Volume 32 1923 > Volume 32, No. 125 > Maori somatology. Racial averages. Part IV, by Te Rangi Hiroa (P. H. Buck), p 21-28
MAORI SOMATOLOGY. RACIAL AVERAGES.
IV. (Continued from Vol. XXXI., No. 4.)
ANTERO-POSTERIOR DIAMETER.—The antero-posterior diameter was taken at the level of the manubrium with the xiphi-sternum. This level was taken on the advice of Professor Keith.
Average 7.8 inches.
LATERAL DIAMETER.—This was taken at the same level as the former measurement, namely the sterno-ensiform joint. The average diameter for 415 cases was 11 inches.
Average 11 inches.
CHEST CIRCUMFERENCE.—This was taken on a line corresponding to the lower angle of the scapula behind and slightly below the nipple in front. The measurement was recorded whilst the chest was at rest between inspiration and expiration. The two diameters were taken during a similar period.
Average 35·2 inches.- 23
THE UPPER LIMB.
Owing to the limited time on the voyage, only three measurements of the upper limb could be taken. These were the length of the upper arm and the fore arm and the maximum circumference of the upper arm.
UPPER ARM LENGTH.—The measurement was taken from the outer margin of the acromion to the joint interval between the humerus and radius.
Average 12·4 inches.
LENGTH OF THE FOREARM.—From the humero-radial joint interval to the styloid process of the radius. For 417 cases, the average is 10 inches.
Average 10 inches.
MAXIMUM CIRCUMFERENCE OF THE UPPER ARM.—The upper limb was straightened and the tape passed round the greatest girth with the muscles uncontracted.
Average 11·5 inches.
The relation of the circumference of the upper arm to its length is shown by the formula, Upper arm circum. X 100/Upper arm length For this series the average index is 92.
The relation of the length of the upper arm to that of the forearm is shown by the formula, Forearm length X 100/Upper arm length For this series the average index is 83.- 25
THE LOWER LIMB.
LENGTH OF THE THIGH.—This was taken from the upper edge of the great trochanter to the margin of the superior extremity of the tibia on the outer side of the knee-joint.
Average 16·3 inches.
CIRCUMFERENCE OF THE THIGH.—This was taken midway between the pelvis and the knee with the limb straightened and the muscles uncontracted.
Average 21·1 inches.
LENGTH OF THE LEG.—This was taken from the margin of the superior extremity of the tibia on the inner side of the knee-joint to the tip of the internal malleolus.
Average 14·3 inches.
MAXIMUM CIRCUMFERENCE OF THE CALF.—The muscles were not contracted whilst the measurements were being taken.- 27
Average 14·9 inches.
One of the most marked physical characteristics of the Maori people that strikes the general observer is the muscular development of the lower limb. This is readily noticed when a Maori and a European football team walk on to the field stripped for the fray. In the present series of measurements, general observation is supported by the results of the measurements of the circumference of the thigh and calf. As shown above, they are respectively 21·1 and 14·9 inches. The effect is no doubt enhanced by the comparatively shorter length of the lower limb. For a true comparison with white New Zealanders and people of Melanesian stock, it would be interesting to note, not only the actual measurements but the relation of circumference to length.
The relation of thigh circumference to thigh length is shown by the formula, Thigh circum. X 100/Thigh length For this series the average index is 129.
A similar index for the leg is given by the formula, Leg circum. X 100/Leg Length For this series it is 104.- 28
The relation of the length of the leg to to that of the thigh is shown by the formula, Leg length X 100/Thigh length This works out at 87.
The Maoris have always taken special pride in well formed lower limbs. Mothers employed massage and manipulation on their infants to secure this end. I can remember my own mother assuring me in my childhood that any approach I possessed to this standard was due to the manipulative care that she lavished upon me in the days of my infancy. Besides massage, the lower limbs were pulled so as to straighten them and prevent any tendency to prominent knees. A saying from the Mahaki tribe of Giborne bears this out:—
“Totoia nga waewae o to tamahine, kia pai ai te haere i nga parae o Manutuke.”
“Stretch the lower limbs of your daughter that she may walk with grace along the level flats of Manutuke.”
(To be continued.)- i