Yellowish skin

Rob Klein bi442 at
Thu Feb 20 20:28:44 CET 2003

Warning: This message is "for the most part" off topic. I thought it might be 
of interest to the several members who have already commented on it. Please let 
me know if this long-winded "dissertation" is something I should NOT send to 
this list.  Then, I won't do it again.

As our Gladstone/Gemstone friends have stated, the yellowish skin convention 
for "orientals" in comics was just "taken over" from "Western societal cliches" 
and beliefs.

Actually, the entire range of hues from very dark brown (appearing "blue 
black"0 to extremely pallid (almost white) runs through the populations of Asia 
AND Europe.  That is because the peoples of both continents are very mixed with 
traits from different breeding populations.  There is no such thing as a 
defined "race". In addition, outer (visible)features such as skin colour have 
less to do with the particular breeding group than most of the traits peole 
cannot discern easily.  The skin colours of different breeding groups were 
formed when those groups were still breeding under the effects of natural 
selection (e.g. the amount of melanin in their skin was affecting their 
abilities to survive until breeding age). For most of the so-called "oriental" 
populations, natural selection (certainly as related to melanin) does not 
operate. Therefore, these populations carry the skin colours from their 
latitudinal locations on the Earth where they last spent 25,000 - 50,000 years 
under natural selection, as well as the specific meterological (cloud 
cover/sunlight)conditions of that area. In general (for Asia, which lies mostly 
in the Northern Hemisphere), if they lived further north during their last 
period under melanin-related natural selection, they would have lighter skin, 
and darker skin as the groups were further south, towards the Equator. But, 
most of those groups experienced interbreeding from other groups. 

Currently, DNA scientists, who have sampled blood of thousands of test 
populations around the Globe, believe that all humans originated from a small 
group of people in east Africa, which lived around 130,000 years ago. Their 
first migration out of Africa, across the Red Sea Narrows to Yemen and up into 
Arabia as far as Syria, survived until about 100,000 years ago.  They died out 
due to increasing aridity of the Middle East. A new wave of migrations started 
the same direction. One group populated Arabia and The levant again, but moved 
nor further, for a long period. The great mass moved slowly eastward along the 
shores of The Indian Ocean; around The persian Gulf, the coast of India, Burma, 
Thailand, Indochina, and from there, split into two main groups. By the time 
they had lived in south east Asia's dense tropical jungles, some of the smaller 
groups' skin colours probably began to vary, based on local exposure to 
sunlight.  One group followed the coast of Viet Nam northwards into South 
China, while the other followed the land bridge into Indonesia (most of whose 
islands were joined together because the ice age had locked up more of the 
Earth's water in glaciers). They moved from there to Papua (New Guinea), and 
finally to Australia. The Australians and Melanesians today have very dark 
skin, "Negroid" features and kinky hair, because they have had less 
interbreeding with other population groups (specifically those who had already 
lived farther north and had moved south again). They retain more of the 
original traits they carried from east-central Africa, while also having stayed 
in relatively similar sunlight conditions.

The group that moved into South China eventually spread further north and also 
west, populating much of North China, Korea, Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia and some 
of Central Asia. Their hair became wavy, to even straight, adapting to the less 
tropical conditions.  Their skin colours became lighter, depending upon amount 
of direct sunlight and its angle. In the meantime, the group that was in the 
Middle East also sent off migrations into Persia and Central Asia.  These 
groups would later mix with the Central Asians who came by way of China.  This 
is why the "Turkic" linguistic groups differ so greatly from the Sino-
Mongolian. Many Siberian tribes were Turkic (Tataric) and others mongolian. 
Another group leaving the Middle East apparantly lived farther north at an 
earlier period (when melanin natural selection was still operating). They first 
lived around the Black Sea and Northwest Persia and western Central Asia. This 
group later migrated into Europe around 30,000 years ago, but before that, had 
already occupied some of Russia and even into the northern areas and towards 
Scandinavia.  The Finns, "original Bulgars", Magyars and some Siberian tribes 
probably come from that group, as well as the early main Peninsular Europeans.

Their were various hues of skin colour and variations of lightness and darkness 
in the skin related to sunlight exposure during their melanin natural selection 
period (probably BEFORE they ended up in Europe). From 20,000 years ago, and 
much more frequently from 10,000 years ago on, the different population 
breeding groups intermixed, so we got lots of variation of traits.

