australians, Papuans, the Mongoloid nations, the Dravidians (aborigines of India), Hottentots, and Bushmen, Negroes, and the Mediterrean nations.

The Ethiopic group falls naturally into a Western or African and an Eastern or Oceanic division. The Western occupies all Africa from the Sahara S. and comprise a N. or Sudanese branch (African Negroes proper), and a S. or Bantu branch (more or less mixed Negro and Negroid populations). The Oceanic division of the Ethiopic group comprises four branches: (1) the Papuans of the Eastern Archipelago and New Guinea; (2) the closely allied Melanesians of the Solomon, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Loyalty, and Fiji Archipelagoes; (3) the now extinct Tasmanians, and (4) the Australians, the most divergent of all Negro or Negroid peoples.

The Mongolic group occupies the greater part of the Eastern hemisphere and till the discovery of America was in exclusive possession of the New World. Its chief branches are (1) the Mongolo-Tartars of central and north Asia, Asia Minor, parts of Russia and the Balkan Peninsula; (2) the Tibeto-Indo-Chinese of Tibet, China proper, Japan, and Indo-China; (3) the Finno-Ugrians of Finland, Lapland, Esthonia, Middle Volga, Ural Mountains, north Siberia, Hungary; (4) the Malayo-Polynesians of the Malay Peninsula, the greater and lesser Sunda Islands, Madagascar, the Philippines, Formosa, and eastern Polynesia; (5) the American Indians, comprising all the aborigines of the New World, except the Eskimo, who with the Ainos of Yesso, form aberrant members of the Mongolic group.

The Caucasic group, called also Mediterranean because its original domain is western Asia, Europe and north Africa — i. e., the lands encircling the Mediterranean Basin — has in recent times spread over the whole of the New World, south Africa, and Australasia. The chief branches are: (1) Aryans of India, Iran, Armenia, Asia Minor, and great part of Europe, with sub-branches; (2) Semites of Mesopotamia, Syria, Arabia, and north Africa, with sub-branches; (3) Hamites of north and east Africa; (4) the Caucasians proper; (5) the Basques of the western Pyrenees.