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Mongoloid (/ˈmɒŋ.ɡə.lɔɪd/[1][2]) is a grouping of various peoples indigenous to East Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, North Asia, Polynesia and the Americas. It is one of the traditional three races first introduced in the 1780s by members of the Göttingen School of History,[3] the other two groups being Caucasoid and Negroid.[4]

Individuals within these populations often share certain associated phenotypic traits, such as epicanthic folds, sino- or sundadonty, shovel-shaped incisors and neoteny. The concept of Mongoloid races is historical referring to a grouping of human beings historically regarded as a biological taxon.

Epicanthic folds and oblique palpebral fissures are common among Mongoloid individuals. Most exhibit the Mongolian spot from birth to about age four years.[5][6] Mongoloids in general have straight, black hair and dark brown almond-shaped eyes, and have relatively flatter faces in comparison to those of Caucasoid and Negroid skulls.[7]

Due to covering a large and diverse population, from Native Americans to Vietnamese, the Mongoloid classification is difficult, but Mongoloids do share some similar skeletal and dental features.[8]

The term Mongoloid has had a second usage referencing Down syndrome, now generally avoided as highly offensive.[9][10][11][12] When used in reference to people with Down syndrome, the term "mongol" and related words affect the "...dignity of people of the mongoloid race..."[13] Those affected were often referred to as "Mongoloids" or in terms of "Mongolian idiocy" or "Mongolian imbecility".


Geographic range and populations includedEdit

Distribution Map of Modern Man (Horniman Museum)

In 2019 Mongoloid comprised 29% and Caucasian 20% of human population. According to historical race concepts, Mongoloid peoples are the most spread out among all human populations since they have stretched almost completely around the earth's surface. From an Asian point of reference, populations range from as far east as Greenland, to as far west as Kalmykia, Crimea, and northern Europe,[14] giving Mongoloid peoples or their descendants a historical presence across four continents. According to the Meyers Konversations-Lexikon (1885–90), peoples included in the Mongoloid race are North Mongol, Chinese & Indochinese, Japanese & Korean, Tibetan & Burmese, Malay, Polynesian, Maori, Micronesian, Eskimo, and Native American.[15]

In 1856, the "Mongolian" race, using a narrow definition which did not include either the "Malay" or the "American" races, was the second most populous race in the world behind the Caucasian race.[16] In 1881, the Mongoloid race, using a broad definition which included both Malays and indigenous Americans, was the most populous race on Earth,[17] and it was still the most populous race on Earth in the year 1892, using a narrow definition which did not include either the "Malayan" or the "American" races.[18]

The first use of the term Mongolian race was by Christoph Meiners in 1785, who divided humanity into two races he labeled "Tartar-Caucasians" and "Mongolians".[19]

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach said that he borrowed the term Mongolian from Christoph Meiners to describe the race he designated "second, [which] includes that part of Asia beyond the Ganges and below the river Amoor, which looks toward the south, together with the islands and the greater part of these countries which is now called Australian".[20]

In 1861, Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire added the Australian as a secondary race (subrace) of the principal race of Mongolian.[21] In the nineteenth century Georges Cuvier used the term Mongolian again as a racial classification, but additionally included American Indians under the term.[22] Arthur de Gobineau defined the extent of the Mongolian race, "by the yellow the Altaic, Mongol, Finnish and Tartar branches".[23][24] Later, Thomas Huxley used the term Mongoloid and included American Indians as well as Arctic Native Americans.[25] Other terms were proposed, such as Mesochroi (middle color),[26] but Mongoloid was widely adopted.

In 1909, a map published based on racial classifications conceived by Herbert Hope Risley classified inhabitants of Bengal and parts of Odisha as Mongolo-Dravidians, people of mixed Mongoloid and Dravidian origin.[27] Similarly in 1904, Ponnambalam Arunachalam claimed the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka were a people of mixed Mongolian and Malay racial origins as well as Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Vedda origins.[28] Howard S. Stoudt in The Physical Anthropology of Ceylon (1961) and Carleton S. Coon in The Living Races of Man (1966) classified the Sinhalese as partly Mongoloid.[29][30] In 1927, Egon Freiherr von Eickstedt classified people from Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, East India, parts of Northeast India, western Myanmar and Sri Lanka as East Brachid, referring to people of mixed Indid and South Mongolid origins.[31] East Brachid is another term for Risley's Mongolo-Dravidian.[32] Eickstedt also classified the people of central Myanmar, Yunnan, southern Tibet, Thailand and parts of India as Palaungid deriving from the name of the Palaung people of Myanmar. The Burmese, Karen, Kachin, Shan, Sri Lankans, Tai, South Chinese, Munda and Juang, among others were classified as having "mixed" with the Palaungid phenotype according to Eickstedt.[33]

In 1940, anthropologist Franz Boas included the American race as part of the Mongoloid race of which he mentioned the Aztecs of Mexico and the Maya of Yucatán.[34] Boas also said that, out of the races of the Old World, the American native had features most similar to the east Asiatic.[34]

In 1981, Elizabeth Smithgall Watts who taught anthropology at Tulane University[35] said that the question of American Indians being a separate race from "Asiatic Mongoloids" is a question of how much genetic difference a population needs from another population to be considered a "major race". She said that even the people who consider American Indians to be a separate race acknowledge that they are genetically closest to "Asians".[36]

In 1983, Douglas J. Futuyma, professor of evolutionary processes at the University of Michigan, said that the inclusion of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders under the Mongoloid race was not recognized by many anthropologists who consider them distinct races.[37]

In 1984, Roger J. Lederer, Professor of Biological Sciences at California State University at Chico,[38] separately listed the Mongoloid race from Pacific islanders and American Indians when he enumerated the "geographical variants of the same species known as races...we recognize several races, Inuit, American Indians, Mongoloid... Polynesian".[39]

In 1995, Dr. Marta Mirazón Lahr of the Department of Biological Anthropology at Cambridge University used the term Mongoloid to refer to Asian populations, Indigenous Australians, Pacific Islanders, Negritos, and Amerindians, classifying Northeast Asians as typical Mongoloids and all other Mongoloid groups as atypical Mongoloids.[40]

Finns were previously considered by some scholars to be partly Mongoloid, dating to claims by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. Finns (and other Finno-Ugrians in Europe) are now considered typically European.[41] Less than 10% of Finnish genes are shared with Siberian populations. Nevertheless, more than 80% of Finnish genes are from a single ancient Northeastern European population.[42]

The Sami people of the Finno-Ugric branch are also included as Mongoloid as of their genes, origin and physical appearance,[14] although dating perhaps to as far back as the Bronze-age many of the indigenous people have received some Nordic genes through mixing of the local population between the Scandinavian people and the aboriginals in the Sápmi region.1


Distribution of the races after the Pleistocene according to Carleton S. Coon (1962)

In 1900, Joseph Deniker said the "Mongol race admits two varieties or subraces: Tunguse or Northern Mongolian... and Southern Mongolian".[21]

Archaeologist Peter Bellwood claims that the vast majority of people in Southeast Asia, the region he calls the "clinal Mongoloid-Australoid zone", are Southern Mongoloids but have a high degree of Australoid admixture.[43] Recent studies find no evidence of a "high degree of Australoid admixture". Southeast Asians are both morphologically and genetically very close to northern Mongoloids and show only minor genetic admixture mainly on maternal DNA.[44][45][46]

Professor of anthropology, Akazawa Takeru (赤沢威) at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto, said that there are Neo-Mongoloids and Paleo-Mongoloids. Akazawa said Neo-Mongoloids have "extreme Mongoloid, cold-adapted features" and they include the Chinese, Buryats, Eskimo and Chukchi. In contrast, Akazawa said Paleo-Mongoloids are less cold-adapted. He said Burmese, Filipinos, Polynesians, Jōmon and the indigenous peoples of the Americas were Paleo-Mongoloid.[47]

Human skeletal remains in Southeast Asia show the gradual replacement of the indigenous Australo-Melanesians by Southern Mongoloids from Southern China. No skeletal remains in Southeast Asia dated to the Pleistocene epoch have been unearthed that would classified as being indisputably Mongoloid, although skeletal remains dated to this epoch have been found with Mongoloid traits. Skeletal remains in Southeast Asia dated to the Pleistocene epoch with Mongoloid traits indicate that Mongoloid admixture from areas north of Southeast Asia was already taking place at this time. This trend toward an increasingly Mongoloid skeletal character in Southeast Asia continued during the later Holocene epoch as an increasing number of the skeletal remains dated to the last 7,000 years are classified as having "Southern Mongoloid skeletal material" relative to the earlier epochs. The dental evidence that pre-historic Southeast Asian skeletal remains are of the sundadont dental type, and the dental evidence that Southeast Asians, including Negritos, are of the sundadont dental type supports the idea that it was sundadont Southern Mongoloids from Southern China whose gene flow was making Southeast Asia more Mongoloid instead of the sinodont Northeast Asian Mongoloids from farther north. Most of the Southern Mongoloids' gradual replacement of the indigenous Australo-Melanesians in Southeast Asia, a process done by "replacing Australo-Melanesian hunter-gatherers or assimilating populations of 'Proto-Malays'", was done "within the historical period". After the "gradual and complex replacement" of the indigenous Australo-Melanesians by Southern Mongoloids in Southeast Asia, the only remaining indigenous Australo-Melanesian population in Southeast Asia at the present time are the Negritos of Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Andaman Islands. The concept which is "[t]he important concept" here is that the gradual replacement of Australo-Melanesians by Southern Mongoloids in Southeast Asia was a gradual change in the cline between these two populations.[48]

Turkic peoplesEdit

Uyghurs with epicanthic fold in Xinjiang, China

All the Turkic peoples native to Central Asia are of mixed Caucasoid and Mongoloid origin. Turkic people display a great variety of ethnic types.[49] They possess physical features ranging from Caucasoid to Northern Mongoloid. Mongoloid and Caucasoid facial structure is common among many Turkic groups, such as Chuvash people, Tatars, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Bashkirs, also such Mongoloid and Caucasoid features are present in some Russians in different proportions, less or more. Historically, the racial classification of the Turkic peoples was sometimes given as "Turanid". Turanid racial type or "minor race", situated at the boundary of the distribution of the Mongoloid and Europid "great races".[50][51]

The Turkic people live in central, eastern, northern, and western Asia as well as parts of eastern Europe.[49] The term "Turkic" represents a broad ethnic group of peoples including existing societies such as Altai, Azerbaijanis, Balkars, Bashkirs, Chuvashes, Crimean Karaites, Gagauz, Karachays, Karakalpaks, Kazakhs, Khakas, Krymchaks, Kyrgyz people, Nogais, Qashqai, Tatars, Turkmens, Turkish people, Tuvans, Uyghurs, Uzbeks, and Yakuts and as well as past civilizations such as Dingling, Bulgars, Chuban, Göktürks, Oghuz Turks, Khazars, Khaljis, Kipchaks, Kumans, Karluks, Tiele, Turgeshes, Yenisei Kirghiz, and possibly Huns, Tuoba and the Xiongnu.[49][52][53][54][55]


