A friend of mine who runs a site on Germanic culture and linguistics links to an old article of mine, Is Afrikaans Close to English?. He adds at the end a several paragraph explanation of the question and possible answers to it, delving into Germanic linguistic history, Old English, Dutch, Afrikaans, Icelandic, Faroese, Old Swedish, Swedish and Danish. One thing he makes clear is that Afrikaans is presently one of the least inflected of the Germanic languages – it has lost most of its inflection and is almost turning into an analytic language.
Category Archives: Indo-Hittite
We continue to have crazies coming here proposing the OIT (Out of India Theory) of Indo-European. The theory is a pitiful joke and has virtually no support among any mainstream academics. In fact, it is so ludicrous that the mainstream does not even bother to respond to the respond to the arguments, because they are deemed not worthy of response.
What is sad, and frightening, is that almost every intelligent or intellectual Indian I have ever met is a fervent supporter of the OIT. They have all the arguments down pat, and they roll them right out for you. Supporting the OIT goes along with opposition to the Aryan Migration Theory (AMT) which the Indians hate. The idea is that “our history came from the White man.”
Indians hate Whites, mostly due to British colonialism, so the idea that the White man came to India and gave them quite a bit of their civilization and their religion is resisted ferociously.
What’s pitiful is that the smartest Indians believe the most insane and stupid things. There is something deeply sick and wrong with Indians, and Indian nationalism and Hindu nationalism are exemplary of that sickness. As with all fanatic nationalisms, Indian nationalism stems from deep-seated feelings of inferiority. This sense of inferiority was magnified by colonialism.
In recent years, the rejection has spread to all things Western. I know an Indian man who almost refuses to patronize Western medicine, I suppose because it is the medicine of the White man. Instead, he believes in some weirdness called Ayurvedic medicine. His fury and hatred towards Western medicine is shocking to behold.
Nevertheless, their ridiculous arguments must be refuted, because they have so much support inside India, along with some support outside of India.
That they have support outside India can be seen in the comments of Sojournertroof in the comments section. This fellow is an anti-White White man. He supports the OIT simply because it is anti-White, that is, the OIT is in opposition to the AMT which is seen as a pro-White theory.
Hydrology. Much of the OIT is based, believe it or not, on hydrology. It is true that rivers in the north of India all have Indo-Aryan names, not Dravidian or Munda names. Dravidian and Munda were the language families spoken in India before the arrival of the Indo-Aryans. The idea is that since the Indo-Aryans were migrants, some of the earlier names should have been retained. Since they were not, obviously, the Aryans must have been indigenous to India.
What must have occurred was total replacement of the earlier names with new names for the rivers. As language replacement in North India was total (all North Indians speak Indo-Aryan languages) apparently they changed the old names of the rivers to new Indo-Aryan names.
The Sarasvati River. This is one of their favorite arguments. The argument goes something along the lines that this river existed 6000 YBP, and therefore the OIT is correct.
No one quite knows what river we are referring to here. The Sarasvati appears to be two rivers. The earliest Rigveda references are probably to the Helmand River in Afghanistan. Later references are to the Ghaggar River. But the Sarasvati is always this sort of mystical unseen river in the Rigveda. It became fuzzy and mystical early on. So all arguments about the Sarasvati are null and void anyway.
The OIT is counterintuitive. Exactly what evidence is there that IE speakers left India, moving north towards the steppes 6500 YBP, then moved to Persia 5000 YBP, then moved to Arabia and Anatolia 4000 YBP? Yet somehow it took them a full 2,500 years to even cross the Ural River. The theory is insane.
After much debate, in the 1990′s, the Journal of Indo-European Studies (JIES) granted the OIT folks a chance to show their stuff. The issue was so contentious that JIES had to void peer review in order to publish the issue, which was authored by an OIT proponent named Kazanas. Kazanas is a crank operating out of Greece who has picked up on the OIT. In the next two issues of JIES, Kazanas was utterly demolished, and the matter has not come up again.
Lack of memories of an Urheimat. An Urheimat is a homeland. The homeland of the Indo-Aryans is in the north, on the steppes of Russia. Yet there is a lack of legends of memories of this homeland or any migration, so this is said to be evidence that there was no AMT. However, most peoples lack memories of their migrations from wherever they came from to wherever they ended up. This is true even in Europe. The Greeks had no memories of any immigration to their lands, though they clearly came from somewhere.
Nevertheless, Harvard professor and Sanskrit expert Michael Witzel notes:
It has frequently been denied that the Rig Veda contains any memory or information about the former homeland(s) of the Indo-Aryans. [...] However, in the RV there are quite a few vague reminiscences of former habitats, that is, of the Bactria-Margiana area, situated to the north of Iran and Afghanistan, and even from further afield.
Such a connection can be detected in the retention by the Iranians of Indo-Aryan river names and in the many references in the RV to mountains and mountain passes.
Also, there are some sources in the Vedas or in the Gathas that point toward a migration of the Indo-Iranians from Central Asia, including the Zend Avesta – Vendidad: Fargard 1:
“…There (Airyanem Vaejah – “Land of the Aryans”) are ten winter months there, two summer months; and those are cold for the waters, cold for the earth, cold for the trees…”
That is a description of the cold steppes of Central Asia. There are also descriptions of warfare being waged by the semi-nomadic Vedic and Avestan populations against urbanized people who were not “Arya.”
The sequence of the AMT was as follows: The speakers of the linguistically slightly later, though still pre-Iron Age Indo-Aryan language, then moved into Arachosia (*Sarasvatī > Avestan Hara aitī), Swat (Suvåstu) and Punjab (Sapta Sindhu), before 3200-3000 YBP – depending on the local date of the introduction of iron.
We can trace the movements of the AMT by the introduction of iron, that is, they brought metals with them, in particular iron smelting technology. They also brought stone forts, chariots and horses. We can trace all of these things in the archeological record and they are powerful evidence for the AMT.
Recently, Armenians have come out with an Armenian Theory of Indo-European which states that Armenia was the homeland of Indo-European. It is almost universally rejected, yet pitifully it has much more support for it than there is for the OIT.
Genetic evidence. One of the major R1 clades, R1a1, associated with Indo-European, has indeed been traced back to India. However, this is not evidence for the OIT, since this clade goes back to 18,000 YBP, long before IE existed into far pre-IE times. Long after the clade was birthed, some members of the clade left India to go towards Europe and the steppes, where they became the IE peoples. There is a lot of debate going on now about R1a1, but none of the points being debated detract from the theory of Bronze Age Indo-Aryans moving into India.
There are also reports that there are little to no Central Asian genes in Indians, that is, there are few if any genetic markers of Aryan migration. Yet many invasions leave no genetic trace later on, and genetics generally gives little to no support for or against prehistoric migrations. It’s quite common. For instance, there is no trace of Italian genes in the British, but does this prove that there was no Roman invasion? Clearly, there was a Roman invasion.
There are also few to no Central Asian genes in Europeans either, but Europeans speak IE languages, and these languages came out of the steppes. By the way, there are also no South Asian genes in Europeans. We should expect some of those if OIT is correct, no?
Anthropomorphic evidence. What do IE speakers look like? They look like Europeans. Even the IE speakers in Central and South Asia look quite European. Afghans, Pakistanis, Iranians and North Indians look strikingly European. This is because of their IE roots. The IE people were an European/Caucasoid appearing people. Notice the striking difference in appearance between North Indians and South Indians or Dravidians.
If IE speakers all came out of India and moved to Europe, everyone should look like people from India. But this is not the case. Even Iranians don’t look like people from India. No one does. Only people from India look like Indians.
There is indeed a Dravidian substrate in Indo-Aryan, which is what would be expected if Dravidian speakers gave up speaking Dravidian and started speaking Indo-Aryan. It’s true that there are few Dravidian loans, and the substrate cannot be seen in hydrology. But the substrate is nevertheless clear, as is influence on Indo-Aryan from Munda languages.
Thomason and Kaufman note that the substrate looks like what we would expect in the case of language shift, and language shift is what occurred as Dravidian speakers shifted to Indo-Aryan. The Dravidian speakers appear to have shifted to Indo-Aryan yet retained their Dravidian accent.
Among IE tongues, only Indo-Aryan has a full set of phonemic contrasting retroflex consonants. Dravidian also has a full set of phonemic contrasting retroflex consonants dating all the way back to proto-Dravidian. Obviously, this set was borrowed from Dravidian into Indo-Aryan.
In terms of Dravidian loans, there are in fact some:
…numerous loanwords and even structural borrowings from Dravidian have been identified in Sanskrit texts composed in northwestern India at the end of the second and first half of the first millennium BCE, before any intensive contact between North and South India. External evidence thus suggests that the Harappans most probably spoke a Dravidian language.
The most obvious explanation of this situation is that the Dravidian languages once occupied nearly all of the Indian subcontinent, and it is the intrusion of Indo-Aryans that engulfed them in north India leaving but a few isolated enclaves.
Zero evidence of Munda and Dravidian influence in the rest of IE. If IE came out of India, all IE languages should show influence of Munda and Dravidian. Instead, only Indo-Aryan does. Therefore, Indo-Aryan moved into India and came in contact with Munda and Dravidian, and IE could not possibly have come out of India.
No accounting for IE once out of India. The OIT is great at talking about the Indian origin of IE, but is terrible at anything outside of that. There is no account of models of language development of IE after leaving India, or how IE is supposed to have spread elsewhere. Once IE is out of India, the OIT folks forget about their theory. It’s crazy.
Timeframes in the Rigveda. There is no reliable historical dating of anything in India prior to the 1500′s. So all Indian texts prior to that time must be treated very dubiously in terms of dating. There is no way to date anything in the Rigveda reliably, since the Rigveda uses no reliable method for dating.
Hindu culture is strongly ahistoric. It is not interested in dates and events. The fact that Hindu culture is so hostile to history itself and so lacking any sense of history is what opens up this whole field for debate. Hindus simply lack the ability to imagine that there is such a thing as historical change.
Archeoastronomy. This is a very dubious field. B. B. Lal uses archeoastronomy in an effort to buttress his OIT. However, the use of this method is treacherous. The model attempts to date astronomical events on the basis of astronomical calculations and is rife with error and speculation. Nevertheless, there are archeoastonomical journals. Lal’s theory has never been submitted to or discussed in any of these journals, therefore the validity of his claims is dubious. Even Lal notes that his theory is widely discredited.
The Bangani language. This language is referred to nowadays as Garhwali. Claus Peter Zoller claimed to have found Centum elements in Garhwali, which if true, would boost the OIT. Centum is part of the Satem-Centum split in IE that occurred about 4000 YBP with the splitoff of Indo-Aryan from the rest of IE. The split occurred on the steppes of Central Asia. Zoller made his claim eight years ago. No one believed him at the time, and that’s where the debate stands.
It appears that what he found instead dates from the Indo-Greek or Kushan periods of Indian history and has somehow persisted for about 2,000 years. That’s remarkable if true, but in no way does it support OIT. At any rate, most scholars don’t even believe that there is any Centum left in Garhwali, and most who do are fringe cases. Bangani-Centum is discredited and lies in ruins.
Occam’s Razor. OIT is so complex. India is a marginal area of IE distribution, not a central area. The main area of IE languages, with the greatest variety, is in Europe, especially southeastern Europe. This is obviously the linguistic center of gravity for IE. If OIT was true, we would not expect India to be such a marginal territory for IE languages.
OIT requires more and longer migrations than the standard theory in order for all of the branches to leave India. It requires a much more complex chronology in terms of isoglosses and archeology. The archaic shared isoglosses such as Satem/Centum are in Central Asia. Further, it requires the re-invention of the chariot by Indians, since they could not have acquired the Aryan chariot from Aryan migrants.
It requires all sorts of complex arguments of internal Indo-Aryan development to explain what appears to be substrate influence from Dravidian. In addition, all of this internal mess must have occurred in a short period of time – from the time between when the last Indic group left India to the beginning of the writing of the Rigveda. In contrast, the Dravidian substrate theory is much simpler.
The Kurgan theory is better. The Kurgan people fit the accepted time frame, expand their territory archeologically with time and have the basic cultural patterns of an IE people close to the center of linguistic diversity. Therefore, the Kurgan theory fits the IE model much better than OIT.
OIT requires an early dating of the Rigveda. The Rigveda is the ultimate book of Hindu literature. OIT proponents take the Rigveda back as far as 6000 years, but this is not possible, as the split between Indic and the rest of Indo-Aryan happened no earlier than 4000 years ago, even according to OIT. Furthermore, such an ancient date for the Vedas would have to reflect a Stone Age society, and the Vedas do not reflect that. The Rigveda cannot possibly be dated further back than 3,500-4000 YBP.
OIT seems to require a 7000 YBP date for the Rigveda. This is beyond the realm of possibility. Chariots? Horses? Stone forts? Metals? The culture of the early Rigveda is 2nd millennium BCE – 3,000-4,000 YBP. The Bronze Age. It’s as clear as air.
Vedic is much older than Hittite. This is a central claim of OIT folks and is necessary for their argument. It’s patently ridiculous.
Sanskrit is archaic. So what? So are Greek and Hittite, and none date back but a few thousand years. Ancient traits in IE are most commonly observed in Baltic and Hittite. Do IE reconstructions appear Vedic? Not at all. PIE look nothing like Vedic.
Horses. Horses are not indigenous to India. Horses are often seen on Vedic Aryan seals dating back 2,500-3,000 YBP. Obviously, horses, along with iron, came with the Aryan migrants.
PIE culture. The reconstructed PIE language does not fit with India. It fits with a much colder place, probably to the north of India on the steppes. India had a highly civilized culture before the arrival of the Aryans – these were the Dravidians. The PIE people did not have a highly civilized culture – instead, they were nomads, pastoralists and horse-riding warriors.
For OIT to be correct, the highly civilized Indians would have had to have lost the civilization and degenerated into a less civilized nomadic culture without writing or architecture (they lost their writing and architecture with the move to the steppes) after they left India, which then went to Europe.
This does not follow according to history. Less civilized cultures develop into more civilized ones and not the other way around. According the standard theory, less civilized Aryans contacted more civilized Dravidians and the result was Indian high culture – the Aryans went from a less civilized stage to a more civilized one, as we expect.
Early dates for Indo-Aryan don’t prove OIT. Early dates for Indo-Aryan are compatible with standard theories of IE development. The Anatolian homeland theory, which I subscribe to, pushes Indo-Aryan back to 4,600 YBP, which seems a stretch. Renfrew pushes Proto-Indo-Aryan all the way back to 5,000 YBP.
Red herrings. OIT proponents have all sorts of red herrings about the AMT. One of them is “there was no Aryan invasion.” But AMT proponents have abandoned the invasion theory a long time ago. Another is that there is no way that inferior horse-riding nomads of the steppes could have create the wonderfully complex language of Sanskrit, the Vedas, complex Indian culture, etc.
First of all, cultural complexity and linguistic complexity are not the same thing. Uncivilized peoples can speak very complex languages. Anyway, nomads did not bring fully-formed Sanskrit to India. Sanskrit, the Vedas, Hinduism, etc. were created in India by the confluence between Aryans and Dravidians.
This is a frankly racist argument anyway – that Central Asians were too stupid to create the great Indian culture – only wonderful Indians could do that. There is also a racist assumption that Sanskrit is better than other languages – or that it is the greatest language of all.
Physical anthropology. Skeletons look similar all over India for many thousands of years, so there is no evidence of an Aryan migration. Skeletons look similar all over Europe for thousands of years too. Continuity is typical in anthropology.
Northern Dravidian. There are isolated pockets of Dravidian speakers in the northern part of South Asia. These are obviously the remnants of a large area in northern South Asia that was entirely Dravidian speaking. Indo-Aryan speakers moved in, and there was mass language shift except for a few pockets here and there, the lingering pockets being just as we would expect in the case of mass language shift.
Horses. Horses have long been associated with IE societies, even in the Vedas. However, there were no horses in India at the time of the supposed migration out of India.
Impression of validity. Most of the arguments for the OIT are misleading, gratuitous, irrelevant or biased. They are pushed by kooks, nuts, chauvinists and fringe types. Mainstream academics usually don’t consider them worthy of a reply, contradiction or debunking, so the OIT arguments remain unanswered. This gives the impression that the theory carries some kind of weight. This is the case with a lot of fringe science, and OIT is very much fringe science.
Linguistic center of gravity. The linguistic center of gravity for IE is in Europe, specifically somewhere around the Balkans. Most branches are in Europe – Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, Slavic, Albanian, Greek and various extinct branches. The Balkans seems to be the center of gravity for IE, clearly not where IE originated, but possibly a secondary spread inside of Europe. Central and South Asia appear to be ruled out.
Confusion of arguments. Typically, OIT arguments take the form of, “There was no Aryan migration into India.” That is, they argue against the AMT and not for the OIT. They waste all their breath on the AMT, attempting to disprove it, but then when evidence comes for migration out of India as required by the OIT, they are silent. OIT and AMT are separate arguments. You do not prove OIT by “disproving” AMT.
- Mallory, JP. 1998. “A European Perspective on Indo-Europeans in Asia.” In: The Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Peoples of Eastern and Central Asia. Ed. Mair. Washington DC: Institute for the Study of Man.
Parpola, Asko. 1998. “Aryan Languages, Archaeological Cultures, and Sinkiang: Where Did Proto-Iranian Come into Being and How Did It Spread?”, in Mair, The Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Peoples of Eastern and Central Asia. Washington, D.C.: Institute for the Study of Man.
Witzel, Michael. May 2001. Autochthonous Aryans? The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts. Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 7(3): 1-11.
Repost from the old site.
Well not quite, but you get the picture.
I am going to write a post about Asian genes in non-Asians. Mostly or fully-Asian groups obviously occupy most of Asia. Even if we subtract Australoids from Asians, many Melanesians have some Asian in them, especially those in the east end of Indonesia> and along the coast of New Guinea. In this case, the Asian is Austronesian from Taiwan.
Papuans and Aborigines have little to no Asian mix. Polynesians are a highly controversial people who have usually been thought of as being 50% Melanesian and 50% Austronesian from Taiwan. However, there is a new paper out suggesting that they are a mostly-Austronesian people.
Micronesians are said to be the same. Previously, they were thought to be Polynesians mixed with Melanesians. Polynesia is thought to have been populated from Eastern Indonesia. Micronesia is thought to have been populated from around Fiji. Fijians are Melanesians with considerable Polynesian genes.
Obviously, mainland Asia is all Asian. Siberians are mostly Asian. The Yakut, for instance, are mostly Asian, but they do have 6% Caucasian in them.
Going west of Burma, we run into trouble. In NE India, the people are mostly Asian. Going north to Nepal, you get an odd mix of all sorts of people, some mostly Asian but others more of an East Indian type.
A very interesting, yet unclassifiable, type in Nepal. Clearly there is an Asian component to this phenotype. There are some phenotypes that look something like this in SE Asia, especially hill tribes in Burma and Thailand. Come to think of it, doesn’t she look a bit like the Naga below?
The mother of this Nepalese family looks pretty Caucasian, but I have a hard time classifying that phenotype. Something resembling that phenotype can be seen in some of the Kalash. There is also some of a North Indian-Punjabi component. The two daughters clearly have a strong Asian element, thought it does not much resemble other Asian types. The girl on the right looks a bit like a Filipina.
A very Asian type in, believe it or not, Nepal. Yes. This phenotype looks very Chinese and could be related to Tibetans. Nepalese are very difficult to classify genetically due to the divergence of types. Further, the peopling of Nepal is very poorly understood.
Punjabis have about 10% Asian genes. You can sometimes see it in their eyes.
Heading into Pakistan, some Pakistanis appear somewhat Asian. The Kalash, whom we discussed in a previous post, often appear somewhat Asian.
A very interesting Kalash woman. The Kalash are so divergent that they form one of two splits in the Caucasian Race – Kalash and non-Kalash. No one quite knows much about them, but they seem to have come from the Caucasus. Their genes are radically divergent. Either they have experienced tremendous genetic drift or they are some of the most ancient Caucasians of all.
The very early proto-Caucasians may have looked something like this – they had heavy Asian admixture. This mixing of Black and Asian was taking place in the Caucasus region.
Some Pashtuns look a little Asian, but many others just look pure Caucasian.
When we head north from this area, we start running into some heavy Asian-Caucasian mixes. This is the zone where these two great major races have seriously mixed. Heading East to Western China, we find the Uighurs, a group that is 61% Asian and 39% White. This Muslim group is heavily repressed by China and some have taken up arms against the state. I do support this secessionist movement.
Uighurs. A most interesting group of people from West China. This area has clearly seen a tremendous amount of Caucasian-Asian mixing for a long time now. It is in this region that burial tombs have been unearthed that revealed Caucasian mummies, some with red hair.
Of course, this drove White nationalist insane people even more insane. China was an ancient White homeland! Except the “Whites” were probably some Iranian or Caucasus types that these idiots have excised from their precious White race. At any rate, a few Caucasian bodies here and there does not a homeland make. There were and are plenty of Asians running around this region too. Truth is that Iranian types from the steppes have been invading this region for ages.
Tocharian, perhaps one of the earliest forms of Indo-European, may have been spoken on these windy steppes 8,000 years ago. The Uighurs are 61% Asian and 39% Caucasian. Their movement for liberation has been heavily repressed by the Chinese. Some have been radicalized and have moved down into Afghanistan and the Pakistan tribal areas to work with the local Taliban, but in general, Islam in this region is quite moderate and reasonable.
It’s questionable whether or not China even has much of a claim to this land. The girl on the right has a very interesting phenotype. She looks quite Caucasian, but that Caucasian look is actually specific to the Caucasus. I look at her and think “Dagestani”. White-Chinese hapas in the US often look something like this also.
Heading West, Uzbeks in Uzbekistan are clearly a very mixed race people – they are 59% Asian and 41% Caucasian.
An Uzbek man with a turban. A syncretic form of Islam was popular here, but due to religious repression, some Uzbeks have turned to radical Islam. The group is called the IMU. They were defeated in Uzbekistan and the remnants moved to Afghanistan to link up with the Taliban. After the Taliban were defeated, many moved into the tribal areas where many IMU fighters married local women. They form a significant component of the Pakistani Taliban who are fighting in the tribal areas right now.
An Uzbek woman. As you can see, at 41%, the Caucasian element is very high in Uzbeks. The phenotype is difficult to place, but the Caucasian element could resemble a Greek, a Georgian or possibly an Iranian.
Heading further West, the Kazakhs are strangely even more Asian: they are 70% Asian and 30% Caucasian.
Heading back towards China, we come to the Altai, a region where Mongolia, China and Russia all come together. This is thought to be the region from which the Amerindians came from. These people are best categorized as Northern Turkics and they all speak a Turkic language.
Some people here are very mixed (figures here): The Shor are 51% Caucasian and 49% Asian, the Altai themselves are 53% Asian and 47% Caucasian, the Khakass are 72% Asian and 28% Caucasian, the Sojots are 81% Asian and 19% Caucasian and the famous throat-singers, the Tuvans, are 89% Asian and 11% Caucasian.
These people are best thought of as members of a subrace known as the Uralic Race, even though they speak Turkic tongues. The Uralics generally speak languages related to Finnish.
Anthropologically, the Uralics are mysterious. We do not really know much about them or where they came from, but they are the subject of endless speculation, especially by Finnish researchers, who are fascinated by the question. For instance, the proto-Uralics were said to be neither Asians nor Caucasians. Ok, fine, so what were they?
Moving into Europe, we continue to encounter Asian genes. The Turks have a very large component of Asian genes, such that it is difficult to characterize them as Asian or Caucasian. I put them into Caucasian more on appearance than on anything else.
Heading north into Russia, it has long been known that Russians are part Asian. One can often note an Asiatic component in Russians. I had a Russian girlfriend once named Natasha who lived in the Bay Area. She had some slight Asiatic phenotypical traits.
In the part of Russia called Novgorod Oblast, the Russians are 3% Asian and 7% Finn. The Oblast is in the western part of Russia near Latvia, Estonia, St Petersburg and Leningrad. Heading into Europe now, we are surprised to find that Czechs are 3% Asian.
Although Yugoslavians are Slavs just like Czechs, I am not aware of the amount of Asian genes in them, if any. Some say that Yugoslavs, especially Serbs, look very Mediterranean, but I am not so sure. I am not sure which part of Yugoslavia these young women are from, but they are wearing traditional costumes.
What amazed me was how similar these women looked in phenotype. Granted, they’ve all curled up their hair the same way and they are wearing the same costumes, but if you look closely at the first five women from the left, tell me I’m hallucinating when I see a common phenotype in their facial appearance. Anyone else see it?
That the Hungarians are part-Asian has long been noted. I am not sure about the exact numbers though.
Both the Finns and Estonians are thought to have Asian genes and the Lapps surely do, but I believe they only have 7% Asian genes.
