Mongoloid Racial Groups: Amerindians

Figure 1.--This portrait of an Inuit child was taken about 1950 in Thule, Greenlan. The population of Greenland is about 90 percent Inuit. DNA studies suggest that the Inuit, however, are not related to the earliest people of the North American Arctic. These earliest people remained isolated from others in the region for millennia before vanishing (about 700 years ago). Th Inuit and other Native Americans of the Arctic are genetically distinct from the first settlers. [Willerslev and Raghavan] Interestingly, the Inuit people have long told stories about a mysterious ancient people thought to be legendary who they called the Tunit.

Some early attenpts at racial classifications identified Amerindians as a separate racial group. There is now no doubt that Ameriindians are a Mongoloid sub-group, having crossed over the Bearin Sea ice bridge (about 15,500-13,000 years ago with otgers waves following). Siberian hunter-gather tribes migrated over the ice bridge to what is now alaska. Then with rising temperatures became isolated in the Americas. (Interestingly, horses made the reverse journey.) Some of these proto-Indians stayed in the Arctic (the modern Inuits and Eskimoes), but others moved south into milder more productive areas. Here there is considerable debate as to just how because the Ice Age shelf blocked their passage south for some time. The original proto-Indians left no archeological evidence of this crossing. There were hunter-gather people ad the ice-bridge is now under water. DNA evidence, however, confirms the Asian origins of the vast majority of Native American people. The issue, however, is more complicated. And the formerly widely accepted assessment of the peopleing of ameruc has been called into question with findings of very early Amerindian sites, uncluding site in southern Argentina and Chile. Some DNA studies have also complicated the story of the peopling of the Americas. Researchers have detected some Caucasoid elements. This is largely unexplained, but presumably relates to the Caucasoid populations which at the time of the Bearing Sea crossing dominated Central Asia, although there are other possibilities. We have also notice claims that Polynesian elements have been detcted. Both of these non-East Asian elements are still being assessed, but they do not alter the fact that Native Americans are fundmentally a Mongoloid people. Th DNA evidence, however, can offer valuable insights into the process of peopleing the Americas a process for hich there is little or no arheological evidence. Another interesting aspect of Native american people. We note tribes with different physical characteristics and features. This may related to the various levels of Caucasoid and Polynesian admixtures as well as the characteristics of the tribal peoples who made the crossings. One author writes, "The common argument is that When I look at the various pictures of Native Americans, however, most of them do not look like neo-mongoloids found in Honshu Japan, Korea, northern China, Mongolia, and Siberia. Their faces look like archaic mongoloids who have still significantly retained old caucasoid-like features (especially North American natives)." Enviromental adaptions may be even more important. The Native american people of the andes like Peuvian/Bolivian Quechua and Aymara look like Tibetans, with obvious adaptation to living at high aditudes. Some go on to say that that they have "more Central Asian features (Turkmen, Uzbek, and others). While the Amazonian Indians resemble Southeast Asian paleo-mongoloid tribal populations." We are less sure about that, but DNA work may eventual provide insights that can identify just how the America were peopled.


Willerslev, Eske and Maanasa Raghavan. Universuty of Copehage. Science (2014). The Sanish researchers also poit that few women were among the founding population.


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Created: 8:53 PM 12/3/2015
Last updated: 5:20 PM 12/12/2015