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C. H. USHER, M.B., B.C. CAMS. 



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Price, Text and Atlas, Part I, to Subscribeis to the tvhole work, 

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The Francis Galton Laboratory is issuing in parts at short intervals a collection of published 
and unpublished family pedigrees, illustrating the inheritance in man of mental and physical 
characters, of disease and of abnormality. 

Students of heredity find great difficulty in obtaining easy access to material bearing on 
human inheritance. The published material is voluminous, scattered over a wide and often 
very inaccessible journalistic area. The already collected although unpublished material is 
probably as copious, but no central organ for its rapid publication in a standardized form 
exists at present. The Eugenics Laboratory alone possesses several hundred pedigrees of 
family characteristics and diseases which it is desirable to make readily accessible. Many 
medical men possess similar material, and there is a growing desire among genealogists to 
pay more attention to family characters and supplement the merely nominal pedigrees current 
in the past. 

For a publication of this kind to be successful at the present time, it should be entirely 
free from controversial matter. The Treasury of Human Inhentance will therefore contain 
no reference to theoretical opinions. It will give in a standardized form the pedigree of each 
stock. This will be accompanied by a few pages of text describing the individual members 
of the stock, giving references to authorities, and, if the material has been published, to the 
locus of original publication. When necessary the characteristic will be illustrated by photography 
or radiography. In this way, it is hoped in the course of a few years to place a large mass 
of material in the hands of the student of human heredity. It will not cut him off from, 
but directly guide him to original and fuller sources of information. Further, the Treasury 
will provide students of eugenics and of sociology, medical men, and others, with an organ 
where their investigations will find ready publication, and where as time goes on a higher and 
more complete standard of family history than has hitherto been usual can be maintained. 
It is proposed to issue the Treasury of Human Inheritance in quarto parts at about quarterly 
intervals. Each part will contain about 6 to 10 plates of pedigrees and of such other illustrations 
as may be needful. 

The following parts have already been issued: — 

Parts I and II (double part) contains pedigrees of Diabetes Insipidus, Split-Foot, Poly- 
dactylism, Brachydactylism, Tuberculosis, Deaf-Mutism, and Legal Ability. Price 14s. 

Part III contains pedigrees of Angioneurotic Oedema, Hermaphroditism, Deaf-Mutism, 
Insanity, and Commercial Ability. Price 6s. 

Part IV contains pedigrees of Hare-Lip, Cleft Palate, Deaf- Mutism, and Congenital Cataract. 
Price 10s. 

Parts V and VI (double part) contains pedigrees of Haemophilia. Price 15s. net. 

Part VII will be ready shortly and will contain pedigrees of Dwarfs. 

The subscription to each set of four parts is 24s., and all communications with regard 
to pedigree contributions should be sent to : The Editors, Treasury of Human Inheritance, 
Eugenics Laboratoiy, University College, London, W.C. Subscriptions should be made payable 
to Miss Ethel M. Elderton, at the above address. 

Single p--'- '' ' ' "" n.,.«,«iB™»™™.-,. ^ ^ , -^ ~ - - ^ don, W., 

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#i]braini af 




y?V)^s \H 



Australian Albino. 


Normal Australian Native, Workii Tribe, 
Gilbert River, Queensland. 

This and our frontispiece are from pliotographs by Messrs Kerry 
and Co., Sydney. Reproduced Ijy kind permission of Messrs Kerry 
and Co. and Messrs Hutcliinson and Co. (Living Races of Man, 
Vol. I. p. 6i). See our pp. 101-2. 









C. H. USHER, M.B., B.C. CAMB. 



Issued to Subscribers only 




[All rights of reproduction reserved'] 

CatnbriSge : 





Australian Albino : see our pp. 101 — 2 ..... 

Normal Australian Native, Workii Tribe, Gilbert River, Queensland , to /ace 

PnovisiONAL Preface ............ 

Chapter 1. Introductory. .......... 

Chapter II. Early Notices of the Occurrence of Albinism . . . . 

Chapter III. Geographical Distribution of Albinism : 

Section I. The Light-skinned Races ........ 

Section II. Yellow and Red-skinned Races. Asiatics, Polynesians, Austra- 
lians and Americans ........ 

Section III. Albinism in Black-skinned Races ...... 

Notes to Chapter III : 

Addenda to Section I. European Albinos. 

Addenda to Section II. Albinism in China 

Addenda to Section III. Negro Albinism . 

Chapter IV. The Albinotic Skin (Historical and Theoretical) 

Chapter V. Leucoderma ....... 



Chapter VI. Partial Albinism : 

A. Piebalds ' . . 

B. Spotlings .......... 

Appendix to Chapter VI. Report by W. Bulloch, M.D., on the Penis and 
Scrotum of a South African Native ..... 









TN issuing this first section of our monograph on albinism we have been guided by 
-*- two considerations. In the first place further delay might suggest that it would 
never appear at all, indeed such a suggestion has ah'eady done some harm, and in the 
second place the very great expenditure involved in its production has led us to issue 
our work in instalments. We are, perhaps, more conscious than any of our readers 
can be of the disadvantages of this step, but we cannot but believe that they are 
counterbalanced by positive gains. 

In regard to the first point, we feel that we ought to acknowledge, within 
a reasonable time, the invaluable assistance we have received from medical men 
and other friends in all parts of the world. Only owing to their kindness has it 
been possible to collect such a mass of illustrative data, anthropological and physio- 
logical, as is provided in this section of our work. Further, we hope the appearance 
of this section will to some extent direct inquiry into the channels where we believe 
from our experience that observation and research will be most profitable. There 
is much yet to be learnt with regard to albinism in all its forms, and although 
we have spent many years over this monograph, we acknowledge that the amount to 
be learnt by both observation and experiment is far in excess of what we have 
been able to place before the reader. 

In the second place the great expense involved in the production of this volume 
is one that we can only endeavour to meet in relays. The main charge has fallen on 
the funds placed at the disposal of the Department of Applied Mathematics at 
University College, London, by the Worshipful Company of Drapers; a further 
contribution to the expense of drawing the pedigree plates was made from the 
Treasury Grant for Research to the University Colleges ; finally, a sum only slightly 
less than the total of these has been provided by the authors themselves, towards the 
cost of illustration. It is with a view to providing funds for the further printing of 
the monograph, that this section is now published. It will be issued solely to 
subscribers, who are willing to take the remaining sections on their appearance. 


These remaining sections are in an advanced state. The chapters on the Albinotic 
Eye in Man, on the Albinotic Hair in Man, on the Albinotic Eye and Hair in Animals 
are all ready for press. The chapters on the correlation between albinism and 
other defects, on heredity of albinism, and on the statistics of albinism are practically 
ready. The whole of the Appendices containing the detailed descriptions of albinotic 
families, the bibliography of albinism and the third section of the Atlas containing 
fifty-four plates with more than 650 pedigrees are printed off. The second section of 
the Atlas containing the coloured plates, maps, etc. is also ready. We are thei-efore 
fairly confident that the final issue can be made in the course of 1911. 

The sections now issued embrace : (i) Introductory Chapter, (ii) Early Historical 
Notices, (iii) The Geographical Distribution of Albinism, (iv) The Albinotic Skin, 
(v) Leucoderma, and (vi) Partial Albinism, Piebalds. We are very conscious of how 
much in these chapters depends for confirmation on what is already written, but 
not yet issued. We refer repeatedly to later chapters, or to individual family 
pedigrees or to our bibliography. The circumstances under which this part is issued 
render these defects unavoidable ; we can only ask our readers to assist us in 
hastening forward the work by obtaining additional subscribers. 

In issuing the first part of the Atlas, namely, photographic Plates A — Z 
and AA — ZZ with this section, we are fully aware that the reader will find no 
reference to certain of the photographs — notably those of animals — in the present 
section ; they are fully discussed in later chapters, and their presence in the first part 
of the Atlas is merely to maintain the order of plate-lettering, a lettering which has 
been adopted in the course of the five years or more during which the work has been 
in progress. The final section of the monograph will comprise not only a complete 
name, place and subject index, but a complete list of the 120 plates which will 
accompany the work. 

It is necessary to give here some indication of the relative shares taken by the 
three authors in this memoir. The scheme originated with K. Pearson who, soon 
after initiating the work, proposed to E. Nettleship that he should assist In collecting 
albino family histories. The work rapidly grew in extent and scope, and the large 
number of contributions made by C. H. Usher to the stock of family pedigrees as 
well as the albinotic data gathered by him in his voyage to the East, led to his early 
association with the original scheme. The proofs of all parts of the present section 
have been seen by the joint author's ; the labour of composition had to be performed 
by one of them (Karl Pearson), although in some instances it only amounted to 
overwriting what had been contributed by his colleagues or other friends and helpers 
in order to bring the material to a more homogeneous whole. As the monograph 


stands now, K. Pearson is chiefly responsible for tlie final form of Chapters I, II, 
IV, V and VI, although E. Nettleship collected much of the original material of 
Chapter VI. In Chapter III there is a greater division of responsibility, K. Pearson 
being more responsible for the historical portions, and C. H. Usher for the sections 
on albinism in the Pacific. In the remainder of the work, E. Nettleship with the 
assistance of Mr George Coats deals with the eye, K. Pearson with the assistance 
of Dr F. H. Scott and Miss E. V. Thompson with the hair, and E. Nettleship and 
C. H. Usher with the eye and partly with the coat in animal albinos. 

Beside the innumerable helpers whose contributions are acknowledged on almost 
every page of the geographical chapter, we have specially to record the splendid work 
done by Miss Joan Kingsford and Miss Kathleen V. Ptyley in drawing up the pedigree 
plates, and by Miss Amy Barrington and Julia Bell in abstracting and dis- 
covering references to albinism by a great variety of unexpected authors and in many 
obscure journals. 


December, 1910. 


p. 48. Persian Albinos. Dr E. N. MacBean Ross in a letter of October 20, 1910, to K. Pearson 
from Dehkurd, Persia, states that after inquiry from European doctors, native hakims, and among harem 
ladies, he has not been able to come across anyone who has seen or heard of a Persian albino. 

P. 144. Mozambique. Jean Mooquet, in his Voyages en Afrique, Asie, Indes orientales et 
occidentales, Rouen, 1645, Book iv. pp. 254 — 7, reports a case of a negro albino. Full details will be 
found in our Extra Pedigrees, Appendix A. 

P. 187. Meirowshy's Conclusions. Since our chapter on the Albinotic Skin was printed off, 
Meirowsky's results have been criticised by Jager. In " Die Entstehung des Melaninfarbstoffs " 
(Virchows Archiv, Bd. 198, S. 62 — 92) he devotes S. 81 — 85 to Meirowsky's views. He considers that 
Meirowsky's pigment from a pyrenoid substance was a fat and not a melanin pigment, but apparently 
(S. 84) allows that the Finsen rays will produce melanin pigment in the cytoplasm. Meirowsky 
("Kritisches zur Melaninfrage," Virchows Archiv, Bd. 199, S. 561 — 6) replies to Jager, maintaining 
the albumenoid as opposed to the fatty nature of his pyrenoid substance. A rejoinder by Jager will 
be found on S. 567 — 70 of the same volume of the Archiv. 

P. 188. Several cases of leucoderma have been treated by Dr Sequeira with Finsen light, but he was 
not able to effect any macroscopic change in the defect of pigment. 

P. 200. A further case of recovery of pigment in leucoderma has been reported by E. Roberts 
("Notes on a Case of Vitiligo," Journal of Cei/loii Bratich of British Medical Association, Vol. li. pp. 39, 
40, Colombo, 1905). The patient was a Singhalese girl of 17 years, who lived at Moratuwa. A maternal 
uncle suffered also from the same disease. In this case the ears were white, there were broad white rings 
round the eyes, lower lip reddish white, and white patches on head, trunk and limbs ; the forearms and 
hands from the elbows downwards were quite white and the legs and feet were very nearly in the same 
condition. The hair on leucotic patches was black. After 14 months the girl was so restored, that she 
became marriageable, and she is now the mother of several children, and only a few isolated leucotic 
patches are left. The author attributes the change to special treatment which he describes at length ; he 
believes the disease to be associated with dyspepsia. Two illustrations show the marked restoration of 


By Karl Pearson, E. Nettleship and C. H. Usher. 



The object of the present memoii- is to give some account of Albinism in Man. 
Its scope is not only historical and bibliographical ; we wish further to put before the 
reader a considerable mass of new material which has been directly collected for the 
purposes of this inquiry and which is, we believe, more ample than any yet provided. 
It allows for the first time of statistical conclusions being drawn as to the nature and 
heredity of albinism. As far as we are aware no very full treatment of the subject 
has been undertaken since the classical memoirs of Cornaz', and these, while they 
provide very full references to the albinotic literature at his date, are now half a 
century old, and the new material then contained in them, while very full for the 
cases with which Cornaz dealt, is limited to but two or three stocks. A more 
numerous series of families has been considered by Arcoleo", but beyond the state- 
ment that the parents were in all cases normal, Arcoleo's memoir deals simply with 
the sibship^ of the albino, and leaves unconsidered the family history of albinism in 
other ascendants, descendants and collaterals, a history, which we have almost in- 
variably discovered, where it has been possible to trace the stock with any degree of 
genealogical fulness. Beyond these memoirs sections occur in medical works dealing 
with the subject, but adding little to the scattered material published during the last 
150 years in various scientific and other journals. This material has not, we believe, 
been hitherto collected and standardised. An attempt has been made to do this in the 
present work, but we lay minor stress on this part of our data, because the value of 
the published cases is very unequal, and the family history in many of them smgularly 
incomplete. The reporters m most cases either had not the leisure or the inclination 
to pursue a lengthy enquiry of a genealogical character, and only those who have 
endeavoured to follow up with some completeness even a single pathological stock will 
grasp the amount of patience, correspondence and careful sifting required in a matter 
of this kind. It is a sense of the great labour involved in such inquiries which makes 

' See Bibliography, Nos. 245, 249, 250, 256. = Bibl. Nos. 315, 321. 

' Throughout this monograph, sibship will be the term used for a group of brothers and sisters, and 
siblings for its members, when no regard is paid to sex. 

K. P. 1 


us especially grateful to those ophthalmic surgeons and medical men who have pro- 
vided us in many cases with complete family histories. Their readiness to investigate, 
to answer further inquiries, to verify individual points and follow up faint clues has 
given peculiar value to much of the new material here published, and convinced the 
authors how widespread is the tendency in the medical profession to appreciate the 
importance to their own and other branches of science of the modern study of inherit- 
ance. Not less gratitude also do we bear to those normal and suffering: members of 
albinotic stocks, who occasionally with some reluctance and pain have communicated 
to us for the sake of science facts which it would have been difficult to ascertain, or to 
ascertain with any certainty, from other channels. In such matters we can hardly 
hope for completeness or absolute accuracy ; facts have often to be extracted from the 
very ignorant, or even in the case of cultured stocks from members who have hitherto 
felt no interest in family history. Again in the case of pathological defect there is 
always a tendency to minimise or screen the actual taint or correlated abnormalities. 
Thus even up to going to press we have found it needful to add to or correct some of 
our pedigrees. But such corrections affect as a rule minor points, and we have used 
all the means in our power by aid of duplicated inquiries, and indirect cross-examina- 
tion to insure accuracy in our results. We cannot, of course, be certain that some 
slips and inaccuracies may not have survived ; all we can assert is that the best that 
lay in our power has been done, and we have faith that the new material of our family 
histories is as complete and correct as it is possible at the present time for such 
a series to be, and that average statistical results drawn from it may be trusted with 
full confidence. 

When we turn to published matter the weight we give must of course be i^ropor- 
tioned to the authority of the writer, the date at which he wrote, and the object of 
his communication. Many, even fairly early, accounts are clearly written with know- 
ledge and caution, of others this can hardly be asserted ; but even in the best the 
desire to fully describe a rather noteworthy abnormality predominates over the 
curiosity as to a complete family record. A great deal of the earlier interest in 
albinism arose from the importation into Europe of albinotic negroes, and in such 
cases, as well as in the reported slave cases in America, but little could be actually 
ascertained as to family history. Even a good deal of the excitement their appearance 
produced was undoubtedly due to theological reasons, and the confirmation they were 
supposed to give to an original white parent for the whole human race\ Further, in a 
great number of the early cases of so-called partial or pied albinism in negroes we find 
that the congenital condition is not carefully distinguished from acquired leucoderma. 
There is in addition not always certainty as to the complete absence of white blood. 

^ Adam and Eve being a priori assumed to be white ; the white negro was looked upon as a reversion 
to ancestral stock, the occurrence of a black from white stock not being an occasional experience. It is 
curious to find a modern anthropologist (Bibl. No. 381) taking up the opposite view and asserting that the 
white races are, like albinos, an abnormality, and due to a pathological variation arising in central 
European swamps! See also Maupertuis, Bibl. No. 58, p. 115; P. de la Coudriniere, Bibl. No. 91, 
p. 403, and Demanet, Bibl. No. 71, T. n., p. 208. 


We have accordingly thought it best to deal in separate sections, not only with the 
small and remarkable group of pied negroes, but also with our albinotic negro data. 

Definition atid Classification of Albinism. This leads us at once to the 
fundamental inquiry : How is albinism in man to be defined, and is the condition 
to be considered as a homogeneous and invariable state, or must we form several 
categories ? The matter is one of much greater difficulty than appears at first sight. 
It might seem easy to define albinism as the complete congenital absence of pigment 
from all parts of the human body. But it would be extremely hard, perhaps 
impossible, to make use of such a definition in classification. It is practically im- 
possible to test the complete absence of pigment from the eye without microscopic 
examination of sections of the iris, choroid and retina, and it may even be doubted 
whether the same remark does not apply to the hair. Thus we know of four modern^ 
cases at least in which sections of an albinotic eye have been microscopically examined. 
The first of these cases is due to Manzl He states that the eye condition and hair 
colour were such that the woman, whose eyes were examined, must be classed as an 
albino. She had further red pupils and suffered from photophobia. There is small 
doubt that she would in any such investigation as the present have been classed as a 
complete albino, although a certain degree of pigmentation of the pigment epithelium 
was present. The tissue of the iris, choroid and cihary body was absolutely devoid of 
pigment, and even the brown pigment of the epithelium was so scanty as to permit 
the nuclei to be seen, whilst in some parts uncoloured protoplasm could be seen 
between the granules of pigment. 

In a second case' one of our number (Nettleship) examined sections (made by 
Mr Kenneth Scott) of the sector of iris removed during extraction of cataract from 
an old gentleman (Pedigree, Fig. 2, Plate I) who was universally recognised as 
completely albinotic. "In this specimen not only the iris itself, but its posterior 
epithehum, so far as it is present, is absolutely devoid of any trace of pigment, and 
the nuclei of the cells are in consequence seen with the same ease as in any other 
colourless tissues." Here the albinism appears to have been complete, although we 
have only the evidence available from a small piece of iris ; his hair was, and is said 
always to have been, as white as silver. 

The two remaining cases are due to Usher, who obtained specimens from two 

1 There is also one case from the 18th century. Buzzi (Bibl. No. 95) dissected the eyes of an 
albino. The irides were colourless and pupils rose colour. Both eyes were entirely deprived of " the black 
membrane termed the uvea "; it did not exist either behind iris or under retina. One saw in the eye only 
an extremely thin choroid of a pale red tint, due to "vessels filled with discoloured blood." Specimens of 
skin from various parts of the body seemed deprived of "corps muqueux." Maceration showed them 
nowhere, not even on the sides of the abdomen, " where they are usually most abundant and most visible." 
Buzzi attributes the absence of colour in both skin and hair to this want of " corps muqueux." De Saussure 
notes the absence of the uvea in the Angora rabbit, when commenting on Buzzi (Bibl. No. 88). It may 
be doubtful, however, whether Buzzi would have been able to detect the pigment discovered by modern 
microscopic methods, and his statement as to the uvea is probably inexact. 

-" Bibl. No. 3.57. 

3 Bibl. No. 543, p. 248, and Chapter on the Albinotic Eye for a fuller discussion. 



albino old men, and the results are also described by Nettlesliip in his Note on some 
Varieties of Albinism^. We read : 

" One of these (B), aet. 67, died of heart failure a few weeks after a successful 
operation for cataract in June, 1905. His hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes were white 
as they had always been, and when light was thrown on the sclerotic a marked red 
reflex was returned through the pupil and through large areas of the iris, in fact he 
seemed to be completely albinotic. Yet on microscopic examination of sections of the 
iris and choroid Usher found a good deal of brown pigment in both layers of the 
epithehum on the back of the u'is, though not enough to prevent the nuclei bemg well 
seen ; also in that of the ciliary body, and some, but decidedly less, in the retinal 
pigment epithelium at the fundus. No trace of pigment could be found in the proper 
structure of the iris, ciliary body, and most anterior part of the choroid near the ora 
serrata ; but there was a very scanty though quite evident brown pigmentation of 
some of the choroidal cells, especially of those of the supra-choroidea at the posterior 
part of the globe, and this was somewhat more marked near the yellow spot than 

Now it will be clear from this account that there might be even much less 
pigment than Usher found in this case, and still a failure to attain to that complete 
albinism which the suggested definition requires. Indeed without the most searching 
microscopic examination, which in most cases could only take place after death, we 
could not be certain that the albinism, even for the eye alone, was complete. Such a 
definition it is impossible to adopt for the cases recorded as complete albinism in our 
family records^ We doubt indeed whether any such searching definition has been 
applied in the case of most species of albinotic animals — an albinotic mouse is one 
with white hah and pink eyes — and a closer investigation has usually not been 
attempted. As indicated by Usher, an ophthalmoscopic investigation is in itself not 
sufficient to give evidence as to the completeness of the albinisml 

^ Bibl. No. 543, p. 248. See for fuller details our Plate a and the Chapter on the Eye. 

° Mr Jonathan Hutchinson writes (Bibl. No. 494) : " In the human race we certainly have, what I 
do not think are ever observed in the lower animals, incomplete albinos in the sense that the pigment 
failure is universal, including the eye, but nowhere quite complete." 

In the above statement as to lower animals, Mr Hutchinson must have forgotten an earlier note of 
his own in which he quotes several cases of complete and others of incomplete albinism in thrushes from 
Morris's British Birds, Vol. in. p. 63. See his paper, "Albinism as a family peculiarity," Archives of 
Surgery, Vol. ix. p. 285, 1898. As a matter of fact generally incomplete albinism can occur in mammals 
and birds, and will be discussed later. It might even be suggested that albinism is often incomplete when 
the result of "natural" crossings such as occur among wild animals and in human matings, but that it can 
be made complete by artificial breeding between albinotic parents. 

' The appearance of the albinotic fundus oculi is well known and depends upon the deficiency of 
pigment in the choroid and retinal epithelium ; the result is that the white sclerotic, which in pigmented 
eyes is invisible, comes into view between the innumerable ramifications of the visible blood vessels of the 
choroid. In the region of the yellow spot at the posterior pole of the eye, the choroidal vessels are so 
extremely numerous and fine that no spaces can be seen under the magnifying power available with the 
ophthalmoscope, and this part of the fundus therefore usually appears of an almost uniform bright red 
even in completely albinotic eyes. These features are shown in Taf. IV. Fig. 28 of Jaeger's well-known 
Ophthalmoscopischer Handatlas, Wien, 1869, side by side with illustrations from blond and brown eyes. 


In Usher's second case, described as an albino old man, whose eyes were 
typically albinotic and hair light, the sections of the iris showed a similar condition 
to those of the first case. 

The above will, we think, be sufficient to indicate that the eye of an albino may 
present all the features of the typical albino, red pupils, characteristic iris, nystao-mus 
and photophobia, and yet on microscopic examination show the presence of some 
pigment. No examination on the living would probably suffice to indicate its 
presence. Further, there are facts indicating that the pigmentation of the eye can 
increase with age, such cases having been noted for the eyes of albinos by Ascherson', 
Meyer', Usher', and others'. Thus if we deal with the eyes alone we see that our test 
of complete albinism becomes as a rule impossible, and if applied at different periods 
of life might lead to different classifications. At the same time the change in the 
appearance of the eye may not be wholly due to the belated formation of pigment ; 
as Manz has indicated, a thickening of the iris may also be a source of apparent 

Turning to the hair (see our Chapter on the Albino Hair) we find that not only 
may the hair of visibly complete albinos show ti-aces of pigmentation when examined 
microscopically, but that albinos, with characteristic eyes and skin, may show, and we 
might almost add generally do show, tinges of straw, yellow or even red towards the 
hair terminals. The yellow or red tinge of the hair is noted by most of those who 
have examined negro albinos, and probably occurs generally with albinos of dark races'. 
In such cases, as Dr Frederic has discovered, the microscopic examination shows a 
typical pigmentation". Something depends also in individual cases on the leno-th the 
hair is allowed to grow. Even when long and yellowish towards the tips, the hair 
may be ahnost quite white near the roots ; and in such cases, if it were kept 
habitually very short, it would be counted as quite white. Again there are well-, 
recorded cases of the visibly " white " hair of the typical albino becoming with ao-e 
yellowish or reddish. Thus we may note the case mentioned by Nettleship in which 
the hair "white" at birth became quite brown by the time puberty was reached", and 
the case referred to by Usher of two middle-aged brothers whose hair originally white 
is now yellow, and pupils oi-iginally pink are now almost blacks In the less recent 
literature we have other illustrations of the same sort of changes^ Several such 

Yet it is a noteworthy fact that in the case Jaeger used to represent the albinotic eye scattered 
" Pigmentpunkte " were, he states, distinctly evident in the neighbourhood of the macula lutea, and 
imparted to it a weak yellow-red colour. The nystagmus causes great difficulty in getting a wood 
drawing of an albinotic fundus as Frost observes at p. 17 of The Fundus Oculi with an Ophihalmoscopic 
Atlas (Young J. Pentland, 1896). Gueniot and Broca (Bibl. Nos. 294, 295) consider the source of the 
pinkness observed in the albinotic iris. 

' Bibl. No. 207. '- Bibl. No. 20i. ^ bj)-,] j^^,_ 543^ p_ 047. 

* Bibl. Nos. 285, 364, 365. The Abadie and Parenteau cases are probably of this character : see 
Bibl. No. 543. 

' See our sections on Albinos of Dark-skinned Races. " Bibl. No. 553. 

' Bibl. No. 543, p. 245. « gee our Fig. 60 and Bibl. No. 543, p. 247. 

' Cornaz, Bibl. No. 256, p. 383 ; also two additional cases referred to by his reviewer, Bibl. 
No. 256 (1856), p. 289. 


cases occur in our own material : see Figs. 120, 393, 445, 447 etc. We may cite the 
cases referred to by Graves' : 

"Last year Dr Ascherson informed me that he had seen a case of the after- 
development of the pigment of the eye in an albino boy three years old. This child 
had at its bu'th white hair and violet-coloured eyes with dark red pupils ; at the end 
of the third year its hair was light brown, and its eyes were blue, but they had still 
in a remarkable degree, though less so than before, that restlessness peculiar to 
albinos. This was the only case I ever heard of except that communicated by 
Michaelis in Blumenbach's Medicinische Bihliothek, Vol. iii. p. 679, which, however, 
only rests on the uncertain authority of some peasants. Singularly enough," says 
Dr Graves, " I had soon the good fortune to meet with a similar case myself. In my 
younger days there were two children, a brother and a sister, living near me, who 
presented such striking symptoms of leucosis in their eyes, hair and skin, that they 
were recognised as albinos even by non-medical persons. My attention was lately 
drawn to them by an advertisement in the papers in which their name occurred ; and 
I leai-ned that the brother had become a tobacconist ; but to my great astonishment, 
on going to see him, I found that his eyes had changed from violet to gray, and his 
hair from white to light brown, and that the susceptibility of the eyes to the light 
had greatly diminished." 

There appears accordingly little doubt that in certain cases, the frequency of 
which has not yet been properly ascertained, because it connotes following the life 
history of individual albinos, the amount of pigmentation in both eyes and hair may 
change with growth. Further that the existence of small amounts of pigment, only 
detected microscopically in eyes or hair, is not infrequent in those who would be 
generally classified as " complete albinos." 

When we turn to the skin, it is probable that a like state of affairs prevails, 
but it will be comparatively rarely that a complete examination can be made of the 
entire body. It is more possible in natives of other continents than our own, and in 
these cases it is very usvial to find that the albinos of native races, both on the 
evidence of observers and of photographs, have a mottled or speckled condition of 
skin, which may be slight but is sometimes very conspicuous ; it occui's wholly or 
markedly in adults : see our sections on the albinotic skin in dark races". It would 
certainly be of scientific value, if those who have the opportunity would make a 
careful inspection of the complete body surface of typical albinos, and if any pig- 
mented patches, however small, are found the observation of any change in them 
would be of great interest. 

Recent researches' of Lawford, Nettleship and Stephenson have shown that 
albinism of the eye can exist without albinism of hair or skin, and it appears probable 

' See Prichard, The Natural History of Man, 2nd Ed., 1845, p. 79 et seq. 

^ In this respect Fig. 41 (Flemming's Case) where a single black hair occurred, Fig. 57 (Usher's Case) 
■with a coloured mole. Fig. 142 (Jameson Evan's Case) with a brown sector on the grey iris of an incom- 
plete albino, and Fig. 10 (Usher's Case) with a single pigmented patch at the fundus of an albinotic eye 
are of special value. 

' Bibl. Nos. 412, 502, 531. 


that albinism of the hair, either complete or pax-tial, can exist without albinism 
of skin or eyes'. Cases of " white " hair and skin, but neither defective sight, " pink 
eyes" nor nystagmus have been noted". Again, cases of pigmentless skin with pig- 
mented hair and eyes appear to occur, although they are more likely to be remarked 
in natives than in Europeans^ Cases of partial albinism of the skin are difficult to 
distinguish from leucoderma, but when they are congenital and stationary it may be 
more proper to class them under albinism\ 

It would, we think, be difficult, however desirable it might be, to take as definition 
of complete albinism the total absence of pigment in eyes, hair and skin. The test 
cannot be applied, and for practical purposes we are reduced to the non- visibility of 
pigment in the parts of hair and skin accessible and the characteristic eyes of the 
class, red pupils and red, violet or grey iris^ nystagmus, photophobia and defective 
sight. But this albinotic condition, which once seen is hardly again mistakeable, is 
not incompatible with the existence of scanty pigmentation in either hair or eyes 
evidenced on microscopic examination. Nor is it possible to look upon it as a unit 
character of any kind ; it can exist alone in any one or two of the three features we 
have considered, and its intensity and extent in each one of these can vary considerably, 
and may possibly change with growth or age. The manner in which cases of incom- 
plete albinism are associated with complete albinism in certain stocks renders it 
a prio7'i difficult to conceive of albinism as a single unit character from the standpoint 
of inheritance, and for the purposes of tliis monograph no attempt has or could be 
made to define a complete albino as one devoid of pigment in eyes, hair and skin. A 
complete albino is for our present purposes one whose skin is of characteristic pallor or 
milky whiteness, whose hair is " white," tinged possibly with yellow or straw, and 
whose eyes have pink or red pupils, translucent irides", with the usual accompaniments 

' Bibl. No. 447. ^ See Fig. 22. ^ See our section on Native Albinos. 

' See our Plates I, J and K. One of the present writers has also a colleague, who states that the 
condition in his case was congenital and is stationary. See the discussion in our Chapter on the Skin. 

° Manz (Bibl. No. 387) is strongly of opinion that yray is the proper description for the albinotic iris. 
"Betrachtet man namlich eine solche Iris genau und in der Nahe, so ist dieselbe weder blaulich uoch roth, 
sondern besonders in ihrem mittleren Theil grau, weissgrau oder gelblichgrau, anders als was man 
gewohnlich ein graues Auge nennt. Ich halte diese Farbe fiir das Albinoauge fiir characterisch, und vor 
Allem fiir sehr verschieden von dem blauen Auge der Blonden. Der Unterschied liegt hier in der 
Pigmentirung der Uvea an der Riickseite der Iris, das Irisstroma ist bei beiden pigmentlos und kann die 
gleiche Dichtigkeit haben, allein schon das von dem Augenhintergrund zuriickkehrende Licht ist durch 
das pigmentirte Retinalepithel niodificirt und erzeugt, wie bekannt, durch Interferenz die blaue Farbe. 
Die Intensitat dieser Farbe hangt dann wieder vom Irisgewebe, und den Grau der Pigmentirung der 
Uvea ab." 

" These irides will be red if seen by light transmitted from the back of the eye (choroid), white or 
pale gray, if seen chiefly by light reflected from their own surface ; violet or some such colour if the eye be 
more or less shaded, and but little light be returned either from the back of the eye or from the surface of 
the iris. In this way we can reconcile the different terms used by various writers. Thus one observer 
describes the irides as red or reddish, another as rose or light violet, a third as gray or gray-violet. 
Maupertuis and Voltaire (Pedigree, Fig. 288) probably saw " two sides of the same shield," and the 
description of the latter as "aussi mauvais naturaliste que bon poete " on this account may well lack 


of defective vision, nystagmus and ametropia. Incomplete albinism involves all 
the cases in which these conditions are not completely present. It needs, however, 
considerable subdivision ; and further we are not prepared to assert that there exists 
any absolutely rigid division between visibly tested complete albinism and incomplete 
or partial albinism. The transition from one to the other is more or less gradual, and 
hardly two albinos can be asserted to have in exactly the same measure the character- 
istic albino qualities. 

Geoifroy Saint Hilaire' insisted, possibly for the first time, on the distinction 
between : (i) Perfect Albinism, (ii) Partial Albinism, and (iii) Imperfect Albinism. 
His description of perfect albinism is of considerable interest and may be cited here : 

" La peau et tous les polls sont en effet d'un blanc de lait, quelquefois d'un blanc 
jaun^tre. L'iris et la choroide sont de meme que la peau, privees entierement, ou 
presque entierement, de matiere colorante ; aussi l'iris est-elle ordinairement rose au 
rouge, quelquefois aussi bleuatre, d'une gi'is pale, ou jaunatre. La pupille elle-meme 
au lieu de paraltre noire, est d'un rouge eclatant, peu different de la couleur du feu " 
(p. 300). 

The words italicised are so marked by us in order to indicate that Saint Hilaire 
recognised that it was not possible to define perfect albinism as a state wholly devoid 
of pigment. He also realised that the appearance of the eyes in the class was not 
wholly unique. He even suspected that imperfect albinism was probably more 
frequent than had been allowed, — he considered that perfect albinism is most common 
because it strikes observers most and " observers are so careless." 

Now that we realise how skin, eyes or hair may alone show perfect albinism, 
Saint Hilaire's three classes seem insufficient for classification. We need not only to 
signify that the albinism is perfect or imperfect in any one of the three characters, 
skin, hair, eyes (with finer analysis even other things may be dealt with"), but we 
require to ascertain whether it a^jplies to all three characters. We may have perfect 
albinism of the eyes accompanied by imperfect or even wholly absent albinism of the 
hair. When the albinism applies to all characters we shall speak of it as complete ; 
otherwise it is incomplete. Further, one of the letters, H = hair, £! = eyes, S = skin 
may be used after incomplete perfect albinism to mark the chai'acter or characters in 
which the albinism is perfect. Imperfect with regard to any character will mean that 
there is some defect from the full albinotic condition. The particular character in 
which this defect occurs may be marked by using a small letter instead of a capital. 
Thus complete imperfect albinism {H, S, e) would signify that the albinism was 
peculiar to all the characters, hair, skin and eyes, but that the eye had some defect 
from the full albinotic condition, for example, had some visible trace of pigment and 
little or no defect of sight. 

Lastly, while the albinism may be perfect in all the characters, as far as it 
extends, it may be local. For example, portions only of the skin may be devoid of 

' 1832, Bibl. No. 203. 

- E.g. lungs, bronchial glands, suprarenals, and pigmented centres of the brain ought to be 
considered. It is conceivable that albinism of such or other organs may exist and be correlated in 
a hitherto unrecognised manner with pathological defects. 


pigment' ; a localised portion of the hair only may be pure white" ; it is conceivable, 
altliough we know at present of no such case, that one eye only might present 
the albinotic characters. Such cases will be spoken of as Partial Albinism. We 
shall mark the particular character for which the albinotic appearance is only partial 
by the presence of a bar over the small letter. Thus partial albinism {H, E, s) 
would signify perfect albinism of hair and eyes, but a piebald skin, showing only local 
absence of pigment. In suggesting this classification of albinism which is rather more 
complete than that of Saint Hilaire, we are fully aware how liable to misinterpreta- 
tion a classification of any kind may be. Such gi-oupings are definite enough in 
theory, but in practice doubtful transitional cases are always occurring, and our 
experience leads us to believe that this is as often true in albinism as in other 
abnormal conditions. Albinism is not in our opinion a single narrowly-defined condi- 
tion, which exists or does not exist in an individual. The frequency of the individual 
sub-classes, and the degree of intensity even within these sub-classes, are points which 
require very careful consideration ; it is only comparatively recently that trained 
observers have turned their attention to the collection of these cases of incomplete 
and imperfect albinism. 

In some human races there is normally enough pigment in hair, skin and irides 
to make any considerable deficiency very conspicuous, and the detection of the various 
grades of albinism easy. But in races that are normally very fair the difiiculty in 
drawing the line between extreme blondness and albinism is much increased. Atten- 
tion in this respect was drawn by Phoebus many years ago to the case of the Frisians, 
and Dr Meyerhof, now of Cairo, but belonging to Hanover, informs us that in East 
Friesland white hair, white skin and light blue irides, combined with good sight, is very 
common, and he speaks of this as " incomplete albinism." A somewhat similar remark 
may be made for some parts of Norway or even England, especially if the attention be 
confined to children ; in many, though not in all, of these " white-haired " children, 
the hair turns to various shades of brown after puberty. In the present state of our 
knowledge, the one safe diagnostic test of albinism is furnished by the eyes. When 
visual acuity is full and the eyes steady opinions might differ as to the classification 
of a person with white hair and skin, especially if he belonged to a normally very fair 
race. But if the same person had defective vision and nystagmus, no one would 
hesitate to call him an albino, even though there might be enough pigment on the 
back of the iris and ciliary processes to prevent the pupil from being red ; the assump- 
tion being that the pigment in the posterior part of the eye was so scanty as to be 
incompatible with normal sight. 

The data collected in this monograph will illustrate how difficult it is at present 
to grade the various types of albinism and how relatively frequent imperfect and 
partial albinism is in what we may venture to tei'm "albinotic stocks." Even in 
what we have classed as " complete perfect albinism " we are forced to admit 

' See the section below on Partial Albinism (Piebalds). 

- There are not infrequent cases on recoi'cl, and the condition appears to be inherited. See our 
Pigs. 491, 529. 


graduations \ shading down to what other observers might possibly term "complete 
imperfect albinism." Even in cases which probably ninety-nine competent ob- 
server's out of the hundred would class as " complete perfect albinism," we must 
bear in mind the words of Saint Hilaire, " jjrivees entierement, ou presqiie 
entierement de matiere colorante," and recollect that 2^ost mortem microscopic 
examination can alone determine that total absence of pigmentation which some 
have taken as a definition of albinism in man. If such a definition be needful 
to test any special theory of inheritance, then it is, we think, clear that albinism 
in man cannot be used practically to test that theory". 

' De Saussure (Bibl. No. 88) held that " cette maladie comme dans le cr^tinisme " has " des degres 
differens," 1785. Manz (Bibl. No. 357, p. 150), referring to the omission of writers to record imperfect 
cases, remarks " doch haben gerade die hierzu gehorigen FiiUe vielleicht eine ganz besondere phylogeuetische 

- Frauenfeld* has suggested (with every reservation as to the difficulty of drawing rigid class 
differentiation and marked emphasis on possible physiological diversity of origin) the following classifica- 
tion of pigmentation defects and variations, which seems to us not without value and suggestiveness : 

(1) Leticochroism. Complete albinism, marked by red pupils t. Can be pi-opagated in mammals. 
Knowledge as to birds limited because albinos in the domesticated varieties are very rare. 

(2) Chlorochroism. The marking remains unaltered, but the pigmentation is as a whole faint, pale, 
indistinct (= bleichsiichtiges Kleid). Usually accompanied by a weaker constitution (?). Frauenfeld 
draws attention to the fact that there is no rigid line between (1) and (2) except for the red pupils. The 
colouring can become so faint, that only the marking remains, and this can often be traced in the 
complete albino if the light incidence be sufficiently oblique. Even the red pupil frequently cannot be 
settled without like oblique illumination, and the case of man shows us that it is a relative term. 

(3) Geraioehroism. Loss of pigment with age ; white spots appear and sometimes extend with 
successive moults. 

(4) Climatochroism. Change of pigment with climate, whether the change be in brightness, extent 
or intensity, whether it be total or peculiar to certain parts. Lepus variahiUs is a member of this class, 
but Frauenfeld refers to cases of birds whose plumage was observed to grow whiter when caged. 

(5) Allochroism. This heading covers, as Frauenfeld admits, imperfectly, a number of cases of 
abnormal pigmentation, whether found occasionally in wild life, or actually bred among the domesticated 
races — for example white, but not truly albinotic varieties. As sub-classes are mentioned : 

(a) Protochroism. A greater and greater absence of the pencillings or markings, so that ultimately 
we reach the simple ground colour without any reduction in its intensity. 

(b) Parachroism. Appearance of colours not peculiar to the normal individual in the markings or 

(c) MelanocJiroism = Melanism, the rare occurrence of pure black in a normally non-l^lack race. 

(d) Augochroism. Frauenfeld includes under this head an appearance he has noted, rarely in birds, 
more often in insects. Their own peculiar, or a new colour spreads fairly extensively over their body 
covering, as a misty sheen, sometimes witli almost a metallic gleam. 

(e) Synchroism. We believe Frauenfeld understands by this term, the reduction to a single 
colour, other than the normal body colour or black (protochroism or melanochroism), usually in a normally 
variegated individual. 

In the case of man leucochroism and geraioehroism of course appear ; chlorochroism may possibly be 
compared with extreme blondism ; climatochroism will probably be recorded when more careful observations 

* See Bibl. No. 579\ 

t Frauenfeld considers that albinos are markedly weaker than normally pigmented individuals of the same race. 
Reliable data for ferrets, rabbits, rats and mice on this point however are at present wanting. 



While popular interest in albinism became very marked at the end of the 
eighteenth centmy, owing to the bringing to Europe of albinotic and pied neoroes, 
we find a fairly frequent reference to it in the writings of the mediaeval travellers, 
and rather more sparse indications in early and late classical authors. We shall 
consider some of these in the present chapter. 

One of the most persistent traditions we find throughout the history of the 
subject is the statement that there has existed somewhere at some time an albinotic 
tribe, race, or even nation. This assertion is so illusive and yet so undying that it is 
peculiarly tantalising to the scientist, who desires above all things to record the 
results in the case of man of crossing albino with albino. Sometimes the albino race 
is in Africa, e.g. in the Sudan, Loango or elsewhere ; then it has existed in Albania, in 
Ceylon, in India. It is reported from Brazil, from the central American regions, and 
most recently in the "forest country back of Cape Cod" in New England. But 
when we turn to the reports of the more credible travellers the local race appears to 
consist in the greater or less frequency of isolated albinos, probably (as our own data 
show) existing largely in special stocks. Whether in certain places and at certain 
times there have been albino intermarriages — either of free individuals or between 
slaves as the caprice of chief or king — it is difficult to determine. Such marriages 
would almost certainly emphasise the albino frequency and would give rise to various 
traditions. Their importance to the inquirer would be enormous, but so far we have 
not been able to discover any reliable evidence for there now existing or there ever 
having existed a pure tribe or clan, much less a race, of human albinos. 

PHny, Mela and Ptolemy all refer to the Leucaethiopes, but they give no 
description of the people thus designated. Pliny in his Lib. v. cap. 8, Hist. Natur. 
writes : Interiori autem ambitu Africae ad meridiem versus superque Gaetulos, inter- 
venientibus desertis, primi omnium Libyaegyptii, deinde Leucaethiopes habitant. 

Pomponius Mela, Be situ orbis, Lib. i. cap. 4, is somewhat more explicit : At 
super ea quae Libyco mari abluuntur, Libyes Aegypti sunt, et Leucoaethiopes, et natio 
frequens multiplexque Gaetuli. For Mela the Leucaethiopes appear to be between 
the Troglodytes and the Nile, scarcely in Western Africa. 

Agathemenos retires again behind those convenient intervening deserts, and 
merely says that west of Egypt are situated among other nations the Aeu/cat^toTj-es. 
De geographia, Lib. ii. cap. 5. 

