Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/604

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584
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

human equator of the earth. Such is as it should be; for while the greatest extremes of environment are offered between the steaming plains of the Ganges and the frigid deserts and steppes of the north, at the same time direct intercourse between the two regions has been rendered well-nigh impossible by the height of the mountain chain itself. In each region a peculiar type has developed without interference from the other. At either end of the Himalayas proper, where the geographical barriers become less formidable, and especially wherever we touch the sea, the extreme sharpness of the human contrasts fails. The Chinese manifest a tendency toward an intermediate type of head form.

PSM V50 D604 Central african cephalic index 70.jpg
Negro Type, Central Africa. Cephalic Index, 70±.

Japan shows it even more clearly. From China south the Asiatic broad-headedness becomes gradually attenuated among the Malays, until it either runs abruptly up against the Melanesian dolichocephalic group or else vanishes among the islanders of the Pacific. Evidence that in thus extending to the southeast the Malays have dispossessed or absorbed a more primitive population is afforded by the remnants of the negritos. These black people still exist in some purity in the inaccessible uplands of the large islands in Malaysia.

Compared with the extreme forms presented in the Old World, the Americas appear to be quite homogeneous and at the same time intermediate in type, especially if we except the Eskimo; for in the western hemisphere among the true Indians the extreme variations of head form are comprised between the cephalic indices of 85 in British Columbia and Peru, and of 76 on the southeast coast of Brazil. Probably nine tenths of the native