網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][subsumed]

NEGROES. – 1. Shilluks (Soudan). 2. Nûer (E. Africa) negroes. 3. Hovas (Madagascar). 4

13. Baris (Africa) with portable smithy. 14. Bari.war-dance (White Nile). 15. Street in T

[graphic][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][graphic][graphic][ocr errors][graphic][subsumed][graphic][merged small][graphic]

6. Koranas. 7-9. Basutos. 10. Zulu grave. 11. Hova women. Jamatave (Madagascar). 16. Basuto needles and case.

12. Hottentot woman.

former, “ that the word negro is not a national appellation, but denotes the ideal type constituted by the assemblage of certain physical characteristics, which is exemplified in the natives of Guinea in western Africa, and in their descendants in America and the West Indies.” And Latham in like manner observes: “No fact is more necessary to be remembered than the difference between the negro and African; a fact which is well verified by reference to the map. Here the true negro area—the area occupied by men of the black skin, thick lip, depressed nose, and woolly hair-is exceedingly small; as small in proportion to the rest of the continent as the area of the district of the stunted Hyperboreans is in Asia, or that of the Laps in Europe. Without going so far as to maintain that a dark complexion is the exception rather than the rule in Africa, it may safely be said that the hue of the Arab), the Indian, and the Australian is the prevalent color. To realize this we may ask, What are the true negro districts ? and what those other than negro ? To the former belong the valleys of the Senegal, the Gambia, the Niger, and the intermediate rivers of the coast, parts of Sudania, and parts about Sen. naar, Kordofan, and Darfúr; to the latter the whole coast of the Mediterranean, the desert, the whole of the Kaffer and Ilottentot areas s. of the line, Abyssinia, and the middle and lower Nile. This leaves but little for the typical negro.” Bearing in mind this limitation of the primitive area of the negro, we shall next proceed to speak of his prominent physical characteristics.

The negro has a black skin, unctuous and soft; woolly hair; thick lips; the lower part of the face prognathic, or projecting like a muzzle; the skull long and narrow; and a low, retreating forehead. The skull of the negro is remarkably solid and thick, so that in fighting they often butt against each other like rams, without much damage to either combatant; and it is likewise so flat that burdens are easily carried upon it. According to Camper's lateral admeasurement, the head of the negro shows an angle of 70°, while that of the European shows one of 80', on which difference of 10°, as he considered, depends the superior beauty of the latter. There is not much dependence, however, to be placed on such a mode of admeasurement; and the same may be said of Blumenbach's vertical method. According to this, a considerable difference would appear to exist between the skull of the negro and that of the European, “But,” says Dr. Prichara, “I have carefully examined the situation of the foraman magnum in many negro skulls; in all of them its position may be accurately described as being exactly behind the trans. verse line bisecting the antero-posterior diameter of the basis cranii. This is precisely the place which Owen has pointed out as the general position of the occipital hole in the human skull. In those negro skulls which have have the alveolar process very protu. berant, the anterior half of the line above described is lengthened in a slight degree by this circumstance. If allowance is made for it, no difference is perceptible. The differ. ence is in all instances extremely slight; and it is equally perceptible in heads belonging to other races of men, if we examine crania which have prominent upper jaws. If a line is let fall from the summit of the head at right angles with the plane of the basis the occipital foramen will be found to be situated immediately behind it; and this is pre. cisely the case in negro and in European heads." There is, in fact, neither in this respect—the conformation of the negro skull--nor in any other, solid ground for the opinion hazarded by some writers, and supported either through ignorance or from inter ested motives by many persons that the negro forms a connecting link between the higher order of apes and the rest of mankind. The difference is certainly considerable between the highest European and the typical negro, but the gulf between them both and the highest of the simiæ is so nearly of the same width that the difference is scarcely distinguishable. But the skin, hair, skull, lips, maxillary profile, and general facial appearance of the negro, are not the only features that distinguish him in a great degree from the European, and seem to stamp him as a distinct variety of the human race. “In the negro," says Prichard, “the bones of the leg are bent outwards. Soem. mering and Lawrence have observed that the tibia and fibula in the negro are more con. vex in front than in Europeans; the calves of the legs are very high, so as to encroach upon the hams; the feet and hands, but particularly the former, are flat; and the os calcis, instead of being arched, is continued nearly in a straight line with the other bones of the foot, which is remarkably broad. As to the supposed excessive length of the fore-arm in the negro, a circumstance also dwelt upon as showing an approach to the anthropoid apes, facts are altogether against the statement; there being no greater difference than is observable in individuals of any other variety of mankind. In stature the negro is very much on a par with the European, often reaching 6 ft., and rarely declining below five and a half. Into the discussion as to the cause of the blackness of the skin in the negro we have not space to enter. It is generally supposed to depend upon the greater amount of pigment cells in the rete Malpighiä, and in the greater number of cutaneous glands, as compared with the skin of Europeans. In the skin of the negro there is much oily matter, and he perspires profusely, which serves to keep him in health. Of the hair of the negro, Dr. Prichard remarks as follows: “I am convinced that the negro has hair properly so-called, and not wool. One difference between the hair of a negro and that of a European consists in the more curled and frizzled condition of the former. This, however, is only a difference in the degree of crispation, some European hair being likewise verv crisp. Another difference is the greater quantity of coloring

« 上一頁繼續 »