Ukraine: Characteristics of the Ukrainians
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But, in considering an Eastern European nation, such misgivings of anthropogeographical science cannot be justified. Just as the physico-geographic conditions of Western and Central Europe are measured by other standards than those of Eastern Europe, so the anthropo- geographical problems of this region, too, must be approached differently. Just as the physico-geographical variety of Western and Central Europe gives way to Eastern European uniformity in Ukrainian territory, so the anthropological variety gives place to greater unity. Vast areas of the Ukraine, even without any great natural hindrance, were always unfavorable to separation into classes, and did not encourage the development of physical differences. And foreign admixtures are almost out of the question. For the foreign peoples which, since the earliest beginnings of history, traversed or even dominated the region of the Ukraine, were first of all too small in number to make any noticeable impression on the anthropological type of the Ukrainians. And, besides that, the foreign races Ч almost all nomad peoples Ч came into the land as fierce enemies, with whom there existed no voluntary peaceful relations. For these reasons the Ukrainian nation reveals a much greater uniformity in its anthropological aspect than the nations of Western and Central Europe, which, in the course of history, were visited by innumerable peoples of the most varied anthropological types, who stayed there and were assimilated. If, therefore, in these peoples, anthropological characteristics can have no particular significance, the matter is quite different with the Ukrainians and many other Eastern European nations. Here, anthropological peculiarities still have con- siderable weight as distinguishing characteristics of nations. Investigations concerning the anthropology of the Ukrai- nians began more than half a century ago. But they were made, without any system, in different regions of the great national territory selected, quite without a plan, and for a long time gave no acceptable results. Not until the 20th Century was enough material gathered to at least make it possible to determine the main anthropological type of the Ukrainians. The most important investigators in this field are: Hopernitsky, Protzenko.Welker, Popov, Hilchenko, Krasnov, Petrov, Erckert, Emme, Talko Hrincewich, Diebold, Biloyid, Anuchin, Ivanovsky, Vovk and Rakovsky.
To be sure, according to these investigations, the Ukrainians, too, are anthropologically a mixed race, just as the other nations of Europe. But the formation of this mixed race took place in a very distant prehistoric past and later admixtures have been too insignificant to visibly change the original racial type of the Ukrainians. From the Vislok to the Kuban, from the Pripet to the Black Sea, the Ukrainian people constitute a uniform anthropological type. This type has preserved itself in its purest state in one wide zone which embraces the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountain lands, Pokutye, Podolia, Dnieper Plateau and Dnieper Plain, the Donetz Plateau and the Kuban sub- Caucaeus country. Tall stature, with long legs and broad shoulders, strongly pigmented complexion, dark, rich, curly hair, rounded head and long face with a high and broad brow, dark eyes, straight nose, strongly developed elongated lower part of the face, medium mouth and small ears; that is the type. Outside the described main zone of distribution of the Ukrainian racial type, these character- istics become less and less sharply defined, altho at all parts of the ethnographic boundary the anthropological differences of the Ukrainians from their neighbors, especially from the Poles, White Russians and Russians, are very clearly marked.
The mean stature of the Ukrainians (1918 year) is 1670 mm. At present time mean stature is 1750 mm. Consequently the Ukrainians are among the tallest peoples of Europe, and in this respect they surpass their neighboring nations by a great deal. The average height of the White Russians is only 1651 mm., the Poles 1654 mm., the Russian 1657 mm., of 100 individuals among the Ukrainians, 53 are taller than the average, 47 shorter; among the Poles and Russians 51% taller and 49% shorter. Right here we see a great difference between the Ukrainians and their neighbors, as well as a great similarity of these three peoples.