Ptolemy, Geographiae, Lib. iv. cap. 16 (ed. Niirnberg, 1535, p. 77) describes 

are made on the eflect of climate on human hair and skin pigmentation. Allochroism appears in 
human piebalds, and probably the xanthous negro would most closely fit the idea in synchroism. As we 
shall see below, no trustworthy case of congenital melanism has been recorded in man. Protochroism and 
augoehroism seem to have no application to him. 



Libya and says : Et sub Ryssadio monte Leucaethiopes. To judge by the map of this 
work which accompanies the Nilrnberg edition, the Mons Ryssadius was on the 
equatoi" near the west coast of Africa. 

Now it is quite possible that a relatively light race of negroes or " white Moors," 
struck the fancy of some early traveller and so obtained a footing in all the early 
geographical works. There is a great range of colour from cafe au lait to black in 
Africa, and there is absolutely no need to suppose the Leucaethiopes were albinotic. 
Not till the name is applied to the albinotic negroes, who appeared in the seventeenth 
century, do we find any reference to white hau' or defective sight associated with this 
tribe or race of " white Moors." 

On the other hand the Albanian tradition points much more definitely to the 
existence of definite albinotic individuals, though not necessarily to an albinotic race. 
Thus Pliny writes {Hist. Nat., Lib. vii. cap. 2)' : Idem (Isigonus Nicaeensis) in Albania 
gigni quosdam glauca oculorum acie, e pueritia statim canos, qui noctu plusquam 
interdiu cernant. Here briefly we have the eye colour, white hair and photophobia 
of albinos recognised. 

Aulus Gellius, Nodes Atticae, Lib. ix. cap. 4, has the same tale slightly 
modified : In ultima quadam terra, quae Albania dicitur, gigni homines qui in pueritia 
canescunt, et plus cernunt oculis per noctem, quam inter diem. 

Lastly Solinus says of the Albanians : Albo crine nascuntur, canitiem habent 
auspicium capillorum ; ergo capitis color genti nomen dedit : glauca oculis inest 
pupula; ideo nocte plus quam die cernunt. Poh/historia, 1689, cap. 15, p. 25. 

These three witnesses are not independent, but they sufiice to show, far more 
markedly than the Leucaethiopic tradition, that albinism could hardly have been 
widely spread in Europe in early days, or its appearance in a certain district would 
scarcely have excited such considerable interest". 

The tradition of the Leucaethiopes may, as we have seen, have arisen from the 
existence of a race of fair Moors. There is, as is well known, a great range of colour 
in the negro, especially towards the north of Africa. Pruner Bey (Bibl. No. 273, 
pp. 307 — 311) notes the great variation in the colour of the negro. Burton has 
remarked on the same phenomenon, especially on coffee-coloured negroes (Bibl. 

' Eble gives Lib. viu. cap. 2, which reference has been followed by later writers, e.g. Lagleyze (Bibl. 
No. 552, pp. 63, 111). There is nothing, however, bearing on albinism there. 

- The name "Albanian" in connection with albino occurs in English use in 1632. Bostock (Bibl. 
No. 209, p. 87) quotes an epitaph on an albino child from the church of Worsborough in Yorkshire- 
Thomas, son of Ric. Elmhurst by Margaret his wife, daughter of Ric. ]Micklethwaite, whose promising 

parts were interrupted by an early death "This boy no Albian was, yet gray-haired borne. Who saw 

old age and night as soon as morne," etc. ...It is just conceivable that the classical tradition of the 
" Albian " led the Portuguese to the adoption of the word albino. Holland, the English translator of 
Pliny's History (London, 1635), speaks in his inde.x to Vol. i. of " Albanes, peopled eied like ovvles, alwaies 
gray headed, and see better by night than day," and he translates : "That in Albanie there be a sort of 
people borne with eies like owles, whereof the sight is fire red : who from their childhood are grey headed, 
and can see better by night tlian day." What justification he had for this version we do not know, but 
he has made the "Albanes" very close to the albinos, a type with which he, as a doctor of medicine, was 
probably familiar. 


No. 293, p. 56). Collignon (Bibl. No. 449, p. 725) notes the existence of negroes 
relatively wliite in the i^egion of the Congo. It may not therefore be mere mis- 
interpretation of words, but an indication of a physiological fact when we find 
considerable evidence of true albinism in the negroes of not widely removed districts. 
Thus Isaacus Vossius (Bibl. No. 29, pp. 67 — 69, De Leucoaethiopibus ultra Nili 
fontes versus Austrum habitantibus) in 1666 gives an exceedingly interesting account 
of the albinotic knowledge of his time, tacking on true albinism to the tradition of 
the albinotic race, and to the African districts where albinism seemed to be more or 
less endemic'. Clearly we see in Vossius the "white Moor" race disappearing" 
before a clearer conception of the true albino, but we may possibly see also a clue to 
the tradition of the ancients. 

Ludolf, writing 30 years later {Hist. Aethiop. Comment., Franc. 1691, Lib. i. 
cap. 14, p. 197), refers again to the albinos at the court of the King of Loango, and 
attributes the first use of the term albino to Tellez (see Bibl, No. 27). Another 
reference we have found to the Loango cases is in De la Croix {Relation de I'Afrique, 
Lyon, 1688, Par. iii., liv. sect, ii., § 13). He says that other negroes avoid albinos as 
monsters', but that they form a considerable body of attendants at the court of the 

- The passage deserves quotation in full : Albos vero Aethiopes, sive Leucoaethiopes, uti a veteribus 
vocantur, non tantum in praedictis regnis ultra Nili fontes austrum versus sitis, sed et passim in medi- 
terraneis Africae reperiri tarn est certum, quam quod certissimum. Magna pars satellitii Regis Louangi 
constat ex hujusmodi horainibus. Tanto candore sunt conspioui, ut siquis eos eminus videat, aut Belgas 
aut Germanos existiniet, utpote qui praeter caesios oculos, etiaui rufos aut ilavos habeant capillos. At vero 
si quis coram contempletur, longe aliter sentiet. Iste quippe cutis candor, non est vividus, sed cadaverosus 
omnino et prorsus simillimus lepra laborantibus. Oculi quoque prope spectati, videbuntur similes ooulis 
morientium aut straborum. Quamvis vero istud hominum genus e nigris quoque proveniat parentibus, 
constat tamen in mediterraneis Guineae etiam integram gentem istiusmodi Leucoaethiopum reperiri. 
Horum et habitum et contactum velut contagiosuui, fugiunt alii Aethiopes. Unde, ut puto, coUigi 
potest, vere esse leprosos, et etiam coloris discrepantiam ab aliis Aethiopibus induci a morbo, quod nempe 
cutis eoruni exaruerit. Creber autem sic affectus apud Aethiopas, illos praesertim qui in aridis et 
aestuosis habitant locis, qui nisi perpetua et quotidiana unctione autem reficerent, omnes forsan eodeni 
laborarent. Hino nullus apud Nigritas dies transit sine unctione, nee tantum oleo sed etiam adipe et 
quavis alia pinguedine totos se imbuunt, donee speculi instar niteant : et hac ratione non tantum cutem 
arescentem restituunt, sed et sanitatera et nigritiem, quae est pulchritudo Aethiopum, corpori suo con- 
ciliant. Istud adniiratione dignissimum, iiomines istos interdiu caecutire, noctu vero non plurimum 
visu valere, Luna praesertim fulgente. Itaque Nigritiae et Aethiopes horum inimici interdiu, cum Sol 
maxinie splendet, illos aggrediuntur ; ipsi vero illatas injurias noctu ulciscuntur ac alios invadunt 
Aethiopas, magnaque saepe afiiciunt clade. Istos Leucoaethiopas Lusitani vocant Albinos et aliquando 
nonnullos ex his bello captos et in Brasiliam abductos pistrino addicere tentavere, cum praecipuo valeant 
robore ; sed compertum est illos mori malle quam servitutis pati vincula. Porro non in Africa sola, sed 
et apud Indos Orientales in Insula Borneo et praeterea in Nova Guinea, quae vocatur terra de Papos, 
simile hominum genus observavere et nostri et Lusitani. 

The interest of this passage lies in the transition from the traditional race to the idea of albinism as 
an endemic disease. The supposed connection with leprosy recurs again much later, e.g. Sprengel, 180L 

= Buffon appears to have been ready to reaccept the tradition (Bibl. No. 81, Bd. xiv. Supplement), 
so also Haller (Bibl. No. 64). 

3 The dislike of the negro for the albino has been very marked. Thus Olaudah Equiano, the African, 
writing in 1789 (Bibl. No. 110, p. 21), says: "Deformity is indeed unknown among us, I mean that 
of shape. Numbers of the natives of Eboe now in London might be brought in support of this assertion ; 


King of Loango. This is probably due to Vossius, or they take from the same source. 
Bowditch, 150 years after Vossius {Mission to Ashcmtee, London, 1819, p. 292), 
found nearly one hundred negroes of different colours through shades of red and 
copper to white at the King of Ashantee's court. They were generally diseased and 
emaciated. There can be little doubt that some of these were albinotic negroes. 
From court-follower to king is an easy stage, and Valentyn, 1724, in his account of 
Amboina (Bibl. No. 49, p. 146) reports a king of Hetoe and his brother who were 
albinos, but who had black brothers and sisters and black children. Thus by a slight 
transition we find the despised albino has reached posts of honour ! It is an illus- 
tration of a fact familiar to the anthropologist. 

Much later than Bowditch we find Schweinfurth, 1868 — 71 {Heart of Africa, 
trans, by E. Freuer, Vol. ii. chap. xv. pp. 100 — 101), noting the red, yellow and 
chocolat au lait colours of African negroes. He then adds : 

' ' But there is one special characteristic that is quite peculiar to the Monbuttos. 
To judge from the hundreds who paid visits of curiosity to my tent, and from the 
thousands whom I saw during my three weeks' sojourn with Munza, I should say 
that at least five per cent, of the population have light hair. This was always of the 
closely-frizzled quality of the negro type, and was always associated with the lightest 
skins I had seen since leaving lower Egypt. Its colour was by no means like that 
which is termed light hair amongst ourselves, but was of a mongi'el tint mixed with 
grey, suggesting the comparison to hemp. All the individuals who had this light 
hair and complexion had a sickly expression about the eyes and presented many signs 
of pronounced albinism ; they recalled a description given by Isaac Vossius in his 
book upon the origin {sic !) of the Nile, of the white men he saw at the court of the 
King of Loango ; he says that ' they were sickly-looking and wan of countenance and 
their eyes drawn as though they were squinting.' I have given a similar description 
of one of the King's sons named Bunza. This combination of light hair and skin 
gives the Monbutto a position distinct from all the nations of the northern part of 
Africa, with the single exception of the various inhabitants of Morocco, amongst 
whom fair-haired individuals are far from uncommon." 

Schweinfurth's account of Bunza occurs in chap. xiv. p. 7, and is as follows : 

"Many as were the visitors that I received in my tent, none awakened greater 
interest than one of the sons of Munza. The name of this distinguished personage 
was Bunza, and he was about the lightest-skinned individual that I had here beheld. 
His complexion could not have been fairer if he had been a denizen of Central Egypt. 
His hair was equally pale and grizzly, his tall chignon being not unlike a bundle of 
hemp and standing in marked contrast to the black tresses which were stretched 

for in regard to complexion, ideas of beauty are wholly relative. I remember wliile in Africa to have 
seen three negro children, who were tawny, and another quite white, who were universall}' regarded by 
myself and the natives in general, as far as related to their complexions, as deformed." Precisely the same 
strong feeling existed among the Hindoos. Dubois (Bibl. No. 159, pp. 199 et seq.) says that the Indians 
considered them as lepers from birth, and their bodies were not buried but cast on dunghills. Further 
cases of strong racial aversion to albinos will be noted later. 


across his brow. As tlie luair about the temples does not grow sufficiently lono- for 
the purpose, the Moubutto are accustomed to use false hair ; and as fair heads of hair 
are somewhat uncommon, false hair to match the original is difficult to purchase. 
This young man, of whom 1 was successful in taking a deliberate sketch, exhibited all 
the characteristics of pronounced albinism, and in truth to a degree which can often 
be seen in a fair individual of the true Semitic stock, either Jew or Arabian^ The 
ej^es seemed painfully affected by light and had a constant objectless leer ; the head, 
supported on a shrivelled neck, kept nodding with an involuntary movement, and 
whenever it rested it was sure to be in some extraordinary position. Bunza reminded 
me very vividly of some white twins which I once saw on the Red Sea ; they were 
fishermen of Djedda, and looked as like each other as eggs in one nest." 

We can, I think, conclude from the statements of Pliny down to those of modern 
travellers that there are districts in Africa where albinism has been very prevalent, 
and it vsrould seem that these districts are those in which the normal negro shows 
lighter variation. There is little doubt that this is the only basis for the tradition of 
an albino race of negroes. 

As we have indicated, India as well as Africa has been associated with the tradi- 
tion of an albino race. The first reference occurs we believe in the fragments of 
Ctesias, who was physician to Artaxerxes and lived about 401 B.C. He speaks of two 
women and five men who were apparently albinos '. 

A more definite tradition appears in the "dog-headed" folk of Ctesias. Photius 
[Myriohihlon, ed. 1653, p. 151): Vocari hos ab Indis Cahjstrios, quod Graeci dicerent 
KvvoKe(j)dXe<;, id est Canicvpites [carnibus eosdem vesci crudis], totiusque gentis capita 
numerari ad centum & vio-inti millia. 

The transition of a congenital white-haired race into the marvellous dog-headed 
people of the mediaeval history books is one of the quaint byepaths associated with 
albinism and is treated of below. The tradition, however, of a white race, be it in 
Ceylon or Batavia, revives with the post-mediaeval age of discovery. In the Voyage 
et Avantures de Frangois Leguat, London, 1708, the author says in the account of his 
voyage of 1693, T. ii. p. 136 : " J'ai beaucoup de regret d'avoir oublie de m'informer 
pai-ticulierement de la Nation qu'on appelle Chacrelafs, a Batavia, & dont j'ai vu plu- 
sieurs tant Hommes que Femmes. lis sont blancs & blonds ; mais ce qu'il y a de plus 
particulier en eux, c'est que leurs yeux ne peuvent pas supporter le grand jour, & 
qu'au contraire, ils voyent fort bien la nuit. Aussi font-ils de la nuit le jour & du 
jour la nuit. J'en ai souvent rencontre qui alloient les yeux baissez & presque fermez 
quoi que vers le soir; ne pouvant souffrir ce qu'il y avoit de lumiere." Here we have 
a good instance of the manner in which the reduced discomfort of seeing in a less 

^ This is interesting as showing that Schweinfurth had seen Arabian as well as Jewish albinos. 

■ Herodoti et^ Ctesiae Opera et Fragmenta, Borheck, Lemgoviae, 1781, Vol. ii. p. 874. The passage 
runs :^ o 8« ^\tos aVicrx<ov to 17/AHrv t^s »;>£>as </<Jxo? 7roi« to 8' aWo, \[av dXeuvov iv to?? ttXuo-tols twi' t^s 
Ii'SiKiJs ToVwi'. ort 'I^Soi ovx iiro tov y]\iov elcrl /ieXai/cs aA.Aa 4,v<Tei. eli-ai yap <j)riaiv iv avTo'i^ Kal avSpa? 
Koi yvvalKai Xeu/coTaVous 7rarT(ov, d Kal eV lAaTTOi'. iScIv Se Kal avrov Toiavra, 'IrSas 8u'o yvmrxas Kal ttcVte 


strono- light is made the basis of a myth that the albino sees well by night, and even 
better than the normal individual. The passage is of interest also as an early instance 
of the use of chacrelat to describe albino. 

The albino race of Ceylon is referred to by Eibeyro' {Hist, de Ceylon, Tr^ve, 
1701, ch. XXIV.). He writes (p. 178) of the Bedas : "lis sont blancs comme des 
europeens, et il y a meme des roux parmi eux." Again we touch on truth, for the 
red hair is a common feature of the albino of dark race, and not unknown in the 
European albino-. The Bedas of Ceylon as an albino race are frequently referred to\ 
and perhaps not finally dismissed until 1807, when Cordiner in his Description of 
Ceylon, Vol. i. ch. 4, gives evidence against any such race. Probably Beda = Veddah, 
and there is confusion with the aboriginal race of Ceylon. As usual there may be a 
basis to the tradition in a fairer, perhaps light copper-coloured race, and the appear- 
ance of albinos in such a race, perhaps as a result of segregation following the crossing 
with other races'. It is worth bearing in mind that these traditions of an albinotic 
race appear to arise where there is a district with considerable variation in the 
intensity of the native colour, and further that in such districts albinism appears to 
be more frequent. The suggestion occurs that albinism may originate where we 
find a racial mixture, one or both races not being necessarily extremely fair ; the 
leucosis would be a segregation effect bringing out latent characters. Humboldf^ 
remarks that missionaries seeing an Indian less black than usual call them white, 
and Prichard" has also emphasised this attitude. A lighter race with a sprinkling 
of albinos leads easily to an albino nation myth. It is easy to dismiss such myths, 
but it is possible that there is a real basis to them ; they may lead us to centres 
where albinism is more or less endemic, and where closer study may be suggestive 
even for scientific purposes'. If we turn from the " albino race " traditions of 
Europe, Africa and Asia', we might expect to find like tales in the American 
continent, but naturally they must be of later date. 

In America we find the early travellers locating albino races in Brazil, the 
Isthmus of Darien and Mexico. The Darien albinotic race has a fairly long history. 
Raynal in his Histoire vhilosophique et politique des etahlisseviens . . .dans les deux 

' Distrust of this author will be increased in the mind of anyone who notices how much he has taken 
without acknowledgment from Knox : see Bibl. No. 35. 

- See our Pedigrees, Figs. 1 and 230. ^ See Bibl. Nos. 59, 64, etc. 

* The Seras, a mysterious race with red hair and blue e}'es, mentioned by the ambassadors from 
Ceylon in the time of Claudius I. and recorded by Pliny (JVat. Hist., Lib. vi. xxiv.), could hardly be the 
Chinese. The passage is very vague, but no doubt contributed to the tradition of the light red-haired 
" Bedas." 

^ Personal Narrative, London, 1814, Vol. ill. p. 287 et seq. 

* Cyclopaedia of Practical Jledicine, Art. Temperament, p. 163. 

'■ For further information as to the Ceylon tradition the reader is referred to Knox, Account of 
Ceylon, London, 1681, p. 61 (he does not make the Veddahs albinotic); Labillardi^re, Belation de son 
Voyage, t. ii. pp. 141 — 2; Percival, Accov.nt of Ceylon, London, 1803, chap. 13. 

* It is noteworthy that these traditions have provided three names for the albinotic individual. 
Possibly albino from the Albanian, Dondo (and Leucaethiop) from the African, and Chacrelat with all its 
variations from the Asiatic. 


Lides (T. 111. p. 154, Edn. 1774), speaking of Vasco Nunez de Balboa going to 
Darien, writes: " Le pays Ini otiVit d'abord de ces petits hommes blancs dont on 
retrouve I'espece en Afriqvie, & dans quelques isles de I'Asie. lis sont couverts d'un 
duvet d'une blancheuv eclatante. lis n'ont point de chevaux. lis ont la prunelle 
rouge. lis ne voyent bien que la nuit. lis sont foibles, & leur instinct paroit plus 
borne que celui des autres hommes." N. Robertson, History of America, Vol. ii. 
4th Edn., p. 68, speaks of the Darien albinos as a race. Cossigny (1760 : see Bibl. 
No. 59), speaking to the French Academy of Sciences, states that a number of travellers 
have come across the race in " a district not far from Mexico." He describes it as a 
nation entirely of white men, white haired, who cannot endure broad daylight without 
great pain. We have not been able to follow up the tradition to its ultimate source, 
which would probably be found in the accounts of the early Spanish navigators. 

A fairly truthful report' of the actual state of affairs at Darien is however 
given by Wafer, Avhose whole method of writing strikes us as very creditable and 
credible for the period. Wafer first took to the sea as a surgeon's boy m 1677 and 
visited Darien with Dampier in 1681. Wafer was perhaps the first " Naturalist" to 
go on an exploring ship. He seems to have had a very considerable power of observa- 
tion, giving a long, and, for the age, reasonable account of bu-ds, beasts, snakes, fish, 
etc. in a section of his work termed On the Natural History of these Parts. Ou 
p. 346 of his Description he speaks of the "White Indians" as follows: 

There is one Complexion so singular among a Sort of People of this Country that I never saw nor 
heard of any like them in any Part of the World. The Account will seem strange ; but any Privateers 
who have gone over the Isthmus must have seen then), and can attest the main of what I am going 
to relate, though few have liad the Opportunity of so particular an Information about these People 
as I have had. 

They are white, and there are of them of both Sexes ; yet there are but few of them in Comparison of 
the Copper-colour'd, possibly but 1 to 2 or 300. They differ from the other Indians chiefly in Respect 
of Colour, though not in that only. Their Skins are not of such a White as those of fair People among 
Europeans, witli some Tincture of a Blush or Sanguine Complexion ; neither yet is their Complexion like 
that of our paler People, but 'tis rather a Jlilk-white, lighter than the Colour of any Europeans, and 
much like that of a white Horse. 

For there is this further remarkable in them, that their Bodies are beset all over, more or less, with a 
line short Milk-white Down, which adds to the Whiteness of their Skins : for they are not so thick-set 
with this Down, especially on the Cheeks and Forehead, but that the Skin appears distinct from it. The 
Men would probably have white Bristles for Beards, did not they prevent them by their Custom of 
plucking the young Beard up by the Roots continually : but for the Down all over their Bodies, they 
never try to get rid of it. Their Eye-brows are ]\Iilk-white also, and so is the Hair of their Heads, and 
very fine withal, about the Length of 6 or 8 Inches, and inclining to a Curl. 

They are not so big as the other Indians ; and what is yet more strange, their Eye-lids bend and 
open in an oblong Figure, pointing downward at the Corners, and forming an Arcli or Figure of a Crescent 
with the Points downwards. From hence, and from their seeing so clear as they do in a Moon-shiny 
Night, we us'd to call them Moon-eijd. For they see not very well in the Sun, poring in the clearest Day; 
their Eyes being but weak, and running with Water if the Sun shine towards them ; so that in the Day- 
time they care not to go abroad, unless it be a cloudy dark Day. Besides, they are but a weak People in 
Comparison of the other, and not fit for Hunting or other laborious Exercise, nor do they delight in any 
such. But notwithstanding their being thus sluggish, and dull, and restive in the Day-time, yet when 
Moon-shiny Night's come, they are all Life and Activity, running abroad, and into the Woods, skipping 
about like Wild-Bucks ; and running as fast Vjy Moon-light, even in the Gloom and Shade of the Woods, 
as the other Indians by Day, being as nimble as they, tho' not so strong and lusty. 

^ A Netv Voyage and Description of the Isthmus of America, giving an Account of the Aut/ior's Abode 
there. By Lionel Wafer, 3rd Edn., London, 1729. Collection of Voyages, Vol. in. 8vo, pp. 261 — 463. 

K. P. 3 


The Copper-colour'd Indians seem not to respect these so much as those of their own Complexion, 
looking on them as somewhat monstrous. They are not a distinct Race by themselves, but now and then 
one is bred of a Copper-coloured Father and Mother ; and I have seen a Child of less than a Year old of 
this Sort. Some would be apt to suspect they might be the Offspring of some European Fatlier : But 
besides that the Europeans come little here, and have little Commerce with the 7«c/iaw-Women when they 
do come, these white People are as different from the Europeans in some Respects, as from the Copper- 
colour'd Indians in others. And besides, where an European lies with an I ndian-W om&n, the Child is 
always a Mostese, or Tawney, as is well known to all who have been in the West Indies ; where there are 
Mostesa's, Mullatto's of several gradations between tlie White, and the Black or Copper-colour'd according 
as the Parents are ; even to Decompounds, as a MuUatto-Fina, the Child of a Mullatto-ilan, and a Mostesa 
woman, <fcc. 

But neither is the Child of a Man and Woman of these white Indians, white like the Parents, but 
Copper-colour'd as their Parents were. For so Lacenta told me, and gave me this as his Conjecture iiow 
these came to be white, that 'twas through the Force of the Mother's Imagination, looking on the Moon 
at the Time of the Conception ; but this I leave others to judge of. He told me withal, that they were 
but short-liv'd. 

We venture to think that in the Isthmus of Darien we have again a case of 
numerous albinos appearing on the borders of two races, and a possible instance of 
segregative effect. Wafer's account is so transparently honest that we might even 
venture to believe that, for man, albino mated with albino will not invariably give 
albinotic offspring. Close on either side of the Isthmus of Darien we find other 
traditions of albinotic races, the one from Brazil and the second from Mexico. 

Schreber, 1775 [Die Sdugethiere, Bd. i. § 14), has been quoted as authority for 
the existence of an albino race in Brazil. As a matter of fact he merely refers to 
Margrave's "red" Brazilian negress from an unknown part of Africa (see Bibl. No. 25). 
Robertson, 1778 (Hiaiory of America, T. ii. p. 405), cites de Pinto for Brazilian Indian 
albinos. Quite recently (1872) some notes of the traveller Porte with regard to the 
journeys he had made in South America and the albinos he had seen on the Amazon 
were published, and the reporter remarks' : " Notre voyageur rapproche de ces albinos 
isoles ceux que Ton dit frapper des populations entieres de lAmerique du Sud, niais 
il ne parait pas en avoir vu plus que les explorateurs qui font precede dans cette 
voie. II se borne a dire, en effet, qu'on lui ' assure que les sauvages du Pacuja (rive 
gauche de lAmazone, au-dessous du Rio Muja) dtaient presque blancs et avaient les 
yeux bleus.' " 

Thus this tradition has survived almost to the present day, and it again appears 
to be of the same type, i.e. a certain individual frequency of albinism among a people 
lighter than the suiTOunding population. 

In the next place we may refer to the Mexican tradition. The source of this is 
better known. We find it in the account given by Cortez of his conquest of Mexico. 
In describing Montezuma's palace he writes : " In hujus palatii particula tenebat 
homines, pueros, feminasque a nativitate candidos in facie, corpore, capillis, superciliis, 
et palpebris"." Some further accounts of this sti-ange entourage are probably to be 
found in contemporary Spanish records ; it created some excitement and was dis- 
credited at the time. We have, however, not succeeded in finding them. 

It is a curious phase of human development that this somewhat weird royal 

' Bibl. No. 327, p. 160. 

^ De Insulis nuper invent. Narratio. Cologne, 1532, p. 30. See Bibl. No. 14. 


accompaniment of albinos shonld be reported of such distant and independent 
kingdoms as those of Loango, Java and Mexico \ 

Another case of a white Indian tribe, which bears some marked albinotic features, 
is that described by Cathn, 1841 {North American Indians, Vol. i. pp. 93 — 4): "A 
stranger in the Mandan village [situated on Upper Missouri, lat. about 47° 50' N., 
long, about 23° W. of Washington] with the different shades of complexion and 
various colours of hair which he sees in a crowd about him ; and is at once almost 
disposed to exclaim that ' these are not Indians.'— There are a great many of these 
people whose complexions appear as light as half-breeds : and amongst the women 
there are many whose skins are almost white, with the most pleasing symmetry and 
proportion of featui'es ; with hazel, with grey, and with blue eyes... .Why this 
diversity of complexion I cannot tell, nor can they themselves account for it. Their 
traditions, as far as I have yet learned them, afford no information of their having had 
any knowledge of white men before the visit of Lewis and Clarke, made to their 
village 33 years ago. Since that time there have been very few visits of white men 
to this place, and surely not enough to have changed the complexions and the 
customs of a nation " 

After noting that all varieties except red or auburn of European hair may be 
seen, Catlin continues : " And there is yet one more strange and unaccountable 
peculiarity, which can probably be seen nowhere else on earth; nor on any rational 
grounds accounted for, — other than it is a freak or order of Nature, for which she 
has not seen fit to assign a reason. There are very many of both sexes and of every 
age, from infancy to manhood and old age, with hair a bright silvery grey, and in 
some instances almost perfectly white. This singular and eccentric appearance is 
much oftener seen among the women than it is with the men ; for many of the latter 
who have it seem ashamed of it and artfully conceal it by filling their hair with glue 
and black and red earth. The women, on the other hand, seem proud of it and 
display it often in an almost incredible profusion, which spreads over their shoulders 
and falls as low as the knee. I have ascertained, on a careful inquiry, that about ona 
in ten or twelve of the whole tribe are what the French call ' chevaux gris ' or grey 
hairs ; and this strange and unaccountable phenomenon is not the result of disease or 
habit, but that it is unquestionably a hereditary character which runs in families and 
indicates no inequality in disposition or intellect. And by passing this hair through 
my hands, as I often have, I have found it vmiformly to be as coarse and harsh as 
a horse's mane ; differing materially from the hair of other colours, which amongst the 
Mandans, is generally as fine and as soft as silk. The reader will at once see by the 
above facts that there is enough on the faces and heads of this people to stamp them 
peculiar, — when he meets them in the heart of the almost boundless wilderness 
presenting such diversities of colour in the complexion and hair ; when he knows from 
what he has seen, and what he has read, that all other primitive tribes known in 
America are dark copper colour, with jet black hair." 

' It will be shown in the following Chapter that Arizona and Mexico appear to contribute most 
albino Indians at the present time. 



It may he well to note that Poole also reports light-haired and fair Indians from 
British Columbia and especially from Queen Charlotte's Islands {Queen Chaiiottes 
Islands, etc., London, 1872, p. 315). 

Now Catlin had no apparent knowledge of the albino traditions and therefore his 
evidence is still more noteworthy. He thus gives us still another case of a fair tribe 
arising amid a dark population and providing in this case 8 per cent, of partial if not 
perfect albinos — he tells us nothing of the eyes of these white-haired individuals. 
Such material as he saw appears quite sufficient to have started in another locality 
the Mexican or Brazilian traditions, or in another continent the tale of the Leuc- 
aethiopes. It is another instance of the apparently isolated appearance of a fair 
group among a dark-complexioned race, and the contemporaneous frequency of 

Beside the cases cited above there is a passage in Tachard also referring to a 
white group in the midst of a dark population somewhere on the east coast of Africa. 
It is not obviously albinotic, although it has been supposed to be. He writes 
{Voyages de Siam des Peres Jesuites, Paris, 1687, Book i. pp. 90 — 2), starting from 
the Cape of Good Hope : " Mais quand on fut arrive au vingt-septieme degre de 
latitude a dix ou douze lieues des cotes de I'Ocean, on rencontra une Nation fort nom- 
breuse et beaucoup plus traitable que toutes celles qu'on avoit trouve jusqu'alors. . . . 
Les hommes sont bien proportionnez et robustes ; ils ont de grands cheveux, qu'ils 
laissent Hotter sur les epaules. ...Parmi eux il s'en trouve d'aussi blancs que les 
Europeans ; mais ils se noircissent avec de la graisse et de la poudre d'une certaine 

pierre noire, dont ils se frottent le visage, et tout le coi'ps Leurs femmes sont 

naturellement fort blanches ; mais afin de plaire a leurs maris ils se noircissent 
comme eux." 

It may not be possible to identify the district now, but it is worthy of note that 
this was probably the source of the assurance which Cossigny in 1760 gave to the 
French Academy that : " a Madagascar il y avoit une nation de Negres blancs, mais 
qui, avec les traits des Negres, ont des cheveux pareils a ceux des Europeens\" And 
these Negres blancs for Cossigny were albinos. 

It is as well in this section to complete the reports we have been able to collect 
of albinotic tribes or groups. The most recent of these also comes to us from the land 
of four others, but concerns in this case a white population. A circumstantial article 
appeared in the English newspaper, the Standard, of September 13, 1904, purporting 
to give an account of an albino colony on the New England coast. These albinos 
were stated to intermarry, and the writer professed to have seen a family in which 
both parents were albinos. This pedigree is given as No. 307 of our Plate XXIX. It 
will be seen that, if correct, it would confii'm the statement of Wafer, that the 
offspring of two human albinos are not necessarily all albinos. The report of this 
albino clan "living in the forest country," at the back of Cape Cod, did not stand 
alone. Another newspaper article appeared, stating that there really did exist an 
albino colony in Massachusetts and placing it in or near Freetown, with the same 
' Histoire de VAcademie Royale des Sciences, Ann^e m.dcclx, Paris, 1766, p. 17. 


tribal name as that given to them in tlie Standm'd article. Still later, in the Boston 
Snndaij Herald (Dec. 15, 1907), a))peared a portrait of Miss Annie Lee Ridgway, 
" Patron Saint of Boxwood City, who has made the Albino Colony a Religious Coni- 
nmnity." According to this account the albino colony inhabited the Boxwood district 
of Lakeville, and the settlement migrated thither from Cape Cod. By aid of religious 
services and mission work Miss Ridgway is said to have "cleared up one of the worst 
places in Massachusetts." Of course the existence of an intermarrying albino com- 
munity would furnish data of enormous scientific value, and we have done our best 
to clear up these newspaper reports. Direct appeal to Miss Ridgway has produced 
no answer. Dr F. W. Marlow, Professor of Ophthalmology in the University of 
Syracuse, N.Y., in conjunction with Dr W. L. Faxon, of Middleborough, Mass., a man 
acquainted with the district, has sought in vain for the colony, but he has succeeded 
in obtaining the pedigree (Fig. 412) of an albino family of the same name as that 
given by the Standard correspondent, but the environment and individuals do not 
appear to be the same. Of the reformed albino colony occupying a whole district of 
the town of Lakeville, no definite information has yet come to hand. We have 
discovered the Town Clerk of Lakeville, who most courteously promised a history 
of Boxville, but, in conjunction with Dr Faxon, he has not been able to trace a 
single case of a family with both parents albinotic. There appears to be some basis 
to the report of albinism being present in the district, probably in the form of 
individual members of a few related families ; scarcely, as asserted by the newspaper 
press, in the shape of an exclusively intermarrying albino community. But this state- 
ment and the indefinite manner in which it has been made and repeated may suffice 
to demonstrate that we, to-day, really are not very far advanced beyond the state of 
mind of Pliny when he stated "ad meridiem versus superque Gaetulos, intervenientibus 
desertis, primi omnium Libyaegyptii deinde Leucaethiopes habitant," somewhere "back 
of the forest country," inland from Cape Cod, lives the latest albino race ! 

Before we conclude this section we may briefly refer to two further early refer- 
ences to probable cases of albinism, as apart from albino tribes. AbdoUatiph, born at 
Bagdad in 1161 and writing his history' between 1200 and 1203, tells us : 

" Inter Naturae Lusus, est cur hunc maxime miremur ; infantem scilicet eodem 
temporis intervallo, anno nonagesimo septimo, natum cum duobus capitibus ; 
alium item infantem, quern quidem ego viderim, natum esse cum capiUis albis ; qui 
tamen adeo non referrent albedinem canitiei, ut quadantenus vergerent ad colorem 
qui rufus esset." Thus from India to Egypt from 400 B.C. to 1200 A.D. we find the 
albino born and recorded as a wonder, yet much as we know him to-day. 

Our other instance is the story of the negro King Hydaspes, who refused to own 
to his daughter Chariclea because of her white skin and light hair. The tale has been 
often referred to as if Heliodorus' work were history and not a romance*. Now 
Heliodorus was a Christian bishop who wrote Greek romances with a moral purpose, 

^ Historiae Aegypti Compendium. Oxford, 1800, p. 279. 

- Eble : see Bibl. No. 196, Bd. u. p. 312. Also Ambroise Pare, Bibl. No. 19. 


but it is highly probable that he based his tale' on the occasional appearance of a 
white child to black parents. " Thou wert borne white, which colour is strange among 
the Ethiopians." Persina, the black queen, attributes Chariclea's colour to maternal 
impression-, but many parents of albinos do this to the present day, and the baring of 
Chariclea's arm, showing the dark spots, might easily have its origin in a knowledge 
of the mottled state of the skin of many albinos of the dark races {see our Chapter on 
the Albino Skin). 

We now turn to a last strange misinterpretation of albinism. It is singular that 
the man who has been described as the founder of modern biology should have per- 
petuated in its grossest form one of the most foolish mediaeval traditions as to albinism ! 
To understand, if we can understand, what led Linnaeus to his absurd treatment of 
albinism and his classification of the albino as a separate species, intermediate between 
man and the apes, we have to bear in mind the following points : 

(1) The old classical historians still retained some weight of authority. Pliny's 
statement as to the existence of a light, red-haired race not far from Ceylon had 
probably influenced Ribeyro, whose plagiarism from Knox* shows that he reported 
much more than he had himself seen. Thus he writes (1685)^: 

"Nothing will appear less credible than what is to be related of the Veddas — 
They are a race of people differmg in every respect from all others. They dwell on 
the seaside between two rivers one of which separates them from Jaflnapatam, the 
other from Trincomalee. Their country ten leagues long by eight broad is covered by 
thick forests. They dwell in recesses of the woods, and it is not easy to fall in with 
them. They are as white as Europeans and many are ruddy comj)lexioned. They 
do not speak Singhalese ; their language is dissimilar from any spoken in India. 
They have no trade or correspondence with other races, and flee hastily when they 
meet a person not one of themselves. They clothe themselves with the skin of the 
animals which they kill in the forests. They have neither villages nor houses, they 
he six months in one place and six months in another, or as soon as the grain they 
have sown is reaped, they change their dwelling-place. Their weapons are bows and 
arrows with which they are very skilful ; they live chiefly on game ; kill ^A'ild boars, 
stags and elk of which the forests are full ; do not cook their meat, but preserve it in 
honey; never eat their meat fresh, but keep it so preserved for 12 months. When 
they want hatchets, etc., they make models of them with branches of trees and carry 
them during the night to the door of an armourer's house and leave them there with 
some meat... the armourer makes the hatchet, etc., in the morning and hangs it up 
where the meat was. In the night time the Veddas come and fetch them." 

Except for the passage about the whiteness of the Veddah race, italicised in our 
transcription, the account might pass for that of an aboriginal race. It is the basis of 
the widespread statement of the 18 th century that albinos were termed Bedas in 

1 See Bibl. No. 22. 

2 See Bibl. No. 22 Bourdelotius, pp. 176, 478, 479, and Underdoune, pp. 107, 270—1. 
» See Bibl. No. 35 and our footnote 1, p. 16. " Bibl. No. 39, p. 78. 



Olaus Magnus, 1555, after noting in liis Liber II. Caput XVI., De transitu 
tcnebroso, that people in the north carry rotten wood, or place it along a path to 
show light in the niglit, continues : " Inveniuntur etiam homines eo acuraine oculorum 
praediti, ut sine quovis lumine materiali fere omnia videre, tractareque se posse 
glorientur. Tales ictique ht Taprohana {teste Plinio) inulto 2>iu>'es, quam alibi ^jer 
orbem reperiuntur^." 

The above passage has been usually supposed to refer to the occurrence of albinos 
in Scandinavia. This is not necessary, but the words served to emphasise in later 
times the connection between Ceylon and the men who see by night. I have failed 
to discover any passage in Pliny's Natural History, where this property of the 
inhabitants of Taprobana is referred to. Lib. vii. cxxii. deals with the island and its 
inhabitants, but contains nothing about their sight, nor does the matter appear to be 
discussed by Salmasius in his Exercitationes Plinianae, Paris, 1629. Pliny does in 
his Lib. XI. cap. 37 deal with the eyes, and tells us of many things possibly touching 
albinism. He refers to night-blind folk and tells us of other men who see badly by 
day and better by night than other people. He reports that Tiberius Caesar, if 
awakened in the dark, could for a little while see everything as well as in clear 
daylight, but soon this visual power vanished. Augustus Caesar had glaucous eyes like 
to some horses, for the size of his eyes was much greater than that of other men. 
He refers even to squinting eyes, moving eyes" (? nystagmus), and to those who had 
very small eyes. All this, but not a woi-d as to the albinos of Taprobana' ! The idea, 
however, of a variety of mankind, a Homo noctiirnus, which saw better at night and 
was peculiarly frequent, even forming a special race in Ceylon, grew with the centuries. 

(2) We have next to give due weight to Photius' statement of the " canicipites " 
(see p. 15) who he said occur in India. On the one hand there is a tradition of " white 
hair" in the word, on the other of a dog-headed people eating raw flesh. Thi-oughout 
the middle ages, however, these "canicipites" had been associated with " troglodites " 
and other mysterious occupants of desert and forest. Pliny^ is usually appealed to 
as authority for the Indian " canicipites"; what he, Augustine and Isidore had recorded 
was accepted as truth byaU mediaeval writers ^ The mediaeval seaman went about in 

' See Bibl. No. 13, p. 76. The italicised words do not occur in the Lugduni Batavorum Edition of 
1645, Cap. XIV. p. 56, or in the English trans, of 1658, London, p. 23. 

^ See footnote, Histoire naturelle de Pline, Paris, 1772, T. iv. p. 364. 

' It is most characteristic of the age that Philemon Holland in translating Pliny's History in 1635 
turns all this material as to eyes in the direction of albinism ! Thus he writes : " August Caesar of 
famous memory had red eyes like to some horses ; and indeed wall eied he was, for the white thereof was 
much bigger than in other men " (p. 334). " Man alone is subject to the distortion and depraved motion 
of his eies. Hereof are some of the surnames of certain families in Rome, Strabones and Paeli : for that 

the first of those houses were squint-eied, and had rolling eies As also them that were pink-eied and 

had very small eies, they termed Occellae" (p. 335). There is no word of these red-eyed or pink -eyed 
persons in Pliny ! 

* See Photius, Myriohiblmi (Bibl. No. 10). He quotes Ctesias as to the Canicipites (p. 150). 
Agatharcides, cap. sxxvin. (Ibid. p. 1362), places them in connection with the Troglodytes. The account 
in both cases might arise from reports as to either a manlike ape or a wild aboriginal race. 

* See inter alia the Buch der Croniken, Nurnberg, 1493, Blatt XII. and its illustrations. 


the expectation of discovering " canicipites" and '' troglodites," and he naturally told 
tales of them to suit the expectant landsman at home. 

(3) The discovery of the anthropoid apes in the East Indies was the factor still 
needed to give a " reality " to the whole jumble of distorted ideas. The ape appeared 
as the veritable dog-headed man, and "canicipites" and "troglodites" were destined 
to leave their names for ever impressed on the Simian race. 

Bontius (see Bibl. 26, p. 84) gives one of the earliest accounts of the ourang- 
outang, which name he says the Javanese give it because it is a man of the woods, 
Homo sylvestris. He says that the Javanese assert that it arises from the lust of the 
Indian women, who mix with the apes — a tale he does not appear to credit. He 
desci'ibes the rather human characteristics of the female, and figures her as a sort of 
hairy woman, not much resembling our idea of the ourang-outang. He identifies this 
Homo sylvestris or ourang-outang with Pliny's Satyr [Nat. Hist. Lib. vii. cap. 2). 
There is nothing about pigmentation or sight, but the whole tale, without apparently 
the least hesitation, was afterwards transferred to the albino (including the legend of 
being the hybrid of man and ape !). Bontius is not responsible. He gives a bad cut 
of an aboriginal or a beast he had probably never seen close at hand (see our Plate r/) ; 
It remained for Linnaeus to identify this ourang-outang and the albino ! 

(4) Good examples of the travellers who start with a tradition and live up to 
it in what they see may be found in Nils Matsson Kjoping and Braad. 

Kjoping\ 1667, describes a visit to Tharnodo, one of the Moluccas. He writes 
about the albino as of a Homo sylvestris and Homo nocturnus : 

"About the peculiar Kind of People which is being destroyed like Vermin. Here 
as well as in Amboina there is found a jJecullar kind of people, which are called 
Kakurlacko, these are regarded as vermin and killed wherever they are found by the 
inhabitants ; they are snow-white, both skin and hair, although the inhabitants are 
black, and they hide themselves in secret caves during the day, where no one can find 
them without great difliculty. During the day they are altogether blind, as if their 
eyes had been put out ; for when they are dug out during the day, they creep about 
like young puppies before their eyes are opened. But during the night the darker it 
is, the better they can see ; they occupy themselves with pilfering and theft, stealing 
by night all that the inhabitants have sown and planted ; they also have their own 
language which they utter with a whistling sound ; it in no way corresponds with the 
proper speech of the country". The captain of our ship asked the Tarnatanians to 
give one of these Kakurlacko to him, and a woman was given to him, who at first 
could eat no cooked food'', nor did she know in the least how to conduct herself for 
she could see nothing ; but the more she got used to or was driven into the sun or 
daylight the better she could see, but she stepped very high with her feet." 

