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Thread: Recreations of Frisians, Racially Accurate?

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    Recreations of Frisians, Racially Accurate?

    Recreations made of older-stock Frisian men, is showing them to be a not particularily distinct looking group of central Europeans. Some claim a more central european non-nordic look for older-stock Frisians, claiming Nordic looks appeared amongst Frisians through Viking contact.

    Most Frisians I encounter and in my family look much more Nordic than most of these. However, some say that was not the case with the original Frisians before Scandinavian contact.

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    They do not look Frisian to me.

    The frisians look more tall and slender with more elongated faces. On the coast many Frisian have more typical 'fisherman' faces,

    The haircuts make them look like lefties and that seemed to me what the modeler had in mind.
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    Although there's evidence that today's Frisians are not exactly what Frisians were 1000 years ago (some natural desasters drove most Frisians out of their original settlements, think the sunken city Runghold etc, many islands and the coastal regions were affected), the original Frisians still were of a Nordic/Germanic stock and certainly not Meds or Alpinids, but of the same ethnic background like Jutes, as such indeed a Nordid group.

    The pictures tell much more about the modeler than about ancient Frisians. The incorporated dirtiness of their appearance is the prejudice of "uncivilised wild tribes" who digged planlessly around in the ground or something. Quite some BS, since Frisians, like Jutes and other coastal folks, were quite advanced due to the trade routes and big havens around the North and the Baltic sea.
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    According to Carleton S. Coon in The Race of Europe:

    To it must be added two series of old Frisians from northern Holland,80 which are identical in every respect. The skulls of these old Saxons, old Hanoverians, and old Frisians differ in a number of ways from those of other Nordics which we have studied. They arc larger than the Aunjetitz group and the Danes, and in fact any other series of Indo-European speakers that we have met, except the Norwegians. They lack the low vault and sloping forehead common to the earlier Nordics of Denmark, the Gauls, and the Scyths.
    The vault is moderately high; while the cranial index is on the border of dolicho- and mesocephaly. Compared with the other Nordics, the forehead is relatively straight, the browridges are greater, the muscular markings more pronounced, the cranial base wider, the face longer and somewhat wider.

    The type represented by these three groups and by the Visigoths seems to be a variant of the Nordic type to which the early Indo-European speakers belonged. Its difference is one of size, and it appears to have attained this distinction through a mixture, in southern Scandinavia and Germany, between the older local population, consisting of a combination of Megalithic, Corded, and Borreby elements, and the purely Nordic Danish Iron Age group.
    The resultant type approaches in some respects, but does not even approximate in size, the coastal Norwegian population which we have already studied, and it deviates far less from the central European Nordic than does the Norwegian group.

    This physical type is accompanied by tall[at the time TROE was written, due to differing nutrition] stature, of about 170 cm., and by a considerable heaviness and robusticity of the long bones. The bodily build was clearly heavier and thicker set than that of the previously studied Nordics.
    That it was characteristically blond[note that blond in an anthropological sense runs down to medium brown hair] is attested by the pigmentation of living examples as well as by numerous early descriptions.
    This type, being a mixed variety of central European Nordic combined with old northwestern European elements, is not a true Nordic in the sense in which the word has been used in this work, and its common and exclusive designation as Nordic in popular parlance as in scientific works is responsible for much of the confusion prevalent in the identification of that racial type today.
    This doesn't mean that differing individuals leaning more towards the Nordid or Cromagno-Alpinoid side weren't present in the population but the type described above was by far predominating.

    It would be interesting to see these recreations with fair pigmentation, so far they look like archaic Cromagnoids.
    But note that those are recreations of Frisian pirates for the animated movie Beowulf if I'm not mistaken. A certain artistic freedom is probably excusable in this case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocko View Post
    The haircuts make them look like lefties and that seemed to me what the modeler had in mind.
    Umm..I am not so sure our ancient Frisian ancestors had access to razors. So I can see why he/she would put shaggy locks and facial hair on them.

    But, yes although we have a wide variety in diversity many Frisians today have more of a Scandinavian look present. Especially in Denmark and Netherlands. Although in some areas of Ost-Friesland many Frisians seem to have a less Nordic element.

    I think the fisherman look comes from being out on the sea and windswept along with tobacco use and fisherman style dress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juthunge View Post
    According to Carleton S. Coon in The Race of Europe:

    This doesn't mean that differing individuals leaning more towards the Nordid or Cromagno-Alpinoid side weren't present in the population but the type described above was by far predominating.

    It would be interesting to see these recreations with fair pigmentation, so far they look like archaic Cromagnoids.
    But note that those are recreations of Frisian pirates for the animated movie Beowulf if I'm not mistaken. A certain artistic freedom is probably excusable in this case.
    It seems they never focus so much on accurately recreating old-Frisians. But, in other sources too I have read they were not described as Nordics.

