Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Homo erectus and humans - American link

Yuki text
The "Yuki" of California... Homo erectus?. From [1]

Continuing with our Homo erectus - "hominid cryptids in America" set of posts, I have been reading the oddest stuff on the web. The image above mentions the possibility that some strange Californian natives, the Yuki, which may be related to H. erectus or to the Ainu (from Japan).

Lets see who were the Yuki and the Ainu people:

The Yuki

They spoke (past tense because the language is now extinct) a language, Yukian, whose "linguistic affiliations remain among the most unclear in native North America" [3], an isolate.

Apparently the Yuki "were extremely long headed and short-statured" and "may be called with reason the original Californian Indian all others [...] being late comers" [7].

Does the fact that they were long headed mean they were dolichocephalic?

If so (see my post on Homo Erectus in America - part 3), they shared this feature with old H. erectus and with the Paleoindians (the ancestors of current Indians).

Yuki woman
A "Yuki Woman" (1924). From [2]

Ammong some curiosities, we can mention that they, as well as theChumash, and the Salinin Californian natives, counted by fours and not by fives like the rest of us do. They did this because their number base was not their fingers but the spaces between them. [6]

The arrival of Caucasic Americans to California starting in the 1830s, forced them out of their lands and led to what some call a genocide. They were virtually exterminated. There is plenty of information on the Yuki in the following link, [4]:


The article which opened this post mentioned the Ainu (name which in their language meant simply "human"). These were a native indigenous group of people that lived in Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido, and also on the Kuril Islands and the southern half of Sakhalin Island. There are about one hundred and fifty thousand extant Ainu, though their culture has been gradually lost to the encroaching Japanese.

They are taller than the Japanese, and have dark eyes and are hairier than the Japanese (in this they are similar to Europeans). They surprised the Western explorers and traders who met them because of their appearance, which is quite different from that of the other northern Asian people.

See some Ainu photographs here,[5] which, as far as I can see are quite different from the woman shown above, their noses are not flat or wide.

To be continued...


[1] Dreier, Frederick G., (1986). Homo Erectus in America: Possibilities and problems. Lambda Alpha Journal of Man, v.17, no.1-2, 1985-1986. Citing: Gifford, E.W., (1926). California Anthropometry. University of California Publications in Archaeology and Ethnology.22:217-390.
[2] Edward S. Curtis,(1924). The North American Indian. Photograph: A Yuki Woman. Facing pp. 24. Available at the: Northwestern University Library, Edward S. Curtis's 'The North American Indian': the Photographic Images, 2001.
[3] Edward Sapir, (1994). The collected works: Ethnology. Walter de Gruyter, pp. 179.
[4] Robert Heizer, (1978). Handbook of North American Indians: California. Govt. Printing Office. Vol. 3. pp. 249.
[5] Photographs of the Boone Collection. The Field Museum.
[6] John Kellermeier, Ethnomathematic Examples. Chap. 1
[7] Albert B. Elasser, (1980). The natural world of the California Indians.
University of California Press, pp. 20.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
2010 International Year of Biodiversity Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall © 


  1. Hola amigo

    Antes que nada y es que no puede faltar felicitarte por el blog, bueno en verdad. En estas fechas tengo tiempo libre y me dedico ha ver los blog de mis compañeros internautas, y ya de camino a invitarles a vistitar mi blog. Mi blog esta dedicado a la fauna española, su gran diversidad de hábitas, su gran cantidad de mamíferos, aves, reptiles, anfíbios, especies marinas,...

    Fauna Española - Spanish Fauna

    Adios amigos y Feliz Navidad

  2. Gracias por tus comentarios. Saludos!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.


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