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Across Unknown South America by Landor

And only replied that all Bororo Indian men wore it


[Illustration:

A Fine Bororo Type on a Visit to Author's Camp.]

To return to our man: I was greatly impressed by the strongly Australoid or Papuan nose he possessed--in other words, broad, with the lower part forming a flattened, depressed, somewhat enlarged hook with heavy nostrils. In profile his face was markedly convex, not concave as in Mongolian faces. Then the glabella or central boss in the supra-orbital region, the nose, the chin, were prominent, the latter broad and well-rounded. The cheek-bones with him and other types of his tribe were prominent forwards, but not unduly broad laterally, so that the face in front view was, roughly speaking, of a long oval, but inclined to be more angular--almost shield-shaped. The lips were medium-sized and firmly closed, such as in more civilized people would denote great determination. His ears were covered up by long jet-black hair, perfectly straight and somewhat coarse in texture, healthy-looking and uniformly scattered upon the scalp. The hair was cut straight horizontally high upon the forehead, which thus showed a considerable slant backward from the brow to the base of the hair. A small pigtail hung behind the head. The hair at the sides was left to grow down so as fully to cover the lobes of the ears, where again it was cut horizontally at the sides and back of the head. The top of the head was of great height, quite unlike a Mongolian cranium.

The eyes--close to the nose,

and of a shiny dark brown--had their long axis nearly in one horizontal plane. They were set rather far back, were well cut, with thick upper eyelids, and placed somewhat high up against the brow ridges so as to leave little room for exposure of the upper lid when open.

None of the other Indians, who had gradually assembled, wore a particle of clothing, barring a tight conical collar of orange-coloured fibre encircling their genital organs--so tight that it almost cut into the skin. Without this solitary article of clothing no Indian man will allow himself to be seen by another, less still by a stranger. But with so modest an attire he feels as well-dressed as anybody. I think that this elegant article of fashion must have originated as a sanitary precaution, in order to prevent insects of all kinds, and particularly _carrapatos_, penetrating within--or else I was really at a loss to understand of what other use it could be. They themselves would not say, and only replied that all Bororo Indian men wore it. The Indians who had assembled all belonged to the Bororo tribe.

On that, as well as on later occasions, I noticed two distinct types among the Bororos: one purely Papuan or Polynesian; the other strongly Malay. The characteristics of those two different types showed themselves markedly in every instance. The majority were perhaps of the Malay type. I was intensely interested at the astounding resemblance of these people to the piratical tribes of the Sulu Archipelago in the Celebes Sea, where, too, one met a considerable amount of mixture of those two types as well as specimens of pure types of the two races.

Among the Bororos many were the individuals--of the Malay type--who had the typical Malay eye _a fleur de tete_, prominent, almond-shaped, and slightly slanting at the outer angle. The nose--unlike that of Papuan types--was flattened in its upper region between the eyes, and somewhat button-like and turned up at the lower part--just the reverse of the Papuan types, who had prominent aquiline noses with a high bridge and globular point turned down instead of up.


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