BLTC Press Titles

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The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison

Cumorah revisited

by Charles Augustus Shook


Yet, notwithstanding this general physical uniformity, there arc wide inter-racial variations. The majority of American tribes are prevailingly meso- or brachycephalic, but in a few the long-headed type of skull prevails. Of these, Brinton mentions the Eskimo of the north, the Tapuyas of Brazil and the Aymaras of Peru, while the cephalic index of the Yumas has been noticed to run as low as 68. In color the American tribes vary from a light ash color to a very dark, almost black, shade of complexion. , These variations are not, however, in reference to climate, the Yurucares of the torrid zone being light, while the Kaws of the north temperate are very dark. The hair is generally coarse, straight and black, but cases are known in which it is fine and silky and even wavy or curly. When carefully examined, it reveals an undercolor of red very noticeable in some tribes, especially among the children. The growth is usually thick and strong on the head, but scanty on the body and face, and yet instances are recorded of tribes with full beards. Within some tribes individuals have been observed with light hair and light eyes. The Americans also vary in stature, the Patagonians being frequently over six feet in height, while the Warraus are below medium; though no tribes are as dwarfish as the Lapps and Bushmen. The arms are generally long and the hands and feet small in comparison with those of the Europeans.1

Whatever may have been their origin, one thing is certain: the people of this continent have been so long separated from the rest of mankind as to set themselves off in a body by themselves, distinct from all other races in language, color and culture, and are to be recognized, not as a branch of the Mongolian, Polynesian or Caucasian family, but as a distinct family by themselves, for which the Anthropological Society of Washington has suggested the name "Amerind," a combination of the first syllables of American and Indian. "They constitute," says Brinton, "as true and distinct a sub-species as do the African or the White Race."—Essays of an Americanist, p. 17.

For our knowledge of the Amerind of the past, we have to depend upon oral and, more or less, uncertain

1 "The American Race," pp. 36-40.

traditions handed down from father to son through numberless generations ; the picture-writing of the Aztecs an.l the more developed system of the Mayas, their southern neighbors ; the writings of the Spanish and French prietts and English missionaries, with those of the native converts, conquistadors, travelers and explorers; the "actual condition, institutions and beliefs" of the tribes at the time of the Discovery; the lingual affinities between the tribes; and the material monuments of ruined cities, mounds and fortifications with other archaeological remains.


It has long been a question with anthropologists whether to consider the distinct races of men as separate creations or as types of one species descended from a common source. Those who believe in man's specific diversity have advocated their side of the question with a degree of zeal and a display of learning quite remarkable, and yet the argument still seems to be on the side of those who believe with Paul that God "hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth; and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation" (Acts 17:26). On this point Dr. Brinton says: "But now, after weighing the question maturely, we are compelled to admit that the apostle was not so wide of the mark after all—that, in fact, the latest and best authorities, with no bias in his favor, support his position and may almost be said to paraphrase his words. For, according to a late writer whose work is still a standard in the science of ethnology, the severest and most patient investigations show that 'not only do acknowledged facts permit the assumption of the unity of the human species, but this opinion is attended with fewer discrepancies, and has greater inner consistency, than the opposite one of specific diversity.'" —Myths of the New World, p. 14.

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