Ohkura et al. (1984) analyzed 18 genetic polymorphic traits in two Iranian populations: the Mazandaranian population, and the Guilanian population. Ohkura said that it can be concluded that the Mazandaranian and Guilanian populations show both Mongoloid and Caucasoid genetic influence, but Ohkura said that the Mongolian influence seems greater than the Caucasian influence.[56]

Hideo Matsumoto (2009) said that Iranians are "basically Caucasoid with a northern Mongoloid admixture." Matsumoto said that immunoglobulin G marker genes ab3st, characterizing the northern Mongoloid, and afb1b3, characterizing the southern Mongoloid, are specific to the Mongoloid. Matsumoto indicated that, in the Mazanderanian ethnic group in Iran, the gene frequency of ab3st is 8.5% and the gene frequency of afb1b3 is 2.6%. Matsumoto indicated that, in the Giranian ethnic group in Iran, the gene frequency of ab3st is 8.8% and the gene frequency of afb1b3 is 1.8%.[57]


In 1941, Donald D. Brand, of the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico, said that Chile is mostly "Caucasian-Mongoloid mestizo," at probably about 65% of the total population, next Caucasian, at probably about 25% of the total population, and then Mongoloid, at probably about 10% of the total population.[58][59]

García‐Ramos et al. (2003) and Soto-Vega et al. (2004) both said that mestizos are "a complex mixture of European (Caucasian) and American native inhabitants (Mongoloid)."[60][61]

Ramírez-Cervantes et al. (2015) said that Mexican mestizos are "a complex mixture of European (Caucasian) and Native American (Mongoloid) genetics."[62]

South AsiansEdit

Hideo Matsumoto (2009) said that populations in the India and nearby regions are basically Caucasoid, with many of them having Mongoloid admixture, such as Hindus in India, Tamils in South India, Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, Brahmins in Assam, Nepalese in Nepal, and Kalitas in Assam. Matsumoto said that only some populations in the India and nearby regions are basically Mongoloid with Caucasoid admixture, such as Muslims in Bangladesh, and Ahom in Assam. Matsumoto said that immunoglobulin G marker genes ab3st, characterizing the northern Mongoloid, and afb1b3, characterizing the southern Mongoloid, are specific to the Mongoloid. For the following populations, Matsumoto indicated the following respective gene frequencies of ab3st and afb1b3: Hindus in India, 4.2% and 7.4%; Tamils in South India, 4.8% and 8.3%; Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, 2.6% and 12.5%; Brahmins in Assam, 8.6% and 12.7%; Nepalese in Nepal, 9.0% and 19.9%; Kalitas in Assam, 6.6% and 36.6%; Muslims in Bangladesh, 4.4% and 35.6%; and Ahom in Assam, 10.0% and 60.4%.[57]

History of the conceptEdit

The earliest systematic use of the term was by Blumenbach in De generis humani varietate nativa (On the Natural Variety of Mankind, University of Göttingen, first published in 1775, re-issued with alteration of the title-page in 1776). Blumenbach included East and Southeast Asians, but not Native Americans or Malays, who were each assigned separate categories.

In 1865, biologist Thomas Huxley presented the views of polygenesists (Huxley was not one of them) as "some imagine their assumed species of mankind were created where we find them... the Mongolians from the Orangs".[63]

In 1876, Oscar Peschel said that Native Americans were Mongoloids, and Peschel said that the Mongoloid features of Native Americans was evidence that Native Americans populated the Americas from Asia by way of the Bering Strait. Peschel said that some Native American tribes differ from Mongols in having a high nose bridge rather than a snub nose, but Peschel said that this different type of nose is not something shared by all Native Americans, so it cannot be considered a racial characteristic. Peschel said that Malays and Polynesians were Mongoloids due to their physical traits. Peschel said that the race of the Ainu people was not clear.[64]

In 1926, Aleš Hrdlička went on a journey that focused on "anthropological and archaeological matters" wherein Hrdlička traveled to the Bering Sea and places in Alaska. Hrdlička saw the conditions related to "the possibilities of the Mongoloid migrations through the Bering Sea", and Hrdlička concluded that these Mongoloid migrations were "so easy as to have been inevitable". Hrdlička concluded that Eskimos and American Indians come from a "common Mongoloid stem" which populated the Americas from the Alaska Peninsula.[65]

In 1964, archaeologist Kwang-chih Chang said that it seemed like the Mongoloid race originated in South China, and he said that it seemed like the Mongoloid race was differentiating itself from other races in the Late Pleistocene. Chang based these thoughts on a skull found in Sichuan and a skull found in Guangxi.[66]

In 1972, physical anthropologist Carleton S. Coon said, "From a hyborean [sic] group there evolved, in northern Asia, the ancestral strain of the entire specialized Mongoloid family".[67] In 1962, Coon believed that the Mongoloid "subspecies" existed "during most of the Pleistocene, from 500,000 to 10,000 years ago".[68] According to Coon, the Mongoloid race had not completed its "invasions and expansions" into Southeast Asia, the Americas, and the Pacific Islands until "[t]oward the end of the Pleistocene".[68] By this time, Coon hypothesized, the Mongoloid race had become "sapien".[68][verification needed]

Huxley's map of racial categories from On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of Mankind (1870)[69]
  1: Bushmen
  2: Negroes
  3: Negritoes
  4: Melanochroi (including Hamites and Moors)
  9: Esquimaux

Mahinder Kumar Bhasin (Hindi: महेंद्र कुमार भसीन) of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Delhi suggested in a review of an article referencing Mourant 1983 that "The Caucasoids and the Mongoloid almost certainly became differentiated from one another somewhere in Asia" and that "Another differentiation, which probably took place in Asia, is that of the Australoids, perhaps from a common type before the separation of the Mongoloids".[70]

Paleo-anthropologist Milford Wolpoff and Rachel Caspari characterize "his [Carleton Coon's] contention [as being] that the Mongoloid race crossed the 'sapiens threshold' first and thereby evolved the furthest".[71]

Douglas J. Futuyma, professor of evolutionary processes at the University of Michigan, said the Mongoloid race "diverged 41,000 years ago" from a Mongoloid and Caucasoid group which diverged from Negroids "110,000 years ago".[37]

In 1996, professor of anthropology, Akazawa Takeru of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto, said Mongoloids originated in Xinjiang during the "Ice Age".[47]

Navajo, North American Indian

In 1999, Peter Brown of the Department of Anthropology and Paleoanthropology at the University of New England evaluated three sites with early East Asian modern human skeletal remains (Liujiang, Liuzhou, Guangxi, China; Shandingdong Man of (but not Peking Man) Zhoukoudian's Upper Cave; and Minatogawa in Okinawa) dated to between 10,175 and 33,200 years ago, and finds lack of support for the conventional designation of skeletons from this period as "Proto-Mongoloid". He stated that "The colonisation of the Americas by 11 kyr indicates an earlier date for the appearance of distinctively East Asian features, however, the earliest unequivocal evidence for anatomically East Asian people on the Asian mainland remains at 7000 years BP." He saw this as "possibility that migration across the Bering Strait went in two directions and the first morphological Mongoloids evolved in the Americas."[72]

In 2006, Yali Xue (Chinese: 薛雅丽) et al. of the genome research Sanger Institute conducted a study of linkage disequilibrium that said that northern populations in East Asia started to expand in number between 34 and 22 thousand years ago, before the last glacial maximum at 21–18 KYA, while southern populations started to expand between 18 and 12 KYA, but then grew faster, and suggests that the northern populations expanded earlier because they could exploit the abundant megafauna of the "Mammoth Steppe", while the southern populations could increase in number only when a warmer and more stable climate led to more plentiful plant resources such as tubers.[73]

A 2011 book about forensic anthropology stated, based on physical appearance, not accounting for admixture, there are considered to exist four basic ancestry groups into which someone can be placed: "the sub-Saharan African group ('Negroid'), the European group ('Caucasoid'), the Central Asian group ('Mongoloid'), and the Australasian group ('Australoid')."[74]

James Laurie on Blumenbach's Five Classes, (1842)
I.   The Caucasian or White Race

I. In the CAUCASIAN RACE, the head is of the most symmetrical shape, almost round; the forehead of moderate extent; the cheek-bones rather narrow, without any projection, but having a direction downwards from the malar process of the frontal bone; the alveolar edge well rounded; the front teeth of both jaws placed perpendicularly. The face is of an oval shape, and straight; the features moderately prominent; the forehead arched; nose narrow, and slightly arched, or at least with the bridge somewhat convex; cheek-bones not projecting; mouth small, with the lips slightly turned out, particularly the lower one; chin full and round. The Caucasians are of all complexions, from the Hindoos and Arabs, some of whom are as black as African negroes, to the Danes and Swedes, and Norsemen, who are fair, with flaxen hair and light blue eyes. In this class are comprised the ancient and modern inhabitants of Europe (except the Laplanders and Finns), the ancient and modern inhabitants of Western Asia, as far as the Oby, the Belurtagh, and the Ganges, such as the Assyrians, Bablyonians, Medes and Persians, Sarmatians, Scythians, Parthians, Israelites, Jews, Arabs, and Syrians, the Turks, and Tatars properly so called, the tribes of Caucasus, the Armenians, Persians, Afghans, and Hindoos; the Africans who live on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and throughout the Sahara, the Egyptians and Copts, the Abyssinians, and the Guanches, or ancient people of the Canary Islands. To these we need hardly add the European colonists who have settled in America and other parts of the world. The complexion of this class of people seems to depend very much upon climate and the degree of solar heat to which they are exposed; for they are all, without exception, born with light complexions, and become dark only as they grow up, and are more exposed to the sun. Their colour is found to deepen by regular gradation from the furthest north, where the people of this race are very fair, through the olive-coloured people of the south of France, and of Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and the swarthy Moors, till the gradation ends with the deep-black natives of the African and Arabian deserts, and of intertropical India. White seems to be the characteristic of the race, but it is everywhere subject to the influence of climate. The Caucasians are therefore properly enough called the WHITE RACE, though some of them are perfectly black. Their hair, whether melanic or xanthous, is always long and lank, and never woolly like that of the negroes.

