Ethnology, the science which treats of the various races of mankind and their origin. With anthropology, philology, psychology, and sociology it helps to cover the complete study of man. Owing to its comparatively recent origin, much diversity of opinion prevails regarding its proper scope and limits. But it may be said to embrace a comparative study of the races of mankind, their origin, physical and mental differences, dispersion, geographical distribution and interminglings.

The fundamental human types generally recognized are the black, frizzly-haired Ethiopic (negro); the yellow, lank-haired Mongolic; the white, smooth-haired Caucasic; the coppery, lank and long-haired American; and the brown straight-haired Malayo-Polynesian. The last is commonly rejected as evidently the outcome of a comparatively recent mixture in which the Mongolic elements predominate. Most authorities regard also the American as a remote branch of this group; this view seems justified by the striking Mongolic features occurring in every part of the New World, as among the Utahs of the Western States and the Botocudos of Eastern Brazil. We are thus reduced to the three first-mentioned divisions, a grouping again adopted by Professor Flower (1885), who concludes that primitive man has in the course of ages become differentiated into "the three extreme types represented by the Caucasian of Europe, the Mongolian of Asia, and the Ethiopian of Africa, and that all existing members of the species can be ranged around these types, or somewhere or other between them."

Subjoined is a brief summary of the main divisions and subdivisions of these three fundamental groups

The Ethiopic group falls naturally into a Western or African and an Eastern or Oceanic division. The Western occupies all Africa from the Sahara S. and comprises a N. or Sudanese branch (African Negroes proper) and a S. or Bantu branch (more or less mixed Negro and Negroid populations). The Oceanic division of the Ethiopic group comprises four branches: (1) the Papuans of the Eastern Archipelago and New Guinea; (2) the closely allied Melanesians of the Solomon, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Loyalty, and Fiji Archipelagos; (3) the now extinct Tasmanians, and (4) the Australians, the most divergent of all the Negro or Negroid peoples.

II. The Mongolic group occupies the greater part of the Eastern hemisphere and till the discovery of America was in exclusive possession of the New World. Its chief branches are (1) the Mongolo-Tartars of Central and North Asia, Asia Minor, parts of Russia and the Balkan Peninsula; (2) the Tibeto-Indo-Chinese of Tibet, China proper, Japan, and Indo-China; (3) the Finno-Ugrians of Finland, Lapland, Esthonia, Middle Volga, Ural Mountains, North Siberia, Hungary; (4) the Malayo-Polynesians of the Malay Peninsula, the greater and lesser Sunda Islands, Madagascar, the Philippines, Formosa, and Eastern Polynesia; (5) the American Indians, comprising all the aborigines of the New World, except the Eskimo, who with the Ainos of Yesso, form aberrant members of the Mongolic group.

III. The Caucasic group, called also Mediterranean because its original domain in Western Asia, Europe, and North Africa -- i. e., the lands encircling the Mediterranean Basin -- has in recent times spread over the whole of the New World, South Africa, and Australasia. The chief branches are: (1) Aryans of India, Iran, Armenia, Asia Minor, and great part of Europe, with sub-branches; (2) Semites of Mesopotamia, Syria, Arabia, and North Africa, with sub-branches; (3) Hamites of North and East Africa; (4) the Caucasians proper; (5) the Basques of the Western Pyrenees.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Eth*nol"o*gy (?) n. [Gr. nation + -logy.]

The science which treats of the division of mankind into races, their origin, distribution, and relations, and the peculiarities which characterize them.


© Webster 1913.

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