It often doesn’t take much Asian genes to affect the phenotype. One of the first things you notice is a sparseness of body hair and tendency of body hair to be more straight than kinky. Also, even at low gene levels, you often start seeing a bit of an epicathal fold in the eyes.
The virtual absence of India-specific mtDNA haplogroups outside of India precludes a large scale population movement out of India. Tracing a possible “out of India” migration therefore focuses on Y-chromosome haplogroups.The Y-chromosome haplogroup R2 is characterized by genetic marker M124, and is rarely found outside India, Pakistan, Iran, and southern Central Asia. Outside of southern Eurasia, M124 was found at an unusually high frequency of 0.440 among the Kurmanji of Georgia, but at a much lower frequency of only 0.080 among the Kurmanji of Turkmenistan.
The M124 frequency of 0.158 found among Chechens may be unrepresentative because it was derived from a sample size of only 19 Chechens. Outside of these populations and the Romani people, M124 is not found in Eastern Europe.
The spread of the Indo-European languages is associated with Y-chromosome haplogroup R1a1, which is identified with genetic marker M17. Kivisild et al. (2003) “suggests that southern and western Asia might be the source of this haplogroup”. However, the Genographic Project conducted by the National Geographic Society states that M17 arose “in the region of present-day Ukraine or southern Russia.”
Geneticist and anthropologist Spencer Wells states that “The Aryans came from outside India. We actually have genetic evidence for that. Very clear genetic evidence from a marker that arose on the southern steppes of Russia and the Ukraine around 5,000 to 10,000 years ago. And it subsequently spread to the east and south through Central Asia reaching India.” M17 “shows that there was a massive genetic influx into India from the steppes within the past 10,000 years. Taken with the archaeological data, we can say that the old hypothesis of an invasion of people – not merely their language – from the steppe appears to be true.”
There you have it. I really don’t care if IE came out of India – I am quite happy that Northern Indians are related to me – but it’s just not true that IE came out of India.
It’s interesting that only nutty Indians seem to have bought into this particular idiot theory, but given its anti-White presumptions, one would expect that the entire non-White crowd susceptible to CRT anti-White crap would be susceptible to this at some point. Any anti-White theory holds possible weight with anti-White non-Whites (of whom there are 100′s of millions).
Yeah! Europeans came from India! D’oh!
Actually, some of the Europeans came from Kazakhstan. Is that any better? Oh no. Fuck the Kazakhs. They don’t have a huge nationalist movement based on inferiority and grievances to back them up. Europeans have to come from India! The great Bharat! The source of all human civilization, continuing to this very day, exemplified by that woman shitting on the sidewalk up ahead where you’re going to be walking.
Jai Hind! Glory to Bharat!
Repost from the old site.
We do not have dual pronouns in English anymore, and they have dropped out of my most other European languages too, but they are still found in some languages, including American Indian languages. In these languages there is a contrast in number between singular, dual and plural pronouns:
Maori 3rd singular ia (he/she) 3rd dual rāua (they two) 3rd plural rātou (they 3 or more)
A California Amerindian language I worked on, Chukchansi Yokuts, had four different dual pronouns.
Yokuts has four – 1st person singular inclusive (you and I), 1st person singular exclusive (he and I – but not you), 2nd person singular (you two), and third person singular (them two).
1 dual inc "you and I" includes hearer 1 dual exc "he and I" excludes hearer 2 dual "you two" 3 dual "those two/they two"
1sg inclusive includes the hearer, and 1sg exclusive excludes the hearer. We can also look at this through a schematic. In the chart below, S stands for Speaker, H stands for Hearer and O stands for Other.
1 dual inc "you and I" S + H 1 dual exc "he and I (not you)" S + O 2 dual "you two" H 3 dual "those two" O
Only a few languages have 2nd person inclusive and exclusive pronouns:
2pl inc "you guys I'm talking to" 2pl exc "you and your buddies not here"
Schematically, this looks like this:
2pl inc H + H 2pl exc H + O
English sort of has inclusive and exclusive 1st person, but it is not marked grammatically. Compare:
1pl inclusive: “Remember when we all went to the beach?” This sentence, through the use of “we all”, often includes the hearer.
1pl exclusive: “I went to Rob’s house and we went to the beach.” This sentence, configured the way it is, tends to exclude the hearer. This is because you would hardly be telling a hearer a story as if they had never heard it, if they had actually been a part of the action.
There are a few languages in which you can almost have 2 S’s, or two speakers, but not really. In a few cases, the “respectful” form in inclusive-exclusive languages can be a “inclusive singular”. It’s almost as if the speaker were trying to worm his way into the hearer’s skin.
1sg inc "you and I" includes hearer 1sg exc "he and I" excludes hearer 1sg inc respect "you and I as one"
But in general, there cannot be an S + S in any human language. This is because in general there can be only one S, one speaker. Except at the Presidential Debates when everyone is interrupting everyone else.
Although we can picture a case where you and I are speaking to a crowd, or maybe to an individual. Say you and I show up to give a heart to heart talk with an errant person we know. It’s almost as if we are speaking as one, but it can never truly be an S + S. This is because even though we are dressing them down almost as one entity, we are still discrete individuals, both of independent minds.
The only way there could really be an S + S relationship is if you and I went to dress down the errant person, but I had you under mind control at the time. This would be the only case in which you can actually have “two speakers acting as one”. The Bush Administration, where there are no discrete individuals with independent minds, just different manifestations of a single Borg, may be the first known case.
As a stretch, you and I could tell the errant person in chorus that we hate them. Possibly then we would have an S + S relationship, but that would be a stretch.
Nice little discussion of dual pronouns here. They are found in Austronesian languages in Polynesia, Micronesia, the Philippines and New Guinea; in Saami, Khanty, Mansi, Nenets in Finno-Ugric, the language family that includes Finnish; in Inuktitut, an Eskimo language; and in Arabic and Amerindian languages.
They used to be present in many older versions of Indo-European languages – Old German, Old English, Avestan, Old Irish, Middle Welsh, Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, Old Norse, Gothic and Old Church Slavonic – but they have mostly gone out.
The dual only exists in Slovene and Upper and Lower Sorbian anymore. A Slovene commented on a blog, “Yes, we are the only European language left with a dual, but it doesn’t do us any good, and we are tired of hearing about it.” It’s almost gone from Lithuanian, Icelandic and Russian, where it has an archaic or humorous flavor. There are still a few relict forms in Bavarian.
The dual seems like it is one of the first forms to go out as a language modernizes. It stays on in lesser spoken languages where people have a lot of time on their hands and use language as a source of creativity and mental exercise. As a society modernizes and urbanizes, people want to say things in the quickest way possible, so languages become less and less complicated.
Contrary to White Nationalists who insist that primitive folks have primitive languages, the languages spoken by more primitive peoples are not necessarily primitive at all, and the most civilized folks have the most broken-down languages.
The most complicated languages of all are spoken by often “low-IQ” types like Aborigines, Papuans, Africans, Amerindians, Inuit, and also in tribes high up in the Caucasus. Surely IQ correlates with all sorts of stuff, but complexity of language is not one of them.
They aren’t rushed for time and they live simple, agricultural or hunter-gatherer lives, so these “low IQ” people play with language and its complexity as a form of fun and mental challenge, sort of like the way we play chess or Scrabble.
As you can see from the discussion and examples above, Linguistics is an interesting field, going beyond mere language into the philosophy of the human mind itself. That is why Noam Chomsky is Chair of something called the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy and MIT.
This particular post was in the sub-discipline of Semantics, which is one of my favorite subfields. The famed S.I. Hayakawa, California politician, was a professor of Semantics.
Others are Phonology (study of important sounds), Phonetics (study of speech sounds), Morphology (study of parts of words), Syntax (study of the rules of language and parts of speech at the sentence level), Sociolinguistics (sociology and linguistics), Anthropological Linguistics (anthropology and linguistics) and Historical Linguistics (reconstruction and analysis of the evolution of languages).
Others include Semantics (study of the meaning of words), Pragmatics (study of the intersection between social rules and behavior and language), Discourse Analysis (analysis of human discourse at the narrative level), Computational Linguistics (intersection of computing and linguistics) and Bilingualism (subfield of sociolinguistics – has to do with acquisition of and use of more than one language).
There are also subfields called Applied Linguistics (linguistics in a work-type format, such as teaching second language, work with hearing-impaired or people with language disorders) and Field (or Descriptive) Linguistics (language fieldwork, especially with small and endangered languages – how to record, take notes, transcribe, make dictionaries, alphabets, phrase books, language programs)
We also have Neurolinguistics (the study of language and the brain), Psycholinguistics (the study of language and psychological processes), Developmental Linguistics (mostly the study of language acquisition by children), Evolutionary Linguistics (the study of how language developed in man), Clinical Linguistics (the study of language and speech pathology) and Biolinguistics (study of language use in animals).
Others are Ethnolinguistics (the intersection of culture, thought and language), Linguistic Anthropology (study of man through the languages he uses), Cognitive Linguistics (the study of language as a cognitive process), Etymology (the evolution of words) and Stylistics (the study of language in context).
My favorites are Historical Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Field Linguistics, Semantics , Sociolinguistics, Bilingualism, Morphology and to some extent Phonology (though it is starting to leave me behind). Syntax is perfectly horrible.
- Brichoux, Robert. 1977.Semantic components of pronoun systems: Subanon and Samoan. Studies in Philippine Linguistics 1(1): 163-65.
Repost from the old site. Dated but fascinating stuff.
Where is Osama bin Laden, and where has he been hiding ever since he fled Tora Bora in December 2001? There are many theories about where he hides. One theory is that he has been and is hiding in Pakistan.
I do not speak of the region encompassing North and South Waziristan, where bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri have long been rumored to be. Nor do we include Peshawar, which seems too busy to hide him, although he probably stayed there in January and February 2002, being carefully hidden by members of Pakistan’s major fundamentalist parties who now rule the area.
Nor do we even speak here of the Bajaur Tribal Agency or the adjacent Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan, where this blog has long suspected that bin Laden may be, and where he has definitely been hiding off and on since then. For instance, Pakistani President Musharaff said in mid-September 2006 that Bin Laden is hiding somewhere in Bajaur, Kunar and Nuristan.
On September 28, 2006, Pakistani sources said that a new Ayman al-Zawahiri tape was circulating but had not yet been released. They said it had been recorded around the border between Bajaur and Kunar. On October 31, 2006, Pakistani intelligence said they think that they have Zawahiri “boxed in” in a 40-mile square area bordered by the Khalozai Valley in Bajaur and the village of Pashat in Kunar, and they hope to capture him in a few months.
There is also evidence that bin Laden is in that area. For instance, Osama reportedly attended a wedding of a daughter in or near Bari Kot in Kunar Province in 2002. In September 2003, according to a Newsweek article on September 8, bin Laden was said to be hiding north of the Pech River Valley in Kunar.
The source in the article was an interview with an Afghan whose daughter was married to an Algerian member of Bin Laden’s “praetorian guard”. The Algerian occasionally came down from his hideout to visit his wife.
Bajaur is thought to be Al Qaeda’s “winter hideout”. Zawahiri has surely been in Bajaur, first at Damadola, where he was nearly killed by an airstrike that missed him by mere hours, and in Chinagai, where a rumored Zawahiri visit resulted in a recent US-Pakistani strike that killed 80 madrassa students.
Afghans captured at a safe house in Bajaur in May 2005 reported that the house was regularly visited in February and March 2005 by a masked man with a large bodyguard contingent whom they suspected to be Zawahiri. I have been unable to pinpoint the town in Bajaur where the safe house was.
We are not talking about those areas in this post.
Instead, we are talking about a region in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province ranging from the Dir District north of Bajaur and adjacent to northern Kunar Province in Afghanistan, up into the Chitral District through Lowarai Pass along the Chitral Valley, past Drosh, and up to and beyond Chitral, the old hippie and trekker heaven across from Nuristan Province in Afghanistan.
From the Chitral Valley, we move east of Drosh and back into the Dir District to the Kumrat Valley in Dir Kohistan, part of a larger area called Kohistan. From Chitral, we move north up to Tirich Mir, a 25,000 ft. peak that soars to the skies. From there, we move west to Salim Shah, near the Dorah Pass on the border of Pakistan and the Afghan provinces of Nuristan and Badakhsan.
From that point, we move east along the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan first to Darkot, near 15,000 foot Darkot Pass, and then further east, out of the Chitral District and the NWFP into the Ghizar District in Kashmir, to an extremely remote town called Chillinji, near the Chillinji Pass, a 17,358 foot pass near where Afghanistan, Pakistan and China all come together.
