Archiver > CHEROKEE > 1999-08 > 0933647349

From: <>
Subject: [CHEROKEE-L] American Indian physical characteristics and diseases
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 22:29:09 EDT

In a message dated 8/2/99 9:19:52 PM Eastern Daylight Time,

<< Can someone send me the list of Cherokee traits and characteristics?
My g-g-g-grandmother was Cherokee. >>


Physical Characteristics

Many people are surprised to find the physical characteristics running in
their family, indicate they are descendants of Native Americans. At this
point I usually have someone who accuses me of perpetuating stereotypes of
Native Americans. Well, the characteristics I will mention are all based on
medical studies. A little research is all that is needed if someone is
interested in the facts behind them.

High cheekbones where glasses set high on the face and get all smeary on the
bottom of the lens. Almond shaped almost oriental looking eyes? Lazy eyes in
children. Heavy "fat" eyelids where the eyelid appears to have an extra
fold. A melanin (pigmentation) in the back of the eye on the retina peculiar
to Native Americans.

"Shovel" teeth, the teeth have a ledge on the backside. Run your tongue
across them, they feel almost like a shovel shape. Large front teeth with a
slight or more than slight gap. Lack of the Cartable cusp on the maxillary
first molars, which is missing in Native Americans.

Large heavy earlobes. Crooked fingers particularly the little finger or
pinkie. An inverted breastbone. Often called a Chicken Breast. The bone
actually makes an indentation in the chest.

Little toes that lie under the next one. A second toe longer than the big
toe. A wider space between the big toe and second one. An extra ridge of
bone along the outside of the foot.

Stamford University researchers have a new method of scanning a genetic
mutation that exists only in the samples of Indian populations in
north/South American and in Eskimo groups.

Comparing families characteristics to old photographs of recognized Native
Americans is all the proof many people need. Some who require more proof can
explore the scientific and medical avenues. While those whose ultimate goal
is tribal recognition, must accumulate pertinent documentation of their
direct line (birth, marriage and death records) back to the recognized
Native American Ancestor.

Some of the information concerning Physical Characteristics which can help
you determine if you are Native, were taken from an article by NAB
Contributing Editor Cones Kupwah Snowflower in NAAH #14 July 1996 "Let's Get
Physical". Snowflower is a Shawnee Genealogist familiar with all of the
tribes in the Ohio Valley area. She can be reached at 204 Rome-Hilliard Road
Columbus Ohio 43228.

The scientific and medical information was gleaned from an article in the
the Family Tree publication of the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library P O
Box 1110 Moultrie Ga 31776-1110 (912) 985-6540 FAX (912) 985-0935. Back
issues of the Family Tree, when available are $3.50 which includes s/h.

The information in the article was credited to T.L.& M. Genealogy published
by the Talbot Library and Museum P. O. Box 349 Colcord OK 74338.

Native Diseases

In addition to the physical attributes mentioned, there are five major
diseases that we look for in Native American Families.

Everyone knows about the drunken Indian. Alcoholism, many attribute this to
the lack among Native Americans of an enzyme which converts alcohol in the
bloodstream. Arthritis. It is beginning to appear that Fibromyalgia is also
related to Native ancestry. Diabetes. Heart Disease. Kidney problems
including Kidney stones.

Also noted are numerous family instances of thyroid problems, both hypo and

This thread: