Category Archives: Physical

Repost: The Classification of the Vietnamese Language

This ran first a long time ago, but I just sold an ad on this post, so I decided to repost it. Rereading it, it’s a great Historical Linguistics post.

One of the reasons that I am doing this post is that one of my commenters asked me a while back to do a post on the theories of long-range comparison like Joseph Greenberg’s and how well they hold up. That will have to wait for another day, but for now, I can  at least show you how some principles of Historical Linguistics, a subfield that I know a thing or two about. I will keep this post pretty non-technical, so most of you ought to be able to figure out what is going on.

Let us begin by looking at some proposals about the classification of Vietnamese.

The Vietnamese language has been subject to a great deal of speculation regarding its classification. At the moment, it is in the Mon-Khmer or Austroasiatic family with Khmer, Mon, Muong, Wa, Palaung, Nicobarese, Khmu, Munda, Santali, Pnar, Khasi, Temiar, and some others. The family ranges through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, China, and over into Northeastern India.

It is traditionally divided into Mon-Khmer and Munda branches. Here is Ethnologue’s split, and here are some other ways of dividing up the family.

The homeland of the Austroasiatics was probably in China, in Yunnan, Southwest China. They moved down from China probably around 5,000 years ago. Some of the most ancient Austroasiatics are probably the Senoi people, who came down from China into Malaysia about 4,000 years ago. Others put the time frame at about 4-8,000 YBP (years before present).

A major fraud has been perpetrated lately based on Senoi Dream Therapy. I discussed it on the old blog, and you can Google it if you are interested. In Anthropology classes we learned all about these fascinating Senoi people, who based their lives around their dreams. Turns out most of the fieldwork was poor to fraudulent like Margaret Mead’s unfortunate sojourn in the South Pacific.

The Senoi resemble Veddas of India, so it is probably true that they are ancient people.  Also, their skulls have Australoid features. In hair, they mostly have wavy hair (like Veddoids), a few have straight hair (like Mongoloids) and a scattering have woolly hair (like Negritos). Bottom line is that ancient Austroasiatics were probably Australoid types who resembled what the Senoi look like today.

There has long been a line arguing that the Vietnamese language is related to Sino-Tibetan (the family that Chinese is a part of). Even those who deny this acknowledge that there is a tremendous amount of borrowing from Chinese (especially Cantonese) to Vietnamese. This level of borrowing so long ago makes historical linguistics a difficult field.

Here is an excellent piece by a man who has done a tremendous amount of work detailing his case for Vietnamese as a Sino-Tibetan language. It’s not for the amateur, but if you want to dip into it, go ahead. I spent some time there, and after a while, I was convinced that Vietnamese was indeed a Sino-Tibetan language. One of the things that convinced me is that if borrowing was involved, seldom have I seen such a case for such a huge amount of borrowing, in particular of basic vocabulary. I figured the  case was sealed.

Not so fast now.

Looking again, and reading some of Joseph Greenberg’s work on the subject, I am now convinced otherwise. There is a serious problem with the cognates between Vietnamese and Chinese, of which there are a tremendous number.

This problem is somewhat complex, but I will try to simplify it. Briefly, if Vietnamese is indeed related to Sino-Tibetan, its cognates should be not only with Chinese, but with other members of Sino-Tibetan also. In other words, we should find cognates with Tibetan, Naga, Naxi, Tujia, Karen, Lolo, Kuki, Nung, Jingpho, Chin, Lepcha, etc. We should also find cognates with those languages, where we do not find them in Chinese. That’s a little complicated, so I will let you think about it a bit.

Further, the comparisons between Chinese and Vietnamese should be variable. Some should look quite close, while others should look much more distant.

So there’s a problem with the Vietnamese as ST theory.

The cognates look like Chinese.

Problem is, they look too much like Chinese. They look more like Chinese than they should in a genetic relationship. Further, they look like Chinese and only Chinese. Looking for relationships in S-T outside of Chinese, and we find few if any.

That’s a dead ringer for borrowing from Chinese to Vietnamese. If it’s not clear to you how that is, think about it a bit.

Looking at Mon-Khmer, the case is not so open and shut. There seem to be more cognates with Chinese than with Mon-Khmer. So many more that the case for Vietnamese as AA looks almost silly, and you wonder how anyone came up with it.

