Some Anthropological Characteristics of Anglo-Negro Children

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, United Kingdom on 2012-06-07 02:49Z by Steven

Some Anthropological Characteristics of Anglo-Negro Children

The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
Volume 73, Numbers 1/2 (1943)
pages 57-73

K. L. Little, M.A., Ph.D.
The Duckworth Laboratory
University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge

I. Introduction

Although fairly large Negro communities have been in existence in Liverpool, Cardiff, London and other ports of the kingdom since the time of the Great War, very little advantage has so far been taken of the opportunities ostensibly available there for the study of racial mixture. The work of Miss R. M. Fleming (1939), who examined a large number of Anglo-Negro and other crosses, mainly in Liverpool, is an exception, but she designed her investigations more from the standpoint of family than of group inheritance. In the present inquiry, which was carried out during a series of visits to Cardiff, Hull and Liverpool in the summer months of 1941, 1942, and 1943, an attempt has been made—so far as the nature of the material allows—to examine certain aspects of mixture on linen more familiar to the anthropologist. The data presented relate to groups rather than to individuals. Perhaps a word on the methodological implications of this point may be permitted. It is evident, in the popular discussion of the topic, that a great deal of confusion has arisen in this country, as well as elsewhere, through failure to appreciate the significance of individual, as opposed to group, situations. Yet the issue is quite plain, provided its nature is understood. Since the term “race” is essentially a concept relating to a group of people, it is incorrect to speak of certain results following from racial mixture unless such results can be shown as well marked characteristics of a “hybrid” population, regarded not as the product of individuals genetically more or less unrelated to each other, but as the product of racially unrelated groups of individuals. This significant distinction has been made somewhat pungently by Ruth Benedict (1942) in a book in which she points out that miscegenation, like race, is an abstraction: the mating of two persona is a reality. It is possible, also, that a great deal of unnecessary controversy, as well as confusion, would be obviated if it was realised more widely that biological differences between individual members of the same racial group are usually greater than the differences between typical individuals representing different racial groups. Marked “overlapping ” in anthropological characteristics is nearly always found in comparisons between different populations, even when they are racially quite distinct.

The urgency of clarification of this matter needs to be emphasised. Until the biological and sociological aspects of the problem are recognised as quite separate parts of the field, and until the problem has been shorn of biological mysticism, the study of racial mixture in this country, considered as a topic concerning human biology, will remain a difficult and unenviable task for the investigator.

II. Anthropometric Criteria Employed

The data which are analysed in the following Tables and Figures relate to some 460 male and female ” English” and Anglo-Negro children, the offspring of members of the seafaring communities of the ports mentioned. Most of these subjects were living in Cardiff and Liverpool, and they had an environment, in their dockland habitat, which is not unlike that of other children of the same social and economic class as themselves. On nearly all these subjects some two dozen measurements and a number of observations regarding the colours of hair, eye and skin, and the condition of the teeth, were taken. The object of the investigation was to compare the Anglo-Negro (“hybrid”) and ” English ” populations in terms of the central tendency, variation and growth of physical characters. The latter sample may reasonably be regarded as being made up by juvenile representatives of one of the parental stocks from which the former was derived.   As wide an assortment of characters as was practicable was employed, and having regard to the racial elements concerned—-i.e. Negroid and Caucasoid — special attention was paid to features such as nasal breadth and shape, thickness of lip, colour of skin, etc., which make the clearest distinction between the parental groups. In view of the relative consistency of environmental factors, it was thought best to include for secondary consideration some of the more modifiable characters such as stature, height sitting, and weight…

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A Note on the Possibility of Analysing Race Mixtures Into Their Original Elements by the Mendelian Formula

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive on 2012-01-11 23:33Z by Steven

A Note on the Possibility of Analysing Race Mixtures Into Their Original Elements by the Mendelian Formula

The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
Volume 41, (January-June, 1911)
page 179-199

John Brownlee (1868-1927)

Anthropology has thrown much light on the problem of race. What is still wanting, however, is a means of ascertaining even roughly to what extent different races go to make up the different inhabitant* of modern countries. Analyses have been made by many authorities. Teste, such as the index of nigrescence, degree of brunetness.etc., have been proposed, but none have been found satisfactory. Again, the different scales, by which data like the colour of hair and eyes have been classified, have differed in different observers’ hands. I have, in the succeeding pages, followed chiefly the observations of Dr. Beddoe. The application of a mathematical analysis to these observations suggests that these are fundamentally correct; and also that from the beginning of his work to the end he held fast to a fixed scale which had origin not merely in bis own mind, but in the nature of things.   Hitherto, analysis of his results has not been attempted.

In the light of Mendel’s theorem of Heredity it now seems possible to make a beginning. As it is, however, only possible to make a population analysis on the basis of free mating and equal fertility, some consideration of the extent to which these can be postulated is first necessary.

The general theorem governing successive generations is very simple. Let there be at any one time two races mixing in a district. Lot these consist of m persons of constitution (a, a) and n persons of constitution (b, b) where (a, a) denotes an individual having two a elements, and (a, b) and (b, b) have like meanings, then the stable population found, when mating is free and fertility equal, is easily seen to have the proportions…

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A Pedigree Study of Amerindian Crosses in Canada

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2011-12-20 05:54Z by Steven

A Pedigree Study of Amerindian Crosses in Canada

The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
Volume 58, (July – December, 1928)
pages 511-532

R. Ruggles Gates
Department of Anthropology
Harvard University

This paper is an attempt to apply genetical methods to the study of inter-racial crossing. In the anthropological studies which have hitherto been made of racial crosses, masses of anthropometric measurements have frequently been taken, which are capable, when analysed, of furnishing valuable evidence on many points. Rut it is seldom possible to extract from them the kind of evidence the geneticist wishes to have concerning the inheritance of individual character-differences. Anthropological measurements are quantitative and require statistical treatment. The inheritance of sizes and especially of shapes is the most difficult field in genetics, and much has still to be learned from experiments with animals and plants before it can be clearly applied to man. Such features as the colour of skin, eyes, and hair, or shape of the hair in cross-section, while often presenting qualitative racial differences, also require measurements for a complete analysis of their inheritance, since intermediate grades usually occur in the hybrids. But they have the advantage that the extreme conditions at least are easily recognizable as qualitatively distinct, while this may not be evident with a mean difference in, for instance, stature or cephalic index.

The difficulties of applying the genetical pedigree method to haphazard human matings are very great. Nevertheless, it is so important that this method should be taken up by anthropologists, in addition to the traditional biometric methods of studying racial differences, that I venture to put forward these necessarily very incomplete results. In the biometrical method, the individual is measured as one of a population, but no sufficient account is taken of his relation to others. The purpose of the genetical method is to trace individual pedigrees, and so follow the inheritance of racial differences through successive generations. We shall never have an adequate knowledge of human racial inheritance until this has been done on a large scale with crosses between different races in various parts of the world.

This paper contains an account of observations on inter-racial crosses between whites and Indians in Canada. A single pedigree with various interlacing branches has been followed, and the evidence concerning the inheritance especially of skin colour and eye colour has been made as complete as the circumstances would permit…

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