II.   The Mongolian Class

II. The MONGOLIAN CLASS has the head almost square; the cheek-bones projecting; the nose flat; the nasal bones and the space between the eyebrows nearly on the same horizontal plane with the cheek-bones; the arches of the eyebrows scarcely to be perceived; the nostrils narrow; the chin slightly prominent. The face is broad and flat, with the parts imperfectly distinguished; the space between the eyes flat and very broad; nose flat; cheeks projecting, round, and narrow; the linear opening of the eyelids extending towards the temples; the inner corner of the eye sunk towards the nose, and the upper eyelid at that part continued into the lower by a rounded sweep. The complexion is generally olive, which is sometimes very slight, and approaching to yellow, or what is called sallow; and none of this class are known to be fair-complexioned. The iris of the their eyes is black; their hair black, straight, and strong, but seldom curled, or in great abundance; and they have little or no beard. In this class are comprised the numerous tribes that occupy the central, north-east, east and south-east parts of Asia; the Chinese and Japanese; the people of Tibet, Boutan, and Indo-china; the Fins and the Laplanders of the north of Europe, and the Esquimaux, who live along the shores of the Polar Sea, in America and Greenland. The colour of the class is influenced in a slight degree by climate; those of them, and those parts of the body most exposed to the sun and the air, being the darkest.*

* Dr. Abel, physician to the last British embassy to China, mentions in his volume of travels, that when any of the Chinese boatmen cast off their clothes for the purpose of leaping into the water to push along the boats, they appeared to be dressed in light-coloured trowsers, though quite naked.

III.   The Ethiopic or Black Race

III. The ETHIOPIC, or BLACK RACE, have the head narrow, and compressed at the sides, the forehead very convex and vaulted; the cheek-bones projecting; the nostrils wide; the jaws long; the front teeth of the upper jaw turned obliquely forward; the lower jaw strong and large; the skull generally thick and heavy. The face is narrow, with the lower part projecting; eyes prominent; nose spread, and almost confounded with the cheeks; the lips, particularly the upper one, very thick; the jaws prominent, and the chin retracted. The skin of this class, and the iris of the eye, are deep black; the hair black and woolly; characteristics that vary less in the negroes than in the two former classes, for this very obvious reason, that the Ethiopic race are to be found native mostly in tropical climates, where there is little variety of temperature; and not like the Mongolian and Caucasian races who are spread over all climates, from the equator to the Polar Sea. In this class are comprised all the natives of Africa to the south of the Sahara and Abyssinia; also the natives of New Holland, Van Diemen's Land or Tasmania, Papua, or New Guinea, New Britain, the Solomon Isles, New Georgia, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, the Feejee Islands, and also various tribes throughout the Indian archipelago.

IV.   The American Class

IV. The AMERICAN CLASS approaches the Mongolian. The cheek-bones are prominent, but more arched and rounded than in the Mongol, without being so angular, or projecting at the sides; the orbits almost always deep; the shape of the forehead and the crown often artificially modified; the skull generally light. The face is broad, without being flat; the features, viewed in profile, are prominent, and deeply marked; the forehead low, eyes deep-seated, nose rather flat, but prominent. The skin is red, more or less dark, or copper-coloured, and approaching to black, according to climate and other circumstances. The hair is like that of the Mongolian class; and they have little or no beard. In this class are comprehended all the native American tribes and nations, excepting, of course, the Esquimaux, and the descendants of European and African colonists.

V.   The Malay Class

V. The MALAY CLASS has the top of the head slightly narrowed, the forehead a little arched, the cheek-bones not prominent; the upper jaws a little pushed forward; the prominence of the parietal bones strongly marked. The face is less narrow than that of the negro, somewhat advancing in the lower part, when seen in profile; the features generally more prominent than those of the negro, the nose full, broad, and thick towards the point, or what is called a bottle-nose. The colour of the skin is brown, or tawny; the hair black, soft, curled, and abundant. In this class are comprised all the natives of the islands of the Pacific Ocean (excepting those already mentioned as belonging to the Ethiopic class); likewise the dominant nations of the Indian archipelago.

Source: System of Universal Geography... (1842)[75]
Johann Blumenbach's Five Principal Varieties, (1865)

Caucasian variety.   Colour white, cheeks rosy (s. 43); hair brown or chestnut-coloured (s. 52); head subglobular (s. 62); face oval, straight, its parts moderately defined, forehead smooth, nose narrow, slightly hooked, mouth small (s. 56). The primary teeth placed perpendicularly to each jaw (s. 62); the lips (especially the lower one) moderately open, the chin full and rounded (s. 56). In general, that kind of appearance which, according to our opinion of symmetry, we consider most handsome and becoming. To this first variety belong the inhabitants of Europe (except the Lapps and the remaining descendants of the Finns) and those of Eastern Asia, as far as the river Obi, the Caspian Sea and the Ganges; and lastly, those of Northern Africa.

Mongolian variety.   Colour yellow (s. 43); hair black, stiff, straight and scanty (s. 52); head almost square (s. 62); face broad, at the same time flat and depressed, the parts therefore less distinct, as it were running into one another; glabella flat, very broad; nose small, apish; cheeks usually globular, prominent outwardly; the opening of the eyelids narrow, linear; chin slightly prominent (s. 56). This variety comprehends the remaining inhabitants of Asia (except the Malays on the extremity of the trans-Gangetic peninsula) and the Finnish population of the cold part of Europe, the Lapps, &c. and the race of Esquimaux, so widely diffused over North America, from Behring's straights to the inhabited extremity of Greenland.

Ethiopian variety.   Colour black (s. 43); hair black and curly (s. 52); head narrow, compressed at the sides (s. 62); forehead knotty, uneven; malar bones protruding outwards; eyes very prominent; nose thick, mixed up as it were with the wide jaws (s. 56); alveolar edge narrow, elongated in front; the upper primaries obliquely prominent (s. 62); the lips (especially the upper) very puffy; chin retreating (s. 56). Many are bandy-legged (s. 69). To this variety belong all the Africans, except those of the north.

American variety.   Copper-coloured (s. 43); hair black, stiff, straight and scanty (s. 52); forehead short; eyes set very deep; nose somewhat apish, but prominent; the face invariably broad, with cheeks prominent, but not flat or depressed; its parts, if seen in profile, very distinct, and as it were deeply chiselled (s. 56); the shape of the forehead and head in many artificially distorted. This variety comprehends the inhabitants of America except the Esquimaux.

Malay variety.   Tawny-coloured (s. 43); hair black, soft, curly, thick and plentiful (s. 52); head moderately narrowed; forehead slightly swelling (s. 62); nose full, rather wide, as it were diffuse, end thick; mouth large (s. 56), upper jaw somewhat prominent with the parts of the face when seen in profile, sufficiently prominent and distinct from each other (s. 56). This last variety includes the islanders of the Pacific Ocean, together with the inhabitants of the Marianne, the Philippine, the Molucca and the Sunda Islands, and of the Malayan peninsula.

Source: The Anthropological Treatises of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1865)[76]
John M. Ross on Huxley's Four Main Types, (1877)
(1)   The Australioid Type

...(1) The Australioid type. The males are of fair stature, with well-developed torso and arms, but relatively and absolutely slender legs. The colour of the skin is some shade of chocolate brown, and the eyes very dark brown or black. Fine silky hair, usually raven black, never woolly, but wavy and tolerably long. The Australians are doliocephalic (long-skulled), the cranial index often not amounting to more than seventy-one or seventy-two. Nose broad rather than flat, jaws heavy, lips very coarse and flexible. Norma occipitalis sharply pentagonal. Brow-ridges strong and prominent, teeth large, and fangs strong. These marks are seen in the Dasyu hill-tribes inhabiting the interior of the Dekhan. The ordinary Coolie in an East-Indiaman is nearly Australian. The Egyptian, too, though changed by civilisation and probably admixture, has also the dark skin, black silky wavy hair, long skull, fleshy lips, and broad alae of the nose.

(2)   The Negroid Type

(2) The Negroid type is best represented by the negro of S. Africa (including Madagascar), between the Sahara and the region of the Cape. He is of fair stature; his body and limbs are well made; his skin is black, with shades of brown; his eyes, brown or black; his hair is black, short, and crisp; his beard and body-hair scanty. He is doliocephalic, the cranial index being often only seventy-three. His forehead is childlike and feminine. The norma occipitalis is often pentagonal. Like the Australioid, there is generally prognathism (protruding jaws). The nasal bones are depressed, giving a characteristic flat nose. The lips are coarse and projecting. The Bushmen of the Cape area are a special type, marked by low stature, the males not much exceeding 4 feet in height; both sexes, however, are well made. The skin is yellowish brown, the eyes and hair black, the latter woolly. The antero-posterior diameter of female pelvis is of great relative length. The accumulation of fat on the buttocks, and the large nymphae of females, are also characteristic. Hottentots are said to be a cross between Bushmen and Negroes. Another modification, the Negritos, occurs in the Andamans, Malacca, Philippines, Tasmania, and the islands parallel to the Australian coast, from Wallace's Line to New Caledonia. The Andamans have a cranial index of eighty; all the rest are doliocephalic, though some in the S. and E. approach the Australioid in large brow-ridges and otherwise (e.g., Tasmania, New Caledonia, New Guinea, and Torres Straits). There is perhaps a cross with Malays in New Guinea; more probably a cross with Polynesians in the Feejees.

(3)   The Xanthochroic Type

(3) Xanthochroic, or fair whites, found in the greater part of the population of Central Europe. They are of tall stature, have a colourless skin (through which the blood shows), blue eyes or grey, hair ranging from straw-colour to red or chestnut, and beard and body-hair abundant. They are both doliocephalic and brachycephalic (short-skulled). On the S. and W. this type meets the Melanochroi, or dark whites; on the N. and E. it meets the Mongoloid... The Melanochroi, mixed occasionally with Xanthochroi and Mongoloids, are to be found in W. and S. Europe, cis-Saharal Africa, Asia Minor, Syria, Arabia, Persia, and Hindustan. The type is seen in Irishmen, Welshmen, Bretons, Spaniards, S. Italians, Greeks, Armenians, Arabs, and high-caste Brahmins. In physical beauty and intellectual development they often excel the Xanthochroi, but the skin, though transparent, is brown, deepening to olive; the eyes and hair are black, the latter fine and wavy. This type shades off into the Xanthochroic and the Dekhan variety of Australioid.

(4)   The Mongoloid Type

(4) The great area E. of a line drawn from Lapland to Siam is peopled chiefly by the Mongoloid, who are short, squat, with yellow-brown skin; eyes and hair black, the latter coarse, straight, long on the scalp, but scanty on the body and face. They are sometimes very brachycephalic, without prominent brow-ridges, nose flat and small, eyes oblique. The Malays proper and the indigenes of the Philippines, who are not Negritos, probably belong to this group. The Chinese and Japanese, on the other hand, are distinguished chiefly by being doliocephalic; this characteristic occurs also in the ancient Ainos (found, for example, in Yesso), who are further remarkable for the development of hair on face and body, and the dull-red earthy skin. The Dyaks of Borneo, the Battaks of Sumatra, the Alfures of Celebes, are all doliocephalic, and seem to pass through the people of the Pelew Islands and of the Caroline and Ladrone Archipelagos into the Polynesians, in whom the straight hair and oblique eye have disappeared, the skull being long and coming back to the Australioid type. The Polynesian type is best seen in the Maoris of New Zealand; brachycephaly occurs in the Sandwich and Samoan Islands. Language shows that Polynesia was peopled from the west, and it is thought that the Polynesian type may be a cross between the Dyak-Malay and the Negrito elements in Indo-nesia. In N.E. Asia the Tchuktchi are said to be the same as the Eskimos and Greenlanders of N. America; with Mongoloid hair and skin they have very long skulls. Doliocephaly also distinguishes the aborigines of both Americas from the Asiatic Mongoloid; only the Patagonians and the ancient mound-builders are brachycephalic. There is the same sort of contrast and resemblance between a Mongol proper and an Iroquois as between a Malay and Maori.

Source: The Globe Encyclopedia of Universal Information Vol. II (1877)[77]
George Bettany on Huxley's Four Main Types, (1892)

The Australoid peoples have a chocolate-brown skin, dark brown or black eyes, black hair, usually wavy, narrow skull (long-headed), strongly-developed brow-ridges, projecting jaw, large teeth, thick lips, and broad nose. Besides the Australian natives, many of the hill-tribes of India, and perhaps the Egyptians, belong to this type.

The Negroid peoples have all shades of brown and blackish-brown skin, brown or black eyes, black hair (short, crisp, or woolly), narrow skulls, little developed brow-ridges, projecting jaws, thick, projecting lips, and flat, broad nose. This type includes, besides the mass of Africans, the Cape Bushmen, who appear to be a specially modified branch, very short in stature, yellowish-brown in skin, with black eyes and hair; the Hottentots, whom Professor Huxley regards as a cross between Bushmen and ordinary negroes; the Negritos of the Andaman Islands, Malacca, and the Philippines; the Papuans, New Caledonians, and Tasmanians.

The Mongoloid peoples include the greater part of the people of central, northern, and eastern Asia — a short and squat race, with yellowish-brown skin, black eyes and hair, the latter straight and coarse, short skulls (round-headed), with prominent brows, oblique eyes, and nose flat and small. The Chinese and Japanese differ from these in being long-headed, while the native Ainos of Japan are also distinguished by the hairy covering of their bodies. The Dyaks and Malays, the Polynesians, and the native Americans fall under the same classification, though with minor differences. Most of these peoples are long-headed, and in the Polynesians the straightness of the hair and obliquity of the eyes disappear.

There remain the peoples known as whites, divided into Xanthrochroi, or fair-whites, and Melanochroi, or dark-whites. The fair-whites, tall, of almost uncoloured skin, belong to central and northern Europe; they have blue or grey eyes, light hair, ranging from straw-coloured to red and chestnut; their skulls vary from the longest forms to the shortest and roundest. The dark-whites are not sharply marked off from these, and include many Irishmen, Welshmen, and Bretons, together with Spaniards, Italians, Greeks, Arabs, Armenians, and Aryan Hindus. By intermixture of the latter with Australoids, a much darker mixture has been formed in India, making up the mass of the population.

Source: The World's Inhabitants, or, Mankind, Animals, and Plants (3rd ed.) (1892)[78]

Legal historyEdit

In 1858, the California State Legislature enacted the first bill of several that prohibited the attendance of "Negroes, Mongolians and Indians" from public schools.[79]

In 1885, the California State Legislature amended its code to make separate schools for "children of Mongoloid or Chinese descent."[79]

In 1911, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization was using the term "Mongolic grand division," not only to include Mongols, but "in the widest sense of all," to include Malays, Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans. In 1911, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization was placing all "East Indians," a term which included the peoples of "India, Farther India, and Malaysia," in the "Mongolic" grand division.[80]

In 1985, Michael P. Malone of the FBI Laboratory said that the FBI Laboratory is in a good position for the examination of Mongoloid hairs, because it does most of the examinations for Alaska, which has a large Mongoloid population, and it conducts examinations for the majority of Indian reservations in the United States.[81]

In 1987, a report to the National Institute of Justice indicated that the following skeletal collections were of the "Mongoloid" "Ethnic Group": Arctic Eskimo, Prehistoric North American Indian, Japanese, and Chinese.[82]

In 2005, an article in a journal by the FBI Laboratory defined the term "Mongoloid," as the term is used in forensic hair examinations. It defined the term as, "an anthropological term designating one of the major groups of human beings originating from Asia, excluding the Indian subcontinent and including Native American Indians."[83][84]

The United States Department of Justice has approved that, for forensic hair examination and/or laboratory reports, the hair examiner may state or imply that a human hair shows "Caucasian (European Ancestry), Negroid (African Ancestry) and/or Mongoloid (Asian or Native American Ancestry)" traits, which may or may not correspond to how an individual racially identifies.[85]

Racial depictionEdit

A drawing of a "Mongoloid" eye according to French anthropologist Joseph Deniker showing a Russian Kalmyk
An Andean Native American Indian. Arthur Posnansky, Director of the Tihuanacu Institute of Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistory, Bolivia, in a writing entitled "Mongoloid Signs in Some Ethnic Types of the Andean Plateau" said that this indigenous boy had epicanthic folds that almost completely covered his eyelashes and the lacrimal parts of his eyes.[86]
This is a Miwok, American Indian, woman from a publication by Czech anthropologist Aleš Hrdlička in 1906.[87]

Early craniological analyses focused on a few measurements of observations that were used to assign skulls to a racial type. This procedure has been recognized as too simplistic and impressionistic ... For example, an eastern Asian (or Mongoloid) skull, in general terms, can be described as round rather than long, with wide breadth, a high face and nose, frontal and lateral projection of the malars, broad palate, and a general facial flatness, especially in the upper face and interorbital region (Bowles 1977:343; Howells 1989:77; El-Najjar and McWilliams 1978:75; Krogman and İşcan 1986:271).[88]

— Michael Pietrusewsky & Michele Toomay Douglas of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa[89][90]

In 1919, John Cameron wrote that vertical distances of the openings of the eye sockets of Mongoloids are the longest, the vertical distances of the openings of the eye sockets of Europeans are intermediate, and the vertical distances of the openings of the eye sockets of aboriginal Australians and Melanesians are the shortest.[91]

In 1963, William Loomis wrote that Mongoloids have "yellowish skin", because the stratum corneum of Mongoloid skin contains lots of "disks of keratin".[92]

In 1953, Dentist Stephen Kolas wrote that Palatine tori and mandibular tori are more commonly present in Mongoloids than in Caucasians and Negroids.[93]

A "mandibular torus" is a trait that commonly occurs in "Mongoloid populations".[94]

In "Whites" and in "Mongoloid populations", the shafts of the femurs curve toward the front of the person relative to how the femurs are in "Blacks".[95]

"Mongoloids" have femurs with more curvature and more twisting at the neck than the femurs of both "whites" and "blacks". Whites have femurs that are "intermediate in both curvature and twisting" between Mongoloids and blacks. Blacks have femurs with less curvature and less twisting at the head or neck than the femurs of both whites and Mongoloids.[96]

In 1962, Carleton S. Coon said that one of the reasons that Mongoloids have flatter faces than Caucasoids is due to the masseter and temporalis jaw muscles in the faces of Mongoloids being positioned more toward the front of the faces of Mongoloids relative to where these jaw muscles are positioned in the faces of Caucasoids.[97]

A 1992 study compared the features of North African skull samples dated to the Late Pleistocene against purported "mongoloid" and "australoid" features. The study found that the skull samples had at "moderate to high frequencies" the "Chinese features" of shovel-shaped incisors and a horizontally flat face, and the study found that the skull samples had at "moderate to high frequencies" the "southeast Asian traits" of a high degree of prognathism, strong brow ridges, projecting cheekbones and "malar tuberosities".[98]

According to George W. Gill physical traits of Mongoloid crania are generally distinct from those of the Caucasoid and Negroid races. He asserts that forensic anthropologists can identify a Mongoloid skull with an accuracy of up to 95%.[99] However, Alan H. Goodman cautions that this precision estimate is often based on methodologies using subsets of samples. He also argues that scientists have a professional and ethical duty to avoid such biological analyses since they could potentially have sociopolitical effects.[100]

Variation in craniofacial form between humans has been found to be largely due to differing patterns of biological inheritance. Modern cross-analysis of osteological variables and genome-wide SNPs has identified specific genes, which control this craniofacial development. Of these genes, DCHS2, RUNX2, GLI3, PAX1 and PAX3 were found to determine nasal morphology, whereas EDAR impacts chin protrusion.[101]

Mongoloid teeth are larger than Caucasoid and Negroid teeth. Mongoloids have mandibles that are "robust", and Mongoloids have mandibles that are "similar" to the mandibles of Negroids in respect to the chins of Mongoloids and Negroids not being as prominent as the chins of Caucasoids and in respect to the chins of Mongoloids and Negroids being "median" while the Caucasoid chin is "bilateral".[102]

Mongoloids generally have large incisors, large canines, large molars and small premolars.[103]

The East Polynesian, the Paleoindian/North American Archaic, and the Mongoloid/Late Amerindian are characterized by a "Square, heavy jaw". The East Polynesian and the Mongoloid/Late Amerindian are characterized by a "Median chin". The European is characterized by a "sharp, thin jaw" that has a "strong, prominent chin". Mongoloid peoples, meaning modern East Asians and Amerindians of the later time periods, are characterized by "robust" cheekbones that project forward and to either side of the face.[104]

The nasal sill bones of American Indians are of medium development and "sometimes even sharp", and, in this respect, they are like the nasal sill bones of "Whites" whose nasal sill bones are almost without exception sharp. The nasal bones of East Asians are "small" and "often flat". American Indians and East Asians almost never have a nasion depression which is the depression between the brow ridge and the bridge of the nose. The nasal sill bones of East Polynesians are "rounded", smooth and "dull" and, in this respect, they are like the nasal sill bones of sub-Saharan Africans and Australians/Melanesians. The nasal bones of East Polynesians are "large and prominent" and there is often a nasion depression in East Polynesians which is a trait that is also present in "Whites". East Polynesians have a lower nasal root than "Europeans". The nasal bridge of East Polynesians is not as straight in profile as the "European" nasal bridge, and the nasal bridge of East Polynesians does not have the "steeple shape" of the "Caucasoid" nasal bridge.[104]

A study took panoramic radiographs of two sites at the angle of the mandible of 79 dental students, consisting of 20 male Caucasoids, 20 female Caucasoids, 17 male Mongoloids and 22 female Mongoloids. The abstract for the study said that the Mongoloids in the study had about "20% higher bone density at the angle of the mandible" than the Caucasoids in the study with a p-value of 0.0094 for the males and a p-value of 0.0004 for females.[105]