But let us look again. The cognates with AA and Vietnamese are not just with its immediate neighbors like Cambodian and Khmu but with languages far off in far Eastern India like Munda and Santali. There are words that are found only in the Munda branch in one or two obscure languages that somehow show up again as cognates in Vietnamese.

Now tell me how Vietnamese borrowed ancient basic vocabulary from some obscure Munda tongue way over in Northeast India? It did not. How did those words end up in some unheard of NE Indian tongue and also in Vietnamese? Simple. They both descended long ago from a common ancestor. This is Historical Linguistics.

The concepts I have dealt with here are not easy for the non-specialist to figure out, but most smart people can probably get a grasp on them.

A different subject is the deep relationships of AA. Is AA related to any other languages? I leave that as an open question now,  though there does appear to be a good case for AA being related to Austronesian.

One good piece of evidence is the obscure AA languages found in the Nicobar Islands off the coast of Thailand. Somehow, we see quite a few cognates in Nicobarese with Austronesian. We do not see them in any other branches of AA, only in Nicobarese. This seems odd,  and it’s hard to make a case for borrowing. On the other hand, why cognates in Nicobarese and only in Nicobarese?

Truth is there are some cognates outside of Nicobarese but not a whole lot. In historical linguistics, one thing we look at is morphology. Those are parts of words, like the -s plural ending in English.

In both AA and Austronesian, we have funny particles called infixes. Those are what in English we might call prefixes or suffixes, except they are stuck in the middle of the word instead of at the end or the beginning. So, in English, we have pre- as a prefix meaning “before” and -er meaning “object that does X verb”. So pre-destination means that our lives are figured out before we are even born.  Comput-er and print-er are two objects, one that computes and the other that prints.

If we had infixes instead, pre-destination would look something like destin-pre-ation and comput-er and print-er would look something like com-er-pute and prin-er-t.

Anyway, there are some fairly obscure infixes that show up not only in some isolated languages in AA but also in far-flung Austronesian languages in, say, the Philippines. Ever heard of the borrowing of an infix? Neither have I? So were those infixes borrowed,  and what are they doing in languages as far away as Thailand and the Philippines, and none in between? Because they  got borrowed? When? How? Forget it.

Bottom line is that said borrowing did not happen. So what are those infix cognates doing there? Probably ancient particles left over from a common language that derived both Austronesian and AA, probably spoken somewhere in SW China maybe 9,000 years ago or more.

Why is this sort of long-range comparison so hard? For one thing, because after 9,000 years or more, there are hardly any cognates left anymore, due to the fact of language change. Languages change and tend to change at a certain rate.

After 1000X years, so much change has taken place that even if two languages were once “sprung from a common source,” in the famous words of Sir William Jones in his epochal lecture to the Asiatic Society in Calcutta on February 2, 1786, there is almost nothing, or actually nothing, left to show of that relationship. Any common words have become so mangled by time that they don’t look much or anything alike anymore.

So are AA and Austronesian related? I think so, but I suppose it’s best to say that it has not been proven yet. This thesis is part of a larger long-range concept known as “Austric.” Paul Benedict, a great scholar, was one of the champions of this. Austric is normally made up of AA, Austronesian, Tai-Kadai (the Thai language and its relatives) and Hmong-Mien (the Hmong and Mien languages). Based on genetics, the depth of Austric may be as deep as 30,000 years, so proving it is going to be a tall order indeed.

What do I think?

I think Tai-Kadai and Austronesian are proven to be related (more on that later). AA and Austronesian seem to be related also, with a lesser depth of proof. Hmong-Mien seems to be related to Sino-Tibetan, not Austric.

The case for Vietnamese being related to S-T is still very interesting, and I still have an open mind about it.

All of these discussions are hotly controversial, and mentioning it in linguistics circles is likely to set tempers flaring.

References

Author and date unknown, What Makes Vietnamese So Chinese? An Introduction to Sinitic-Vietnamese Studies.

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Filed under Anthropology, Asia, Austro-Asiatic, Austro-Tai, Austronesian, Cambodia, Cantonese, China, Chinese language, Cultural, Hmong, Hmong-Mien, India, Language Families, Laos, Linguistics, Malaysia, Mon-Khmer, Philippines, Physical, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, SE Asia, Sinitic, Sino-Tibetan, South Asia, Tai-Kadai, Thailand, Vietnam, Vietnamese

Did Blacks Split off from the Rest of Humanity 250-300,000 Years Ago?

8ball writes: No, I’m telling you, the latest data shows the human genetic tree split into two about 250,000-300,000 years ago. Sub-Saharan Africans on one side, the rest on the other.

That is a fucking long time ago. For comparison Neanderthals split off from us about 600,000 years ago.

I am not aware of this new data. Someone needs to link me to some proof of this if it is even true at all, which I doubt. I don’t see how it’s true. All non-Africans came out of Africa 65,000 YBP. Africans could not have split off from non-Africans so early because all non-Africans were Africans themselves until 65,000 YBP.

There were no Homo sapiens sapiens 250-300,000 YBP. Our species had not even been created yet. We were some prior form or Homo, I think Homo sapiens idaltu, but even he does not appear until 190,000 YBP. I have never heard that Blacks split off that early. Anyway, Negroids are a new race. They were only formed in the last 9,000 years. The oldest races are the Khoisan (52,000 years), and the Orang Asli in Thailand (72,000 years). Everybody else is way more recent. There are no human lines that go back 250-300,000 years and anyway back then we were not even the fully modern humans that we are today.

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Filed under Africa, Anthropology, Asia, Blacks, Khoisan, Physical, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, SE Asia, Thailand

Race in India: An Anthropological View

I have had lots of East Indians coming to my site lately for some reason. They are looking at a few pieces, especially The Major and Minor Races of Man, The Peopling of India and The Birth of the Caucasian Race.

They’ve mostly been females, possibly young females. They are interested in a few questions. First, what race are East Indians? Caucasians (Whites), Africans (Blacks), Asians or Australoids? These are the four macro races of man, though honestly, there may be more than that. They’ve been subjected to a lot of Afrocentric propaganda that says that East Indians are Black people. Truth is, East Indians don’t have a speck of Black in them. Your average group of Germans has more Black in them than a group of East Indians.

There are some other theories about East Indians suggesting that they are Asians. In my work The Major and Minor Races of Man, which I worked on for many months, I dealt with this question a lot. True, some charts show East Indians just outside of Caucasians proper. But those same charts don’t really show them in Asians either. They are floating in between both groups.

But most other charts seem to show them in Caucasians. Truth is that even those charts show them right on the border of the two groups. But if we look at the charts from a great enough distance and look at the group as a whole, they are clearly in Caucasians. In these cases, we have to go by what they look like. Do East Indians look like Asians? Of course not.

East Indians are part of a cline running from Turkey up to the Chukchi Peninsula that rides right on the border between Asian and Caucasian. Some groups are almost literally 50-50. The cline includes Jews, Armenians, Turks, Iranians, people of the Caucasus, Kurds, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uighurs, Mongolians, Altai, Shor, Buryats, Koreans, East Indians, Punjabis, Pakistanis, NE Chinese, Manchus, up to the Chukchi. On one chart, the Chukchi, bizarrely enough, are over with Caucasians. But if you look at them, they look like Eskimos. So into Asians they go.

With East Indians, we go by appearance. What do they look like, Caucasians or Asians? All or almost all East Asians have an epicanthic eyefold, lacking in most Indians. What about Asian genes? Asian genes are found up to a maximum of 10-15% in NW Indians around Punjab.

They look like Caucasians, lack an eyefold, and have few Asian genes, so into Caucasians they go.

The fact that Caucasians are also referred to as Whites is confusing to some. Blacks get upset when Whites claim East Indians. “Those people are not White!” They exclaim angrily. White is just shorthand for Caucasians. A lot of White folks, or Caucasians, can have skins that are anywhere from slightly to very dark.

So genetically and based on simple appearance, we can put all East Indians into Caucasians. The problem arises in that a paper has found that Tamils have skulls that link them, phenotypically but not genetically, to the Australoid race. Who are the Australoids?

Genetically, they are Aborigines, Melanesians, and Papuans.

