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55. Some Notes on the Generalizations

The conclusion resulting from the analysis of the anthropological characteristics of the Chinese seems to be contradictory to the opinion on the unity of the Chinese from an anthropological standpoint. My investigation shows that the «Chinese type» does not exist at all; meanwhile the Chinese exist and their general physical feature is known as well as that of European ethnical groups. This impression, — very superficial it may be added, — of the homogeneity of the Chinese is based on the elements independent of the physical, somatologic characters. But this is not the sole example of this kind. Other ethnical, or, better, national, groups, as for example the Russians, show doubtless very mixed characteristics of their physical features and are an anthropological complex, but they are however homogeneous ethnical groups from an ethnological standpoint.

The common feature of an ethnical groups is based on elements whose variations are very easy, viz. the expression of the face, the form of lips, the expression of the eyes and so on. All these characteristics do not depend on the osteologic basis, but on the peculiar exercise of muscles. It has been observed that the British as well as other Europeans in America are subjected to the change of their features and become similar to the environment. Also the peculiar use of the muscles regulating the phonetic of the spoken tongue changes considerably the expression of the lower part of the face. The ethnographical conditions, as for example social culture and technical culture, always change the expression of the eyes. More than that, the geographical enviroment — humidity, insolation, elevation above the sea level and so on — probably changes the skin colour and expression of the face, because of its influence on the physiological and psychological functions.

All these factors changing the external feature do not depend on the osteological variations, but on the psychological and physiological variations, which cannot be measured with the anthropometric instruments. All these factors compose the complexes of culture and ethnographical environmsnt, which influence the formation of ethnical groups.

Up to the present time we have no reliable evidence which can refute or prove some theory on the origin and development of the «races», «types» and other units, but we have many direct and indirect observations on the formation of the new ethnical units possessing their peculiar features and forming their ethnical milieu.

The study of the anthropology of Northern China shows that the same anthropological (somatological) types can be observed among very different ethnical groups, viz. the Chinese, Koreans, Turcs, Mongols and Tungus. These ethnical groups form so peculiar and distinct anthropological complexes that they cannot be united by any but a purely geographical generalization. Meanwhile the first impression of some early travellers led them to generalize all these groups in a «Mongol Race». The following period of observations resulted in the theory of the western origin of the Chinese who appeared more distinct from the rest of the unknown ethnical groups. The same results followed the anthropological investigation of other so-called Mongolian and Mongoloid tribes of Siberia, so that the theory of the united yellow race was little by little rejected and continues its existence only in the works of the authors who do not know the results of the later anthropologial investigations made by the Russian anthropologists. Meanwile the anthropological study of these groups shows another kind of phenomena and seems to prove the original differentiation of the anthropological types, but in another way of application. I shall have in my further studies the opportunity to expose these evidences and conclusions.

In the preceding exposition I have mentioned the influeuce of the physiological phenomena on the formation of the new ethnical units. The theory of the peculiar part played by the glands on the formation of human physical characters exposed, for example by Prof. Keith [105], explains many facts concerning the formation of new ethnical units. But Prof. Keith postulates «Mongols» and includes in this term all ethnical groups of this part of Asia. He is quite right, but his «Mongols» can be homogenous only from a superficial standpoint, — i.e. in so far as they differ from the «White» and «Black» man, while the anatomical, even osteological, distinctions of his «Mongols» are perhaps more significant than those of his racial types. The apparent homogeneity of the Mongols, it seems to me, was the product of ethnographical observations from the European standpoint. The theory of Prof. Keith is quite admissible, but it does not explain the origin of the racial type and their variations, — it shows only the way in which the formation of the new types operates. The question how and why the racial types are formed is open. The hypothesis of the climatical and geographical influence over the gland-functions does not answer at all the question because the observations that we have do not permit us to draw necessary deductions. It is absolutely agreed that some glands and especially the brain take their important part in the formation of the ethnical types, which permit us to recognize at a glance a Mongol, a Chinese, a Japanese, an American and so on. The functions of these glands are not seen, only their effects, i.e. the culture and psychology of various ethnical groups can furnish this evidence in a vast quantity. Thus the formation of the new units of mankind depends on a function of their psychical and mental abilities and not on the anatomical variations, or in other words the variations of the human units now belongs to the field of physiological and psychological phenomena.

I shall illustrate the present preposition by the following examples. The type A may be observed only among all above described ethnical groups, but the Mongol ethnical complex may be observed among the Mongols and partly Manchus. The German ethnical complex may be observed among very few ethnical groups in Europe, but the German racial characteristics» may be distinguished among Northern Frenchmen, Italians (of Northern Italy), also in Russia and Northern States. The populations of the United States of America are an agglomeration of all ethnical groups of Europe, but the American citizen may be recognised at a glance, as the representative of this new ethnical complex. Finally, the population of Northern Russia is the result of the amalgamation of the Slavs of Central Europe and some ethnical groups of unknown origin speaking various Finnish and Turkic dialects, that forms now an anthropological complex, very complicated from an anthropological standpoint, but the representatives of this amalgamation can be recognized as well as some «pure race». Other examples can be found easily, if it should be necessary.

Of course, this proposition is no more than a «working hypothesis», which helped me in my present study on the anthropological (anatomical) differentiations discovered among the Chinese. Now a question arises: what importance has this study?

The results of the present study show anthropological components which now form the Chinese. Thus the importance of this study consists in the furnishing of historical evidences, — namely of which racial elements the Chinese are composed. Therefore from an ethnological standpoint I admit for the anthropology the place of an historical method.

I think that it might not now be answered how and why the anthropologica types exist in a state of amalgamation, but the foregoing analysis has shown that they do exist and always influence the formation of the new ethnical groups. Also it might not be now answered if the anthropological types absorb each other Or not, but the successive displacing of one anthropological type by another is known [106] and perhaps may be observed among the Manchus and Chinese of Manchuria. In fact, from the point of view of physical features the Manchus of the present study are not quite the same Manchus as they were before the Mongol invasion into Manchuria and the Chinese of Manchuria are not now the same Chinese as they were when they migrated into Manchuria from China. There are many questions, of first importance, the answers to which can be furnished only by anthropological investigations.

105. The Differentiation of Mankind into Racial Types. In «Annual Reports of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution» for the year 1919. Washington. 1922. p. 433. 9.

106. The Ossets of Caucasus changed their physical feature under the influence of the neighbourig ethnical groups speaking Turkic dialect and supposed to be of later Asiatic origin.

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