Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/765

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Voguls and Ostiaks.[1] Sometimes, as among the Votiaks, whom Dr. Beddoe[2] inclines to identify with the Budini of the Greeks, because of their red hair, we find this trait very marked, especially in the beard. It seems to be somewhat less pronounced along the Baltic, where the Livs, Esths, and Tschouds shade off imperceptibly into the pure blond Letto-Lithuanians. Here we discover the source of that peculiar reddish blondness of the modern Russians of which we have spoken, for a widespread admixture of blood in the Slav from this stock is recognized by all. In this first type we recognize the Finn, using the linguistic term guardedly, with the express reservation that not every tribe of Finnic speech is of this racial ancestry.

Our second physical type of the Russian aborigines is the polar extreme from this long-headed, red-blond one. We may follow it on our map by the black tints, indicating a prevalent broad-headedness. This is best exemplified at the two extremes of Russia, in the Lapp at the northwest and the Kalmuck and Kirghez hordes of the Caspian steppes. The Samoyeds are merely a continuation of the Lapp type toward Asia along the Arctic coast. These people correspond closely to what we popularly regard as Mongolian. They are all dark or black haired, with swarthy skins; they are peculiarly beardless. With the round face corresponding to the bullet head, high cheek bones, squint eyes, and lank hair, they constitute an unmistakable type.[3] We may provisionally call it Mongol for want of a better word, but it must not be confused with the Turk or Tatar, which is quite distinct. Across middle Russia, and above all among the Bashkirs, we discover a variety of mongrels, compounded of Finn and Mongol, with a strong infusion of Tatars through the whole. Kazan, at the elbow of the Volga, is truly a meeting place of the tribes. The intermingling of strains of blood, of religions, customs, and of linguistic stocks may be observed here at a maximum. Especially where, like the Mordvins, widely disseminated in little groups, not aggregated in solid communities, as among Cheremisse or Tchouvaches, has the infusion of Tatar traits taken place. An interesting fact in this ethnic intermixture is the extreme insidiousness of the Mongolian features. This is a fertile source of confusion of the Finnic and the Asiatic tribes. Many long-headed red-blondes, as among the Ostiaks and Zyrians, who are surely Finnic at bottom, superficially resemble the Mongols in cast of countenance. We have explained, however, in the case of the Basques, how unreliable these facial features are a test of physical descent, for, being distinctive and noticeable, they are immediately subject to the disturbing influences of artificial selection.

  1. Sommier, 1888, p. 246; 1887, p. 104.
  2. 1893, p. 42.
  3. Ivanovsky is the best authority on these people.