Phenotypically, they are Tamils and some other South Indians, Senoi (a tribe in Thailand that resemble Veddoids), Semang (a Negrito group in Thailand), Negritos, Papuans, Melanesians and Aborigines.

Hema Malini, a very White-looking Indian.

Hema Malini, a very White looking Indian. Caucasian by phenotype and genes. She could easily be a Spaniard or Italian.

The question arises about which South Indians are also Australoids phenotypically? So far, only Tamils have been proven to be Australoid by skulls. However, any other South Indian group that looks a lot like Tamils is probably also Australoid, such as the Telegu.

Raju, Bishop N John S D classic dravidian

Bishop N John S D Raju, an Indian Christian and a classic Dravidian type. Possible Australoid phenotype.

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Species and Subspecies in Current Races of Homo sapiens sapiens

We already dealt with the racist nonsense about Black people being a different species than the rest of us. By the way, this is just another way of saying, “Niggers aren’t human,” which is exactly what a lot of anti-Black racists say about Black people in precisely those words.

I hate to break it to these guys, but Black people are as human as the rest of us. We are all one species.

I did a lot of research on the question the other day because I wanted to see if there was anything to the racist argument. The overwhelming opinion, based on multiple lines of excellent evidence is that all races of human are part of a single species. I won’t go into the lines of evidence here, but you can go look them up if you want. And it’s good science too, not junk science.

One of the lines is that no human race has any particular type of DNA that is particular to its own race. In different species, the new evidence is that all species have areas of DNA that are specific to just them. This is true even in species that can and do interbreed.

In studying two types of butterflies in the Amazon that readily interbreed, it was found that one area of DNA in each species never transferred to the other. Obviously when you mate two different lines, you end with each line contributing a lot of its DNA to the offspring. This is the DNA that carries over so to speak in interbreeding. The areas of DNA that never carried over or transferred in interbreeding were two areas: one that gave it its blue flavor and another that deals with how the blue butterfly is able to recognize others of its kind. In the orange butterfly, the non-transferring DNA was also for orange color and for how the species recognizes its own species. This is where we get the notion that “species breed true.”

Another is that humans can readily interbreed with other humans. For an example of what happens when humans breed with other hominid species, we can look at the evidence of human-Neandertal breeding.

Human-Neandertal breeding was very difficult and most of the offspring did not survive for some reason. Neandertal males mating with human females was rarely successful. However, human males mating with Neandertal females apparently worked sometimes.

The example given that species can interbreed is dog and wolves. However, science now says that dogs and wolves are one species. From my study of birds, when two different bird species start interbreeding a lot, after a while, they usually merge them into one species on the basis that they interbreed.

Crossbreeds of different species often produce sterile offspring. Yes, a horse can breed with a mule but the offspring is a donkey and donkeys are sterile. I believe that ligers, the offspring of lions and tigers, are also sterile. There are other species that can interbreed, however the offspring are weak, sickly and fail to thrive.

If any human races were separate species, we would expect to see something like the results of the human-Neandertal interbreeding and we don’t see that. Blacks and Whites can interbreed just fine, immaculately, in fact.

The question then boils down to whether any races could be said to be subspecies. The German Wikipedia has done some work on that and they have concluded that based on geographic separation, Negritos, Aborigines and Khoisan (Bushmen/Hottentots) could probably be seen as subspecies. On looking at their work, I think the writers on the German Wiki are basing their argument on good, solid science.

I would also argue that these three could be seen as subspecies based on genetic distance. The genetic line of Negroid Africans specifically does not go back all that far. They are a new race that only arose 9,000 YBP.

However, the Khoisan are one of the oldest people on Earth with a specific line going back 53,000 years.

Previously, a type of Negrito Australoid in Thailand, the Orang Asli, had been found to be the oldest race of living race with a line going back 72,000 years.

The Aborigine of course are very ancient. They are quite distant from all other humans. In fact the two races with the greatest distance between them are Aborigines and African Negroids. If anyone would have a hard time interbreeding it would be them, but there’s no evidence of any problems. On the other hand, few if any of them have bred at all. African Negroids and European Whites are dramatically closer to each other than Africans and Aborigines. If Africans and Aborigines are one species, how could Africans and Whites be two species? Makes no sense.

