Toward the Anthropometric History of Native Americans c. 1820-1890
27 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 26, 2010
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 “U” 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: Suggested Citation