Update to Races of Man Post

My earlier piece, The Major and Minor Races of Mankind, has been given a major update. The previous incarnation was:

3 Macro Races

Caucasian (Caucasoid)
Asian (Mongoloid)
African (Negroid)

I left the three macro races intact. I have debated whether or not to include new macro races but I haven’t been able to come up with anything. The main problem is that all of the potential splits – Kalash, Pacific Islander, Papuan, Amerindian and Aborigine are all part of the macro races. The Kalash are part of the Caucasian race and the rest are all indisputably Asians (yes, even Aborigines).

Previous version:

6 Major Races

Northeast Asian
Southeast Asian
Papuan
Aborigine
Caucasian
African

Revised version:

9 Major Races

Northeast Asian
Southeast Asian
Papuan
Aborigine
Caucasian
African
Kalash
Pacific Islander
Amerindian

The result looks something like this:

African Macro Race

General African Major Race

15 minor African races

Caucasian Macro Race

General Caucasian Major Race
Kalash Major Race

19 minor Caucasian races

Asian Macro Race

Northeast Asian Major Race
Southeast Asian Major Race
Amerindian Major Race
Papuan Major Race
Aborigine Major Race
Oceanian Major Race

53 minor Asian races

The last three above, Kalash, Oceanian and Amerindian, were added, giving me a 9-race theory in addition to the standard 3-race theory. Genetically, the Kalash are extremely bizarre. On one chart, they form a separate major race with Caucasians proper, East Asians, Amerindians, Melanesians/Papuans and Africans (chart here).

They are probably some sort of ancient Caucasian race – in fact, they may be some of the most ancient Caucasians of them all.

As you can see, very European looking phenotypes are not rare at all in the Kalash. This 2 year old girl could well be German, except for the strange “elf-ears”, which supposedly are very common among these people. The elf ears are probably a consequence of genetic drift. Drift occurs when a population is isolated for a long time without many outside inputs.The Kalash, unlike all other peoples in the region, have little or no South Indian or Asian genes.

More than anything else, this indicates a West Eurasian origin for the Kalash. West Eurasia is a term that is hard to define, and some say that the region does not even exist. There are some hazy definitions of West Eurasia out there, but in the way it is most used by population geneticists, it appears to mean the Near East and the Caucasus.

As West Eurasia is in the area of the purported homeland of the Caucasian race (Caucasus), we once again deal with the question of the Kalash being an ancient Caucasian tribe, perhaps one of the most ancient Caucasian stocks on Earth.

I saw one genetic map that had all proto-Caucasians (and all proto-NE Asians for that matter) coming out of the Borogil Pass on the border of northern Pakistan and the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan 35,000 years ago. Originally the group was something like pre-Caucasian – NE Asian. The group went north and one line went to proto-Caucasians and the other went northeast to proto-NE Asians.

We don’t have the foggiest idea of what these people may have looked like, but skulls from India 24,000 years ago look more like Aborigines than anything else.

The Borogil Pass in the area of Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. As you can see, it is pretty tough going. This is the lowest pass leading out of South Asia and up into the steppes, so it is logical that early men may have migrated in this way.

Actually I think the genesis of NE Asians is more complex than that, but the article was interesting. The genesis of Caucasians is one of the least understood of all the major races. The homeland of the proto-Caucasians is either in the Caucasus or in Central Asia and the Middle East and North Africa seems to be a major staging ground. At this time, the most ancient Caucasians seem to be South Indians and Berbers.

South Indians go back about 15-20,000 years and have been evolving right there with few outside inputs for all that time. Before 20,000 years ago, the proto-South Indians are thought to have come from the Middle East. They probably bred in with or displaced an Australoid people resembling Aborigines who were the original people of India.

The Berbers may go back even further than that and there are suggestions that they may have had an origin in northeastern Africa near Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea. That area was the jumping off point for the human race to leave Africa 60-70,000 years ago, pointing once again to very ancient Berber origins. European-like skulls only go back 10,000 years or so and white skin only goes back 9,000 years.

All humans originally were dark-skinned. The people with the darkest skin evolved in the areas where the UV rays were the brightest. It was thought at first that dark skin was an adaptation to prevent sunburn and melanoma, but a there are problems with this analysis.

Sunburn does not usually kill you, and melanoma tends to hit older in life, after one has already produced offspring. A better explanation may be that intense UV rays cause destruction of folic acid stores in the body. Then pregnant women, with their folic acid destroyed, have a high potential of giving birth to deformed babies.