It is important to note that by their nature, all subspecies can interbreed. They are only called subspecies because for whatever reason, they only live in a restricted geographical area. In addition, there are some anatomical and genetic differences in all subspecies. At some genetic and anatomical difference level, two types of a species are said to be separate subspecies. Since no humans are restricted to any separate geographical areas, we cannot use that metric for setting aside human subspecies. However, I would no problem with setting aside Aborigines, Negritos and Khoisan as human subspecies. There’s nothing derogatory or racist about that statement, at least to any rational person, which leaves out all SJW’s.

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Black People Are Fully Human

Nope folks, Black people are fully human, just like us. Their line has been evolving longer than ours has, by the way. Also, Negroids are a new race, as new as Europeans. They only go back 9,000 years in agricultural Central Africa in the context of organized agriculture and the village societies it produced. If you want to look at Blacks who are more archaic, check out the Khoisans. Their genetic line at least goes back ~45,000 years, the oldest of any humans. Pygmies are also very archaic. Some proto-Pygmies were around ~50,000 YBP.

We are just the latest model is all.

 

 

European types only go back ~13,000 years. Before that, Europeans looked like Arabs and before that, like Amerindians from Washington state. Check out the Makah. Their skulls are closest to Europeans ~22,000 YBP. If you go back 35,000 YBP in Southern Russia, Proto-Caucasians look Australoid. So Australoid types may be the mother of us all.

Anyway Whites and Blacks can breed just fine, so we are not separate species. In fact when two species of say birds start breeding in the wild, they quit calling them separate species and lump them all into one species because they can breed.

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Humble Pie Origins: The Glorious Caucasian Race Was Created By Crossing Two Types of Aborigines

All White people used to be Black or Asian.

1/3 Proto-Black (Warm-adapted Australoid, Negrito type?) + 2/3 Proto-NE Asian (Cold-adapted Australoid, proto-Ainuid?) = Caucasoids, 42,000 YBP.

So basically you crossed two Ainu Australoids with one Negrito Australoid and you get a White person. So Caucasians were created by breeding two types of, let’s call it what it was, Australian Aborigine types together.

Most humans don’t have illustrious lines if you go back far enough. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I mean after all, if you go back far enough, we were all frogs. Why is that an insult. It’s not an insult to say that Pepe is the Father of All of US Shitlords.

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Alt Left: Were Human Females Sexually Selected for Beauty?

Let’s face it, folks, women are beautiful. They are far more beautiful than us men, and this is given as a reason that a lot of basically straight women drift into bisexuality. At least one bi-curious woman told me that, and I have seen others state it.

Put that idea in your head:

“Women are beautiful as a part of their basic genetic nature. They are far more beautiful than us men, who are more ruggedly handsome when attractive.”

Now start looking at women anywhere, especially on a dating site or Facebook. where you can see many women in short period of time. They are beautiful, aren’t they? They are beautiful in a way that most of us men are not. In fact, they appear to have been specifically bred for beauty, to put it crudely.

It must be that males across space and time have been specifically selecting for beauty in females. The less attractive females were apparently simply selected against.

If human females tend to have a core natural beauty as a result of sexual selection in favor of beauty cross-racially, it stands to reason that Black females have been selected for beauty also. The women of most races are beautiful, although I must admit I still can’t see the beauty in Aboriginal women, though Aborigine/White mixes are often remarkably beautiful. One of these mixes is a famous model in Australia. At any rate, races with largely unattractive females are quite rare. Poke around in any major human race, and you will start to see the beauty in the women if you look closely enough.

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Alt Left: The Creation of a New Race in the US – a Black/White Converged Race

It must be that males across space and time have been specifically selecting for beauty in females. The less attractive females were apparently simply selected against.

We see this trend even in modern times as the Black phenotype in the US has remarkably merged with the White phenotype, but only from the late 1800’s on. The changes in Black skulls in the US from the 1870’s on are nothing short of miraculous. Some it is probably due to diet, but most of it seems to be due to pure genetics. At the same time, a remarkable change has occurred in the White phenotype in terms of selection against archaic features and for progressive features from the 1600’s to the present day such that White people now look more like Black people than they do like their very own Colonial ancestors.

