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How to recognize an Estonian: a statistical analysis

Tallinn University recently published "The Physical Anthropology of Finno-Ugric Peoples,” based on Karin Mark's research from 1955-1976.

Mark, a student and assistant of Estonia's first anthropologists Juhan Aul, measured all Finno-Ugric peoples, as well as the Turkic and Indo-Europeans neighboring them. Mark meticulously noted down 32 physical parameters of 12,652 people from 22 ethnicities and 133 ethnic groups. The data has now been posthumously published with the help of Leiu Heapost.

Of the Finno-Ugric peoples, Estonians, Izhorians, Ingrian Finns, Finns, Karelians, Vepsians, Samis, Erzya and Moksha Mordvins, Teryukhans, Karata, Maris, Zyrian and Permic Komis, Udmurts, Bessermen, Kahntys, Mansis and Carpathian Hungarians (altogether 112 groups) were measured. For comparison, neighbouring Indo-European (Finland-Swedes and Russians, altogether 9 groups) and Turkic peoples (Tatars, Chuvashes, Bashkirs, altogether 12 groups) were also measured.

Estonians: light hair, big heads

According to Mark's research, Estonians are of fair pigmentation, have light eyes and the brightest hair of all Finno-Ugric peoples. The hair is soft and wavy. Men have strong beards like most people around the Baltic Sea.

Estonians are among the tallest people in the world, like Finns. Only Finland-Swedes are taller. The heads are large as well. The head is mesocephalic in shape, which makes Estonians the people with the biggest heads in the Finno-Ugric group, the sum of the length and width of their heads exceeding even that of Finland-Swedes.

The height of the nose is long to very long, the width is average. Estonians have the most leptorrhine (high and narrow) noses of all Baltic Sea Finno-Ugric peoples, as do some Finnish people. Only Hungarians and Finland-Swedes are even more leptorrhine.

Udmurtian redheads

In most Finno-Ugric groups there are very little or no red-haired people at all. There are less than 1 percent of them among Estonians. A peculiar exception are the Udmurts with more than 4 percent of red-haired people.

Editor: M. Oll

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