Racial Groups of India
The present population of the Indian subcontinent has been divided broadly into the following racial groups:
1. The Negritos-Perhaps they were the first of the racial groups that came to India. They got settled in the hilly areas of Kerala and the Andaman Islands. Kadar, Irula and Puliyan tribes of Kerala resemble to a great extent with the Negritos. They are related to Africa, Australia and their neighbouring islands. The Negritos have black (dark) skin, woolly hair, broad and flat nose and slightly protruded jaws.
2. The Proto-Australoids-Perhaps the people belonging to the Proto-Australoid race came here just after the Negritos. Their sources are Australian aborigines. They are settled in the central India from the Rajmahal hills to the Aravalis. Santhal, Bhil, Gond, Munda, Oraon etc. tribes are related to this group. They are physically different from the Negritos in many ways, e.g. their hair is coarse and straight instead of being woolly. It is considered that they were the people who, in collaboration with the Mediterranean race, had developed the Indus Valley Civilization. Their skeletons have been found in the excavations of Mohenjodaro and Harappa.
3. The Mongoloids-The original homeland of this race was Mongolia (China). The Mongoloids came to India through the passes of northern and eastern mountain ranges. These people are concentrated in the nearby areas of the Himalayas, e.g. Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and other areas of the north-eastern India. The Mongoloids have pale or light pale skin, short height, comparatively large head, half open eyes, flat face and broad nose. In India, they can be divided into two branches-
A. Paleo-Mongoloids- They were the first of the Mongoloids who came to India. These people are settled mainly in the border areas of the Himalayas. They are found mostly in Assam and the adjacent states.
B. Tibeto-Mongoloids- These people came from Tibet and are settled mainly in Bhutan, Sikkim, areas of north-western Himalayas and beyond the Himalayas in which Ladakh and Baltistan are included.
4. The Mediterraneans- They came to India from the south-west Asia. They may be divided into three groups-
A. Paleo-Mediterraneans- They were the first of the Mediterranean’s race that came to India. They were of medium height, black skin, well- built body and long head. Perhaps they were the people who had begun cultivation for the first time in the north-west India. The group which came later pushed them towards the central and the south India. At present, the Paleo-Mediterraneans with their other sub-groups comprise the most part of the population of the south India and a large part of the population of
the north India.
B. Mediterranean’s- They came to India later on. They developed the Indus valley civilization in collaboration with the Proto-Australoids and initiated the bronze culture for the first time during 2500-1500 BC. Later on, the new invading group coming from north-west pushed them from the Indus valley to the Ganga valley and towards the south of the Vindhyas. Today, most of the population of lower castes in the north India belongs to this race.
C. Oriental-Mediterranean’s- They came to India very late. They are populated mostly in the north-western border areas of Pakistan and Punjab. They are also found in sufficient number in Sindh (Pakistan), Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh.
5. The Brachycephalics (Western race with broad head): Apart from Mongoloid, some other races found in India having broad head are:
6. The Nordics: They are the last of the racial groups that came to India. They came from Taiga and Baltic regions. They were Aryan speaking families with long head, fair complexion, and sharp nose, well-developed and well-built body. They are found in the region of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Jammu.