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Crania Americana; or, A Comparitive View of the Skulls of Various Aboriginal Nations of North and South America: To which is Prefixed An Essay on the Varieties of the Human Species

Philadelphia: J. Dobson, 1839


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26 VARIETIES OF THE HUMAN SPECIES.

In person they are remarkably well proportioned; the men being large and robust, and the women beautifully formed. They have a yellowish but clear complexion, and their whole exterior has derived from their Arab lineage some advantages which the genuine Copt but rarely possesses.

The NUBIANS constitute the second division of the Nilotic family. They call themselves Nouba, or Kenous, but are known in Egypt by the name of Berabera.* The figure of the Nubian," says Mr. Stevens, " is tall; thin, sinewy, and graceful, possessing what would be called in civilised life 'an uncommon degree of gentility. His face is rather dark, though far removed. from African blackness ; and his features are long and aquiline, decidedly resembling the Roman."

The hair of the Nubian is thick and black, often curled either by nature or by art, and sometimes partially frizzled, but never woolly. In fact, judging from the painting and sculpture of their temples, the ancient Nubians, like the modern, were in no respect analogous to the Negroes, excepting in the occasional blackness of their skin : and it is also worthy of remark, that their most frequent scenic decorations represent their triumphs over the Negroes, who uniformly appear as menials or as captives.

" It is among the Nubians," says Mr. Madden, " we are to search for the true descendants of the Egyptians ; a swarthy race, surpassing in the beauty of their . slender forms, all the people .of the East ; living on the confines of Egypt, where, probably, their ancestors had been driven by the Persians ; and possessing a dialect somewhat mixed with Arabic, but which I have observed no Arab understands."

Although the Nubians occasionally present their national characters unmixed, they generally show traces of their social intercourse with the Arabs, and even with the Negroes ; and the long domination of the former has impressed on these people many of their peculiar traits, including their religious observances ; for although the Nubians early embraced Christianity, they 'are now all Moslems, and boast that they have not a Christian among them.

The Abyssinians, the Axomites of the Romans, inhabit the. country to the south of Nubia, and appear to have been originally afiliated with the Egyptians and Nubians. But at present they have utterly lost their identity from their intercourse with various nations of different origin and language, but especially the Arabs, Gallas and Negroes. Thus constituted, the Abyssinians present one of

* BURKHARDT, Tray. p. 210.

t STEVENS) Egypt, &C., I, p. 104.óBURKHARDT, Tray. p. 144.



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