Samoans are of the Mongoloid race but their features represent a "slightly different evolution since the time of their separation and isolation from their parental stock" or a retention of features that have been lost in other Mongoloid types. The "straight" or "low waves" hair of the Samoan is one such retention compared to the stiff, coarse hair that typifies the Mongoloid. Most of the characteristics of the Samoan have Mongoloid affinities such as: skin color, hair color, eye color, conjuctiva, amount of beard, hair on chest, nasal bridge, nostrils, lips, face width, biogonial width, cephalo-facial index, nasal height, ear height and chin. Polynesians lack characteristic Mongoloid shovel-shaped incisors, because this characteristic Mongoloid trait disappeared in the Polynesian population as the teeth of Polynesians reduced in size over the course of their evolutionary history.[106]

Mongoloid features are a mesocranic skull, fairly large and protruding cheekbones, nasal bones that are flat and broad, a nasal bridge that is slightly concave without depression in the nasion, "the lower borders of the piriform aperture are not sharp but guttered", shallow prenasal fossae, small anterior nasal spine, trace amounts of canine fossae and moderate alveolar prognathism.[107]

The Paleoindian has proto-Mongoloid morphology such as pronounced development of supraorbital ridges low frontals, marked post-orbital constriction, prominent and protruding occipitals, small mastoids, long crania and a relatively narrow bizygomatic breadth.[40]

The Mongoloid eyelid is characterized by puffiness of the upper eyelid, "superficial expansion of the levator aponeurosis" that are "turned up around this transverse ligament to become the orbital septum", "low position of the preaponeurotic fat" and narrowness of the palpebral fissure.[108]

The Mongoloid racial type is distinguished by forward-projecting malar (cheek) bones, comparatively flat faces, large circular orbits, "moderate nasal aperture with a slightly pointed lower margin", larger, more gracile braincase, broader skull, broader face and flatter roof of the nose.[109]

Mongoloid skin has thick skin cuticle and an abundance of carotene (yellow pigment).[47] Mongoloid males have "little or no facial or body hair".[110] Mongoloid hair is coarse, straight, blue-black and weighs the most out of the races.[111] The size of the average Mongoloid hair is 0.0051 square millimetres (7.9×10−6 sq in) based on samples from Chinese, North and South American Indians, Eskimos and Thais.[112] Mongoloid hair whether it be Sioux, Ifugao or Japanese has the thickest diameter out of all human hair.[113]

The traits of the Mongoloid skull are: long and broad skulls of intermediate height, arched sagittal contour, very wide facial contour, high face height, rounded orbital opening, narrow nasal opening, wide, flat nasal bones, sharp lower nasal margin, straight facial profile, moderate and white palate shape, 90%+ shovel-shaped incisors and large, smooth general form.[114]

Miquel Hernández of the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Barcelona said East Asians (Kyushu, Atayal, Philippines, Chinese, Hokkaido and Anyang) and Amerinds (Yaujos, Santa Cruz and Arikara) have the typical Mongoloid cranial pattern, but other Mongoloids such as Pacific groups (Easter Island, Mokapu, Guam and Moriori people), Arctic groups (Eskimos and Buriats), Fuegians (Selk’nam, Ya´mana, Kawe´skar) and the Ainu differ from this by having "larger cranial dimensions over many variables".[115]

Commenting on the lack of body hair (glabrousness) of Negroids and Mongoloids, Carleton S. Coon wrote in 1939 that "[b]oth negroid and mongoloid skin conditions are inimical to excessive hair development except upon the scalp."[116]

The theoretical index of hair bending stiffness is calculated using the thickest and thinnest axial diameters of human hair, and this index differs by race. The hair stiffness indexes of Mongoloids, Africans and Europeans are: 4.23, 2.75 and 1.59, respectively. This means that Mongoloids with the highest hair stiffness index value of 4.23 have the most rigid hair and Europeans with the lowest hair stiffness index value of 1.59 have the least rigid hair. The eccentricity of hair cross-sectional shape index is also calculated using the thickest and thinnest axial diameters of human hair, and this index also differs by race. The hair eccentricity indexes of Africans, Europeans and Mongoloids are: 1.74, 1.49 and 1.30, respectively. This means that Africans with the highest hair eccentricity index value of 1.74 have the curliest hair and Mongoloids with the lowest hair eccentricity index value of 1.30 have the least curly hair.[117]


This is a Maidu, American Indian man from a publication by German-American anthropologist Franz Boas in 1905.[118]

Arteaga et al. (1951) said that the immunological traits of the Mexican Indians are not in disagreement with the historical and anthropological basis for their Mongoloid origin. Arteaga said that the Otomi and the Tarascans are considered to be typical Mongoloids. Arteaga said that the Mexican Indians and the Chinese are both typical Mongoloids, but the Mexican Indians and the Chinese differ somewhat, with the Mexican Indians having a preponderance of O and M blood phenotypes, while the Chinese have high frequencies of A and B blood phenotypes, and low frequencies of M and E blood phenotypes. Arteaga accounted for this blood phenotype frequency difference by accepting the fact that the American Indian may represent the Proto-Mongoloid, while the Chinese are a rather mixed group.[119]

Harold E. Driver (1969), a leading figure in postwar American anthropology, said that American Indians physically resemble Asians more than any other major Old World physical type. Driver said that the resemblance, however, is closer to the marginal Mongoloids of Indonesia, West Central Asia, and Tibet than to the central Mongoloids of Mongolia, China, or Japan. Driver said that the marginal Mongoloids represent an earlier and less specialized racial type in comparison to the central Mongoloids. Driver said that American Indians came from the ancestors of the marginal Mongoloids, who were present in most of Asia, north and east of India. Driver said that, in comparison to the central Mongoloids, the marginal Mongoloids share more physical traits in common with Europeans. Driver said that the greater physical resemblance of marginal Mongoloids to Europeans is a fact that is explained by the hypothesis that the separation of Mongoloids and Europeans had not progressed very far when Mongoloids in Northeast Asia started to migrate into Alaska by way of the land bridge across the Bering Strait.[120][121]

Tsunehiko Hanihara of the Department of Anatomy at Jichi Medical School suggests that the inhabitants of Aogashima and Okinawa, Minatogawa Man, the Jōmon and the modern Ainu are most likely directly descended from Proto-Mongoloids of Late Pleistocene Sundaland.[122]

Mark J. Hudson, Professor of Anthropology at Nishikyushu University, said Japan was settled by a Proto-Mongoloid population in the Pleistocene who became the Jōmon and their features can be seen in the Ainu, Okinawan and as well in Yamato people. Hudson said that, later, during the Yayoi period, the Neo-Mongoloid type entered Japan. Hudson said that genetically Japanese people are primarily Neo-Mongoloid with Proto-Mongoloid admixture.[123]

This is a Yurok, American Indian, woman from a publication by Czech anthropologist Aleš Hrdlička in 1906.[87]

Theodore G. Schurr of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania said that Mongoloid traits emerged from Transbaikalia, central and eastern regions of Mongolia, and several regions of Northern China. Schurr said that studies of cranio-facial variation in Mongolia suggest that the region of modern-day Mongolians is the origin of the Mongoloid racial type".[109]

In 1959, Dr. Wu Rukang (Chinese: 吴汝康) of the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology, Academia Sinica, China, said the remains of Liukiang human fossils were an early type of evolving Mongoloid that indicated South China was the birthplace where the Mongoloid race originated.[107]

Dr. Marta Mirazón Lahr of the Department of Biological Anthropology at Cambridge University said there are two hypotheses on the origin of Mongoloids. Lahr said that one hypothesis is that Mongoloids originated in north Asia due to the regional continuity in this region and this population conforming best to the standard Mongoloid features. Lahr said that the other hypothesis is that Mongoloids originate from Southeast Asian populations that expanded from Africa to Southeast Asia during the first half of the Upper Pleistocene and then traveled to Australia-Melanesia and East Asia. Lahr said that the morphology of the Paleoindian is consistent with the proto-Mongoloid definition.[40]

Hisao Baba and Shuichiro Narasaki of the Department of Anthropology at the National Science Museum, in Tokyo, Japan, said that it is broadly accepted that Zhoukoudian Upper Cave Man and maybe Liujian Man were "so-called proto-Mongoloids" who did not have a completely developed Mongoloid complex.[124]


South American Yanomami woman and child from the Amazon rainforest

In 1951, Ashley Montagu claimed "the skeleton of the classic Mongoloid type is very delicately made, even down to the character of the sutures of the skull which, like those of the infant skull, are relatively smooth and untortuous. In fact the Mongoloid presents so many physical traits which are associated with the late fetus or young infant that he has been called a fetalized, infantilized or pedomorphic type. Those who have carefully observed young babies may recall that the root of the nose is frequently flat or low as in Mongoloids, and that an internal epicanthic fold in such instances is usually present. The smaller number of individual head hairs and the marked hairlessness of the remainder of the body are infantile traits, as are likewise the small mastoid processes, the shallow fossa into which the jawbone fits (the mandibular fossa), the rather stocky build, the large brain-pan and brain, lack of brow ridges, and quite a number of other characters."[7]

Stephen Oppenheimer of the Institute of Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University said, "An interesting hypothesis put forward by paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould many years ago was that the package of the Mongoloid anatomical changes could be explained by the phenomenon of neoteny, whereby an infantile or childlike body form is preserved in adult life. Neoteny in hominids is still one of the simplest explanations of how we developed a disproportionately large brain so rapidly over the past few million years. The relatively large brain and the forward rotation of the skull on the spinal column, and body hair loss, both characteristic of humans, are found in foetal chimps. Gould suggested a mild intensification of neoteny in Mongoloids, in whom it has been given the name pedomorphy. Such a mechanism is likely to involve only a few controller genes and could therefore happen over a relatively short evolutionary period. It would also explain how the counterintuitive retrousse [turned up at the end] nose and relative loss of facial hair got into the package". "[D]ecrease unnecessary muscle bulk, less tooth mass, thinner bones and smaller physical size; ...this follows the selective adaptive model of Mongoloid evolution".[125]

Paul Storm of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Netherlands, said that in Australasia there are two types of cranial morphologies—the "Sunda" (Mongoloid) and "Sahul" (Australoid) types. Storm said that the "Sunda" (Mongoloid) type includes Chinese and Javanese people, and he said that the "Sahul" (Australoid) type includes Papuans and Australian aborigines. Storm said that the "Sunda" (Mongoloid) type has a flat face with high cheek bones, and Storm said that this "flat face" of the Chinese and Javanese is known as the "mongoloid face". Storm further said that the "Sunda" (Mongoloid) type has a more rounded skull, "feminine (juvenile) characters", a "retention of juvenile characters" and a limited outgrowth of superstructures such as the supraorbital region. Storm said that "Sunda" (Mongoloid) skulls resemble female skulls more than "Sahul" (Australoid) skulls resemble female skulls. Storm said that the skulls of "Asian" males ("Chinese and Javanese") have "more feminine characteristics", and he said that they have "many feminine characters in contrast with Australians".[126]

