Repost from the old site.
A question from the comments about the Are SE Asians Australoids? article:
Aren’t Khmer a little more Australoid than people in Vietnam (at least Northern Vietnamese), most Thai, and Laotians? There seems to be a clear cline in Southeast Asia, the areas bordering China seem to have more NE Mongoloid Admixture than those of the Malay archipelago and the Khmer. I’m basing this on appearance and not genes, which you pointed out, rightly so, as being misleading.
This question keeps popping up because so many folks are convinced, based primarily on appearance, that many SE Asians are part-Australoid.
First of all, the Vietnamese, Filipinos, Thai and Khmer are all quite close to the Southern Chinese genetically. Of these, believe it or not, the Filipinos are possibly the closest of all. The Vietnamese are also very close, but I don’t have any figures. Both the Filipinos and the Vietnamese are very close to the coastal Southern Chinese of Fujian and Guangdong Province bordering the Taiwan Strait.
Next come the Thai, Lao and the Khmer. These groups are much closer to the Southern Chinese than Malays or Indonesians. All of them are about the equidistant from the Southern Chinese. Filipinos are much closer to the Southern Chinese than these three groups.
The Thai and Lao are primarily a Southern Chinese group called the Tai that came down into that area in a massive wave about 800 years ago. To some extent they bred in with whatever people were already there. This Tai group came from Yunnan.
The Vietnamese are very closely related to the Southern Chinese. A huge wave of Southern Chinese poured into Vietnam 2,200 years and bred in with existing people. This group came from the Taiwan Strait – the area north of Vietnam along the coast.
The Khmer came down into the area possibly 5,000 years ago with the first wave of Austroasiatics. They also came from Southern China, probably Yunnan once again, but longer ago than their neighbors the Thai, Lao and Vietnamese. The Austroasiatics are considered to be some of the original people of the SE Asia.
The Zhuang of South China are probably the purest relatives of the original Austroasiatics. They came from Central China (possibly originally as the Dai) to Yunnan about 5,000 years ago. One line went to the Zhuang in Guangxi in Southwest China and another line went to the modern Tai-Dai in Yunnan.
Also, the Khmer bred in much more than their neighbors with people from India who came about 1,500 years ago. So, the Khmer contain more of the original Austroasiatic group and less of recent Southern Chinese mixture than the Thai, Lao and Vietnamese. This accounts for their appearance.
Filipinos are closer to Southern Chinese (Guangdong) than any of the groups above except maybe Vietnamese. They are also very close to Taiwan aborigines. Most people have a hard time understanding this because they look so different from most Southern Chinese. But there are Chinese from around Fujian and Hong Kong who look quite dark and, to my mind, SE Asian-looking.
Malays are Taiwan aborigines in large part (Austronesians), and are also are made up of Southern Chinese who came down 4,000 years ago as Austroasiatics.
The Austronesians came through the Philippines, down into Borneo and Sumatra and then up into Malaysia about 2,000 years ago. The Malay do have some Papuan genes, but so do the Southern Chinese and the coastal Vietnamese. Once again, the Malays have less recent Southern Chinese admixture and more archaic Southern Chinese admixture (Austronesian and Austroasiatic).
Malays also definitely have Australoid ancestors in the Semang, the proto-Malay and the Senoi, although we can’t see it in their skulls or much of it in their genes.
The Indonesians in the Center and East of the country have quite a few Melanesian Australoid genes, but the ones in the West have almost none. The ones in the West appear to be Taiwanese aborigines similar to Filipinos.
It’s really a common fallacy that there is such a cline in SE Asia, with folks becoming more Australoid and less Chinese as you go south. What there is is that in some places, you find more recent Southern Chinese mixture and towards the South, you get more archaic Taiwanese and archaic Southern Chinese mixture.
A modern Southern Chinese woman from Chengdu Province. Isn’t she beautiful? God I love this kind of woman. It’s possible she may use some sort of skin whitener to make her skin look more white, or she may just stay out of the sun. White skin has been highly valued for a long time, and my blogging colleague Dragon Horse (feel free to check him out – he’s smart as Hell) notes that it had been highly valued long before Chinese even knew much about Europeans.
In other words, Chinese were not trying to look like White Europeans – they hardly even knew who they were. A preference for lighter skin was simply an independent development in China based on their own considerations and values. Many will look at this woman and say she has a NE Asian facial type. Well, that may be so, but Caucasians are closer to NE Asians than she is as a Southern Chinese. The genetic distance between Southern Chinese and Northern Chinese is vast.
We only find a few Australoid genes in SE Asians and even then only in Southern Chinese, coastal Vietnamese and Malays. Skull-wise, nothing exists, except that the Senoi of Malaysia do have Australoid skulls.
I guess people say this based on appearance. There is a SE Asian native type characterized most prominently by Malays, Khmer, Filipino, Western Indonesians, etc. that people think looks a bit primitive, and they associate that with Australoids.
Really it’s just a native indigenous development, although it does seem to represent a more archaic type – either archaic Taiwanese or archaic South Chinese – and has nothing to do per se with Australoids.
Recall however that the whole region slowly transitioned from Australoid types to modern SE Asian types about 5000 years ago, and that’s later than most groups. Maybe that is what people are seeing. But there’s nothing we can measure in genes or skulls.
Thai, Lao and Vietnamese don’t have any NE Asian mixture that we can see. There is a Southern Chinese look that can resemble Northern Chinese, but the two groups are very far apart. Even Southern Chinese don’t have much northern mixture, but there are some groups that are more northern than others.
The Wa (Va) of Yunnan and Burma are about 50-50 Northern and Southern Chinese, and the Hmong have more Northern Chinese than other Southern Chinese groups.
A Hmong woman. We have a huge Hmong population here in the Central Valley. By and large, they are good people and I like them a lot. The Hmong are interesting among Southern Chinese in that they have more Northern Chinese than most of the rest of the Southern Chinese. They also have a unique genetic line going back up to 42,000 years (!). It’s pretty incredible that some sort of proto-Hmong have been evolving for that long.
The website I got this off described Hmong as partly Australoid, but I think that’s silly. They are saying this by looking at the faces and saying that the face looks somewhat Australoid. The Hmong are probably less Australoid than that Chengdu woman above.
I find some of these Hmong women, like this one, to be really beautiful. They definitely look different. They have round, moon-shaped faces, and short, stocky, bodies. Character-wise, they are very Chinese-like.
Their IQ in the US is only 82.5 (lower than US Blacks) but that must be due to language difficulties. Their verbal IQ was insanely low, while their performance IQ was quite high. The Hmong have also been living like hillbillies for centuries, so there is probably a lot of potential for Flynn Effects in the US. That’s a traditional costume she is wearing.
Caucasians are closer to Northern Chinese than Southern Chinese are.
A classic NE Asian, in this case a Manchu woman. The Caucasians that they most resemble are Northern Turkics such as some of the people in the Altai and the residents of the Stans.
I can’t see much difference in phenotype between her and the Southern Chinese beauty above, but maybe folks who understand Asian phenotypes better can see these things. These people are also quite close genetically to Amerindians. Koreans, Japanese and NE Chinese are all quite genetically close, although I guess they mostly hate each other and would not want to believe that.
A Tajik man. Boy, does he look Jewish or what? These people are quite closely related to NE Asians and also to Northern Indians. They are closest to Iranians. A very interesting people, they are thought to be the original Aryans. Funny how Aryans White Power types go back to Aryan dudes who look like nice Jewish boys. Wonders never cease.
People base so much popular anthropology on superficial appearances, but that’s not really scientific.