Repost from the old site. As we noted in a previous post, many amateur Internet anthropologists, NE Asians, White Supremacists and other folks argue that SE Asians have substantial Australoid influence which influences their phenotype. This harkens back to an earlier era in anthropology when this view held wide currency. Australoid, a term which has fallen out of favor but still deserves to be used, refers properly to Papuans and Australian Aborigines in the genetic sense. Used anthropologically, it can refer to Negritos, Senoi, Tamils and Ainu.
Melanesians and Negritos are anthropometrically Australoids. Genetically, most Negritos are just Asians, related to whichever people they happen to be living close to. However, the Semang of Thailand and Malaysia are also genetically related to Papuans. The Melanesians are anthropometrically Australoids but genetically Asians with significant Australoid (Papuan) base. Australoid may also refer to Veddoids. Tamils, a group thought to be related to Veddoids, have skulls that look like those of the Andaman Islands Negritos, the Semang (Malay Negritos) and coastal New Guineans (Melanesians), but genetically, Tamils and other Veddoids tend to look like nearby groups. In general, Southeast Asian Veddoids look like SE Asians, and South Indian Veddoids look like South Indians.
The truth is that for most SE Asians, there is not much Australoid influence anymore. And anyway, NE Asians are also related to Australoids, since prior to 10,000 years ago, Australoid populations characterized the human settlements of all of NE and SE Asia, all of the Americas and even India. For instance, the Ainu of Japan and their ancestors, the Jomon, are related to Negritos, Aborigines and the Veddoids of India. Many groups in Indonesia are also related to Veddoids and Negritos. Yet most Filipinos have little if any Negrito genes (see towards the end of the post for an analysis of this interesting situation), and the vast majority of Indonesians do not either. Instead, Filipinos and most Indonesians are mostly related to Taiwanese Aborigines, an ancient Chinese group that came out of China and went to Taiwan 11,000-26,000 years ago. A group of these Aborigines set out from Taiwan 8,000 years ago as the Austronesians and populated much of Island SE Asia. The Austronesians were no more Australoid than a Chinese from Guangdong is. However, it should be noted that some Malays and Filipinos do have strong Negrito features. There has been a certain amount of interbreeding between Filipinos and the local Negritos, and the result has been that the Negritos are close to Filipinos genetically because they have a lot of Filipino genes, but your average Filipino does not have many Negrito ancestors.
The reason that Filipino Negritos can have lots of Filipino genes but most Filipinos do not have many Negrito genes is because there is such a dramatic difference in the populations of the groups. Negrito populations in the Philippines are small – I calculated 102,572 speakers of Negrito languages – and non-Negrito population is 86.2 million. So there are 860 X more non-Negrito Filipinos than Negritos. If even 1 out of 1000 Filipinos breeds with a Negrito, you will have lots of Filipino genes in the Negritos and almost no Negrito genes in Filipinos. The two groups will also appear somewhat close on genetics charts.
While it is true that the original people of Thailand and Malaysia were Negritos, Australoids have had little input into the present-day Thai people and Thais are considered to be Mongoloids. For the Malays, the situation is a bit different, as they do retain traces of Papuan genes, but only in very small numbers.
The original people of Malaysia were the Semang, a Negrito group that still exists there on the border of Southern Thailand and Northern Malaysia, where they live deep in the forests. Afrocentrists also claim the Semang as Black, but they are probably among the groups on Earth that are genetically furthest from Blacks. Between 4,000-8,000 years ago, the Senoi, an Austroasiatic group, came down from Southern China. They were an early split from the Zhuang group, a proto-Tai group in Southern China. The Zhuang themselves probably split off about 5,000 years ago. The Senoi apparently married into the Semang once they got to Malaysia. The Senoi of Thailand and Malaysia are Veddoids. The Senoi cluster with Andaman Islanders, coastal New Guinea ( Melanesians) and Tamils in skull shape. The Veddoid Senoi are related to the Zhuang of China, as the Veddoids of India are related to various Indian races. Many think that Veddoids are related to the Negritos as one of the first populations in Asia – some say they were a second wave out of Africa after the Negritos. The largest number of Veddoids are found in India. The Senoi are very interesting due to a false theory that has been spread about them regarding the way in which they incorporate dreams into their daily life. This false story has spawned a movement known as Senoi Dream Theory, which suggests that you can control your dreams in order to improve your life (which is supposedly what the Senoi do). This story was concocted by an amateur anthropologist named Kilton Stewart. The entirety of Senoi Dream Theory, upon which an entire sub-school of Western psychology has been founded in such New Age havens as Berkeley, is nonsense. The Senoi do use dreams in a way that most Westerners do not, but not in the way that Senoi Dream Theory suggests, and furthermore, there is little evidence that one can control one’s dreams much, which is unfortunate to those like me who have such lousy dreams.
