Notes on Crania from the Nile-Welle Watershed

F. C. Shrubsall
1901 The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland  
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more » ... nglish museums. Six only are in that of the Royal College of Surgeons; the cranium of a negro of the Bari tribe obtained near Ragaff; two skulls of members of the Monbottu (Mangbattu) nation, and three of Azalndeh people of the Niamn-Niamn country. The chief accounts we possess of the natives of this district are found in Schweilnfurth's Heart of Africa aiid in Junker's 1ravels. Schweinfurth describes the Monbottu as beilng of a lighter tint than any other people of Central Africa. Compared with the Azandeh they have less fulness of mLuscle, without however any appearance of debility, a better developed beard, and much the same growth of hair. He also says: " The physiognomical form of the skull of the Moilbottu in many ways recalls the type of the Semitic tribes, and they differ fromn the ordinary run of negroes in the greater length and curve of the nose. All these characteristics betoken an affiniity with the Fulbe, and as such the Monbottu may probably be included among the ' Pyrrhi AEthiopes' of Ptolemy." Materials for a detailed comnparison of the craniia of these groups are at present lacking, but the specimens in the College of Surgeons Museuim show very close resemblances between the Monbuttu and the more southern Bantu peoples. During the ten yeais which elapsed between the visits of Schweinfurth and Jtulnker the Monbottu nation seen by the former had been pra(tically erased by the incursions of Arab slave dealers from the Egyptian Sudan. The Azandeh nation form a part of the negro family on the Nile-Congo watershed. Leo Reinisch connects their language rather with the Bantu than the Sudanese group. The ternm Niam-Niam, which means cannibal, seems to be somewhat indiscrinminately applied to these tribes by their northerln neighbours. Subjoinied are d6fifiled notes-on these skiiT1s, and br]ief d6npariso&is with those of allied races. The cranial capacity of these skulls ascertained by Broca's method shows them to be of medium size, the Azandeh crania being nmore capacious than those of the Monbottu, and the one female cranium much smaller than either of the four nmales. The B3ari skull was too damaged to allow of measurements being taken. This content downloaded from on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 09:45:14 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions somewhat square chin. As might be anticipated, the alveolar arch shows a much higher degree of prognathismii in the case of the Monbottu than in that of either the Azandeh or Bani. Possibly this fact, coupled with the diminiished stature, smaller cranial capacity, broader skull and more megaseme orbits, might suggest some intermixture with the dwarf races of the forest zone constituting the Welle-Nile watershed.
doi:10.2307/2842801 fatcat:vq6yn6cgxvd4pdi435jkx2lz2y