We what we are seeing is a merger of the two races. We have already had the creation of the American Negro, almost a new race among Blacks characterized by more progessive features and greater beauty, fewer archaic features, increased intelligence (apparently genetic) and heavy White minority admixture. Yet US Whites are also creating a new race as they merge together with Blacks phenotypically. It is almost as if we are heading towards the creation of a new Black-White merged and somewhat mixed race here in the Americas. Some it is due to interbreeding, but much is also due to parallel development.

What happened what that after the First Liberation, Black men were probably finally able to be more selective in Black females. They selected for lighter skin and Whiter or at least more progressive features and against more archaic features. Black females were also able to be more choosy about men. As some Black men began to accumulate money and wealth (quite a bit of which could be accumulated in Black neighborhoods among the new Black professionals) women began selecting possibly for the most moneyed, prominent or powerful men.

This type of Black men has always been lighter-skinned and more White-admixed than other Blacks. Hence these men would have more progessive and fewer archaic features. It also seems to be a truism that archaic features as associated with lower IQ’s and more progressive features are associated with higher IQ’s. This is even true across racial lines and within races themselves. Mass Black selection for more progressive and Whiter features may have led to the increased IQ among US Negroes, which can only partly be explained by genetics. There may also have been some epigenetics at work here in the US.

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The Race of the Paleo-Indians of the Americas

Don: I heard that the Tierra del Fuego Amerinds were considered Paleo-Indians. ‘Luzia’ was found only to be 10,000 yrs. old and not Australoid, proven by a number of different institutions. Many scientists that work in anthropology all agree she is Paleo-Indian.

Luzia is 12,500 years old.

Your statement is a tautology because Paleo-Indians = Australoids, racially speaking, by skulls. They are probably looking at genes, and yes, on genes, they are Indians. It’s just that the Indians if you go that far back Indians look like Australoids, as did the NE Asian populations from which they derived. See for instance the Australoid Ainu, basically depigmented Veddoids originally from Thailand 16,000 YBP, then later to the Australoid Jomon 13,000 YBP, who also occupied Japan. These were and are very robust people. The Ainu are NE Asian by genes and Australoid by skulls.

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A Bit about the Hmong

David Duke Nukem: Turban sounds kind of Aryan. I’m most fascinated by Hmong. Most Asians I know are Hmong but I keep things light with them. I prefer skulls because genetics seem to mishmash, an Australoid and Mongoloid seem worlds apart but not always genetically. Not that I discount genetics, an understanding of both is ideal. Hmong are a mystery, I often ponder how they’d be if they defeated the Han or at least weren’t booted.

Hi David, I did a lot of ethnography work on the Hmong. The Hmong homeland seems to be in Xinjiang going way back a long time ago. This may be the Desert Clay Pottery culture the commenter is talking about. There is a single Hmong line that goes all the way back 42,000 years and is only found in the Hmong, just to give you an idea of how far back they go.

The turban may be from interactions with some Muslims or Turkic peoples. Turkic peoples have been wearing turbans for a long time. The Hmong may have had some interactions with Turkic peoples back in their Xinjiang homeland. The Hmong are partly Caucasian, possibly owing to their Xinjiang homeland. Periodically, Hmong babies are born with blue and green eyes and blond from pure Hmong parents. At one time, I had photos of such Hmong. This would not be possible unless they had some recessive genes for such things somewhere in their genome. The Caucasian genes probably date back to their Xinjiang homeland where Asians and Caucasians have been interbreeding for a long time. Check out the Tocharians, a completely White race that lived in Xinjiang long ago.

Skulls are by far the best way to determine race. Genes are not that good. For instance, the Mani Negritos of Thailand have genes that look Thai. The Ati Negritos of the Philippines have genes that look Filipino. But that’s not what either of them are. Both groups are Australoid Negrito types by skulls and the skulls line up well with Tamils, Senoi, Melanesians, Papuans, Aborigines, etc.

The reason that those Negritos have genes that look like that is because they have been genetically swamped by Thai genes in Thailand and by Filipino genes in the Philippines. On the contrary, Filipinos and Thais have few Negrito genes because they were such a huge group. When a huge group breeds with a tiny group, the tiny group gets swamped with the genes of the large group, but the large group hardly gets any genes from the small group. It makes sense if you think about it.

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