The Australoid race
is a broad racial classification
The concept originated with a typological method of racial
. They were described as having dark skin with
wavy hair, in the case of Aboriginal Australians
, or hair
ranging from straight to kinky in the case of Melanesian and
to this model of classification, Australoid peoples ranged
throughout Australia, New Guinea, and Melanesia, as well as
different parts of Oceania, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and the
Southern Middle East.
mid-twentieth century an argument emerged that Australoids were
linked to proto-Caucasoids.
out of Africa theory, the
ancestors of the Australoids are thought to have been the first to
migrate from Africa about 60,000 BCE,
migrating along the now submerged continental shelf of the northern shore of
Ocean and reaching Australia
about 50,000 BCE.
's map of racial categories from
On the geographical distribution of the chief modifications of
Huxley states: 'It is to the Xanthochroi and Melanochroi, taken
together, that the absurd denomination of "Caucasian" is usually
In the late nineteenth century, anthropometric
studies led to a proposition
of racial groups, one of which was termed "Australioid
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).
Huxley also concluded that the Melanochroi
(Peoples of the Mediterranean race
) are of a mixture of
Thomas. On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications
of Mankind. 1870. August 14, 2006.
/aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/SM3/GeoDis.html> Later writers dropped
the first "I" in Australi
Australoid as the standard spelling.
According to Peter Bellwood, "many of the present Southern Mongoloid
Indonesia and Malaysia also have a high degree of
Australo-Melanesian genetic heritage."
One proponent, R. Ruggles Gates, argued in 1960 that "If the
Ainu are partly of Australoid origin it
is also clear that they are even more nearly derived from archaic
". M.K. Bhasin (2006) suggests that the
"Australoids" "differentiat[ed]... perhaps from a common type
before the separation of the Mongoloids
Use to describe populations in India
Huxley's original model included populations in India. Some
scholars still use the term Australoid denote the small
populations, mainly in India and Sri Lanka, usually associated with
. The American Journal of Physical
(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
Balgir (2004) designates tribes as Australoid or Proto-Australoid
according to language family
It may be mentioned here
major scheduled tribes of Orissa
to three linguistic groups, namely, Indo-Aryan
orIndo-Europeans, i.e. Non-Australoid,
i.e. Proto-Australoid,and Dravidian (Gondi or Kuvi) speakers,
racial groupincludes Bhumiz, Gadaba, Juang, Kharia, Koda,Kolha,
Mahali, Mirdha, Munda, Santal and Saoratribes. Tribes like Bathudi,
Bhatra, Binjhal,Bhuyan, Lodha and Saunti belong to non-Australoid
racial stock while Australoid racialstock is represented by
and Pentia Halva
23 out of 54 Indian populations studied as Australoid, of which one
speaks an Indo-European language (Dhangar of
Maharashtra),4 speak Austro-Asiatic languages (Kurmi of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar Kurmi of Bihar, and
Juang and Saora of
and 18 speak Dravidian languages
. 7 populations were
designated as Mongoloid
, and the remaining
24 as Caucasoid
. No Proto-Australoid
category was used.
Forensic anthropologist Caroline Wilkenson says that Australoids
have the largest brow ridges "with moderate to large
". Caucasoids have the second largest brow
ridges with "moderate supraorbital ridges
". Negroids have
the third largest brow ridges with an "undulating supraorbital
". Mongoloids are "absent browridges
", so they
have the smallest brow ridges.
The first Americans?
Skulls of peoples with Australoid morphologies have been found in
the Americas, leading to speculation that peoples with phenotypical
similarities to modern Australoids may have been the earliest
occupants of the continent. These have been termed by some Pre-Siberian American
Christy Turner notes that "cranial analyses of some South American
crania have suggested that there might have been some early
migration of "Australoids." These early Americans left signs of
settlement in Brazil which may date back as many as 50,000 years
ago. However, Turner argues that cranial morphology suggests
" in all the populations he has
One of earliest skulls recovered by archaeologists is a specimen
scientists have named Lucia.
According to archaeologist
Walter Neves of the University of São Paulo
detailed measurements of the skull revealed that Lucia "was
anything but Mongoloid." Further, when a forensic
artist reconstructed Lucia's face, "the
result was surprising: 'It had all the features of a Negroid
Some scientists believe these Australoid first Americans later were
displaced relatively recently by peoples with more Mongoloid
, or East Asian
characteristics approximately 7,000 to 9,000 years ago.
scientists argue that a small number of Australoid peoples living
in Tierra del
Fuego are thought to be the only remaining survivors of
these earliest known Americans.
The pre-European Fuegeans, who lived stone age-style
lives until this century, show hybrid skull features which could
have resulted from intermarrying between mongoloid and negroid
Their rituals and traditions also bear some resemblance
to the ancient rock art in Brazil."....
- O'Neil, Dennis. "Biological Anthropology Terms." 2006. May 13,
2007. Palomar College.
- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/first/gill.html Does Race Exist? A
proponent's perspective by George W. Gill.
- Huxley, T. H. " On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief
Modifications of Mankind" (1870) Journal of the
Ethnological Society of London
- Huxley, Thomas On the Geographical Distribution of
the Chief Modifications of Mankind. 1870. August 14, 2006
- Ruggles Gates, R. "The Australian Aboriginals in a New
Setting", Man, April 1960, pp. 53-6, 
- Wilkenson, Caroline. Forensic Facial Reconstruction. Cambridge
University Press. 2004. ISBN 0521820030
- Ancient voyage of discovery, Independent,
The (London), Apr 8, 1996 by David Keys
- Scientific American, Skulls Suggest
Differing Stocks for First Americans, December 13, 2005
- National Geographic, Americas Settled by
Two Groups of Early Humans, Study Says, Dec 12, 2005
- . "First Americans were Australian." BBC News,
Sci/Tech. August 26, 1999. Accessed 01-07/2007.