The tall stature of the pure Ukrainian racial type is pretty regular in the above-mentioned main zone. The tallest stature is that of the Kuban Ukrainians of the sub-Caucasus country (1701 mm.). It is due to the fact that the Ukrainians of that region are, to a great extent, descendants of the Zaporog Cossacks, who for centuries represented the flower of the physical power of the Ukrain- ian people. Barely below that is the stature of the Hutzuls (1693 mm.), of the Podolians, Volhynians and Dnieper dwellers. In Central Galicia, Podlakhia, Polissye, in the Don country, that is in direct proximity to the Poles, White Russians and Russians, the stature of the Ukrainians decreases appreciably. But, even in these border countries, the Ukrainian people form a strong contrast, with their higher stature, to their neighbors, especially to the Russians, with their heavy mixture of the small grown Finnish- Mongolian elements. Anuchin emphasizes expressly that in those parts in any Russian "Government" into which the smallest tip of Ukrainian territory extends, the average height of the recruits is noticeably increased. Because of their fine stature many Ukrainians in Russia are stationed in the regiments of the guard.
In the Ukrainians, the tall slender form is coupled with breadth of shoulders and great chest-measurement. From the material gathered by Ivanosky, it is evident that in this respect the Ukrainians surpass all their neigh- bors. The average chest-measurement of the Ukrainians is 55.04% of the length of the body, of the Poles 54.11, of the White Russians 53.84, of the Russians only 52.18.
In respect of length of arms and legs, the Ukrainians again occupy an independent position among the nations of Eastern Europe. In the White Russians, the length of the arms is 45.1% of the length of the body, in the Poles and Ukrainians 45.7, in the Russians 46.0. The length of the legs is greatest in the Ukrainians (53.6%), much less in the Poles (52.1) and White Russians (51.7), and least in the Russians (50.5), which again indicates considerable mixture of Finnish-Mongolian blood. (The length of leg of the Mordvines is only 49%, that of the Altaic Tartars 48.6).
The most important anthropological characteristic was for a long time thought to be the shape of the skull. The Ukrainians belong (as do all Slavs, for that matter) to the class of Brachicephalites (short heads) . The average skull index in the Ukrainians amounts to 83.2. Among the neighboring peoples, the Poles (82.1) are least short-headed, then follow the Russians, almost the same as the Poles (namely 82.3), and then further away the Ukrainians (83.2). The greatest Brachicephalousness appears in the White Russians (85.1). The height of the skull is greatest in the Ukrainians (70.3), smaller in the Russians (70.1), smallest in the White Russians (66.1).
The skull index of the Ukrainians shows a similar territorial distribution as the stature. The greatest brachicephalousness is found in the Hutzuls; it decreases continually as we go northeast and east, so that in the Don and Kuban region the skull index is smallest. Besides, the shortness of head of the Ukrainians decreases regularly on the Polish and Russian borders, as a result of centuries of proximity. In the Russians the shortness of head is much less marked than in the Ukrainians, because of the Finnish strain, in the Poles because of the commixture with Finns and a primeval European long-headed and light- haired race.
Just as in the shape of the skull, so also in the form of the nose, the Ukrainians reveal distinct differences from their neighbors. In the Ukrainians the nose is usually straight and thin. The nasal index is 67.7, and consequently somewhat greater than in the Poles (66.2). Then follow the Russians (68.5) and the White Russians (69.2).
The width of the face in the Ukrainians is on the average 180, that of the Poles 181, of the Russians 182, of the White Russians 186; the facial index in the Ukrainians 78.1, in the White Russians 76.2, in the Poles 76.3, in the Russians 76.7. Here, too, we note the great difference of the Ukrainians from their neighbors and the similarity of these to one another.
The color of hair and eyes is by far not so sure an anthropological characteristic as the above-mentioned, yet constitutes an important complement. In this respect, too, the position of the Ukrainians among their neighbor nations is just as independent as in regard to the above discussed characteristics. Among the Ukrainians dark shades predominate, so that out of 100 individuals only 29.5% have light hair and eyes, 35%jnedium color, and 35% dark. In the Russians the percentages run 37% light, 41% medium, 22% dark; in the Poles 35% light, 46% medium and only 19% dark. Thus the light type is much more common in the neighboring races than in the Ukrai- nians.
In the distribution of color of eyes and hair in the Ukrainians the same territorial law holds as in the distri- bution of stature and shape of skull. In the main zone of the Ukrainian racial type, but especially in the southwest, the color of hair and eyes is most characteristically repre- sented. Near the Polioh, White Russian and Russian borders, the Ukrainian type loses much of its peculiarity.
