Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/551

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535
HEAD-FLATTENING AMONG THE NAVAJOS.

Murray to delay the publication of his views on that subject "for two years."

It was easy for me and for others to prove that the first statement was not only, to use the Duke of Argyll's favorite expression, "contrary to fact," but that it was without any foundation whatever. The second statement rested on the Duke of Argyll's personal authority. All I could do was to demand the production of the evidence for it. Up to the present time, so far as I know, that evidence has not made its appearance; nor has there been any withdrawal of, or apology for, the erroneous charge.

Under these circumstances, most people will understand why the Duke of Argyll may feel quite secure of having the battle all to himself, whenever it pleases him to attack me.—Nineteenth Century.

 

HEAD-FLATTENING AS SEEN AMONG THE NAVAJO INDIANS.
By Dr. R. W. SHUFELDT.

A LITTLE over a year ago, when in the northwestern part of New Mexico, the opportunity was afforded the writer to make a great many observations upon the Navajo Indians, the tribe found in that section of the country. Those studies, which took into consideration in several instances their simple arts and industries, have been published in various quarters; but a widely different field of research, for which they also afforded the material, especially interested me at the time, and this was the subject of their craniology.

On a number of occasions fine specimens of the skulls of those Indians, of both sexes and all ages, fell into my hands; while the peculiar distortion several of these presented at once commanded my attention. In the main this distortion consisted in either a direct or an oblique posterior flattening of the skull; and that it was a characteristic to be seen in many of the heads of the representatives of that tribe of North American Indians has long been a well-ascertained fact.

For an equal length of time has the cause of this flattening of the skull among the Navajos generally been attributed to a pressure brought to bear over the region in question during the infancy of the individual exhibiting it. This was also my own preconceived opinion, an opinion which had become more or less fixed by all my previous reading upon the subject, but not through personal examination of the proper material itself, under the most favorable circumstances possible.