Some places around here, especially north, northwest and west of Chillinji have just recently been explored by modern explorers, who were shocked to find almost no maps or trip reports available when they planned their trips.
From Chillinji, we move a ways east, out of the Hindu Kush and into the Karokoram Mountains, into the Gilgit District to just south of the Chinese border in the Hunza.
Along the way, we will check out some breathtaking photos of the region.
This blog has already reported on this possibility in a prior post, which focused somewhat on Chitral but also investigated reports that bin Laden was seen at an Al Qaeda training camp in the Minteke Pass region on the border of Pakistan and China in 2002. That post included spectacular photos of Chitral and many other photos of the Karokoram Mountains and the Hunza area, which encompasses the Mingteke region.
Lending possible credence to theory that Bin Laden is in the high mountains of the Hindu Kush, at least in the Summer, when most of the reports have placed him there, is a theory that the CIA is operating on the seasonal movements of Al Qaeda’s top leadership.
The theory is that the leadership moves between a number of safe houses at lower elevations in the winter (in areas that are pretty much snowed in) and then moves to caves at very high elevations in the Summer when the lower elevations they had been staying in become accessible.
If you think about it, the best place to hide in the region in the warmer months is as high up as possible. A recent ABC news investigative report video segment placed bin Laden between the Khyber Pass and Chitral along the Afghan-Pakistan border. That video also noted the seasonal movements described above (works only in Internet Explorer – shame on ABC!)
This very nice and easy-to-read map is a good guide to at least part of this post. The red circle is the approximate location of Damadola , where a US Predator tried to kill Ayman Al-Zawahiri (Al Qaeda’s Number 2 man) when he was visiting in-laws on January 13, 2006. (Zawahiri married a woman from the Damadola area in 2001.) The missile only missed the Al Qaeda leader by hours and killed Al Qaeda’s top explosive expert.
Abu Marwan Al-Suri, Al Qaeda’s money man, was killed on April 20, 2006 between Khar (not on the map), capital of Bajaur, and the Afghan border. That would also be in about the location of the red circle on the map.
Dargai on the map is where the Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber attacked a Pakistani base recently, killing 45 recruits, in a revenge attack for the US Predator attack on the Al Qaeda training camp/madrassa in Chinagai (not shown, but located by the bend in the road east of Mian Kalai on the map) on October 30, 2006, killing 80 madrassa students. That attack may also have been based on a rumored visit by Zawahiri.
Abu Faraj Al-Libbi, the so-called Number 3 man in Al Qaeda, was arrested in May 2005 in Mardan on the map. Dir, Drosh and Chitral on the map are discussed in this post. The town of Tal on the map is located in the Kumrat Valley, discussed in the post.
Bin Laden and Zawahiri are also often said to be hiding in the Afghan province of Nuristan around Kamdesh on the map. Bin Laden appeared at a wedding for a daughter in 2002 in Barikot on the map in the Afghan Province of Kunar in 2002.
Tirich Mir, Darkot and Chillinji Pass are off the map to the north and northeast.
We begin our journey in Dir, where Frontline (a US Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, program) reported that Osama bin Laden was seen only three weeks before they visited on August 30, 2002 to make the special In Search of Bin Laden. During Frontline’s visit to Dir, they described it as totally hostile. Bin Laden had also been seen in Chitral just weeks prior to the Dir sighting. At the time, Zawahiri was thought to be operating out of Chitral.
Later, in March 2003, we have a report from the Iranian News Agency that an FBI team (actually CIA) was in Chitral in order to intercept a planned meeting between bin Laden and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hizb-Islami, an Afghan radical Islamist group, who had just thrown his hat in with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
In truth, there were extensive searches in Chitral in February-March 2003 involving both CIA and Pakistani forces. The two-person CIA team (male and female) cruised the district in an SUV, but found nothing. Parties were reportedly coming across the border from Nuristan for the meeting.
Abu Khabaib, an Arab explosives master, has been spotted several times in the Chitral Mountains. He has worked with Sheik Ahmed Salim, an Al Qaeda operative who has given money and fighters to Lashakr-e-Jhangvi, a Pakistani extremist organization that is primarily dedicated to waging horrible terrorist attacks (often large-scale attacks) on Pakistan’s Shia population.
Al Qaeda released a videotape in September 2003 showing bin Laden and Zawahiri picking their way down a very steep and high-elevation forested mountain. The trees in the videotape are reportedly peculiar to the Chitral region.
The Chitral District has a population that is 65% Sunni, 35% Shia Muslim and a tiny percentage of non-Muslim Kalash, who practice a pre-Islamic native religion with overtones of animism.
This obscure blog feels that bin Laden is hiding between Dir and Chitral in the Chitral Valley, which would put him around Drosh on the map. A description of the Frontline crew’s visit to Drosh on September 1, 2002, with a nice photo, is here.
Moving on up the Chitral Valley past Drosh, we come to Chitral, where hippies migrated in the 1960′s and 1970′s for its legendary hashish. Even back then, it was very difficult to get in, as all entry to foreigners was banned, and you could only get in with an invite from a resident.
When Frontline traveled through the Lowarai Pass between Dir and Drosh, they looked in the guestbook and noted that only two Americans had been there since 9-11, a period of almost a year. The soldier manning the post joked and said that one of the two Americans was a spy.
Stomach-churning switchbacks on the road to Lowarai Pass. This terrible road is one of the best roads in this part of Pakistan. The Phalura people live here. Their language is related to the Kohistanis 40 miles to the west; the Phalura apparently moved to this area from Kohistan several centuries ago for unknown reasons. Bin Laden and Zawahiri were apparently in this area in July and August 2002. Are they there now?
The people around the pass speak a Dardic language with 8,600 speakers called Phalura, that is related to Shina (Shina is described at the end of the post). In some villages, the language appears to be dying in favor of the more widely spoken Khowar but in others it is still vibrant .
The people here are Sunnis. A linguist in Sweden, Hendrik Lilgendren, is working on a grammar of the language, a much-needed addition to our knowledge of these poorly documented languages of Northern Pakistan.
Chitral is now a trekking capital for intrepid visitors all over the world, but it is still a great place to hide. There are tourists in the summertime, but in the winter, Lowarai Pass, its window to the world, is generally snowed in. Air access to Chitral is meager at best, and the electricity and Internet go out all the time. In 2006, perhaps ominously, Pakistan closed the entire Chitral region to tourists due to “security reasons”.
The local governor has reportedly forbidden intelligence officers from searching the area and local politicians have been protesting, perhaps a bit too much, that bin Laden is nowhere in the area. Fundamentalist Islam is big even in Chitral, where the local Islamist party in summer 2006 protested women having their own stalls in the market.
In late August 2006, Al Qaeda authority Peter Bergen said US intelligence was starting to focus on Chitral as a possible hideout for bin Laden. This conclusion was based on an analysis of the trees in Al Qaeda videotapes and the length of time it seems to take to deliver Al Qaeda tapes after they have been made (about 3 weeks).
Another interview with Bergen for a CNN program called “In the Footsteps of Bin Laden” aired in September 2006 elaborates along the same lines, and says that Chitral is considered “inaccessible” and that US forces are banned from the area at any rate.
Note this recent article from September 2006, though, that notes that since January 2006, a special US bin Laden task force called Task Force 145 is now allowed to go into Pakistan without permission to hunt bin Laden.
Chitral, where as recently as August 2006, US intelligence felt that Osama bin Laden was hiding. A CIA team rented a home here to search for him until they were chased out in Spring 2006. Some think he was living a quiet, paranoid life here in a home with only a few other people. He would hardly ever go out, and his visitors would be very tightly regulated. He may have spent his day listening to radio, watching the news and surfing the net, since he is a news junkie.
A US intelligence official was quoted as saying that bin Laden was thought to be living not in a cave but in a house in Chitral, possibly with a family, and with a small bodyguard team of maybe only a couple of guards. Bergen felt that bin Laden spendt his days on the Internet, watching CNN and listening to BBC radio. He may access the net through a device called an HF modem that connects users to the net via radio waves.
Pakistani officials protest that Chitralis do not like bin Laden due to ethnic and religious differences, so it is unlikely that he is in the area. A tiny CIA (reports say it was FBI, but CIA here is always referred to as FBI, in order not to inflame Pakistani sensibilities) team rented a home in Chitral in Winter 2005 under the cover of being investors trying to bring business to the area.
By Spring 2006, local politicians found out about them, and were raising a fuss about them after their location was revealed by a local politician, but by that time, they were already gone.
There is another report, this one from June 17, 2005, from ABC’s Brian Ross. In this case, a group of Arabs came down from Nuristan to a small market town in the Chitral District and loaded up on large quantities of supplies, including wheat and flour. Then they headed back to Afghanistan. I do not know what town in Chitral they came to. It seems probable that this group was connected to the Al Qaeda leadership.
People in Chitral mostly speak Khowar, a Dardic language with 240,000 speakers that is distantly related to Hindu and Persian and more closely to Punjabi, Kashmiri and Sindhi. You can see the tremendous differences between it and Pashto, Hindi, and even Nuristani in this lexical chart. Note the occasional cognate though, such as “eye”.
About 15-20 % of speakers are literate in the language. Nevertheless, Khowar, I am happy to say, is being well-developed as a literary language.
Adding weight to the theory that bin Laden may be or may have been in Chitral is a recent report from ABC News that more foreigners have been seen lately in the Waziristan and Bajaur Agencies of FATA, and in the Dir and Chitral Districts of NWFP. In all of these areas (including Chitral), the Taliban have been openly recruiting for jihad in Afghanistan.
The heightened presence of foreigners and open recruiting is apparently due to recent peace deals between the Pakistani government and jihadis in North and South Waziristan that essentially handed over power there to Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Moving north of Chitral, this article from around the same time, late August 2006, says bin Laden was thought to be hiding north of Chitral, around the towering Tirich Mir Mountain, a soaring peak that rises to 25,289 feet. No source was given, but Western intelligence agencies are usually the sources of these tidbits.
A nice webpage on this mountain, with some spectacular pictures, is here.
There are plenty of caves around there too, sympathetic tribesmen, a ban on US forces operating in the area, and few to no roads. Another great place to hide.
On a map, Tirich Mir can be seen in the far northwest corner of Pakistan, north of Chitral and south and west of the border with Afghanistan.
Moving east, a report by ABC’s Brian Ross from May 24, 2006 (6 months ago) said that Pakistani officials had received reports that Al Qaeda’s top leadership was in the Kumrat Valley of Dir Kohistan, 40 miles inside Pakistan. They had reportedly moved there from Chitral.
Kohistan, where the Al Qaeda leadership was thought to have moved to from Chitral in summer 2006. The trees and terrain here do resemble that seen on a videotape of bin Laden and Zawahiri in 2003, I must admit. This photo also looks very much like Nuristan Province in Afghanistan, where the leadership has also long been rumored to be hiding. It also reminds me of Idaho in the US Northwest.
The Pakistanis felt that the bin Laden’s entourage had recently moved down from the high peaks near the Afghan-Pakistan border to Kohistan.
The Kumrat Valley is identified on the map above by the town of Tal, which is located in the valley.
There are 5 doctors per million population in Kohistan – or 1 doctor for every 200,000 people.
The people in the Kumrat Valley speak a language called Kalami, which has 40,000 speakers. In this area, the Thal dialect of Kalami is spoken. This dialect has around 90% similarity with most of the other Kalami dialects. Most men also speak Pashto.
This link has an excellent description of the people and language of this region (pdf). Since the creation of an alphabet in 1995, Kalami is now a written language with an Indo-Arabic script similar to Urdu. Three books have now been published in Kalami by the Kalam Cultural Society. Links to two of those books are here and here. Some stunning photos of the Kalam area can be seen here.
The Kalamis are similar in many ways to the Kohistanis of Afghanistan. They are all strict Hanafite Sunni Muslims.
As with the Kohistanis in Afghanistan, almost all men are armed at all times in order to defend themselves against their numerous enemies, since most of them are engaged in continuous feuds with other Kalamis, usually revolving around women and honor.
A Pakistani official recently stated that Kohistan is the most lawless area of all Pakistan, and Dir Kohistan was the most lawless part of Kohistan. Feuds kill about one person every two weeks in the Tal Region.
Kohistani women are treated terribly in Kohistan, as they are in Afghanistan. Kohistani women are treated even worse than Pashtun women, which is pretty bad!
This region is extremely inaccessible. There are only two roads in the entirety of Pakistani Kohistan, and those are pretty bad.
Most travel here is on foot or by mule on narrow rocky trails.
