Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning

Page: 309

Dr. Morton says:

"In reflecting on the aboriginal races of America, we are at once met by the striking fact, that their physical characters are wholly independent of all climatic or known physical influences. Notwithstanding their immense geographical distribution, embracing every variety of climate, it is acknowledged by all travellers, that there is among this people a prevailing type, around which all the tribes—north, south, east and west—cluster, though varying within prescribed limits. With trifling exceptions, all our American Indians bear to each other some degree of family resemblance, quite as strong, for example, as that seen at the present day among full-blooded Jews."[539:2]

James Orton, the traveler, was also struck with the likeness of the American Indians to the Chinese, including the flatted nose. Speaking of the Zaparos of the Napo River, he says:

"The Zaparos in physiognomy somewhat resemble the Chinese, having a middle stature, round face, small eyes set angularly, and a broad, flat nose."[539:3]

Oscar Paschel says:

"The obliquely-set eyes and prominent cheek-bones of the inhabitants of Veragua were noticed by Monitz Wagner, and according to his description, out of four Bayano Indians from Darien, three had thoroughly Mongolian features, including the flatted nose."

In 1866, an officer of the Sharpshooter, the first English man-of-war which entered the Paraná River in Brazil, remarks in almost the same words of the Indians of that district, that their features vividly reminded him of the Chinese. Burton describes the Brazilian natives at the falls of Cachauhy as having thick, round Kalmuck heads, flat Mongol faces, wide, very prominent cheek bones, oblique and sometimes narrow-slit Chinese eyes, and slight mustaches.

Another traveler, J. J. Von Tschudi, declares in so many words that he has seen Chinese whom at the first glance he mistook for Botocudos, and that since then he has been convinced that the American race ought not to be separated from the Mongolian. His predecessor, St. Hilaire, noticed narrow, obliquely-set eyes and broad noses among the Malali of Brazil. Reinhold Hensel says of the Coroados, that their features are of Mongoloid type, due especially to the prominence of the cheek-bones, but that the oblique position of the eyes is not perceptible. Yet the oblique opening of the eye, which forms a good though not an essential characteristic of the Mongolian nations, is said to be characteristic of all the Guarani tribes in Brazil. Even in the extreme south, among the [Pg 540]Hiullitches of Patagonia, King saw a great many with obliquely set eyes. Those writers who separate the Americans as a peculiar race fail to give distinctive characters, common to them all, which distinguish them from the Asiatic Mongols. All the tribes have stiff, long hair, cylindrical in section. The beard and hair of the body is always scanty or totally absent. The color of the skin varies considerably, as might be expected in a district of 110° of latitude; it ranges from a light South European darkness of complexion among the Botocudos, of the deepest dye among the Aymara, or to copper red in the Sonor tribes. But no one has tried to draw limits between races on account of these shades of color, especially as they are of every conceivable gradation.[540:1]