The term Mongoloid is a variation of the word "Mongol", meaning "Mongol-like". It was coined as a racial category to describe the distinctive appearance of East Asian peoples. Variations include Mongolian race, "Sinoid" or "Mongolid". Today it is most used in discussions of human prehistory, historical definitions of race and in the forensic analysis of human remains. The concept's existence is based on a now disputed typological method of racial classification.[1][2] In forensics, Mongoloid is considered a skull type that is used to determine the probable soft-tissue reconstruction of discovered human remains. The -oid racial terms are now often controversial in both technical and non-technical contexts and may sometimes give offense no matter how they are used.[3] This is especially true of "Mongoloid" because it has also been used as a synonym for persons with Down Syndrome, and in US English as a generic insult meaning "idiot".[4][5]

Populations included

Enlarge picture
Thomas Huxley's map of racial categories from On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of Mankind. The Mongoloid group appears orange at what Huxley believed to be its point of origin, and radiates over Asia and America in variant forms, signified by color changes from pale orange to green to green-brown
The term comes from the Mongolian people of East Asia, who had a reputation in Europe for ruthless expansionism and massacre of enemy populations. The first usage of the term "Mongolian race" was by Christoph_Meiners in a "binary racial scheme" of "two races" with the Caucasian whose racial purity was exemplified by the "venerated... ancient Germans" with some Europeans being impure "dirty whites" and "Mongolians" who consisted of everyone else.[6] The term "Mongolian" was borrowed from Meiners by Johann Blumenbach to describe "second [race], [which] includes that part of Asia beyond the Ganges and below the river Amoor [Amur], which looks toward the south, together with the islands and the greater part of these countries which is now called Australian." [7] In 1861, Isid Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire added the "Australian" as a "secondary race" (subrace) of the "principal race" of "Mongolian"[8] In the nineteenth century Georges Cuvier used the term "Mongolian" again as a racial classification, but additionally included American Indians under the term.[9] Later, Thomas Huxley used the term "Mongoloid" and included American Indians as well as Arctic Native Americans.[10] Other nomenclatures were proposed, such as "Mesochroi" (middle color),[11] but "Mongoloid" was widely adopted. In 1915, "anthropologist Arthur de Gobineau"[12] defined the extent of the "Mongolian" race, "by the yellow the Altaic, Mongol, Finnish and Tartar branches."[12] In the 20th century, Carleton S. Coon used the term and included Pacific Islanders.[13] In 1983, Futuyma claimed that the inclusion of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders under the Mongoloid race was not recognized by "many anthropologists" who consider them "distinct races".[14] For example, in 1984, Roger J. Lederer Professor of Biological Sciences[15] separately listed the "Mongoloid" race from Pacific islanders and American Indians when he enumerated the "geographical varients of the same species known as races...we recognize several races Eskimos, American Indians, Mongoloid... Polynesian"[16]

Mongoloid influence in India

Further information: Racial groups of India Genetics and Archaeogenetics of South Asia
Blumenbach considered "[t]he more modern conquerers of India, that is, the Mongolians, have lost much of their original features under a new climate [India], and approached nearer the Indian type [Blumenbach used the term "American" to refer to Native Americans and Indian to refer to the inhabitants of India]."[16]

Central, East and Northeast India

Herbert Hope Risely identified a Mongoloid and Dravidian mixture in India extending latitudedly from West Bengal to Assam and longitudedly from the Himalayas to most of Orissa.[17] In a like manner, Vikrant Kumar et al. finds that the Mongoloids of Assam and Sikkim are of diverse origins, incorporating Aryan and Dravidian lineages.[18] In 1899, Paul Topinard said, "[t]he second [mentioned race, the Mongolian,] has spread over the plateaux of Central India by two lines of way one on the north-east and the other on the north-west."[18] "The [Indian] census report of 1901 divided the population of India into seven distinct racial types:... The fifth type is the Mongolo-Dravidian of Bengal and Orissa, comprising the Bengal Brahmans (sic) and Kayasths, the Mahommedans of Eastern Bengal, and other groups peculiar to this part of India.[18] It is probably a blend of Dravidian and Mongoloid elements with a strain of Indo-Aryan blood in the higher groups.[18] The sixth type is the Mongoloid of the Himalayas, Nepal, Assam and Burma, represented by the Kanets of Lahoul and Kulu, the Lephcas of Darjeeling, the Limbus, Murmis and Gurungs of Nepal, the Bodo of Assam, and the Burmese."[19]

South India

W.E.B. DuBois explained "the Dravidians, ...[as having] some mixture of Mongoloid..."[20] Similarly, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, an educational trust, believes that "...a mix of Black and Mongoloid races, occurs in the Kannada, Tamil and Malayan regions... [who in combination with] Caucasian races...formed the Dravidians."[21] In 1898, ethnographer Friedrich Ratzel remarked about the "Mongolian features" of "Dravidians", resulting in his "hypothesis of their [Dravidians] close connection with the population of Tibet" whom he adds "Tibetans may be decidedly reckoned in the Mongol race"[22] In 1899, Paul Topinard "divides the population of the Indian peninsula into three strata,... [including the] Mongolian,..."[23] Topinard said, "[p]assing to the yellow races... we find them divided into groups... [such as] the Dravidians of India,'" [24] "The [Indian] census report of 1901 divided the population of India into seven distinct racial types:... [the] Dravidian type, extending from Ceylon to the valley fo the Ganges, and pervading the whole of Madras and Mysore and most of Hyderabad, the Central Provinces, Central India and Chota Nagpur...[18] [and in the] south Indian hills and the Santals of Chota Nagpur[18] ... now modified to varying extent by admixture of... Mongoloid elements."[19]


In 1865, Thomas Huxley presented the views of polygenecists of which Huxley was not as "some imagine their assumed species of mankind were created where we find them... the Mongolians from the Orangs."[26]

In 1897, WEB DuBois, sociologist and historian, said, "[t]he final word of science, so far, is that we have at least two perhaps three, great families of human beings -- the whites and Negroes, possibly the yellow race [he calls this "Mongolian" later][26]. The other races have arisen from the intermingling of the blood of these two." [26] Later, there was a "change in his anthropological view", where he postulated "Negroids and Mongoloids are primary, with Caucasoids listed as a type between these, possibly formed by their union, with bleached skin and intermediate hair."[27]

In 1972, Carleton Coon claimed, "[f]rom a hyborean group there evolved, in northern Asia, the ancestral strain of the entire specialized mongoloid family."[28] In 1962, Coon believed that the Mongoloid "subspecies" existed "during most of the Pleistocene, from 500,000 to 10,000 years ago".[29] According to Coon, the Mongoloid race had not completed its "invasions and expansions" into Southeast Asia, the Americas, and the Pacific Islands until "[t]oward the end of the Pleistocene"[29] By this time Coon hypothesis that the Mongoloid race had become "sapien".[29]

M.K Bhasin hypothesis that the Mongoloid race originated from "Australoids" by a "differentiation, which probably took place in Asia".[30]

Dr. T. Tirado claims that "many experts" consider American Indians and East Asians to be descended from a "Proto-Mongoloid" population which existed as late as 12,000 years ago.[31] See also: Models of migration to the New World

Futuyma believes the Mongoloid race "diverged 41,000 years ago" from a Mongoloid and Caucasoid group which diverged from Negroids "110,000 years ago".[31]

Peter Brown (1999) evaluates three sites with early East Asian modern human skeletal remains (Liujiang, Liuzhou, Guangxi, China; Zhoukoudian's Upper Cave; and Minatogawa in Okinawa) dated to between 10,175 to 33,200 years ago, and finds lack of support for the conventional designation of skeletons from this period as "Proto-Mongoloid"; this would make Neolithic sites 5500 to 7000 years ago (e.g. Banpo) the oldest known Mongoloid remains in East Asia, younger than some in the Americas. He concludes that the origin of the Mongoloid phenotype remains unknown, and could even lie in the New World.[32]

A 2006 study of linkage disequilibrium finds that northern populations in East Asia started to expand in number between 34 and 22 thousand years ago (KYA), before the last glacial maximum at 21–18 KYA, while southern populations started to expand between 18 and 12 KYA, but then grew faster, and suggests that the northern populations expanded earlier because they could exploit the abundant megafauna of the ‘‘Mammoth Steppe,’’ while the southern populations could increase in number only when a warmer and more stable climate led to more plentiful plant resources such as tubers.[33]


Bhavan identifies Northeast India Mongoloids to be a subrace called the "Paleo-Mongoloid", being the "dominant element in the tribes living in Assam and the Indo-Burmese frontiers... Sikkim and Bhutam... [and] Tibetan mongoloids"[33]

In 1900, Joseph Deniker said, the "Mongol race admits two varieties or subraces: Tunguse or Northern Mongolian... and Southern Mongolian"[33] The people of East Asia are called "Northern Mongoloids".[34] Archaeologist Peter Bellwood claims that the "vast majority" of people in Southeast Asia, the region he calls the "clinal Mongoloid-Australoid zone", are "Southern Mongoloids" but have a "high degree" of Australoid admixture. [35] Ainus are considered Southern Mongoloids even though they live in East Asia.[35] Sinodonty and Sundadonty are dentition patterns that correspond to the Northern Mongoloid vs. Southern Mongoloid distinction.


Proto Mongoloids

The physical features of the "Proto-Mongoloid" were characterized as, "a straight-haired type, medium in complexion, jaw protrusion, nose-breadth, and incliniing probably to round-headedness".[36] Kanzō Umehara considers the Ainu and Ryukyuans to have "preserved their proto-Mongoloid traits". [37]


17th century anthropologist Christoph_Meiners, one of the first people to define the "Mongolian race", characterized the "Mongolian race" as being "weak in body... dark...[and] ugly".[37] Anthropologist Johann Blumenbach, Meiners contemporary, described the "Mongolian race" as "Men of dark colour, snub noses, with winking eye-lids drawn outwards at the corners, scanty and stiff hair"[16] with skin of "yellow, olive-tinge, a sort of colour half-way between grains of wheat and cooked oranges, or the dry and exsiccated rind of lemons"[16] In regards to their ugliness, Blumenbach considered them the "embodiments of ugliness, as ugly as black Africans" and the "breadth [of the Mongolian skull] Blumenbach saw as its prime and ugly characteristic". [37] In 1865, anthropologist Thomas Huxley characterized Mongoloids as, "short stature, with skins varying in color from yellow to olive [37]; with broad cheekbones and faces, that, owing to the insignificance of the nose, are exceedingly flat [37]; and with small, obliquely-set black eyes and straight black hair, which sometimes obtains a great length upon the scalp, but is always scanty upon the face and body. [37] The skull, never much elongated, is, generally, remarkably broad and rounded, with hardly any nasal depression, and but slight projection in the jaws." [37] In 1907, anthropologist William Crooke described the Mongoloid as having a, "yellow-complexion, narrow slant eyes, small eyes, laterally prominant malar bones, black lank hair, and short stature... the face is broad and flat, nose depressed, eye oblique, no beard, but a little mustache, complexion olive[37]... The total absence of a beard... gives the males somewhat an effeminate appearance." [38] In 1915, "anthropologist Arthur de Gobineau"[38] described the "Mongolian" as "yellowish skin, scanty hair and beard, a large face, a pyrimidal skull, small stature, thick-set limbs, and slanting eyes with skin on the eyelids turned so much outwards that the eye will hardly open-- we recognize a very well-marked type, the main features of which it is easy to bear in mind...creatures so incontrovertibly ugly and repulsive as the ordinary specimens of the Mongolian race... [12] The skull points forward, not backward. The forehead is wide and bony, often high and projecting. The shape of the face is triangular, the nose and chin showing none of the coarse protuberences that marks the negro. There is further a general proneness to obesity."[39]. Skull shape is typically rounder than that of Caucasoids and Negroids, with higher-set cheekbones. Faces are relatively broader and flatter, while noses are typically smaller with lower bridges and minimal projection. Body hair is scarce and sweat glands are also fewer. Nevertheless, differing characteristics from these may also occur. [40] In 1898, ethnographer Friedrich Ratzel described "Dravidian[s]" by "dark colour, Mongolian features, smooth hair"[40]


Questionable usefulness

Geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza claims that there is a genetic division between East and Southeast Asians.[41] In a like manner, Zhou Jixu agrees that there is a physical difference between these two populations.[42] Other geneticists have found evidence for three separate populations within the traditional Mongoloid category: North Asians, Han Chinese/Southeast Asians, and Japanese.[43] The complexity of genetic data have led to doubt about the usefulness of the concept of a Mongoloid race itself, since distinctive East Asian features may represent separate lineages and arise from environmental adaptations or retention of common proto-Eurasian ancestral characteristics.[44]

Down Syndrome

Since people with Down syndrome may appear to have epicanthic folds, the condition was formerly called "Mongol" or "Mongoloid Idiocy"[45] John Langdon Down, for whom the syndrome was named, claimed in his book Observations on the Ethnic Classification of Idiots (1866), that the Mongol-like features represented an alleged evolutionary degeneration when manifested in Caucasoids. Though this view was discounted in the 20th century, the use of the term "Mongoloid" for racial purposes has acquired offensive connotations because of the connection with Downs syndrome.

See also


1. ^ O'Neil, Dennis. Palomar College. "Biological Anthropology Terms." 2006. May 13, 2007. [1]
2. ^ [2] Does Race Exist? A proponent's perspective by George W. Gill.
3. ^ American Heritage Book of English Usage. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1996. <>.
4. ^ Down Syndrome Was Not Discovered By Dr. Down
5. ^ Urban dictionary
6. ^ Painter, Nell Irvin. Yale Univeristy. "Why White People are Called Caucasian?" 2003. September 27, 2007. [3]
7. ^ Blumenbach, Johann. The Anthropological Treatise of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. London: Longman Green, 1865.
8. ^ Deniker, Joseph. The Races of Man: An Outline of Anthropology and Ethnography C. Scribner's Sons:New York, 1900. ISBN 0836959329
9. ^ [The End of Racism by Dinesh D'Souza, pg 124]
10. ^ Huxley, Thomas, On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of Mankind. 1870. August 14, 2006.
11. ^ James Dallas, "On the Primary Divisions and Geographical Distributions of Mankind", 1886 Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, p.204-10. James describes this as "equivalent to Professor Huxley's Mongoloid division" and as encompassing "Mongols and American Indians"
12. ^ DiPiero, Thomas. White Men Aren't Duke University Press, 2002. ISBN 0822329611
13. ^ Jim Bindon, University of Alabama, Post WW2 notions about Human Variation
14. ^ Futuyma, Douglas A. Evolutionary Biology. Massachusetts:Sinauer Associates, 1983. p. 520
15. ^ California State University, Chico. "University Catalog." September 28, 2007. 2003.[4]
16. ^ Lederer Roger J. Ecology and Field Biology. Cummings Publshing Company: California, 1984. ISBN 0-8053-5718-1 p.129
17. ^ Risely, Herbert Hope. The People of India Oriental Book Reprint:Michigan, 1999. p.40 ISBN 8120612655[5]
18. ^ Kumar, Vikrant. Bashu, Debashis. Reddy, Mohon. Genetic Homogeneity in Northeastern India: Reflection of Tribe Caste Continuum in Genetic Structure. 2004. September 9, 2006.
19. ^ Chisholm, Hugh. The Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition University press: Virginia, 1910. p.380
20. ^ W.E. Burghardt DuBois, The World and Africa (International Publishers, New York, 1972), p. 176
21. ^ Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. The Vedic Age, Vol. 1 (S. Roma-Krishnan and Bhavan Bombay, India 1962) p. 151
22. ^ Ratzel, Freidrich. The History of Mankind. Macmillan and Co.:New York, 1898. ISBN-13: 978-8171580842 p.358
23. ^ T.R. Sesha Iyengar. Dravidian India Asian Educational Services: Madras, 1925. ISBN 81-206-0135-1. p.24
24. ^ Topinard, Paul. Science and Faith; Or, Man as an Animal, and Man as a Member of Society Open Court Pub. Co.:Harvard, 1899.
25. ^ Chisholm, Hugh. The Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition University press: Virginia, 1910. p.380
26. ^ Huxley, Thomas. Collected Essays of Thomas Huxley: Man's Place in Nature and Other Kessinger Publishing: Montana, 2005. ISBN 1417974621
27. ^ Bernasconi, Robert. Race Blackwell Publishing: Boston, 2001. ISBN 063120783X
28. ^ Coon, Carleton S. The Races of Europe. Greenwood:USA, 1972 ISBN 0837163285 p.2
29. ^ Coon, Carleton S. The Origin of the Races. Knopf:Michigan, 1962. ISBN-10: 0394301420
30. ^ Bhasin, M.K. University of Delhi, Department of Anthropology. "Genetics of Castes and Tribes in India." Kamla-Raj, 2006. p.244
31. ^ Tirado, T. Millersville University. "When Worlds Collide." 2007. September 27, 2007. [6]
32. ^ Peter Brown (1999). "The First Modern East Asians? another Look at Upper Cave 101, Liujiang, and Minatogawa. K. Omoto (ed.) Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Origins of the Japanese, International Research Center for Japanese Studies: Kyoto. pp. 105-130.
33. ^ Yali Xue,*,†,‡ Tatiana Zerjal,*,‡ Weidong Bao,‡,§ Suling Zhu,‡,§ Qunfang Shu,§ Jiujin Xu,§ Ruofu Du,§ Songbin Fu,† Pu Li,† Matthew E. Hurles,* Huanming Yang** and Chris Tyler-Smith*,‡,1 (2006). Male Demography in East Asia: A North–South Contrast in Human Population Expansion Times. Genetics Society of America. DOI:10.1534/genetics.105.054270.
34. ^ Ainu Museum. "The Ainu People." 2007. September 26, 2007. [7]
35. ^ Bellwood, Peter. Pre-History of the Indo-malaysian Archipeligo. Australian National University:1985. ISBN 9781921313110
36. ^ Worthington, Elsie. North American Indian Life: Customs and Traditions of 23 Tribes University of Nebraska Press: USA, 1967. ISBN 0-48627-377-6 p. 7
37. ^ Sleeboom, Margaret. Academic Nations in China and Japan. Routledge: UK, 2004. ISBN 0-41531-545-X p.56
38. ^ Crooke, William. Natives of Northern India Constable and Company:London, 1907.
39. ^ Gobineau, Arthur (1915). The Inequality of Human Races. Putnam. Retrieved on 2007-10-18.
40. ^ Trotter, Mildred. Women in Health and Science. Operations at Central Identification Laboratory. 2004. September 2, 2006.
41. ^ The Chinese Human Genome Diversity Project, L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza
42. ^ [8] The Rise of Agricultural Civilization in China, Sino-Platonic Papers 175, Zhou Jixu, citing Ho Ping-ti, ISBN 0226345246
43. ^ TAJIMA Atsushi, PAN I.-Hung, FUCHAROEN Goonnapa, FUCHAROEN Supan, MATSUO Masafumi, TOKUNAGA Katsushi, JUJI Takeo, HAYAMI Masanori, OMOTO Keiichi, HORAI Satoshi, "Three major lineages of Asian Y chromosomes: implications for the peopling of east and southeast Asia," Human Genetics 2002, vol. 110, no1, pp. 80-88
44. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica, Mongoloid
45. ^ [9] Ward, Connor O. John Langson Down the man and the message. 2006. August 26, 2006]
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B-side(s) "Jocko Homo"
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East Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms. Geographically, it covers about 12,000,000 km², or about 28% of the Asian continent and about 15% bigger than the area of Europe. More than 1.
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The historical definition of race was an immutable and distinct type or species, sharing distinct racial characteristics such as constitution, temperament, and mental abilities.
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Forensic science (often shortened to forensics) is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to the legal system. This may be in relation to a crime or to a civil action.
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Forensic science (often shortened to forensics) is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to the legal system. This may be in relation to a crime or to a civil action.
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Mongols (Mongolian: Монгол Mongol) specifies one or several ethnic groups largely located now in Mongolia, China, and Russia.
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Christoph Meiners (1747-1810) was a German philosopher, and early anthropologist. He supported a polygenist theory of human origins.

