National Geographic : 1925 Oct
THE ROMANCE OF SCIENCE IN POLYNESIA 377 A MARQUESAN WOMAN WOOD-CARVER OF 11ANAVAVE VALLEY, FATUIIIVA ISLAND this subject. It is only within the last few years that the investigations of trained anthropologists have begun to solve the problems. The late Dr. Louis R. Sullivan, Asso ciate Curator of Anthropology in the American Museum of Natural Itistory, says of racial types in Polynesia: "The now rapidly accumulating data on the biology of the inhabitants of the Pacific islands are beginning to indicate clearly that the 'Polynesians' are in no sense to be considered a uniform racial type. The 'Polynesian type' is, in fact, an abstract concept, into the make-up of which have entered the characteristics of several varying physical types. "Anthropologists have long disagreed on the racial affinities of the Polynesians. Some have classified them as Mongols, others as Caucasians; while still others have maintained that they are a special race. This in itself is strong evidence that the Polynesians are a badly mixed people, for, whenever there has been a general disagreement as to the racial affin ities of any group, it has been found al most invariably that the group was non homogeneous. "There is much vagueness as to what constitutes a Polynesian, but as generally conceived and described, he is a tall and remarkably well proportioned type, with a short head, a high and relatively narrow nose, straight or slightly wavy black hair, and a yellowish brown skin. "In no part of Polynesia from which we have information does this type make up the entire population at the present time. There is strong evidence that in times past, and not so very long past either, this element was entirely absent, or not present in any appreciable strength." ISLAND WOMEN IMPRESSED EARLY VOY AGERS AS PARAGONS OF BEAUTY According to Dr. Sullivan, the racial affinity of the Pacific islanders with our selves is not nearly as close as the roman cers assume. It is undeniable, however, that temper amentally as well as physically the Polyne sians seem to share an extraordinary number of traits with people of European stock. The apparent resemblances, to gether with the charm of their idyllic islands, have combined to endow them with a peculiarly strong attraction for the white men who have come among them during more than two centuries.