Is it true that Indians don’t grow beards?

Indians are called the Native American population. This name arose by mistake, but firmly attached to the local inhabitants. The fact is that, discovering America, Christopher Columbus and other navigators mistakenly thought it was India. Hence the name. Today, Indians make up about 1 percent of the total population of the world. There are many interesting cultural and historical issues associated with them. One of the ordinary but fascinating topics is whether Indians grow beards?

The concept of race

A race is a large group of people that has been formed historically. Members of the same race share a common geographic location and biological traits that show up externally. Some external traits are revealed by long-term environmental influences.

Scientists agree that there are three basic races: Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negro. But they also have their own subtypes. Indians belong to the Americanoid race.

Members of the Sioux Indian tribe in traditional dress

Hair is one of the most important racial traits, along with skin color, the shape of the nose, eyes, lips, and others. Experts distinguish three types of hair covers: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary appears even before birth. Then, just before birth, a child or secondary hair is formed. For facial and body hair, we are talking about tertiary hair, which emerges during adolescence.

Tertiary hair cover is used in anthropological studies. They indicate all the components of human life in the past. Based on a lot of information got, it is possible to understand the origin of people, their development, culture and other things. This trait is correlated only with men.

There is even a scoring system that allows you to evaluate the development of hair. It starts from 1 (very weak development) and ends with 5 (very strong). Indians are indeed characterized by an almost complete absence of facial hair at a score of 1-2. But this does not mean that they do not grow moustaches and beards at all.

Why don’t Indians have beards?

The weak manifestation of tertiary hair in Indians is most likely because of their habitat. They are also characterized by swarthy skin, a straight nose. The eyes are narrowed, but open wider than the Asians’. By the way, the peoples of Asia (representatives of the Mongoloid race) are also characterized by weak hair cover.

The key version of the absence of beards, as well as other racial features, is adaptation to climatic conditions. High temperatures, arid territories, and frequent winds are all conditions that do not require facial vegetation. Thus, Indians are not genetically predisposed to it.

Map of the settlement of Indian tribes in North America

Interesting fact: although Indians appear to be smoothly shaven, the hair on their heads has always had a special meaning for them. Each tribe had its own traditions. Some shaved off almost all of their hair, leaving one long strand, some braided it into small braids. But most Indians wore their hair long, often loose. Their hairstyle served as a symbol of their militancy and freedom.

Genes were not the only reason. The fact is that according to their ancient traditions; the Indians preferred to get rid of facial vegetation. However, they didn’t shave their mustaches and beards, but plucked them. In the past, they used improvised means – shells, two flaps of which were used to pick up and pluck out the hair.

This procedure was done in adolescence as soon as the first facial hair appeared. Over time, they appeared even less. An exception to the general rule are some tribes of Indians. For example, the Tlingits, who lived in southeastern Alaska and parts of Canada, wore long beards and mustaches.

Native Americans may grow a beard and mustache, but very little because of several reasons. First, they belong to the Americanoid race. Its representatives (as well as Mongoloid race) are characterized by weak tertiary hair cover (score 1-2 on a five-point scale). Such peculiarity is conditioned by residence and adaptation to hot dry climate. Second, one tradition of the Indians was the removal of facial hair by pulling it out with shells. The procedure was carried out from the very beginning of the appearance of the hair cover and led to the gradual weakening of hair follicles.

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