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A portrait of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan
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Taiwanese aborigine dancer.
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North American Indian, 1890s

The term Mongoloid (or less often, and incorrectly Sinoid) describes a proposed -but, relatively easy to identify- race of humans, most of whom live in North Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, Oceania or the Americas as natives.

The -oid racial terms are now controversial in both technical and nontechnical contexts and are likely to give offense no matter how they are used. [1] (

The Han Chinese (though they are not a truly coherent, single ethnic group) are by far the largest Mongoloid group; indeed, they are the largest ethnic group of any race. Other Mongoloids include many smaller groups in Central Asia and the Arctic regions such as the Yakuts, Eskimos, Tibetans, and, of course, Mongolians. In Central Asia, the Uzbeks, the Kyrgyz, and the Kazakhs are Turkic Mongoloid, the Western cousins of the Mongolians. The Turkmen, while are still Central Asian, Turkic-Mongloids, have mixed heavily with Caucasoid neighbours to the west. The Tajiks are completely Caucasoid, and even speak an Indo-European language.

The Northern Mongoloid peoples of North Asia and Central Asia, have relatively tall statures, well-defined features (such as longer noses, and higher cheekbones) and relatively hairy bodies and faces, features that are considered to define the "prototype" Mongoloid physical type. Although their physical height has slightly reduced, the Japanese, Ainu, and Koreans continue to inherit these other prototypical physical features. However, the Koreans have mixed heavily with their Han Chinese neighbours, and so have undergone greater mutations.

Whereas, their comparatively shorter-nosed and hairless counterparts to their the south, starting with the Han Chinese of the eastern coast, are believed to be adapted to damper climates and mixed with Austronesian prototypes migrating to the Pacific Ocean.

The peoples of Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines are considered Mongoloid according to the four-race theory; however, they are genetically distinct from their neighbors to the north and may be considered a Southern Mongoloid race. This is also true of the Amerindians. Although the Vietnamese are geographically labelled as "Southeast Asians", their ethnic and cultural heritage ties them to their immediate northern neighbours, the Southern Chinese and other tribes within the proximity of South China.

Epicanthal folds and oblique palpebral fissures that create almond-shaped eyes are common among most Mongoloid individuals, though their occurence among Amerindians is almost absent, except for in the west coast and the far north. The presence of epicanthal folds is normal in people of many, though not all, groups of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent, and is also present to some degree among the Sami people of northern Scandinavia. This fold covers and appears to lower the inner corners of the eyes, creating the appearance of "slanted eyes." It is commonly known amongst Asians as "single-eyelids", as opposed to "double eyelids". The occurrence of the epicanthic fold is believed to be an evolutionary defense against both the extreme cold as well as the extreme light the occurs in the Eurasian arctic and far north. Most exhibit Mongolian spot from birth to about age four. The vast majority also have straight, black hair and dark brown eyes, and most have broad, relatively flat faces as well. Dark brown hair and lighter brown or even grey eyes do occur, but less so. This is especially true among "Southern", or non-prototype Asians. However, as mentioned above, less-round faces, higher nose bridges and much greater facial and body hair occurs among the peoples of Northern and Central Asia, as well as the peoples of the Korean peninsula and Japanese Archipelago. Curly hair is common in North China and in Korea; and the occurrence of grey eyes and even blue eyes can be seen among Central Asians and some Mongolians.

Such prototypical Mongoloid features seem to have originated among Asians who originate from drier, arid, or colder inland or northern regions. Whereas tropical and damper weather along the Pacific coast or in the proximity of the Equator seems to have contributed to "softer" or smoother physical features, and significantly less body and facial hair and height. The same might also be argued for Africans.

A supposed high intelligence is another associated trait in popular belief, though linking intelligence to race is often a controversial or even questionable issue. See also Race and intelligence and Model Minority.

Since people with the disability Down syndrome have some superficial Mongoloid facial features, the term "Mongoloid" was once also used as a synonym for "retarded." This usage, once neutral, is now considered offensive.

Genetically, Mongoloid populations are considered to be a division of the Northern Eurasian Supercluster, which comprises both Caucasoids (Western Eurasians) and Mongoloids (Eastern Eurasians). These various divisions of humanity have interbred throughout history and pre-history, making racial classification a more generalized form of taxonomy than an absolute one.

See also

ja:モンゴロイド zh:蒙古人种


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