    Blue eyes were nearly universal and was White skin according to Tacitus nearly 2000 years ago. So the lack of Blue eyes seems very unlikely to me. However, Tacitus doesn't seem to have mentioned them being particularily Blond.

    Seems the Vikings are much more popular than old Frisians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BroBro View Post
    Umm..I am not so sure our ancient Frisian ancestors had access to razors. So I can see why he/she would put shaggy locks and facial hair on them.
    They certainly did, razors were at least known since the times copper could be melted and casted, if not beyond.
    Tacitus, whom you like to quote, also speaks about how most ancient Germans were usually either clean shaven or sported a short beard.

    It seems they never focus so much on recreating old-Frisians. But, in other sources too I have read they were not described as Nordics.

    Blue eyes were nearly universal and was White skin according to Tacitus nearly 2000 years ago. So the lack of Blue eyes seems very unlikely to me.However, Tacitus doesn't seem to have mentioned them being particularily Blond.

    Seems the Vikings are much more popular than old Frisians.
    Tacitus has generally to be taken with a grain of salt. He has never been to ancient Germania himself and was totally dependent on what he could gather from the accounts of soldiers and merchants.
    That's just a general suggestion, not necessarily connected to the current topic.

    You're right however, that the absolute lack of fair features is very strange and incorrect. It should at least be very predominating and that's what I meant with that I want to see them with fair pigmentation.
    According to Tacitus they were "rutilus(reddish to reddish blond)" rather than "flavus(proper blond)" but those terms are rather ambiguous in Latin. Blond means something else to an Italian than to a Scandinavian nowadays too though.


    The Frisians unfortunately played a rather subordinate role in ancient history, so it's logical they would receive less attention. But in general I haven't seen that many reconstructions of any ancient Germanics, it seems indeed like the Vikings get much more attention, as they are also much more "popular".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocko View Post
    The haircuts make them look like lefties and that seemed to me what the modeler had in mind.
    So medium-long/long wavy hair + beard of some sort = lefty? I would say, some folks, yours truly included, might take slight offense from that statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juthunge View Post
    Tacitus, whom you like to quote, also speaks about how most ancient Germans were usually either clean shaven or sported a short beard.
    That may well be true, but it would be a far cry to suppose that Germanics at the time Tacitus wrote, were running around with the SS look either.

    I would wager to say that he exaggerated this a little, the combination of long hair but a clean shave was a sign of civilisation amongst noble Romans, the idea to suggest that Germanics did so more prominently than was accepted amongst Romans.

    Much of that "usual" description is probably exaggerated, I would expect that amongst ancient Germanics some would have worn their hair longer than others, and that some might have chosen to sport a beard whilst others might have chosen to trim it.

    You're right however, that the absolute lack of fair features is very strange and incorrect. It should at least be very predominating and that's what I meant with that I want to see them with fair pigmentation.
    It is not so much the hair pigmentation, but one would at least have to assume light eyes would be equal or predominating; with the Norse not being uniformly blonde/blue either, it would take a lot of eugenic breeding to achieve today's average on both counts, at any rate.

    About phenotypical subracial make-up, that is hard to discern for past populations. We can only go from crania detected and/or contemporary descriptions/depictions of such persons, and this may well distort the picture for the overall population.

    I agree on what Juthunge said about artistic freedom.
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    East frisians were protected by the peat bogs from mainland Germany. It was an almost unsurpassable barrier. So they kept nobility out to a big extent. There were some local strong families but they stood on their own.

    Frisians kept their freedom into the Second Reich. They ex en Ted themselves from Prussian military service (though they had to pay a tea tax in exchange).

    Frisians are also known for the biggest voluntary project on earth: the building of dykes/levees.

    Through their extended trading they were far from uncivilized. A line of my ancestors were seagoing people, none of them died at home but in strange places like Surabaya,Indonesia, White sea, meditarreanean sea and so on. They knew the world by eyesight.

    To depict them as brute uncoughed barbarians is certainly an insult.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    Following on from what was said above, Coon gave picture examples of what he considered the Nordic-UP mixes of Holland, northern German, and lower Denmark to look like. These were also the same people he described the Frisians as.






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    I am aware thar not everybody who wears long hair is a lefty but you might have noticed that it is spread predominantly among lefties.

    There are other reasons to have long hair like Indian gurus, or ancient germanics.

    Lefties wore out of protest and today as a fashion (include the Rastafarians here). Or out of tramp, people who don't have valuation.

    I hope this clarifies my comment
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