' See Bibl. No. 30, Chapter Lxxxvn. 

- The whole tale should be compared with Pliny, Nat. Hist. Lib. v. Cap. 8, which links up our 
" Kakurlackos " with the Troglodytes : " Troglodytae specus excavant. Hae illis domus, victus serpentium 
carnes, stridorque, uon vox: adeo sermonis commercio carent." Solinus writes: "Ignarique sermonis, 
strident potius, quam loquuntur." 

Cf. the "carnibus eosdeni vesci crudis " of the Canicipites of Photius, cited on our p. 15. 


D. Braad, who is cited by Hoppus as having returned from his seventh journey to 
India, talks of our poor albinos as a species of dumb forest-dwelHng thieves, who go 
about by night and expect eventually to assume the government of the world ! 

Not quite a hundred years after Bontius and Kjoping came Olaf von Dalin 
who in an oration before the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, 29 April, 1749 
(Weterheis-arbeten, Vol. 2, Pt. 2, pp. 122 — 3, Stockholm, 1767), gave an account of a 
race of negroes from the middle of Africa with white skin and hair of the same colour 
but like wool, long ears', hanging eyebrows, round eyes with rose-coloured irides, bad 
sight, but seeing better in the dark than in the day ; of small stature, and living 
only about 25 years. They believe themselves the chosen people for whom the world 
was created, and that the time will come when they will rule other races. Dalin 
gives no authority for his statements ; he was a medical man and a poet. 

In 1760 we have a paper by Hoppus for which Linnaeus is presumably responsible. 
It is published in the Ainoeiiitates Academicae (see Bibl. No. 113, pp. 72 — 6). It 
deals with the Troglodyta or Homo nocturnus. Pliny, Lib. v. cap. 8, is taken as a 
starting-point, and then we have a reference to the perfectly genuine albinos reported 
from Africa, Java, Amboina, etc., referred to in our chapter on Geographical 
Distribution. This is mixed up with travellers' tales of the wild aborigines and 
of the anthropoid apes. Hopi^us concludes with the statement that the Troglodyta, 
or Homo nocturnus — by his account a sort of ape-albino — must be placed as Anthro- 
pomorpha somewhere between man and monkey but nearer to man ! 

Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae set the seal on this farrago of nonsense. In 
the 12th Edn. of 1766 we find the opinion of Hoppus adopted. Troglodytes, 
H nocturnus, H. sylvestris, Orang-outang, and Kakurlacko — Pliny, Kjoping, Bontius 
and Dalin — are combined and the harmless albino is identified with the anthropoid ape 
(p. 33). Not till twenty years later in the edition of 1788 (p. 26) does Troglodytes 
cease to be associated with Homo noctur7ius and come under Simia, being then classed 
with Satyrus indicus and chimpanzee, and said to inhabit Angola". 

Thus in the fii'st great founder of modern biology we find the most complete 

' Such long-eared folk are mentioned by Pliny and are figured in the Nurnberg Chronicle. Marsden in 
his History of Sumatra, London, 1733 (p. 308, footnote), writes : "The people of Neas are small in their 
persons ; of a fair complexion, particularly the women who are mostly sent to Batavia ; but a great 
proportion of both sexes are infected with a species of leprosy which covers their bodies with white scales ; 
and their ears are made to extend in so preposterous a manner as to be often near touching their 
shoulders, which the purchasers of females sometimes get trimmed to the natural size." Was Pliny or 
Marsden the source of the long-eared albino myth? 

- Huxley, Essay on the Natural History of the Man-like Apes, Collected Essays, Vol. vii. p. 17, says 
that Linnaeus knew nothing of his own observation of the man-like apes, but Hoppus may be supposed 
to embody his views. Huxley rather discredits Bontius, but the latter never asserted that his ourang- 
outang was an ape, and as a matter of fact the name is not used by the Malays for an ape but for an 
uncultured tribe living in the woods and means "man of the woods" (see Miklucho Maklay, Chambers' 
EncycL, 1906, Art. Oraiig). Bontius is fairly obscure in his brief account of the Orang ; his figure (see 
our Plate t;) according to Huxley (p. 11) is "nothing but a very hairy woman of rather comely aspect (!), 
and with proportions and feet wholly human," but Bontius' sin is nothing compared to that of Linnaeus 
who linked up H. nocturnus with all the absurdities of mediaeval travellers and post-classical writers. 

K. P. 4 


phase of mediaeval tradition. An examination of our bibliography will convince the 
reader that even in 1766 Linnaeus could have learnt from quite a number of writers 
that the albino and the troglodyte were not to be confused. In the very year of the 
12th edition of the Sy sterna the Danish missionaries (see our Bibl. No. 70) were sending 
home quite reasonable accounts of the albino, and Duddell thirty years earlier (see our 
Bibl. No. 55) knew quite well that an albino was nothing sub-human. 

Such, however, was the last quaint myth as to the albino, and it may fitly 
conclude our account of these early notices of albinism. We have endeavoured in 
this section to show the lengthy history of albinism, to indicate some of the quaint 
bye-paths of albinotic tradition, and indirectly to throw some light on the appearance 
of albinos and their treatment in widely separated lands. If we have seen that there 
is no real evidence for the existence of an albino race or nation, which could justify 
the statements of the early writers, or excuse Linnaeus for making a separate species 
of Homo nocturnus, the albino man, we still think that something is to be learnt from 
the oft-repeated tale. We find it almost invariably marks a group apparently racially 
differentiated in hair and eye-colour from the neighbouring races, and that the albinos 
arise in close association with this group, — possibly by some result of segregation. 
This may not be the only manner in which albinos appear, but we fancy a real census 
of albinos leading to a knowledge of the districts in which they are most frequent 
might be suggestive for many points turning on mutation and segregation. As it is 
we are, as we shall see in the next section, very far from knowing the relative frequency 
of albinism geographically, although we know that it occurs in almost all countries 
and suspect it of occurring in all. 



Section I. The Light-Skinned Races. 

This chapter must necessarily fail of the completeness which we should desire 
for it. The occurrence of albinism, whether we take it to be 1 in 5000 or 1 in 30,000 
of the population, is rare, a fraction of a percent., and the probable error of the 
determination of any such small frequency is very large. When we take a small 
district of which we can actually examine the whole population, the numbers dealt 
with are not sufficient to give any reliable result. In larger districts, where the 
occurrence of albinism may be so marked as to be sure of record, we are often, especially 
among non- European races, wholly ignorant of the number of the population. In large 
civilised communities the albino will often escape the notice of the individual inquirer, 
and some special type of census must be devised. This census may take the form of 
voluntary returns to schedules issued, as in the case of the survey made by the Italian 
Anthropological Society, and in the inquiries issued to the district medical officers 
in Norway by Dr Magnus, or it may be part of a more general scheme as when we 
organise a pigmentation survey of school-children (Prussia, Scotland, etc.). Unfortu- 
nately such pigmentation surveys have not so far adequately dealt with the problem 
of albinism. Nor have they hitherto included those special institutions, such as 
Blind-Schools and Schools for the mentally-defective into which a relatively large 
number of the small number of albino children appear to be drafted. Beyond this 
a considerable number of albino children are in the better classes kept from school and 
educated at home, or in the poorer classes are allowed several years of grace by the 
school-officer' ; this reduces the percentage of albinos to be found in the schools at any 
given time. Thus a school-district with 20 or 30,000 children may report at a given 
time not a single albino child in the schools, although we have had knowledge of one 
or two families with albino children living in the district ; some of these are possibly 
in special institutions, others are owing to delicacy and poorness of sight kept from 

Another point of some difficulty in an inquiry like our own, which extends over 
several years and is not a record taken at a single epoch, is the question of birth and 
death ; albinos recorded as living five or six years ago may now be dead ; we cannot 
hope by accumulating family histories to obtain the extent of the albinotic section of 
the population at any given time. The only way to achieve such knowledge would 
be to include albinism, like blindness, deafmutism and insanity, with the conditions 
which must be compulsorily returned in the national census. It is idle to disregard 

^ Statement made by several young adult albinos on inquiry as to nature of their school career. 



the fact that, however many be the exceptions, albinism is very often associated 
with lowered physique and lessened mentality, and that from the standpoint of the 
efficiency of the population its present extent and possible increase is a matter of 
national importance \ Till, however, the census is properly used as a method for 
determining the changes in the racial fitness of a population, the reader must be 
content with the vague returns as to albinism, which is all that it is possible for the 
individual inquirer to collect. 

Even in such returns we may bear in mind some vital points, which if they cannot 
be fully dealt with at present, may yet receive some light from our inquiries. For 
example : Are there any countries or races where albinism is unknown, or at any rate 
very scarce ? In a given country is there evidence to show that albinism occurs 
relatively more frequently in secluded districts, mountain valleys or islands, where we 
may suppose the population sedentary and much endogamy to prevail ? To what 
extent does inbreeding in man, cousin or even closer marriage, seem to lead to albinism 
in the offspring ? In any given population does relative purity of race, or the mixture 
of races, as indicated by difierences in skin, hair and eye-colours, seem to favour the 
appearance of albinism ? To these problems the reader may find some contributory 
suggestions, if far from complete answers, in the following pages. 

A. Europe, (i) Scandinavia. 

The only part of Scandinavia which we have been able effectively to report on 
is Norway. In the first draft of this chapter we wrote, owing to careful inquiries 
kindly made by Dr Grossmann of Liverpool, who had spent several holidays in Iceland, 
that the medical men there had never heard of an albino in the island. (Population 
about 76,000 in 1898.) But direct inquiry by one of our number of Dr Mathiasson 
led to the discovery of three living and one dead albino, which would give a minimum 
of at least 1 in about 25,000 inhabitants, a ratio not widely divergent from that noted 
in other parts of Europe (see Fig. 488). Probably any such complete census in the 
rural districts of Iceland as that made by Dr Magnus in Norway would lead to 
the discovery of further albinos. 

Sweden has unfortunately remained an almost untrodden field. We can refer 
only to the case recorded by F. v. Becker in 1869. It was a single case of complete 
general albinism in a child of 13 months". We regret having no data from Sweden, 
because it has probably a more uniform population than Norway, and the relative 
frequency of albinism in these two Scandinavian countries would throw some light 
on the influence of purity of race on the prevalence of albinism. For Denmark our 
returns are as defective as for Sweden. We can only point to Rhode of Augustenburg's 
account of a Danish " Kackei-laken " from 17871 This was a boy of 14, perfectly 
healthy and intelligent, small, nystagmus, photophobia, myopia, could hardly see a 
stick at 12 paces; pupil bright red, iris violet-red; snow-white lashes and brows; 

^ The birth certificate, as one of the present writers has elsewhere urged, ought to provide a record of 
every marked defect or deformity {Biometrika, Vol. v. p. 79). Nothing short of this will provide the 
nation with a means of determining the great problem of whether degeneracy is or is not on the increase. 

- See Bibl. No. 316. ' See Bibl. No. 104. 


long straight white hair, nearing yellow. He is stated to have had albinotic ascendents 
or collaterals. Obviously a typical complete albino, like v. Becker's Swedish case. 
Again this absence of information is not to be taken as indicating any infrequency 
of albinism in Denmark. 

C. H. Usher when in the Faroe Islands in the summer of 1906 inquired of all 
the six medical men there, and found that not one of them had ever seen an albino 
in the Faroes. (Population 17,000, and many of the people are very isolated.) 

With regard to Greenland we may note here that with a population of nearly 
10,000 Esquimaux a Danish official who had been there for 22 years and had personal 
knowledge of almost the whole of the inhabitants assured C. H. Usher in 1906 that 
he had never seen an albino amongst them. 

With regard to Norway, owing to the labours of DahP, Koren', and recently and 
most completely Magnus', Ave are able to give far more complete data. The reader will 
find the following pedigrees deal with Norwegian cases. Figs. 147 — 9, 318, 319, 365 — 7, 
453—82, 530, 556—61, 594, 608 and 612. Dr V. Magnus has himself provided the 
following special summary of his investigations. " Through an inquiry of all the local 
medical officers ('Distriktlaegen'; the official medical man for a district is not, however, 
exactly rendered by the English 'local Qiedical officer') I obtained knowledge of 130 
cases of albinism in Norway, and I have obtained the pedigrees of about 100 of these dis- 
tributed into about 50 families. In the districts which have been fairly closely investi- 
gated there were at least 122 living albinos to a population of 1,177,150, that is about 
1 to the 9 to 10,000 inhabitants. In the three chief towns, Kristiania with 232,000 
inhabitants gave 10 living albinos, Bergen with 82,200 3 Hving albinos, Throndhjem 
with 42,000 only 1 living albino. But the difficulty of obtaining a complete census 
of these big towns is greater than in the country districts where the Distriktlaege has 
a more intimate knowledge of the population individually. Excluding the above 
three towns, 40 lesser towns with a population of 280,368 gave 39 living albinos, and 
the rural districts with a population of 484,000 gave 68 living albinos, in both cases 
the proportions are nearly 1 in 7000 ^ and there appears to be no greater frequency 
of albinism in the secluded valleys and fjords where there has been since ancient times 
much inbreeding than in the urban population. The distribution of the albinotic 
stocks is given by black circles on the map, Plate 8, and it will be seen to follow 
largely the population distribution. Of course the numbers are insufficient for any 
very definite result ; they do not, however, confirm the view that mere inbreeding 
has anything to do with the appearance of albinism. 

"The 122 living albinos have had 17 albinotic brothers and sisters. Altogether 
I have heard of 174 albinos in Norway, 20 of whom are dead. The actual percentages 
of male and female albinos and of normal and albino siblings in albinotic sibships will 

1 See Bibl. No. 276. - See Bibl. No. 339. 

' Pedigrees published first in this monograpli. 

■* The size of the population falling to each Distriktlaege who replied to my inquiry has been most 
kindly provided by Dr Easmus Hanssen, General Secretary of the Norske Laegeforeniny, of course in round 


be discussed with other data in the chapter on statistics of this monograph. It roay 
be added, however, here that of 17 albinos who have married normal individuals, only 
two have had albinotic offspring, in one case one albinotic child and in the other case 
two such children." See Pedigrees, Figs. 560 and 608. 

(ii) Lajjland and Finland. We have no returns'. 

(iii) Slavonic Pojndations. We have no data from the small Southern Slavonic 
states. Inquiries were made in Northern Russia by C. H. Usher. Staatsrath Dr 
med. L. V. Lingen kindly replied as follows under date St Petersburg, 19 Feb. 1909 : 

" Auf die Bitte von Herrn John Kilburn habe ich bei einer Reihe von Aerzten in 
Petersburg Nachfrage angestellt, ob diese in ihrer Praxis auf Albinos gestossen sind. 
Die gefragten CoUegen, denen ich mich auf Grund eines grossen Hospitalsmaterials 
anschliessen kann, ausserten sich einstimmig darin, dass sie in Petersburg niemals 
auf Falle von Albinos gestossen sind." 

The Rev. W. Kilburn has most kindly made inquiries among the clergy of North 
Russia, and none had seen or heard of any case of albinism ; indeed but for the typed 
inquiries he had with him many would have thought him mad to ask about such an 
unheard of condition. 

We are justified possibly in concluding that albinism is very scarce among the 
Northern Slavs'. It would be of much interest to know whether it is not more 
frequent in the Russian Baltic provinces', where we again come on the borderland 
of two races. Such an inquiry, say round Memel, would be of special value, because 
as Virchow has already pointed out'' there is a minor form of albinism racially present 
among the Letts. They are a blond race with straight yellow hair^ Praetorius 
spoke of the Lettish eyes as "gray falling almost into yellow." Virchow found that 
this characteristic was associated with distinct anatomical peculiarities, which he 
describes as follows : 

"Erstens fand sich bei der Mehrzahl der Leute eine eigenthilmliche ungefarbte und 
daher weissliche erscheinende Deckschicht, welche in bald breiterer, bald schmiilerer 
Ausbreitung den mittleren Theil des Iris-Ringes bedeckte und sowohl den pupillaren 
als den lateralen Rand frei liess. Ich habe diese Schicht als Reticulum oder Netzwerk 
bezeichnet, weil sie bei genauerer Betrachtung aus einem maschigen Gewebe bestand, 
dessen Faserzilge zu zahlreichen Knotenpunkten zusammentraten. Da, wo die 
Maschenriiume lagen, schemmerte die meist blaue oder bliiuliche tiefere Lage der Iris 
durch, wiihrend die Fiiden und Netze selbst durch ihre Undurchsichtigkeit und 

' The Distriktlaegen in the Finn country in the extreme north of Norway reported no cases among the 
Finns known to them. 

- Bulatow reported a case of albinism at the St Petersburg Society of Marine Physicians, November, 
1902; see Bibl. No. 498, but we have only seen the reference in Nagel's Jahresbericht, Bd. 33, S. 264, 
Tubingen, 1903. 

' From Libau, we have Dr Ischreyt's case, Fig. 115, containing two albinos, and he speaks of several 
related albinos. 

* See Bibl. No. 427. 

" We are hoping to receive specimens of this hair for microscopic examination. It would be interesting 
to know to what extent there is absence of granular pigment. 


Farblosigkeit eiiien weisslichen Schimmer erzeugten. Trat das Pigment aus der Tiefe 
weiter herauf, so gab es einen griinlichen oder gelblichen Schimmer ; zuweUen sah man 
aber das seine Blau der Tiefe zwischen dem Weiss der Oberfliiche durclileuchten. 
Zweiteus zeigte sicli um die Pupille herum eine marginale Zone, welche nicht gedeckt 
war durch das Reticulum, und gerade liier trat eine stiirkere, am hiiufigsten eine gelbe 
oder braune Pigmentirung hervor, zuweilen durch kleine, braune Haufchen verstiirkt. 
Auch der laterale Theil der Iris zeigte ahnliche Verhiiltnisse, nur nicht so scharf und 
fur den iiusseren Eindrnck bestimmend. So wird es begreiflich dass dasselbe Auo-e 
dem eine blau oder bliiuliche, dem andern griinlich gelblich oder selbst gelb erscheinen 
kann" (S. 781). 

Those who have studied the albinotic iris, especially among the albinos of dark 
skinned races, will at once notice how closely this unpigmented network with the 
"green or yellow eye" accords with that experience. Yirchow himself remarks : 

" Dieser Zustand hat unverkennbar etwas albinistisches an sich ; er berliht auf 
einem Mangel an Farbstoff in den iiusseren oder vorderen Theilen der Iris." 

In spite of this — and here again we are reminded of the eyes of the partial 
albinos of many dark races — the eyes of the Lithuanians are not photophobic or in 
continuous motion ; the pupil is black and there is nothing to indicate that any other 
portion of the eye shares this want of pigment. The skin (S. 781), Virchow tells us, 
has an " ungewohnlich helles Colorit ' weiss ' " and is often " ungemein zart." We are 
undeniably near the xanthous type of some dark races. 

" Der Zustand [des Auges] ist eben eine extreme Steigerung des blauen Zustandes, 
wie das gelbliche Weiss des Haares eine Steigerung des blondes Zustandes darstellt. 
Merkwiirdig genug ist es zu sehen, wie bier Haar und Augen zusammenwirken, um 
jenen Eindruck ^av^dxTj?, welchen die alten Schriftsteller an den nordischen Volkern 
einmtithig hervorheben, zu erzeugen" (S. 782). 

When we remember that the Lithuanians are now looked upon by many 
authorities as possibly the existing I'ace closest to the primitive Aryan type, these 
points are not without suggestiveness. At any rate the results of segregation when 
this type is crossed on the one side with the Slavonic and on the other side with 
the Germanic population might offer valuable material not only for albinotic inquiry, 
but for suggestions in the broader field of racial problems. 

Turning to Mid-Russia we have to thank Drs Smirnoff and Odinzow for Figs. 
628 — 9 containing three Moscow albinos. Otherwise we can only note the scanty 
facts provided with regard to albinism by the returns of a Moscow Ojahthalmic 
Hospital. Trettenbacher' records in 8 years, 1845 — 52, among 46,278 patients only 4 
with albinism. This can hardly represent, if we remember that we are dealing with a 
highly selected population, more than, perhaps, 1 in 100,000 normals. These statistics 
possibly mark again a paucity of albinism in the Slavonic population of Russia. 

We have heai'd of one or two cases in Poland ; thus we have de St Vincent's' 
case of an albino who was the offspring of a Pole and a German, and Strack's " Polish 

' Archives cFOphthalmologie, T. 1, p. 92, 18-53. Annales d'Oculistique, T. 30, p. 132, 1853. 
= See Bibl. No. 413. 


nobleman" in French service in 1813, aged about 30'. But here again we see the 
possibility of hybridism being of special importance. 

(iv) Germany. A paper which at first sight would appear to provide much 
useful information as to Prussian albinos is Virchow's report on the great pigmentation 
survey of school children'. As a matter of fact it provides very little valuable 
information, although Virchow devotes some pages to the discussion of albinism in 
the returns. The failure in this case is shared by several other school pigmentation 
surveys. No consideration has been given a -priori to the category of albinism. If 
all albinos had been entered as "white-haired" and "pink-eyed," or in a separate 
class, the information would have been of the highest value ; but as Ave shall now see 
this is not the case, and it is impossible from the returns to ascertain the exact amount 
of albinism, even if we exclude the possibility of albinos in Germany being- drafted as 
in England into special institutions. The difficulty lies — when no special category is 
provided — in two points : (i) in the tendency of the hair of albinos to take a yellow 
or even a red tinge at the extremities, thus the albino hair may be recorded among 
the blonds, (ii) if the eye-colour be judged by the iris, it does not follow that the 
proper description of the albino eye is "red" or "pink," there will be a red reflex, 
but the iris may appear blue, grayish or even greenish, tinged possibly with red 
according to the light. Thus if teachers are merely asked as to colour of hair and 
iris, it is quite possible that the red pupil will escape record, although fully recognised 
by the recorder. A special entry ought to be dii-ectly asked for. 

Thus out of nearly 4,000,000 children dealt with about 400 are said to have 
"white hair." This would give us one albino to every 10,000 children in Germany, 
a proportion only slightly less than that which Magnus has found for Norway. But 
some of these children may have been the extreme blonds of Lithuania or Friesland". 
On the other hand only 32 children were reported as having " red eyes," and only 23 
of these red-eyed children as having "white hair," which gives us a complete albino 
only once in about 200,000 children ! The fact is that this and other pigmentation 
surveys have not been designed to bring out the true prevalence of albinism. 

Of the 23 children " white-haired with red eyes "17 came from Prussia, three from 
Bavaria and one each from Baden, Braunschweig and Oldenburg. Of the 32 red-eyed 
children all are said to have had white skin but one, who is credited with red hair 
and a brown skin. Of the nine red-eyed who had not white hair, six are described as 
" blond," which in this case is probably only the flaxen yellow of many complete 
albinos ; two are credited with red hair and one with " brown," the latter being 
probably some form of red as the skin was white ; there would thus be three "rufous 
albinos," of the type we shall have several occasions to refer to in this memoir. That 
out of 32 red-eyed children 2 or 3 should be rufous, i.e. 6 to 9 per cent., whereas 
under ^ per cent, of red hair occurs in the population at large, does not seem to bear 

' See Bibl. No. 4.57. - See Bibl. No. 1109. 

^ Phoebus (see Bibl. No. 207) was, we think, the first to draw attention to the extreme blondism of 
some of the Friesland peasantry as amounting almost to a mild form of albinism, and the point has been 
much emphasised in a letter to one of us from Dr Meyerhof of Cairo, who belongs to Friesland. 


out Virchow's statement that these numbers are the best proof that no relationship 
exists between " red hair " and " red eyes " ! We shall see later that there exists 
a real tendency for the rufous to break down into the albinotic. A possible four 
cases of "red" and "yellow-red" eyes were reported from Wiirtemburg, and these may 
also have been albinos'. 

If we turn from the school survey to the literature and our own records, we find 
at once that albinism must be fairly frequent although we are not in a position to say 
how its frequency compares with that of Norway, Sicily or England. The smallness 
of the response to our appeal in the German medical papers for cases of albinism 
cannot be interpreted as evidence of its infrequency, for at least one of us has found 
that letters courteously asking for information as to books or papers, which a few years 
ago would have received a ready reply, no longer are granted attention in Germany. 
We have, however, to thank several German colleagues for providing interesting cases. 
Of new German cases we may note those of Dr P. V. Richter from Hamm in 
Westphalia (one complete albino), Fig. 194, of Dr Marhol from Iserlohn in Westphalia 
(two complete albinos), Fig. 549, and of K. Pearson, Fig. 487 (three complete albinos 
from Hesse). We have 28 published pedigrees', these embrace 74 albinos from 
Marburg (3), Mainz (4), Wtirzburg (8), Giessen (3), Leipzig (6), Gottingen (1), 
Wiesbaden (8), Wolfrathshausen (3), and more vaguely, Swabia (3), Elsass (7), 
Harz (8), Brunswick (4), Schwarzwald (l), and unstated (15). Of cases not included 
in our pedigrees, there exist at least twelve': Miinster (2), Saxony (2), Gotha (1), 
Brunswick (3), Bavaria (1), Silesia (1), Prussia (1), and unstated (1). This gives at 
least 92 German reported cases, which are independent of the somewhat indefinite 
numbers reported in the German school pigmentation survey. About one-tenth of 
these are incomplete albinos. Of the 92 cases 31 are male, 29 female and 32 unsexed. 
This is a poor harvest for a populous country like Germany, and we have very likely 
missed a considerable number of isolated published cases. No thorough study of the 
frequency and distribution of albinos in Germany has, we believe, been made, and 
although it is quite possible that the frequency of albinism is rather less in Germany 
than in countries with more mixed populations, yet it is impossible to point to any 
very good statistical or genealogical work done on the subject in Germany, and the 
published German pedigrees are of very small value. The best German work upon 
albinism has undoubtedly been on the physiological side. 

(v) Austria. From the mixed population of Austria, we should expect to find 
a considerable number of 'albinos. Our data are, however, slender. We publish three 

' The actual distribution of the 23 cases was as follows : Oelber a. W., Wolfenbuttel ; Selb, Rehau, 
Oberfranken; Lohr, Hammelburg, Unterfranken ; Sulzthal, in the same; Ratibor ; Minden (2 in one 
school); Kreise Friedland, East Prussia (2); Angerburg, Gumbinnen; Stargard, West Prussia; Berlin; 
Wissitz, Bromberg; Breslau ; Halberstadt; Aschersleben ; Eckartsberga ; Altona; Buren; Miihlheim a. 
Rh. (a Jew) ; Unterlahnkreis ; Heidelberg ; Oberstein, Oldenburg. 

■' Figs. 73, 75, 143—4, 150—3, 235, 242, 247—8, 260, 264—5, 299, 352, 374—5, 377—9, 403, 406, 
408, 438, 452, 570. 

' See Ansiaux fils, Bibl. No. 142, Phoebus, No. 207, Pickel, No. 106, No. 107, Esquirol, No. 217, 
Sailer, No. 201, Talko, No. 335, etc., etc. 

K. p. 5 


new pedigrees, Figs. 6 and ^ from Dr V. Hanke of Vienna, whicli contain five albinos, 
and Fig. 445 due to Professor Fuchs of Vienna and containing particulars as to two 
very interesting partial albinos. The published matter known to us is also very 
slight, and covers several races of this heterogeneous empire. In 1836 Dr Herzig 
reported the case of an albino boy from Haid in Bohemia', and Fischer in 1832 operated 
in Pi-ag for cataract on the eyes of an albino woman'. From Hungary we find references 
to a few cases. Pastor Klein in his Naturseltenheiten des Konigreichs Ungarn, 1778' 
refers to an albino girl, and Jellinck in 1857' notes certain cases of partial albinism. 
An albino from Siegartskirch and possibly a few from Salzburg" complete the slender 
material we have been able to collect as to Austria. 

Indirectly we have some data as to the frequency of partial albinism. Pilcz and 
Wintersteiner', whose statistics will be dealt with later, examined 707 insane persons 
in the Universitatsklinik at Vienna ophthalmoscopicaPy and found no less than 36 
with albinotic fundus, although they came across no complete albinos. According to 
this one in twenty of the insane exhibits partial albinism. The insane cannot, 
however, be taken as a normal sample of the popidation as far as albinism is 
concerned ; we shall see, as Pilcz and Wintersteiner point otit, that albinism is only 
one of the signs of general degeneracy. If, however, the sample, of the insane was a 
random sample, and we supposed no sane individuals at all to suffer from partial 
albinism, we should conclude that 1 in 400, or 1 in 2000 of the general population of 
Austria was partially albinotic, accordiiig as we selected 5 or 1 per cent, to measure 
the number of persons in that country insane at some time during theii- life. The 
prevalence of partial albinism thus indicated seems large,^ but if the association with 
insanity be considerable, it would possibly escape the notice of ophthalmoscopists 
working chiefly among the normal population. 

(vi) Hollayid. While we can refer to no published, data, we have, thanks to 
the courtesy of Drs Koster and Schoute, quite a number of interesting pedigrees here 
given for the first lime. See our Figs. 113,' 207, 208, 210, 226, 496. These contain 
17 Dutch albinos; we have also knowledge of seven further casefe of Dutch albinos 
sent most kindly to us by Prof Koster, or a total of 24 albinos from Holland, some 
three of whom are partial. It is noteworthy that 1 8 of the reported Dutch albinos 
are female, only six are male'. 

(vii) Great Britain. Passing to our own country we have three sources of 
material, (a) published pedigrees and reports of cases, (6) new material engraved in 
the plates of this memoir, and (c) single cases reported to us without any investigation 
of family history, or where the family history could not be ascertained. We find that 
(c) contains only 12 albinos, of whom no less than nine were, in various grades and 
modes, incomplete. This list could have been rendered larger, but we have only 
formed it incidently in seeking material for (6). 

1 See Bibl. No. 1099. °- See Bibl. No. 197. ' See Bibl. No. 87. 

* See Bibl. No. 265. = See Bibl. Nos., 135, 145, etc. " See Bibl. No. 518. 

' We have in addition, what are of considerable importance, one albino, the oiispriug of a French 
father and Dutch mother (see Fig. 63), and two albinos, the oflfspring of Dutch-Portuguese descent 
(see Fig. 336). 


(a) Of tlie published references I think the earliest is the epitaph of the boy 
who died in IG32, which was formerly in Worsborough Church in Yorkshire', and has 
already been referred tO' (see our p. 12 ftn.). Other early English cases are those of 
Duddell (a boy, St Martin's Lane, London, aged 14, 1736, very prominent corneas 
" obtused like cones," "the globes were trembling or quivering, which is called 
Hippos, and the, ruby pupils were the most curious of any." Duddell cites Woolhouse, 
who had apparently seen a case, and compared with the choroides of white i-abbits. 
Duddell himself dissected the eyes of albino rabbits and found the choroides 
" something of a fleshlier Red than the Retina, or than the Retina of those Rabbits that 
have their choroides Black, which I compared together." He was the first we believe 
to measure the refraction of an albino, and found the focus about 5 inches to the 
right eye, and somewhat longer to the left, so that he held things " more obliquely to 
that temple." Duddell considered the boy's sight as good as that "of a great many 
Myopes is in the Day, viz. of his Focus." Mother attributed the eyes to her having 
witnessed a battle between two bats with red and flaming eyes durmg her pregnancy : 
see Bibl. No. 55) ; of John Hunter (a boy at Shepperton, aged 13, 1786, white hair, red 
pupils, photophobia, no mention of nystagmus. Hunter attributed myopia to the habit 
of screwing up the eyeballs to avoid light : see Bibl. No. 99) ; of Nicholson (3 $'s, Essex, 
1808, Fig. 362 and "England" 1 ^,1 $: see Bibl. No. 144); of Marshall (several, 
ottspring of a male albino, "North of England," 1832, Fig. 407); and of Doyere (an 
old man and old woman In Bedfordshire, cited by Cornaz, Bibl. No. 256, p. 280). 

The locus of published cases of later date is not generally given ; we have 
records of 16 ^'s and 11 $'s who were completely, and 12 $'s and 8 $'s who were 
incompletely albinotic. 

(6) Of the new "material in this memoir we have from London 77 $'s, 51 ?'s 
completely albinotic, 44 ^'s, 31 ^'s incompletely albinotic. The description, "London," 
however is very vague. Many of them are probably immigrants from the home counties, 
or may merely have come into London for advice. Starting from the North we have 
Northumberland (4 ^'s, 3 $'s), Cumberland (3 ^'s, 5 $'s), Durham (5 ^'s, 1 ?), 
Yorkshire (3 fs, 1 $), Lancashire (17 ^'s, 9 ?'s, 9 unsexed, and 6 <?'s, 6 $'s incomplete), 
Derbyshire (2 ^'s, 1 ?), Stafibrdshire (3 ^'s), Nottinghamshire (3 ^'s, 1 $), Lincolnshne 
(1 ^, 1 ?), Leicestershire (2 ^'s, and 1 $ incomplete), Warwickshire (4 ^'s, 3 ?'s, and 
13 ^'s, 3 $'s incomplete), Herefordshire (1 ^, 2 ?'s), Worcestershire (2 $'s), 
Bedfordshire (6 ^'s), Cambridgeshire (6 <y's, 2 $'s, and 3 fs incomplete), Sufiblk (7 ^'s, 
5 ?'s, and 1 ^, 3 ?'s incomplete), Oxfordshire (2 ^'s), Buckinghamshire (1 unsexed, 
and 1 $ incomplete), Berkshire (2 $'s), Essex (1 $, 2 $'s, and 9 ^'s, 1 $ and 6 unsexed 
incomplete), Devonshire (2 ^'s, 1 ?), Dorsetshire (1 $), Hampshire (5 ^'s, 2 $'s, and 
2 ^'s, 2 $'s incomplete), Surrey (1 ? and 4 ^'s, 3 $'s incomplete), Sussex (3 ^'s, 1 ?), 
Kent (1 $, 1 ?), and vaguely " South of England " (3 ^'s, 2 ?'s, and 1 ^, 1 ? incomplete). 
It appears almost impossible from this material to deduce any conclusions as to 

^ See Bibl. No. 209. There is no doubt, however, that Philemon Holland who published his 
translation of Pliny, First Ed. 1635, was fully cognizant of the general characteristics of albinism: 
see our p. 23 ftn. 



distribution ; we note that Cornwall has provided no cases. From allied Wales 
we have only 8 ^'s and 3 ?'s, of which 5 were found in publications (4 $'a, Anglesea, 
Fig. 261, and 1 $, Pembrokeshire, Fig. 205). In Ireland we have 2 ^'s, 3 ?'s and 1 $ 
incomplete from Dublin, 5 ,^'s, 2 ?'s and 2 unsexed from Belfast in our material. 
Published material provides four peculiarly interesting cases : Perceval's case of 
Jane Bern (aged 11, 1790, she had vertical and rotatory nystagmus — possibly the 
first case recorded, she read with the lines of her book vertical, or parallel to the 
sagittal plane of the head ; red pupils, and irldes of uniform deep red approaching 
brown, fine hair, somewhat whiter than flax, she came from Longford in North of 
Ireland, see Bibl. No. 117), Graves' cases (1 $, 1 ?), in one of which the irides lost the 
red reflex and the hair changed from white to light brown (see Bibl. No. 213, p. 79, 
1845), and Wilde's case of Master D., aged 3, whose eyes originally of bright pink, 
had later light lilac blue irides and violet red pupils ; the hair changed from white to 
a dirty cream colour, but the vision did not improve with the development of 
colouring matter (see Bibl. No. 285, p. 81, 1862). It will be noted that from Cornwall, 
Wales and Ireland we have relatively few albinos", but we should not venture to 
suggest that few Celts are albinotic. On the contrary we shall see later that one 
markedly Celtic type leads frequently to albinism when crossed with other types. 
It is just possible that such crossing is not frequent in the districts mentioned", but 
the absence of albinos is probably chiefly due to the paucity of reporters in the countiy 

If we turn to Scotland we have very much larger numbers to report. Of the 
early published cases Carron du Villards reports a young albino Scottish woman born 
in the Malaccas, but living at the Cape (see Bibl. No. 218, p. 63, 1838), but we have 
noticed no other references. Our own material provides of complete albinos 92 ^'s, 
76 ?'s and 4 unsexed, and of incomplete albinos 24 ^'s, 34 $'s, and 2 unsexed. 
These are distributed as far as districts are determinable as follows : Aberdeen 
and Aberdeenshire (21 ^'s, 31 ?'s and one unsexed, 14 ^'s, 19 ?'s incomplete), 
Banfishire (2 ^'s, ?'s, and 5 ^'s, 5 $'s incomplete), Dumfriesshire (6 ^'s, 3 ?'s, and 1 $ 
incomplete), Elgin (3 ?'s incomplete), Fifeshire (3 ^'s, 1 ?, and 2 ^'s, I $ and 
2 unsexed incomplete), Glasgow (13 ^'s, 9 ?'s), Dundee (4 ^'s), Inverness (9 ^'s, 5 ?'s, 
and 1 $ incomplete), Perthshire (11 ^'s, 8 ?'s), Orkney (5 ^'s, 1 ?), Hebrides (2 ^'s, 4 ?'s), 
Skye (3 ^'s, 5 ?'s, and possibly 5 ^'s, 5 ?'s incomplete), lona (2 ^'s, 2 $'s). Several cases 
were merely described as " Highlanders," or were the ofispring of parents from different 
districts. In the following Scottish districts inquiry led to the statement that no albinos 
existed: Shetland and Orkney (other than Fig. 100 given), Banff" (Aberchirder, 
Keith, Tomintoul), Forfar (Brechin, Montrose), Elgin (Fochabers), Aberdeen (Hatton, 

' We have twice heard of Comish cases, but got no answer to inquiries. The parents were Irish 
in Fig. 593. 

^ Wilde (loc. cit. supra p. 83) gives the statistics of eye-colour observed in a liospital registry for 
18 months in Dublin. Out of 2776 individuals, 1884 had light eyes, 752 blue, 1132 grey in the 
proportions 992 ^'s to 892 $'s; 288 had hazel eyes and 604 dark eyes, varying in shade from light brown 
to "black" in the proportions 470 (J's to 422 ?'s. Thus the light-eyed population about Dublin is to the 
dark-eyed in the proportion of about 2 to 1. Unfortunately he does not tell us how many of these li<yht- 
eyed had dark hair and how many light hair, so that we cannot test the probability of racial crosses. 


Port Errol, Fraserburgh), Ross (Tain, Gairloch, Torridon, Applecross), Mull (Bunessan, 
Salen), Skye (Dunvegan, Uig, Broadford, Carbost, Isle Ornsay), North Uist, Lewis 
(Stornoway, Barvas), Islay, Suthei^land (Scourie). In these districts there are either 
no albinos or we have their cases. Probably there are not many albinos in 
Aberdeenshire, Kincardine or Banff we have not heard of. 

An attempt was made to prepare a distribution map of the Scottish albinos, but 
the spots marking cases were seen to be so influenced by the centres at which we had 
active contributors that nothing could really be learnt from the chart. 

At the Glasgow fever hospital (Bellevedere) Dr Brownlee informs us that he has 
seen one albino in eight yeai-s' fever experience, which amounts to about 3000 cases 
per annum. This would mean one albino to about 20,000 to 25,000 persons. We 
have records of between 100 and 150 living albinos in Scotland, and the districts we 
have covered contain not quite half the population. It seems probable therefore that 
there exist 200 to 300 albinos in Scotland, which would give us one albino to eveiy 
15,000 to 25,000 inhabitants. Dr H. Wright Thomson, the ophthalmologist to the 
Glasgow School Board, says that in three years for the Glasgow Board and Voluntary 
Schools, he has found two albinos among 90,000 children, both of these were in 
special schools, one in a blind asylum and the other in a class for the mentally 
defective. But inquiries at various centres in Glasgow have led us to the discovery 
of five or six other children of school age in Glasgow who are albinos. Some of these 
may be in the Govan district, which is not in the School Board area. We have then 
seven or eight albino children among, perhaps, 100,000 of school age. This works out 
roughly to about one in 13,000 to 15,000, and considering the usual weakness and 
therefore higher death-rate of albinos, would not differ very much from one in 15 to 
20,000 for the general population. 

If we admit in Scotland one albino say to 21,000 and call a family a group of five 
children with their parents, we should expect one albino to 3000 famihes. But it is 
rare to find one albino in a family only, the average is certainly two or more ; hence 
we may say that there is patent albinism once in every 6000 families. Now every 
albino family with five children should give rise to four or five new families, in three of 
which albinism might be latent, although some of the brothers and sisters of the albinos 
should be free from the taint. On the other hand the albinos have a higher death- 
rate. We shall probably err in excess, if we assert that for every patently albinotic 
stock there are six with latent albinism'. If we take this number, we must hold that 
albinism latent or patent only occurs once per 1000 families in Scotland. Apart 
therefore from marriage of kin, the odds must be very great — roughly a million to 
one — against an albinotic stock marrying an albinotic stock. We might have to 
modify these numbers, if we could point to albinism clustering round certain districts 
in Scotland, but our statistics show no signs of such being the case. The condition 
that albinism should exist in both parent stocks, if needful for the appearance of 
albinism, ought to be indicated by an overwhelming amount of consanguineous 
marriage in the parents of albinos. It is noteworthy that whereas in non- 

1 It is relatively rare in the case of a complete pedigree for an albinotic sibship to show no past 
history of patent albinism. 


consanguineous unions leading to albinism, we very frequently find traces of albinism 
in the ancestry or collaterals of one parent stock, it is of extreme rarity to find traces 
in both parental stocks. With about seven to a family, we should find some 
600,000 families in Scotland and of these say 600 would be albinotic. If these 
albinotlc stocks could produce albinos without intercrossing we should reach the 
200 or 300 albinos, which appear to be about the existing number. But if they 
have to intermarry to produce albinotic offspring, the number of albinos in Scotland 
seems far in excess of the probable. Even if we increased our albinos to one in 8000 
to 10,000, an estimate more near to Fijian, Norwegian or Sicilian results, we should 
not find any reasonable chance that albino stock would marry albino stock unless we 
segregated such stocks or increased much beyond possible values the consanguineous 
marriages in the community. These points will be discussed more in detail later, but 
our Scottish statistics suggest round numbers for consideration. 

(viii) Spain and Portugal. If we pass to the Latin races, we have no data 
whatever from Spain or Portugal. " Chapman" has been cited^ as authority for the 
occurrence of albinism in Spain. But we have not been able to trace any likely 
author of this name. 

(ix) France. Our plates'^ contain 17 ^'s, 8 ?'s and 9 unsexed with one 
incomplete $. Besides these we have only found some 34 cases in medical literature. 
Splendid as the French pedigree work has been in certain directions of pathological 
defect, but little appears to have been done in France with regard to albinism. This 
may mark an absence of material, or possibly an absence of interest. Besides the 
short pedigrees on our plates Ave have other cases of French albinos referred to by 
Cornaz [Bibl. No. 256 (p. 299), a girl. Department of I'Herault, a boy and a ghl 
from Montpellier (p. 300), a woman of 37, a female infant, both from Sichel's Paris 
Ophthalmological Dispensary (pp. 309 and 389) and a partial male albino at 
Montpellier (p. 320)]. Ansiaux^ gives two cases, one of which seen at Liege was 
born near Munster. Gaultier^ refers to four cases, two from Bourbon. Bayer ^ and 
Blandin* refer to the albino imbecile, named Eoche', for many years one of the sights 
of Bicetre, and Blandin mentions an entire family of albinos ("une famille entiere 
d'albino ") as existing at Choisy-le-Roi. Breschet* refers to an albino man and woman, 
presumably French, shown to the Paris Faculty of Medicine in 1809 ; he also speaks 
of several albinos (not only Roche ?) in a state of complete idiocy among the insane 
at Bicetre. Haldaf in 1810, writing for the time very reasonably of albinism, 

^ By Eble in 1831 (Bibl. No. 196). He gives, however, no work under this author's name and not 
even his initials. There is no certainty that the author referred to was English. There was a Chapman 
who wrote a paper on negro albinos, either in Danish or translated into Danish, before 1766. Chapman 
very likely cites Maupertuis (17.t6), who mentions a white 7iegro in Spain on the authority of "milord 
marechal": see Bibl. No. 58 and cf. No. 70. 

- Figs. 63—65, 74, 77, 190, 233—4, 239, 249, 263, 316—7, 321, 439, 499, 547. 

" Bibl. No. 142. ' Bibl. No. 147. ' Bibl. Nos. 109, 179. ' Bibl. No. 191. 