White skin was actually a depigmentation process to enable people to get more Vitamin D, which is scarcer at northern altitudes in Northern Europe due to weak UV rays. Lighter skin is necessary to grab all the Vitamin D that one can. An argument against this is that Vitamin D deficiency does not occur in areas of low UV radiation.

But this is not true. Even today, darker skinned people, such as South Indians, who immigrate to the UK are coming down with various Vitamin D deficiency syndromes, including rickets. It is probably necessary for darker-skinned people who live at high latitudes to take Vitamin D supplementation.

The proto-Caucasians may have split off as early as 35,000 years ago. Some NE Asians are quite close to Caucasians and vice versa. The groups straddling the Caucasian-Asian border form a sort of a line from Turkey to Korea and then up to the Chukchi Peninsula. Along the way we have Turks, Iranians, Jews, West Asians, Central Asians, Northern Turkics, Mongolians, Northern Chinese, Koreans and Chukchi.

West Asians include Punjabis and Pashtuns and live in Pakistan, NW India and Afghanistan. Central Asians include Kazakhs, Turkmen and Uzbeks. Northern Turkics include the Altai, the Yakut and other groups. Many of them live around where China, Mongolia and Russia all come together. Interestingly, this seems to be exactly where most Amerindians came from – the Altai Mountains.

The Chukchi are an Eskimo-like people who live on the Chukchi Peninsula on the far eastern end of Siberia where the Bering Straight separates Russia from Alaska.

What’s curious about the Chukchi is that Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza’s Principal Coordinates chart in his 1994 book The History and Geography of Human Genes (chart here) puts the Chukchi in with Caucasians. Yet by appearance and apparently also genetics, the Chukchi cluster with Asians.

So there are some groups that are really on the border. I had a hard time knowing what to do with Turkics, Northern Turkics and Central and West Asians, as the genetics was so hazy. I usually just dropped them in either NE Asians or Caucasians based on appearance.

The Kalash are a group of about 3,000 people living in Chitral Province in Pakistan on the border of Afghanistan.

The valleys of the Kalash. The villages are at about 6,000 feet and as the soil is very rich, they grow many crops. They also do a lot of herding, mostly of goats it seems. They do observe a menstruation taboo, where the women have to go off to special hut during that time, but this is a very old taboo in many human tribal groups. The Kalash bury their dead above ground in caskets. Burial of the dead above ground is a very ancient human tradition.

The Negritos of both Papua and the Andaman Islands, one of the most ancient human groups, bury their dead above ground in little tree houses. The Zoroastrians, one of the most ancient human religions, bury the dead on rooftops and let the vultures eat them. This is getting to be a problem in parts of India where they live as the neighbors are starting to complain!

They still retain an ancient pagan religion. The are remarkably egalitarian for that part of the world, and women work in the fields side by side with men. They have somehow managed to resist Islamacization for centuries, possibly due to the remote and multiethnic nature of the Chitral region.

Four Kalash students. The fellow on the right is a dead ringer for a European. He could be a German or an Englishman. The fellow on the left could easily be an Italian, a Greek, an Armenian, an Iranian or a Turk. The other two are awfully hard to classify. They almost look a little Amerindian.

There are some similar phenotypes across the border in Afghanistan in Nuristan amongst people called Nuristanis. They were converted to Islam at the point of a sword by a genocidal Pashtun maniac named Amir Abdur-Rahman during Afghanistan’s nation-building process in the 1890’s. His genocide of the Hazara was similar proportionally to the Jewish Holocaust.

A Kalash woman with some children, apparently her own. She and her kids do not look quite so Caucasian; they look more Asian. Actually the woman is hard to classify as belonging to any known race that we are familiar with. In California, you might think she was an Amerindian from Latin America.

The legend is that the Kalash and the Nuristanis were the remnants of Alexander the Great’s army that invaded and conquered the region 2000 years ago. This was the reason for all the European phenotypes in the area. Recently, this was thought to be a legend with no basis in fact, but recent controversial genetic testing suggests that the Kalash may have up to 20% Greek DNA on the fathers’ side.

Macedonian and Kalash female costumes compared – note the similarity in costumes. Also the Kalash continue to worship a creator God cognate with the Greek Zeus. I cannot help but think that some of those Macedonian phenotypes are also present in Kalash females. And the terrain looks rather similar too.

Maybe some of Alexander’s men did stay here, thinking they were home away from home. This story is definitely widespread in that part of the world. I had an Afghan doctor from Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan who insisted it was true.

This has been challenged since although there is one Greek marker in the Kalash, the other major marker that ought to be there, since it is apparently present in all Greeks, is not there. One counter-suggestion is that the Kalash got the Greek marker by chance through genetic drift. This seems dubious. The question remains highly confused .

