I’ve been thinking about ethnography recently.
Scientists of the past recognized between 3 and 8 human “racial” groups (subspecies, more accurately), depending on the level of analysis. This included:
- Amerindian (Mongoloid)
- Malay (Mongoloid)
- Plus mixed-race people
Thanks to genetics and modern technology, we now know a lot more about race, which is pretty miraculous, considering that the subject has been branded evil nazi hitler bigotry. Well, some people know a lot more about race. Most people know considerably less.
Ethnographers of the past made silly mistakes, like grouping Central Asians (mixed Caucasoid/Mongoloid people) with North Africans, or calling Finnish people Mongoloids (lol).
The ethnographic map below, featured in the Meyers Konversations-Lexikon encyclopedia (1885–1890), is still very accurate, considering its age.
So, I thought it was about time somebody created a simple ethnographic world map. Masaman (the YouTuber) has produced some excellent ethnographic world maps, but they’re highly complex and not layman/novice friendly.
After researching various genetic studies, I created the map below:
Full disclaimer: It’s not totally original work, since it’s based on old ethnographic maps, and Masaman’s newer ethnographic maps.
Anyway, I used 13 main racial groups, based on physical anthropology and best-fit genetic clusters found via admixture analyses of the entire human race. Some of the groups are hybrids of other major racial groups, but they’ve existed as hybrids long enough to be classified as new cohesive racial groups, in my opinion.
I found that using more than 13 groups resulted in dividing major races into minor races, and using less than 13 ignores the hybrid populations, forcing you to lump them in with other major races, which they don’t truly belong to.
As shown on the image above, these races are…
Amerindians (Mongoloid + some Caucasoid)
Southeast Asians (“Malays”)
Middle East & North Africans
Central Sub-Saharan Africans
South Sub-Saharan Africans
East Africans (Negroid + Caucasoid)
Central Asians (Mongoloid + Caucasoid)
South Asians (Caucasoid + Australoid (+ some Mongoloid))
Mixed Race, Latin American (A random mixture of all racial groups, excluding Capoid)
These racial groups still mostly fit into the five classic “racial” categories, and I would argue that the classic categories are still very relevant, especially if we regard them as separate subspecies groups (which everyone did until after the Second World War).
Here’s a map using the classic categories, if you need one.
If you have any well-reasoned criticisms or ideas on how to improve the map (with 13 races), then let me know in comments.
Also, if you don’t know what an admixture analysis is, read this post. It explains it in detail.