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it have been of the men whose sole weapons were rudely chipped flints, and some of whom, we may fairly conclude, were lower than any existing race; while the only evidence yet in our possession shows them to have had brains fully as capacious as those of the average of the lower savage races.
We see, then, that whether we compare the savage with the higher developments of man, or with the brutes around him, we are alike driven to the conclusion that in his large and well-developed brain he possesses an organ quite disproportionate to his actual requirements—an organ that seems prepared in advance, only to be fully utilized as he progresses in civilization. A brain slightly larger than that of the gorilla would, according to the evidence before us, fully have sufficed for the limited mental development of the savage; and we must therefore admit, that the large brain he actually possesses could never have been solely developed by any of those laws of evolution, whose essence is, that they lead to a degree of organization exactly proportionate to the wants of each species, never beyond those wants —that no preparation can be made for the future development of
-that one part of the body can never increase in size or complexity, except in strict co-ordination to the pressing wants of the whole. The brain of prehistoric and of savage man seems to me to prove the existence of some power, distinct from that which has guided the development of the lower animals through their ever-varying forms of being.
The Use of the Fairy Covering of Mammalia. Let us now consider another point in man's organization, the bearing of which has been almost entirely overlooked by writers on both sides of this question. One of the most general external characters of the terrestrial mammalia is the hairy covering of the body, which, whenever the skin is flexible, soft, and sensitive, forms a natural protection against the severities of climate, and particularly against rain. That this is its most important function, is well shown by the manner in which the hairs are disposed so as to carry off the water, by being invariably directed downwards from the most elevated parts of the body. Thus, on the under surface the hair is always less plentiful, and, in many cases, the belly is almost bare. The hair lies downwards, on the limbs of all walking mammals, from the shoulder to the toes, but in the orang-utan it is directed from the shoulder to the elbow, and again from the wrist to the elbow, in a reverse direction.
This, corresponds to the habits of the animal, which, when resting, holds its long arms upwards over its head, or clasping a branch above it, so that the rain would flow down both the arm and fore-arm to the long hair which meets at the elbow. In accordance with this principle, the hair is always longer or more dense along the spine or middle of the back from the nape to the tail, often rising into a crest of hair or bristles on the ridge of the back. This character prevails through the entire series of the mammalia, from the marsupials to the quadru
mana, and by this long persistence it must have acquired such a powerful hereditary tendency, that we should expect it to reappear continually even after it had been abolished by ages of the most rigid selection ; and we may feel sure that it never could have been completely abolished under the law of natural selection, unless it had become so positively injurious as to lead to the almost invariable extinction of individuals possessing it.
The constant absence of Hair from certain parts of
Man's Body a remarkable Phenomenon. In man the hairy covering of the body has almost totally disappeared, and, what is very remarkable, it has disappeared more completely from the back than from any other part of the body. Bearded and beardless races alike have the back smooth, and even when a considerable quantity of hair appears on the limbs and breast, the back, and especially the spinal region, is absolutely free, thus completely reversing the characteristics of all other mammalia. The Ainos of the Kurile Islands and Japan are said to be a hairy race; but Mr. Bickmore, who saw some of them, and described them in a paper read before the Ethnological Society, gives no details as to where the hair was most abundant, merely stating generally, that “their chief peculiarity is their great abundance of hair, not only on the head and face, but over the whole body.” This might very well be said of any man who had hairy limbs and breast, unless it was specially stated that his back was
hairy, which is not done in this case. The hairy family in Birmah have, indeed, hair on the back rather longer than on the breast, thus reproducing the true mammalian character, but they have still longer hair on the face, forehead, and inside the ears, which is quite abnormal; and the fact that their teeth are all very imperfect, shows that this is a case of monstrosity rather than one of true reversion to the ancestral type of man before he lost his hairy covering.
Savage Man feels the Want of this Hairy Covering. . We must now enquire if we have any evidence to show, or any reason to believe, that a hairy covering to the back would be in any degree hurtful to savage man, or to man in any stage of his progress from his lower animal form ; and if it were merely useless, could it have been so entirely and completely removed as not to be continually reappearing in mixed races ? Let us look to savage man for some light on these points. One of the most common habits of savages is to use some covering for the back and shoulders, even when they have none on any other part of the body. The early voyagers observed with surprise, that the Tasmanians, both men and women, wore the kangarooskin, which was their only covering, not from any feeling of modesty, but over the shoulders to keep the back dry and warm. A cloth over the shoulders was also the national dress of the Maories. The Patagonians wear a cloak or mantle over the shoulders, and the Fuegians often wear a small piece of skin on the back, laced on, and shifted from side to side as the wind blows. The Hottentots also wore a somewhat similar skin over the back, which they never removed, and in which they were buried. Even in the tropics most savages take precautions to keep their backs dry. The natives of Timor use the leaf of a fan palm, carefully stitched up and folded, which they always carry with them, and which, held over the back, forms an admirable protection from the rain. Almost all the Malay races, as well as the Indians of South America, make great palm-leaf hats, four feet or more across, which they use during their canoe voyages to protect their bodies from heavy showers of rain; and they use smaller hats of the same kind when travelling by land.
We find, then, that so far from there being any reason to believe that a hairy covering to the back could have been hurtful or even useless to pre-historic man, the habits of modern savages indicate exactly the opposite view, as they evidently feel the want of it, and are obliged to provide substitutes of various kinds. The perfectly erect posture of man, may be supposed to have something to do with the disappearance of the hair from his body, while it remains on his head; but when walking, exposed to rain and wind, a man naturally stoops forwards, and thus exposes his back; and the undoubted fact, that most savages feel the effects of cold and wet most severely in that part of the body, sufficiently demonstrates that the hair could not have ceased to grow there merely because it was useless, even if it