Paul Storm said that Asia contained humans with "generalized" cranial morphology, but between 20,000 BP and 12,000 BP this generalized type disappeared as a new type emerged. This new type had a flatter face with more pronounced cheekbones, a more rounded head, reduced sexual dimorphism (male skulls started to resemble female skulls), a reduction of superstructures such as the supraorbital region and an increased "retention of juvenile characters". Storm said that this new type of skull that emerged is called the "Proto-Sunda" (Proto-Mongoloid) type, and it is distinguished from the "Sunda" (Mongoloid) type by being more "robust". Storm said that the "Mongoloid" or "Asian" type of skull developed relatively fast during a population bottleneck in Asia that happened during the Late Pleistocene or Early Holocene through a microevolutionary trend that involved a "continuation of neoteny and gracilisation trends". Due to different courses of evolution, Storm said that these two types of skulls, the "Sunda" (Mongoloid) type and the "Sahul" (Australoid) type, are now clearly recognizable at the present time.[126]

Andrew Arthur Abbie who was an anatomist and anthropologist at the University of Adelaide[127] talked about leg-to-torso length being related to neoteny. Abbie said that women normally have shorter legs than men, and he said that shorter legs are the normal condition in some ethnic groups such as Mongoloids. Abbie said that Mongoloids of whom he listed the people of "China, Japan and the Americas" have proportionately larger heads and shorter legs than Europeans, and he said that this is a case of "paedomorphism". Abbie said that aboriginal Australians and some African ethnic groups such as the "Negro", the "Hottentot" and the "Nubian" peoples have proportionately longer legs than Europeans, and he said that this is a case of "gerontomorphism". Abbie said that ethnic groups with proportionately shorter legs than Europeans are relatively "paedomorphic" in terms of leg-to-torso ratios when compared to Europeans, and he said that ethnic groups with proportionately longer legs than Europeans are relatively "gerontomorphic" in terms of leg-to-torso ratios when compared to Europeans.[128]

Cold adaptationEdit

Some Inuit people on a traditional qamutik (dog sled) in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada

Akazawa Takeru, an anthropology professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, wrote that Mongoloid features are an adaptation to the cold of the Mammoth steppe.[47] He mentions the Lewis waves of warm blood cyclical vasodilation and vasoconstriction of the peripheral capillaries in Mongoloids as an adaption to the cold.[47] He lists the short limbs, short noses, flat faces, epicanthic fold and lower surface-to-mass ratio as further Mongoloid adaptations to cold.[47]

Nicholas Wade said that biologists have speculated that the Mongoloid skull type was the result of natural selection in response to a cold climate, and Wade said that the Mongoloid skull type first started to indisputably appear in the archaeological record 10,000 years ago. Wade said that biologists have speculated that the fat in the eyelids of Mongoloids and the stocky builds of Mongoloids were selected for as adaptations to the cold.[129]

Takasaki Yuji (高崎裕治) of Akita University, Japan,[130] in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science said that, "Mongoloid ancestors had evolved over time in cold environments" and the short limbs of the Mongoloid was due to Allen's ecological rule.[131]

Writing in 1980, anthropology professor Joseph K. So at Trent University in Ontario cited a 1965 study by J. T. Steegman showing that the so-called cold-adapted Mongoloid face provided no greater protection against frostbite than the facial structure of European subjects.[132] In explaining Mongoloid cold-adaptiveness, So cites the work of W. L. Hylander (1977) where Hylander said that in the Eskimo (Inuit), for example, the reduction of the brow ridge and flatness of the face are instead due to internal structural configurations that are cold-adapted in the sense that they produce a large vertical bite force necessary to chew frozen seal meat.[132]

An Iñupiat family from Noatak, Alaska, 1929

Miquel Hernández of the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Barcelona said that the high and narrow nose of Eskimos (Inuit) and the Neanderthals is an adaptation to a cold and dry environment, since it contributes to warming and moisturizing the air and the "recovery of heat and moisture from expired air".[115]

A. T. Steegman of the Department of Anthropology at State University of New York investigated the assumption that Allen's rule caused the structural configuration of the Arctic Mongoloid face.[133] Steegman did an experiment that involved the survival of rats in the cold.[133] Steegman said that the rats with narrow nasal passages, broader faces, shorter tails and shorter legs survived the best in the cold.[133] Steegman paralleled his findings with the Arctic Mongoloids, particularly the Eskimo and Aleut, by claiming these Arctic Mongoloids have similar features in accordance with Allen's rule: a narrow nasal passage, relatively large heads, long to round heads, large jaws, relatively large bodies, and short limbs.[133]

Kenneth L. Beals of the Department of Anthropology at Oregon State University said that the indigenous people of the Americas have cephalic indexes that are an exception to Allen's rule, since the indigenous people of the hot climates of North and South America have cold-adapted, high cephalic indexes.[134] Beals said that these peoples have not yet evolved the appropriate cephalic index for their climate, being, comparatively, only recently descended from the cold-adapted Arctic Mongoloid.[134]

In 1950, Carleton S. Coon et al. said that Mongoloids have faces that are adapted to the extreme cold of subarctic and arctic conditions. Coon et al. said that Mongoloids have eye sockets that have been extended vertically to make room for the adipose tissue that Mongoloids have around their eyeballs. Coon et al. said that Mongoloids have "reduced" brow ridges to decrease the size of the air spaces inside of their brow ridges known as the frontal sinuses which are "vulnerable" to the cold. Coon et al. said that Mongoloid facial features reduce the surface area of the nose by having nasal bones that are flat against the face and having enlarged cheekbones that project forward which effectively reduce the external projection of the nose.[97]

Carleton S. Coon also has a hypothesis for why noses on Mongoloids are very distinct. Typically, the nose is not very prominent on the face of a Mongoloid. Their frontal sinus is also reduced in order to allow more room for padding to protect from their cold environment. Regardless of the environment that the Mongoloid is in, their nose helps reduce the stress of the environment on their body by moistening the air inspired to cool the body off instead of doing a straight up heat exchange.[135]

Mitochrondrial heat productionEdit

The Asian mt-DNA Haplogroup D has been shown in a small Japanese study[136] to provide greater heat production upon exposure to cold than other haplogroups prevalent in the area.

Physical features of Mongoloid peopleEdit

The skin of Asians turns darker and yellower with age relative to the skin of Caucasians.[137]

Willett Enos Rotzell, professor of Botany and Zoology at the Hahnemann Medical College, said the Asian race has skin color ranging from a yellowish tint to an olive shade, with black and coarse hair with a circular cross section, an absent or scanty beard, a brachycephalic skull, prominent cheek bones and a broad face. Rotzell said that the Asian race has its original home in Asia.[138]

The EDAR gene causes the Sinodont tooth pattern, and also affects hair texture,[139] jaw morphology,[140] and perhaps the nutritional profile of breast milk.[141]

Dennis C. Dirkmaat, professor of paleoanthropology and archaeology at Mercyhurst University,[142] said that Southeast Asian skulls can be distinguished from Asian and Native American skulls in that they are "smaller and less robust" with noses exhibiting a medium width without nasal overgrowth, and can "exhibit gracile features common to female skulls".[143]

Dr. Ann H. Ross, Co-Director of the Forensic Sciences Institute at North Carolina State University,[144] in a presentation on the concept of "race" (written in scare quotes) from the perspective of forensic anthropology, said individuals of "Asian ancestry" have an "intermediate profile", meaning the part of the maxilla is "moderate" compared to individuals of "African ancestry" who have a "projecting maxilla", and compared to individuals who are "White/Hispanic" who generally have a "straight profile" or "lack of prognathism". She qualified her statement about Hispanics by adding that their lack of prognathism would not hold true for Hispanic populations with "African admixture".[145]

Qing He et al. of the Obesity Research Center at Columbia University did a study on "fat distribution" of 358 prepubertal children and the study said that Asians have less gynoid fat than African Americans and more relative trunk fat than Caucasians, but less relative extremity fat than Caucasians.[146]

Douglas W. Deedrick, Unit Chief of the Trace Evidence Unit for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said that hairs of "Mongoloid or Asian origin" are characterized as being straight and coarse with a circular cross section and a wider diameter than those of other "racial groups". He said that the cuticle is thicker than those of Negroid or Caucasian hairs while the medulla is "continuous and wide". He said that the pigment granules are smaller than the larger pigment granules of Negroid hair, and the pigment granules in the cortex are "generally larger" than those of Caucasian hair. Unlike the "evenly distributed" pigment granules of Caucasian hair, Asian hair frequently has clusters of pigment granules that form "patchy areas".[147]

Jeong Sang-ki (Korean: 정상기) et al. of Chonnam University, Kwangju, Korea, using both Asian and Caucasian cadavers as well as four healthy young Korean men said that "Asian eyelids" whether "Asian single eyelids" or "Asian double eyelids" had more fat in them than in Caucasians.[148] Jeong et al. said that the cause of the "Asian single eyelid" was that "the orbital septum fuses to the levator aponeurosis at variable distances below the superior tarsal border; (2) preaponeurotic fat pad protusion and a thick subcutaneous fat layer prevent levator fibers from extending toward the skin near the superior tarsal border; and (3) the primary insertion of the levator aponeurosis into the orbicularis muscle and into the upper eyelid skin occurs closer to the eyelid margin in Asians."[148]

The average size of random melanosomes of "Asian skin" for Chinese individuals of Fitzpatrick phototype IV through V was measured to be 1.36 ± 0.15 μ m 2 × 10−2 which was between the higher value of 1.44 ± 0.67 μm2 × 10−2 measured for "African/American skin" of Fitzpatrick phototype VI and the lower value of 0.94 ± 0.48 μm2 × 10−2 measured for "Caucasian skin" of Fitzpatrick phototype II. The ratio of clustered to distributed melanosomes was 37.4% clustered vs. 62.6% distributed in Asian skin, 84.5%. clustered vs. 15.5% distributed in Caucasian skin and 11.1% clustered vs. 88.9% distributed in African/American skin.[149]

George Richard Scott, physical anthropologist at the University of Nevada, said that some East Asians (in particular, Koreans, Han Chinese and some Japanese), as well as Native Americans, have a distinctive dental pattern known as Sinodonty, where, among other features, the upper first two incisors are not aligned with the other teeth, but are rotated a few degrees inward and are shovel-shaped.[150]

Both darker-skinned and lighter-skinned Asians have a thicker dermis than Caucasians of comparable skin pigment which may be the reason for a "substantially lower incidence of fine wrinkles" in Asians when compared to Caucasians, and this lower incidence of fine wrinkles may be the reason for the "myth" that Asian faces age slower than Caucasian faces.[151]

Global hair texture distribution
Merina children of Madagascar

Mongolian spotEdit

A Mongolian spot, also known as Mongolian blue spot, congenital dermal melanocytosis,[152] and dermal melanocytosis[152] is a benign, flat, congenital birthmark with wavy borders and irregular shape. In 1883 it was described and named after Mongolians by Erwin Bälz, a German anthropologist based in Japan.[153][154][155][156] It normally disappears three to five years after birth and almost always by puberty.[5] The most common color is blue, although they can be blue-gray, blue-black or deep brown.

