National Geographic : 1918 Dec
462 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Borg Mesch THE LAPPS, THE ROUNDEST-HEADED PEOPLE IN EUROPE For centuries they have made their home on the permanently frozen, treeless wastes of the tundra of Norway, Sweden, and Russia. As a result, they are generally dwarfed both in body and mind. They do not average more than four feet seven inches in height, and even the children have faces which are frequently drawn and ugly, as if with age (see p. 466). the White Russians and the Cossacks, all Slavs, all speaking some form of Russian Slavic, all members or dissidents of the Eas tern Orthodox Church, but each group of a different type from the rest (see pages 450 and 457). THE GREAT RUSSIANS The Great Russians spread extensively from Moscow as their historic center. The river Moskwa gave its name, not only to the capital which stands upon its banks but to the Mus covite Empire and to the Tsars of Muscovy. Through the East a Russian is always called a Muscov. Saint Petersburg or Petrograd, always foreign, kindled no love or devotion. Moscow delivered the people from two cen turies of oppression by the Tatars of the Golden Horde: in 1613 crushed the Poles and gave the nation a new birth: in its flames con sumed the Empire of Napoleon. It is still "Holy Mother Moscow." Other Russians are merely accretions, added by conquest or voluntary submission. The Great Russians are the real Russians. Among them are seen some of "the best examples of the Caucasian type." They are industrious, unambitious, sluggish, dreamy, patient, devout, disliking responsibility, indifferent rather than careless, impractical, pacific. Theirs is the only national hymn which breathes as its chief note a prayer for peace. Yet, when the order comes, no men more readily flock to the colors. No soldiers are braver or endure longer. The Great Russians are helpless when with out an object for their devotion. Formerly they had two: God and the Tsar. The Tsar has been taken away, and in the present con fusion, according to the Slavic proverb, "Heaven is far off." So they flounder for a time in a political and religious quagmire, un able as yet to feel solid ground. By expansion, as the more prolific rather than by fighting, they have pushed the Finns, who occupied more than half the Russian plain, still further north. In return their physique and temperament have been pro foundly affected by constant blood intermix ture with the Finns and in less degree with the Tatars. Their frames are well knit and mus cular, hair and beards thick and curly, nose pronounced, eyes blue or brown, complexion florid.