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Maori and Polynesian: their origin, history and culture

The Ainos

The Ainos

(1) At the sea terminus of the Northern megalithic route there is a strikingly Caucasian people, the Ainos. Their features are exceptionally like the normal European, their faces oval, their eyes brown or greenish, deep set under fine brows, their nose large and straight with fine nostrils, their black, brown, or fair hair wavy and abundant on both head and face. The portraits of the men in their long, loose mantles, with their flowing hair and beard, and their fine intellectual faces, might be taken for those of ancient Druids. And yet from the low average stature and the varying head-form it is manifest that they have crossed with other races, probably Mongoloid. The Caucasian face-form has been preserved by the ideal of the race acting on sexual selection, whilst the head has been changed by the intermixture from the primeval long shape into frequent round and intermediate. De Quatrefages says of them that they are a race "fundamentally fair and long-headed, more or less changed by other ethnical elements." Batchelor, in "The Ainu and their Folklore," says, "Their skin, like that of Europeans, is whiter by nature than that of their Japanese neighbours,"

(2) This originally fair Caucasian race, according to their own traditions, once covered the whole Japanese Archipelago; wherever the gods of the sea looked, "there echoed the sound page 27of the Ainu speech." And the annals of the Japanese tell what a long and fierce struggle they had to subdue the hairy aborigines even with superior weapons. War has gradually reduced them to some twenty thousand. And it is clear that the conquerors absorbed them rather than annihilated them in the southern islands; for they, in contrast to their Chinese cousins, "strip white." The Ainos in their turn had conquered and probably absorbed a race, whom they call the "People of the Hollows," that held the islands before them.