A Kalash man, possibly with his wife by his side. He could easily be an Italian, an Albanian, a Spaniard or a Portuguese. She’s harder to classify, but could be an Italian.

The Kalash worship a God called Dezau, which is from the Indo-European sky God *Dyaos (reconstructed form), from which the Greeks derived Zeus and the Romans Jupiter. So the Kalash are the last practitioners of ancient Indo-European mythology.

A Kalash woman with Caucasian features and somewhat Asian eyes. It’s hard to place her into a known ethnic group, but there are Kurds who look something like this. The Kalash probably originated in an area near Kurdistan, but no one really knows. The child looks more Asian. Love the costumes.

They have some odd customs.

One I particularly love is called the Festival of the Budalak. A strong teenage boy is sent up in the mountains for the summer with the goats. He practically lives on goat milk, which supposedly makes him even stronger.

When he comes back there is a festival, and at the festival he gets to have sex with any woman he wants, even his own mother, a young virgin or another man’s wife, but he only gets to rampage like this for 24 hours. Any child born of these encounters is considered to be blessed. They supposedly quit practicing this custom recently due to bad publicity, but many think that they still practice it in secret.

Definitely one of the world’s greatest customs!

A beautiful Kalash woman who eloped with a man recently to get married. Although many times the couple who do this are single, in quite a few cases a married woman can elope with another man. The new husband just has to pay double the bride price. The cuckold just takes it all in stride, or at least he doesn’t get homicidal. It’s amazing the kind of rights women have in this group. Too bad so many of them convert out to Pakistani Islam where women are pretty much chattel.

This woman obviously resembles some European phenotype, but I don’t know my European racial types a la Coon, etc, very well. I almost want to say Norwegian?

The Kalash are coming under pressure from radical Islamists recently and several villages have been converted by force (I thought Muslims never do this!) Also radical mullahs incite local Muslims to go into Kalash villages and smash their religious idols.

A Kalash shamaness or female shaman. It is amazing that in this misogynistic part of the world that women are granted such a high religious position. Druze women in Lebanon and Syria are also allowed to become high religious leaders. The costume is amazing. Shamans are one of the oldest aspects of human religions, characteristic of animist type religions.

As the world is full of spirits (or Gods in a polytheistic world) the shaman works via human psychology to manipulate the spirit world to the benefit of the patient. It is hard to say how much there is to it, but areas of the world where humans have been practicing this sort of thing for a long time can do some pretty amazing things.

There are reports out of the South Seas that whole villages would get together to cast evil spells on leaders of neighboring islands. In a number of cases, the leader died soon afterward. The cause of death was typically massive and multiple organ failure. It was as if he simply exploded inside. There are persistent reports that saying a prayer over water or a meal makes it taste better.

There are many reports of dying people communicating over long distances with loved ones just before they die.

And there are also many reports of people sensing nearby tragedies as they are occurring. All of this needs to be investigated by science but there are good reasons to think that this sort of thing is compatible with modern science, especially particle physics where we are all part of each other.

I am also convinced that clairvoyance and sharing of hallucinations are possible, having experienced both of these things. Of course, we were tripping on LSD-like woodrose seeds at the time, but still.

Pacific Islanders and Amerindians were also added, as there is good evidence that these two groups form valid major groupings. Cavalli-Sforza’s eight-race theory listed Amerindians and a group he called Pacific Islanders that apparently also included Papuans.

Rosenberg et al’s six-race grouping also included Amerindians and a group he called Melanesians, consisting of Papuans and Melanesians. Since other evidence indicates significant distance between Papuans and Melanesians and Papuans and Pacific Islanders in general, I decided to leave Papuans as a separate major group.

Yet a good case can be made to split off Polynesians, Micronesians and Melanesians in a compact grouping. The creation of the Polynesians is a result of the spread of the Lapita culture, one of the world’s greatest sea journeys undertaken by Austronesian mariners, Taiwanese aborigines (Chinese people) who left Taiwan 1000’s of years ago to settle Island SE Asia. First they went to the Philippines, then to Indonesia.

From Central Indonesia, they left and settled coastal New Guinea, bringing an advanced culture to New Guinea. They also may have settled as far east as the Solomons.

The Trobriand and Solomon Islands are said to be one of the centers for proto-Papuan culture in the region, and may have been settled as long ago as 35,000 years ago.

Later, a new wave of Austronesians came out of Central Indonesia (near the Wallace Line) and moved through Melanesia, picking up only a few Melanesian genes along the way. These mariners then went off to populate the entirety of Polynesia in the past 2000 years.

