Toward the Anthropometric History of Native Americans c. 1820-1890

27 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2010

See all articles by John Komlos

John Komlos

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Leonard A. Carlson

Emory University

Date Written: August 26, 2010

Abstract

We analyze the height of Indian scouts hired by the US army after the Civil War. Their average height of 170 cm (67 in.) confirms that American natives were very tall compared to Europeans but were among the shortest segments of the rural populations in the New World. Their height was closer to that of the urban populations who experienced a much heavier disease load than rural populations living in a low population density environment. The trend in their height describes an inverted and elongated ā€œUā€ shape with some increase in the late antebellum period and a subsequent decline after the Civil War. This implies that in spite of their considerable tribulations the Native American population was able to maintain and to some extent even improve their nutritional status through the Civil War, though harder times followed for those born thereafter.

Suggested Citation

Komlos, John and Carlson, Leonard A., Toward the Anthropometric History of Native Americans c. 1820-1890 (August 26, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1666428 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1666428

John Komlos

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Leonard A. Carlson (Contact Author)

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

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