Re: puzzle of the negrito: isolated archaic populations

Gerold Firl (
6 Dec 1996 22:33:25 GMT

In article <589qd4$>, (Philip Deitiker) writes:
|> (Gerold Firl) wrote:

|> >Remnant populations of small, frizzy-haired, forest-dwelling peoples
|> >still exist (or did within the last century) in isolated pockets
|> >throughout asia, from the phillipines, malaysia, indonesia, the
|> >andaman islands, and possibly india as well. Average height for men
|> >ranged from around 4 1/2 feet to just under 5, leading to the name
|> >"negrito", and begging the question of relations to the african
|> >pygmies. How did the negritos come to be?

|> Gerald, wake up! This one has actually been addressed. The population
|> found in the Solomon islands and adjacent areas turn out to be about
|> 45,000 year old isolates of the first groups to enter asia.

Aren't the solomon islanders melanesian? Both melanesians and negrito
have kinky hair, but it seems a bit premature to link them purely on
that basis.

Also, h. erectus first entered asia about a million years ago. There
has been a whole lot of evolution going on since. This area of the
world is one of the places which makes the out-of-africa/genocide
hypothesis look very questionable.

There is a
|> synapsis on this in Science, about a year ago. The gene studies
|> haven't been done for all, but I beleive three of the populations have
|> been identified. Ironically, I think the data shows that these peoples
|> are the most diverged from from current african populations, basically
|> showing that when it comes to genetic makeup, inheritiance can be
|> deceiving.

I'm not sure which populations you refer to - melanesian? negrito?
papuan? australian? vedda? And which african populations - negro or

It wouldn't be surprising if the blue-water island populations prove
to be modern, recent isolates. The polynesian settlements are *very*
recent, and open-ocean technology is viewed with scepticism anywhere
beyond 40,000 b.p. or so. Java, on the other hand, had residant
hominids a million years ago; during a glacial maximum, many of the
indonesian islands aren't islands anymore. Once the ice melts,
however, mountains turn into islands, providing a refuge for archaic
remnant populations; if this puzzle really has been solved, I'd love
to hear more about it.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf