News | Published:

Research Items

Nature volume 135, pages 236237 (09 February 1935) | Download Citation



Race and Constitutional Types, Studies of human morphological (constitutional) types have been made in accordance with a variety of methods, depending for the most part on inspection rather than measurement, with the object of determining the character and frequency of such types within a given population. It has been suggested, further, that the morphological type correlates with functional and psychic type to make a ‘bio-type’, and also with race. Thus in a study of the population of Germany, it has been found that, of Kretschmer's three types, the leptosome corresponds to the Nordic, the athletic to the Dinaric and the pycnic to the Mediterranean and the Alpine. An additional character would, therefore, appear to be afforded for racial classification. This method of analysis, however, hitherto has been applied only to Europeans. With the view of determining its value to the anthropologist, it has now been applied to natives of Indo-China and Madagascar by Dr. G. Machado da Sousa (L'Anthropologie, 44, No. 5-6). It would appear that the classification based upon European material does not hold good when applied to other races, the combination of characters of which the types are composed being different, while of the methods employed two Only, those of Viola and of Manourvrier, were found suitable. It appears, however, that among the natives of Indo-China there is no correspondence in the types obtained by the two methods. As regards characters, among the Indo-Chinese, cranial form and morphological type do not correspond; but, on the other hand, there is a certain relation between the type and the form of the face. Generally, there would appear to be no correlation between racial type and constitutional type, though it is possible in the two races under consideration to recognise two extreme types of individual morphology.

About this article

Publication history





    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing