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Body shapes in MK-speakers
Topic Started: May 4 2016, 06:11:20 PM (82 Views)
black man
The Right Hand
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average indices according to Olivier:

Da Lat "Moi" (probably Cho Ro ): 70,4
Tamil Harijans: 70,5
Nhatrang Vietnamese: 70,6 or 71,0 (disagreement between Olivier and Chabeuf)
Tamil Nadars (Shanars) : 70,5
Tamil Vaniyans (Vannia) : 71,2
Tamil Mukkuvar: 72,2
Tamil Vellalar (Vellaja) : 72,9
Cambodian Khmer: 74,1
Tamil Muslims: 74,5
Tamil Brahmins: 75,0

Olivier 1956, pp. 102, 156
Olivier 1959, p. 147 (if I'm not mistaken, Olivier's Tamil samples are from Puducherry)
Chabeuf 1967, p. 166

==> note that Khmer appear to be significantly different from Kinh to the extent that their trunk shape is maybe more similar to that of Tamil Brahmins than to that of Kinh.

old post:

shoulder-to-hip rationes according to different anthropometrists:

73,4: 37 Thailand Kouys
73,0: 305 Thailand Khmers
72,9: 810 western Laos
72,8: 185 SE Thais
72,5: 768 eastern Laos
72,1: 950 Thailand Mons
72,0: 276 central Thais

74,1: 50 Cambodian Khmers
70,6: 50 central Vietnamese (Annamites) from Nha Trang according to Chabeuf
70,4: 30 Mois

That said, Olivier mentions 72,1 as for the southern Vietnamese from Saigon measured by Chabeuf. So there could be some Khmer, Cham and other genetic influence on the Vietnamese of Saigon, all of the latter apparently having relatively narrow shoulders in combination with relatively wide hips. By contrast, central Kinh, Mois and, to a lesser extent, Thais seem to have relatively wide shóulders in combination with relatively narrow hips. And figure 35 of Olivier's book even emphasises that Vietnamese men appear to have the most "V"-shaped or "trapezoid" trunks when compared with other continental SE Asian men, including Moi (despite of the lower average moi index reported by Olivier himself). From a European POV Vietnamese shoulder width might not be impressive, though. Benes et al. examined 96 overseasx Vietnamese university students (mostly from northern Vietnam) in 1973. And they consider Vietnamese shoulders and hips to be "intermediate" with the hips being "relatively narrow" (p. 259). In table they only classify five men and one woman of their sample as having a "trapeziform" (sic!) trunk. These are just 7 and 4 % of their respective samples. According to them, the vast majority of their samples has a "rectangular" trunk shape (59% of the men and 88% of the women). Then again, the measurements this team took and the calculations it made might not be comparable with those of other anthropometrists. Plus, the samples were probably from white-collar worker families and could have Han Chinese ancestry. Plus, we should anyway keep in mind a context which is more Asia-oriented than that of their study from 1990...

Indices related to width and circumference of the thorax according to Andrews via Olivier:
Khmers > Kouys > Mons* > eastern Laos > SE Thais > central Thais
* there is probably typo in case of the Mon index but the order and the width and circumference values indicate that their original index value must have been in between Kouys and Laos

Moreover, Andrews comments that the specific combination of broad shoulders, narrow hips and flat chests could be genetic in Thais but is rather unlikely to be due to southern admixture via Malays or others (I think, he means South Asians). And Olivier more or less confirms that writing that he considers the Kinh to have flatter chests than "autochthones", Mons, Khmers, Indians and Europeans. That said, Andrews addresses this in the context of women having relatively wide shoulders, relatively narrow hips and relatively flat chests as well. And he notes that those women whom it concerns tend to be relatively tall. So the according trait combination is not just capable of surviving under contemporary circumstances but might also have been preferred to other trait combinations. (See Andrews, pp. 111-9.)

Andrews 1943: "Evolutionary trends in body build"
Benes et al. 1990: "A contribution to the study of biological variability among Vietnamese students"
Chabeuf 1965: "Contribution à l'anthropologie des Vietnamiens méridionaux"
Olivier 1968: "Anthropoogie des cambodgiens", pp. 176-9

I summed up what I could find in literature. Now, what about your impressions? We already mentioned the phenomenon elsewhere, the context having been ren's emphasis that Han Chinese women look different from SE Asian women or something like that. But what kind of SE Asians are these? Judging from the data, it's only part of the populations which mostly descend from MK-speakers. Could that be the biological heritage of ancient "eastern" MKs proper who contributed to both Kinh and Thai gene pools? But if so, why do Laos look different from them? Because of different climate perhaps?

A side note maybe worth being discussed, too:

my impression is that Andrews was a bit fast with stressing the possibility of changes due to very recent developments. IMO the according phenotypes must have existed for centuries at least. I'd even say that they were "always" present in SE Asia as well as in many (though maybe not all) parts of the world inhabited by humans. I nevertheless found interesting that he pointed to Shapiro's Hawaiian Japanese samples possibly having had the same tendencies although they apparently claimed to be descendants of mainstream Japanese. So far, I was always under the impression that mainstream Japanese tend to have relatively broad hips in combination with relatively narrow shoulders. Measurement errors, computation errors, different social origins, kind of Ryuukyuuan ancestry or even something as foreign as aboriginal Hawaiian or European ancestries? What do you think?
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