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Author Topic: British Celts: Were They Truly Celts?  (Read 3438 times)
Bren123
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« Reply #50 on: January 15, 2012, 04:51:15 PM »

Let me add that many of the Irish on these forums, including myself, are very sensitve to the "simian Irish"

Miles Kehoe

What is simian Irish?
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2012, 05:05:33 PM »

Yes, and a lot of it was based on ideals of beauty. Everyone, it seems, likes the idea of being tall and blond and blue-eyed. Nobody wants to be short and dark, and even if one is short and dark, he wants to think his ancestors were better looking than he is.

In my own family there are tall, blond, blue-eyed folks, short, dark-haired, brown-eyed folks, and folks whose appearance is one or other combination or variation of those features. There are even a number of redheads.

I've seen plenty of short, stocky blonds in my time, as well as many tall people with dark hair and dark eyes.

The whole  blue eye long heads vs black haired brown eyed round heads thing never worked for the isles anyway.  I understand heads are usually Dolic or Meso in general in the isles.  

The overwhelmingly predominant adult (most young children are lighter haired) hair colour in the isles is Brown, frequently a mid brown that is half way between  and black and hard to categorise as light or dark as it is so intermediate.  From Med. eyes it is probably considered light but probably looks dark if you are Swedish!  I think Beddoe included a lot of the light to mid Brown brunettes as 'light' and the darker brown ones are 'dark' and this gives a bit of a false impression of a dichotomy on his nigresense maps.  I understand from later more reliable stats that the real east-west difference is really that the west has a little more dark brown haired people while the east has more mid brown.  That is the real difference and true blond or Med. type black hair is very much a small minority everywhere in the isles.  Even though true black hair is highest in western Ireland, Cornwall, Wales and western Scotland I believe Hooton showed it is only a few %.  The Beddoe's maps give the impression that the contrast is between some sort of uber-blondes in the east vs a very dark west.  The main difference is a modest change in shade of brown.  I wouldnt be surprised if light brown to dark brown hair shades accounted for 70% of the isles adults.  I think an awful lot of the writers on the subject were using preconceptions and their imaginations displaying humanities blindness to similarity and 20-20 vision for differences between peoples and a propensity for exaggerating them.

The isles have a lot of fair skinned people and this seems to peak among the Irish and Scots rather than the English. Its often a kind of fair skin that either reddens, freckles etc in the sun and only a minority really can tan (spray tans are common among women in the last decade or so though).  Scandinavians and Germans, Poles etc are considered to be different from the isles people in the way many of them can take a golden tan even when they are blond, blue eyed etc.  Isles folk are notorious for terrible sun burn when on holiday abroad in Spain etc.  

Eyes are mostly blue, green or hazel.  I understand that Irish, Scots and north-east English are the lightest eyed and the Welsh the darkest eyed.  I have read that in old head measuring type books and it does seem to be true.  Very dark eyes are much rarer in the isles than in many parts of the continent in my experience.  

n general the English and Celtic fringe people have fairly similar colourings, nothing like the grossly exaggerated impression of difference you get in these old books. The Celtic fringe does have more dark brown hair but it also has more red hair and the Irish and Scots seem to have more light eyes and ultra-fair skin on average than the English.  

As for height I would say the isles are middling - not as tall as the tallest nations like the Dutch and Danes but taller than most other west Europeans.  My impression is that height differences within the isles are micro-regional rather than national although there is a 19th century stereotype of tall Scots, small Welsh and an inconsistent mixture of both stereotypes for the Irish.  I personally think height difference in the isles are more class based.  

Its hard to generalise on features.  Again I believe there is a strong element of class and ease of life in dictating features. People today do not look anything like the 19th/early 20th century photographs of rugged poor county folk you get in Beddoe etc.  Probably the easier life.

The isles never did fit into the simple Nordic/Alpine/Med system so all sort of names like Celtic-Nordic, Atlantic-Med, Brunn etc were invented.  Personally I think phenotypes are a continuoum and categorisation is pointless and I also think phenotype constantly changing due to lifestyle, wealth and climate.  The head shape changed considerably in Britain in the Medieval period without any major changes.  It seems that the same populations move from long to round headed in a cycle that is not fully understood.  I wouldnt be surprised if colouring is different too from prehistory given that many genes like blue eyes, red/fair hair etc are not dominant and almost certainly have been greatly reduced in quantity.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 05:52:58 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #52 on: January 15, 2012, 05:13:26 PM »

Let me add that many of the Irish on these forums, including myself, are very sensitve to the "simian Irish"

Miles Kehoe

What is simian Irish?

racist 19th century cartoons depicting the Irish like Apes like this

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/files/2011/01/54.jpg
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rms2
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« Reply #53 on: January 16, 2012, 07:58:16 AM »

One thing I have noticed in Russia, and I have spent a fair amount of time there, is the number of people with truly round heads. I would not say it was most of the people, but it is striking, compared with the West.

I have never measured my own head with a set of calipers, following the prescribed anthropological method, but, if I had to guess, I would say I'm probably mesocephalic, but I'm not sure. My eyes are blue, but my hair was dark (it's turning gray now), even though I was blond as a kid. It was never truly black, however. It was more of a dark brown.

I sunburn very easily. It takes me until near the end of summer to acquire even a middling sort of tan, then fall and winter come and - whoosh! - my little bit of tan is gone.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #54 on: January 16, 2012, 02:47:38 PM »

One thing I have noticed in Russia, and I have spent a fair amount of time there, is the number of people with truly round heads. I would not say it was most of the people, but it is striking, compared with the West.

I have never measured my own head with a set of calipers, following the prescribed anthropological method, but, if I had to guess, I would say I'm probably mesocephalic, but I'm not sure. My eyes are blue, but my hair was dark (it's turning gray now), even though I was blond as a kid. It was never truly black, however. It was more of a dark brown.

I sunburn very easily. It takes me until near the end of summer to acquire even a middling sort of tan, then fall and winter come and - whoosh! - my little bit of tan is gone.

You sound like you fit the usual pattern for the majority all over Britain and Ireland.  
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 04:03:32 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
rms2
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« Reply #55 on: January 16, 2012, 06:49:03 PM »

One thing I have noticed in Russia, and I have spent a fair amount of time there, is the number of people with truly round heads. I would not say it was most of the people, but it is striking, compared with the West.

I have never measured my own head with a set of calipers, following the prescribed anthropological method, but, if I had to guess, I would say I'm probably mesocephalic, but I'm not sure. My eyes are blue, but my hair was dark (it's turning gray now), even though I was blond as a kid. It was never truly black, however. It was more of a dark brown.

I sunburn very easily. It takes me until near the end of summer to acquire even a middling sort of tan, then fall and winter come and - whoosh! - my little bit of tan is gone.

You sound like you fit the usual pattern for the majority all over Britain and Ireland.  

That makes sense. I just created and uploaded to my "myFTDNA" pages an updated version of my gedcom in anticipation of my upcoming Family Finder test results (due at the end of February). As a consequence, all of the surnames whose bearers were actual ancestors of mine (at least the ones I know about) are listed now on my FTDNA profile page. All but two of them are British/Irish. Those two exceptions are Micou, which is French, and Snedeker, which is Dutch.

I wonder how typical that is for an American.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 06:53:01 PM by rms2 » Logged

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