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Thread: The West-Baltid Race

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    Arrow The West-Baltid Race

    I would like to start a thread about this interesting racial type (the West-Baltid). First I start with some information that SPNA web site give about this sub-race but I am sure that they took the definition from Agrippa.


    West-Baltid:

    A largely unreduced, only slightly balticized Cro-Magnid (East-Cro-Magnid). It represents one endpoint of the "Baltid continuum", opposite to East-Baltid (or Lappoid, in a broader sense). It is found in the Baltics, and to a lesser extent in Scandinavia and northeastern Germany, and is transitional to Dalo-Falid and Borreby. The last point will be interesting to keep in mind when we check the pictures of differents West-Baltids that I am going to post.

    The following information is mainly from Bunak and Cheboksarov. Here we go:

    Profesor Bunak (1931) distinguishes in the contemporary population of western Europe three major-races, and within these, twelve races. We adduce the basic characteristics of these races according to Bunak: (See chart. I.).




    In this classification, obviously, there figure four light-skinned races, which differ from each other markedly both in cephalic and facial indices. Further sharpening of this classification in the works of the Soviet anthropologists (N. N. Cheboksarov) has led to distinguishing the type, which has received the name of West-Baltic. This type, which is concentrated along the shore of the western Baltic (Mecklenburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Pomerania, eastern Prussia etc. ) in a weakened form, among the Baltic groups is distinguished by tall stature, light fair, very light eyes, brachycephaly along with large measurements of the head, very broad and low face, a moderately narrow nose.

    Morphologically the West-Baltic type is so peculiar that it must be considered as an autonomous race of the second order, entering into the extensive zone of depigmented Europoid forms. The West-Baltic complex is very sharply set off from the Northern complex: it is characterized by much greater transverse cranial and bimalar diameters, less facial height (in similar statures), more prominent cheek-bones, much lower nose-bridge, a stronger development of the superciliaries, etc.

    Beyond the confines of northwestern Germany the West-Baltic complex occurs distinctly in East Prussia among the half- Teutonized Couro-Lithuanian population (Virchow). In a weakened and dispersed condition, the peculiarities of the elements under consideration are traceable in a large number of north-Europeans groups, chiefly of the Baltic shores, for instance among the Danes of the island of Fane, Samso, and the Faröer, among the Swedes fo the island of Runö among the Livs, and the Esths of the Sworbe peninsula, on Ezel etc. All these groups are distinguished by tall or above-average stature, light pigmentation, large transverse and especially bimalar diameters, and rather low facial height. It is very likely that their racial appearance has been compounded as the result of mixture of the Northern type with the West-Baltic, similar to what is seen also in north-western Germany, for instance in the Ditmarsch’s or Flensburg:
    As we advance into southern Germany the West-Baltic complex gradually is replaced by others, also brachycephalic (ceph. Index 83-85) but shorter (165-167 cm.), and darker (about 60-80% dark hair, with 40-50% light eyes), with smaller absolute dimensions of skull and face, marked chamaeseprosopy and strongly predominant curvature of the back of the nose.

    The West-Baltic type is traceable craniolgically even into the early Neolithic of northern Europe and goes back evidently to the Cro-Magnon type, which it resembles in a combination of gross measurements of the brain case with a very broad and lo face.

    The West-Baltic type or among the West-Baltic complex we can say that is characteristic a combination of Europids peculiarities in the structure of the facial skeleton, with large-scale absolute dimensions of the brain-case and exceptionally broad but relatively low face, this induces the thought of an immediate connection with the Cro-Magnon forms, for which, as is known, the combination of the enumerated race-diagnostic traits is likewise peculiar. The fundamental distinction between the western Balts and the ancient Cro-Magnards consists in the much greater size, among the former, in the transverse diameter, which occurs in parallel with a lessening of the length, is precisely a phenomenon characteristic of the alterability of all racial types in time. Brachylcephalisation of the Cro-Magnon race would have to result in forms morphologically identical with the West-Baltic complex.

    Beside this, individual brachycephalic skulls of Cro-Magnon configuration, very reminiscent of the West-Baltic type, are encountered in Northern Europe from the early Neolithic on. We can point first of all the skull from Kassermose in Denmark, which possesses a huge transverse diameter and low face (Nilsen 1906).

    Within this same form-zone belongs also the female skull from Karleby in Västergötland (southern Sweden), which is pronouncedly brachycephalic (index 85,5), and chamaeprosopic (69.143=48.2) with very low eye sockets (orbital index 72.7), moderately developed bony relief and prominent and very narrow nose (Retzius 1900). Like it is yet another Swedish short-headed skull from Hvelling in Malmö, which belongs approximately to the same time (Fürst 36). In all probability we should reckon with these also the so-called “Borreby” type –mesocranial or moderately brachycranial with high cranial vault, rather broad face and prominent nose. The skeletons of this type, which is distinguished by tall stature (174.0 cm for men), are encountered in the Neolithic period in various places in Denmark (Nilsen 1906), in southern Sweden in the provinces of Skane and Västergötland and on the island of Götland (Kossina 1928). A skull from Plau in Mecklenburg, which by some investigators has been referred back practically to the epoch of the Ancylus Lake, likewise possesses “West-Baltic” traits: it is brachycephalic, with a large, relatively broad face, and a developed bony relief (Schliz 1910, 1914).

    Schilz described the characteristic morphological peculiarities of the Karleby-Borreby- Plau type in the following words: “Face chamaeprosopic thanks to great bimalar breath, forehead broad, high, rising above the face in the form of somewhat flattened arches, orbits chamaeconch (low), their lower borders horizontal, the upper inclined outwards, malar bones broad, disposed horizontally, nose prominent, the maxilla of medium height with jutting alveoli, the mandible broad with rounded chin”. One can hardly doubt that there we are dealing with a combination of racial traits which is close to the present-day “West-Baltic”.

    Thus the initial components for forming the type under consideration are very ancient in Central and Northern Europe; they are among the number of autochthonous European forms which have developed immediately out of Cro-Magnon base. To connect the West-Baltic complex with some definite ethnic group or linguistic system, to be sure, is not fitting, for the reason that in the epoch to which the beginning of this complex is referable, the present-day ethnic and linguistic formations did not yet exist.

    The meso-brachycephals with large, low and broad faces, which entered into the composition of the population of the Baltic shore in the period on the earliest colonizing, have been preserved to our own day largely in the coastal and insular groups, scattered sporadically over all of Norther Europe from Faröer Islands inhabited by Danes to the coastal strip of western Latvia, where live remnants of the Finnic-speaking Livs. Undoubtedly isolation has played the conspicuous role in the production of the extremely specific peculiarities of the present-day western Balts. It is not accidental that these peculiarities are expressed with a maximum distinction among the Germans of the island Fehmarn, who are one of the most isolated of all groups of the Middle-European population. West-Baltic traits in the anthropological configuration of the Faröer Danes, the East Prussian Cours, the Latvian Livs and Esths of the Sworbe peninsula on Ezel likewise corroborate the expressed thought: everywhere we are dealing with small fishing groups which have preserved many original linguistic and ethnographic peculiarities and are relatively little mixed with the neigh boring population.



    Some data:



    I post some pictures that I/or other people can consider as West-Baltids (some are from members of this forum as Agrippa or Ross etc.) but of course not all the examples are exactly equal. You will notice that some are similar to Dalofaelid, others more going to the North-Alpinoid direction, there are types with admixture (Nordid, East-Baltid, Alpinid etc.). But the examples I post I would consider pred. WB or with strong WB admixture.
    Last edited by visigodo; Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 at 11:45 PM.
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    Re: The West-Baltid race.

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    Re: The West-Baltid race.

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    Re: The West-Baltid race.

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    Re: The West-Baltid race.

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    Re: The West-Baltid race.

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    Re: The West-Baltid race.

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    Re: The West-Baltid race.

    Finally some of my favourites examples.
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    AW: The West-Baltid race.

    Excellent thread. The correlation to prehistoric hunter and gatherers, including fishers and to Cromagnoids is clear, as is the fluent border to Borreby and Dalofaelid variants.
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    Re: The West-Baltid race.

    Great thread, Visigodo! Your commitment is cherished. Funny, most of the pictures you posted are already part of my own growing West-Baltid folder. I think your examples constitute a good illustration of the WB phenotypical range, including some generalized Baltid types, some showing Lappoid influence, some Nordid-inspired, and some who look ambiguously Baltid-Borreby ("generic blond brachycephal").

    Btw, the SNPA's definition is indeed mostly an adaptation of Agrippa's speculations.

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