The spot is prevalent among East, South, Southeast, North and Central Asian peoples, Indigenous Oceanians (chiefly Micronesians and Polynesians), Sub-Saharan Africans,[157] Amerindians,[158] non-European Latin Americans, Caribbeans of mixed-race descent, and Turkish people.[159][160][161][162] They occur in about 90 to 95% of Asian and 80 to 85% Native American infants.[161] Approximately 90% of Polynesians and Micronesians are born with Mongolian spots, as are about 46% of children in Latin America,[163] where they are associated with non-European descent. These spots also appear on 5-10% of babies of full Caucasian descent; Coria del Río in Spain has a high incidence due to the presence of descendants of Hasekura Tsunenaga, the first Japanese official envoy to Spain in the early 17th century.[161][164] Black babies have Mongolian spots at a frequency of 96%.[165]

Genetic researchEdit

This genetic distance from Naruya (2002) is an estimate of 18 world human groups by a neighbor-joining method based on 23 kinds of genetic information.[166] Saitou et al. considered a "pan-Mongoloid grouping" which included the Australoid, Amerindian and Asian Mongoloid groups.[167]
Genetic distance map by Cavalli-Sforza et al. (1994)[168]
Map of early human migrations out of Africa from Naruya (2002)[166][167]

Genetic research into the separation time between the major racial groups was presented as early as 1985 by Masatoshi Nei. Nei (1985) found a separation time between Negroid and Eurasian (Caucasoid and Mongoloid taken together) of roughly 110,000 years, and a separation time between the Caucasoid and Mongoloid groups of roughly 40,000 years.[169]

Gravel et al. (2010) gave a lower estimate for Caucasoid-Mongoloid divergece, between 28,000 and 21,000 years ago.[170] A 2016 study presented an analysis of the population genetics of the Ainu people of northern Japan as key to the reconstruction of the early peopling of East Asia. The Ainu were found to represent a more basal branch than the modern farming populations of East Asia, suggesting an ancient (pre-Neolithic) connection with northeast Siberians.[171]

Numerous studies performed during 2009–2016 have suggested that Eurasian populations can be derived from an early division of the non-African lineage into an eastern and a western clade before around 40,000 years ago.[172] The position of the Australasian clade relative to this has long been uncertain, with some authors arguing from an early division of Australasians from all other Eurasians.[173] Reviewing the evidence, Lipson and Reich (2017) present as best-fitting model an early trifurcation of the eastern Eurasian clade into the East Asian, Onge and Australasian lineages.[174]

East Asian genetics shows a number of concentrated alleles suggestive of selection pressures since their separation from Caucasoids. This concerns the genes EDAR, ADH1B, ABCC1, and ALDH2 in particular. The East Asian types of ADH1B are associated with rice domestication and would thus have arisen after the c. 11,000 years ago.[175] A 2013 study associated several phenotypical traits associated with Mongoloids with a single mutation of the EDAR gene, dated to c. 35,000 years ago.[176]

A 2013 study found Neanderthal introgression of 18 genes—several of which are related to UV-light adaptation—within the chromosome 3p21.31 region (HYAL region) of East Asians. The introgressive haplotypes were positively selected in only East Asian populations, rising steadily from 45,000 years ago until a sudden increase of growth rate around 5,000 to 3,500 years ago. They occur at very high frequencies among East Asian populations in contrast to other Eurasian populations (e.g. European and South Asian populations). The findings also suggests that this Neanderthal introgression occurred within the ancestral population shared by East Asians and Native Americans.[177] "Tianyuan Man", an individual who lived in China c. 40,000 years ago, showed substantial Neanderthal admixture. A 2017 study of the ancient DNA of Tianyuan Man found that the individual is closely related to modern East Asian popularions, but not a direct ancestor.[178]


In a 1994 study led by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza,[168] 42 Asian populations were divided into three groupings, 1. Asian Caucasoids, 2. Northeast and East Asian, 3. Southeast Asian, with substantial Caucasoid-Mongoloid hybridization along an approximate boundary running from the Urals to the eastern part of India.[179]

Other studies also show that S. Chinese, Vietnamese and Tai peoples were found intermediate between the N. Chinese or other Northeast Asians and Southeast Asian.[180][181] "Reference populations".

Atsushi Tajima (田嶋敦) et al. of Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Hayama, Kanagawa, Japan, said that there is evidence for four separate populations, carrying distinct sets of non-recombining Y chromosome lineages, within the traditional Mongoloid category: North Asians, Han Chinese, Japanese/Koreans, and Southeast Asians.[182]

Satoshi Horai (宝来聡) of the Japanese National Institute of Genetics, said that phylogenetic analysis indicated that there are two distinct groups of Mongoloids – one which early on diverged from Negroids and another that diverged from Caucasoids later. Horai said that Mongoloid distribution corresponds to North and South America, Oceania, Southeast Asia, east Asia, and Siberia.[183]

A study conducted by the HUGO Pan-Asian SNP Consortium in 2009 used principal components analysis, which makes no prior population assumptions, on genetic data sampled from a large number of points across Asia. They said that East Asian and South-East Asian populations clustered together, and suggested a common origin for these populations. At the same time they observed a broad discontinuity between this cluster and South Asia, commenting most of the Indian populations showed evidence of shared ancestry with European populations. The study said that genetic ancestry is strongly correlated with linguistic affiliations as well as geography.[184]

Scott W. Ballinger et al. of the Department of Biochemistry at Emory University said "Asian mtDNA lineages" originated in Southern China with the "Southern Mongoloid".[185]

Hiroki Oota (太田博樹) et al. of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany, said that "Asian populations" have high mtDNA variation with Vietnamese having the highest mtDNA diversity, but, overall, the genetic distance between "Asian populations" is small.[186]

Melissa L. Cann et al. of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, said that early Asians did not mix with "Asian Homo and that the features of "ancient Asian forms" indicate that "Asian erectus" was not ancestral to "Homo sapiens". Since modern-day "Asians" do not show the amount of mtDNA divergence expected had they mixed with Homo erectus, Cann believes the expanding Homo sapiens from Africa replaced the Asian Homo erectus.[187]

Douglas C. Wallace of the Department of Biochemistry at Emory University said that the mtDNA of the indigenous peoples of the Americas is "clearly Asian in character", but the few founding females carried "rare Asian mtDNAs", causing a different frequency of mtDNA and a "dramatic founder effect".[188] The Austro-Asiatic groups of India are proto Asiatic groups, like the Munda people.

Shama Barnabas, B. Joshi and C.G. Suresh of the Division of Biochemical Sciences, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India, said that evidence for the original people of India who they refer to as the "proto-Asiatic element" spreading into Southeast Asia to become Southeast Asians is shown by the mtDNA affinities between Indians and East Asians and Southeast Asians in DdeI 10394 site along with the associated Asian-specific AluI 10397 site.[189]

Data tablesEdit

Genetic data tablesEdit

Genetic Distances and Effective Divergence Times Between the Three Major Races of Man (3)
Comparison Proteins
(62 loci)
Blood groups
(23 loci)
(85 loci)
Effective divergence time (years)
Caucasoid / Mongoloid 0.011 0.043 0.019 41,000 ± 15,000
Caucasoid / Negroid 0.030 0.038 0.032 113,000 ± 34,000
Negroid / Mongoloid 0.031 0.096 0.047 116,000 ± 34,000
Source: Table 1, Page 42, Masatoshi Nei (1985)[190]
mtDNA divergence within and between 5 human populations
% sequence divergence
1 2 3 4 5
1. African 0.47 0.04 0.04 0.05 0.06
2. Asian 0.45 0.35 0.01 0.02 0.04
3. Australian 0.40 0.31 0.25 0.03 0.04
4. Caucasian 0.40 0.31 0.27 0.23 0.05
5. New Guinean 0.42 0.34 0.29 0.29 0.25
The divergence is calculated by method published within an article by Masatoshi Nei & Fumio Tajima. The values of the mean pairwise divergence between individuals within populations (δx)    appear on the diagonal. The values below the diagonal (δxy)    are the mean pairwise divergences between individuals belonging to two different populations, X and Y. The values above the diagonal (δ)    are interpopulation divergences that corrected for variation within those populations with the equation δ = δxy – 0.5(δx + δy).
Source: Table 1, Page 32, Rebecca L. Cann, Mark Stoneking & Allan C. Wilson (1987)[187][191]
Distances Between Races and Heterozygosity Based on Blood, Blood Groups, and Protein Enzymes
Genetic Criteria Racial Composition
Caucasoid vs. Mongoloid Mongoloid vs. Negroid Negroid vs. Caucasoid
Blood Group Loci
Number of Loci 18 17 17
Average Heterozygosity 0.303 0.283 0.317
Average Genetic Distance Between Races 0.064 0.194 0.056
Protein Enzyme Loci
Number of Loci 38 40 41
Average Heterozygosity 0.210 0.202 0.217
Average Genetic Distance Between Races 0.025 0.065 0.067
Source: Table 3.2, Page 36, Anthony P. Polednak (1989)[192]
Estimates of the Number of Nucleotide Differences per Site
Both Among (dxy)    and within (dx or dy)    Each of the Three Races,
and Net Nucleotide Differences (d)    among the Races
(N = 20)
(N = 71)
(N = 10)
Caucasoid 0.0094 0.0012 0.0028
Mongoloid 0.0128 0.0137 0.0015
Negroid 0.0194 0.0203 0.0238
Source: Table 3, Page 833, Satoshi Horai & Kenji Hayasaka (1990)[183]
Genetic diversity within / between continental populations
Number of
Within Populations average
mean pairwise differences
Between population
average Fst
Africa 15 7.99 ± 2.72 0.201
Europe 12 4.63 ± 0.94 0.066
Asia 12 7.12 ± 0.91 0.033
Eurasia 27 5.95 ± 1.51 0.086
Source: Table 2, Page 149, Hiroki Oota et al. (2002)[186]

