The Melanesians are extremely variable and include a variety of racial elements, though the basis of the stock is Papuan. The racial mixing which has taken place will account for the fact that, although they are usually woolly-haired. all varieties of hair are found. Stature is equally variable, although the average height is under 5 f t. 3 inches. The prominent brow-ridges so char acteristic of the Papuans is not common and the nose is usually smaller than in these peoples. The Melanesians have a wide distribution from the coastal regions of New Guinea and the neighbouring islands to the Pacific from New Caledonia to the Admiralty Is., and as far eastwards as Fiji; formerly they seem to have extended over most of the Pacific.
The Bushmen.—The Bushmen, who belong to the second group of the woolly-haired peoples, are also short, though not of pygmy stature; they differ from the other Ulotrichi in having yellowish skins. Now restricted to the Kalahari desert, they formerly ranged over the whole of south Africa and possibly over a much wider area. Their hair is short and curls into little tufts like pepper-corns, giving the appearance of bald patches. The head is small and low and there is little or no forward projection of the jaw. The most distinctive character of the Bushmen is a great development of the buttocks (steatopygia) ; this feature is specially developed in the women. The Hottentots are closely allied to the Bushmen and possess most of the characters already described. They represent a cross between the latter and other negroid stocks.
True Negroes.—The true negroes inhabit the Guinea Coast, but their original range seems to have been over most of tropical Africa. They are tall with black or dark brown skins, long nar row heads and retreating foreheads and prominent jaws. The lips are thickened and everted and the nose is very broad. They have mixed with other elements and have produced hybrid stocks. In the upper Nile valley numerous tribes, called Nilotes, are to be found; they are characterised by a very tall stature, a slender build and extremely narrow heads. There is also a more round-headed strain, due probably to an early admixture with some curly-haired people. Most, if not all, of the Nilotes have been considerably altered by contact with other non-negro peoples. In central and southern Africa there are numerous negroid tribes characterised by a variety of physical form, due no doubt to racial admixture. The majority are long-headed with considerable variation in stature.
The Pygmies—In the equatorial forests certain pygmy tribes live. These Negrillos differ from the tall negroes not only in their stature but also in the lighter colour of their skin, which is often yellowish and covered by a light down, and in the more rounded form of the head ; the nose is broader even than that of the negro.
Curly-haired Groups.—The third great division of the human race, the curly-haired or Cymotrichous, occupies in many ways an intermediate position between the other two groups. Its dis tribution is world-wide, and it includes both undifferentiated and highly differentiated groups of mankind. The white races belong to this class. The centre of dispersion of the group was probably somewhere in Asia, but the precise limits of this cradle land have not yet been determined.
The hair varies from wavy to curly, and, whereas in other races it is, with but few exceptions, black or dark brown, in this group every shade occurs from a dead black to a fair straw colour; the brown, however, predominates. The skin colour is equally variable. Most members of this race have a fairly large brain in relation to their body size, but some of the more primitive members are extremely small-brained. The forehead in the males has usually a well-marked prominence over the eyes, the so-called "bar of Michael Angelo." The face is never flattened nor are the lips everted. The stature is very variable, but no pygmy types are found.
Every degree of cephalic index is found, and this still remains the most convenient method of simple classification. The race, however, contains certain sub-races which appear to be more primitive than others and the division into primitive and more advanced groups brings out certain points which may otherwise be overlooked. The primitive which survive are the Proto Nordics, the Proto-Indics and the Australian aborigines. The Palaeo-Amerinds also probably belong to this class. The more advanced peoples include a dolichocephalic group, a mesoce phalic and a brachycephalic group.
Proto-Nordics.—The Proto-Nordics appear at one time to have had a wide distribution over northern Asia. Some of the present inhabitants of the Turkoman steppes present this type in an un differentiated form. The Ainu, who have within comparatively recent times been driven out of the main islands of Japan, and who still inhabit the northern island (Hokkaido) Saghalien, and to the south the Riukiu islands. This curious people are of medium stature, very stockily built, with large heads and a marked bar across the forehead. They have an abundance of hair on the head and body and long, wavy beards. Their eyes are straight as in Europeans and their general appearance contrasts very strongly with the Japanese who to-day live amongst them.