Page semi-protected

Australoid race

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Workii Australoid man from Gilbert River, South Australia
Australoid Adivasi from India

Australoid (also Australasian, Australo-Melanesian, Veddoid,[1]) is a broad racial classification used to refer to certain peoples indigenous to South and Southeast Asia and Oceania.[2]

The Australoid type was held to have been common among Aboriginal Australians, Melanesians, the populations grouped as "Negrito" (the Andamanese, the Semang and Batek people, the Maniq people, the Aeta people, the Ati people, and various other ethnic groups in the Philippines), as well as certain tribes of India (including the Vedda of Sri Lanka, and a number of tribal populations in the interior of the Indian subcontinent[3]). There is a long-standing hypothesis which derives Dravidians from an originally Australoid stock, [4] a theory of which Biraja Sankar Guha was a proponent.[5]

The group is characterised by high levels of Denisovan archaic admixture not found in other Eurasian populations.[6]


Australoid distribution according to the Meyers Konversations-Lexikon (1885-90)

The Australioid racial group was introduced by Thomas Huxley in an essay 'On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of Mankind' (1870), in which he divided humanity into four principal groups (Xanthochroic, Mongoloid, Negroid, and Australioid).[7] Huxley further classified the Melanochroi (Peoples of the Mediterranean race) as a mixture of the Xanthochroi (northern Europeans) and Australioids.[8] Later writers dropped the first "i" in Australioid, establishing Australoid as the standard spelling.

Australoid was held to have been one of the five major human races alongside Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Congoid and Capoid.[9] However, under the three race paradigm of Caucasoid, Negroid and Mongoloid, no Australoid category existed.[10] More recent literature tends to use "Australasians" or "Australo-Melanesians",[11][12] in a general trend since the late 20th century to avoid the racial category names in "-oid" as tainted.[13]

The term "Proto-Australoid" was used by Roland Burrage Dixon in his Racial History of Man (1923). According to the Archaeologist Peter Bellwood, "many of the present Southern Mongoloid populations of Indonesia and Malaysia also have a high degree of Australo-Melanesian genetic heritage."[14]


Australoid Vedda Woman

Huxley's original model included the native inhabitants of South Asia under the Australoid category. The American Journal of Physical Anthropology (1996, p. 382) by American Association of Physical Anthropologists. L. L. (Luigi Luca) Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi and Alberto Piazza in their text, The History and Geography of Human Genes (1994, P. 241) both use the term.

A 2006 CFSL research article which assessed "3522 individuals belonging to 54 (23 belonging to the Austroasiatic, 18 to Dravidian, 7 to Tibeto-Burman and 24 to Indo-European linguistic groups) endogamous Indian populations, representing all major ethnic, linguistic and geographic groups" for genetic variations to support such classifications found no conclusive evidence. It further summed that "the absence of genetic markers to support the general clustering of population groups based on ethnic, linguistic, geographic or socio-cultural affiliations" undermines the broad groupings based on such affiliations that exist in population genetic studies and forensic databases.[15] Australoid components present through Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia is genetically closest to Negrito Andamanese Islanders[16] though still divergent[17] however some Indians also have genetic links with Australian Aborigenes, though mixed with Caucasoid or Mongoloid genes as well.[18]

Physical features

A Vedda man from Sri Lanka with Australoid physical traits.

Forensic anthropologist Caroline Wilkenson wrote in 2004 that Australoids have the largest brow ridges "with moderate to large supraorbital arches".[19] Caucasoids have the second largest brow ridges with "moderate supraorbital ridges".[19] Negroids have the third largest brow ridges with an "undulating supraorbital ridge".[19] Mongoloids are absent of brow ridges, so they have the smallest brow ridges.[19]

Huxley wrote in 1870 that Australoids are usually dolichocephalic;[20] their hair is usually silky, black and wavy or curly;[20] they usually have large, heavy jaws and prognathism;[20] their skin is the color of chocolate and the irises are dark brown or black.[20]

