Punch,  49 (1865), 20.

Ethnologists and Phrenologists



News-Commentary, Drollery


Ethnology, Phrenology, Physiognomy, Race, Human Development, Expertise, Belief

    Discusses a recent debate at the Ethnological Society on the habits of an Indian 'tribe of savages'—the Cowitchans—who live between Vancouver Island and the Rocky Mountains. Notes Cornelius Donovan's argument that the tribe's attempt to flatten the skulls of their infants would diminish the children's 'intellectual capacities' and thus suggests that the tribe intended to make their children as much like animals as possible. Believes this opinion would be shared by 'most people', but notes Col. Hawkins's rebuttal of Donovan's argument, which Punch thinks is a snub that 'any physiologist, let alone phrenologist' can expect from an ignorant civil or military servant. However, despite Hawkins's testimony that the Indians' heads were somewhat sharper, insists that such 'anti-phrenology is harder to believe than phrenology'.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]