' Roche went to the asylum when nine years old and was known as the "lapin blanc." He was seen, 
when aged 43, by Rayer. There was photophobia and nystagmus, blood-red pupils ; the intellectual 
faculties were extremely poor; he was an only child, and mother attributed his albinism to her being 
frightened during pregnancy by " un gros chat blanc." 

8 Bibl. No. 170. ' Bibl. No. 146. 


reported three albinos in the population of Nancy, which did not exceed 30,000, 
and two others in a neighbouring commune, and another in the same Department. 
He further records two partial albinos (see our Appendix A, p. 82). It would 
therefore appear that in 1810, the albinism round Nancy was certainly up to the 
level of one in 10,000 to 20,000. EsquiroP in 1838 mentions two albinos from the 
mountains of Auvergne who had been shown in Paris (? are these Breschet's cases) 
and mentions beside the case given in our Fig. 439, the almoner of a Paris hospital, 
an albino who spoke several languages. Belivier' in 1803 refers to a Parisian woman 
of 19 years of age, who was an albino without any detail as to family history. 
Charcellay' exhibited in 1851 an albino male of 34 years who was in the hospital at 
Tours; his family came from the Department of the Gironde, and the patient, a 
complete albino, said that there was no other case among his relatives. Dor and 
Yillard' have operated for cataract on an albino man at Lyons in 1885 and on an 
albino woman at Montpellier in 1904 respectively. Maurice Raynaud' in his article 
on " Albinisme" describes an albino young man, who read in the characteristic albino 
fashion (cf. our Plate (45)). These with a few further isolated references form the 
bulk of our French gleanings. Altogether we have recorded 28 ^'s, 23 ?'s and 
6 unsexed complete, 3 ^'s and 1 ? incomplete albinos. We do not believe this 
indicates a relative paucity of albinos in France. Ophthalmological writings by 
Frenchmen seem to prove that it is sufficiently prevalent to be discussed. Thus 
Picque" was the first or among the first to suggest the application of the pin-hole 
visual arrangement to the albinotic eye as a method of making their vision more 
distinct — an arrangement which more than one albino has found of service. On the 
whole it appears to us that a comprehensive study of albinism in France would much 
aid our general knowledge of the subject, and would probably throw those fascinating 
new lights on the matter which we are accustomed to find when the French attack 
any phase of pathological heredity. 

(x) Belgium. We have practically no data beyond the Liege case referred to 
among the French cases above. According to Cornaz', Roosbroeck in his treatise' 
states that he has seen several cases. Ossieur's paper" which describes a complete case 
of albinism has proved quite inaccessible, and we cannot even determine whether the 
patient was a Belgian. 

(xi) Switzerland. We may take Switzerland on our road to Italy. The chief 
contributors to our knowledge here are Cornaz (7 ^'s, 14 ¥'s and 1 i incomplete from 
Berne, Canton Fribourg, Yverdon and Servion: see our Figs. 223, 225, 313—315), 
Briere (7 cases from village of Yverdon district : see our Fig. 236'°), Blumenbach, 

1 Bibl. No. 217. " Bibl. No. 137. 

= Bibl. Nos. 251 and 203. '' Bibl. Nos. 39.5 and 519. ' Rouveau Dictionnaire de medicine. 

' Bibl. No. 410. ' Bibl. No. 256, p. 281. 

8 Cours d'Ophthalmologie, T. i. p. 118, Ghent, 1853. We have been unable to find a copy. 

« Bibl. No. 247. 

" Since the printing of our account of Fig. 236, we have been able to see a copy of Briere's Note 
owing to the kindness of the Directeur de la Bibliotheque de la Ville de Neuchatel. There is little to add 
to our description beyond the locality Yverdon, the completeness of the albinism in all cases, the fact that 


de Saussure and Carron du Villards (3 ^'s, 1 ? from Chamouni : see our Fig. 405). 
Our Swiss data therefore on the plates cover 10 $'s, 15 $'s and 1 $ incomplete 
besides the seven unsexed cases of Briere, which may possibly be in part those of 
Cornaz (see ftn.). Troxler' refers vaguely to albinism associated with Cretinism in 
the Valais. Blumenbach" records a male albino at Neuchatel and another at Yverdon 
itself There is a vague reference to albinism occurring in several districts in 
Switzerland in Beynierl Finally Jakob^ records the case of a girl from near Berne. 
Thus our total for Switzerland stands at 13 ^'s and 16 ?'s and a possible additional 
7 unsexed. This is not a very full harvest, and we believe that the mixed population 
of Switzerland ought if carefully investigated to give a much heavier hst. If it does 
not, the inbreeding of the shut-in mountain valleys cannot be (as we have seen it 
does not appear in Norway to be) productive of albinism. One of our number after 
much inquiry has recently come in touch with the modern representatives of Cornaz's 
Chassot-Eey stock and there is some hope that we may be able eventually to bring 
Cornaz's chief pedigree down to date. 

(xii) Italy. From Italy we have far better data. Arcoleo^ gives some 
particulars of 22 families (see our Figs. 154 — 175) containing 34 ^'s and 28 $'s. 
Unfortunately there has been no endeavour to trace the ancestry of these cases fully, 
and further the degree of albinism is never stated. They show, however, that 
albinism must be rather common in Sicily, and the prevalence of extreme blondism 
among the dark population there, a clear survival from the Norse occupation, is 
further evidence that albinism arises where we find a population of mixed pigment 
types. Mantegazza' reports a male albino in Milan (Fig. 240), Buzzi's' classical 
memoir records three from a much earlier date from the same town (Fig. 237). 
Pearson gives a pedigree of two albinos from Urbino (Fig. 320) and three male 
partial albinos have been reported from Verona' and a complete male albino from 
Venice', a female albino at Eome" and a whole family near the latter city". 
E. Nettleship saw an albino child in a village on the west side of Lake Como in 1905. 

In addition to these albinos we have Rizzoli's remarkable pedigree of a white 
lock family, containing 12 ^'s and 8 ?'s, probably as in other cases'' partial albinism of 
the skin was associated with this partial albinism of the hair (see our Fig. 491). We 
have endeavoured by applying to the Syndic of Imola to get in touch with the 

three out of the five siblings died early, one from a fall, and the others from unknown causes, one out of 
the second pair also died early. The elder brother by his second non-consanguineous marriage had four 
healthy normal children. There is some probability that the Briere case is a later version of the Cornaz- 
Wartmann pedigree, Fig. 225. Briere mentions no names but says the family came from A. O... a village 
near Yverdon. Cornaz gives the names Dutoit and Dubry and calls the village " la tuilerie d'Oppens " near 
Yverdon. He, however, does not refer to the cousinship of the two husbands and wives, which is a vital 
point, and gives only three as against Briere's five albinotic offspring to the elder brother's first marriage. 
Bibl. No. 300. For a criticism of Troxler see our chapter on the albino skin. 

' Bibl. No. 97, p. .545. 3 giy No. 92, p. 22. ■> Bibl. No. 227. 

= Bibl. No. 315. " Bibl. No. 308. ' Bibl. No. 95. « Bibl. No. 196, ii. p. 308. 

Bourguet: "Lettre philosophique sur la formation du sel et des crystaux," Amsterdam, 1729, p. 162. 

^" Blumenbach on the authority of J. Hawkins, Bibl. No. 125, § 78, ftn. 

" Cardinal Wiseman, Bibl. No. 252. ^"- See our Fig. 529, and compare Fig. 562. 


modern representatives of the Bianconcini, l)iit we have not hitherto been successfuh 
The name (? = " white hook") seems to carry us back beyond the recorded six 
generations into mediaeval times. 

In Italy the only attempt, that we are acquainted with, has been made to 
obtain a census of albinism. This was done by aid of inquiry schedules issued 
to the parish priests by the Italian Anthropological and Ethnological Society, and 
Raseri' has reported on the material thus collected. It would be ungracious and 
idle to criticise a first attempt of this kind. The Italians have done what no 
other nation has attempted. Still the interpretation of the results demands some 
words of caution and this for the following reasons. The population dealt with only 
covers about one-tenth of the Italian nation, and it seems exceedingly probable that 
in the urban districts the informants would miss a good many albinos. Hence we are 
likely to obtain an underestimate. Thus the population said to be dealt with in Sicily 
is 321,232, providing 7 albinos. But in four years the conscripts of Sicily produce 
5 albinos exempted from military service, the male population of albinos between 
18 and 22 can hardly be more than rS" to ^ of the total male albino population; 
hence we should expect 70 to 80 male albinos in Sicily and 130 to 150 albinos of 
both sexes. This in a total population of 3,400,000 gives one albino in 22,000 to 
26,000 inhabitants. The Anthropological Society's census (A. S. census) gives one 
albino to 46,000. Again Arcoleo", working in Palermo, found 62 albinos. Of these 44 
were seen and he tells us that they were drawn from a population of 254,517 persons 
in Palermo and the neighbourhood. This at first sight gives one albino to every 5000 
to 6000 persons. But there is, we think, a fallacy in this manner of reckoning. He 
has only put down the places in which he found albinos to exist, and some of the places 
are at least 25 miles from Palermo. It is quite reasonable to suppose that he had 
covered a much larger population than is indicated by the size of the towns in whicb 
he actually found albinos. Further, bis 44 living albinos were those he had himself 
seen in a number of years of ophthalmological practice, and it is not at all likely that 
they were all alive at one time. We might probably safely double the actual popula- 
tion dealt with by Arcoleo and reduce the number of albinos alive at one time to 30 
or 35, which agrees very well with our general experience that half the albinos put on 
record may be considered to be alive. In this case for Arcoleo's district we should 
find one in 14,000 to 16,000 persons was an albino. This result shows three times as 
many albinos in Sicily as the A. S. census. 

The A. S. census gave 111 albinos of both sexes in a population examined of 
3,217,536 or one albino in 29,000 for all Italy. Now the Relazioni annuali sui 
Risultati della Leva gave in the reports for four years, 1876 — 1879, the numbers of 
albinos rejected, — albinism being taken as a ground of unfitness. We find : 

Total of Levy Albinos 

1876 248,022 11 

1877 269,585 5 

1878 291,717 12 

1879 285,740 29 

Together : 1,095,064 57 

' Bibl. No. 361. 2 Bibl. No. 315, p. 586. 

K. P. 6 


Thus there was one albino in 19,212 young men examined. This must, however, be 
rather too frequent for the population as a whole, first because male albinos are more 
numerous than female, and secondly because the albino has a shorter life than the 
bulk of the population. Hence one albino to the 19,000 is a maximum limit to the 
frequency. If we suppose that none of the albinos rejected in 1876 — 8 were dead in 
1879, we might conclude that there were 57 male albinos of the ages 18, 19, 20 and 
21 alive at one time in Italy. If then we had an age-distribution of a random sample 
of Italian albinos, we could ascertain the total number of albinos in Italy. But 
Arcoleo' and the Census both give us an age-distribution of albinos. 


i's+ ?'s 

) to 10 years 












A. S. Census 



Under 10 












" Adults " 









Total 55 

Total 58 29 

Now examining these results we notice that Arcoleo finds rather more than one albino 
per year of age from 11 to 20, and rather less from 21 to 30. He has also 2 '5 albinos 
per year of age in the infant period, indicating that the rather more than one per year 
of age in the 1 1 — 20 period belongs to the earlier part of it. It seems to us that 
four albinos for the years 18 — 21 must be a reasonable approximation, or we should 
have albinos of these ages about ^'^ for the albino population. The A. S, Census 
gives practically the same result, namely rather more than one albino per year from 
10 to 20 and one albino per year from 21 to 30 ; thus making the male albinos of 
18 to 21 again almost ^ of the total male albino population. While the females 
of the A. S. Census give ■? albinos per year for 18 to 21 and these form -^ of the 
female albino population, it does not seem likely that 58 ^'s to 29 ?'s really represents 
the sex ratio. Arcoleo found 34 ^'s to 28 $'s, and this 5 to 4 ratio seems far more 
in keeping with our other experience. The preponderance of the male albino is 
evidenced, however, in Italy as elsewhere. 

If now we take ^V *o represent the male ratio we see that 57 albino conscripts 
correspond to a total male population of 798 albinos in Italy and on the 5 to 4 
ratio we should expect 638 female albinos, or a total of 1436 albinos in 34,000,000 
inhabitants, or one albino in 23,000 to 24,000 persons. This is very closely in accord 
with the estimate we have made for Scotland ; it is a rather greater frequency than 
the one in 29,000 of the A. S. C. It is noteworthy, however, that the A. S. C. 
records give 69 S albinos in about 16,000,000 males or a little over one in 23,000. 
Thus as far as males are concerned the A. S. C. and the conscript returns give 
sensibly identical frequencies of albinism in Italy, and results agreeing with our best 
values for other countries. The divergence arises solely from the relative paucity of 

' Bibl. No. 315, p. 587. 



female albinos recorded by the A. S. C.' If we take from the conscript returns 798 
male albinos for Italy and add to this females in the ratio of 42 to 69 as given by the 
A. S. C. we find only 486 female albinos or 1284 albinos of both sexes, thus giving 
one albino to 26,500 Italians. It is possible that this is the correct view, but we are 
inclined to think that the number of female albinos in the individual returns for 
Puglia and the Upper Neapolitan Province have been much underestimated. As 
it is, we may say that the Italian records give us the best return hitherto available, 
namely one albino in 23 to 26,000 persons. A word of caution should here be added. 
In the replies to the schedule issued no account was taken of the degree of albinism ; 
probably the degree should be considered as that of complete albinism and of the 
most conspicuous forms of incomplete albinism. 

The following table embraces the chief results of the A. S. Census as indicated 
by Raseri. The avei'age age of the 142 albinos recorded by Arcoleo and the A. S. 
Census is 22'3 years, but the latter record clearly fails in giving the due proportion 
of albinos under 10 years. The average age of the albinos over 10 years of age is 
29*1 years. In the general Italian population we find, according to the census of 




Number to 
one albino 

of consan- 


of multiple 



of communes 

with white 



of communes 

in which 

black hair 









The Marshes 















I 939,040 


t 342,265 



























34,000 - 
77,000 - 
65,000 - 
■27,000 + 

78,000 - 

34,000 - 
15,000 + 

16,000 + 

14,000 + 

46,000 - 
5,600 + 

14-31 + 

21-23 + 

10-13 + 

2-62 - 

r 4-50- 

1 0-65- 



7-08 + 



( 3-52- 

<^ 5-91- 

1 3-87- 

12-21 + 


1-25 + 
1-48 + 
1-67 + 
1-54 + 
1-37 + 
1-68 + 
1-31 + 

44 + 

44 + 
41 + 

l 24- 


48 + 

i 51 + 

46 + 

29 + 
22 — 
33 + 

52 + 

27 + 


63 + 












The + and — signs in the albino column indicate excess and defect of albinism; in the other columns 
they indicate excess or defect of the quantity observed on its mean value. A cursory inspection of these 
signs shows that no marked positive or negative correlations exist between prevalence of albinism and 
consanguinity in marriage, fertility as marked by multiple births, frequency of white skin or darkness 
of hair. 

^ Raseri evidently lays less stress on the 69 to 42 sex ratio than statistically, considering the numbers 
dealt with, it justifies. Thus he writes that " it cannot yet be admitted as certain that women are less 
subject to albinism than men." He must therefore attribute this great divergence of 69 to 42 to some 
error of his record. 



1881', the average age was 2 8 "5 and the average age of all over 10 years was 37 "l. 
These numbers appear to indicate a markedly increased mortality of the albinos. 

The combined results of the above table are not very conclusive in any single 
direction. When it is noticed that the discovery of a single additional albino in 
Liguria or Umbria would have immensely altered the position of these provinces, and 
when we remember from the case of Sicily how more than probable it is that many 
albinos have been omitted, we can lay but little stress on any individual result. 
Some genei'al conclusions may, perhaps, be tentatively reached : 

(i) Albinism seems less frequent north of the Apennines in Piedmont, Liguria, 
Lombardy, Emilia and the Marshes. Venetia forms an exception. The first three 
have a great excess of consanguineous marriages, of white skin and dark hair. 
Venetia with a low consanguineous rate, with dark skin and a preponderance of 
chestnut and blond hair produces double the number of albinos. 

(ii) Albinism is most frequent south of the Apennines in Tuscany, Campania 
and especially Apulia, Basilicata and Calabria. Leaving Tuscany out of account we 
have here an excess of dark skin, a defect of black hair and a lower consanguineous 
rate. In Tuscany and Umbria we have a defect of white skin and an excess of 
black hair. 

As in the case of Norway we think we must conclude that shut-in mountain 
valleys with a high consanguineous marriage rate are not productive in a marked 
degree of albinism. We see also that fertility as judged by multiple births appears 
to have no special relation to albinism I 

According to Raseri the frequency of albiiiism is greatest where the brown 
colouration of beard, hair and iris is most frequent, or he considers that his results 
establish a relation between the frequency of albinism and "normal melanism." 
It may be doubted whether this conclusion is justified. Venetia and Emilia with the 
Marshes head the list of provinces with brown hair, namely in 81 and 80 p.c. of their 
communes brown hair predominates ; but in these two cases the proportions of albinos 
are respectively 27,000 and 78,000. The data are too slender for any conclusions of 
this kind, and if the preponderance of males (69 fs to 42 ?'s) according to Raseri 
be not sufiicient to show that women are less subject to albinism than men, how is it 
possible to assert that the numbers found for any of the Italian provinces are 
relatively significant ? The results can only be suggestive and the direct connexion 
between albinism and normal melanism seems far from demonstrated. There is no 
means of ascertaining the extent to which racial mixture is prevalent in the provinces 
in which albinism is more frequent. Nor is there any record of the fi'equency of 
unmatched eye and hair pigmentation, — both points which are probably more closely 
associated with the appearance of albinism, than the prevalence of "normal 

This Italian Census after seven years had only produced replies from 540 out 

' Gensimento delta Popolazione del Regno d Italia, Vol. v. Roma, 1884, p. Ill, Table XXI. 
- Twinning appears to be ratlier frequent in albino stocks, but the above statistics appear to show 
that twinning is not in itself productive of albinism. 


of 8300 communes, and those chiefly rural communes. It applies to scarcely -^ of 
the total population. Still in this limited range it is not without value and we 
believe does suffice to emphasise the points ' : 

(a) that the frequency of albinism is about one in 20,000. 

(h) that the male is more liable than the female to albinism. 

(c) that the albino has a considerably lower expectation of life than the 

(d) that mountainous districts involving endogamy are not a direct cause 
of albinism. 

(xiii) Greece, Turkey and the Southern Slavs. We have no material at all. 
(xiv) White Races outside Europe. 

From the United States we have fairly ample material. Pedigrees 36, 114, 
193, 195, 304, 401, 412, 593 deal with new material and provide 19 ^'s, 14 $'s and 

3 o. Besides these we have 17 published pedigrees, including two Canadian" on 
our plates. These provide 12 ^'s, 15 $'s and 17 o complete albinos, 1 ,?, 3 ?'s and 
5 o incomplete albinos. 

Further Colburn in a paper on Congenital Nystagmus' mentions three single 
cases of albinism, a girl of 12 (refraction myopic, amount not given; V. 10/200), a 
boy of 10 (H. astig. I'd D. ; V. corrected 20/30) and an unsexed case aged 4 (no 
particulars). Duane, also in a paper on Nystagmus^ gives the case of a young man, 
aged 26, a "marked albino" ("Fundus at periphery entirely destitute of pigment, 
giving typical picture of albinotic background. Intermediate zone and central areas 
normally pigmented, forming red patches which in places are separated by a sharp 
outline from the adjoining white fundus." Refraction high H. astig., 8 D. and 

4 D., V. corrected 20/200 or slightly better). There are probably other cases which 
have escaped our notice. 

Thus altogether we have 93 American albinos of whom 34 are ^'s, 33 $'s and the 
large proportion of 26 not sexed. 

From South America we have only Prof Lagleyze's seven pedigrees' involving 
8 fs, 11 $'s and 5 o, with one case of incomplete male albinism, or 25 albinos 
altogether. The other South American States provide us with no data as to the 
white races. 

We have further albino cases from Fiji'' (Australian mother, Scottish father), 
with 2 ^'s, 2 ?'s and 1 o ; from New Zealand' 5 fs and 1 $ ; from Pietermaritzburg* 
2 $ ; and 2 $ cases of mixed descent' the maternal grandmother being a Spanish 
Jewess and the maternal grandfather Irish. Thus as far as our very slender data 
goes there appeal's little reason for supposing that change of environment modifies in 
any marked manner the extent to which albinism is prevalent in the white races. 

^ These conclusions, especially (b) and (c), do not wholly agree with Raseri's, which Manouvrier (Bibl. 
No. 376) cites with apparent approval. These anthropologists, however, do not appear to have tested 
them by any adequate statistical theory. 

- Figs. 66, 67, 70—72, 76, 78, 178—9 (Canadian), 217, 250—5, .500. 

' American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. xiv. p. 243, 1897. ■* Bibl. No. 484. 

' Figs. 105 — 111, since engraving the plates, they have been published : see Bibl. No. 552. 

" Fig. 369. ' Fig. 373, and two further cases reported by Dr F. Wallace Mackenzie of Wellington. 

« Fig. 37. 8 Fig. 543. 


(xv) Jewish Albinos. Our statistics indicate a rather considerable amount of 
albinism among the Jews. In this case we have to remember (i) that a rufous type 
of Jew is not uncommon and (ii) that there has been a considerable intercrossing with 
Christian populations. Unfortunately we have very rarely data to consider the 
influence of (ii), but the influence of (i) is more obvious. Should it be ultimately 
demonstrated that a relative large frequency of albinism exists among the Jews, 
these points would probably repay full inquiry. In Fig. 1 4 we have a Jewish albino 
boy aged 12, the only son of Russian Jews from Zanzibar, the father is said to have 
had "yellowish brown" hair, decidedly fair for his race. In Fig. 49 we have two 
male albinos and an albino ancestress, a Russian or Roumanian Jewess. In Fig. 212 
we have a male albino, whose mother was "half a Jewess'." In Figs. 300 — 2 we have 
three Jewess albino girls and one boy from Algiers. In Fig. 376 a German Jewess 
albino, whose father was " raven black " and mother " chestnut brown," some of the 
other children were blonds. In Fig. 571 we have the case of an albino boy born of 
Jewish parents. In Fig. 568 we have four female and one male albino in a family of 
Russian Jews who have emigrated to London. This famUy is marked by a prevalence 
of blondism, not characteristic, except in the rufous form of pure Jewish extraction. 
In Fie". 446 we have four male and two female cases of albinism in a Viennese Jewish 
family, one of these was an incomplete albino, hair always light, eyebrows and lashes 
rusty colour, fundus albinotic, red reflex, iris shows a greenish colour, which was in- 
dicated also in Fig. 49 ; in this family there appears again to be a certain amount of 
Jewish blondism. Another (to judge by the name German) Jew, a boy, aged 6, was 
examined Jan. 3, 1907 at the R. L. Ophthalmic Hospital by Mr Treacher Collins and 
reported to suffer from incomplete albinism ; his hair was the palest straw colour, 
nystagmus, and refraction high mixed astig. in both eyes", but the irides were 
" lightly tinted with brownish yellow pigment." Probably a good many of our isolated 
London cases may also be Jewish, but they have not been especially reported as 
such. In all, the known cases amount to 23, 12 ^'s and 11 $'s. 

(xvi) Syrian Albinos. We owe to Dr A. J. Manasseh some remarkably 
interesting details of Syrian albinotic families. Here again we note the various 
grades of albinism which occur and to what a large extent the racially unusual 
blondism is found in the albinotic stocks. From the neighbourhood of Mount 
Lebanon, Dr Manasseh provides us with linked pedigrees of many albinos from one 
village and a number of separate independent families^ These give 22 ^'s, 16 $'s 
and one unsexed with three incomplete albinos 2 $'s and 1 $, or a total of 24 ^'s, 
17 ?'s and 1 o. The photographs on Plates GG (102) and NN (129), (131) bring out 
characteristic albino features. Of the hair specimens many are pure white, but some 
tinged with yellow. Dr Manasseh states that it is not uncommon to find the irides 
a green or yellow tint, which is suggestive of the forms of partial albinism which 
occur among North American Indians, the Pacific Islanders and even the Jews'*. 

' It is well to remind the reader of the importance of recording all racial intercrosses in describing 
albino pedigrees. 

^ R.: H. 4 D. horiz., M. 4 D. vert.; L. : H. 4-5 D. horiz., M. 2 D. vert.; too young for visual acuity 
to be tested. s Figs. 591, 597—605. 

* See above. The Letts also may be noted as combining this greenish yellow iris with light yellow 
hair : see our pp. 30 — 31. 


For the rest of Asia Minor as for European Turkey we have no details. 

(xvii) Egypt. Among the Arab population of Egypt and North Africa we might 
expect much racial mixture and possibilities for observing numerous skin peculiarities'. 
Our plates show (see Plates E and D) that leucoderma is well known in Egypt. 
Ledyard in his "Remarks on the inhabitants" in 1788 writes of Alexandria : 

" I saw to-day an Arab woman white, like the white Indians in the South Sea 
Islands, Isthmus of Darien, etc. These kind of people all look alike'." 

He was clearly not very interested in albinism or he would have known that 
albinos did not "all look alike." Still we must thank him for one of the earliest 
references to an Arab albino. Cf AbdoUatiph's case cited on our p. 21. 

Sonnini* at the end of the 18th century saw a case of leucoderma in an inhabitant 
of Siout in Upper Egypt. In this case it was spreading but without pain or un- 
easiness. He takes occasion to say that the Arabs call it ' behag ' or ' bokak ' in the 
partial stage, but ' barras ' when the body has become wholly white. These are not 
dangerous according to Niebuhr, who terms ' Dsjuddam ' or popularly ' Madsjurdam ' 
the most malignant form of leprosy. It would be of some interest to know if ' barras ' 
is used of albinism or only acquired complete leucoderma. In our own pedigrees we 
have only one from Egypt, which contains three male albinos. The family is a Coptic 
one. Capt. R. L. V. Foster, R.A.M.C, kindly reported to one of ournumber that he 
had recently examined 10,000 men of 21 years of age from the Delta for the Egyptian 
army. They are examined in a nude condition medically and cases of albinism could 
not escape detection. He found not a single albino. His colleague who had examined 
in the same way a similar number of men from Upper Egypt, Cairo to Assuan, saw 
only one case, that of our Fig. 611, III. 1. If we may take the recruits for the Egyptian 
army as a sample of the population, the percentage of albinos in modern Egypt 
is about 1 in 20,000, almost the same ratio as we have found in other regions. 

Schweinfurth in his Heart of Africa (Chap. XIV, p. 57 trans.) mentions twin 
albinos, fishermen of Djidda, whom he had seen on the Red Sea, and speaks as if all 
the characteristics of pronounced albinism were frequent in fair individuals of " the 
true Semitic stock, either Jew or Arabian." 

(xviii) North Africa. Baudoin in his Voyage dans le Belad-el-Djerid refers 
to complete and partial albinos seen by him, some of whom appear to have been Arabs 
and others negroes ^ 

We have already referred to the occurrence of albinism among the Jews of 
Algiers as reported by Guy on ^ Carron du Villards** mentions the case of a youno- 

' Rohlf (see Bibl. No. 3.32, S. 1-53 — 4) drew attention in 187-i to the remarkable skin results due 
to Berber and Negro crosses in North Africa. Thus he especially mentions the Sheik of Tamagrut in 
Bu-Bekr, who had a spotted skin, the ground being white with small and larger black spots scattered 
about like islands. He saw others with dark skins and white spots. Some of the blacks had long smooth 
hair, there were occasionally whites with curly woolly hair. It is clear that these inter-racial crosse.s lead 
to marked pigmentational or other segregational effects. 

^ See Bibl. No. 133, p. 31. 

' See Bibl. No. 132, Orig. p. 75, Trans, p. 67. Sonnini appears largely dependent on Niebuhr, 
Description de I'Arabie, Copenhague, 1773. See p. 119 and the note by Forskal on p. 120. 

< See Bibl. No. 239, p. 177. 

' See Figs. 300—2 and Bibl. No. 223. « See Bibl. No. 218. 


Jewess from the "coast of Africa" an albino, who exhibited herself on the Parisian 
boulevards in company with a jsiebald from Porto-Rico (un individu tachete de noir). 
Furnari' in his Voyage medical dans I'Afnque septentrionale speaks of albinism 
among the Jews of Algeria as if it were frequent in 1845, and especially records that 
the eyebrows and eyelashes instead of being of the pure albino white are frequently 
marked with red". 

Thus among the Semitic races we have evidence of the definite existence of 
albinism, and some suggestion that it is related to the rufous and blond types of 
these races. 

We may place here the Abyssinians as a mixed stock with a Semite nucleus. 

(xix) Abyssinia. Tellez in 1660^ first drew attention to the albinos among 
the Abyssinians. Ludolphus transcribed the passage from Tellez in his Historia 
Aethiopica of 1681'': "Color illis est ut plurimum niger, fuscus vel mustellinus, 
quem illi maximi faciunt ; nonnulli etiam rubicundi sunt ; pauci albicantes ; vel 
potius pallidi & exsangues ; ingrata prorsus albedine." His comment may be 
reproduced here from Gent's translation of 1682 : "True it is, there are some Whites 
among the Ethiopians in other places, but they look like the countenances of Dead 
Men, or as if they had the Leprosie ; which other Authors also Testifie, but write 
withal, that it proceeds from some Disease in the Body, and therefore other 
Ethiopians avoid being breathed upon, or touched by them, as believing them 
contagious. Also in the midland parts of Guiney thei'e is a Nation consisting all 
of White People, which are therefore called Leuc-Ethiopes or White Ethiopians, 
and of these the ancient authors make mention." 

Ludolphus then says that the Abyssinians like their black better than our white, 
and on the evidence of Gregory of Abyssinia that they paint the devil white 
(compare our black devil !) and black children are frightened at white men. 

Heminding the reader of the Albanian albinos of the Caucasus mentioned by 
Isigonus (see our p. 12) we turn now to Asia, having completed our brief survey of 
Europe and the peoples of the Mediterranean basin. 

Section II. 

Yelloiv and Red Skinned Races. Asiatics, Polynesians, Australians 

and Americans. 

B. Asia. 

(i) Persia. Mr E. Treacher Collins in a letter of Sept. 27, 1907, informs 
us that when travelling in Persia he saw an albino : 

" I noticed him several times in the bazaar at Ispahan ; he was such a striking 
feature amongst his dark-haired, dark-skinned fellow countrymen." 

' See Bibl. No. 239. 

' We have received some account of albinism among Portuguese Jews, but it is not sufficiently definite 
for publication. 

' See Bibl. No. 27, p. 39. * See Bibl. No. 34, Lib. i. c. 14, 29. 


The legend that the Persian Zal and the great Tamerlane both had very long white 
hair from their birth appears to be current in some parts of India and the suspicion of 
albinism has attached itself in the minds of some to these heroes. Professor 
C. E. Wilson has most kindly sent one of our number the translations of two passages 
from the ShdJi-ndma bearing on the eye and hair colour of Zal : 

"His face (is) red like (the flowers of) the Judas tree; 
(He is) young in years, vigilant and of youthful fortune. 
Of faults (he has) only this that (his) hair is white ; 
The fault-seeker can find only this (fault). 
The whiteness of his hair is becoming: 
You might say that it fascinates hearts." 

When the poet excuses Zal's hair in this manner, it is difl&cult to believe, that its 
whiteness — here associated with youth — was not felt to be something very anomalous, 
and condemned by some. 

" His eyes (are) like two ' water-coloured ' narcissi ; 
His lips (are) like coral; his cheeks like blood. 
His hair is entirely white in colour, 
Of faults there is only this, and this is not a disgrace. 
The ringlets of that champion of the world over (his) face 
Are like silvern chain-armour over the flowers of the Judas tree. 
You might say it ought to be as it is ; 
And if it were not so, love (of him) would not increase." 

The word (abgun) used for the eyes is literally ' water-coloured,' it is commonly 
applied to iron or steel and it means sometimes 'blue' and sometimes 'lustrous.' 
Professor Wilson says that he should translate it here lustrous, as " I think it very 
improbable that there were blue eyes in Persia among the pure Persians in early 
times." But it seems equally improbable that there would be white hair, and the 
two passages do not read like a description of a dark eyed, dark skinned noi-mal 
Persian. They appear to suggest at least incomplete albinism, and if a man had 
white hair in youth, then he almost certainly had unusually light irides, and 
they may well have been gray, greenish or even real blue, judging from other 
dark-race cases of such albinism. 

While far from pledging ourselves to the albinism of Zal, we think the above 
curious lines describing him deserve at least to be recorded when we are touching 
on albinism in Persia. 

(ii) From Afghanistan and Baluchistan we have no data. Cornaz^ cites Schreber^ 
for a case of albinism from Tobolsk. We have not succeeded in verifying the 
reference. From Siberia we have only the references to "spotted Tartars" discussed 
in our chapter on the Albinotic Skin. Thus our information as to northern Asia is 
extremely meagre. 

' See Bibl. No. 2.56, pp. 279 and 284. 

- See Bibl. No. 79. Cornaz cites the French Trans. Hist. nat. des quadrupedes, T. i. pp. 14 — 15. 


K. P. ' 


(iii) China. The conditions here are peculiar. It would appear that albinos 
are looked upon as abnormalities and if not killed, are often sold by their parents. 

Dr W. Cai-negie Brown who has had large experience of the East writes : 

" Chinese albinos are not uncommon. I have seen several in Penang, and have 
examined one. They were all street-hawkers and all males. They are usually 
disowned by their relatives, and left to shift for themselves, and they generally 
take to begging and hawking. The man I examined said he was born an albino 
in the Hokien province of China. He was sold when a child by his parents, and 
brought to the Straits to beg ; the idea, apparently, being that his condition would 
excite pity. He had been a beggar all his life ; he had got arrested by the police, and 
for some reason I was sent for to see him at the Police Station. He could give 
no information about his parentage. His irides were pink, and his hair a very 
pale yellow, almost white, his skin was quite devoid of pigment. The sun bothered 
him a great deal. He is still (1905) in all probability going about in Penang. I saw 
him about three years ago. Albinism is very noticeable in the Chinese, as their hair 
is invariably black. There is no brow^n, auburn or red hair among them " (Letter 
to K. Pearson, April 19, 1905). 

Gustav Kreitner writing in 1881' reports two Mongolian albino boys : 

" Seit dem Ende der mohamedanischen Rebellion in China, die audi die 
Stamme in der Umgebung des Kuku-nor in wilden Aufruhr gebracht hatte, sind 
die grasreichen Steppenniederungen im Osten des Sees ode und verlassen. Die 
Mongolen sind von hier geflohen, und die Tanguten meiden die Nahe der Chinesen..." 
" Unter den Bergbewohnern findet man hie und da Abnormitilten, die, wie die 
Chinesen in Sining-fu erzahlen, nicht selten auftreten. Ich sah deren in Sining-fu 
zwei, und zwar Knaben im Alter von 8 und 14 Jahren. Beide, in Grosse und 
Korperbau ziemlich entwickelt, besassen hellblondes, der eine beinahe weisses, Haar 
und blaue Augen. Die Gesichtsfarbe war licht, und stach von der gelben Farbe 
der Chinesen scharf ab. Die Intelligenz beider Kinder stand jedoch auf tiefster 
Stufe ; sie sprachen ein lallendes Chinesisch, und das bldde Lachen kennzeichnete 
die Idioten. Die Kinder waren von ihren Vatern, echten Bergtanguten, an die 
Chinesen in Sining-fu als Sclaven verkauft worden." 

Here we see again the same selling of the albino. 

Our pedigrees give (Fig. 344) the case of three Chinese albinos at Samarinda, 
a Dutch town on the east coast of Borneo. There is an albino sweetmeat seller 
in I'chang, Central China. 

Dr G. L. Maxwell, from whom C. H. Usher made inquiries as to albinism in 
Formosa, writes as follows under date March 3, 1908 : 

" I have never come across a case of albinism in man in Formosa (I have heard 
of it in monkeys), and after inquiring of others who have spent many years in 
Formosa I have still failed to hear of a case. I cannot help thinking that 
Professor M. is mistaken when he says he met a case in Formosa. I travelled 
with the Professor a good deal and at Foochow on the mainland we noticed together 

1 See Bibl. No. 375, p. 739. 


a case of albinism in a Chinaman, and I cannot but think that it must have been of 
that man he was thinking. I saw a second case of albinism in Amoy a few months 
back, but I have never heard of a case in Formosa^" 

Dr G. Preston Maxwell in a letter to E. Nettleship, May 7, 1906, says 
that he knows of three albinos in the Amoy district. In none of these cases 
were the parents affected, nor could he hear of any history of a like condition. 

Among the Bahnais at Thi-Nai in Cochin China P6re Hugon' saw only one 
case of albinism : " Ce sauvage avait les cheveux blancs, la peau blanc-rosee ; son 
iris n'a pas ^t^ examind. II avait honte de son dtat et se montrait peu, mais n'^tait 
I'objet d'aucun mauvais traitement, d'aucune superstition." 

In Siam we have two female albinos reported by Carl Bock'' : " In Chengmai I 
saw two albinos, both with a light reddish skin, white hair, resembling a very pale 
glossy hemp, and pink eyes, which they were in the habit of blinking much in the 
daytime, being unable without difficulty to bear the strong light. These albinos 
were sisters with a difference of four years between their ages." 

To Malaysia we shall return later when dealing with C. H. Usher's special 
matei'ial. It will be seen that while our data are very sparse, and quite insufficient 
to give any measure of frequency of albinism in China or the neighbouring states, they 
yet show that albinism is a familiar occurrence in the far East. 

(iv) India. In our pedigrees will be found a record of 32 ^'s, 14 ?'s and 
7 not sexed albinos'*. These are principally Tamils ; and probably the fact that 
the male children go to school accounts largely for the extreme disproportion of 
the sexes. The families are from Madras, Calcutta, Trichinopoly, Mah^, Malabar, 
Pondicherry, etc. We have also one published, and two unpublished pedigrees 
from Ceylon ^ providing 3 $ and 3 ? albinos. Besides the above we have fourteen 
isolated cases, 6 ^'s and 6 ?'s with 6 not sexed, in the literature or hitherto unpublished. 
Thus in two years Dr Owen Berkeley Hill has seen four albinos in India, of 
whom two were twins in an orphanage at Hyderabad. He has also seen a case 
of partial albinism in a Mahomedan boy of 7 at Vellore (Letters to K. Pearson, 
June 25, and August 11, 1909). 

Again Dr W. Carnegie Brown reports the case of a Tamil female albino from India, 

' Dr Maxwell sa3's that the savages, probably Malayan in origin, number perhaps about 150,000— 
the Chinese are given as 3,000,000, but these include a large number of civilised aborigines, who in 
the old days submitted to the Chinese and adopted their customs. The marriage laws among this Chinese 
population are very strict ; not only cousins, but persons of the same surname are forbidden to marry, or 
at any rate such marriages are considered immoral. The savages are divided up into a large number of 
small tribes and marriage is strictly intertribal. In some cases where the tribes have dwindled down 
only to a few tens the intermarriage must be very close. This fact is important for our inquiry as to the 
prevalence of albinism in Formosa. 

2 See Bibl. No. 355. = See Bibl. No. 393. 

* Unpublished, Figs. 418, 489, 490; published, Figs. 124—129, 359—361, 443, 522—525, 528. 
An inconclusive note on the existence of albinos in the "East Indian Peninsula," their dead white 
European skin and photophobia occurs in Froriep's Notizen for 1839: see Bibl. No. 226. 

' Figs. 435 and 9, 486. Marshall (1832, see Bibl. No. 199) states that he has "seen a few albinos in 
Ceylon but they are not numerous on that Island." 



whom he saw as an mdentured coohe on the estate of the late Mr J. M. Vermont of 
Batu Kawan, Province of Wellesley, Malay States in 1895. She had come from India 
to work for a period of three years as a field-worker, and advances had been made 
for her passage, etc. to her relatives, which were to be deducted from her wages. 
Mr Vermont was aggrieved because she was useless for work, owing to the glare 
in the fields hurting her eyes. Dr Brown asked her a good many questions, but 
found her very stupid. She said she was forty years old, though apparently only 
twenty, and though such ignorance he has found not unusual, he believed her mentally 
defective. There was absolutely no pigment in skin, hair or irides, and the condition 
was congenital. 

The case is interesting as it appears to be an instance of an attempt on the part 
of relatives to free themselves from an encumbrance, of which they were possibly 
ashamed. As far as it goes it confirms the attitude towards albinos in India reported 
from other sides. 

The Abbe Dubois, a missionary in Mysore, writing' in 1817 of Chah^elas or 
albinos observes : 

" It has not fallen under my observation to determine whether two of this sort, 
a male and a female, united together, would have issue, but I am perfectly convinced 
that they are capable of procreation when they mix with other individuals. A few 
years ago, a young child was brought to me for baptism, the fruit of a connection 
between a chakrela woman and a European soldier with whom she cohabited. And 
truly, without the courage and intrepidity of a soldier he could not have encountered 
so disgusting an object." 

Unfortunately the worthy Abbe gives us no information as to the skin-colour of this 
interesting ofispring, but proceeds to tell us of the abhorrence with which albinos are 
regarded in India. While the story of the Bhut Baby'' shows that this prejudice still 
survives, regard should be paid to the state of affairs indicated in our Figs. 524 and 

Deschamps^ in the excellent paper from which our Figs. 359 — 361 are taken 
reports two further cases of Mussulman albinos from Mahe on the coast of Malabar, 
one of these lived on the coast alone about 10 miles south of Mahe, and was diflicult 
to see as he would allow no one to approach him. 

Dr Drake Brockman^ reported at a meeting of the Ophthalmological Society on 
Oct. 15, 1896, that he had operated for cataract on a Hindoo albino and that the case 
progressed weU. 

Lastly we may refer to the quite sane accounts ° of albinos provided by the 
Danish Evangelical Mission at Tranquebar (Tanjore) as early as 1766. In the first of 
these accounts {I.e. Vol. 4, Pt. 2, p. 1239) a normal native man (from Poreiar in 
Malabar) and woman had four white children, whose skin-colour was wholly different 
from that of half-castes, — it was "eine weisse mit rot untermengte Couleur." The 
hair of their heads was like European goat's hair to the touch, and of peculiar white 

' See Bibl. No. 159. = See Bibl. No. 447. " See Bibl. No. 441. 

* See Bibl. No. 470. = See Bibl. No. 70. 


colour. " Sie seheii triibe aus den Augen, und blinzen immer, weil sie das Licht 
nicht vertriigen kounen. Das iilteste so in die portugiesische Schule geht, kann die 
Augapfel nicht still halten und also nicht die Buchstaben unterscheiden und es recht 
zum Lesen bringen." Thus a Scandinavian missionary is reporting the full characters 
of an albino, photophobia and nystagmus, and of an albino who goes to school and 
finds it difficult to read, when the great Scandinavian biologist is seeking the albino 
among cave-dwellers and manlike apes ! 

The next case reported by these missionaries {I. c. Vol. 9, Pt. 2, p. 1283) refers to 
two children, a brother and sister, born of " ganz schwarzen Eltern," and having 
several dark siblings. These two were quite white with some yellow spots such 
as Europeans are accustomed to speak of as freckles ('Sommerflecken '). The later 
history of these children is of much suggestiveness. The parents determined to 
free themselves of their ofispring' partly because they should have on their account 
to undergo ' Schimpf und Schande ' from their ' Geschlecht,' and partly because such 
births are looked upon as a sure sign given by the gods of misfortune to their family. 
They therefore sent one child to Tranquebar and sold it at a low price, 'fiir zwei 
Pagoden.' It was brought up by Christians in the Portuguese school. The girl was 
married to a European soldier, and died aged 30 in Tranquebar in 1766. The 
boy remained unmarried, and of fair intelligence though somewhat slack in religious 
exercises. He became suddenly ill and went mad, " whether as some held from the 
bite of a mad dog is not however certain." 

An earlier notice (Vol. 9, Pt. 1, p. 637, Sept. 1764) appears to refer to the 
Poreiar family considered above, it describes a young woman as white as a European 
with yellow hair and blue eyes'. It again refers to the fine white goat-like hairs 
of albinos, but adds " die aber nach und nach ins Rothe fallen"; it describes the eyes 
as ' himmelblau,' but "schwach und blode " and unable to bear the light of the sun. 
It states that many Europeans consider such people as ' Missgeburten ' and cites 
as further examples of them a woman in Poreiar of the weaver caste, a man in 
Nagapatnam, and an old woman in Jaft'a-napatnam. Lastly we may note that 
the report says that in Malabar the albinos are scornfully said to be of the 
' Kalkalatten ' caste (elsewhere ' Calcalaken Geschlechte ') "weil eine Art Kafer 
{scarahei domestici) allhier diese zwei Farben haben'." This explanation of the 
origin of Kakerlak, not in the piebaldness of any individual, but in the double 
colour of the stock, is of some interest, and inquiry in Malabar might throw 
further light on the name'. 

' Elsewhere we are told {I. c. Vol. 9, Pt. 2, p. 1283) that the people of Malabar look upon these 
abnormalities with horror. 

2 Blumenbach (Bibl. No. 97, p. 347) also states that the albinos of Malabar have white skins but not 
red pupils. 

" The context seems to show that the " two colours " have reference to a caste in which the parents 
are black and the offspring white. 

* There is a reference at the end of the account to an English surgeon Edmund Chapman, whose 
account of a white negro had been translated into German at Copenhagen in 1748. His paper appears 
to refer to cases of albinism in man and animals, and to be very reasonable for that date, but we have 
not been able to discover original or translation. See our p. 38. 


Thus we recognize that for nearly 150 years cases of albinism have been 
recorded in India. Dr Fraser's photograph of a Tamil albino, Plate Q (51), 
Major Grayfoot's Mussulman albino children from Dharwar, Plate I I (110), and 
Sir Allan Perry's excellent photographs of a Singhalese albino\ Plate P (47) and 
(48), indicate the general characteristics of albinism in India, and the curiously 
European aspect of native albinos. 

(v) Albinism in Malaysia and the Pacific. 

The information contained in this section is of threefold origin : 

(a) Response on the part of medical men to the letter of inquiry issued 
by two of our number. 

(&) Published accounts of albinos in these districts. 

(c) A journey by C. H. Usher with personal observations of albinos especially 
in British New Guinea and Fiji. 

We have heartily to thank the numerous collaborators who have aided with 
their time, cameras and local knowledge to accumulate this practically unique 
account of the albinos of the far East. Albinos in this part of the world will be 
first described collectively, and then their distribution with some particulars of 
individual cases from their respective localities will be discussed. 

General Description of Albinos from Malaysia and the Pacific. 

Characters : 

The skin in infancy and early childhood is so exceedingly fair that it is very 
doubtful whether at this time of life the dark-race albino in the Pacific and Malaysia 
could be distinguished from the albino of light-coloured races by means of the 
appearance of the skin alone. The skin presents a uniform shade over the whole 
body, there are no lighter or darker areas. It is smooth. [See Plates, photographs 
(58), (62) and (63), (57), (60) and (61).] In adult-life the skin not unusually becomes 
darker so that at this period it has the same shade as, or is a little darker than, 
a normally pigmented skin of a native of Great Britain. The skin becomes rough 
and wrinkled, it has a shrivelled appearance, and the natural folds tend in some 
cases to become exaggerated. Sometimes ulcers form. The skin is often scaly on 
parts of the body. 

The most remarkable appearance as regards the skin, however, is the presence of 
pigmented spots and pigmented areas of skin. The colour of these varies consider- 
ably in different individuals and also in the same individual. The spots are of 
various shades of brown, often dark brown, sometimes reddish-brown, exceptionally 
they are black at the centre. The lighter shades of brown and yellow-brown are 
found in the spots of young adults and children. 

' We have already referred (see p. 16) to the account of the Seras provided by the ambassadors 
from Ceylon to Rome and cited by Pliny : " Ipsos vero excedere hominum magnitudinem, rutilis comis, 
coerulis oculis, oris sono truci, nullo commercio linguae," L. vi. xxiv. (Bibl. No. 6). The reader can judge 
whether this refers to albinos in Ceylon or not ! It has at any rate given i-ise to albino-myths. 


An individual spot varies in size from that of an ordinary freckle to a spot with 
a diameter of l^ inches. The most common size is considerably larger than that of 
freckles seen in this country. [See Plates, photographs (64) and (G7), (66) and (69), 
(65) and (68).] Their shape is roughly circular, but there is a variety of forms, 
some elongated and some oval. The edge of the spot is well defined, it is frequently 
irregular, sometimes serrated. The spots are not raised ; they are smooth. When 
sufficiently numerous and large they coalesce to form pigmented areas which may 
occupy very large parts of the skin, e.g. the back, or the extensor surface of a forearm. 
Such areas ai'e readily seen to be composed of a number of pigmented spots by a 
paler shade of colour at the edges of the individual spots. These pigmented areas 
could scarcely be mistaken for patches of normal skin because the pigmentation is 
not sufficiently uniform. The pigmented spots are distributed irregularly over the 
body. They are most numerous on the back, chest, face, extensor surface of arms and 
forearms. The flexor aspects of the arms and thighs are amongst the parts least 

Etiology of the pigmented Spots. These have been described by different writers 
as freckle-like marks, freckles, red spots and pigmented spots. It is improbable 
that the brown scabs (crotites) scattered over the skins of four New Caledonian 
albino natives and thought by de Rochas' to be due to an exudation from the dermis 
were of the nature of the spots in question. Thomas Williams thought that the large 
brown freckle-like marks on the skin of three Fijian albino natives were left by 
old sun-sorest The presence of an ulcer and scar tissue on the back of a Papuan 
albino (Case 3) suggested the possibility of a somewhat similar cause for the adjacent 
pigmentation. In the case of a Fijian albino woman — (Case 43)— Dr Corney was 
inclined to think that there were two kinds of spots — congenital and acquired 
(freckles). The former consisted of a, few pigmented spots over back, chest and 
mammae ; their diameter was never more than 4 mm. ; they were usually oval ; 
outline serrated ; colour rich dark walnut or chestnut. The freckles situated on 
the face, arms and hands were easily distinguished in appearance from the "maculae." 
If these spots, in this case, are congenital they must be quite exceptional to judge by 
the different degrees of spotting in relation to age and in relation to protection by 
clothing seen in our Cases 1 to 16 ^ 

The two most outstanding features as regards these pigmented spots are (1) that 
they are not present at birth and (2) that they are principally situated on the parts of 
the skin most exposed to the sun. They originate in early childhood and gradually 
increase in quantity and size as age advances. In two children three months old there 
were no spots [Photograph (59) and that of Merone Case 6 not reproduced]. In a 
child four yeai's of age spots were present on the ears only [Case 10, Photographs (62) 
and (63)]. In another child of the same age the spots were very small and affected 
only the back of the neck [Case 8, Photograph (58)]. In a child of six years there 
were small pigment spots (Case 2). In a child of seven and a half years the spots 

' See Bibl. No. 277. "■ See Bibl. No. 270. 

^ For list of these special cases see our p. 62. 


occupied the brow and cheeks, but were not present on other parts of the skin [Case 7, 
Photograph (58)]. In children of eleven and twelve years the spotting was much 
more marked [Cases 11 and 13, Photographs (62), (63), (60) and (61)]. It is only in 
adults that the extensive dark pigmentation and the pigmented areas formed by 
the coalescence of many spots occur. The sun's rays appear to be necessary for the 
development of the spots, for the parts of the body most exposed to the sun are the 
parts most affected and the parts, such as the flexor surfaces of the arms, least exposed 
to the sun, are little or not at all affected. When clothes are worn spots do not form 
on the protected parts. An albino boy, aged eight yeax's, at school in Suva, who 
wore clothes and a hat pressed well down over his head had no spots on any part of 
him [Case 16, Photograph (56)]. The protection of the skin from the sun's rays 
afforded by the clothing was no doubt the cause of the absence of spots. A similar 
explanation may be given 'for the absence of spots on the legs of a Papuan albino 
in the employ of a trader (Case 4). Other means of protection of certain parts of 
the body from the sun suggest themselves in individual cases, e.g. perhaps the absence 
of spots from the dorsum of each foot of a Fijian albino [Case 14, Photographs (64) 
and (67)] was due to the shelter given by the undergrowth'. 

Are the pigmented spots freckles ? We are told that freckles are circumscribed 
spots or patches of pigment of small size, which occur chiefly on the face and hands, 
that they begin usually in the second decade of life. That they are roundish or 
irregular in shape, from a pin's head to a split pea in size, and yellowish to yellowish- 
brown or amber, sepia black, and occasionally greenish in colour. That in bad cases, 
large dark irregular patches are mixed up with the more numerous small kind. The 
chief exciting cause is sunlight, direct or diffuse". As far as the clinical aspect of 
the albino spots is concerned they conform closely to that of freckles ; they are, 
however, usually larger and darker than most freckles. Whatever the anatomical 
situation of the pigment in the skin at these spots may be shown to be, it is 
sufficient at present and convenient for clinical description to call them freckles. 

Accepting the view that these freckles are caused by exposure to the sun 
the question arises why it is that albinos in this country do not freckle. In many 
of them the protection of the skin by clothing is a sufficient explanation as far 
as most of the body is concerned, but it does not explain the absence of fi-eckles 
from the face and hands. That the dark-race albinos have more pigment than 
other albinos seems certain from the darker appearance of their skin, irides and 
fundus, and from the circumstance that the red pupillary reflex is much less 
evident. Yet albinos with a considerable quantity of pigment in this country, 
e.g. an adult albino with a red sandy beard^ do not commonly freckle. Is exposure 

' It is difficult to explain the entire absence of freckles in the case of the albino from Gawa 
[see our Fig. 541 and Plate GG (101)] an island not far south of the Equator. His age was about 28, 
and his skin was fully exposed to the sun. 

= See Bibl. No. 499. Second edition, p. 398. 

^ See our Fig. 45., IV. 11 ; special inquiry. It must be remembered that only certain normal persons 
freckle in our own country. The relations of tlie albinotic to the rufous, and of the latter to freckling, 
will be discussed later. 


to sun in the tropics necessary to give rise to these freckles ? A white-race adult 
female albino living in the tropics had not developed freckles although her face, neck, 
forearms and most of her arms were frequently exposed to the sun (Case 22, see our 
Fig. 369, IV. 15). Possibly it is necessary for the production of freckles in albinos 
that both these factors should be present — a tropical sun and a sufficiency of pigment 
or of power to produce pigment — or else it may be that the formation of freckles 
is associated with a racial condition of which we are ignorant ; in the latter event 
a dark-race albino brought up in this country would freckle provided that exposure 
to a tropical sun was not a necessary adjunct. 

Dieftenbach's Maori albino (see our account below) was freckled. Dr A. J. 
Manasseh writing from Brumana, Beyrout, Syria (27 Nov. '08) speaks of "spots of 
bi-ownish yellow pigmentation " (? freckles) as seen on the face, neck, forearms and 
legs of Syrian albinos and says they are more marked in advanced life and appear 
in patches (see our Fig. 597). Captain Foster speaks of the freckled skin of a Coptic 
albino (see our Fig. 611). Some albinos north of the tropics therefore freckle, and 
some few examples, in part cases of incomplete albinism, have been seen in this 
country (see our Figs. 316, IIL 2; 492, IV. 5 ; 497, IV. 10 ; 501, V. 16 ; 535, IV. 18; 
565, IV. 38). As a rule it would appear that albinos of dark skinned races freckle and 
those of white skinned do not. 

Hair. The colour of the hair is described as flaxen, a light shade of yellow, 
yellow-brown, red-brown, light brown, tow-coloured and white. The hair was quite 
white in a child four years old. In another child of the same age the hair was 
of a light yellow-brown, the eyelashes were white. In several instances the eyelashes 
were white where the hair of the head was yellow or yellow-brown. In two infants 
of three months the hair was light yellow. The hair becomes darker as age advances, 
although at the same age the hair of one albino may be darker than that of another 
albino as is seen in the two children, age four, just mentioned. Illustrations of 
the colour of the hair of these albinos will be found on our Plate k. 

The hair as regards its curly, crinkled, or smooth character does not seem 
to differ from that of a normal native, neither does the hair differ in quantity. 

Eyes. There is i^hotophohia. This is well shown in some of the photographs 
[Photographs (63), (58), (64), and that of Case 6]. Nystagmus is present in most 
cases. Out of sixteen Papuan and Fijian albinos this symptom was present in fifteen. 
In these fifteen the nystagmus was invariably lateral and in all but one it was constant. 
In this exceptional case the nystagmus was well marked, lateral and constant 
during ophthalmoscopic examination although it could not always be made out 
at other times. In the case in which no nystagmus was detected no ophthalmoscopic 
examination was made, so that as far as we know nystagmus might have become 
manifest, as in the previous case, during such examination. Strabismus is present in 
some cases. In the sixteen cases of albinism just referred to, internal strabismus 
is mentioned twice, once on the left side and once on the right side. In eight 
cases it is noted as being absent, in one of these [Case 1, Photograph (75)] the 
photograph of the man indicates a left internal strabismus. There are therefore 
at least two or three of the sixteen cases that have strabismus. 

K. p. 8 


Nothing abnormal was noticed as regards the cofijunctiva or sclerotic, except 
in two cases where there was conjunctivitis. In no case, however, was either the 
presence or absence of pigment at the limbus recorded. 

The colour of the iris shows much variation in different cases. It is described 
as grey, light-grey, greenish-grey, blue-grey, blue, greenish-brown, yellow-brown, pink 
and sandy. The colour of the iris is sometimes exceedingly difficult to describe in 
one or two words. This is largely due to there being different coloui-s and shades 
of colours in an iris, so that it may not always be obvious which colour predominates. 
(See our Chapter on the Albinotic Eye, and p. 7 above.) For instance in one case 
(Case 3) the iris is called grey, but "? greenish-brown" is added as it was uncertain 
what to call the colouring. Possibly there was a grey ground with conspicuous 
greenish-brown spots on it. It is thus possible for the colour of the same iris 
to receive different names from different observers under different illuminations. 
A case in point is one in which the colour of the iris has been described as 
light blue by one observer and green-grey by another (Case 5). The difficulty 
is made more intelligible by StafiT-Surgeon Lobb's cases. In one (Case 24) the 
periphery of the iris was blue and the central part green radiating out into the 
blue ; in such a case it might have been named either green or blue. In another 
of his cases (Case 25) there were yellow rays streaking out into a blue periphery, 
the periphery predominating. 

The pupils are circular, equal and contractile to light. The red reflex from 
the pupil although sometimes seen is not such a marked feature as it is in white- 
race albinos. 

On ophthalmoscopic examination we find the media are clear, the fundus is pale 
and the choroidal vessels are clearly seen. In some at least of the cases the retinal 
pigment layer and the choroid evidently contain pigment. The impression gained 
is that taken all together the fundi are not so pale as they are in albinos in this 
country. No spots or patches of pigment were seen in the fundi of albinos whether 
the skin was freckled or not. 

The refraction of the eye was hypermetropic in some instances, myopic in 
others and in one albino it was hypermetropic in one eye and myopic in the 

In p>hysique, the albinos seen did not compare unfavourably with the normal 
native. Their intelligence appeared to be equal to that of other members of their 

In some cases signs of degeneracy have been recorded in albinotic stocks. 
Thus abnormal conditions in addition to the defective pigmentation have been seen 
by Dr Fraser in a Malay female albino infant with supernumerary fingers and toes 
(Case 28). It is stated by Romilly^ that New Britain albinos are usually idiots. 
Some of the relatives of albinos in a Fijian family had club-foot (see our Fig. 389), 
and of four children of a Pitcairn Island woman, one of whom was an albino, one 
at least was an epileptic (see Fig. 421). Mr AUardyce's case (Case 45)— a girl— 

' See Bibl. No. 401. 


acre seven, was deaf and dumb, which was attributed to measles at the afje of 3 
01- 4 years. He also saw another female adult albino who was dumb (Case 46). 

Names. The preceding account refers to the form of albinism which includes 
only those individuals that are generally known as albinos. The corresponding words 
for albino with the Fijians, Samoans and Maoris are Rea, Tetea and Korako 
respectively ; in Nine Island they ai-e called Mahele, whilst the natives of New 
Guinea call them " Uro-Uro," i.e. white (Finsch). They are termed Onom-Bela in 
Nias Island (Sumatra)'. The Malay word for albino is " Orang Valar" (Dr Fraser, 
Letter, 25 March, 1909). 

In this form of albinism there does not appear to be any essential difterence 
between the individuals in one tribe or race and another, but as the number of 
reported cases is small this statement may require alteration in the future ; 
certainly as regards the Papuan and Fijian albinos there is no marked difference. 

Thus freckled albinos have been seen in Fiji, Papua and Java ; in New Zealand 
amongst the Maoris"; in the Ellice Islands'; in the New Hebrides*; in Samoa"; 
in Hawaii and in Amboyna (a Dutch East Indian island), where there was at the 
end of the eighteenth century^ a Papuan man, with light hair and a white 
skin with reddish freckles. 

There are also freckled Malay albinos and a freckled Tamil albino (see our 
Fig. 9). Dr Fraser says, however, that the freckling of the Malay albinos is far 
less than that of Fijian and Papuan albinos, to judge by the photographs of the 
latter. We have also evidence of freckled albinos from Nyassaland (see our Fig. 427). 

Second Form of Albinism. That a second form exists in which the skin is 
darker than in the first form and in which nystagmus may or may not be present 
and where freckling is absent or at any rate not conspicuous is suggested by the 
following cases : — 

In a Papuan boy (Kanai, Case 17), the skin was brown, but of a much lighter 
shade than the dark skin of his parents. There were no darker or lighter patches 
on the skin. His hair was light brown, eyelashes brown and the body hair white. 
The irides were of a light brown colour. His physiognomy resembled that of an 
albino. There was constant lateral nystagmus. Unfortunately no ophthalmoscopic 
examination was made so that there is no information as to the pigmentation of 
the choroid and retina, or the transparency of the media, — except in so far that 
the corneae were clear and there was no obvious opacity in the pupils. 

In a woman (Sanau, Case 18), probably the aunt of Kanai, the skin had a 
light brown — possibly reddish-brown — colour, much lighter than the skins of the 
rest of the tribe. The colour was uniform. There was no nystagmus. The fundus 
oculi was pale. It is said that her skin formerly was even lighter than at present 
and that her pupils were red. 

It seemed remarkable that these two persons should be looked upon and 
presented as albinos, because they were so dark when compared with white-race 

' See Bibl. No. 354, p. 145. ^ See Bibl. No. 233, p. 9. ' See Bibl. No. 334. 

* See Bibl. No. 496. ^ See Bibl. No. 514, Bd. n. p. 41. ' See Bibl. No. 124. 



albinos ; they were also much darker than the other Papuan albinos. But when it 
is taken into consideration that Sanau had red pupils in childhood and her fundus 
is even now pale, that the body hairs of Kanai are white and that he has 
nystagmus — which may be caused by an albinotic condition of the eye, although 
this is not proved — and that his physiognomy is characteristic, there are grounds 
for the belief that both these individuals represent a darker form of albinism'. 
The father of Kanai (Pedi) is quite dark ; he says that (Baredi) his father, now 
dead, had nystagmus when young which passed off later, his skin was not dark. 
Pedi believes that the nystagmus in his son (Kanai) will also jaass off when he grows 
older. The disappearance of the nystagmus in Kanai's grandfather may, perhaps, 
be explained by diminished amblyopia as a result of development of pigment m 
the fundus during childhood'. At the village of Tureture on the coast 17 miles 
west from Daru, where Pedi resides, there was at least one native with lio-ht 
brown (? reddish-brown) skin and reddish hair in marked contrast to the other 

D'Albertis* appears to have had doubts as to whether a child of seven or 
eight years old, whom he saw at Moatta, a village a few miles west of Tureture, 
but who belonged to the interior, was an albino or not. He concludes that he 
was not, on the ground that the other albinos he met with in New Guinea 
were positively white. He says " he certainly was no blacker than myself, burned 
as I am by the sun ; the only difference between us was that his skin was 
redder. His hair was red." He also saw at the same place a young man so 
fair that he suspected he must be the result of a cross with a Eui-opean; he 
discarded this idea, however, and also "for various reasons" the albino theory. 
He makes no mention of colour of iris, nystagmus or fundus. 

It may possibly be that some of the natives with light-brown skins seen in 
Fiji, e.g. at Waikama village in Gau Island (Case 10), where there are three 
ordinary albinos, should be classed as albinos of this darker type. It must be 
remembered, however, that in Fiji there is Tongan blood and that the Tongans 
have lighter skins than the Fijians'. 

' The reader should remember the xanthous type of Negro : see our section on the Negro below and 
the " rufous " type of European albino : see our discussion below. 

" See True, Valude, and Frenkel : Nouveaux elements d' ophthalmologie, p. 628 ; the point is an open 
one; see our Chapter ou the Albinotic Eye. All forms of nystagmus dating from infancy and due, 
as in albinism, to imperfect vision, appear to get less marked with increasing age. 

^ There are a few very light brown people with red hair in the Taupota district (Rev. John Hunt's 
Letter, June 13, '08). Dr H. Eraser's case seems to be another of this type: he was a Tamil with skin 
not much lighter tKan a normal Tamil, no freckling, hair reddish hrown on head and eyebrows, fair on 
nape of neck, chin and upper lip ; nystagmus ; iris hazel ; fundus pigmented so that choroidal vessels were 
not visible. 

* See Bibl. No. 366, Vol. n., p. 200. 

" Confinement to the hut has always the effect of bleaching the skin ; and in Fiji, chiefs' daughters 

are sometimes confined to the house during the daytime for several years in order to lighten their 

complexion, and so enhance their value in the marriage market" (Lord Amherst of Hackney and 

Basil Thomson, The Discovery of the Solomon Islands by Mendana, Vol. i. p. 133 ftn.). This bleaching 


Piebald Alhuios. A case of this description, with a photograph, seen in 
British New Guinea was published by SeUgmann'. "There was marked symmetry 
on the two sides of the body. The case was that of a Sinaugolo boy, aged about 
four years, on whose trunk there was a large white patch ; there was another on 
his forehead reaching on to the hairy scalp where the hairs were white. There 
were most symmetrical patches just above the elbow on the back of the arm 
while on both legs there were white areas extending from just above the ankles 
to the mid-thigh. Dotted about these there were a few small roughly circular 
areas of normally black skin. There was no famUy history of albinism of any 
grade or of any unusual skin condition." His Excellency Judge Murray had a 
second photograph taken of this case in 1908, some ten years after the first one, 
but not quite in the same position. There does not appear to be any increase in 
the relative size of the white patches when a comparison of the two photographs is 
made. This case is more fully discussed in our Chapter on Piebalds. The natives 
of Kapa-Kapa near Babaka (Papaka on map), the village where the piebald lives, 
say that he was born with the white patches. It would be interesting to know 
whether the fundus of the eye was piebald in this case. 

This appears to be the only known piebald in British New Guinea. The 
piebald people figured by Pratt" in his book could not be found at Hula where 
they were said to exist, nor had anyone seen them that was asked about them, 
nor could the author give particulars when requested. In addition to this one case 
the only other reference found to piebald albinos was in Powell's book on New 
Britain ^ in which he says that he has seen some cases where the albino was 
piebald, with patches of the light skin intermixed with the natural dark colour, 
and that the children of these people seldom retain the parents' peculiarity. 
New Britain (Neu Pommeru) is a large island to the East of German New 
Guinea. Not as necessarily throwing doubt on these New Britain cases it may 
be mentioned that the uninitiated have sometimes supposed that freckled albinos 
are piebald albinos. One or two Papuan cases reported to be piebald, proved on 
examination to be only freckled albinos. 

Beliefs as regards Albinos. Albinos appear to have been regarded, at any 
rate in former days, as devils by some peoples and as gods by others. In the 
island of Ovalau (Fiji) the albino members of the family were considered to be 
products of the devil, whereas the god of certain matagalis in the islands of 
Kadavu and Batiki (Fiji) is an albino. The Maoris call an albino "korako," while 
" korakorako " were mythical beings supposed to be white-skinned and looked 

process is reported by Mr George M. Murdoch in his notes on the marriage customs of the Gilbert 
Islanders (MS. 1908). He says that young people of both sexes but principally females prior to 
marriage were shut up in closed houses, where they got bleached or light skinned, they were never 
allowed out in the daylight. Necessarily they got light-coloured as time passed and at the end of say two 
or three months the majority of them were very light in colour. On the occasion of a great feast or 
dance, they were brought out, and introduced to society, unengaged girls often securing husbands. 

• See Bibl. No. 496. ' See Bibl. No. 544. 

' See Bibl No. 386, p. 115. 


upon as demons or beings of evil influence'. On Nias Island (Sumatra) albinos 
are called devil's children because it is thought that they are the offspring of 
devil and woman'. The Ainu greatly disregard albinos. (Landor.) In Nine Island 
albinos (Mahele) are said to be the offspring of the god Tu. Tu himself was a 
Mahele. In Raratonga the light-haired people are supposed to be the descendants 
of the god Tangaroa'. The Samoans appear to be ashamed of their albino children, 
if we may judge by the parents who hid away their child^ In Amboina albinos 
were believed to come from women fecundated by an aerolith, whilst in Ceramlaut 
the morning star was supposed to be their father'. Albinos amongst the Malays 
of the Philippines were called children of the sun'. To all appearance the albinos 
in Papua, Fiji and Java were treated like other members of the family. In Fiji 
at least one mother seemed very proud of her albino infant offspring. An old 
Fijian said that in the days of cannibalism an albino would have been eaten just 
the same as a normal native. 

At Nadala, Viti Levu, Fiji, when Vatunitalitalisalayavi (Case 15, Fig. 386, 
II. 6) the first albino in his tribe was born, it is said that an albino vuga (vugarea) 
also appeared on the edge of the pond at Nadala. They grew and flourished 
together and when Vatunitalitalisalayavi died so did the vuga. 

The father (iii. 5) of three Fijian albino children (Case 41, Fig. 326) attributed 
the albinism to his wife's violent fits of temper. When one of these fits came on 
when she was with child, the colour of the child suddenly altered ! 

List of Cases and Photographs with their Numbers as used in the above 

Case 1 (Walloulo), Fig. 347, II. 1, Plate X (74) Case 12 (Etonia Bian), Fig. 444, IV. 22, Plate V 
id (75). (65) and (68). 


2 (Kerapuna 9 ), no photograph : see descrip- „ 13 (Siteri), Fig. 38.5, VIII. 1, Plate T (60) 

tion, ftn. p. 78. and (61). 

3 (Delimilu), Fig. 348, II. 2, Plate X (76). „ 14 (Isireli), Fig. 334, III. 2, Plate U (64) 

4 (Kila Belama), Fig. 349, III. 3, not re- and (67). 

produced. „ 15 (Sanmela), Fig. 386, IV. 1, Plate U (66) 

5 (Rusiate), Fig. 390, III. 4, Plate S (57). and (69). 

6 (Mereone), Fig. 333, V. 5, not reproduced. „ 16 (Misikingi), Fig. 388, IV. 5, Plate S (56). 

7 (Louisa), Fig. 329 d, V. 8, Plate S (58). „ 17 (Kanai), Fig. 345, III. 2, no photograph. 

8 (Wainikiti), Fig. 329 d, V. 9, Plate „ 18 (Sanau), Fig. 345, II. 1, no photograph. 

S (58). „ 19 (Japanese $ albinos), Fig. 346, III. 1 and 

9 (Gasagasa), Fig. 329 d, V. 10, Plate S 2, no photograph. 

(59). „ 20 (Java, Bandoeng, $ albino). Fig. 338, II. 1, 

10 (Sera), Fig. 444, V. 4 and IV. 18, Plate no photograph. 

T (62) and (63). „ 21 (Java, Padalarang, $ albino), no photo- 

11 (Asena), Fig. 444, V. 4 and IV. 18, graph, see description, p. 65. 

Plate T (62) and (63). 

^ Letter (Jan. 1908) from Mr Elsdon Best, Euatoki. 

■" See Bibl. No. 354, p. 145. 

^ See Bibl. No. 491, p. 166. ■* See under Samoa below. 

' See Bibl. No. 405. » See Bibl. No. 422, p. 245. 


Case 22 (Europeans, at Suva), Fig. 369, no photo- Case 30 (Tati, Pilah Tingah, Dr Fraser), Fig. 351, 
graph. II. 8, Plate R (52) and (54). 

23 (Japanese (J albino, not seen), photograph, « « « « 

Plate R (55). 

24 (Podini. Staff Surgeon Lobb.ElHce Islands), 

Fig. 354, IV. 3, no photograph. 

25 (Lamosi. Staff Surgeon Lobb. Ellice Is- 

lands), Fig. 354, IV. 9, no photograph. 

26 (Malay, Kuala Kubu, ? albino, Dr Fraser), 

Fig. 353, IV. 5, Plate Q (50). 

27 (Malay, Kuala Kubu, (J albino, Dr Fraser), 

Fig. 353, IV. 7, Plate Q (49). 

28 (Malay, Kuala Kubu, cj albino, 4 months, 

Dr Fraser), Fig. 353, IV. 10, photo- 
graph not reproduced. fig. 435, Hair Plate k. 

29 (Tiriah, Cheriow, Dr Fraser), Fig. 350, 

III. 4, Plate R (63) and (54). 

41 (Family from Nakasaleka, Kadavu), Fig. 
326, no photographs. 

42 (Sevulosi, Kadavu), Fig. 327, III. 3, no 

43 (Keleni, Kadavu), Fig. 328, III. 3, no 

44 (Albinos in village of Manuana, Kadavu), 
Fig. 335, no pliotographs. 

45 (Ovalau pedigree). Fig. 389, no photo- 

46 (Albinos Loraina and Neirou, Vitogo), 

Description of Cases with no known family history will be found under their 
respective districts. 

Distribution of Albinism in Malaysia and the Pacific. 

Malaysia. Albinism occurs both in the Malay Peninsula and the Malay 
Archipelago. It has been stated that albinism is of rare occurrence in the Malay 
race, but these statements have been made without any full study of the extensive 
references to it in early Uterature and to its frequency here relative to that of 

other districts'. 

(i) Federated Malay States. Dr Henry Fraser of Kuala Lumpur has recently 
made inquiry concerning the prevalence of albinism in these states. He has sent 
particulars of 8 ^ and 7 ? albinos, of whom he has seen seven, and sent photographs 
and pedigrees. See our Figs. 350, 351, 353 and 483. Of these Tiriah and Tati 
shown on Plate R, (52), (53) and (54) are very characteristic Malay albinos. They 
come from Kuala Pilah in the State of Sembilan. From a Malay "Kampong" 
or villao-e some distance from Kuala Kubu in the State of Selangor, we have 


' Thus Lagleyze in a somewhat superficial treatment of the historical and geographical sides of the 
subject (see Bibl. No. 552, pp. 12, 15), considers that albinism among the dark races cannot be so frequent 
as some authors have supposed. He illustrates this by the statement that when the Dutch took 
possession of Java, the Sultan had three albinos at his court, and it needed four years to find four others 
to complete the number " fixe par le protocole." Lagleyze cites no authority for the tale. It is told by 
de Pauw, within five years of the event as follows : 

" L'Empereur de Java, qui les Hollandais tiennent en tutelle 4 Jucatra [Djokjakarta ?] oii ils le 
laissent jouir de toutes les decorations d'un pouvoir qu'ils lui ont ote, possedoit en 1761 trois blafards ; 
mais il fit tant d'instances aupres de son maitre, le gouverneur de Batavia, pour en avoir encore 
quelques-uns, qu'on les lui acheta a tout prix dans les isles voisines ; et en 1763 on en avoit deja fourni 
quatre autres, qui ne s'occupaient qu'a bourrer le tabac dans la pipe de ce prince, a y mettre le feu, 
a porter des jattes de pilau, a reciter des oraisons, et a rendre tous les petites services qui ne sont pas au- 
dessus de leurs forces... " (see Bibl. No. 72). To obtain four albinos by purch.ase in two, not four years 
does not seem to indicate such great rarity as Lagleyze suggests. 


further Malay albinos illustrated on Plate Q (49) and (50). Dr Wood reported 
these cases, and through the kindness of the district officer they were brought 
into Kuala Kubu. The remaining albinos were found by Dr Fraser in Kuala 
Kangsar in Perak ; photographs sent, but not reproduced : see Fig. 483. Some 
account of the marriage customs of the " Kampong" will be found under Fig. 353. 

Dr John Gimlette of Kelantan, Singapore, has sent particulars of 3 ^, 5 $ 
and two not sexed Malay albinos. 

Thus on the Malay peninsula we are able to report 23 hitherto unpublished 
cases of albinism. 

(ii) Sumatra. We have here only one new case to report, but there are 
several published records of albinos, some of first class interest. Our new case 
is that of Dolah, a native of Sumatra, seen by Dr Fraser (cf Fig. 442, II. 2). 
Dolah was practically a complete albino. Rosenberg' found few deformed persons 
among the southerly inhabitants of Nias, an island ofi" Sumatra, but on the other 
hand albinos with red hair, white skin (Korperfarbe) and red eyes were all the more 
frequent. They are believed to be the result of the intercourse of terrestrial women 
with the devil, and are called accordingly devil-children (Onom-Bela). They are 
the sport of young and old. Rosenberg also mentions an albino from Babasetaro 
in Nias {I. c. p. 137). G. Bennett in his book published in 1834'' was, perhaps, 
the first to draw attention to the blue eyed, golden haii-ed type of Malay albino. 
He writes : " I was much surprised a few days since, while passing a house near 
the village [Pedir, to the extreme north of Sumatra] to see apparently a European 
boy, of about six years old, and on examining him closer found his skin of a 
white colour, thinly scattered over with small light brown patches. On passing 
the same house again, I made inquiries on the subject and then had the 
opportunity of seeing two others, who were females, one about 16 and the other 
an infant just able to run about. They were described as children of native 
Malay parents, of the usual colour of their race ; but we did not see them as 
they had gone a short way into the country. The children were called Cete, 
Thete and Cebrete. They had a plump appearance, flaxen hair, light blue eyes ; 
the boy and young woman were slightly covered with scattered small brown 
patches, but the infant had not a blemish on its integument. The natives could 
give no reason for this variety, they looked upon it as curious, but did not seem 
to regard it as a disease. They have the flat noses of the Malay, but otherwise 
would be considered as the offspring of Europeans, the skin being in some degree 
freckled." This albinism of the skin and hair, with apparently no markedly de- 
fective sight (Bennett was F.R.C.S. and would almost certainly have recorded any 
obvious eye defect), is a special characteristic of some albinos of the dark skinned 
races, and not without significance for racial evolution. 

(iii) Java. We have already mentioned the custom of the Emperor of Java 
to have albino attendants at his court, and that in 1763 there wei-e seven such 

1 See Bibl. No. 354, S. 145. ' See Bibl. No. 205, p. 437. 


albinos. The population of Java and Madura' in 1905 was returned as about 
30,000,000. From Java and the adjacent isles albinism has been reported from 
very early times, and as we have seen it was the district where Troglodyta or 
Homo nocturnus was supposed to be indigenous". C. H. Usher in 1907 saw two 
albino cases, both male, in his ten day visit, and a trader spoke of another 
albino he had seen seven years before near Garoet. The first of Usher's albinos 
seen at Bandoeng will be found described in Fig. 338. The second was a male 
Javanese, age about 12 years, seen at Padalarang. Skin of face blond, with pigment 
spots like large freckles on it. Skin of hands and legs also blond. His face was 
broad and nostrils large. Hair, light yeUow. Eyes had marked nystagmus ; iris 
certainly contained some pigment. (March, 1907.) 

(iv) Other Islands in Malaysia. 

Bali. We have the case of Soudame rather fully reported by Van Iperen^ 
in 1778. He and his wife were slaves near Batavia, but he catne from Bali. 
Van Iperen says that the parents were the usual black-brown of the inhabitants 
of Bali, and that no other albino was known. Soudame's skin was fresh, healthy, 
reddish and " flesh coloured." Brown-reddish spots (? freckles) appeared when he 
was grown up. There was a large wen on right, a small one on left cheek. 
Portions of the lower part of his body were covered with long white hair, the 
feet alone being without it. In front of the chin no hair, but under it and 
down neck a heavy beard, which with the hair on the upper part of his body, 
formed a kind of mat over his chest, it was slightly curly and " vlammende " 
(? reddish). This hair did not occur in other natives. The hair on the higher 
parts was dirty white with yellow and red hairs mixed. Van Iperen describes 
the eyes at length ; Soudame had photophobia and nystagmus, there was no black 
in the pupil only reddish brown (roodachtig bruin). Soudame was clearly a complete 
Malay albino. Van Iperen recommends the use of green spectacles for such cases. 
He says that such albinos are called night-men or oui-ang-outangs and are found 
in the forests of Java. This point is of some interest as there is no indication that 
he considered Soudame or these ourang-outangs anything non-human ; he even 
suggests that Soudame may have got his white skin from intra-uterine small-pox. 
The hairiness of Soudame may also be considered in relation to Bontius' ourang- 
outang and the extreme hairiness reported of some other albinos : see Wafer's 
account on our p. 17 and Fig. 592, etc. 

A hundred years later R. van Eck reports seeing on more than one occasion 
a " Kakkerlak " in the Island of Bali, but unlike Van Iperen he contents himself with 
saying that they were very repulsive'. 

Timor. H. O. Forbes'' saw a few youths with red hair which was straight in 

' The legendary history of Madura makes us acquainted with a King, Rasou-Dawa, who had two 
children, the one white, named Kakra-sana, and the other black named Krisna : see Bibl. No. 572. 
Is this an albino legend ? 

' See our p. 25. ^ See Bibl. No. 368. 

■■ See Bibl. No. 404. 

K. p. 9 


some, curly in others. The eyelashes were red also the hair over the body was reddish, 
the eyes were blue. There was a little colony of them at Aitiiha well known for their 
peculiar colour of hair and eyes. Earl noticed [Tlie Native Races of the Indian 
Archipelago, 1853, p. 179) amongst the peoples of the tableland above DiUy some 
natives of a dull yellow colour ; the parts exposed to the sun were covered with 
light brown patches ; the hair was straight and thin, and its natural colour reddish or 
of a dark chestnut brown. There can be little doubt that these rufous individuals 
correspond more or less closely to the xanthous negro. 

Aniboina. This is an island to the south of Ceram. We are reaching here the 
division between Malay and Papuan. Many of the inhabitants are said to come from 
the volcanic island of Banda (S.E. of Amboina), where there is much intermarriage and 
much leprosy. An albino was seen at Amboina seven or eight years ago'. A Papuan 
albino was seen here by Labillardiere in the eighteenth century ^ In 1667 Kjoping 
(see our p. 24) repoi'ts albinos hi Amboina, and gives a few vague details of an albino 
woman from Ternate. 

We have a fuller account in 1724 by Francois Valentyn in his Beschryvinge 
van Amboina^: 

"We find among these islanders a sort of people who are called Kakkerlakken. 
They are about as fair as a Dutchman, though others look horribly faded, of a dead 
pale white, especially when one sees them near at hand. They have very yellow, 
singed looking hair, many freckles (sproeten) on their hands, and at close view they 
are scaly with wrinkled skin. By day they see with difficulty, being almost half 
blind, so that their eyes mostly appear to be always pink-eyed* ; yet they can see 
very well by night. They have gray where the other islanders have black eyes ; and 
they are even when born of black parents despised by their own nation, even abhoiTed 
by them. I knew a King of Hetoe and his brother who were Kakkerlakken, — they 
had black brothers and sisters and also black children ; there were some who were 
females, but not many were seen. The same sort of people are found in the kingdom 

of Loango in Africa and elsewhere They are given this name from certain Indian 

' Schallebyters^' which wither up every year, and are pale and wrinkled from the 

' Information from a Dutch ship's captain, who had been 14 years in the Dutch East Indies. 

- See Bibl. Nos. 120 and 124, "I saw on my return a white negro, a Papuan man by birth ; he had 
light hair, his skin was white, and marked with reddish freckles like those of Europeans who have 
red hair; but he was not weak-sighted as is generally the case with other albinos" (1791 — 2). 

^ See Bibl. No. 49, Vol. ii. p. 146. 

* The passage is obscure, but probably does not refer to pink pupils, but rather to soreness of 
the eyelids. 

° Valentyn {I.e. v. ni. p. 295) under the heading Dieren van Amhoina gives a decidedly unpleasant 
account of this insect : 

" Een van de ongemakkelykste Dierkens die den menschen hier veel schade en ongemak toe brengen, 
zyn de Kakkerlakken — een zoort van Schallebyters, die zomtyds met geheele drommen vooral als 't 
regenen zal, 't zy in de Huizen dog voornamentlyk op de Schepen, als met een storm, tegen 't vallen 
van den avond voor den dag komen, en dan zeer dom op iemand aanvliegen. Als mens' nachts legt en 
slaapt, komen zy 't eelt iemand van de voeten zoo afknagen, dat het den Lyder zeer kan doen. Zy doen 
groote schade aan Boeken, Papieren, en Kleederen, en voor al aan die gene, die wat vet, besmund of 


beginning. The name is quite rightly given for they always appear as scaly and 
withered as the " Kakkerlakken of Lazarussen'." 

Ternate. This is one of the Moluccas, and is no doubt the Tharnodo where 
Kjoping in 1667 reported albinos. Dr G. W. Johnstone of Singapore in a lettter to 
C. H. Usher states that he has visited this island, and that he saw and photographed 
an albino from the hills. Heusler= says (17'JU) that Valkenaer mentions "in einem 
Zusatze S. 359 " the case of four albinos born of black parents and having black 
offspring occurring on this island. The reference is obscure and we have not been 
able to trace it further. Valkenaer appears to have laid stress on the distinction 
between the wholly white skin and " Schuppenkrankheit (Kascaro)," which spotted 
the skins of the dark races with patches. Possibly the original might have matter 
bearing on the distinction between albinism, congenital piebaldness and leucoderma. 

In 1703 the King of Bantam (not far from Batavia in Java) showed the traveller 
De Bruin-' an albino woman, and asked to what land she belonged. "Zy was grof 
en dik van lichaem, maer blank en blond van haer. 't Gesicht was heel gezwoUen, 
d'oogen half-toe." De Bruin took her to be a European, a Russian slave ; she was, 
however, from the hills on the islands south-east of Ternate, where De Bruin says they 
are termed " Kackerlacken," and describes the usual photophobia, and in this case the 
extreme fatness of the albino. According to De Bruin she was a concubine of the 
king (een der bywyven), and we have thus another instance of the position of the 
albino at the courts of the Malay royalties. 

Celebes. The population of this island is given as 2,000,000. With the exception 
of 9500 Chinese and Europeans, they may be regarded as belonging to various Malay 
stocks. The Bugis and Mangkassars of the South Peninsula are the dominant native 
race. The "Alfuros," a collective name for the other native tribes, are said to be at a 
very low grade of culture ^ 

According to information given to C. H. Usher by a native born at Menado, where 
he had lived for years, there are in that town two albino children born of normally 
coloured parents ; this family is of Philippine origin : see Fig. 337. There are said 
to be four other albinos at Menado. Dr Alers, Dutch Surgeon-Captain, stationed in 
Celebes, sends us particulars of 13 albinos from the extreme north of Celebes. See 
Figs. 419 and 420. In these cases, as well as in others referred to at the same place 
(Appendix A, p. 68), albinism seems to be closely associated with half castes and 
interracial unions, whether of Malay with European or with Chinese. 

Meyer, also in the north of Celebes in the neighbourhood of Minahassa, says that 
he often came across fine examples of albinism among the inhabitants'. 

besmult zyn, want daar byten zy groote gaten in. Dit Dier komt met de Schepen ook wel in 't Vader- 
land ; dog 't is dan als lam en traag — ook bleeker dan anders." 

1 The significance of the " Kakkerlakken of Lazarussen " is not clear. 

2 SeeBibl. No. 119, S. 360. 

3 See Bibl. No. 48, p. 380. De Pauw (Bibl. No. 72, Vol. ii. p. 14) doubts whether De Bruin is correct 
in asserting the albino was a concubine of the king, but her apparent repulsiveness is not a valid reason 
for questioning De Bruin's accuracy. We know of negro chiefs with albino wives. 

* Chambers' Encyclopaedia, Art. "Celebes." ' See Bibl. No. 330, S. 15. 



A male adult albino has been reported at Oena-Oena, an island off the coast of 

Borneo. Boyle" in 1865 (see our Fig. 342) came across several albinos among 
the Dyaks of this island. Bock^ speaking of the Dyaks of Koetei inhabiting the banks 
of the Mahakkam and its tributaries above Moeara Pahou, which is the farthest inland 
Malay village, says they are closely allied to the Malay races. He particularly asked 
for cripples or monstrosities, but only saw one, " unless I include a couple of albinos, 
who were light in colour, the skin being rather reddish and very scurvy, peeling off in 
scales. Their hair was light brown and the eyes gray. T was told that such albinos 
were not uncommon in Koetei." 

Mention has already been made of the two Chinese albinos in the town of 
Samarinda on the east coast of Dutch Borneo and near the mouth of the river Koetei 
(see our p. 50). 

An albino has also been reported from the Barito basin in British Borneo\ 

The Philipinne Islands. We reach in these islands a district in which we may 
expect considerable race mixture. Besides the Malay inhabitants, we have the 
Negritos, who probably belong to the same race as the Papuans of New Guinea'^ ; 
and in addition there has been considerable crossing with Spanish and even other 
European blood. The earliest notice of a Philippine albino that we have come across 
occurs in a paper in the Phil. Trans, for 1706 by G. J. Camelli on the monsters and 
monstrosities of the Philippines^ He writes: "Albinam, Hispanis albino, vidi Manilae; 
erat Puella decimus (proles Morenorum parentum, qui coloris sunt fuliginosi, sed 
capillitio protenso) albidinis extraordinariae & insolitae in admirationem trahentis, 
& monstruosae, capilli aureoli, solem ad lucem invite ferens. Causam vulgus non 
phantasiae sed Lunae influxui tribuit." 

We have thus an early notice of the white skinned, brilliant yellow haired and 
photophobic Malay albino. We must regret that the irides were not recorded. 

Andree in 1889' mentioned a communication from Dr Trinidad H. Pardo De 
Tavera stating that among the Malays of the Philippines thei'e are albinos with white 
skin and hair like European albinos. Foreman in his book of 1899 on the Philippine 
Islands writes* : 

" There are also to be seen in the islands a few types of that class of tropical 
inhabitant, preternaturally possessed of a white skin and extremely fair hair — some- 
times red — known as albinos Amongst others, I once saw in Negros Island 

a hapless young albino girl with marble-white skin and very light pink-white hair, 
who was totally blind in the sunny hours of the day." 

At the instance of Dr H. Fraser of the Institute of Medical Research, Kuala 
Lumpur, Federated Malay States, and of C. H. Usher, the Bureau of Health for the 

' Informant a Dutch marine officer. ^ See Bibl. No. 300, pp. 95—6. 

= See Bihl. No. 371, p. 182. - See Bibl. No. 4-56, p. 162. 

* Brinton, D. G. : The American Anthropologist, Vol xi., Washington, 1898, p. 295. 
« See Bibl. No. 45. ' See Bibl. No. 422, p. 245. 

* See Bibl. No. 477, p. 138. The "pink white hair" appears rather difficult of realisation. 


Philippine Islands was asked to obtain information with regard to albinos in these 
islands. The circular used in this inquiry was communicated to Dr V. G. Heiser, 
Director of Health for the Philippine Islands. He issued it on April 29, 1908, in the 
name of Dr Fraser, C. H. Usher and Professor F. Starr of Chicago to the medical 
inspectors and district health officers of the Bureau. On July 2, 1908, as satisfactory 
responses had not been received, a further circular with a leaflet by Professor Starr 
was issued •. This stringent " whip " produced an account of 45 persons, included 
under a rather wide conception of albinism. Dr Heiser has most kindly forwarded 
to us a table of these cases, noting that statistically they do not represent the 
albinism in the Philippines, and that the Bureau will continue the research until it 
is able to publish a thoroughly reliable table of albinism in the Philippmes. 

We give first Dr Heiser's general remarks on the data : 

"As a result of these circulars, 45 cases of albinism were reported from seven 
provinces : Albay, 2 ; Bohol, 1 1 ; Ambos Camarines, 5 ; Ilocos Sur, 5 ; Manila, 1 ; 
Pampanga, 16 ; Tarlac, 5. 

"It is not claimed that the figures presented are correct or approximately 
correct. The truth is that they are very far from complete. It is not reasonable 
to suppose that on the island province of Bohol, with a population of 269,223, there 
are 11 albinos, while in the near-by island province of Cebu, with a population of 
653,729, there is not a single albino ; though it is probably true that albinism is more 
prevalent in Bohol than in other provinces, as there is more ' Folk-lore ' concerning the 
condition. The Bohol term for albino is ' bulao ' from the Visayan word ' bulauan,' 
which means gold. Albinos with blond hair and dark skin are called 'buguao' 
(yellow), and those who are entirely white are known as ' uguis ' (decolorized). In 
this province there is a tradition of a white people, known as Taguibanua (cave 
dwellers), which once lived in the mountain caves of the island, and the popular 
belief is that albinos are the result of the mingling of these cave dwellers with the 

"By some of the inhabitants it is believed that a few of the Taguibanua still 
exist, and that whenever one is seen by a pregnant woman an albino child is the 
result. This latter theory is accepted in the province of Albay, where there also 
exists a tradition of an ancient white race. 

"Another theory that prevails in both of these provinces, and more or less in all 
other provinces, is that albinism is due to some peculiar phase of the moon at the 
moment of conception. 

"In the provinces around Manila an albino is known as 'Anak Arao,' 'Child of 
the Sun,' from the belief that the mothers of albino children during pregnancy 
develop a ' fancy^' for gazing on the sun. This theory is also prevalent to some 
extent in all parts of the Philippines." 

' In his second circular Dr Heiser states that Professor Starr had discovered 35 well-defined cases in 
a very limited territorial area in three weeks' time. It is not said whether any of these are covered by 
the above 45 cases. If they are all cases of complete albinos, albinism must be very frequent in the 

' Thus the troglodyte albino of Linnaeus appears again on the scene ! 



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It is difficult to understand why some of those included in the Table appear as 
albinos ; certainly several of them ought not to be marked as total albinos. Further, 
in the original the individuals are marked throughout in a race column as "Filippino" 
(f ), which is evidently incorrect, as Chinese and English blood are indicated in certain 
instances and may be suspected in others. Of the 45 cases only 11 are reported with 
pink, red or brick red irides or pupils, and three cases with brick red irides are said to 
have dark pupils. It may be doubted whether it has been possible even in the minority 
of cases to examine ophthalmoscopically the eyes. Fifteen further cases are given as 
having blue or light blue irides ; three as having grayish brown irides. In ten there 
are no particulars as to the eyes, and in six they are stated to be various shades of 
gold or brown. In five cases the hair colour is not stated. In two cases it has been 
given as " black, ashy " (man of 65), and " black " respectively. In the latter case the 
man's two sisters are marked as total albinos, and he as a partial albino, but no 
particulars of his skin or eyes are entei-ed. In the former case the claim to albinism 
appears to rest on the skin, which is "white in parts," so the man is probably a piebald. 
In general the skin is recorded in 37 cases; in 32 of these it is noted as white or pink; 
there are three cases of partial skin albinism ; the one already referred to ; a case in 
which the skin is white on the chest and the hair is black with small blond patch in 
frontal region, i.e. a "flare," as illustrated in our Plates E to H ; and a third one in 
which the skin is "sunburnt, white in parts," the hair "brunette, slightly brown" 
and the eyes blue. The remaining two cases in which the skin is described are given as 
"Malay" and "sunburnt," the eyes being in both cases brown, but the claim to albinism 
appears to rest on the hair, it being "corn auburn" and "auburn brownish" in the two 
cases respectively. In the case of the Filippino aged 65 with " black ashy " hair and 
the one with a "Malay" skin, the pupils are noted as "light blue" and "blue" re- 
spectively, although the irides are said to be " gold brown," i.e. probably somewhat 
deficient in pigment for the race. 

Of the 1 1 albinos of whom pink or red pupils or iris is recorded, the hair is stated 
to be deep yellow (l), white (1), cream white (2), yellowish white (2), white and 
shiny (l), pale blond (1) and blond (3), thus marking the frequent transition to 
yellow in albinos of dark skinned races. Of the hair in the remaining 29 recorded 
cases, the two black haired individuals have already been referred to, the remaining 27 
show every shade of blondism from light straw colour, through golden, auburn-brown to 
brown itself. 

Looking at the material as a whole it involves a large number of interesting cases 
in the bulk of which blondism— as shown by white skin, yellowish hair and blue 
eyes— has appeared in a dark skinned, black haired, dark eyed population. In the 
great majority of these cases it amounts to incomplete or partial albinism ; in 25 per 
cent, or under it amounts to complete albinism with the characteristic albinotic eye. 
We again meet with the contemporaneous appearance of extreme blondism and 
albinism in a district where there is a mixture of races, none of which are necessarily 
themselves blond. 

If we turn to the hereditary information in this material we must frankly confess 


that it is far from satisfactory. We have included all the facts given on Plate LII, but 
the pedigrees are incomplete and unreliable in many particulars. They have not been 
used in the reductions of our material. Thus when " all the grandparents " are said to 
be albinos or " great grandparents albinos," e.g. Fig. D or Fig. E, we can only suppose 
that it 7-efers to blond ancestry. But admitting this as a possibility we see that 
these blond Filippino types are excellent matei'ial for testing laws of reversion and of 
segregation. It is with the view therefore of inducing further study of such phenomenal 
blondism that these rough pedigrees are given here. It would not we believe, 
however, be possible to put these Filippino blonds on one side as having no relation 
to albinism ; in the first place they closely resemble the albinos who have been noted 
in other Malay and native races, in that the want of pigment in the eyes is not as 
marked as in the albinos of white races ; further the eyes have not usually been 
subjected to ophthalmoscopic examination, but have obviously been hurriedly and 
rather superficially recorded ; yet in the case of the individuals 21 — 23 with "grayish 
brown " irides and " dark " pupils, we are told that they " seem uncomfortable in the 
light," and in the individuals 19 and 20 with "dark yellow" irides and "dark" 
pupils it is said that both are rendered uncomfortable by light ; and lastly cases 
40 and 41 are both credited with blue irides and said to be myopes\ 

On the other hand, while we have a record of two English mestizos, it is hardly 
conceivable that in all these pedigrees there can be a family history of European 
blondism. Direct information as to the result of native interracial crossing is wanting, 
but this is the side from which we should expect light upon the extreme blondism and 
degree of albinism which appear among dark races. 

Other Islands. Before leaving the district where Malay meets Papuan, we may 
note that Riedel refers in his work of 1886 on the straight and wavy haired races 
between Celebes and Papua to albinism in several other islands'. 

On Buru, he says, albinos are seldom observed, but that many cases of vitiligo 
(? leucoderma) with ichthyosis, both infectious (?), occur (p. 4). 

Of Amboina he tells the legend that albinos are persons whose mothers, sleeping 
in the bush, were impregnated by a falling star (p. 75). 

On Serang (Ceram) albinos are very rare (p. 98) ; on Seranglag (Ceramlaut) he 
does not say whether they are rare or not, but reports that they are held in respect 
because their mothers were impregnated at dawn by the morning star (p. 176). 

On the Watubela Islands albinos are scarce, but a preference is given to paler 
children (p. 208) ; on the Ke {or Kel) Islands albinos are rarely seen (p. 219) ; in the 
Aru Archipelago cases of albinism are seldom observed, the only name in use being 
palade, that is, like whites, or as they say "like white Dutch" {p. 250) ; on Tenimber 
there was in 1882 only one albino (p. 278) ; on Babber they are very scarce (p. 335) ; 
on the islands Moa and Wetter albinos are unknown (pp. 370 — 450). This brings us 

' In seven cases, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, the eyes are described as " normal," but strabismus occurs in two 
of these, 3 and 4. Photophobia is directly recorded in three of the pink eyed cases, 2, 27 and 39, and 
nystagmus in 27 and 39. 

"- See Bibl. No. 405. 


to Timor (see our p. 65 above); between this island and Bali we have no reports as to 
albinism. It will be seen that Riedel's information is largely of a negative character, 
and of the actual albinos observed we get no account. 

Before we pass to New Guinea and the Pacific, it may be as well to put on record 
here all we know about albinism in Japan. 

Japan. Albinism occurs amongst the Japanese, but is not common. In the 
year 900 a.d. two albinos, brother and sister, from the province of Kishin, were 
reported as a curiosity to the Government of that time'. 

The result of inquiry made by one of us from a few medical men in Kobe, Kyoto 
and Tokio as to the occurrence of albinism in the Japanese also leads us to believe 
that albinos are uncommon. In 150,000 cases of eye disease examined during a 
period of 20 years Professor Komoto (Tokio) had seen only four albinos, two men 
and two women. One of the former is described in our Fig. 633. A photograph of 
a male albino was kindly given by Professor Komoto and is reproduced Plate R (55). 
Professor Komoto further gave permission for the examination of a third male albino 
who happened to be in his ward on the day of C. H. Usher's visit. This man was 
aged 20, blond skin, physiognomy characteristically Japanese. The hair had a reddish 
brown colour and was unusually dark for that of an albino. The iris also was re- 
markably dark (from memory, brownish yellow). The fundus oculi on the contrary 
was pale, considerably lighter than might have been expected when the iris and hair 
pigmentation were considered. There was marked constant lateral nystagmus and 

Professor Oyasaka (Kyoto) finds that albinism is rare amongst the Japanese. In 
five years he has seen only two albinos. Dr Ito (Kyoto) says albinos are scarce. He 
remembered a family near Osaka. There were two male albinos. The parents were 
not cousins. The grandparents were not albinos. He did not know that any of the 
relatives were albinos. Dr R. S. Miller (Kobe) had not seen a single Japanese albino 
in 16 years. 

As regards the Ainu, Landor says " albinism is very uncommon among the Ainu. 
I do not know of any case where it has been transmitted, as albinos are gi-eatly 
disregarded by the Ainu, and, I was told, seldom marry '\" 

Melanesians. Under this heading we include the inhabitants of New Guinea, 
New Britain (Neu-Pommern), New Ireland (Neu-Mecklenburg), Trobriand Islands, 
Woodlark Island, Solomon Islands, New Hebrides, New Caledonia and Fiji. 

The earliest general notice of albinism among the Papuans occurs in Argensola's 
Conquista de las Mas Malucas of 1609': "Among this very black people (the 
Papuans to the East of the Molucca) are to be found some who are as white and 
blond as the Germans. They have eyes so feeble and delicate that they cannot look 
at the sun without being blinded by it. We name them in Spanish albinos, because 
of their whiteness. Although they usually have eyes as feeble as has just been said, there 
exist some who have better eyes than the others, and who are capable of looking at 
all objects. There are also among the Papuans many deaf individuals." 

1 Komoto; see Bibl. No. 556. - See Bibl. No. 442. ■' See Bibl. No. 21, p. 148. 

K. p. 10 


It is interesting to find in this passage, one of the earhest in which the word 
albino is used, the distinction already made between complete albinism affecting the 
sight and incomplete albinism hardly affecting the sight, which is so characteristic of 
the dark races. 

New Guinea. Most of the interior of this, the largest island in the world except 
Australia, is still unknown. We consider the Dutch, German and British districts in 
order. A rough estimate of the population has been made at 650,000'. 

Western or Dutch New Guinea. At Hatam D'Albertis= in 1872 saw two albinos : 
"A greater surprise was, however, in store for me. Presently a man walked in as the 
others had done armed and adorned with flowers and necklaces but accompanied by 
a son of almost 25 and a daughter of about 20, both albinos. Their hair is whitey- 
brown, their eyes blue and their skin white like that of Europeans " (see our Fig. 358). 

D'Albertis saw a third albino, a female, equally white, with red hair and light 
eyes in the Arfak hills by Port Dorey. 

A. B. Meyer' saw an albino girl, whose father also came from Hatam (3500 feet 
high) in the Arfak mountains and who had an albino brother (see our Fig. 440). It 
is possible, but not certain, that this was D'Albertis' case. His paper is published in 
1874, and he describes her as a well developed girl of 16. The skin was rose white as 
that of a female European, but with many light yellow pigment spots (" Sommer- 
sprossen "). The hair reddish blond, the iris blue and there was marked nystagmus. 
She bent her head always downwards and shaded her eyes. "Es machte einen durchaus 
eigenthlimlichen und nlcht angenehmen Eindruck, ein junges, ausgew^achsenes Madchen 
mit der Hautfarbe einer Europiierin ganz nackt, nur die Schamtheile eben bedeckt, 
umherlaufen zu sehen. Die voUbusige Schone war in der Bltithe ihrer Jugend und 
stark umworben von Freiern, hatte aber bis dahin alle Anbietungen ausgeschlagen." 
The natives appeared to like the strong contrast of her skin against their own and to 
have no repulsion to it. Her features were ugly according to European standards, 
owing to the flatness of her nose and breadth of her mouth, but with the great variety 
of features found in Europe she would scarcely have attracted any special attention 
there. A repulsive feeling was produced by the dirt on her skin, wdiich is usually 
hidden by the dark skin of the Papuans*. Meyer considers that as he saw no more 
albinos anywhere else in New Guinea, they are scarce there, especially compared with 
Celebes, where he often met with them. 

Forbes in 1882 saw an albino woman with fair skin and yellowish hair in Dutch 
New Guinea, on the western point of the southern boundary of McClure inlet". 

^ Chambers' Encyclopaedia. = See Bibl. No. 322 and No. 366, 1880, Vol. i. p. 108. 

» See Bibl. No. 330. 

^ Meyer says the Papuans of New Guinea are darker than the Malays and less dark than the negroes. 
There is much variation, however, in colour, and this is influenced by exposure to the sun, even in the case 
of the same individual. At the east end of the Island there is a " copper race," possibly due to mixture 
with Polynesians, or even to the presence of the latter only. Everywhere in New Guinea occur light 
brown and even yellow individuals, especially among the women who live much in the huts. The Papuans 
are not to be called black, but black brown (I.e. p. 14). 

° Forbes, H. O., A Naturalist's Wanderings in the Eastern Archipelago, London, 188-5, p. 300. 


A Papuan albino, a Dutchman's slave, met with at the end of the eighteenth 
century in Amboiua, has already been noticed (p. 66). He had light hair ; his skin 
was white and marked with reddish freckles like those of Europeans with red hair ; 
but " he was not weak-sighted, as is generally the case with other albinos'." 

German Neiv Guinea". Finsch', who has considered at some length albinism 
among the Papuans, meeting with natives witii as light a skin colouring as Europeans, 
wrote of them as " white Papuans," and not albinos, because he found the chief 
characteristic of albinos, namely, red pupils, was absent ; they were not blind by day, 
and could see perfectly well. " Any mention of mixture of white blood with any of 
these individuals may be put on one side. I only met with one half-breed, and she 
was easily recognised. The fair straight hair of these white Papuans, which doubtless 
belongs to the character of albinism, had nothing to do with any mixture with white 
blood, since such hair is often found among pure dark Papuans. I may mention that 
the natives pay no special attention to these white individuals, although the skin- 
colouring of a white man is always an object of attention and admiration.... They call 
these people uro-uro, i.e. white, and feel no contempt for them, nor have they any 
superstition regarding them" (1883). 

Later Finsch apparently admitted that the matter is only one of degree, and 
spoke of these " white Papuans " as albinos. He had meanwhile become acquainted 
with the fact that this blondism passes insensibly into the albinism in which the eyes 
are aflFected. Thus he writes of German New Guinea in 1888' : 

" The men of Caprivi were in general fairly good-looking people, but pure 
Papuans, mostly as dark as those of New Britain (between Nos. 28 and 29 of the 
colour scale of Broca), sometimes lighter. But I had again the pleasure of becoming 
acquainted with an albino. With the exception of his breast and shoulders, which 
were much reddened by the sun, his colour was as light as that of a European (Nos. 
23 to 25 of Broca) ; his hair blond, but his light-shunning eyes could not bear the sun 
as is the case with most albinos." 

In New Britain (now Neu-Pommern !) Romilly' in 1886 reports that albinos are 
common : " They have light blue or pink eyes and in the daylight are almost blind." 
W. Powell" in 1883 had also seen an albino woman in the Gazelle Peninsula of the 
same island : 

" A little further along the S. end of the peninsula and immediately under the 
S. Daughter is a small indentation in the coast... which is called Albino Bay on account 
of a false report of there being a white woman on the shore there. She turned out to 
be an albino woman ; these persons are not uncommon in the South Seas, bemg not 
unlike a white person except that the skin appears much pinker and has an 
unhealthy look. I have seen some cases, where the albino was piebald, with patches 

1 See Bibl. No. 124. 

= Sir William McGregor, formerly Governor of British New Guinea, informed C. H. Usher that he 
had seen albinos there, and once had a freckled Papuan albino servant, long since dead. He had been 
600 miles up the Fly River to the junction of the Dutch, German and British territories, seeing many 
thousand natives, but he had not met an albino on that trip. ' See Bibl. No. 388. 

' See Bibl No 418 S 320. " See Bibl. No. 401. ° See Bibl. No. 386. 



of the liofht skin intermixed with the natural dark colour. The children of these 
people seldom retain the parents' peculiarity, but have the ordinary dark skin of their 

In New Ireland (now Neu-Mecklenburg !) Strauch' reported seeing in 1875 an 
albino with tolerably light, dirty white yellow (ziemlich heller schmutzig weiss-gelber) 
skin colour and blue iris. The hair colour appeared to be light red, but this, Strauch 
thinks, is not certain, " as the hair allows itself to be altered by colouring." " At 
first, from on board ship, one thought to have before one a member of the Caucasian 

Zoeller", in his work on German New Guinea, 1891, asserts that albinism is much 
less frequent there than in Africa. He had only seen two, of whom he gives no 
details. He adds : " Auch die durch Krankheit hervorgerufene stellenweise Entfiirbung 
der Haut — solche Menschen gleichen hierin buntgescheckten Kuhen — ist, obwohl 
haufiger als der Albinismus, doch viel seltener als die gleiche Krankheit in Afrika." 
Zoeller does not say whether he is referring to leucoderma, and there is a possibility 
that he may be confusing leucoderma with the pigment patches and freckles 
characteristic of so many Papuan albinos ^ 

V. Schleinitz^ in 1877 refers to albinos, with flesh-coloured skin, yellow-red hair 
and light eyes, in the Bismarck Archipelago. 

British Neiv Guinea. Population 350,000. Here our material is far more 
ample. In 1876 Stour^ in his description of the natives of Port Moresby and 
neighbourhood, writes of the Kerapuno, a tribe near Hood Point : "I have seen an 
albino among this people as fair as any European." Turner'* about the same time saw 
two albinos at Hood Point, a man and a boy. They were typical specimens, having 
light hair, weak eyes and ulcerated skin. They were naked, like other natives, and 
presented a curious contrast to their copper-coloured brethren. Turner considers that 
the Motu in this part of New Guinea differ from the Papuans or Negrito race, which 
inhabit New Guinea to the West. The hair, especially at Hood Point, is brown-black 
and not jet-black ; sometimes in children it is a sandy colour, growing dark with age. 
This suggests a racial boundary about this district of New Guinea, where albinism 
is relatively frequent. 

Next in order of time comes the visit of Finsch'. He has described, in 1883, 
four New Guinea albinos : (1) Kwarinam, of Hula, Hood's Bay, one of the speckled 
albinos with yellow hair and normal sight* ; compare our Fig. 362. (2) A second 
male albino, strongly-built, 28 — 30 years old, from same village. He had dark freckles 
but was far less speckled and blind of one eye, the other eye saw perfectly in sunlight. 
(3) and (4) two albino children, $ and $, from Alt Hula, belonging to the large village 
Kerepunu in Hood's Bay; see our Fig. 363. The eyes were yellowish brown, fair 

> See Bibl. No. 346, p. 93. - See Bibl. No. 605, p. 223. 

" Goldie in 1876 observed two albino boys in German New Guinea, they were covered with sores and 
their eyes extremely weak. See Bibl. No. 340. 

* See Bibl. No. 347, S. 249. » See Bibl. No. 341. " See Bibl. No. 349, p. 474. 
" See Bibl. No. 388, S. 205. 

* According to Finsch these albinos were not photophobic and could see perfectly well. 


hair and few freckles ; skin would enable them to pass as European children. Finsch 
saw in 1884 — 5 a fifth albino at East Cape', (5) "He was as fair as a European, 
with red cheeks and lips, had red-brown hair teased over into a great cloud, and brown 
eyes, by no means shy of the light like those of most albinos." 

Seligmann was the next visitor to this district who reported albinos, namely in 
1898. He asserted that albinism among the Melanesian or Polynesian populations 
differed from European albinism in that " the choroid is never pink and the hair is 
more or less tow coloured, the skin varies from a pink-white colour to that of cafe au 
lait, Avhile the eye is generally greenish, hazel, or brown. The hair is no finer or 
silkier than in the normal Papuan, and being frizzly, keeps strictly to the racial type 
except as regai-ds colour. With a light greenish eye there is usually associated a 
pinkish-white skin, certainly pinker where unexposed than that of the normal North 
European. The obvious expedient of calling this condition ' incomplete albinism ' 
or ' partial albinism ' has been avoided, since the latter term has already been 
applied by Ziemssen, Crocker and others to those cases in which there is congenitally 
a complete absence of pigment over more or less limited areas of the body, and which 
can only be distinguished from the far commoner leucoderma by their congenital 

This passage possibly requires some criticism. Partial and incomplete albinism 
are not the same thing, and the condition described by Seligmann or Finsch is very 
properly described — as originally by St Hilaire (see our p. 8) — as " incomplete " or 
"imperfect" albinism. None the less, one is very apt to write the term "partial 
albinism " when one means " incomplete albinism." In the next place this 
incomplete albinism is not confined to Melanesians or Polynesians. It occurs with all 
dark-skinned races, especially among negroes in almost every grade, and, with possibly, 
but not yet demonstrably, a rather less frequency, among Europeans ^ Further, Finsch 
in Caprivi, Meyer in Dutch New Guinea, and Romilly in New Britain met Papuan 
albinos with characteristic albinotic eyes. Seligmann further reports an absence of 
" nystagmus and jerky movements of the eyes " in all the cases of albinism he saw 
in New Guinea. Usher, who had the opportunity of making an ophthalmoscopic 
examination of the eyes on some of the same and on other albinos, reports nystagmus 
and other albinotic eye characters. We think it must be concluded that the 
Melanesian albinos do not differ essentially from those of other races ; various grades, 
of albinism occur there as elsewhere ; the less complete grades are far more con- 
spicuous than among the bloiid races. They may be more frequent, but the 
distinction is one of degree and not of quality. Seligmann saw several albinos further 
west in British New Guinea than any previously reported, thus he saw two albinotic 
individuals, Aker and Sergi, at Yam in ToiTes Straits, who will be found described in 

1 See Bibl. No. 418, S. 240. This small village was not far from Bentley Bay and Point Excellent. 

- See Bibl. No. 496, p. 803. 

' We have several oases of congenital white skin and hair in Europeans with normal or imperfectly 
albinotic eyes. Dr Meyerhof has kindly sent us particulars of two Friesian boys born of blond parents, 
with quite white hair, white skin, and clear blue eyes ; one with apparently quite normal sight and the 
other with excellent sight after an operation for zonular cataract. 


our Fig. 425. He further saw at Bulaa (? = Hula of Finsch and Usher) an albino 
boy named Kilapelama, aged about ten. This, to judge by photographs, is the Kela 
Belama of Hula, seen by Usher in 1907, and described below. Two further points 
may be noticed from Seligmann's memoir. He remarks : 

" There exists also a somewhat less-marked type of albinism in which greenish 
eyes and tow-coloured hair accompany skin of a pale cafe au lait colour. Two 
examples of this condition were seen at Jokea, in the persons of a boy about 18 years 
of age and his paternal uncle. They were both lean, muscular, active and energetic, 
and the boy was of rather unusual intelligence. Neither suffered from photophobia 
to any marked degree, nor was the skin harsh or thickened to the touch. This form 
would seem to denote a transition to those individuals not uncommon amoner the 
Papuans of Torres Straits in whom the skin is a shade or two lighter than is normally 
the case, their eyes being brownish and distinctly lighter than the normal dark 
colour. Their hair, too, is less dar-k, and in the men this may be specially obvious in 
regard to their moustaches. The condition tends to be hereditary ; all the children 
born to a Mabuiag couple, both members of which were of this type, were especially 
light coloured." 

Clearly we have here in the Papuans, as we have found in the Malays and we 
shall find later in the Negroes, a wide range of albinism passing into xanthism and 
the merely blond condition. The greenish eyes and tow-coloured hair should be 
considered in relation to the same characters which Virchow considered as partially 
albinotic in the Lets. The last point we have to notice from Seligmann's very 
interesting paper is the partially albinotic boy, whose case we illustrate and discuss 
at length elsewhere in this monograph. 

Between Seligmann and Usher, Pratt in 1906 writes of a "piebald" tribe, the 
" Motu-Motu people of Hood's Bay," and states that they are one of the mysteries 
of New Guinea, and that their origin is unexplained. There is no scientific evidence 
of the existence of any such people. Pratt gives a picture of two natives with large 
spots, fairly evenly shaped, over their bodies. He possibly came across some of the 
spotted or freckled albinos such as we reproduce on Plate X. 

One of our number, 0. H. Usher, visiting New Guinea in 1907, examined six 
albinos along the South coast at Port Moresby, Kerepunu, Hula and Daru. These 
are Usher's Cases 1, 2, 3, 4, 17 and 18 (see our p. 62) and are fully described under 
Figs. 347, 348, 349, and 345, Case 2 excepted, which is given below\ If the reader 
will examine the account given of the eyes of these six cases, he will note : 

Case (1). Walloulo". Constant lateral nystagmus, photophobia, fundi pale not 
patchy, myopia. Irides grey. 

' Case 2. Female albino, aged 6. Skin fair, darker than average British. Small brown spots of 
pigment on skin. Arms tattooed. Hair yellow brown, eyelashes and brows of same colour. Eyes : 
pupils equal, large and contract to light. Constant lateral nystagmus. Irides greenish-brown. Ophthal- 
moscopic examination : fundi pale, no patches of pigment. Choroidal vessels conspicuous. Pigment 
appeared to be present in both choroid and retina. Examination in feeble artificial light. 

- Names of individuals and place names can only be spelt phonetically, and difier from source to 



Case (2). Female child. Constant lateral nystagmus, fundi pale, choroidal 
vessels conspicuous. Pigment in choroid and retina. Irides greenish-brown. 







Our pedigrees, 


Native woman ' 



i 2&— 30" 

one blind eye 

i adult 

near Hula 

i adult 

lost one eye 

i 45 

Hula 1 
shrunken eye 

Fig. 348, II. 2, 
Plate X (76) 

i 30—32 


i adult 

near Hula 

see our p. 76 

i 5 

Alt Hula« 

i boy 

cf adult 


Bulla close to 


internal strabismus 


Fig. 347, Plate X 
(74) and (75) 

? 9 
Alt Hula 

? girl 

? died at 20 

Fig. 348, II. 1 

i adult 
near Hula 

i 10 

Bulaa (photo) 

i adult 

Kila Belama 
Hula (photo) 

Fig. 349. Photo- 
graph as adult (not 
reproduced) but 
like Seligmaim's 

i adult 



(father of informant^ 

Fig. 424, I. 2 

sex ? child 

Delitniiu's child 

Fig. 348, III. 1 

S girl 


« 6 

see Case (2) 
our p. 78 ftn. 

1 This woman formerly lived in Hula, but has not been there for 12 years. She is a daughter of 
Kielakapa and gave the information in 1908. 

^ Too much weight must not be given to the reported ages of these cases. 

^ Finsch says that Alt Hula belonging to the large village of Kerepunu was inhabited by Hula people 
who settled there before the destruction of the village. 

* Seen at Port Moresby. Bulla was understood to be near Kerepunu and, perhaps, not the same as 


Case (3). Delimilu. Constant lateral nystagmus, photophobia, fundus pale, 
myopia. Ii'is grey (? greenish- brown). 

Case (4). Kila Belama. Constant lateral nystagmus, fundi pale, choroidal 
vessels conspicuous, no patches of pigment. Right eye myopic, left eye hypermetropic. 

Case (17). Kanai. Constant lateral nystagmus (no ophthalmoscopic examina- 
tion). Irides light brown. 

Case (18). Sanai. No nystagmus, fundi pale, hypermetropia. Formerly 
pupils red. 

It follows therefore that we cannot suppose with Finsch or Seligmann that 
albinism does not aftect the sight of Papuans ; at most it may do so to a lesser 
extent than in some European cases. 

As some of the albinos on the South coast of British Papua, from Kapakapa to 
Kerepunu, may be the same individuals reported by different observers, a table has 
been given (p. 79) to place in line possible identities. 

Usher was able during his visit in 1907 to interest a number of local Europeans 
in albinism, and our pages show reports and histories of further New Guinea and 
Papuan cases. 

Dr W. M. Strong has seen albinos at Orakola, Meceo and Manuraanu (? west of 
Kerepunu), and also a female albino in the Mafula district. 

From Turituri, west of Daru, to Samarai, at the extreme south-east corner of 
New Guinea, no other albinos were heard of, although inquiries were made of mission- 
aries, traders, officials, and others. 

In the district west of East Cape, between Awaiama and Dogura, five albinos, 
two $, two ?, and one o, are repoi-ted (1908) by the Rev. Copland King and the 
Rev. John Hunt, of the Anglican Mission. Three other albinos, one <? and two $, 
had been known in the same district, but are now dead. It is believed that there 
are at present no other albinos there, and that these eight represent the albinos of 
the district for the last 20 years. There are also a few very light brown people with 
red hair in different parts of the same district. The details, so far as transmitted, 
are provided in Figs. 422, 423 and 569". The missionaries say that half-caste 
children are absolutely unknown, except in three cases where South Sea Islanders 
connected with the Mission have married New Guinea girls, and out of the three only 
one is married to a local girl. In the above instances of albinism it is almost certain 
that there has been no intercourse with whites. Cousin marriages are unknown 
among the coast people on the North-East coast of the Territory in which these cases 

In the Trobriand Islands (British) oft' the South- East end of New Guinea, there 
is an albino boy with a normally coloured mother, to judge solely from a photograph 
on a postcard, entitled " Trobriand mother and albino son." 

' The villages and names of these albinos are as follows : at Wanahari village at Taupota : 
(J Kamatia (ob.), $ Waidemani, $ Dadikoi (ob.) ; at Porimutuna village at Taupota : S Kavukavu, 
? name?; at Awoia (six miles from Taupota); ? Goomeia (ob.), cJ Drinda, o? Uridi. These villages 

are west of Bentley Bay and Point Excellent, and not far from where Finsch saw an albino in 1884-5 ; 

see our p. 76. 


Fioin Woodlark and Gawa Islands we owe to Mr John Taaffe excellent notes 
and photographs of cases as well as a record of marriage customs. These islands are 
slightly East of the Trobriand group and under the Papuan administration. From 
Woodlark Island we have our Fig. 417, with the albino girl Bodowa illustrated on 
Plates V and W (71) — (73). Since that account was written Mr TaafFe has informed 
us that the pupils have a dark reddish grey colour, and that she shades her eyes 
with her hands. She has always been a healthy child physically and mentally. 
On the Plate k of hair samples, her's is given as S3. 

On the small island of Gawa there are two albinos, and a third on the adjacent 
island of Kitava ; one of them on Gawa, Okatara, is described Fig. 541, Plate GG 
(101), and hair Plate k, Sj. Okatara's normal brothers and sisters are all married. 
He could not get any girl to marry him ; most of them say they would not marry 
him because he cannot see well enough in daylight to make a garden. His skin is not 
freckled, and is white with pinkish hue, although exposed to the sun. Pupils, as in 
Bodowa's case, are of a dark reddish grey colour. He is sound and strong (see 
measurements, Fig. 541), has always had good health, and is in no way inferior to the 
other natives. He is said to have been the first albino ever born on Gawa\ 

On Woodlark and Gawa Islands there is no special name for albino. They 
simply say that an albino is of a white colonv = Popakou. They call white men 
Gimesepu. On the Trobriand Islands there appears also to be no name for albino ; 
white is Pwapwakan and white man is Gomanuma. On Lachlan Islands, 40 miles 
East of Woodlark Island, they have also no name, but white is papao ; white men 
Guminumu. At Koiari Goto, inland of the Port Moresby district, an albino is called 
Gifoha, white kaiva, white man Atahaiva. At Koita Ga, the nearest portion of the 
Port Moresby district, an albino is called Ataerehakereka, white kaedauri, and white 
men Atakai^. 

Solomon Islands (British). The population is stated on a rough estimate to be 
not less than 150,000 {Colonial Reports, British Solomon Islands, 1905), but it is 
not possible to state with anything like accuracy the number of natives. " The 
Solomon Islands are still among the unexplored portions of the globe, though the 
greater part of the coast line has been visited by Europeans." There are islands of 
whose interior scarce anything is known. " Malaita, one of the group, is still unsafe 

' Mr Taaffe tells us that on Woodlark Island there are seven tribes, Flying Fox, Hawk, Cockatoo, 
Blue Pigeon, etc., and that the many surrounding islands have the same tribes. There is no marriage 
ceremony, but the inhabitants make simple arrangements to live together as man and wife. They live in 
villages and cultivate the land in common and practise communism within the village. A child belongs 
to its mother's tribe and may not marry a member of it, but they may marry a member of their father's 
tribe. The children of brother and sister never marry each other, nor do children of two brothers or two 
sisters intermarry as they regard their father's brothers and their mother's sisters each as father and 
mother and always call them so, i.e. uncles are called father and aunts mother. The families are 
small, four to five children on the average. They age prematurely, probably owing to the malarious 
climate, to filariasis, and exposure in the nude state to the weather. They are of brown skin, some darker 
than others. Ringworm of body, face and extremities, to which many of them are subject, obscures the 
pigment and gives them a fawn coloured appearance. 

2 Letter from Mr John Taaffe 18 Sept. 1908 (Woodlark Island). 

K. P. 11 


for Europeans to land on, or to explore except in strong parties'." The population of 
Savo, where albinos exist, is extremely mixed in the case of both natives and whitest 

In the account of the discovery of the, islands by Mendana in 1568, there is 
nothing which makes it at all certain that the Spaniards saw cases of albinism among 
the natives. Yet they say that " a few are quite fair, these being they who never 
leave their houses, or young boys," and, again, some dye the hair a light colour, 
some are naturally fair. " They saw among the natives... so me white,, fair-haired and 
well-featured." They saw a very old man almost as white as a Spaniard, he was 
whiter than his children and had a white beard I 

Information as to the distribution of albinos was obtained from traders and 
others at the following places in the group : Bagga, a small island near Vella 
Lavella ; Giso Island ; Tulagi and Gavutu, two small islands close to Florida island ; 
and at thiee places along the north coast of the large island of Guadalcanar. Some 
of the traders who were interrogated had lived for many years in the group, but 
albinos had only been seen by them at one small island called Savo, where there is a 
male and a female albino, brother and sister, also, according to another informant, a 
third albino who is not related to the other two. It has been thought j^robable 
that the island of Savo has been occupied by New Georgia natives in cdmpai'atively 
recent years. Its inhabitants differ in their physical characters from those of the 
surrounding islands, and in their language they differ even more\ 

A lady missionary said she had seen two albinos on Malaita Island. 

There is an albino on Lord Howe Islands Including this island in the group 
brings up the total number of reported albinos on these islands, with a population 
of 150,000, to five or six, a proportion of one to 30,000 or 25,000 inhabitants. 
As no reliable estimation of the population is yet available, this measure of albinism 
must be accepted with all reserve. 

We have found no previous modern notice of albinism on these islands. 

New Hehrides. Native population 70,000. The people are mostly of 
Melanesian race, and dying rapidly of consumption and other diseases. 

In 1606 Hernandes de Quiros discovered the New Hebrides. In a group of 
islands which he called Manicolo, in lat. 14° 30', the natives were generally black, 
some were white with red beards (probably dyed red), others mulatto". The 
evidence for the beard being coloured is not stated, nor is it clear whether the 
suggestion was made by de Quiros. 

^ The Discovery of the Solomon Islands hy Alvaro de Mendana 1568, Hakluyt Society, 1901 
pp. i, Ixii, xl and 181. 

^ Woodford, C. M., A Naturalist among the Head Hunters, London, 1890, p. 186. 

^ Discovery of Solomon Isles, Hakluyt Society, pp. 133, 276, 25.5, 116. 

* Guppy, Solomon Islands, pp. 57 — 59. 

^ At least one albino. The Lord Howe island referred to is in lat. 5° 30' S., long. 1 59° 30' E. It 
is now inhabited by the descendants of Polynesian castaways, who have the same language and some of 
the customs of their liglit coloured ancestors combined with a Melanesian physique. (Discovery of 
Solomon Islands, Hakluyt Society, p. x.xi.) 

^ de Rienzi, G. L. Domeny, Oceanie, T. ui. p. 416, Paris, 1837. 


In Eromanga Island the population between 1842 and 1859 was supposed to be 
about 5000. The families were small, four being considered a large family. One 
albino was seen'. 

Eckardt in 1877 says there were many albinos, male and female, in the New 
Hebrides, most of them with diseased red eyes". 

Seligmann refers to the photograph of a man from Aoba, who appears to have 
been one of the spotted-freckled type of albinosl 

From the personal inquiries of C H. Usher the following items were obtained : 

A former resident said that some years ago he saw one female and seven male 
albinos in these islands ; one had a mottled skin. 

Dr W. Gunn, in a letter from Aneityum, New Hebrides, 3rd February, 1908, 
says that there are no albinos in the two islands with which he is best acquainted. 

Dr J. Campbell Nicholson, writing from the New Hebrides, 15th May, 1908, 
says that he does not think there is a single albino on Tanna, but that thei-e are a 
good many on several other islands. 

Neiv Caledonia. Native population about 26,000. The French penal colony is 
an island with an area of 4618 sq. miles'*. The aborigines are a mixture of two types, 
one resembling Polynesians, the other the Papuans^ de Rochas" saw among the 
New Caledonians five cases of albinism, one being a female. He states that these 
individuals were not entirely destitute of pigment. Their hair is flax-blond, and finer 
than that of other natives. The iris was " d'un beau bleu," "le fond de I'oeil " 
black ; the sight, according to de Rochas, was excellent, and the albinos could 
support perfectly the light of the sun'. The skin was of a dull white, sprinkled 
with stellate spots of brown chestnut colour. It is dry, rough, more or less scaly, 
dotted with brown daubs due to an exudation from the skin. This species of 
ichthyosis did not occur with aU albinos, one being quite free. The albinos were 
not less intelligent than other New Caledonians ; they are not sterile, and their 
offspring are black and perfectly healthy. 

Broca, in the discussion which followed the reading of de Rochas' paper, cited 
Forster as having been the first in the time of Cook' to refer to aborigines in New 
Caledonia with perfectly blond hair and whiter skin than their compatriots with the 
countenance covered with red spots (? freckles). He pointed out that the grade of 
albinism varied, and suggests that it differs from race to race. 

There is little doubt that de Rochas' New Caledonian albinos were only other 
examples of our spotted-freckled albinos of dark skinned races. 

In some parts of the Pacific our information is fuller, this is particularly so in 
the Fijian archipelago. 

■ See Bibl. No. 391, p. 328. ^ See Bibl. No. 345. ' See Bibl. No. 488, p. 805. 

* Whitaker's Almanac, 1908. ^ Chambers' Enci/clopaedia. " See Bibl. No. 277, p. 49. 

' It is not clear that de Rochas made any ophthalmoscopic examination of the eyes. His paper was 
read in July, 1860. Certain slight defects may have escaped him as they did Seligmann : see our p. 76. 

* An account of the discovery of New Caledonia, Sept. 1774 — "a man as white as any European." 
See Bibl. No. 85, p. 113. 




Fiji^. There are 200 islands in Fiji, of which 80 are inhahited. The two 
principal islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The aggregate area of the group is 
7451 square miles. The population of native Fijians in 1901 was 94,397'. At the 
census of 1891, 105,800 was the number returned. The population had diminished 
during the previous decade by 8948, as ascertained by a comparison with the census 
of 1881'. The Fijian population in 1905 was 86,816 (this does not include 2281 
Eotumans) — males 45,421, females 4 1,39 5 ^ 

At the present time there are at least 30 albinos in Fiji — 10 males and 14 
females ; in six cases the sex is not stated. This gives a proportion of one albino to 
every 2900 of the population. From information obtained in Fiji when the albino 
pedigrees were being constructed, other 35 albinos now dead can be added to the 
number, 23 of these were males, 1 1 females, and in one the sex is not stated. Of the 
65 past and present albinos the sex is known in 58, 33 males and 25 females ; there is 
therefore a preponderance of males. 