Distribution of the races after the Pleistocene according to Carleton Coon.
  Caucasoid race
  Congoid race
  Capoid race
  Mongoloid race
  Australoid race
Makassan man from Sulawesi, Indonesia. According to archaeologist Peter Bellwood, the vast majority of people in Indonesia and Malaysia, the region he calls the "clinal Mongoloid-Australoid zone", are "Southern Mongoloids" but have a high degree of Australoid admixture.[21]

Possible early presence in the Americas

A cast of the Luzia Woman's skull

There is a speculative theory which proposes that an early Australoid population may have been the earliest occupants of the New World. The theory was first proposed by Walter Neves in the 1990s based on an analysis of the Luzia Woman fossil found in Brazil, and has since found some support in genetic studies.[22][23][24] If this hypothesis is correct, it would mean that some Australoid groups continued the Great Coastal Migration beyond Southeast Asia along the continental shelf north in East Asia and across the Bering land bridge, reaching the Americas by about 50,000 years ago.

Genetic evidence

In 2015, two major studies[citation needed] of the DNA of living and ancient people detect in modern Native Americans a trace of DNA related to that of native people from Australia and Melanesia. Australasian admixture in some living Native Americans, including those of the Aleutian Islands and the Surui people of Amazonian Brazil. Evidence of Australasian admixture in Amazonian populations was found by Skoglund and Reich (2016).[11]

Walter Neves and Mark Hubbe argue that these people descended from an early wave of migration that was separate from the one that gave rise to today’s Native Americans, and drew on a different source population in Asia.[25]


Christy Turner notes that "cranial analyses of some South American crania have suggested that there might have been some early migration of "Australoids."[26] However, Turner argues that cranial morphology suggests sinodonty in all the populations he has studied.

One of the earliest skulls discovered in the Americas by archaeologists is an Upper Paleolithic specimen named the Luzia Woman. According to Neves, Luzia's Paleo-Indian predecessors lived in South East Asia for tens of thousands of years, after migrating from Africa, and began arriving in the New World, as early as 15,000 years ago. Some anthropologists have hypothesized that Paleo-Indians migrated along the coast of East Asia and Beringia in small watercraft, before or during the LGM. Neves' conclusions have been challenged researchers who argued that the cranio-facial variability could just be due to genetic drift and other factors affecting cranio-facial plasticity in Native Americans.[27][28][29]

