The Mongoloid Myth

van Driem, George (2015). The Mongoloid Myth. Indian Journal of Physical Anthropology and Human Genetics, 34(2), pp. 167-191. Ethnographic and Folk Culture Society

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Scholarly ideas and scientific hypotheses tend to become digested by society at large and become part of popular lore. However, there is often a considerable time lag between the dawning of scientific insights and their popular acceptance. Consequently, some ideas live on in the popular imagination long after they have outlived their usefulness in scholarly discourse. In this way, obsolete conceptual frameworks can determine the content of popular discourse and shape political agendas and even societal developments. One such idea is the myth of the Mongoloid race, which continues to play a role today in the psyche of many people, especially in northeastern India. New insights from both historical linguistics and population genetics enable us to dispel the Mongoloid myth and at the same time highlight the importance of the Eastern Himalaya as a cradle of ethnogenesis in the primeval past.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Linguistics > Comparative Linguistics


400 Language > 410 Linguistics
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Ethnographic and Folk Culture Society




George van Driem

Date Deposited:

11 Jun 2018 12:35

Last Modified:

28 Nov 2019 19:15




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