Bridges are often narrow hanging bridges over raging, torrential rivers tearing through soaring canyons. The bridges are so narrow and rickety that often pack animals will refuse to cross them, rendering much of the area inaccessible even by mule!
That is called a bridge in Kohistan – a log over a raging torrent of a river plunging down a skyscraper canyon. If you hide here, no motorized vehicle can get to you. Search teams must come by mule or on foot and you will be warned far in advance.
These same conditions regarding roads and bridges also apply to Nuristan, and similarly limit access to that Afghan province and make it an excellent place to hide.
As you can see, this is an excellent place to hide! US forces are not allowed here and Pakistani forces cannot access most of the region via motorized vehicles.
Pakistani troops would be limited to pack animals, and in many cases, they would just have to abandon the animals and go on foot.
Often, pack animals simply refuse to cross these Kohistan foot bridges over raging alpine rivers. Surely, anything with four wheels is useless here. The bridges and scenery in Afghanistan’s Nuristan are quite similar.
The people here are notoriously hard to govern, and early observers reported that this area was inhabited by “ anarchists” who opposed all outside authority. The terrain here is spectacular, with plunging canyons, soaring peaks, raging rivers, lush meadows and deep evergreen forests.
The forests here are vast and the deforestation level is still low, unlike Nuristan and Kunar.
There is also a very healthy wildlife population in Kohistan, including rare animals. Large carnivores, often rare elsewhere in the region, are abundant. Brown and Black Bears, leopards and snow leopards and wolves roam the wild forests.
Kohistan is a paradise for wildlife, even rare predatory mammals that are barely holding their own elsewhere. Can you imagine Al Qaeda’s most wanted hiding here? This photo looks like the Rocky Mountains in Canada.
What few roads and trails existed prior to 1992 have now been wiped out after terrible floods raged through Kohistan in that year, destroying roads, trails, bridges and structures.
Most of the area has still not yet been rebuilt.
The people grow a few crops here, but only 4% of the land is cultivated and most crops do not grow well.
They also increasingly engage in forestry and especially the gathering of medicinal herbs for sale, of which there are around 70 types growing here.
The gorgeous forests of Kohistan. By examining the trees in an Al Qaeda video from 2003, the CIA thinks it is pinning down where bin Laden is located. This photo could be of the Black Forest in Germany, the US’ Washington state and Canada’s province of British Colombia in the Pacific Northwest, Chile’s Patagonia, or Russia’s endless Siberian forests.
For the most part, residents subsist on animal husbandry. They obtain milk, meat, cheese, wool and hides from these animals.
In recent years, quite a bit of tourism has come to the Kalam area, but I don’t know how they are getting around unless they are trekkers.
Moving even further to the north and off the map above, in this fascinating Christian Science Monitor article by Scott Baldouf on August 9, 2002, Al Qaeda Massing For New Fight, Ayman Zawahiri was said to be holding sway at a new base constructed by Al Qaeda in the town of Shah Silim (map).
This obscure report notes that in August 2002, echoing Baldouf’s article, bin Laden and Zawahiri traveled to Dir and Shah Salim to solidify their alliance with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, head of the Hezb-i-Islami. It also lists in fascinating detail all of bin Laden’s known movements and activities from November 2001 to August 2004.
Shah Salim is located about 30 miles northwest of Chitral on the Afghan-Pakistan border near where Pakistan meets the Afghan provinces of Badakhshan and Nuristan.
On a map, it is located between the town of Darband and 14,940 foot Dorah Pass, only a few miles from the Afghan border. This pass played an important role in the war, as this was an important supply route form Pakistan to Afghanistan that the Soviets were never able to shut off.
The Afghan side of Dorah Pass, the famous route used by the mujaheddin in the Soviet War. The people in this area used to be mostly Munjis, but most of the Munjis left to Pakistan with the war. It’s not known if they have returned or not yet.
This is an extremely wild, remote and inaccessible region. There are hardly any roads and much of the access is by foot or horse. In 2001, the area was experiencing a terrible humanitarian crisis. Most of the people here speak Yidga (6,145 speakers) and are Ismaili Shia Muslims. Yidga is a Pamir language. The Pamir languages are Indo-Iranian languages related to Persian and Pashto, but fairly distantly.
Across the border in Afghanistan, people speak another Pamir language called Munji that is somewhat closely related to Yidga (about as close as English and Dutch). Most Munjis fled Afghanistan and settled in Pakistan during the Soviet War.
A fascinating Australian Medical Journal article in 2002 reported on the experience of a doctor, Robert Simpson, working with MSF (Doctors Without Borders) in the region in 1999, albeit 60 miles north of Salim Shah in the Badakhshan town of Baharak (map here). This article gives you an idea of what things are probably like in Salim Shah.
The living conditions in this region are simply appalling. This is a region where there are no roads, no communications, no water, no power, and basically, no government, along with a population engaged in constant warring and feuding.
50% of the children in Badakhshan are malnourished and many women die in childbirth.
A variety of terrible diseases regularly ravage large sectors of the population, and cures or even treatments are typically nonexistent. Three people were stoned to death while he was there. For Afghanistan as a whole, infant and maternal mortality figures are amongst the worst on Earth (Afghanistan’s maternal mortality rate is exceeded only by Sierra Leone) and life expectancy is a mere 45 years.
In Baharak, all of those figures are worse, if you can imagine that. The linked article includes disgusting photos of Afghans afflicted with the bizarre and terrible illnesses that ravage this region.
Moving further along the Wakhan Corridor, an area even poorer and more devastated than the rest of Badakhshan, if you can believe that, we note that on August 17, 2006 bin Laden and Zawahiri were reportedly in the Pakistani town of Darkot, on the border between Pakistan and the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan.
The article suggested that the leadership had just moved out of Chitral to the Wakhan Corridor.
On a map, Darkot is north of Mir Wali and slightly northwest of the 21,407 ft. Daspar Mountain. It is located on the edge of the Wakhan Corridor on the Afghan border.
The entire Wakhan Corridor is at least 9000 feet high and the climate is very harsh. There is only 1 clinic in the entire corridor and it is 20 days’ donkey ride away from the furthest villages in the corridor. There is absolutely no infrastructure whatsoever here.
A very large percentage of the population is using opium here, possibly because it is about the only “medicine” available.
The vast majority of the population also appears to be depressed. None of the children are immunized against anything.
On Simpson’s visit, he reported that in one village, the last foreigner had passed through 20 years ago. In another, an entire village of 300 had been devastated by a klebsiella bacterial infection, probably spread by poor sanitation. At one point, there were hardly any villagers strong enough to even fetch water for the rest. The outbreak could easily have killed the whole village.
A similar report, this one from a month earlier, noted that Pakistani authorities had, on July 19, 2006, ordered the entire part of Pakistan bordering the Wakhan Corridor evacuated due to reports that bin Laden and Zawahiri were in the area of the Chillinji (or Chilinji) Pass.
A raging, muddy, torrential, flooding river near Darkot. The wild, nearly unknown lands near Chillinji look similar. This entire area was evacuated in summer 2006 after reports that bin Laden and Zawahiri were hiding somewhere here. I would expect to see an Abominable Snowman in a place like this. This photo actually looks like Patagonia in Chile.
The town of Chillinji is about 34 miles west of Darkot. It is across the border of the Chitral District, beyond the tail of the Hindu Kush, into an obscure range called the Hindu Raj, and into the Ghizar District of Kashmir at the headwaters of the Ishkuman River.
This 17,549 ft. pass is the 5th highest pass in the Hindu Kush. A report places the Al Qaeda leadership in Chillinji about 1 month before they were seen in Darkot.
Chillinji is 30 miles east of Darkot and also borders the Wakhan Corridor.
The area has two advantages for Al Qaeda – US forces are not permitted there, and the proximity to China means that bombing by US air power is probably not an option due to the fact that a diplomatic row may ensue over US planes bombing targets so close to Chinese territory.
There were 100′s of tourists in the area at the time, mostly trekkers, and all were reportedly evacuated. The report was confirmed by Western intelligence in Islamabad.
The linked report above goes on to speculate about a Chinese connection to Al Qaeda, either governmental, or (more likely) via East Turkestan separatists, who are long known to be allied with Al Qaeda through attending courses at Al Qaeda’s training camps under the Taliban’s rule.
We seem to have come full circle here. Soon after the US invasion of Afghanistan, US Special Forces were hunting bin Laden in the very same Wakhan Corridor. At the time, the theory was that the top AQ leadership was hiding in caves in the corridor in a cave complex that was supposedly built by the Russians.
This complex very high in the mountains was supposedly so high-tech that it was heated. Special Forces were using thermal sensors in the winter to look for a possible heated shelter in this area. Nothing ever turned up, and no one has ever conclusively shown that this supposed base even exists.
I was unable to find pictures of the Chilinji area that were not copyrighted, and we typically don’t run copyrighted photos on this blog.
Those interested in some truly spectacular photos of the Chillinji/Darkot Pass area are urged to check out the site of photographer Steve Razzetti. Once inside, click on the slide show marked Hindu Kush. Most of the photos are of the area around Chillinji and Darkot. The Chilinji area looks quite a bit like the Darkot photos in this post.
Our final stop along this voyage will be a place called Murkushi ( map), a town located 4 1/2 miles south of the Chinese border where China, Pakistan and Afghanistan all come together.
A breathtaking photo of the area near Murkushi, with a typical barely passable bridge and cascading gorge. This area is impassible by motor vehicles and often even pack animals because they are afraid of these bridges. Hence, the only access is by foot.
Murkushi is located south of Kilik Pass and west of Mintaka Pass. Both passes are at 15,449 feet.
The stunning view, looking from Kilik Pass southeast to Mintaka Pass on the Chinese-Pakistani border. This area is so close to China that it is de facto controlled by the Chinese. Furthermore, the proximity to China means that US jets cannot bomb here for fear of setting off a world crisis with the Chinese.
According to the Baldouf article, by August 2002, Al Qaeda had set up a large base here.
Afghan spies, pretending to be Islamists, reportedly penetrated the Murkushi and Shah Salim bases in 2002. The Murkushi area, though in Pakistani territory, is reportedly under de facto Chinese control.
Afghan intelligence concluded that the Murkushi base may be being controlled by the Chinese government, a theory the Machiavellian implications of which are presently boggling my mind. I will leave it to the reader to toss that idea around!
The people residing in Darkot, Chillinji and Murkushi are generally Wakhis, an Ismaili Shia Tajik people numbering 50,000 worldwide.
Wakhi is spoken in Pakistan (9,100 speakers), China (6,000 speakers), Tajikistan (7,000 speakers) and Afghanistan (9,600 speakers). In Afghanistan, it is spoken in the Wakhan Corridor, described above.
Wakhi is related to Iranian and Tajik, but fairly distantly. It is even rather diverse within its Pamir subgroup, as this lexicon shows. Wakhi is now a written language, and 60% of Pakistani speakers can read and write it. There is also a radio program in Wakhi in Pakistan. Most male Wakhis in Pakistan can also speak Urdu.
In other places, especially Afghanistan and Tajikistan (especially), Wakhi appears to be losing ground in favor of Pashto or Tajik. In Pakistan, Wakhis refer to themselves as Tajiks. Tajik nationalists claim that Wakhi is a dialect of Tajik, but a quick look at the lexicon above shows how ludicrous that claim is.
There are also some speakers of Burushaski , an obscure language isolate (not related to any known languages) here, especially in the Hunza around Murkushi. I have studied Burushaski extensively (in particular, the work of John Bengston) and I now feel it is related to Sino-Tibetan, Basque, Ket and the North Caucasian languages like Chechen in a super-family called Dene-Caucasian), although that is a highly controversial theory.
The Bengston book I read back in the 1990′s mostly dealt with Yenisien (the Ket family), some Caucasian languages and Basque, and I felt it was quite convincing.
River crossing near Darkot. This party had a jeep but they had to abandon it miles back because it was no longer possible to travel by jeep. They switched to donkeys, which they are using to ford this wide, wild river. A mechanized army is useless here; an excellent place to hide.
Shina is a widely-spoken language in northern Pakistan, spoken by 330,000 speakers.
An interesting fact is that in Chillinji, Darkot and Murkushi, the purdah system, whereby women are kept out of sight in public, pretty much vanishes, and girls and women walk freely about and anyone can look at them, whereas in most of Chitral, even in the Ismaili areas, the purdah system prevails.
Wakhi girls near Darkot. Not only do they walk around freely, but you can actually look at them and even take their photos! Gasp! Note the bright outfits and the neat jewelry hanging from them. The girl on the right has very noticeable Asian features.