Table showing the locality of the 30 living albinos and the 35 dead albinos. The 
number of albinos at each place and the population' of the corresponding island is 


jiving albinos 

ViTi Levu 68,513 


Korolevu ... 






Togovere (Ra Province) ... 


Vunisinu ... 


Dawasamu (Bau 







Vanua Levu 18,748 





Hills behind Wailevu 


































^ Mr Kenneth J. Allardyce, Commissioner of Native Lands, kindly obtained information as to where 
the albinos dwelt. He also acted as interpreter and obtained the pedigrees of most of the cases. 
Mr Allardyce's thorough knowledge of native customs and language, together with the care that has been 
taken in constructing the pedigrees, should make these as free as is possible from error. Mr Allardyce is 
entirely responsible for 41 — 46, see our p. 62. 

' Whitakers Almanac, 1908. 

^ Report of the Commission appointed to inquire into the Decrease of the Native Population, 
1896, p. 6. 

* Handbook to Fiji, 1906. 

" Population taken fmm the 1891 census. 

^ There is said to have been an albino brother and sister here, who died 30 years ago. 



Locality Living albinos 

Dead albinos 

Brought forward 19 


KoKo i;uo 2 

Fig. 331 

Gau 1755 3 

1 Fig. 444 

Batiki 318 1 

Fig. 385 

^j (Figs. 326 328. See 
( Map, p. 49 of Appendix 

Kadavu 6895 4 

Bau 1 

Fig. .385 


3 Fig. 389 





It seems unlikely that all the albinos at present alive in Fiji have been brought to 
notice, for there are certain localities where our information is insufficient to warrant 
a statement as to whether or not there are albinos there. Still it is improbable that 
there are many not yet reported. 

Localities where information is insufficient to allow us to state whether albinos 
are or are not present. Bega, a small island off the south coast of Viti Levu. A 
native from there said there were no albinos on the island. He maintained that 
one reported to be there must have been a visitor. Kia off the north coast of 
Vanua Levu. 

Localities where there are no albinos. (In the list [u) means uninhabited and 
{nn) that there are no natives on the island.) Malake and Nananu islands off 
the Ra coast ; Naigani north-west of Ovalau ; Moturiki south-west of Ovalau ; 
Viwa close to Bau ; Nukalu [u) and Makuluva ; Vatulele ; Yadua west of Vanua 
Levu ; small islands off the coast of Vanua Levu ; Taviuni ; Makogai {nn) ; 
Wakaya {nn) ; Vatu {n) ; Nairai ; Weilangilala {nn) ; Qumea ; Laucala ; Naitaba, 
Malima, Kanacea, Munia, Mago, Katavaga, Vatuvara and Aiwa are Windward 
islands with no natives on them; Olorua {ii) ; Vuagava {u) ; Yagasa islands {u); 
Cikobia, Vanuabalavu, Yacata, Tuvuca, Cicia, Nayau, Lakeba, Vanuavatu, Oneata, 
Moco, Namuka, Kabara, Vulaga, Ogea, Vatoa and Ono are Windward islands with 
no albinos on them ; Moala ; Matuku and Totoya. Malolo group off the N. W. 
coast of Viti Levu and Yasawa group, both visited recently by Mr Allardyce. 

With reference to the distribution of albinos ia Fiji it is noticeable that not one 
albino can be heard of in the Windward, Eastern or Lau group. The population of 
this group when we include the islands of Taviuni, Totoya, Moala and Matuku is 7656 
at least'. In the Eastern districts of Fiji there has been a large intermixture with the 
Tongans, this dates back for many generations. In the Western districts the inter- 
mixture is hardly traceable'. The Tonga or Friendly islands are between 200 and 
300 miles to the south-east of Fiji. The trade winds will account for the Tongan 

1 This group of islands contained no living albinos when visited by Mr Allardyce in 1908, but a 
male albino formerly lived at the village of Dalomo. He died as a youth some 30 years ago. He is 
alleged to have been the illegitimate son of a chief from Bua, on the west coast of Vanua Levu. 

M891 Censiis, Report of Commission on Decrease of Native Population, 1896, p. 3. 

5 Pritchard, Journal Anthropolog. Soc, London, 1865, Vol. ni. pp. cxlvi— clx. 



immigration which at first was purely accidentaP. The importation of Tongan blood 
into Fiji is greater than the importation of Fijian blood into Tonga'. 

The majority of the albinos— 44 of the 65, i.e. 17 of the 30 living albinos and 27 
of the 35 dead albinos — are from the south-east corner of Viti Levu, viz. from the 
Rewa and Tailevu provinces and from the islands of Gau, Batiki, Kadavu, Koro and 
Ovalau, all of which have been connected with it (see map). Rewa Province includes 
Rewa village, Rewa district, Naco and Vutia villages. Tailevu Province includes 
Bau Island, Bau district and Verata district, now less important than formerly. 



S 19' 


19- S. 

Map of the Fiji islands to show the distribution of albinism. 
+ represents a dead albino. o represents a living albino. 
The map is drawn to such a small scale that it has only been possible to indicate approximately the places of the 
albinos. On the small islands the marks are placed anywhere within the outline of the island. The reader will find 
a lens of service. 

Batiki, Gau and Koro islands were all subject to Bau, and the island of Kadavu 
was acquired by Tambiavalu, under whose reign Rewa became an important town. 

Reid, Mayne, Odd People, or Singular Races of Man, 1860. 

Pritchard, W. T., Polynesian Reminiscences, or Life in the South Pacific Islands, p. 384. 


His eldest son was the child of a Kadavu woman'. At the beginning of the nineteenth 
century Verata", on Viti Levu about eight miles from Bau, was the principal town in 
Fiji, Rewa and the islands of Ovalau, Koro, Batiki and Gau were subject to it'. (Bau 
is a small island close to the mainland of Viti Levu. It is not many miles from the 
village of Rewa.) That there was a close connection between these islands and the 
south-east corner of Viti Levu is made all the more certain by the circumstance that 
intermarriage occurred between the people of these islands and the people in the Bau 
district. Some of the albino families living at present in these islands have ancestors 
who came from Bau and vice versa. 

In Batiki island, Siteri (Case 13, Fig. 385, VII. 1) has an ancestor on her mother's 
side, called Buinivuaka, who came fi-om Bau. One at least of Buinivuaka's wives also 
came from Bau. A chief from Bau (Fig. 385, V. 16) married a woman (V. 7) from 
Naigani village on Batiki island and had an albino son, the pi'esent Bau albino (died, 
Christmas, 1908), and three normal children. Mereone Sinudamu (Case 6, Fig. 233, 
V. 5) from Drekena village in Rewa district, has a great-grandmother (II. 2) on her 
father's side, who came from Kadavu island, but there was no known connection with 
the Keleni albino (Case 43, Fig. 328, III. 3). The mataqali of an albino family in 
Kadavu (Case 42, Fig. 327) is said to have the same god as a mataqali in the village 
of Naigani on Batiki island. It is from this village in Batiki island that the mother 
(Case 13, Fig. 385, V. 7) of an albino, Ratu Qatia, living in Bau, came. The god of 
the Kadavu mataqali is an albino. 

A mataqali means a division of a tribe. This may consist of a few or several 
hundi'ed persons. Any two members of a mataqali must be related to some extent. 
The Noco family (Cases 7, 8 and 9, Fig. 329, V. 8 — 10) were connected with both 
Kadavu and Batiki. I. 1 married a Kadavu woman, II. 3 also married a Kadavu 
woman. II. 7, the wife of II. 5, came from Batiki island, but not from the village 
of Yavu where Siteri the present Batiki albino lives, therefore probably from the 
village of Naigani where the Bau albino's mother (Case 13, V. 7) came from. The 
population of Batiki is only 318 and it seems there ai-e only two villages on the 

On Koro island there are people at the present time closely related with the Bau 
people. At the village of Sinuvaca on Koro island are two female albino children 
(Fig. 331), but whether they have relationship with the Bau people or not there was 
no opportunity for determining. 

Although the pedigree of an albino family on the island of Ovalau (Case 45, Fig. 389) 
does not show that there is any relationship between members of the family and the 
people in the south-east corner of Viti Levu, the exceptional character of this pedigree — 
the marriage of a male albino with a female albino, with children — calls for remark. 
Our principal informant, a chief called Veleti, from the village of Vuma, which is 
a few miles from Levuka, the chief town of Ovalau, an old man noted for his retentive 

' See Bibl. No. 216, Vol. in. pp. 184, 186, 199 and 131. 

^ No town of this name any longer exists, but there is a district called so. 

' See Bibl. No. 216, Vol. ii. p. 35. 


memory, which is still quite clear, said there are no albinos now on the island, but he 
formerly knew one, now dead, called Bulainamotu (Fig. 389, III. 5). Mr C. W. Thomas, 
for many years a planter in Fiji, who has an excellent knowledge of the Fijians and 
their language, kindly acted as interpreter, and spent much time and care in obtaining 
the history of this case. When the part of the pedigree was i-eached in which the 
albino's (Bulainamotu) paternal grandparents occur, Veleti, our informant, stated that 
not only was I. 3 an albino, but also his wife I. 4. When cross-questioned and asked 
if he did not mean that I. 5 was an albino and not I. 4, he still maintained that what 
he had said was correct and could not be made to alter his original statement. When 
he was told that we had never heard of such a thing as two albinos intermarrying', he 
replied " I cannot help that, I have often heard them — the albino man and wife — 
spoken about, and I believe it." It then transpired that Veleti himself was related 
to the albinos, he was called uncle by Bulainamotu, and was eight years senior to him. 
It is not quite certain what the i-elationship is, but probably Veleti's father was a 
brother of the albino I. 3. 

There seems no reason to doubt that Veleti believed all that he told us, but 
whether the statements received by him concerning the two intermarried albinos were 
true, of course cannot be vouched for. Perhaps the weakest point in the history is 
that Veleti never saw the albinos, I. 3 and 4, especially if he ideally was a nephew of 
I. 3, which is not certain ; but even although he had been a nephew of I. 3 it is by no 
means impossible that he might not have seen the intermarried albinos. It must be 
remembered that all pedigrees in Fiji are obtained from the natives without any 
reference to written records, and it is just as likely that this pedigree should be true 
as any of the others. The only difference is that in this case there was only one 
informant of importance. 

It was from these islands, Ovalau, Koro, Kadavu, Gau, Batiki and the south-east 
corner of Viti Levu with which they were connected, that 44 of the total number of 
Fijian albinos — 65 — came. It may properly be objected that the proportion of albinos 
in the south-east corner of Viti Levu and the islands connected with it is possibly 
represented as too large, in consequence of absence of information concerning the 
pedigrees of five albinos on Vanua Levu and two on Viti Levu living beyond the 
south-east corner, for it is reasonable to suppose that in these pedigrees some other 
albinos would be found. To be set against these, however, are the albinos in Koro 
island, and one albino at Kadavu, whose pedigrees have not been obtained. 

The few cases of Fijian albinos previously reported, some many years ago, have not 
been included in this enumeration because it is impossible to identify them. No 
names have been given and it is therefore possible that some of them are included in 
our 65 cases. It is necessary in estimating the numbers of albinos to have their 
names, otherwise there may appear to be more than actually exist. This was well 
exemplified in the case of the Bau albino (Ratu Qatia). A male albino was heard of, 
not seen, at Bau, Levuka and Batiki, also when visiting Koro island a male albino 

1 Since then two other cases of the intermarriage of albinos have coine to our notice : see pp. 20 
and 46 ; Figs. 307, 605. 


happened to be there, although not seen. It turned out that in each of these four 
places it had been the same albino. If his name bad not been known the presence of 
four albinos might have been recorded instead of one. 

The following previously reported cases of Fijian albinos are not included in our 

On Gau island three albinos were seen some twenty-five years ago' ; one of them 
was a boy about eighteen years of age. It is possible that he may be Etonia Bian 
(Case 12). " His flesh was pale pink, blotched on the shoulders, and his hair a very 
pale yellow, and eyes very weak." The second albino was a child. " The third albino 
was a woman of quite a natural white, with very fair hair and pale blue eyes." This 
woman cannot be any of the albinos seen by us, nor does she come into the pedigree 
of Cases 10, 11 and 12. The village on Gau island where she lived is not mentioned. 

The same writer was told of albino twins, a boy and girl, who grew up. It is not 
stated whether they lived on Gau island, so they may be the same twins, an albino 
boy and girl, both of whom reached maturity, mentioned by Williams' at the village 
of Na Vavi, which is at Cocoanut Point on Vanua Levu, where there is an albino at 
the present time. Williams saw five albinos during his residence in Fiji ; "In three 
of these, who were adults, the skin had an unnatural appearance ; it was whiter 
than that of an Englishman who had been exposed to the sun, and smooth 
and horny to the touch. Through the heat of the sun it was deeply cracked 
and spotted with large brown freckle-like marks, left by old sun-sores. All these 
persons suffered much from exposure to the sun, and never, as far as I could 
learn, became accustomed to the heat. The skin had a slight tinge of red, and the 
hair, together with that of the head, was of a flaxen colour. In two cases the iris 
was blue, and in the third there was a sandy tinge. The eyes were kept half closed, 
as though unable to bear much light. One man of this class I knew well. He 
lived for four years near me, and was industrious and good-tempered, and eventually 
became a Christian. Natives are sometimes seen with white hands or feet, the 
effect of disease ; but this blanched appearance never spreads over the body, neither 
are the parts affected painfully sensitive to the sun's heat. The last albino that 
I saw, was a child of two or three weeks old, born of Christian parents who were 
young and healthy. It was a remarkable object, the skin being much whiter than 
the generality of English infants, and very clear." 

In 1874 an albino boy was seen at Nakello, a village on the Rewa river, by the 
biologist of the Challenger expedition'. " He was perfectly white, his skin having a 
peculiar look as if covered with white powder in places. His eyes, which he hid 
either from the light or because of shyness, appeared as if the iris were of a pale grey 
colour. His parents said he could see perfectly, but I could not examine him closely 
as he roared at the prospect. Albinos seemed unusually common among Melanesians." 

On Kadavu, Buchner mentions (1878) that he saw an albino boy with fair hair, 

' C. F. Gordon Gumming : see our Bibl. No. 377, 1882, p. 174. 

"■ See our Bibl. No. 270, 1858, p. 106. ^ See our Bibl. No. 399, p. 506. 

K. P. 12 


bluish eyes with inflamed lids, and rose-coloured skin', whom the other lads 
called Papalang lailai (little European). Buchner says he might have passed for a 
German peasant boy. 

On the voyage of the United States Exploring Expedition (1838-42) during the 
visit to Vatuara, a town not far from Sandalwood Bay in Vanua Levu, an albino said to 
resemble " the lower class of Irish " was met with. His skin was dirty white, and 
fairer than that of a European would be if exposed to the sun ; he was marked with 
many brown spots about the size of sixpence or less ; his hair was the same colour as 
that of those natives who use lime water in cleaning it ; his eyes were almost con- 
stantly closed as if the light aflPected them ; the iris was blue, no tinge of red. The 
natives called him Arua, and he was about 30 years old. On a subsequent visit 
he had dyed his hair coal-black, which gave him an odd appearance. The white men 
said that albinos were not infrequent. 

The high relative frequency of albinism in Fiji (see p. 84) suggested some 
inquiry as to the number of consanguineous marriages. In Fiji marriages and illicit 
unions between blood-relations are very common. Formerly first cousins whose father 
and mother were brother and sister— " orthogamous cousins" — not only might marry, 
but the female cousin was compelled to marry the male if he chose to claim her'. 
First cousins whose fathers were brothers or whose mothers were sisters were strictly 
forbidden to marry. Though the permitted consanguineous marriages are now less 
frequent than formerly, illicit unions between cousins of the permitted degree are 
quite common and prohibited consanguineous marriages are fairly common^ In 12 
villages 42 7o of 448 marriages were between blood-relations — 297 7o "^^re between 
orthogamous cousins and 12-3 7o between relations other than orthogamous cousins'. 

In Samoa and Rotuma cousin marriage is forbidden. The same rule is recognised 
in the Gilbert Islands, with the exception of Apemama and Makin, and is there only 
violated by the high chiefs. In Malanta {Solomon Group) orthogamous marriage 
is unknown. 

In Tonga the union of grandchildren (and occasionally even of the children of a 
brother and sister) is regarded as proper for the superior chiefs, but not for the common 
people'. Other races in the Pacific with the exception of the inhabitants of Tanna 
in the New Hebrides and possibly some other islands are comparatively free from the 
influence of orthogamous courtship which in the Fijians undoubtedly promotes in a 
marked way consanguiaeous marriages". 

Rotuma. An island 300 miles N.N. W. of Fiji. Population said to be 2300. It is 
difticult to ascertain whether it falls into the Melanesian or Micronesian groups. 
According to Dr John Halley (Letter of 13 Nov. 1908) the population is very mixed in 
type. Dr Halley kindly made inquiry as to albinism on this island. He received 
information as to two albinos who were remembered but neither were now alive, and 
he visited the families of both. In the one family there was no evidence of albinism 

1 See our Bibl. No. 352. 

' Report of Commission on Decrease of native Population in Fiji, 1896, § 34. ' Ibid. § 31. 

' PAd. § 48. » Ibid. § 41. = Ibid. § 44. 


or any congenital defect in any of the living members. Of the other family as much 
of the fiimily tree as is known is given in our Fig. 567. 

Micronesians. Our only information is with regard to the Ellice Islands, Gilbert 
Islands and Caroline Islands. 

Ellice Islands. The U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838-42 came across two 
albinos on Depeyster's Island. See the full account given under our Fig. 342. In this 
case the eyes were affected, and although red pupils are not mentioned, there is little 
doubt that they were practically complete albinos. 

Depeyster Island is Nukufetau, and is an atoll now inhabited by about 350 natives 
all living in one village — the stock is now chiefly Samoan. Staff'-Sui-geon Lobb was 
told that this place was depopulated in the early seventies by slavers and has never 
recovered. First cousin marriages are discountenanced but, he thinks not forbidden. 
The island has probably from early times been on the borderland of Melanesian and 
Polynesian races. 

In 1875 Wood' reported a few albinos on Nukufetau, they had flaxen hair, a much 
freckled skin and more the colour of a white pig than of a European. In 1908 
Dr Alex. Robertson saw at Nukufetau a male albino, aged 12. He was almost white, 
had blue eyes with yellow colour round margin of iris. With the exception of a 
pustular eruption on face (acne) he was healthy ; mental condition was normal. His 
parents were of the usual Kanaka's colour and healthy. According to the native 
magistrate all the other members of the family were normal and did not present any 
deformity. If we assume this lad to be "Lamosi" of Staff'-Surgeon Lobb's case, the 
" family " referred to is only the immediate relatives. 

Our fullest account of albinism in Nukufetau is due to Staff'-Surgeon Lobb, who 
examined two albinos (Cases 24 and 25) there in 1907, and provided the material 
embraced in our Fig. 354. In these two cases there were nystagmus, photophobia and 
the red reflex ; thus showing that there is not a qualitative, but probably only a 
quantitative difference between albinism of the dark and light skinned races. A few 
facts additional to those given in Fig. 354 may be added here as marking some of the 
difficulties of forming albinotic pedigrees in these regions. 

The two albinos "Podini" and "Lamosi" are related, their maternal grand- 
mothers were sisters. The families in which Podini and Lamosi are members do not 
consider themselves in any way related to each other. Both state constantly that 
there has always been an albino in their family, but Staff'-Surgeon Lobb could not 
ascertain whether this occurred at irregular intervals or not ; he only discovered 
the connection of the two families by referring to a very old man. They can only 
be accurate for two generations back, though the story of a family which " always " 
contained an albino extends back as long as they can remember anything. The 
parents of both albinos were normal natives. As regards the grandparents of the 
albinos, it is only known that their maternal grandfathers were normal natives. It 
is not known whether any of the other grandparents were albinos or not. In tracing 
descent a good deal of difficulty is experienced, as after " father " the only term used 

1 See Bibl. No. 334. 

12 2 


is "forefather"; grandfather, great-grandfather are absolutely unknown. Possessives 
are not understood and " father's father " or " his father " simply means " a " or " the " 

The mother of Lamosi was present, but could not say with certainty as to 
whether any of her father's or mother's brothers and sisters were albinos. The mother 
of Podini belonged to a family of unknown size and the existence of albinos in it 
could not be ascertained. In the pedigree there is no evidence for or against any of 
the marriages being consanguineous, nor could a foi-mer albino be placed in any given 
generation or family. The pedigree was constructed under difficulties as very few 
natives spoke English well enough to be of use in probing any point deeply and the 
best interpreters were not available at the time. 

The story given to Staff-Surgeon Lobb by the natives that there has always been 
an albino in the family seems likely to be true because albinos, as we have seen, were 
reported at Nukufetau more than thirty years ago, and again more than sixty-five 
years ago. 

Gilbert Islands. While the total population of the 9 EUice Islands is given as 2500, 
the Gilbert group of 16 islands and several islets is stated to be about 37,000'. Our 
knowledge of albinism in the Gilbert Islands is due to Mr George M. Murdoch, for 28 
years a resident in the group. He says "there is only one male albino in the group of 
islands" ; presumably there is no female albino. The account of this albino, Hiram 
Teeko, as transmitted to us, is given in Fig. 576. His photograph, sent through 
Dr Robertson, is on Plate GG, and a specimen of his hair (reproduced, on Plate k as S^) 
has reached us since the account of Fig. 576 was printed. Notes on the marriage 
customs of the Gilbert Islands have been most kindly supplied by Mr Murdoch, and 
we hope they may be shortly published in an anthropological journal. 

Caroline Islands. We have only found one reference to albinism on these islands 
namely in a medical report by Dr Boon on the Karolinen und Marshall- Inseln". He 
notes a peculiarly interesting case of three albinos at Ifaluk, a youth and two girls, 
the offspring of apparently syphilitic parents ; they all three themselves showed signs 
of syphilis, especially the youth, aged about 18, whose face was terribly eaten away. 
The eyes of all three albinos exhibited a high degree of nystagmus. Two younger 
siblings were apparently healthy and of the usual type of the inhabitants of Ifaluk. 
The association of parental syphilis and filial albinism in this case is most probably 
quite accidental, but as it has occurred in one or two other cases which have come 
under our notice, it is just conceivable that parental syphilis may be occasionally 
favourable to the appearance of albinism, and records might well be made, when 
possible, of any syphilitic taint in the parentage of albinos. Heredity is from our 
standpoint the chief factor of albinism, but some of our very extensive pedigrees with 
albinism appearing in perhaps a single case suggest that in rare instances albinism — 
possibly in a non-hereditary form — may appear in response to pathological parental 

' Whitaker's Almanac, 1908, and Chambers' Encyclopaedia. 

' Medizinal-Berichte ilher die deutschen Schutzgebiete, 1906-7. A. West Karolinen, S. 244. 


Polynesians. Passing to the more purely Polynesian districts we note : 

Tonga or Friendly Isles. These are 250 miles E.S.E. of Fiji. The native 
population was given in 1905 as 21,103'. The earliest record of the possible existence 
of an albino in these islands appears to be the fact recorded by W. Cornells Schouten", 
wlio, in his voyage of 1615-17, when relating the discovery of Nina-tobutabu and 
Futuma, wrote: "We were surrounded by quite 1000 people afloat, of whom one we 
noticed was wholly white." Nina-tobutabu is Keppel Island, which is situated 
between Tonga and Samoa, and Futuma = Fotuna between Fiji and Samoa, but 
slightly to the north of a line between these two groups. Cook' writes of his visit to 
the Friendly Isles in July, 1777 : " We saw a man and a boy at Hapaee and a child 
at Annamooka perfectly white. Such have been found among all black nations, but 
I apprehend that their colour is rather a disease than a natural phenomenon." Hapai 
is a group of islands in the Tonga group, Annamuka or Namuka is one of the Tonga 
Islands. Cook's spelling differs from the more modern forms. 

Labillardiere in his account of the voyage of La Perouse in 1791-2^ refers to a 
young female albino seen on the island of Tongatabou. 

Martin, in An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands 1817 (a work 
compiled from the communications of William Mariner, who had been resident there 
for four years) does not make mention of albinos in his chapter on diseases, or else- 
where in his writings ; neither is there a woi'd given for " albino " in the large 
vocabulary of native words. White is given as Hi'na-hi'na, tea. 

Nine Island (Inui or Savage Island) is situated 240 miles nearly east of Vavau 
in the Tonga group. S. Percy Smith^ says there are a few albinos on this island. 
They are called Mahele, and are as unprepossessing as the Korako among the Maoris. 

Cook Islands, near 20° S. Lat. and 158° W. Long. Native population in 1902 
amounted to 6234. They are mainly of brown Polynesian stock. 

The Rev. William N. Lawrence", who has repeatedly seen every native in this 
group of islands, cannot remember any albinos, except one doubtful case, that of a 
little girl ; she would be now about 14 years old. There are fair-haired people among 
the natives, fair-hairedness seeming to run in families. Such fair-haired people are 
called Tamariki na Tangaroa' , that is children of Tangaroa. There were two principal 
gods, Rongo and Tangaroa, and the latter was supposed to be fair-skinned and fair- 
haired ; hence the name given to fair people. Mr Lawrence says they are not very 
fair, and there does not seem to be any peculiarity about their eyes. Covisin marriages 
are very uncommon among the Cook islanders, and the people are rather ashamed of 
such marriages, but Mr Lawrence has known cases. 

Samoa. The four largest islands are Savaii, Upolu, Tutuila and Manua. The 
town of Apia is on Upolu. The native population is 35,000. The Samoans are said 

' Whitaker's Almanac, 1908, and Chamhers' Encyclopaedia. 
2 See Bibl. No. 448, cited by Basil Thomson, p. 400. 

= See Bibl. No. 86. « See Bibl. No. 120, T. ii. p. 141. 

= See Bibl. No. 491, p. 166. « Letter of April 16, 1908, from Papua. 

' Tangaloa (= Tangaroa ?) is one of the principal gods of the Tonga Islands. See pp. 34 and 65, 
Vol. I., The Polynesian Race (Fornander). 


to be the lightest in colour of all the Pacific Islanders. According to Stair (1897) 
albinos were occasionally found, whose pink eyes and white skins formed a strange 
contrast to the rich brown colour of their associates^ Kraemer, in 1902, writes that 
albinos are by no means uncommon in Samoa'. Miss Beatrice Grimshaw^ in 1907, 
gives a portrait of a Samoan albino, whom she saw at a guesthouse in Falefa, and 
writes : " In the centre of the group was the most extraordinary figure I had ever 
seen — a white man, his skin burnt to an unwholesome pink by exposure ; his hair pure 
gold, extremely fine and silky, and so thick as to make a huge halo round his face 
when shaken out. His eyes were weak and half shut, and we were not surjirised to 
hear that he was not really of white descent, being simply a Samoan albino, born of 
brown parents. This man, being the son of a chief, took the principal figure in the 
dance that was now got up for ovir amusement." 

In 1907 C H. Usher obtained information with regard to albinos in Samoa. 
A German, who had traded for seven or eight years in different parts of Samoa, 
at present in Savaii, knows an albino in Savaii who has a normally coloured sister 
and parents. This gentleman has occasionally seen an albino boy and girl in 
Upolu. He did not know whether they were related. Another gentleman, six years 
in Samoa, has seen two albinos in Apia, a brother and a sister (see our Fig. 339). 
As Apia is a town on Upolu these albinos may be the same as those just mentioned. 
Mr Michael J. NicoU in a letter to E. Nettleship of Sept. 23, 1908, states that he 
had seen (in 1907) at a village near Apia "a perfect albino boy of about six years of 
age. Skin very white, hair white and eyes pale pinkish. A most extraordinary 
looking creature. I was not able to examine him closely as he was very frightened, 
but the chief of the village told me that he was a pure-bred Samoan." 

A missionary, resident in Samoa for more than ten years, knows a family of 
albinos in Falealili in Upolu, across the island from Apia. She has also seen albinos 
in Apia. A former resident for one year in Samoa said he had seen about six albinos. 
Clearly albinism must be fairly frequent in Samoa, perhaps one albino to 5000 normal 

Tetea is the Samoan name for albino. There is a saying that " In vain the albino 
has been concealed, he does not remain hidden" (Vergebens hat man den Albino 
versteckt, er blieb nicht verborgen). A story connected with this tells that the 
parents of a female albino child were ashamed and hid the girl in a hole where she 
was left to her fate. The mother subsequently bore a son, who one day, when fishing, 
found his sister still alive ^ 

It is said that albinos in Samoa are valued for their hair, which is cut when it is 
long to make head-dresses for the chiefs. Another informant had also heard this 
stated, but had never known of any case. Only chiefs are allowed to use white. 
Mosquito switches are used by the natives, they are made mostly from some fibre, 
but the chiefs use white horse-hair. Chiefs do wear a hair head-dress, according to 
another informant, made from the hair of girls which is grown long on purpose, and 
is of a light colour, the result of bleaching. 

' See Bibl. No. 471. "' See Bibl. No. 514. ' See Bibl. No. 558. ' See Bibl. No. 550. 


Society Islands. The chief island is Tahiti or Otaheite. It embraces 450 sq. miles 
out of a total of G40 for the entire archipelago. The population of the archipelago 
in 1900 was 16,300. In 17G9, at the time of Captain Cook's first visit, the popula- 
tion is .stated to have been a quarter of a luillion'. 

Cook" first reported the existence of albinism in Otaheite [April 24, 1769] : " Just 
as they [Mr Banks and Dr Solander] had formed this resolution, one of the natives 
oflTered them refreshment, which they accepted. They found this man to be of a kind that 
has been described by various authors as mixed with many nations, but distinct from 
them all. His skin was of a dead white, without the least appearance of what is 
called complexion, though some parts of his body were less white than others. His 
hair, eye-brows, and beard were as white as his skin ; his eyes appeared as if they were 
bloodshot, and he seemed to be very shortsighted." And again later' : 

" During our stay in this island we saw about five or six persons like one that was 
met by Mr Banks and Dr Solander on the 24th of April in their walk to the east- 
ward, whose skins were of a dead white, like the nose of a white horse ; with white 
hau-, beard, brows and eye-lashes ; red, tender eyes ; a short sight and scurfy skins, 
covered with a kind of white down ; but we found that no two of these belonged to 
the same femily, and therefore concluded, that they were not a species, but unhappy 
individuals rendered anomalous by disease." 

That albinos must have been fairly frequent in Otaheite in those days is clear from 
this account. That they still are to be found is shown by the letter of Mr Michael 
J. Nicoll [Sept. 23, 1908] already quoted, who writes : 

" In Papeeta, Tahiti, I saw a woman, a servant of the sister of Queen Pomare, who, 
although a pure-bred Tahitian, was quite fair with ver}^ pale eyes — -light greyish — and 
an enormous length of pale golden hair, very thick. This woman was aged about 40 
I should say. This, I imagine, was a case of partial albinism." 

Pitcairn Island. In 1790 Pitcairn Island, then uninhabited, was taken possession 
of by nine of the mutineers of H.M.S. "Bounty," with six Tahitian men and a dozen 
women, the ringleader being called Christian. Four years later all the Englishmen, 
except Alex. Smith (John Adams) were murdered bj the Tahitian men. Thereupon 
the women, in revenge, murdered all the Tahitian men. At the end of ten years 
Adams was left alone with eight or nine women and several children ; and from them 
the present inhabitants are descended. One American has been introduced since they 
arrived from the " Bounty." In 1831 their number had increased to 87. At this time 
they were taken to Tahiti, but most of them returned in about nine months. In 
1856 nearly 200 of the islanders were transferred to Norfolk Island', but a number of 
them afterwards returned. The population is now said to be 144. 

It is said, and although Stafi'-Surgeon Lobb cannot vouch for the exact accuracy of 
the statement, he thinks it highly probable, that the remotest degree of relationship 

' Chambers' Encyclopaedia. ^ See Bibl. No. 76, Vol. xii. p. 439. 

' See Bibl. No. 76, Vol. xni. p. 6. Also Hawkesworth's Edition, Vol. n. pp. 99 and 188. 
* Norfolk Island. A small island 400 miles N.N.W. of New Zealand. In 1900 the population 
was 827 including 150 Melanesians. There are no albinos amongst them. 


existing between any two persons of the community is that of second cousins. There 
are only some five or six names in the island. 

When visiting this island in the summer of 1907, Staff-Surgeon Lobb saw a male, 
aged about 18, so devoid of pigment as to be practically an albino. He had a vacant 
expression and listless manner. An opportunity for fully examining him did not 
present itself The case (our Fig. 421) is of special interest, for it appears to be 
another illustration of albinism arising a generation or two after a mixture of races. 
The following information with regard to this family is due to Mr W. H. Fetch, 
formerly Government Secretary of Pitcairn Island. The whole story is of such 
interest, historically and sociologically, that a fuller report than is attached to Fig. 421 
may well be put on record. 

The albino IV. 5 had an albino brother or sister, IV. 4, who died as the result of 
an accident, and an illegitimate half-brother, IV. 6, an epileptic, a child of his mother 
by a first cousin, III. 7, who was hung for murder. This half-brother was the result 
of intercourse after the murder had been committed. Neither of the albinos has shown 
much intelligence. Their parents, III. 4 and 5, were not albinos, but they were 
cousins. The father, III. 4, was the offspring of II. 1 and I. 1 ; the mother. III. 5, was 
the daughter of II. 2, the first cousin of II. 1 and II. 4. Further I. 1 and I. 2 are sister 
and brother {not marked as such on pedigree). The former is the aunt of II. 2. II. 1 
was illegitimate. II. 4, now dead, married II. 2. Her name was the same as that of 
II. 1. They claim to be a separate family, but as II. 1 is aged 60 and II. 4 would have 
been about the same age had she lived, they were only a generation or two removed 
from the oi-iginal white inhabitant of the island, whose name they bear. II. 3, sister of 
II. 2 and cousin of II. 1, was the mother of III 7. III. 3 married his cousin. III. 6, and 
his family was normal. 11. 2 and his family are all "more or less touched in the 
upper story " ; " he was once off his cocoanut for almost a year, and is yet often 
in that condition for short periods; his family, also, have all been 'off' and are 
liable to become so at times." III. 1 and 2 married wives with their own name and 
have perfectly sound children. Although we have no details of the albinos, IV. 4 and 5, 
there can be little doubt that they were albinos, because : [a) Dr Lobb saw one and 
recognised it as an albino ; (6) Mr Fetch, who has provided much information, writes 
as one having no doubt that both IV. 4 and 5 are albinos'. A special study of 
pigment heredity in Fitcairn Island would undoubtedly provide much of interest. 

Easter Island. This, the easternmost island in the Facific group, belongs to Chili 

' Some emphasis is needful on this point, because Staff-Surgeon Lobb and our informant singled out 
IV. 4 and 5 as differentiated from the other Pitcairn Island children. On the other hand Mr Nicoll, 
being asked as to the complexion of the Pitcairn Islanders, kindly replied in a letter of 23 Sept. 1908 : 
" The oldest people on that Island are hardly to be distinguished from old English people at 84 years of 
age. The next generation, i.e. the children of the old people, resemble Tahitians in every respect, but 
their children are quite fair, not albinos, but with fair golden hair, blue eyes and fair complexions." 
Now it must be noted that these attributes are not universally characteristic of English children, but are 
typical of Pacific native albinos. If Mr NicoU's statement be generally correct we should have a 
remarkable alternation of generations. It is more likely to be a segregation eflFect observed in one of the 
families which came specially under his cognisance. 


(27° 8' S. Lat., 109° 24' W. Long.). The population between 1860 and 1892 dwindled 
from 3000 to 150, a result attributed to emigration and polyandry. 

In Behrens' narrative of Roggeveen's visit to Easter Island in 1722 the natives are 
described as having a brownish complexion, about the hue of a Spaniard ; some were 
darker and others quite white, a few had a reddish tint as if severely tanned by 
the sun. " An entirely white man, who was wearing white chocks of wood in his 
ears as large as one's fist, came on board together with many others of his people'." 
A native of Pitcairn Island, aged 56, a diver, said to have been in all parts of the 
Pacific, stated in 1907 that he had seen an albino on Easter Island many years ago, 
but he could not remember the sex. 

Hawaiian Group. This is the northern boundary of the Polynesian race. The 
native population in 1900 was 29,834. The natives have largely decreased. They 
wei'e said to number 200,000 in Captain Cook's time. 

Buchner' in 1878 refers to an albino he saw on Hawaii — of "wholly the same 
Germanic type," viz. rosy skin, blond hair and blue eyes — as the boy he had seen on 
Kadavu, Fiji (see our p. 89). Dr Emerson, who has spent most of his life in the 
islands, remembers only one family of albinos. There were at least two albinos in the 
family. He saw them in 1878, and perhaps since then. They lived on Oahu, at 
Kamananui, near Waialua. 

Dr J. J. Grace, of Hilo, on Hawaii itself, used to know of one or two cases of 
albinism amongst the natives of that island. At present he knows of two albinos in 
Hawaii, both within a radius of 30 miles of Hilo. One, however, Dr Grace believes is 
a Porto Rican negro, the other is a native Hawaiian, the II. 1 of our Fig. 494. This 
man has a living albino brother and a dead albino sister, and an albino female cousin 
who moved to another island and has been lost sight of. There is, therefore, no 
reason to suppose albinism rare in Hawaii, for three living albinos would give 1 to 
10,000 normals, a ratio equal to that of Norway and Sicily, if somewhat below that 
of Fiji. 

Neiv Zealand. The Maoris carry us to the southern limit of the Polynesian race. 
The Maori population in 1906 was 25,538 males and 22,193 females. This includes 
3938 half-breeds living as natives, and excludes 2578 half-breeds living as whites^ At 
the usual rate, therefore, we should not expect to find more than two to four living 
albinos among the Maoris. Among pviblished reported cases we may note that : 
Dieffenbacli'' in 1843 stated that "some of the natives have hair of a reddish or 
auburn colour and a very light coloured skin." He saw also "a perfect xanthous 
variety in a woman who had flaxen hair, white skin and blue eyes ; not perhaps a half- 
caste, but a morbid variety, as was proved by the extreme sensibility of her visual 

' Gonzalez' Voyage to Easter Island, 1770-1. Cambridge, 1908. Printed for the Hakluyt Society, 
pp. 135-6. 

2 See Bibl. No. 352, p. 306. 

' Letter of Mr Elsdon Best, Jan. 1908. Mr Best has contributed a number of interesting papers on 
the Maoris to the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, including " Maori Marriage Customs " (read, 
1903), Vol. 36. 

* See Bibl. No. 233. 

K. P. 13 


organs, her rather pallid appearance and her age ; on her cheeks the skin was rather 
rough and freckled." In 1869 Colenso mentioned that albinos, though rare, were 
sometimes born. They resembled the albinos of other nations in their weak reddish- 
pink eyes and light flaxen hair\ In 1883 Finsch referred to a Maori woman he saw 
at Waikato, whom he at first mistook for a European ; she had light blond hair, grey 
brown weak eyes and photophobia". In 1888 Gisbourne also stated that albinos are 
sometimes seen". 

As a result of enquiries by one of our number the following information has been 
obtained : 

A half-caste guide at Rotorna, age about 50, who had been over the greater part 
of the Maori country, had seen only three albinos among the Maoris. The last one 
he saw was in the Napier district some twenty years ago, the hair was white or light 
yellow, skin fair, eyes red, and there was short-sight. The cousin of this guide knew 
an albino at Napier, and says that there were two albinos in one family of several 
members. The parents were dark ; these albinos were from the Bay of Islands, and 
went to school at Napier : see our Fig. 340. 

In New Zealand the health of the natives is cared for by a native Maori doctor, 
Dr Pomare, who has an English qualification, and is a sound man whose opinions and 
observations are thoroughly reliable ^ He says that there are occasional albinos among 
the Maoris, who, as a nation, have dark olive skins with black eyes and hair. Native 
traditions state that when the Maoris first arrived from Polynesia 20 generations 
(500 years) ago, they found the New Zealand islands inhabited with a few feeble 
clans whose men they killed and whose women they married. The clans were some of 
them light coloured (presumably of a Caucasian origin), particularly one clan, which 
lived in the country to the west of Hawke Bay in the North Island. The Maoris who 
inhabit that part of the country to this day show numerous individuals with red hair, 
and among them albinos were not uncommon. But the natives have greatly diminished 
since the arrival of the "pakela" (white man), and Dr Pomare only knows of one 
albino living at the present moment, a woman of about 25 years. He considers that 
it will not be difficult to obtain her pedigree when next in that neighbourhood as the 
Maoris keep (or did keep before being degraded by the white) very complete oral 
traditions of their families \ Whatever stress may be laid on the tradition of a 
primitive white race, it is of interest to read that Maori traditions point to albinism 
as arising from a racial mixture ; the association with a rufous race is also suggestive. 

In January, 1908, in a letter to C. H. Usher, Mr Elsdon Best, of Whakatane, 
wrote : 

" I regret to say that I cannot furnish any infoi-mation as to albinos among the 
Maoris. I have heard of cases of albinism, but I have never come across any. They 
must be rare, I imagine, or I should have seen some in my wanderings of forty years. 
An albino is termed Koraho by Maoris, while Korakorako were mythical beings, 

1 See Bibl. No. 314. " See Bibl. No. 388. ' See Bibl. No. 419. 

* Letter to E. Nettleship from Dr G. M. Scott of Wellington, March 17, 1908. 
^ Letter of Dr Scott. No particulars of Dr Pomare's case have yet been received. 


supposed to be white skinned, looked upon as demons, or beings of evil influence. 
I am leaving my camp to-night on a ride round the east coast, and will make enquiries 
anent Korako ; should I gather any notes of interest I will forward to you." 

In April, 1908, Mr Best wrote that he had not discovered any cases of albinism in 
his district, but the teacher in the local native school had told him of two albinos, 
brother and sister, living some years ago at Waima in the Hokiangar district. Their 
names were Henare Hemara and Drapera Hemara, the female has since died ; they 
had light yellow hair, light grey eyes, with quite Maori features and no European blood 
in their veins. These are the albinos of our Fig. 572 ; the portrait of the male albino 
and his family is given on Plate GG (103). 

The Rev. T. G..Hammond, writing from Patea (Aug. 23, 1908) says that he knew 
Henare and his sister. Both were born of pure Maori parents, but their hair and skin 
are more yellow than white. The eyes are reddish and blink in ordinary sunlight ; in 
the shade or a dull light they are like other eyes. Henare Hemara himself, in reply 
to a letter, furnishes the following through Mr Hugh R. W. Hamilton in a letter from 
Waikare Native School, Opua, Bay of Islands (8th December, 1908): "Eyes move 
constantly, and are weak with a slight squint. Can see best at dusk, colour of eyes 
light hazel. Hair sandy coloured. His sister now dead was the only i-elation who 
resembled him. Hemara's skin, face and hands are much lighter than those of his 
young child, his wife or mother" (see Plate GG(l03); the photograph also shows 
divergent strabismus, apparently of the right eye, and very marked photophobia). The 
Rev. T. G. Hammond reports that he has often seen a little boy, a pure Maori, with 
very blue eyes, which are a great contrast to his very brown skin, and mark him 
out among other Maori children ; his father and mother are pure Maori. This boy is 
related to Henare, but Mr Hammond does not state the exact relationship. In all 
probability Henare's father and mother were nearly related to one another. The 
Maoris of these parts (Patea) say that the grandparents of Henare were taken away 
from Taranaki province by the Waikato warriors in one of their heathen raids, and 
were transferred from Waikato as slaves to Bay of Islands. These Maoris also claim 
that the father of Henare was a deified man, not an ordinary man, and that Henare 
and his sister are descended from the fairy people (pateopaiaerche). Maori legendary 
lore is full of reference to persons among their ancestors who could not endure the 
light of day, and only made journeys to the earth at night. In this there is possibly 
some reference to albinos. Mr Hammond was informed that there is also a Maori in 
the Bay of Islands with blue eyes. Of albinos Mr Hammond has only known three, 
these are Henare and his sister, and a woman of Parihaka, probably dead. 