The Semang, the Negritos of Thailand, are despised by all other groups in the country, as is the case with many Negrito populations. The Semang came there 8-20,000+ years ago. Previously, the residents of Thailand and Malaysia looked like Aborigines. A 25,800 year old skeleton from Thailand looks like Aborigines, and so does a 44,000 year old skull from Malaysia. The genes from the 25,800 year old bones look like the Semang. One theory is that Negritos were the first wave in SE Asia and Veddoids were the second. For the Malays proper, there were two waves coming to Malaysia – proto-Malays and Malays. Proto-Malays are classed as Mongoloids, not Australoids. It is thought that the proto-Malays moved down into the area from China 3000 years ago and are a result of the first Austronesian wave via Taiwan that then bred in heavily with the Senoi, creating the proto-Malays. It is thought that the line tracing the Malays back to northwestern Yunnan 4,500 years ago is following a Senoi line. 3,500 yrs ago, Veddoids moved into Indochina from India after the Aryan invasion. The Malays proper were a later wave of Austronesians from Taiwan to Philippines to Borneo to Sumatra and then up into Malaysia 2,300 yrs ago. The Austronesians lack Australoid genes. Some say Malays are mixed with Negrito, Veddoid, Proto-Malay and Malay, but there is little good evidence for that, especially since, in recent years anyway, the Negritos do not seem to have bred in much with the others. However, present-day Malays do say that the Negritos, or Orang Asli, are their ancestors. Southern Thais, close to Malaysia, may also have some Negrito genes.
Another major group in SE Asia is the Mon-Khmer Austroasiatic group, who came from Yunnan in China 4500-7000 yrs ago and populated parts of SE Asia, Burma and SE India. The Thais came only 1000 yrs ago from Yunnan and subsequently spread out through much of Indochina. Both groups came from Southern China and have no Australoid genes in them. Further evidence shows that Filipinos, most Indonesians and Malays are closest to Taiwan and China and each other, and very far from Melanesians, a prototypical Australoid population that they are purportedly related to. Filipinos have a particularly close relationship with the Taiwanese aborigines, especially the Ami. They are closer to the Ami than Chinese, Malays and Indonesians are.
The Aboriginal Taiwanese are an interesting group. Genetically and linguistically, they are very distant even from each other, as compared to other SE Asians, probably as a consequence of having been in Taiwan for up to 26,000 years. The link between Taiwanese Aborigines and Northern Vietnam and Southwestern China is deep. An ancient type of artifacts in Taiwan called Corded Ware Culture came from Northern Indochina and Southern China long ago – 9000 yrs ago. Corded Ware is linked to Austronesians described above. Another artifact type in Taiwan – Lungshanoid pottery – also comes from southwestern China 4500 yrs ago. It is true that there is some Australoid influence on Indonesians, especially those in the eastern part of the archipelago. The Mulaccans, the Nusa Tangarrans and others have some affinity for Australoids (Melanesians), but other Indonesians, Filipinos, Chinese and Taiwanese do not. For one possible Australoid influence on Indonesians, there are links between the Veddas of Sri Lanka to the Toala of South Sulawesi in Indonesia.
Here is a good Senoi Dream Theory: Myth, Scientific Method, and the Dreamwork Movement. Headland, Thomas N. 2003. Thirty Endangered Languages in the Philippines. Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota, Volume 47.
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