So, according to this theory, Polynesians are mostly Chinese (Taiwanese aborigines) with some Melanesian in them.

One interesting question is why the Polynesians got so huge. First of all, they are not all huge. I have taught a lot of these people in the LA schools and there are a variety of phenotypes, including one that is short and thin.

One theory is that the journey to populate Polynesia was so harsh that only the strongest survived and the weakest died. It may have been necessary to eat the dead for the survivors to go on. Perhaps they fought to the death for scarce resources. Anyway, on many Polynesian islands an extremely brutal culture of continuous, potentially genocidal warfare was the norm and this was probably the world center for cannibalism.

Finally, the last wave to move out was the Micronesians. This group consisted of Polynesians who moved out of Polynesia to populate Micronesia. According to the theory above, they are mostly Chinese (Taiwanese) with only a small amount of Melanesian in them.

The suggestion above was that both the Polynesians and the Melanesians are mostly-Chinese (Taiwanese) people. That conclusion is based on a recent paper that has not yet been widely distributed.

However, another paper that can be downloaded on this site here, suggests that the major Haplogroups in Polynesians – C and F – are indigenous to the region, meaning they are related to the original Melanesian and Papuan settlers.

That paper, and many others, suggests that Micronesians and Polynesians are about 50% Chinese and 50% Melanesian, with different percentages from each parent. This still seems the most reasonable solution to me.

Interestingly, the vast majority of the Chinese genes in Melanesians and Polynesians seem to have come from one group of Taiwanese aborigines – the Ami.

A group called the Alor in far eastern Indonesia clusters with Melanesians and a group called the Toba Batak of northern Sumatra in Indonesia clusters with Micronesians.

Alor of far Eastern Indonesia after a major disaster. They are Melanesians who speak Papuan languages. The languages are endangered and very poorly documented. There is a major undertaking underway right now to at least document these languages.

Some very interesting looking Alor women. Although they are Melanesians, they look a bit different from many other Melanesians. The woman on the left has some pretty Asian looking eyes. This may be because they speak an Austronesian language. Melanesians who speak an Austronesian language have some Chinese (Taiwanese) genes, but never more than 20%. The Alor have about 12% Taiwanese genes from the Ami, a group of Taiwanese aborigines, seen in Haplogroup L.

Both White Nationalist and Afrocentrist varieties of ethnic nationalist idiots keep trying to insist that these folks are either Black or closely related to Blacks.

These people are some of the furthest away from Africans on the planet. You can’t go by phenotype or appearance or even behavior. None of that means much. You have to go by genes. As these people were some of the first to split off from Africans, they have been evolving away from them for the longest. Whites are much closer to Blacks than these Melanesians.

An Alor man who is working with a linguistic team that is documenting Alor languages. Alor is a major diving site for commercial recreational diving crews. The water is still nice and clear here and the coral reefs are still intact. The fish population is good too as there are not a lot of people living in this part of Indonesia. The famous Komodo Dragon lives near here on Komodo Island in far eastern Indonesia.

The reason these people, who are much less related to Black people than I am, are always called Black, is due to the color of their skin! But that has nothing to do with anything. A bobcat and coyote are similarly colored too. Truth is that if you evolved in the areas of the Earth with the highest UV radiation, you often ended up with very dark skin, which does resemble that of Africans.

But this is just convergent evolution and has nothing to do with relatedness. This guy is a lot more closely related to Chinese than to Black people. The Alor do seem to have about 25% Papuan genes via Haplogroup E.

The Toba Batak of Northern Sumatra. The guys in this photo actually do look Micronesian – I have seen photos of Micronesians. How these Micronesians ended up on the north coast of Sumatra is news to me. The Toba Batak live west of Medan in the area around Lake Toba, especially on Samosir Island. Their elaborately carved wooden houses are a popular tourist attraction.

A photo of a Toba Batak family. I had a hard time finding quality pics of the Toba Batak. You can see that they are extremely dark – much darker than most people living in this area. Also I think that some Micronesians may have wavy hair like that. The Toba Batak are Micronesians who somehow ended up in northern Sumatra.

This shows that Indonesians are not any particular race, although most are more general SE Asian types fairly close to Filipinos.

Classification of races is a tricky business. In my post, I went by genetic distance alone and not phenotype, culture, behavior, etc. I also treated very gingerly all contributions by ethnic nationalists, who are known to be profoundly dishonest about this stuff. Despite PC nonsense, there clearly are races of mankind. In fact, my classification scheme posits 87 minor races, and it is still undergoing revision.