My own father's father was a "European". He was Dutch, but we can trace his 
family ancestry back to Eastern Hungary (Carpathian Mountains). He had a round 
face. his skin was light, but did have a slightly yellowish tint.  I KNOW that 
he did not suffer from jaundice! He had almond shaped eyes. His body type was 
short and stocky. My father and I are both tall and thin.  We both have red 
hair and very light skin with many freckles. I wouldn't say that my grandfather 
looked Mongolian, but I wouldn't say that he didn't have some "Turkic" 
features. Many of the people from that area display those features (there are 
also a lot of pallid-skinned redheads).
I believe the turkic/Asian-like characteristics were left by the many 
intrusians of Asian invaders to that area (Huns, Avars, Patzinaks, Mongols, 
Cumans, etc.). Even when they didn't "Marry"  into the sedintary society, they 
raped the women, who ended up raising their children as "civilised" members of 
the sedentary population.  I also have a few cousins with almond eyes, roundish 
faces and slight yellowish tints to their skin.

I would guess that there IS something to the old belief that the Mongolian 
populations have at least a bit of yellowish tones to their skin colour,on the 
whole. The Turkic groups have less, and what they do have may have come from 
interbreeding with Mongolian groups. The original migration of the group that 
moved north first into South China and later spread over east and central Asia 
must have experienced conditions during their skin colour natural selection 
period, that required an adaptation which resulted in a slight yellowish tone. 
Of course, as the group split up and moved to various other climates, the trait 
was modified, or weeded out. Japan, for example, has a significant percentage 
of the population with very light skin; but also a significant portion with 
medium darkness, and yellowish tint, and a group (more from the south) with 
darker skin (but still a slight yellowish tint).  It is believed that japan had 
three major immigrations in prehistoric times.  One, from Central Asia to 
northern East Asia (Siberia/Manchuria) -who included today's Ainu 
(caucasoid/Turkic), a second from East Asia/Korea/North China,-Mongoloid; and a 
third from Indonesia/Malaysia/Philippines/Taiwan/Okinawa- Malay peoples. The 
latter two groups coming both from the original group that split off from Viet 
Nam into South China. Both of those groups likely have contributed the slight 
yellowish tint.

The "American Indians" carried the mixed traits of the Siberians (Turkic from 
the Middle East to Central Asia route and Mongolian from Viet Nam to China to 
Siberia) across the land bridge to North and South America starting 30,000 
years ago. The peoples of that first migration down in southern South America 
have some traits shared wouth Australian aborigines (from the splitting about 
40,000 years ago, of one group into Indonesia/Papua/Australia, and the other to 
north Viet Nam, up the coast of China, through Manchuria and Siberia to 
Beringia). The DNA scientists found "Negroid" features in some human skeletons 
from patagonia from 10,000 years ago.  A second migration were the peoples who 
later became the Athabaskan linguistic group, and a third migration formed the 
other major Amerind linguistic group.  A last migration of the last 4,000 
years, was the Inuit (Eskimo) peoples. The latter share more features with the 
present day Mongolian groups, as they split off much more recently.  The other 
groups had long periods still under natural selection, to adapt to their new 
enviornments, and thus, change characteristics.  Although the Native American 
populations display the entire range of skin colours, most of them include a 
slight yellowish tint.

Perhaps it is "normal" for human skin to have some yellowish tint, and what we 
are observing in the "oriental cliche" is that many Europeans have such light 
skin that it does not show a yellowish tint.  What was seen to be "normal" for 
them, was pallid white.  Everything else must be "foreign".

When the Africans have a lighter tint to their skin, the yellowish tint is 
visible, such as with the Pigmy groups, Bushmen and Hottentot. Groups that are 
mixed with "Caucasoids", as in the Horn of Africa, (Eritreans, Ethiopians, 
lighter Somalis, some Eastern Saharan tribes) seem to me to show a bit of 
yellowish tint.

I hope we have a scientist among us that knows the answer to the question 
of "yellowish" skin. If so, the short answer can go to the DCML, as several 
people are interested.  A long answer probably should be sent as personal mail 
to those interested?


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