This short anthropological sketch of the Ukrainians, despite its scanty 1 and general character, enables us to perceive very clearly that the Ukrainians show extremely little anthropological similarity to the Poles, White Russians and Russians. On the other hand, all of these neighboring races of the Ukrainians are very similar, and closely related to each other. The Pole, the White Russian and the Russian, stand very close to one another, while the Ukrain- ian is very different from all his neighbors and, from an anthropological point of view, holds an entirely independent position.
The vanity of the impression that the Ukrainians are Polonized Russians or Russified Poles, therefore, becomes apparent at once. The "unity theories," Polish and Russian, which are based on perverted V historical and philological phrases, are here opposed by a natural science, with its exact results of investigations.
But anthropology discredits not only these theories which are still dominating European science. Several Polish historians have recently evolved a new theory of the origin of the Ukrainians and spread it thru Europe. According to this theory the Ukrainians are a mixture of Slavs and the Mongolian-Turkish nomad tribes which traversed and commanded the Ukrainian steppes for centuries; they are a semi-nomadic steppe people, incapable of culture, whose development might bring with it the greatest dangers for European civilization.
The science of anthropology, however, robs this theory of its very foundation. The Mongolian-Turkish nomad tribes were almost all distinguished by low stature, short legs, long arms and round heads. The same characteristics should therefore appear very distinctly in the Ukrainian racial type. But the Ukrainians have a higher stature than any of the neighboring peoples, the longest legs, and arms of medium length. And the brachicephalousness of the Ukrainians is least just in the east, where mixing with the Mongolian tribes could proceed most easily.
The anthropological type of the Ukrainians, then, reveals complete individuality as opposed to the Polish, White Russian and Russian type, and betrays no noticeable trace of a Mongolian admixture. The difference of the Ukrainian type from the types of other Eastern Slavs caught the attention of the great geographer, Reclus, in the eighties of the past century. At that time he noticed the closer relationship of the Ukrainians to the Southern Slavs. Toward the end of the 19th Century, Hamy divided all the Slavs into two large groups, a tall brachicephalous group with dark hair, and a short, less brachicephalous group with light hair. In the first group he included the Serbians, Croatians, Slovenes, Czechs and Ukrainians; in the second the Polabians, Poles, White Russians and Russians. A similar division was accepted also by Deniker. According to his view the Ukrainians belong to the so-called Adriatic (Dinaric) Race, while the Poles and the Russians belong to the two closely related races, the Vistula Race and the Oriental Race, respectively. The Adriatic Race has recently come to be considered by many the specifically Slavic Race. However, it has remained comparatively pure only in the case of the Southern Slavs and the Ukrain- ians, while the Northern Slavic races reveal strong foreign admixtures.
Anthropology shows us, in the Ukrainians, a finely grown, physically sturdy race of men. Another character- istic of the Ukrainian People is its great fecundity. Wher- ever the Ukrainian People has not yet degenerated thru social pressure and the spread of pauperism, it shows remarkably high birth figures, which, despite the high infant mortality resulting from the low grade of culture," occasion a very rapid increase in population. The birth rate and rate of increase (1900-1904) for the central districts of the Ukraine in European Russia are on the average yearly: Volhynia 4.5% and 2%, Podolia 4.3% and 1.8%, Kiev 4% and 1.4%, Kherson 4.5% and 2%, Tauria 4.2% and 1.9%, Katerinoslav 5.6% and 2.8%, Chernihiv 4.6% and 2%m, Poltava 4.3% and 1.9%, Kharkiv 4.9% and 2%. Galicia, in the early years of the century, has had a yearly increase in population of 1.6 to 1.8%. These figures, which are much higher than the corresponding figures in Polish or Russian national territory, constitute one of the less agreeable facts which enable us to look with confidence toward the future of the Ukrainian nation. For the greater increase of the Ukrainians is not due to a higher state of culture of the neighbor nations. The Polish and Russian peasantry is not only not superior to the Ukrainan in respect to culture, but, on the contrary, inferior. The greater increase of the Ukrainians is con- nected only with their superior racial qualities.
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