See also


  1. ^ Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, Alberto Piazza, The History and Geography of Human Genes (1994), p. 241. R. P. Pathak, Education in the Emerging India (2007), p. 137.
  2. ^ Pearson, Roger (1985). Anthropological Glossary. Krieger Publishing Company. pp. 20, 128, 267. Retrieved 2 February 2018. 
  3. ^ T. Pullaiah, K. V. Krishnamurthy, Bir Bahadur, Ethnobotany of India, Volume 5: The Indo-Gangetic Region and Central India (2017), p. 26 names: the tribes of Chota Nagpur, the Baiga, Gond, Bhil, Santal and Oroan tribes; counted as of partial Australoid and partial Mongoloid ancestry are certain Munda-speaking groups (Munda, Gadaba, Santals) and certain Dravidian-speaking groups (Maria, Muria, Gond, Oroan).
  4. ^ Sarat Chandra Roy (Ral Bahadur) (2000). Man in India - Volume 80. A. K. Bose. p. 59. Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  5. ^ R. R. Bhattacharya et al. (eds., Anthropology of B.S. Guha: a centenary tribute (1996), p. 50.
  6. ^ Reich, D.; Green, R.E.; Kircher, M.; Krause, J.; Patterson, N.; Durand, E.Y.; et al. (2010). "Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia". Nature. 468 (7327): 1053–1060. Bibcode:2010Natur.468.1053R. doi:10.1038/nature09710. PMC 4306417Freely accessible. PMID 21179161.  Rasmussen, M.; Guo, X.; Wang, Y.; Lohmueller, K.E.; Rasmussen, S.; Albrechtsen, A.; et al. (2011). "An Aboriginal Australian Genome Reveals Separate Human Dispersals into Asia". Science. 334 (6052): 94–98. Bibcode:2011Sci...334...94R. doi:10.1126/science.1211177. PMC 3991479Freely accessible. PMID 21940856. 
  7. ^ Huxley, Thomas On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of Mankind. 1870. August 14, 2006
  8. ^ Huxley, Thomas. On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of Mankind. 1870. August 14, 2006. <>
  9. ^ Moore, Ruth Evolution (Life Nature Library) New York:1962 Time, Inc. Chapter 8: "The Emergence of Modern Homo sapiens" Page 173 – First page of picture section "Man and His Genes": "The Australoid race is identified as one of the five major races of mankind, along with the Mongoloid, Congoid, Caucasoid, and Capoid races (pictures of a person typical of each race are shown)"
  10. ^ O'Neil, Dennis. "Biological Anthropology Terms." 2006. May 13, 2007. Palomar College."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  11. ^ a b P. Skoglund, D. Reich, "A genomic view of the peopling of the Americas", Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2016 Dec; 41: 27–35, doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2016.06.016. "Recently, we carried out a stringent test of the null hypothesis of a single founding population of Central and South Americans using genome-wide data from diverse Native Americans. We detected a statistically clear signal linking Native Americans in the Amazonian region of Brazil to present-day Australo-Melanesians and Andaman Islanders (‘Australasians’). Specifically, we found that Australasians share significantly more genetic variants with some Amazonian populations—including ones speaking Tupi languages—than they do with other Native Americans. We called this putative ancient Native American lineage “Population Y” after Ypykuéra, which means ‘ancestor’ in the Tupi language family."
  12. ^ Peter Bellwood, Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago: Revised Edition (2007), p. 86.
  13. ^ see Mongoloid#Criticism, Negroid#Criticism_of_the_term[clarification needed]
  14. ^ Bellwood, Peter (1985). Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago. Australian National University. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-921313-11-0. 
  15. ^ Kashyap, VK; Guha, S.; Sitalaximi, T.; Bindu, G.H.; Hasnain, S.E. & Trivedi, R. (2006). "Genetic structure of Indian populations based on fifteen autosomal microsatellite loci" (PDF). BMC Genetics. 7: 28. doi:10.1186/1471-2156-7-28. PMC 1513393Freely accessible. PMID 16707019. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b c d Wilkenson, Caroline. Forensic Facial Reconstruction. Cambridge University Press. 2004. ISBN 0-521-82003-0
  20. ^ a b c d Huxley, T. H. "On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of Mankind" (1870) Journal of the Ethnological Society of London
  21. ^ Bellwood, Peter. Pre-History of the Indo-malaysian Archipelago. Australian National University:1985. ISBN 978-1-921313-11-0
  22. ^ Ancient voyage of discovery, Independent, The (London), Apr 8, 1996 by David Keys
  23. ^ Scientific American, Skulls Suggest Differing Stocks for First Americans, December 13, 2005
  24. ^ National Geographic, Americas Settled by Two Groups of Early Humans, Study Says, Dec 12, 2005
  25. ^ Mysterious link emerges between Native Americans and people half a globe away by Michael Balter published in the "American Association for the Advancement of Science" on July 21, 2015
  26. ^ Turner, Christy (2002). "Teeth, Needles, Dogs and Siberia: Bioarchaeological Evidence for the Colonization of the New World". The First Americans: The Pleistocene Colonization of the New World'. University of California Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-940228-50-4. 
  27. ^ Frank L'Engle Williams (2003). "Kennewick and Luzia: Lessons From the European Upper Paleolithic". AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  28. ^ Stuart J. Fiedel (2004). "THE KENNEWICK FOLLIES: "New" Theories about the Peopling of the Americas". Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  29. ^ Rolando Gonzalez-Jose; Maria Catira Bortolini; Fabrıcio R. Santos & Sandro L. Bonatto (2008). "The Peopling of America: Craniofacial Shape Variation on a Continental Scale and its Interpretation From an Interdisciplinary View". AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Australoid race"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA