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    Abstract

    The Eskimo.—Dr. Aleš Hrdlicka reports, in the Forty-sixth Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1928–29), on a journey among the Eskimo of Alaska which lasted from May to September 1926. .His object was to make an anthropological survey of the Eskimo, in the hope of filling in some of the gaps in our knowledge of this people which, up to the present, vitiate the conclusions which have been drawn as to their origin and affinities. The conclusions at which it has been possible to arrive are as follows: The Eskimo throughout their territory are one and the same people. The strain is fundamentally related to that (or those) of the American Indian. It is also undoubtedly related to the yellow-brown strains of Asia. In many respects the Eskimo are remarkably alike over their whole territory—in such characters as pigmentation, build of body, physiognomy, large brain, fullness of forehead, largeness, of face and lower jaw, etc. They differ in details such as stature, form of head, and breadth of nose. The distribution of these is of some significance; but between east and west, where the extremes are found, there is a regular gradation without significant interruption. This is due not to admixture but to adaptation and differentiation. They suggest a moderate * stream of people, rooted in Asia, of fairly broad but moderately high head, of good medium stature with a mesorhine nose, and other characteristics in common, reaching America from north-easternmost Asia after the related Indians, Spreading along the coast until blocked by the preceding Indian tribes, and gradually modifying physically in adaptation to the environment and conditions. The evidence shows that, with the exception of some irregularities, the more highly differentiated and divergent the "Eskimo becomes, the greater the gap between him and his Indian neighbour. The facts point, therefore, to the original identity of the source from which the Indian, more particularly the latest branches, and the Eskimo were derived, and to the identification of this source with the palaeo-Asiatic, yellow-brown peoples of lower northern Asia. The differentiation of the Eskimo from this source must have proceeded over a fairly long time, and probably began on the northern coasts of Asia.

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    Research Items. Nature 127, 287–289 (1931). https://doi.org/10.1038/127287a0

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