He was Professor of Weltweisheit at the University of Göttingen, and wrote on comparative history and cultural history.
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Baron Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier (August 23 1769–May 13, 1832) was a French naturalist and zoologist. He was the elder brother of Frédéric Cuvier (1773–1838), also a naturalist.
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Thomas Henry Huxley

Huxley in a Woodburytype print by Lock & Whitfield, London 1880 or earlier
Born 4 May 1825(1825--)
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Carleton Stevens Coon, (23 June 1904 – 3 June 1981) was a American physical anthropologist best remembered for his books on race.

An article published in The Journal of the History of Biology[1]
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13 (1): 1-20. DOI: 10.1080/13507480600586726 .
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There has been significant progress in genetic and archaeogenetic studies of the Indian Populations in the last five years (as of 2006); this has implications for the Indo-Aryan migration/invasion theory.
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Total population approx.
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Coordinates: West Bengal (Bengali: পশ্চিমবঙ্গ Poshchimbôŋgo) is a state in eastern India.
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Coordinates: Assam pronunciation   (Assamese:
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Himalayas (also Himalaya, Hindi: हिमालय, IPA pronunciation: [hɪ'mɑlijə], [ˌhɪmə'leɪjə]
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Coordinates: Orissa pronunciation   (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା), is a state situated on the east coast of India.
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Sikkim (Nepali: सिक्किम  , also Sikhim
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W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois, in 1918
Born: January 23 1868(1868--)
Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA
Died: July 27 1963 (aged 95)
Accra, Ghana
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Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is an educational trust, that conducts many primary and secondary educational institutes in India.

Kulapati K. M. Munshi* who was a Culture Minister in the Nehru Cabinet founded Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 1938 with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi.
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Kannadiga (Kannada: ಕನ್ನಡಿಗ |masculine|), or Kannadati (Kannada: ಕನ್ನಡತಿ |feminine|) are an ethnic group primarily located in the state of Karnataka in India and neighbouring areas like
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Tamils  • Telugus  • Tuluvas  • Gonds

Tamil people
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Malayan may refer to:
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  • Malay race, a racial category encompassing peoples of South East Asia and sometimes the Pacific Islands.

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Elliot, 1912

Genus: Pongo
Lacépède, 1799

Type species
Simia pygmaeus
Linnaeus, 1760

Orangutan distribution


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The Australoid race is a broad racial classification, no longer used by anthropologists. An alternative label is Australo-Melanesian.[1] The concept's existence is based on the now obsolete typological method of racialist classification.
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There are several popular models of migration to the New World proposed by the anthropological community. The question of how, when and why humans first entered the Americas is of serious interest to anthropologists and has been a subject of heated debate for centuries.
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