You may note the focus on languages in this post. I have a Master’s Degree in Linguistics. One of my areas of interest is a controversial one – language death. The decline and extinction of so many of the world’s languages is a complex subject that goes beyond the scope of this post. But those interested may wish to check out this neat paper on language diversity, decline and death in Pakistan (pdf).
It also has a nice list of the 70 languages spoken there, with number of speakers, locations, and in some cases, notes about language shift (a process of language death whereby speakers quit speaking their native language in favor of another, usually more widely spoken language).
Related to “There was no Aryan Invasion” folks, mostly Hindu nationalists and Indian nationalists.
Out of India Model. Unfortunately, the Wikipedia page makes it seem somewhat plausible. It’s not. Not plausible, that is. It’s nonsense. Indo-European speakers did not come out of India. India is not the homeland of the Indo-Europeans. The true homeland is in far southern Russia north of the Caucasus, or, even better, in Anatolia.
This is what really happened: an Indo-Aryan migration. Read through that piece and it becomes quite clear that this is what really happened. Part of the problem is with the word invasion. There was no invasion. They just moved in.
Michael Witzel, a Sanskritist, has been in the forefront of attacking the Out of India model. Here is a good page savaging most of their arguments. He takes apart one of their leader proponents, N. Kazanas of Greece, a guy who is little more than a dilettante. It takes a little while to get through this stuff as it’s a bit heavy going, but I was able to do it. Once you do it, the Out of India Theory lies in ruins.
One of the OOI arguments is that Indo-Aryan peoples have no memory of a migration. But who does anyway? Most IE peoples do not remember their obvious migrations either. Romans said they came from Troy. This is a lie. Gypsies say they came from Egypt. Fiction.
Here is an argument against an Indo-Aryan incursion:
we have an archaeologically attested culture of many centuries if not millennia with undoubted literacy but without any traces of religious texts, legal codes, scientific works and even simple secular fables (except most laconic legends on indecipherable seals), and, in quick succession, even as the older culture declines, an intrusive illiterate people with no archaeological attestation at all who yet produce within a few centuries (according to the AIT) all the literature that was missing from the previous culture.
This is a unique situation that makes little sense.
However, this very thing happened in Greece. First, a Minoan cult, a Helladic civilization, but no literary texts, then, in a few centuries, then, within a few centuries, an explosion of literature, poetry, religion, philosophy, the Homeric texts, etc. Further, it does not produce “all the literature that was missing from the previous civilization. It produces new literature at a very rapid pace – see the Yayoi invasion of Japan from Korea and the rapid replacement of the Jomon culture for something similar.
Another argument is that archeologically, the record of civilization in India is continuous – that is, there is no obvious disruption dating from an Aryan invasion. However, as a general rule, culture, archeologically, is continuous in all parts of the world. Culture is continuous in Europe too, and we know full well that Indo-Europeans took over and supplanted earlier groups. Is there a record of this takeover culturally? Well no, but it happened.
However, keep in mind that horses and chariots showed up with the Indo-Aryans and were not found in India previously. OOI folks say silly things like, “Egyptians had chariots too” (Point being?). Anyway, horses and chariots did not develop in India. They came down from the steppes with the I-A speakers.
Surely if OOI is true than Sanskrit would be the most ancient IE language. It’s not at all. It only goes back 3,500 years too. The Anatolian branch may well date back 8,000 years.
If OOI is true than borrowings from other Indian languages such as Dravidian and Munda would be found in all branches of IE, no? But of course they are only found in Indic, which we would expect if Indic speakers migrated into India and not out of it.
Going back to pre-Indo-Aryan times, paleontologists find differences between bones even between Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. Also, there are no I-A bones found here. Of course not. Aryans will not show up for 1000′s of years.
Yes, Harappans built wheels, but they built no spoke-wheeled chariot. This came only with the Aryans. OOI folks have no explanation for this.
Indeed, Aryan chariots are built from woods from the Punjab plain, not wood from say the steppes. But this is not a valid OOI argument. Invaders always use whatever is available. Aryan immigrants brought chariot technology with them from the steppes. To make chariots in their new homeland, they used local wood. This is surprising?
Repost from the old site.
In this post we will look at the prehistory of the Asian or Mongoloid Race and some its subgroups. After humans came out of Africa about 70,000 years ago, they moved along the coast of Arabia, Southwest Asia, South Asia and eventually to Southeast Asia.
We think that these people looked something like the Negritos of today, such as those on the Andaman Islands.
At some point, probably in Southern China, the Mongoloid Race was born. The timeline, as determined by looking at genes, was from 60,000-110,000 years ago. As humans are thought to have only populated the world 70,000 years or so ago, it is strange that the timeline may go back as far as 110,000 years.
One thing that is very interesting is that there is evidence for regional continuity in Asia (especially China) dating back 100,000′s of years, if not millions of years. This is called the multiregional hypothesis of human development.
Though it is mostly abandoned today, it still has its adherents.
Some of its adherents are Asian nationalists of various types, especially Chinese and Indonesian nationalists. They all want to think that man was born in their particular country. Others are White nationalists who refuse to believe that they are descended from Africans, whom they consider to be inferior. The problem is that the Asians can indeed show good evidence for continuity in the skulls in their region.
A good midway point between the two, that sort of solves the conundrum, is that humans came out of Africa, say, ~70,000 years or so ago, and when they got to Asia, they bred in with some of the more archaic types there. The problem with this is that the only modern human showing evidence of pre-modern Homo genes in Mungo Man in Australia from 50,000 years ago.
There is evidence that as late as 120,000 years ago, supposedly fully modern humans in Tanzania were still transitioning from archaic to modern man. Ancient South African humans 100-110,000 yrs ago looked like neither Bantus nor Bushmen.
Nevertheless, we can reject the multiregional theory in its strong form as junk science. We also note cynically that once again ethnic nationalists and regular nationalists, including some of the world’s top scientists, are pushing a blatantly unscientific theory. Yet again ethnic nationalism is shown to be a stupidifying mindset.
There must be a reason why ethnic nationalism seems to turn so many smart people into total idiots. I suspect it lies in the fact that the basic way of thinking involved in ethnic nationalism is just a garbage way of looking at the world, and getting into it distorts one’s mind similar to the way a mental illness does.
We think that the homeland of the Asians is in Southern China, just north of the Vietnam border. This is because the people with the greatest genetic diversity in Asia are found in Northern Vietnam. Since the Vietnamese are known to have largely come from Southern China, we can assume that the homeland was just north of the border. From there, all modern Asians were born.
This means all NE and SE Asians, Polynesians, Micronesians and Melanesians came out of this Asian homeland.
There is even evidence that the Altaics of Siberia originated from the SE Asian homeland. They are thought to have moved out of there to the west and north to become the various Altaic groups such as the Buryats. Later Caucasian lines came to the Altaics from the West.
A Mongolian man on the steppes with a grazing animal and possibly a yurt in the background. Yurts are conical structures that the Mongolians still live in. I believe that Mongolians also eat a lot of yogurt, which they cultivate from the milk of their grazing animals. Note the pale blue eyes and somewhat Caucasian appearance.
My astute Chinese commenter notes: “While Mongolians do have ‘Caucasian genes’, they look distinct from Uighurs, who are mixed. I’m thinking Mongolians and Central Asians lie in a spectrum between Caucasoids in West Asia and “Mongoloids” in Northeast Asians, while Uighurs were the product of Central Asian, West Asian, and Northeast Asian interbreeding.”
In fact, all of these populations are on the border genetically between Caucasians and Asians.
A Mongolian woman. Note short, stocky appearance with short limbs to preserve heat in the cold. Note also the long, moon-shaped, ruddy face, possibly red from the cold weather. Are those ginseng roots in her hand?
More Mongolians, this time with what look like grazing reindeer in the background. Mongolians herd reindeer? Note once again the long, flat, moon-shaped face, the almost-Caucasian features and especially the pale blue eyes of each woman. I cannot help but think that both of these women also look like Amerindians. Neither would be out of place at a pow wow.
More Mongolians, this time a Mongolian boy. Other than the eyes, he definitely looks Caucasian. He looks like a lot of the kids I grew up with in facial structure. Mongolians are anywhere from 10% Caucasian to 14% Caucasian.
From their Altaic lands, especially in the Altai region and the mouth of the Amur River, they moved into the Americas either across the Bering Straight or in boats along the Western US Coast. Another line went north to become the Northeast Asians. And from the Northeast Asian homeland near Lake Baikal, another line went on to become the Siberians.
From 10-40,000 yrs ago, the Siberian population was Mongoloid or pre-Mongoloid. After 10,000 yrs BP (before present), Caucasians or proto-Caucasians moved in from the West across the steppes, but they never got further than Lake Baikal. This group came from the Caucasus Mountains. They are members of the Tungus Race and are quite divergent from most other groups genetically.
Soon after the founding of the Asian homeland in northern Vietnam 53,000-90,000 yrs ago, the proto-Asians split into three distinct lines – a line heading to Japanese and related peoples, another heading to the North and Northeast Asians, and a third to the Southern Han Chinese and SE Asian lines.
A beautiful royal member of the Southern Han Dynasty in Hong Kong, member of the South China Sea Race. This race consists of the Filipinos, the Ami and the Southern Han from Guangdong Province. The Ami are a Taiwanese Aborigine tribe who made up the bulk of the Austronesians who populated much of island SE Asia over the past 8,000 years.
These Southern Chinese people never went through any Ice Age, and the SE Asian Race is only 10,000 years old anyway. So why are they so smart? Unlike some NE Asian groups, especially those around Mongolia, the Altai region, the Central Asian Stans and Siberia, the Han have no Caucasian in them.
A bright Chinese commenter left me some astute remarks about the South Chinese IQ: “Some possible reasons for high South Chinese IQ’s: Chinese culture is very… g-loaded. For example, understanding the language requires good pitch, recognizing Chinese characters takes visual IQ and good memory, Chinese literature and history span 3,000-4,000 years for references, etc.
For several thousand years testing determined your social position (and it still does to some extent in Confucian nations). Those left in the countryside were periodically left to famine and “barbarian” invasions (slaughter).
Likewise, when Chinese people interbreed, there is strong pressure to breed into the upper class of a native population. Whatever caused the high selection when Chinese and Mon-Khmer/Dai groups interbred probably gave the Chinese immigrants leverage to marry into the upper classes when they did. This is something the Asian diaspora still tends to do.”
Regarding South Chinese appearance, he notes, “Lastly, the Chinese in Fujian have distinct features. They have thicker lips, curlier hair, more prominent brow, less pronounced epicanthic folds, etc. I’m in Taiwan now and I do notice it. I was at a packed market a while ago and was noting the way people look.”
As a result of this split, all Chinese are related at a deep level, even though Northern Chinese are closer to Caucasians than to Southern Chinese. Nevertheless, we can still see a deep continuum amongst Asian populations.
The major genetic frequency found in Japan, Korea and Northern China is also found at very high levels in Southern China, Malaysia and Thailand, and at lower levels in the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. Incredibly, even higher levels are found in Southern China, Malaysia and Thailand than in Northern China.
The proto-NE Asian or North Asian homeland was around Lake Baikal about 35,000 years ago. The Ainu and a neighboring group, the Nivkhi, are thought to be the last remaining groups left from this line. The Ainu are related to the Jomon, the earliest group in Japan, who are thought to have originated in Thailand about 16,000 years ago and then came up to Japan on boats to form the proto-Jomon.
The Jomon culture itself formally begins about 9,000 years ago. Japan at that time was connected to the mainland. Jomonese skulls found in Japan look something like Aborigines. Later, around 2,300 years ago, a group called the Yayoi came across the sea from Korea and moved into Japan.
The woman on the left is more Yayoi and the one on the right is more Okinawan. The Okinawans, members of the Ryukyuan Race, seem to be related to the Ainu, and they have a long history in the south of Japan. The Ryukyuan Race is a very divergent grouping.
Most Japanese are members of the Japanese-Korean Race (like the Yayoi woman at left) but there is a divergent group in the South called the Southern Japanese Race, made up of the Honshu Kinki (the people around Kyoto) and the island of Kyushu. They may be more Okinawan than the rest of the mainland Japanese.
Over the next 2,300 years, the Yayoi slowly conquered and interbred with the Ainu until at the present time, the Ainu are nearly extinct as a cultural and racial entity. The Ainu have always been treated terribly by the Japanese, in part because they are quite hairy, like Caucasians.
The hairy body is thought to be a leftover from proto-NE Asian days, as some other groups in that area also have a lot of body hair. Despite the fact that they look down on the Ainu, about 40% of Japanese are related to the Ainu, and the rest are more or less related to the Yayoi. Actually, Japanese genetics seems a lot more complicated than that, but that’s as good a summary as any.
The Ainu. Though despised by the Japanese in part due to their Caucasian-like “monkey hair” on their bodies (note the guy’s hairy legs), the Japanese themselves are about 40% Ainu. The Ainu are members of the Ainu-Gilyak Race and are one of the most diverse groups on Earth.
A photo of Ainu Yasli Adam in traditional garb. I love this photo. Note that he could be mistaken for an Aborigine or a Caucasian. For a long time, the Ainu were considered to be Caucasians, but recent genetic studies have shown conclusively that they are Asians.
The Ainu language is formally an isolate, but in my opinion it is probably related to Japanese and Korean and thence to Altaic, nevertheless I think that both Japanese and Korean are closer to Altaic than Ainu is. Genetically, the Ainu are closest to NE Asians but are also fairly close to the Na-Dene Amerindians. Cavalli-Sforza says they are in between NE Asians, Amerindians and Australians.
At this time, similar-looking Australoids who looked something like Papuans, Aborigines or Negritos were present all over Asia, since the NE Asians and SE Asians we know them today did not form until around 10,000 years ago.
There are still some traces of these genes, that look like a Papuan line, in modern-day Malays, coastal Vietnamese, parts of Indonesia and some Southwestern Chinese. The genes go back to 13,000 years ago and indicate a major Australoid population expansion in the area at that time. Absolutely nothing whatsoever is known about this Australoid expansion.
God I love these Paleolithic types. A Papuan Huli man, member of the Papuan Race, who looks somewhat like an Australian Aborigine. Although it is often said that Papuans and Aborigines are related, they are only in the deepest sense. In truth, they really do form two completely separate races because they are so far apart.
Once again, while Afrocentrists also like to claim these folks as “Black”, the Papuans and Aborigines are the two people on Earth most distant from Africans, possibly because they were the first to split off and have been evolving away from Africans for so long. I don’t know what that thing in his mouth is, but it looks like a gigantic bong to me. There are about 800 languages spoken on Papua, including some of the most maddeningly complex languages on Earth.
NE Asian skulls from around 10,000 years ago also look somewhat like Papuans, as do the earliest skulls found in the Americas. The first Americans, before the Mongoloids, were apparently Australoids.
The proto-NE Asian Australoids transitioned to NE Asians around 9,000 years ago. We know this because the skulls at Zhoukoudian Cave in NE China from about 10,000 years ago look like the Ainu, the Jomon people, Negritos and Polynesians.
We think that these Australoids also came down in boats or came over the Bering Straight to become the first Native Americans. At that time – 9-13,000 years ago, Zhoukoudian Cave types were generalized throughout Asia before the arrival of the NE Asians.
Northern Chinese prototypes from a photo of faculty and students at Jilin University in Northern China. People in this area, members of the Northern Chinese Race, are closely related to Koreans. Note the lighter skin and often taller bodies than the shorter, darker Southern Chinese. The man in the center is a White man who is posing with the Chinese in this picture.
My brother worked at a cable TV outfit once and there was a Northern Chinese and a Southern Chinese working there. The Northern one was taller and lighter, and the Southern one was shorter and darker. The northern guy treated the southern guy with little-disguised contempt the whole time. He always called the southern guy “little man”, his voice dripping with condescension.
This was my first exposure to intra-Chinese racism. Many NE Asians, especially Japanese, are openly contemptuous of SE Asians, in part because they are darker.
Some of the earliest Amerindian skulls such as Spirit Cave Man, Kennewick Man, and Buhl Woman look like Ainu and various Polynesians, especially Maoris.
A Hawaiian woman, part of the Polynesian Race. Kennewick Man does not look like any existing populations today, but he is closest to Polynesians, especially the virtually extinct Moiriori of the Chatham Islands and to a lesser extent the Cook Islanders. Yes, many of the various Polynesians can be distinguished based on skulls. Other early Amerindian finds, such as Buhl Woman and Spirit Cave Woman also look something like Polynesians.
It is starting to look like from a period of ~7,000-11,000 years ago in the Americas, the Amerindians looked like Polynesians and were not related to the existing populations today, who arrived ~7,000 years ago and either displaced or bred out the Polynesian types. Furthermore, early proto-NE Asian skulls, before the appearance of the NE Asian race 9,000 years ago, look somewhat like Polynesians, among other groups.
An archaeologist who worked on Kennewick Man says Amerindians assaulted him, spit on him and threatened to kill him because he said that Kennewick Man was not an Amerindian related to living groups, and that his line seemed to have no ancestors left in the Americas.
Furthermore, most Amerindians insist that their own tribe “has always been here”, because this is what their silly ancestral religions and their elders tell them. They can get quite hostile if you question them on this, as I can attest after working with an Amerindian tribe for 1½ years in the US.
To add further insult to reason, a completely insane law called NAGPRA, or Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, mandates that all bones found on any tribe’s territory are the ancestors of that tribe and must be returned to the tribe for reburial. This idiotic law is completely anti-scientific, but most Amerindians, even highly educated ones, get pretty huffy about defending it (Trust me!).
Hence there has been a huge battle over the bones of Kennewick Man. Equally idiotically, White Nationalists insist that Kennewick Man is a Caucasian, so that means he is one of theirs. They also use this to conveniently note that Whites occupied the US before the Indians, and therefore, that the Amerindians implicitly have no rights to the place and that the land-theft of Amerindian America by Whites was right and proper.
This is even more insane than Zionism by orders of magnitude. First of all, Kennewick Man is not a Caucasian! He just sort of looks like one. But that is only because Polynesians, the Ainu and even Aborigines look somewhat Caucasian. This is not due to Caucasian genes, but is instead simply a case of convergent evolution.
These dual episodes above, like the Asian paleontologist morons above, adds weight to my hypothesis that ethnic nationalism, and nationalism in general, turns people into dithering morons. Among other reasons, that is why this proudly internationalist blog casts such a wary eye on nationalism of all kinds.
The prehistory of SE Asia follows a similar storyline. Once again, all of SE Asia was inhabited by Australoids. They probably looked something like the Negritos of today. Skulls from 9,000-11,000 years ago in SE Asia (including Southern China) resemble modern-day Australoids.
The oldest skulls in Vietnam look like Negritos. 25,800 yr old bones from Thailand look like Aborigines and the genes look like the Semang, Negritos of Thailand and Malaysia. There are skulls dating back 44,000 years in Malaysia and these also look like Aborigines. Some say that the Semang go back 50,000 years in Malaysia.
Andaman Islands Negritos. This type was probably the main human type all throughout SE Asia, and a variation of this type was in NE Asia too. These are really the first people to come out of Africa. Afrocentrists like to say that these people are Black, but the truth is that these people are very far away from Black people – in fact, they are Asians.
Andaman Islanders have peppercorn hair like the hair of the Bushmen in Africa. This would differentiate this group from the woolly-haired Negritos in the Philippines. Genetic studies have shown that the Andaman Islanders are quite probably the precise remains of the first people to come out of Africa.
Genetically, they tend to resemble whatever group they are living around, with some distinct variations. In truth, this group here, the Andamans, is one of the “purest” ethnic groups on Earth, because they have been evolving in isolation for so long. This is known as genetic drift. At the same time, I think there is little diversity internally in their genome, also due to drift.
The Andaman Negritos are part of the Andaman Islands Negrito Race. Their strange and poorly understood languages are not related to any others, but there is some speculation that they are related to Kusunda in Nepal, a language isolate. I tend to agree with that theory.
One of the problems with genetic drift is after a while you get an “island” effect where the population lacks genetic diversity, since diversity comes from inputs from outside populations. Hence they tend to be vulnerable to changes in the environment that a more genetically diverse population would be able to weather a lot better.
Although racist idiot Richard Lynn likes to claim that all people like this have primitive languages, the truth is that the Andaman languages are so maddeningly complex that we are still having a hard time making sense out of them.
As in the case of Melanesians, Papuans and some Indian tribals, Afrocentrists like to claim that the Negritos are “Africans”, i.e., Black people. The truth is that Negritos are one of the most distant groups on Earth to existing Black populations. Negrito populations tend to be related, though not closely, with whatever non-Negrito population are in the vicinity. This is due to interbreeding over the years. Furthermore, most, if not all, Negritos are racially Asians, not Africans.
Another misconception is that Negritos are Australoids. Genetically, the vast majority of them do not fall into the Papuan or Australian races, but anthropometrically, at least some are Australoid. There is a lot of discrimination against these people wherever they reside, where they are usually despised by the locals.
White Supremacists have a particular contempt for them. As a side note, although White Supremacists like to talk about how ugly these people are, I think these Negrito women are really cute and delightful looking, but do you think they have large teeth? Some say Negritos have large teeth.
Around 8,500 years ago, the newly minted NE Asians, who had just transitioned from Australoids to NE Asians, came down from the north into the south in a massive influx, displacing the native Australoids. We can still see the results today. Based on teeth, SE Asians have teeth mixed between Australoids (Melanesians) and NE Asians. Yet, as noted above, there are few Australoid genes in SE Asians.
A prominent anthropology blogger suggests that a similar process occurred possibly around the same time in South Asia and the Middle East, where proto-Caucasians moved in and supplanted an native Australoid mix.
One group that was originally thought to be related to the remains of the original SE Asians is called the Yumbri, a group of primitive hunter-gatherers who live in the jungles of northern Laos and Thailand. Some think that the Yumbri may be the remains of the aboriginal people of Thailand, Laos and possibly Cambodia, but there is controversy about this.
Yumbri noble savages racing through the Thai rain forest. The group is seldom seen and little is known about them. They are thought to number only 200 or so anymore, and there are fears that they may be dying out. This paper indicates via genetics that the Yumbri are a Khmuic group that were former agriculturalists who for some odd reason gave up agriculture to go back to the jungles and live the hunter-gatherer way.
This is one of the very few case cases of agriculturalists reverting to hunting and gathering. The language looks like Khmuic (especially one Khmu language – Tin) but it also seems to have some unknown other language embedded in it. Genetics shows they have only existed for around 800 years and they have very little genetic diversity.
The low genetic diversity means that they underwent a genetic bottleneck, in this case so severe that the Yumbri may have been reduced to only one female and 1-4 males. It is interesting that the Tin Prai (a Tin group) has a legend about the origin of the Yumbri in which two children were expelled from the tribe and sent on a canoe downstream. They survived and melted into the forest where they took up a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
The Khmu are an Austroasiatic group that are thought to be the indigenous people of Laos, living there for 4,000 years before the Lao (Thai) came down 800 years ago and largely displaced them from the lowlands into the hills. The Austroasiatic homeland is usually thought to be somewhere in Central China (specifically around the Middle Yangtze River Valley), but there are some who think it was in India.
They moved from there down into SE Asia over possibly 5,000 years or so. Many Austroasiatics began moving down into SE Asia during the Shang and Zhou Dynasties due to Han pushing south, but the expansion had actually started about 8,500 years ago. At this time, SE Asia was mostly populated by Negrito types. The suggestion is that the Austroasiatics displaced the Negritos, and there was little interbreeding.
The Austroasiatic languages are thought to be the languages of the original people of SE Asia and India, with families like Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai, Indo-European and Dravidian being latecomers. There are possible deep linguistic roots with the Austronesian Family, and genetically, the Austroasiatics are related to Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai and the Hmong-Mien speakers.
There is an interesting paradox with the Southern Chinese in that genetically, they look like SE Asians, but they have IQ’s more like NE Asians, around ~105. There do not seem to be any reasonable theories about why this is so. It is true that NE Asians came down and moved into SE Asia, but they moved into the whole area, not just Southern China, yet SE Asian IQ’s are not nearly as high as Southern Chinese IQ’s.
Of relevance to the IQ debate is that Asians, especially NE Asians, score lower on self-esteem than Blacks, yet they do much better in school. This would tend to argue against the contention of many that Black relatively poor school performance is a consequence of them not feeling good about themselves.
This seems to poke one more hole in Richard Lynn’s theory that a journey through the Ice Age is necessary for a high IQ, as the Southern Chinese made no such sojourn.
As a result of the Northern and Southern mix in Southern China, groups such as the Yunnanese are quite a mixed group. Yunnanese are mostly southern and are extremely distant from NE Asians. The Wa are a group in the area that is almost equally mixed with northern and southern admixture.
Two pretty Laotian girls being starved to death by murderous Communist killers in Laos. The Lao are related to the Thai and are members of the Tai Race that includes the Lao, Thai, Aini, Deang, Blang, Vietnamese, Muong, Shan, Dai and Naxi peoples. The Lao language is a member of the Tai language family.
The Thai are related to the Tai group in Yunnan in Southern China. They evolved there about 4,000 years ago and then gave birth to a number of groups in the region. The modern Thai are latecomers to the region, moving into the area in huge numbers only about 700 years ago to become the Lao, Thai and Shan. The Lao are the descendants of recent Tai immigrants who interbred heavily with existing Chinese and Mon-Khmer populations.
Gorgeous Dai women in China. The Dai are an ethnic group in China, mostly in Yunnan, who are related to the Thai – they are also members of the Tai Race and speak a Tai language . It looks like the Thai split off from the larger Dai group and moved into Thailand in recent centuries.
The Dai were together with the Zhuang, another Yunnan group, as the proto-Tai north of Yunnan about 5000 years ago. They moved south into Yunnan and split into the Zhuang and the Tai. There were also Tai movements south into Vietnam via Yunnan.
More Dai, this time two young Dai men from Thailand. They do seem to look a bit different from other Thais, eh? They look a little more Chinese to me. The Thai are not the only ethnic group in Thailand; there are 74 languages spoken there, and almost all are in good shape. These people apparently speak the Tai Nüa language.
A proud Dai father in China, where they Dai are an official nationality together with the Zhuang. He’s got some problems with his teeth, but that is pretty typical in most of the world, where people usually lack modern dental care.
A photo of a Thai waitress in Bangkok getting ready to serve some of that yummy Thai food. Note that she looks different from the Dai above – more Southeast Asian and less Chinese like the Dai. The Thai are also members of the Tai Race.
Another pic of a Thai street vendor. The Thai are darker and less Chinese-looking than the lighter Dai. The Tai people are thought to have come from Taiwan over 5,000 years ago. They left Taiwan for the mainland and then moved into Southwest China, which is thought to be their homeland. Then, 5,000 years ago, they split with the Zhuang. The Zhuang went to Guangxi and the Tai went to Yunnan.
A Thai monk. Am I hallucinating or does this guy look sort of Caucasian? In Thai society, it is normal for a young man to go off and become a monk for a couple of years around ages 18-20. Many Thai men and most Lao men do this. I keep thinking this might be a good idea in our society. Khrushchev used to send them off to work in the fields for a couple of years at this age.
Nevertheless, most Yunnanese have SE Asian gene lines and they are quite distant from the NE Asians (as noted, NE Asians are further from SE Asians than they are from Caucasians).
Yunnan was the starting point for most of peoples in the region, including the Tai, the Hmong, the Mon-Khmer, the Vietnamese, the Taiwanese aborigines and from there to the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia.
In a sense, almost all of SE Asia was settled via a southward and southeastward movement out of Yunnan. Why so many groups migrated out of Yunnan is not known, but they may have being pushed out of there via continuous southward movements by Northern Han. Yunnan was seen as a sort of rearguard base and sanctuary for many Chinese ethnic groups who were being pushed out of their areas, mostly by Han expansions.
The terrain was rough but fertile. At some point, the Han started pushing down into Yunnan and that is when many southward expansions into SE Asia over the last 5000 or so years took place. A discussion of Asian racial features and their possible evolution is here.
Tibetans are close to NE Asians genetically, though they are located in the South. This is because they evolved in NE Asia and only recently moved down into Tibet. After coming into Tibet, they moved down into Burma. Many of today’s Burmese came from Tibet.
A Tibetan tourist in India. This woman has more of a classic Tibetan look than the younger woman below. Tibetans characteristically have darker skin than many NE Asians – Tibetans are actually NE Asians displaced to the south in fairly recent times. Although it is high and cold in Tibet, the region is at a more southerly latitude. Nevertheless, UV radiation is very intense in Tibet, which probably accounts for the darker skin.
It looks like all humans were pretty dark at the start and in some cases have lost melanin in cold climes where they needed to lighten to get Vitamin D. White skin in Europe is merely 9,000 years old, so European Whites never went through any brain-sharpening Ice Age either.
Tibetans are members of the General Tibetan Race, which includes the Tibetan, Nakhi, Lisu, Nu, Karen, Adi, Tujia, Hui and Kachin peoples. They speak a Tibeto-Burman language, part of the larger Sino-Tibetan family.
My observant Chinese commenter notes about the Tibetans: “As for the Tibetans, they seem to be primarily Northeast Asian (they look to be the most “yellow” of any Asians) with some other (South Asian-looking) element that interbred with them fairly recently. They tend to also be more ruddy, and have skin tones from reddish to yellow to brown.
You can see some similarities with Burmese, but they are distinct. Another thing to note is that the prevalence of colored hair and eyes is relatively higher in Tibet.“
Although this blog supports Tibetan freedom and opposed the colonial Chinese takeover and racist ethnic cleansing of the Tibetan people by the Chinese Communists, it should nevertheless be noted that the wonderful regime that the Dalai Lama apparently wants to bring back was one of the most vicious forms of pure feudalism existing into modern times, where the vast majority of the population were serf-slaves for the Buddhist religious ruling class.
Yes, that wonderful religion called Buddhism has its downside.
A Burmese woman with classic Burmese features. The Burmese, better known as the Bamar, are members of the General Tibetan Race. Boy, she sure is cute. And yes, I do have a thing for Asian women. I think I need to retitle this post Hot Asian Babes.
There are several interesting points in the sketch above. First of all, much as it pains them to be compared to people whom they probably consider to be inferior, all NE Asians were originally Australoids similar to the Australian Aborigines.
NE Asians like to accuse SE Asians of being mostly an “Australoid” group, an analysis that is shared by many amateur anthropologists on the web. We will look into this question more in the future, but it appears that both NE and SE Asians are derived from Australoid stock. Further, there are few Australoid genes left in any mainland SE Asians and none in most SE Asians.
It is true that Melanesians, Polynesians and Micronesians are part-Australoid in that the latter two are derived from Melanesians, who are derived from Austronesians mixed with Papuans. Any analysis that concludes that non-Oceanic SE Asians are “part-Australoid” is dubious.
If anything, NE Asians are closer to Australoids than most SE Asians. The Japanese and Koreans are probably closer to Australian Aborigines than any other group in Asia. I am certain that the ultranationalist and racialist Japanese at least will not be pleased to learn this.
Second, we note that all Asians are related, and that the proto-Asian homeland was in northern Vietnam. It follows that NE Asians are in fact derived from the very SE Asians whom the NE Asians consider to be inferior. A NE Asian who is well versed in these matters (He was of the “SE Asians are part-Australoid” persuasion) was not happy to hear my opinion at all, and left sputtering and mumbling.
NE Asian superiority over SE Asians is a common point of view, especially amongst Japanese – the Japanese especially look down on Koreans (Their fellow NE Asians!), Vietnamese, Filipinos (the “niggers of Asia”), the Hmong (the “hillbillies of Asia”) and the Khmer.
The beautiful, intelligent, civilized and accomplished Koreans. Tell me, the Japanese look down on these people are inferiors why now? Note the rather distinct short and stocky appearance, possibly a heat-preserving adaptation to cold weather. Note also the moon-shaped face.
The Koreans seem to have come down from Mongolia about 5,000 years ago and completely displaced an unknown native group, but don’t tell any Korean that. Koreans are members of the Japanese-Korean Race and the Korean language is said to be a language isolate, but I think it is distantly related to Japanese, Ainu and Gilyak in a separate, distant branch of Altaic.
My Chinese commenter adds: “I get the impression that Koreans are at least comprised two major physically discernible groups. Some of them have a shade of skin similar to the Inuit or Na Dene. But I think they have intermixed quite a lot during some relatively stable 5,000+ year period, which results in a fairly even spectrum.”
Third, Richard Lynn’s Ice Age Theory takes another hit as he can explain neither the Southern Chinese high IQ, nor the genesis of high-IQ NE Asians from lower-IQ SE Asians, nor the fact that NE Asians do not appear in the anthropological record until 9,000 years ago (after the Ice Age that supposedly molded those fantastic brains of theirs), nor the genesis of these brainy folks via Australoids, whom Lynn says are idiots.
Fourth, the Negritos, who are widely reviled in their respective countries as inferiors, are looking more and more like the ancestors of many of us proud humans. Perhaps a little respect for the living incarnations of our ancient relatives is in order.
Commenters are discussing this question. Mr. India first said that Indians speak English well because they speak an Indo-European language natively. First of all, it’s dubious whether most Indians speak an Indic language natively. Many speak Dravidian and Asiatic languages natively.
Wade: I doubt that the fact that both are Indo-European really matters a lot. I doubt learning Russian would be easy just because I speak English. The European countries don’t have a “native” English tradition implanted by colonialism like India does.Cyrus: Trust me when I say it does, Wade. It is more than just remembering words, but a way of thinking. For you to learn Russia would be simpler than if you tried to learn Chinese. Like wise, you could pick up Persian far easier than Turkish. I’ve seen that happen over and over again.
The problem is that the obvious cognates are few and far between. I know Indo-European studies pretty well, and I have been through a lot of the IE etymological dictionary (Pokorny). Indic is one of the most screwed up branches as far as cognates with English are concerned. Sure there are lots of cognates, but they look little or nothing like their English cognate words! Iranic is similar – there are almost no obvious cognates left that I’m aware of. The cognates are there, but they are badly mangled.
Slavic is bad too, but I think maybe not quite as bad as Indo-Iranian. Baltic is bad, maybe the same as Slavic or closer.
The closest to English are obviously Germanic and Italic, which obviously has lots of words in which cognates line up quite well with English words, though in many cases the only English word cognate anymore is a dead one from Old English or Middle English.
For some reason, Celtic is actually ok as far as English cognates, but a lot of them are pretty removed from the English word, and it’s a stretch to see how the Celtic looks like the English word. But it’s probably second after Italic – Germanic.
Greek is ok due to all the borrowings, but there’s not a lot there either, plus the alphabet is different, so that seems to ruin everything.
Albanian and Armenian are disasters. There’s virtually nothing left, and the few cognates typically look almost nothing like the English word.
I have known many speakers of Dravidian languages and many speakers of Indian Indic languages. The Dravidian speakers’ English is no better or worse than the Indic speakers’ English.
Speaking Indic as a native language seems to be little or no benefit in learning English as opposed to speaking Dravidian as a native language.
One way to see how well European minority languages is if you run a popular website that gets a lot of hits from all over Europe. I run one here on my old site, which is in the top 1200 blogs on the Internet (This blog is also in the top 1200).
If you have a good weblog (a weblog allows a webmaster to monitor all of the visitors from your site), and I do, you can see what languages people are using on their browsers. When browsers come to the site, they are marked with language tracking. I am not sure if that is a language preference for webpages or if it is the language that the browser itself is written in.
Minority lanugages are languages that are not the main spoken language of the country or languages that only have a small speaker base. In this piece, we will be dealing with Irish, Welsh, Catalan, Basque, Galician and Luxemburgish. Those I am quite sure are offered as language versions of the major browsers.
Luxemburgish: Luxemburgish is the official language of Luxemburg, however, there are worries about it due to the small speaker base of only around 500,000. Further, there is a problem in that not enough new and technological words are coming into the language. Most browsers from Luxemburg are using the Luxemburgish language, so the language seems to be in pretty good shape.
Catalan: Catalan is the most popular of the remaining five. However, considering how many readers I get from the Catalan region, very few Catalans are using Catalan browsers. Most are using Spanish language browsers. So the situation of Catalan does not look so good.
Irish: I am amazed that there are any Irish browsers at all, but now and then, we do get one from Ireland. Needless to say, nearly all browsers from Ireland are using English. Still, everyone knows that Irish is in bad shape. Considering there are Irish browsers at all, I think Irish is in better shape than we think it is.
Galician: I was quite shocked to find a few Galician browsers out there coming out of Galicia in the far northwest of Spain. This language is probably in better shape than people think it is. Most Galician browsers use Spanish.
Welsh: Considering that most reports indicate that Welsh is doing pretty well, I was surprised that one almost never sees a Welsh browser. Almost all browsers coming out of Wales use English. I wonder if Welsh is in as good a shape as people say it is considering the dearth of Welsh browsers.
Basque: I have yet to see a Basque browser! If browsers are indeed offered in Basque (uncertain) this is very bad news. I get quite a bit of traffic out of the Basque country, and 100% of the time, Basque users are using Spanish as their browser language. Things don’t look good for the Basque language.
I can’t speak of other small languages in Europe because in general, browsers are not offered in those languages.
This was an interesting little experiment though.