References

Capelli, C. Wilson, J.F., Richards, M., Stumpf, M.P.H., Gratrix, F., Oppenheimer, S., Underhill, P., Pascali, V.L., Ko, T.M., and Goldstein, D.B. (2001). A Predominantly Indigenous Paternal Heritage for the Austronesian-Speaking Peoples of Insular Southeast Asia and Oceania. American Journal of Human Genetics 68:432-443.

Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., P. Menozzi, A. Piazza. 1994. The History and Geography of Human Genes. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Jablonski, N. and Chaplin, G. (2000) The Evolution of Human Skin Coloration. Journal of Human Evolution.

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12 Comments

Filed under Anthropology, Reposts From The Old Site

12 responses to “Update to Races of Man Post

  1. Pingback: The Peopling of Indonesia « Robert Lindsay

  2. Pingback: The Peopling of the Philippines « Robert Lindsay

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  4. sdaedalus

    This is really good, thanks,

    I understand that unusual green eyes crop up from time to time in the khalash, is this correct?

    PS, the Khalash sound very elven.

    • Yes, they do. Blue eyes too, and I think even blond hair, not sure.

      • AdamRyan

        Hi I am Pakistani-Malaysian, I am still BBA student in National University of Malaysia. I also like to study about this topics. I will share my opinion here. I have visit Chitral Many time. Yes Kalash peoples have Green, Blue and hazel Eyes (Not All, But Most of them). And Some of them have blonde hair (Normally woman) with cheeze color skin (Normally woman too). These Peoples have no any connection with any peoples around them Like pakistani or afghanistani. No DNA evidence show that they are part of them. And No evidence show they have same DNA as Greek peoples. These peoples are very mystrious, No one know the real answer where they are from. Even Kalash peoples doesn’t believe they are part of Greek (Only some pakistani, afghanistani or western think they are part of Greek). Some believe they are real aryan peoples. Maybe They think these people part of Greek because of their features (Like Eyes, Blonde Hair, Light skin, Cultural, religion and cloth). But logically most greek people have brown eyes, dark hair, olive skin. But this is no strong evidence to show they are part of European. Many Historical researcher still not have the right answer. Because you can’t said they are European based on their Features. Because some of tajik, ugyhur ethics also have same feature as them. Some of pushton, kurdish, iranian (Some iranian ethnics) also have European features. In my opinion this can cause of the place where they are living (Mountain Area- Cool Area). If you see Iranian, afghanistani, ughur, tajik who live in mountain are have European Features. But the question why European (Greek Army) go this urban area? why not they choose town. Its not easy to go chitral. so i can’t accept the theory Greek army had visit this place. They are not 100% proven evidence they are part of European. In my opinion they are ownself. Maybe they have these feature because place they stay. Same like other s ethnics in Iran, Afghan, tajik, Ugyhur. Please free to share opinion with me. Thanks

        My E-Mail: Punkz_life@hotmail.com

  5. sdaedalus

    Thanks Robert. Your site is very interesting, and I look forward to reading it in full.

    • I like your site. You’re smart and you write very well. Like a sexist jerk, I immediately assumed that obviously you were a guy. Then I realized you were a woman. But that makes it even better. Not so many women can write like that.

  6. sdaedalus

    Thanks, that is very kind of you to say.

  7. Dan

    Two potentially false assumptions that should be addressed when looking at the origins of any “European” characteristic of the Kalash

    1. The use of Modern Greek genes as a model for Ancient Greek genes is very weak, and doesn’t take into account the history of Modern Greece, and the origins of it’s people. So looking for that special Modern “Greek” connecting to the Kalash looks like a futile exercise

    2. Also to assume Macedonians are Greeks because of proximity and shared cultural elements could also be make finding the facts very difficult, experts have not agreed on this point to date, so we should keep our minds open

    Assuming too much can send us on some wild goose chases indeed

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  9. Lee

    I wonder if you have thought about or would consider that there are 4 main races based on DNA Analysis Shows Ancient Humans Interbred with Denisovans, Neandertals and other unidentified ancient human lineage.

    Everyone living outside of Africa today has a small amount of Neanderthal in them.

    Sub-Saharan African populations interbred with archaic hominins that possibly once inhabited Central Africa.

    The Migration path for the Devisovan runs from the Saudi Peninsula, Middle East Northern India (then split) one; into Siberia and 2) into New Guinean/Australian.
    Near Oceanians, Polynesians, Fijians, east Indonesians, and Mamanwa (a “Negrito” group from the Philippines) have all inherited genetic material from Denisovans,

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