Anthropometric data tablesEdit

Craniofacial trait variations
Mongoloid Caucasoid Negroid
Cranial form broad medium long
Sagittal outline high,
highly variable,
Nose form medium narrow broad
Nasal bone size small large medium/small
Nasal profile concave straight straight/concave
Nasal spine medium prominent,
Nasal sill medium sharp dull/absent
Incisor form shoveled blade blade
Mongoloid Caucasoid Negroid
moderate reduced extreme
moderate reduced extreme
Malar form projecting reduced reduced
Palatal form parabolic/elliptic parabolic hyperbolic
Orbital form round rhomboid round
Mandible robust medium gracile, oblique
gonial angle
Chin projection moderate prominent reduced
Chin form median bilateral median
Source: Table 1, Page 22, Blumenfeld (2000)[193]
Racial Characteristics of the Skull
Trait Mongoloid Caucasoid Negroid
Skull length Long Short Long
Skull breadth Broad Broad Narrow
Skull height Middle High Low
Sagittal contour Arched Arched Flat
Face breadth Very wide Wide Narrow
Orbital opening Rounded Rounded Rectangular
Nasal opening Narrow Mod. wide Wide
Nasal bones Wide, flat Narrow, arched Narrow
Lower nasal margin Sharp Sharp Troughed
Facial profile Straight Straight Downward slant
Palate shape Mod. wide
Broad U-shape
Mod. wide
90%+ < 5% < 5%
General form Large, smooth Rounded large, rounded
Mod. rugged
Smooth, elongated
Modified with permission from Krogman, M. M. The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine,
2nd ed., Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1973, 190.
Source: Table 1, Page 83, Robert B. Pickering & David C. Bachman (2009)[194]
Mechanical properties of ethnic hair
Caucasoid Mongoloid Negroid
Elastic modulus
3.3 4.7 2.5
Yield strength
67 100 58
Breaking strength
117 139 101
Strain at breakage
35 32 20
The values presented here are based on 15 measurements.
Values show up to 15% variation from sample to sample.
Source: Table 34.14, Page 1106, Bhushan (2010)[195]
Presentation of some of the common skeletal traits of the skull and face that they vary significantly between different racial group
Traits Native American White Black East Asian
Skull shape Short and medium Long and medium Long and narrow Short and broad
Skull height Low High Low High
Nose form Medium Narrow Broad Medium
Nasal bones Medium Large and high Medium and low Small and flat
Nose projection Low High and prominent Low Very low
Lower nasal margin Medium Sharp and long spine Dull and reduced spine Medium
Nasal profile Concave Straight Concave/Straight Concave
Face breadth Wide Narrow/Medium Medium Very wide
Cheek bones Prominent and angled suture Reduced and curved suture Reduced and angled suture Prominent and angled suture
Mouth projection Moderate Reduced Extreme Moderate
Palate shape Elliptic/Parabolic Parabolic Hyperbolic/Parabolic Parabolic/Elliptic
Incisor form Shovel shaped Blade Blade Shovel shaped
Orbital form Rhomboid Rhomboid Round Round
Lower jaw Robust Medium Thin Robust
Chin Blunt Prominent Reduced Blunt
Source: Table 1, Page 161, Stavrianos et al. (2012)[196]


Amber N. Heard from the Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin has argued "Mongoloid" should be discontinued from forensic literature because Southeast Asians and Northeast Asians differ significantly in their frequency of combined non-metric cranial traits; Southeast Asians and Northeast Asians therefore should not be considered "Mongoloid", but separate ancestry categories.[197]

The terminology of "Caucasoid", "Mongoloid", "Negroid" have also been criticized more generally as harking back to anthropological classifications unduly based on typology alone.[198][199]

As a term for Down syndromeEdit

"Mongoloid" has had a second usage, now generally avoided as highly offensive: until the late 20th century, people with Down syndrome[9][10][11][12] were often referred to as "Mongoloids", or in terms of "Mongolian idiocy" or "Mongolian imbecility". The term was motivated by the observation that people with Down syndrome often have epicanthic folds.[200] Coined in 1908, the term remained in medical usage until the 1950s. In 1961, its use was deprecated by a group of genetic experts in an article in The Lancet due to its "misleading connotations".[201] The term continued to be used as a pejorative in the second half of the 20th century, with shortened versions such as Mong in slang usage.[202]

By the end of the 20th-century, the pejorative connotations of the obsolete term for Down syndrome had in turn rubbed off on the term for the racial category. Thus, Chong Yah Lim in 2004 expressed his dislike for the term "Mongoloid" for the broad racial category due to its connotations of "demented physical and mental developments", suggesting the term "East Asian race" as a more "appropriately neutral, modern term".[203]

In 2016, a side event dedicated to World Down Syndrome Day and CSW 60 was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations and the Down Syndrome Association of Mongolia. One of the aims of this side event was to showcase how the term "mongol" and related words, when used in reference to people with Down syndrome, "...affect [the] dignity of people of the mongoloid race..."[13] In 2016, Sükheegiin Sükhbold, the Mongolian permanent representative to the United Nations, held the World Down Syndrome Day event to call for the complete elimination of the improper usage of the term "Mongoloid" in reference to people with Down syndrome.[204]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mongoloid. (2012). Retrieved September 3, 2012, from link.
  2. ^ For a contrast with the "Europoid" or Caucasian race see footnote No. 4 of page 58-59 in Beckwith, Christopher. (2009). Empires of the Silk Road: a History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13589-2.
  3. ^
    • Baum 2006, pp. 84–85: "Finally, Christoph Meiners (1747–1810), the University of Göttingen “popular philosopher” and historian, first gave the term Caucasian racial meaning in his Grundriss der Geschichte der Menschheit (Outline of the History of Humanity, 1785)… Meiners pursued this “Göttingen program” of inquiry in extensive historical-anthropological writings, which included two editions of his Outline of the History of Humanity and numerous articles in Göttingisches Historisches Magazin"
    • William R. Woodward (9 June 2015). Hermann Lotze: An Intellectual Biography. Cambridge University Press. p. 260. ISBN 978-1-316-29785-8. ...the five human races identified by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach – Negroes, American Indians, Malaysians, Mongolians, and Caucasians. He chose to rely on Blumenbach, leader of the Göttingen school of comparative anatomy; also at [1]
    • Nicolaas A. Rupke (2002). Göttingen and the Development of the Natural Sciences. Wallstein-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89244-611-8. For it was at Gottingen in this period that the outlines of a system of classification were laid down in a manner that still shapes the way in which we attempt to comprehend the different varieties of humankind — including usage of such terms as "Caucasian".
    • Charles Simon-Aaron (2008). The Atlantic Slave Trade: Empire, Enlightenment, and the Cult of the Unthinking Negro. Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN 978-0-7734-5197-1. Here, Blumenbach placed the white European at the apex of the human family; he even gave the European a new name — i.e., Caucasian. This relationship also inspired the academic labors of Karl Otfried Muller, C. Meiners and K.A. Heumann, the more important thinkers at Gottingen for our project. (This list is not intended to be exhaustive).
    • RACAR, Revue D'art Canadienne: Canadian Art Review. Society for the Promotion of Art History Publications in Canada. 2004. It is in the context of the shift to the human as both subject and object that Foucault has placed the "invention" of the human sciences, and it is also in this context that the various human histories as conceived and taught at Gottingen — from the theories of race proposed by Christoph Meiners and Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (who would coin the word "Caucasian" in the 1790s) to new theories of history as interpreted by Johann Christoph Gatterer and August Ludwig von Schlozer to a new art history as conceived by Fiorillo — can be considered.
  4. ^ Reynolds, Larry (1996). Race and other misadventures : essays in honor of Ashley Montagu in his ninetieth year. Reynolds series in sociology. Dix Hills, N.Y: General Hall. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-882289-35-6. OCLC 35302420. Retrieved 1 December 2018. One of the most enduring schemes of "racial" designation divides the peoples of the world into three large categories crudely conceptualized as ... this scheme was advocated by Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), one of the most influential figures in the history of French science, although it was ...
  5. ^ a b Mongolian Spot
  6. ^ Mongolian Spot – English information of Mongolian spot, written by Hironao NUMABE, M.D., Tokyo Medical University.
  7. ^ a b Montagu, A. (1951). An introduction to physical anthropology: A revised second edition. Charles C. Thomas Publisher: Springfield, Illinois, USA.
  8. ^ Adams, Bradley J. (2007). Forensic Anthropology. USA: Chelsea House. Page 44. ISBN 978-0-7910-9198-2 Retrieved June 12, 2017, from link.
  9. ^ a b Smay, Diana; Armelagos, George. "Galileo Wept: A Critical Assessment of the Use of Race in Forensic Anthropology" (PDF). Emory University.
  10. ^ a b Lieberman, Leonard (1997). "Out of Our Skulls: Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid?". Anthropology News. 38 (9): 56. doi:10.1111/an.1997.38.9.56.
  11. ^ a b Templeton, Alan R. "Human Races: A Genetic and Evolutionary Perspective" (PDF). Washington University.
  12. ^ a b Keevak, Michael. "Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking". Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-691-14031-5.
  13. ^ a b "Changing stereotypes against people with Down syndrome: THE MEANING OF MONGOL." Permanent Missions. Wayback Machine link.
  14. ^ a b L.E. Beckman; K. Sjoberg; S. Eriksson; L. Beckman (2001). "Haemochromatosis gene mutations in Finns, Swedes and Swedish Saamis". Human Heredity. 52 (2): 110–112. doi:10.1159/000053362. PMID 11474212.
  15. ^ Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th edition, 1885–90.
  16. ^ Warren, D.M. (1856). A System of Physical Geography. Philadelphia: H. Cowperthwait & Co. pp. 77.
  17. ^ Winchell, A. (1881). Preadamites; or A Demonstration of the Existence of Men Before Adam; (3rd ed.). Chicago: S.C. Griggs and Company; London: Trubner & Co. pp. 57.
  18. ^ Berg, M. & Wendt, S. (2014). Racism in the Modern World: Historical Perspectives on Cultural Transfer and Adaptation. Berghahn Books. pp. 239. ISBN 978-1-78238-086-3
  19. ^ Painter, Nell Irvin (2003). "Why White People are Called Caucasian?" (PDF). Yale University. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 20, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2007. Keevak. Becoming Yellow, pp. 74–77
  20. ^ Blumenbach, Johann. "The Anthropological Treatise of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach". London: Longman Green, 1865.
  21. ^ a b Deniker, Joseph. The Races of Man: An Outline of Anthropology and Ethnography C. Scribner's Sons: New York, 1900. ISBN 0-8369-5932-9
  22. ^ [The End of Racism by Dinesh D'Souza, pg 124]
  23. ^ Gobineau, Arthur (1915). The Inequality of Human Races. Putnam. ISBN 978-0-86527-430-3. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
  24. ^ DiPiero, Thomas. White Men Aren't gid/s work Duke University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8223-2961-1
  25. ^ "Huxley, Thomas, On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of Mankind. 1870. August 14, 2006". Retrieved 2013-12-15.
  26. ^ James Dallas, "On the Primary Divisions and Geographical Distributions of Mankind", 1886 Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, p.304-30. James describes this as "equivalent to Professor Huxley's Mongoloid division" and as encompassing "Mongols and American Indians"
  27. ^ Robb, Peter (21 April 1997). The Concept of Race in South Asia. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-564268-1 – via Google Books.
  28. ^
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External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Race at Wikimedia Commons
  •   The dictionary definition of mongoloid at Wiktionary