There is no conclusive evidence connecting the Napier albinos (Fig. 340) with 

the Hemaras (Fig. 572), or either set with the woman seen by Finsch. If albinos 

seem to the whites of New Zealand rare among the Maoris, we must remember that 

only 40,000 to 50,000 of these natives remain, and that this would only involve two to 

five albinos, if we granted the same frequency as we find elsewhere. It is satisfactory 

to have found such definite evidence, as we have, of albinism among such a scant 




Australia. The exact relationship of the Australian natives to Melanesians and to 
dark Caucasians is not yet clear. They may be treated here as a group separate from 
both Melanesians and Polynesians. Widely different estimates of the native popula- 
tion have been given. In 1898 the population was said to be 100,000 but rapidly 
diminishing'. In 1901, 47,296 were enumerated, but, including those living beyond 
the settled areas, the total aboriginal population was estimated at about 150,000'. 
The Horn expedition found it difficult to form any estimate of their numbers in 
Central Australia. A population of these dimensions would at European rates give 
6 to 10 albinos, and considering the enormous area over which it is scattered, and the 
wild and rather hostile character of some of the natives, it is not to be wondered at, 
if albinos are not readily met with. The relative possibilities of finding six individuals 
in 150,000 when those numbers are segregated together in a single town or small 
district and when they are scattered over a continent are not always realised by those 
who measure the rariety of albinism by the mere fact that they have not seen a case, 
or heard a report of a case. Further, it is not every person who is capable of recording 
a case of incomplete albinism, and in some such cases incomplete ocular albinism may 
escape all but the most carefully trained examiner. 

Let us look first at the negative reports from Australia. 

Brough Smyth, writing in 1878 of the aborigines of Victoria, says that he was not 
acquainted with a single case of albinism among the natives of Australia^ In Curr's 
The Australian Race, 1886', it is stated that no instance of a native Australian albino 
had been seen or heard of. Lumholtz' in 1889 remarks that as far as he knows 
albinos have never been discovered in Australia. In the Report of the Horn Scientific 
Expedition to Central Australia, 1896', it is said: "No instance of albinism or of 
a condition approaching thereto was observed throughout the journey." 

The absence of albinism in Australia seems to have been accepted as a fact up to 
1890'. Yet even thus there are facts which might lead us to pause. 

The Rev. J. Mathew says the new-born child of the Kabi tribe of South Queensland 
is singularly fair, but becomes gradually darker with age. [This is the case also with 
the negro, and possibly all dark races.] Yellow hair was found in both South Queens- 
land and in New South Wales, but it was rare and perhaps pathological, due to 
lack of colouring matter such as occurs in albinos. 

Even the Horn investigator writes : " Some of the children have very light tawny 
or almost tow-coloured hair, which is especially light coloured at the tips ; it was not 
due to artificial bleaching, and was not frequently seen." Probably only a very carefiil 
examination of the eyes in the persons observed by Mathew and Stirling would enable 
us to ascertain whether the cases in question were really or not the incomplete 
albinism, which is so frequent in Malaysia, the Philippines and Polynesia. 

We have received a number of reports as to the presence of albinism in Australia 
in answer to the wide-cast enquiries of C. H. Usher. In order to understand these — 

1 Whitaker's Almanack, 1898, p. 494. ^ Chambers' Encyclopaedia. 

^ See Bibl. No. 353. ■■ See Bibl. No. 403. ' See Bibl. No. 420. 

« See Bibl. No. 464. ' See Bibl No. 431. 


abstracted below — it is desirable to put together at this point the albinos of whom 
we have heai'd : 

(1) McPhee's albino. He came from the north of Western Australia, due west 
of Lagrange Bay. See our Fig. 592. 

(2) The piccaninny from Maytown in North Queensland. 

(3) " White Mary " from the Normanby River in North Queensland. 

(4) "White Mary's" brother. 

(5) Julius Brockman's albino boy from the southern branches of the De Grey 
River about 180 miles inland, Western Australia. The mouth of the De Grey River 
is in about Lat. 20° S. 

(6) The albino at Victoria Downs Station on a branch of the Victoria River, 
Northern Territory. McPhee has also heard of a supposed female albino with the 
wild natives in the Northern Territory' ; it is not known whether these two reports 
refer to the same individual. We have most heartily to thank Dr A. P. Thorn 
for pressing enquiries in a number of directions. 

(1) In June, 1908, Dr Thom was informed by Mr Frank Wittenoom and 
Mr Duncan Macrae, who were squatters in North-West Australia, that a number of 
years ago, they had seen an adult male aboriginal who had red pupils, light hair and a 
fair skin. The skin was described by the one as lighter than that of a half-caste, 
and by the other as having a reddish tinge. He came from the Lagrange district, and 
later was taken south [by McPhee] to be shown. 

Miss Daisy M. Bates in a letter to Dr Thom (Oct. 17, 1909) states that she had 
heard from a man, Cornell, who had lived for 20 years at Wallal (Ninety Mile Beach), 
that he had seen the albino, whom McPhee afterwards took to Melbourne ; Cornell 
also stated that he had heard of a female albino resident east of Wallal. Miss Bates 
is eno-aged on a History of the aborigines for the West Australian Government. She 
has had no further cases of albinism reported to her and has seen none herself She 
has not yet touched the interior of the state. 

Mr Cowling, a trader, who has seen many of the native AustraUans, but no albinos, 
sends the following information in a letter of April 10, 1908 : 

" I have visited nearly every camp on the coast from Cooktown and Cape York 
Peninsula, and down the Gulf of Carpentaria as far as Archer River ; and in Western 
Australia from Cossack to King's Sound ; I have been a good way north of King's 
Sound, but natives are rarely ever seen, being wild and hostile. I have seen the 

Port Essington natives." "While in Western Australia 10 or 11 years ago I 

heard tlmt a North- West squatter from the Condon district [McPhee] had taken an 
albino round to Melbourne with him on a trip." 

It is thus clear that McPhee's albino was heard of before he appeared in Melbourne, 
and seen by squatters in his district. Further, Mr Wittenoom informs us that 
McPhee brought the albino down with his mother and other natives of the tribe about 

> Letter to Dr A. P. Thom, Dec. 8, 1908. Dr Thom himself who during 14 years has been a good 
deal in the "back-blocks," and seen many of the aborigines of both Western Australia and Queensland, 
has never seen an albino. 


200 miles to the coast, and as the mother had never seen the sea before, there seems 
httle reason to doubt that his father, as stated, was a normal native. The Melbourne 
Age appears to have suggested that McPhee's albino might have been sired by a 
survivor of Leichardt's expedition, but he differed, as many observers noted, from an 
oi'dinary half-caste. For comparison on this point we have placed a normal native 
reproduced from Hutchinson's Living Races of Man along-side the photograph of the 
albino (see our Frontisjjiece). There can be little doubt that the photograph gives a 
full-blooded native. 

A fourth man who had seen McPhee's albino, Mr S. F. Hymus, wrote in June, 1908, 
to Dr Thorn, saying that he had seen an albino captured in the North-West interior 
18 years ago by a man named Alexander McPhee. This native was taken to 
Melbourne and exhibited in the waxworks' of that city by McPhee. " His hair 
was very fair, and I should say white when a child, his skin was also a light colour, 
but different from that of a half-caste. They said his eyes were pink, but I do not 
remember taking notice of them." 

, A fifth eye-witness to McPhee's albino was Mr John G. Withnell, who, writing 
on July 5, 1908, to Dr Thorn, from Western Australia, said "he was pronounced by 
all scientists to be an albino aboriginal of Australia." He was about 30 years of age 
when he saw him. 

Mr McPhee himself, when written to, not only sent (Dec. 8, 1908) the photograph 
reproduced, but gave the following account in answer to enquiries. The albino was 
found in Lat. 20°, Long. 123° ; the natives said that he was white ; the colour of skin 
when seen by Mr McPhee was like a white man sunburnt, whiter than a half-caste, 
hair golden, lashes almost white, hair on other parts of body light sandy colour ; eyes 
brown, the pupil being pink ; no shaking or movement of eyes from side to side was 
noticed ; no difficulty in standing the light of a bright sun. "The face and body were 
not lightened in any way, and the marks on chest were made by his tribe. This 
albino died about four years ago " [i.e. about 1904]. " When telling first of the white 
man in the interior the natives said ' all the same (as) white fellow only hair on 
body white,' meaning that most white men they had seen had dark hair on their 
bodies. The family consisted of the albino son and two black daughters. The father 
and mother were black. His hair on head and eyebrows flaxen, iris brown, pupils red ; 
exceedingly complete whistlecock right down into the perineum"." 

Dr Thorn himself sums up the evidence : " Without actually seeing the alleged 
albino I don't think we can doubt the genuineness of McPhee's statements. Many 
people I have spoken to heard of McPhee's albino when he passed through " (Feb. 25, 

The whole of this evidence, including even the absence of marked nystagmus and 
photophobia, and the not very conspicuous red reflex, is just what we should expect in 
an albino of this race, and it is not the sort of thing we should expect in a " fake " of 
any kind where the white hair and the photophobia^ would be certain to be 

^ The Panopticum of Melbourne in February, 1890. See Bibl. No. 431. 

2 Letters from Dr Thorn, June 16, 1908, to Feb. 25, 1909. '' See our Appendix, Fig. 405, p. 64. 


emphasised. Our only reason for entering thus at length into the evidence is the fact 
that the existence of albinism in Australia is still denied. 

(2) The first published notice of the Maytown piccaninny occurs in the weekly 
journal The Colonies and India for Oct. 1, 1890 : "There is now with the blacks in 
Maytown a real albino child. The piccaninny is very fair with white hair and 
eyelashes, and is about six months old." 

The medical officer at Cooktown, Mr Axel H. F. B. Kortum, gives the following 
information in a letter to Dr Thorn (May 28, 1908) : 

" I have seen the piccaninny you refer to. A white woman took the child from 
the gin, thinking it was a white child, and brought it to Cooktown and left soon 

afterwards for New South Wales The piccaninny died in Sydney, I believe, rather 

suddenly, being very delicate The child had white hair, a light skin, and 

light bro\vn coloured eyes (if I recollect rightly about the colour of the eyes), 
nystagmus was well marked. Both parents were aboriginals ; about their relation- 
ships it would be impossible to give any information." 

(3) and (4) Dr Kortum also gave particulars of "White Mary." "Another 
albino living with the blacks at the Normanby River about 70 miles from here 
(Cooktown) was seen and attended by me on the 29th and 30th August, 1887, in 
the local hospital. She was known as White Mary, and years previously wdien seen on 
the coast was thouo-ht to be a white woman livina: with the blacks, and a boat was sent 
to rescue her. She was brought to town by the police on horseback, and delivered at 
the hospital in a sinking condition from falling on her head from a bucking horse as 
was reported. She had a light yellow skin, the hair and iris were of a light brown 
colour, nystagmus well marked. It was reported that she had a brother of the same 
light colour, w'ho perished in a bush fire. They w^ere well known at Butcher's Hill, a 
cattle station about 15 miles from the Normanby. It would be impossible to find out 
any family histoiy about her, her tribe is supposed to be nearly extinct now." 

(5) Dr Thom' also reports that a squatter named Julius Brockman, who knows 
the language and customs of the natives well, saw an albino boy, about eight years old, 
20 years ago, on one of the southern branches of the De Grey River about 180 miles 
inland. The parents were black. He was a full-blooded native, and there were no 
other albinos in the family or country about. 

(6) In the same letter Dr Thom reported the existence of the "Victoria Downs 
Station albino. The manager of that station in a letter of March 17, 1909, replied to 
Dr Thom that he had heard the blacks speak of the existence of what might possibly 
be an albino away at the head of the Bains, 100 miles west of his station, but that 
he could not say whether there was truth in the statement, or that it was a supersti- 
tion connected with their folklore. Mr McPhee, in his letter of Dec. 8, 1908, also 
reported a supposed female albino in the Northern Tei-ritory of South Australia, but 
without vouching for its truth. The two reports may refer to the same individual. 

We now reach the more official views on albinism in Australia. 
Dr W. E. Roth^ formerly Protector of Aborigines in Queensland, states that he 
' Letter of Feb. 25, 1909. "" Letter to Dr Thom, May 28, 1908. 


has made many a weary search for alleged albinos in North Queensland, but on every 
occasion (some 7 or 8) that he found them, they turned out to be either a half-caste or 
" parasitic." He looked out for all physical peculiarities among the aborigines, but 
never found an albino native through North Queensland (including Cape York, the 
Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait Islands). Furthermore he has only seen two 
cases of partial want of pigmentation — hands and feet. 

Mr W. G. South', Protector of Aborigines, South Australia, feels sure there has 
never been an albino amongst the natives of South Australia, and he is doubtful if a 
case has ever occurred in Australia. He says that consanguineous marriages are 
forbidden by nearly all, if not all, native tribes in South Australia. J. B. Kennedy, 
M.D., Sub-protector of Aborigines in South Australia, who has resided for over 
20 years in Central Australia and is acquainted with nearly all the aboriginal tribes, 
has never seen or heard of an albino aboriginal'. H. Y. L. Brown, South Australian 
Government Geologist, who has travelled during many years in the back country 
(Western, Central and Northern Australia), Alfred Jearcy, late Government Collector 
of Customs for the Northern Territory and author of In Tropical Seas, and A. E. 
Martin, station owner, for many years resident in central parts of Northern Territory 
(stations between Lat. 20° to 30°, Long. 130' to 140°) and seeing in 20 years 2000 
natives, have one and all never seen an albino. 

Mr Henry Prinsep\ formerly Protector of Aborigines in Western Australia, has 
never heard of an albino among the natives except the alleged albino found by McPhee, 
which he never quite credited. But in the Gascoyne district about Miribza he saw 
several young natives who had almost fair hair, though he thought their eyes were 
dark. He was told by residents that the cause of this fair hair was bathing in salt 
water. He did not see any fair-haired adults, except young women. He never heard 
of an albino in the southern part of Western Australia. 

Dr Thom, in a letter of June 11, 1909, says with regard to the supposed scarcity 
of albinos among the Australian aborigines that it may arise from the murder of 
albino children. The Government Inspector of the southern half of Western 
Australia, whose duty it is to see every black native possible, told him that half-caste 
children are nearly always killed at birth, and that this fact might militate against an 
albino being allowed to live^ Dr Thom had never heard before of children being 
murdered for this reason. 

Having put before the reader so far the whole of the evidence we have been able 
to collect, we think with this evidence before us that the customary view that there is 
no albinism among Australian aborigines is incorrect. We think it must be accepted 
that albinism has occurred among them ; certainly in Queensland [Cases (2), (3) 

1 Letter to Dr Thom, dated Adelaide, May 25, 1908. 

^ This and the following statement are from a letter of Mr M. F. Symons dated June 10, 1909. 

'■' Letter to Dr Thom, dated June 22, 1908. 

■* Dr G. M. Scott, in a letter to E. Nettleship dated Wellington, New Zealand, March 17, 1908, says 
that he had lived in central Western Australia for five years but never saw an albino. Blacks, however, 
■were not numerous and as infanticide is not unknown among them, it is quite possible that an albino 
infant would be destroyed. 



and (4)], almost certainly in Western Anstralia [Cases (1) and (5)], and possibly in the 
Northern Territory. 

American Indians. We must leave the anthropologists to settle whether the 
American Indians form an aberrant branch of the Mongolians, a fourth primary race of 
man, or if perchance Polynesian and Mongolian have in any way contributed to the 
establishment of these peoples. There exist at any rate some racial differences between 
the Indians of the extreme north and south of America, and some possibilities of 
rather marked racial intercrossings towards Central America. 

(i) Central America. We have already referred to the tradition of an albino 
race in Central America, and the reports brought home by Vasca Nunez de Balboa and 
other early adventurers. We have cited the apparently truthful account of Wafer as 
to the Darien " White Indians," and the possibility that albinism was fairly frequent 
in the 17th century in this district (pp. 16 — 17). Montezuma, the Emperor of 
Mexico, had, accordmg to Cortez, an apartment in his palace in which were men, 
women and children, whose faces, bodies and eyebrows were white from their birth'. 
Of the existence of albinism among the American Indians of Mexico, we shall speak 
later, of modern data for the isthmus itself we have but little to report. 

Dr Cullen in his Isthmus of Darien Ship CanaP of 1853 mentions two albino 
children on Perdon Island off Cape San Bias (see our Fig. 526). The island is not 
marked on two maps we have examined, but Point San Bias is the western extremity 
of the Gulf of Darien. 

Further, just at the head of the gulf, Viguier'' (1877) has studied the Indians of 
Paya. They are Cunas and belong to the great family of the Caribbeans. He saw 
only a single case of albinism. " The subject was a woman of middle age {d'un certain 
age), whose eyes were red, the skin not absolutely light (a peine plus claire), and the 
hair red, mixed with white." Viguier seems to have been uncertain of her complete 
albinism, but the redness of the eyes is probably decisive when we remember the red 
and yellow hair and the freckled skin of most dark-race albinos. 

V. Forbin in a paper on a white negro* also refers incidentally to the village of 
Paya. He says that he had been able to count there a dozen albinos in a population 
of 200 persons. The albino women did not like to leave their houses in bright 
daylight ; the albino men went with their comrades to the chase, but appeared to be 
less skilful hunters than the others. He gives no personal details. 

In Guatemala Otto StolP observed (1878-83) three cases of albinism, one in a 
Quicke Indian of Costa Grande and a second in a Cakchiquel from the neighbour- 
hood of Antigua. In Antigua itself he observed a twelve-year-old albinotic Ladino 
girl. Such albinos are termed by the Indians and Ladinos "Hijos del sol," or " children 
of the sun." 

This is the total of the scanty information we have been able to obtain as to 

1 See Bibl. No. 14, p. 122. 
' See Bibl. No. 348, p. 412. 
^ See Bibl. No. 402, p. 299. 

■ See Bibl. No. 2.5.5, p. 74. 

■■ La Nature, 37° annee, p. 384, Paris, 1909. 



Central American albinos. We refer elsewhere to the " spotted Indians " of 

(ii) South America. The notices are very scattered and insuflScient. 

Martius" (1867) speaking about the Parvilhana in Brazil says that " Kakerlaken " 
or albinos, deaf-mutes and imbeciles occur, and that they are sympathetically treated 
(riicksichtsvoll behandelt). He gives go further details. 

Brown and Lidstone, in their Amazon journey of 1878' report that on going 
ashore at a village a few miles up the Tapajos branch of the Amazon they saw some 
boys playing, " among whom we noticed a lad who, at first sight, seemed to belong to 
one of the fairest complexioned races of Europe, but on a closer approach he turned out 
to be that singular variety— an albino Indian. He was shy, however, and shunned 
our observation." 

Porte^ (1872) mentions three cases of Indian albinos, the first about 18 years old, 
the second about 25, and the third 50. They had " la peau blanche tres-tachee de 
lentigines, les chevaux blancs et droits. Les yeux etaient rougeatres chez deux 
d'entre eux et bleu clair chez la troisieme." The two first were observed at the town 
of the Barra do Rio Negi'o^ and the third was rowing a boat at Ega" on the upper 
Amazon. We have already referred to Porte's statement that the Indians of Pacaja 
were reported to be almost white and had blue eyes (see our p. 18). 

Margrave, in 1658", speaking of the inhabitants of Brazil, mentions an albino 
youth of 18 years, of extreme white hair, eyebi'ows and skin, but as he adds "naso 
plane more Aethiopum, qui natus hie e patre et matre nigritio," it is not clear that he 
does not mean the offspring of African slaves. When he speaks, however, of a rufous 
female negro albino, he says Africanam feminam. He specifies no district of Brazil. 

The Chevalier de Pinto' cited by Robertson (1777), observes with a like 
indefiniteness : " that in the interior parts of Brazil he had been informed that some 
persons resembling the white people of Darien have been found ; but that the breed 
did not continue, and their children became like other Americans. This race, however, 
is very imperfectly known." Von Spix and Martius in their travels in Brazil 
(1817 — 1820) state that: "All the Indians of the tribes of Paris, Coropos and 
Corvados whom we saw here [at Gindswald on the Rio Xipotd] had an extraordinary 

resemblance it is very rare to find among them albinos or any that are dark 


A. D'Orbigny in his L Homme Americain, 1839, p. 84, says that in spite of all his 
local enquiries he only twice found cases of albinism, the first among the Moscos and 
the second among the Patagons, and of these he was only definitely certain of the 
first. D'Orbigny records, however, a spotted condition of the body occurring in almost 

1 See Bibl. Nos. 260 and 413. - See Bibl. No. 307. 

2 See Bibl. No. 351. " See Bibl. No. 327. 

* On the equator to extreme N. of Brazil. * ?Egas about Lat. 65°, Long. 4° S. 

" See Bibl. No. 2-5. » See Bibl. No. 84, Vol. xlvi., p. 301 and p. 462. 

' See Bibl. No. 1 67, p. 239. It is, perhaps, rather stretching the evidence of this passage to state as 
Lagleyze does, that von Spix saw "quelques albinos" among the Corvados : see Bibl. No. 552, p. 11. 


all the individuals of the " nations mocetanbs, tacanas et yuracar^s." These spots were 
almost white, irreyular, and appeared on all parts of the body and members, but 
particularly upon the " parties saillantes des articulations." They had no appearance 
of disease, the skin being as smooth on the spots as elsewhere. As, however, the 
children had not these spots, D'Orbigny considered that they must be the result of 
cutaneous aft'ections. He holds that it was very noteworthy that " trois nations" 
should present simultaneously this anomaly'. It is probable that this is the same 
spotted condition which has been noticed by Tylor and Charnaz (see our Chapter on 
the albinotic Skin) in the Pintos, and may be due to a widespread tendency to leuco- 
derma, a tendency which is possibly hereditary. 

On the whole we must conclude that a thorough study of albinism among the 
South American Indians has yet to be made. Besides vague statements as to its 
existence, we have only the records of four or five cases, not one of which is adequately 
described, although there is enough evidence to show that it may affect the eyes as 
well as hair and skin. 

(iii) North America. Owing to the labours of the Ethnological Bui'eau of the 
Smithsonian Institute we have more details as to the North American Indians than as 
to those of Central or Southern America, but even here no special study has been made 
of albinism for its own sake, and we have therefore no adequate account, especially of 
the eyes, of these Indian albinos. Of Canadian Indians our knowledge is still less. 

Poole remarks" : " It is a common error, common throughout the American con- 
tinent even, to imagine that the aborigines of Canada and British Columbia are black. 
We are called whites to make a distinction, but in reality the natural skin which 

prevails in most of the tribes is nearly as white as ours Another error concerns 

the colour of the hair. No doubt it is usually dark, but the shade difi'ers greatly. 
I saw a whole family or section of a tribe on the British Columbian mainland, every 
one of whom had not only a clean white skin, but light silky hair. On Queen 
Charlotte Island there were numberless instances of auburn tresses and a few positively 
of golden curls, amongst which Klue's little Klootchman daughter was conspicuous." 

Coming further south we have already cited at length (see our p. 19) Catlin's 
account of a blond Indian tribe on the Upper Missouri, and the apparent occurrence of 
albinism in relation to it. Now it is not possible without further information to say 
how far the individuals observed by Poole and Catlin were of an albinotic character, 
but superficially they bear much resemblance to the light skinned, golden haired, 
blue eyed type of albino we have found in nearly all dark races, and samples of which 
actually occur among the Indians in the Mexican districts. The occurrence in 
considerable numbers of albinos in these Mexican districts is of much interest. As 
early as 1848 Emory' reported albinos in New Mexico: "Near the head waters of the 
Salinas... there is an Indian tribe called Soones [■? Zuni]...many of them are albinos, 
which may be the consequence of their cavernous dwellings, and may also have given 

' See Bibl. No. 225. - See Queen Charlotte's Islcmds, etc. 1872, p. 31.5. 

^ See Bibl. No. 244. Cf. the cave albino of Hartman cited on the following page, and the ' troglodyte ' 
albino tradition : see our pp. 25 and 68. 



rise to the report of a race of white Indians in that quarter." Oskar Loew saw in 
Arizona among dark Indians a white skinned, blue eyed child'. 

Bourke, in his Report on the medicine men of the Apache, 1887 — 8, thus 
indirectly refers to albinos^ : " Among many savage or barbarous peoples of the world 
albinos have been reserved for the priestly office. There are many well marked 
examples of albinism among the Pueblas of New Mexico and Arizona, especially among 
the Zufii and Jusayans, but in no case did I learn that the individuals thus distinguished 
were accredited with power not ascribable to them under ordinary circumstances. 
Amongst the Cheyennes I saw one family, all of whose members had the crown lock 
white. They were not medicine men, neither were any of the members of the single 
albino family among the Navajo in 1881." 

We think Bourke has exaggerated the extent to which albinos have been raised 
to the priestly office, although there is the recorded negro case of Battell and Ogilby. 
It is tantalising to miss the pedigree of an Indian white-lock or flare family, which 
might have been placed beside our English and negro cases, and particulars of the 
other albinos would have been of the greatest value. 

Hartman' gives us (1894) a more extensive account of an albino Indian woman 
he saw on the Fuerte river which flows into the Gulf of California on the west 
coast of Mexico : 

' ' In one of the barrancas on the Fuerte river until a few years ago there lived 
about 30 Tarahumares that were perfect albinos. The small-pox swept them away 
except one, an old woman, whom, after much trouble, I succeeded in tracking out. 
I visited her in her cave on the very crest of a mountain 3000 feet high near Morelos. 
She was married to a small dark man, and looked very strange in his company. Her 
features were of course purely Indian, but a complexion like hers I never saw in 
Mexico even amongst the white people. She looked almost like a very blond type of 
Scandinavian or Irish peasant woman, with her whitish yellow hair and pure white 
long eyebrows ; the face, naked arms, breast and legs being white skinned but with 
big rose-coloured spots caused by the scorching sunlight. The eyes were more than 
half-closed, and as the woman was very shy she would not allow me to approach so 
near, that I could distinguish the colour of her pupils [? irides]. I was, however, 
assured that they were bluish. It was only after having spent half-a-day on the spot 
and treating the cave-people very liberally that I succeeded in obtaining the souvenirs 
I desired — different hair-samples of the albino woman. In earlier times the custom of 
sacrificing such albinos to the gods prevailed in Mexico." 

Here, again, we have no definite account of the eyes, but there seems evidence of 
photophobia. No authority for the last statement is given. 

In 1876 the Baltimore Sun newspaper stated that in Arizona the Zuhis held 
albinos as slaves and that they only married among themselves, with what result we 
do not know*. 

1 Cited by Poesche (Bibl. No. 381), but he gives incorrect locus: see Bibl. No. 363. 

= See Bibl. No. 606, p. 460. " See Bibl. No. 607, pp. 128-9. 

' Quoted for Poesche (Bibl. No. 381). The stock of the Sun (Bibl. No. 342) has been destroyed by fire. 


In 1889 H. ten Kate stated that the Zufiis stood physically below the other 
Indian tribes of south-west America. " Scrofula, Rachitis often occur, and, as is well 
known, forms of Albinism and Hermaphroditism. The infant mortality is relatively 
great." He gives no further details'. 

In 1904 in a Report on the Zuni Indians" we have a more detailed account 
by Mrs Matilda C. Stevenson of the Zuni albinos and the photograph taken in 1879 
by Mr Stevenson of six of these albinos is by kind permission of the Smithsonian 
Institute reproduced as our Plate FF. The photograph shows the photophobia ; the 
apparently darker parts of some of the faces are, we were told on enquiry, solely due 
to a shadow cast on the group. It is a misfortune that the albinos were not taken 
in a better light and along-side normally pigmented individuals. 

The following is Mrs Stevenson's account : 

"In 1879 seven albinos were found among the Zunis — Mr Stevenson, with 
difficulty, gathered six of the albinos in a group and secured a photograph of them. 
The mother of an infant albino could not be prevailed upon to allow her child to be 
photographed. Indeed, these people are so sensitive of their condition that they 
avoid the presence of strangers, and while the men may stand their ground, the women 
and children, especially the latter, flee from the ' Americans.' The writer has seen 
several of the children grow to girlhood and womanhood. A birth of an albino child 
occuri-ed in 1896. These people have light, decidedly yellowish, hair and complexions 
of decided delicacy. They all have weak eyes, and their vision is so afiected by the 
absence of choroid pigment that they are obliged to protect their eyes, which always 
become inflamed from ordinary daylight. When out of doors the albino men wear 
hats when they can be secured, and the women cover their faces with blankets and 
peep through the smallest openings. The statement that albinos are compelled to live 
apart from the others of the tribe is erroneous, and none of them are debarred from 
religious or social privileges. In no instance has an albino parent an albino child, and 
no two of them belong to the same family. The adults are each married to a dark- 
haired Indian, and they have healthy offspring The several albinos who were 

examined showed nothing abnormal in their measurements." Light skin, yellow hair, 
and poor sight are referred to, but there is no mention of whether or no the pupils 
were red. 

Quite recently Hrdlicka in his Physiological and Medical Observations among 
the Indians of Sotith-ivestetm U.S. and Northern Mexico^ has given us the most 
complete account so far published of Indian albinism. He states that he has seen 24 
complete albinos : 8 $ adult, 5 $ children, 6 $ adult, 5 $ children. He found partial 
defects of pigment in 16 cases, 13 ^, 3 $, of whom 15 were adults, there being one 
child, a male. It is not easy from the data given by Hrdlicka to be sure of the total 
population examined for albinism. The list of numbers of the various Indian tribes 
amounts to 70,000, which would, reckoning only Hrdlicka's complete albinos, give about 
one albino per 3000 normals ; Hrdlicka says that the Indians were somewhat over 

' " Ethnographische u. Anthropologische Mittheilungen aus dem amerikanischen Siidwesten und aus 
Mexico," Zeitschrift fiir Ethnologie, Bd. xxi. S. 667, Berlin, 1889. 

- See Bibl. No. 517. ' See Bibl. No. 577. 


100,000 ; this does not seem to agree with the population list on pp. 5 — 6, but would 
give about one albino per 4000. If we take the tribes, as to which the question of the 
existence of albinism seems to have been asked, they number 23,000, and this would 
give one albino per 1000 normals. Whichever estimate is taken the frequency of 
albinism seems rather large. 

Speaking of the Mexican Indians Hrdlicka considers that albinos are few. Light 
hair, skin and eyes are said to occur among the Mayo. Hrdlicka heard of an albino 
among the Navaho, another at Isleta, and saw a woman, aged 50, a partial albino with 
yellow hair, but moderately brown skin among the southern Ute. He met with a case 
of "vitiligo" [? leucoderma] in a male Papago of 55 years. Four full- blood Mohave 
girls at Fort Mohave school had " lighter but not quite vitiligo-like spots on the 
exposed portions of the otherwise normal looking skin." 

Among the Hopi were seen 3 ^, 8 $ albinos and among the Zuni 3 J, 3 $ albinos. 
Of these 17 albinos there were 9 children and 8 adults. To what extent they were 
identical with Stevenson's cases does not appear. Hrdlicka says they were all complete 
albinos, but of slightly differing shades ; there was no instance of partial albinism 
(p. 293). If "complete albinism" be taken to cover only cases with red pupils and 
red reflex of iris, it wiU be evident later that Hrdlicka's Indians were rather " incom- 
plete " than " complete." The skin of these Indian albinos was of ordinary texture, but 
more sensitive to exposure ; it was pink or white with a slight flush, and exposed 
parts subjected to the sun discoloured like sunburn among whites. On the body the 
skin looked absolutely normal ; on the face, neck and hands in adults it was rather 
redundant and wrinkled in folds'. The lips were exfoliated, cracked and sore. The 
hair ranged from unbleached flax fibre, pale yellowish, through various shades of 
yellowish and brownish — always with a slight golden lustre — to medium brown. In 
no instance was there any trace of red in the hair". Eyebrows and eyelashes were as 
a rule lighter and in some cases practically colourless. The consistency and quality of 
the hair were like those of other members of the tribe. 

The eyes were light gray or light blue to moderate gray-blue ; very much like the 
eyes of similar shades in blond white people. In no case was the iris colourless with 
pink reflection as in the albino rabbitl In every instance more or less marked 
nystagmus and photophobia were recorded. Vision was not strong, but shortsightedness 
was not noticed. We must regret that no ophthalmoscopic examination of the eye 
appears to have been made. The irides of complete albinos in man are not generally 
"colourless with pink reflection" ; the blue or gray iris is the rule in albinos (see our 
Chapter I, p. 7 n.), and it is only colourless in the sense that there is an absence of pigment. 
There is no possibility of ascertaining from the above description whether the choroid 
and fundus were completely or incompletely albinotic, and if the absence of a red pupil 
is to be taken as meaning that they were not albinotic, it is not clear why Hrdlicka 

' Cf. the Australian albino in the frontispiece and the Fijian albinos on Plate U and the Negro albino, 
Plate Y (80). 

"^ Viguier (see our p. 104) seems to have come across a red-haired Indian albino. 
Viguier and Porte both seem to have met Indian albinos with red pupils, so that condition is not 
unknown among the Indian albinos. A casual observer might easily describe the present authors' albino 
dogs as possessing " blue eyes," if he did not examine them in the light needful to show the red reflection. 


speaks of these Indians as complete albinos. If the eyes were incompletely albinotic, 
then these Indian albinos correspond exactly to the albinos we have noticed among 
Papuans, Filippinos and negroes, i.e. a light-skinned, yellow-haired blue-eyed albino, 
who suffers only in a minor degree from defective vision. 

Very full anthropometric measurements taken by Hrdlicka and published in his 
memoir show no differentiation on those of full-coloured Indians of the same tribes, but 
the strength as measured by a dynamometer was less. Pulse, respiration and 
temperature were the same as in normals. There were no signs of scrofula, congenital 
syphilis or rachitis. 

Through the courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute we are able to give photographs 
of two views of each of two of these albinos; see our Plate NN (125) — (128). The 
lighting has not been wholly satisfactory, and there is no normal native photographed 
on the same plates, but the illustrations bring out some of the points referred to above. 
The family histories are reproduced in our Figs. 579 — 590, but they are very incomplete, 
and we are compelled to question at some points their accuracy. 

Hrdlicka says that albinos are not ostracized or looked upon as inferiors ; they 
are called among the Hopi kolokochate = -white people. They marry full-coloured 
natives, but are ashamed of their condition, sensitive, bashful and uTitable ; they are 
also slightly submedium in intelligence. Among the Zuni and Hopi there is con- 
siderable intermarriage of distant relatives, but the clan system prevents close inter- 
breeding, and certainly there is not as much of it as among tribes having smaller 
numbers, but no albinos. 

While there is in the facts collected above enoug-h evidence to show that 
albinism in the American Indians occurs as frequently as (and perhaps more frequently 
than) in other dark i^aces, and exhibits the same general characters, yet we feel that a 
thorough study of albinism in these races, especially with regard to albinism of the eyes, 
and the frequency of albinism generally in the Canadian and South American races 
would be of peculiar value. Having regard to the statements of Poole, Catlin and 
Porte, a general pigmentation survey of the American Indians with special reference to 
the asserted blondism of some northern and southern tribes could hardly fail to be of 
great ethnological interest, not only for the sources of albinism, but for the evolution 
and differentiation of the Indian race and its subtypes. The occurrence of albinism 
with a relatively rather high degree of frequency in Arizona and Mexico, and its special 
features are quite in keeping with the early reports of it due to Cortez and Wafer. 

Eskimo. The classification of the Eskimo is still a moot point of anthropology. 
It is generally recognised that the bulk of the aboriginal people of America probably 
came from Eastern Asia via Alaska to the western world. The Eskimo scattered 
from Greenland to Behring Strait, have been attributed to Alaskan and Asiatic origin. 
The Koryaks of North-eastern Asia, according to Nordenskiold, appear to be a link 
between Mongols, Eskimo and North American Indians. The little we have to note 
of the Eskimo may therefore well appear at this point. That little is of a purely 
negative character ; we have been unable to discover an Eskimo albino. Enquiries 
were made on our behalf by Dr Souter among the Dundee Whalers. Captain 
T. Robertson (S.W. "Scotia," Oct. 7, 1909), writes that he has never seen anything 


like an albino among the Eskimo, he has never even seen a fair Eskimo. Captain 
H. M^Kay (Coral Bank, Tayport, Oct. 18, 1909), says that, in his experience 
of the Arctic, he has never come across any albinos, nor have any other of the 
whaling fraternity whom he knows. He finds it impossible to state how many 
Eskimo he has met with, because they are birds of passage, and the various tribes are 
continually on the move, they often split up into sections, and with the exception of 
the headmen, with whom the whalers come into personal contact, it is impossible to 
say whether the remainder form the same body of individuals or not. Thus eight 
years ago Captain M^Kay took a young Eskimo, who had been to this country, back 
to Cape Kater, but he has not seen him since, although he has repeatedly been there. 
The lad, he heard, had moved on with a portion of his tribe and their places had been 
taken by natives coming south. Thus 70 to 100 fresh individuals may be seen at the 
same place every year, and it is not possible to form any estimate of the total popula- 
tion observed. Both Captains Hobertson and M'^Kay have been many years at 
the Greenland whaling. Their evidence, however, does not prove, considering the 
rariety of albinism in man, that Eskimo albinos do not occur\ 


Albinism in Black-skinned Races. 

The present section is devoted to the African negro. In using the term " black- 
skinned " races we are fully conscious that it is not correct. We recognise a great 
variety of shades in the negro himself, but the term is convenient as a broad distinc- 
tion between the races under discussion and the white races on the one hand and 
the yellow and red races on the other. At the same time we avoid the term negro 
or negroid, which might be taken to include certain races of the Pacific already dealt 
with in Section II. We recognise that skin-colour is not a safe racial distinction and 
that whatever primary races there may have been, there are now so many subdivisions 
and so many mixtures due to crossings and selections that no satisfactory classifica- 
tion can be at present attempted. The broad categories, Caucasian, Mongolian and 
Negroid, helpful as they are in some respects, would have forced us from the geo- 
graphical arrangement, which we believe to be especially suggestive in the case of 
albinism, and would have left us with no definite position for the mixed population 
at the boundaries, where it is possible that albinism may be most frequent. Our 
skin-colour divisions have been taken to cover roughly (i) Europe and the Medi- 
terranean basin, (ii) Asia with Polynesia, Australia and America, and lastly (iii) 
Africa. This division is rough and full of inconsistencies ; we recognise the Bush- 
men as yellow-red and yet negroes ; the Somalis may be black and not negroid ; 
the Semites may be olive or yellow skinned ; the Australians almost black and 
yet possibly Caucasian. We do not wish to express any views on the thorny 

' Mr David Houston, who has been employed by the Hudson Bay Company for five j'ears at York 
factory at the mouth of the Nelson river, and at Churchill on Hudson Bay, believes that he has seen more 
than 1000 Indians of the Cree and Chippewah tribes, and from 300 to 400 Eskimo; he has never seen nor 
heard of an albino amongst them. 


problems of race in man. For convenience of treatment we liave divided our 
material into three sections, which represent roughly and with marked exceptions 
and deviations three grades of skin colour. 

We have already (pp. 12 — 15) when dealing with the Leucoaethiopes referred 
to the great range of colour in the negro, and cited Pruner Bey\ Sir Richard 
Burton', Collignon and Schweinfurth as bringing evidence on this pointl Other 
evidence of a relatively light African race is given by Maurice Delafosse in 1893'. He 
cites Admiral Fleuriot de Langle' as follows: "A white population, to which the 
people of Biribi give the name Pai-Pi-Bri, has its abode on the river north of the 
lagoon of Yle ; the Pai-Pi-Bri are probably the same as the tribes which the English 
missionaries of Cape Mesurado and Cape Palmas [Liberia] speak of under the name 
of Paiv, and which they say are of a light colour." 

The Admiral also mentions the report of a female slave originally from tlie 
Upper Niger, which stated that between this river and the Ivory Coast were white 
tribes connected with the "Touareg." 

Captain Binger", who has travelled from the Niger to the Gulf of Guinea through 
the country of the Kong and the Mossi considers these tales doubtful, and holds 
that the Pai-Pi-Bri are either a slightly lighter tribe than their neighbours, or 
a people among whom albinism is frequent and exists in an endemic state. 

Delafosse draws attention to the type of negro albino we discuss below with the 
hair of beard and head, blond, red or chestnut, the eyes blue and the skin of very 
light brown or more often speckled with entirely white spots, and suggest they have 
been the origin of the Pai-Pi-Bri legend. He says that this name signifies in " grdbo" 

1 Pruner Bey's paper (see Bibl. No. 273) is a remarkably suggestive one. Pp. 81—89 deal with 
the variation of colour in the same race. Pp. 90—109 are, however, of special interest at the 
present time, for they put together exceptions to the usual experience of skin colour where black 
and white races cross. Some of these cases are of doubtful authenticity, and of rather ancient 
date, but they are all suggestive of the sort of points which medical men and others living among 
the dark races might usefully inquire into. One point deserves special notice here, namely in Paraguay, 
where the mixture of Indian and Spaniard is more complete than elsewhere. The children of these 
dark-haired races have often fair or even red hair (p. 98). All evidence of blondism resulting from 
segregation following the crossing of dark races is peculiarly valuable in considering the sources of 

- " In Accra," writes Burton, " I saw a second anthropological curiosity. Albinos have been seen 
by almost every African traveller but not semi-albinos. My specimen was a man with the pronounced 
formation of face and skull peculiar to our " poor black brother." His colour was however cafe au lait, 
hair dull yellow but short and woolly as belongs to his race. The colour of the eyes was bright brown. 
Later on in Benin I saw several of these individuals one of whom was even the chieftain Sandy at 
Botanga." (See BibL No. 293, p. 156.) 

= Other writers who bear witness to the great range of colour are F. Stuhlman {Mit Emin Pascha 
im Herz von Afrika, Berlin, 1894, S. 173, 378, 386, 532, 558, 745, 765, 80.5, etc.); P. Paulitschke 
{Beitrdge zur Ethnographic und Anthropologie der Somdl, Galla und Harari, Leipzig, 1886, S. 1 — 10, 23, 
68, 70) and Franz Hulter ( Wanderungen u. Forschungen im Nord-Hinterlamd von Kamerun, Brand- 
schweiz, 1902, S. 261, 320, 321, 329—330). 

•* See Bibl. No. 439. •' Croisieres d, la cote occidentale d'Afrique, tour du monde, 1873. 

" Du Niger au Golfe de Guinee /Jar le pays de Kong et le Mossi, Paris, 1892, T. 2. 

K. P. 15 


the "country of the whites," and has been actually given by the " Grebo " of Biribi 
to the negroes living between the rivers San Pedro and Lahu (Ivory Coast). Deia- 
fosse remarks " that the characters mentioned above which are the criterion of negro 
albinism were found among several of those who were temporarily our hosts ; these 
latter were for the most part natives of Great Drewin and Little Drewin, two 
commercial stations on the Ivory Coast between the mouths of the San Pedro and 
San Andre rivers. These traces of albinism are still more frequent among their 
compatriots of the interior. Their true name is ' Agni.' The name Pai-Pi-Bri is an 
appellation of foreign origin, as I have said above, which most of the Agni repudiate 
or ignore, and which applies only to a fraction of their large family " (p. 403). 

It is interesting to compare this tale of the Pai-Pi-Bri with that of the Leuco- 
aethiopes which were located in a not widely different part of Africa, and probably 
had the same origin, the blondism or incomplete albinism of some negro-races. 

At a much earlier date (1816) Walckenaer' had drawn attention to similar cases 
on the Congo: 

" Les naturels de Congo, quoique noirs comme les negres de S^ndgambie, sem- 
blant former, cependant, une race differente" et se rappi'ocher, par les traits, des 
Europeens ; ils ont quelquefois les cheveux d'un brun rougeatre, et les yeux d'un 
verd fonce ou couleur de mer." 

CoUignon^, who cites the above passages, notes that Dybowsky had shown to 
the Paris Anthropological Society photographs of Akoas from the Congo, and that 
the hair of these " negrilles " was relatively light, being of an auburn red and not 
black like that of most negroes, and the eyes of a fairly Ught yellow tone {un ton 
jaune moyen clair) instead of the dark chestnut eyes {marrons foncees) of the latter. 

There is no statement as to the skin tint in these cases, aiid the variation of the 
eye-colour appears to be considerable. But they will prepare the reader for the 
existence of a type which will be frequently refeiTod to below, the xanthous negro. 
There may be no wholly xanthous tribes such as the traditional Leucoaethiopes and 
the Pai-Pi-Bri, but there are tribes or districts in which xanthism is not uncommon, 
and it is met with from the Ivory Coast to Uganda, and from Uganda to Portuguese 
East Africa. This type is essentially important for our consideration of albinism, 
for it appears to occur not only in the same districts but even in the same stocks as 
albinism. Pritchard was, we believe, the first to insist on the importance of the 
xanthous negro ; the most complete account we are able to present of the type has 
been provided for us by Dr G. A. Turner, Medical Officer of the Witwatersrand 
Native Labour Association, whose duties bring him into touch with natives of 
many tribes in large numbers. The difficulty about illustrating xanthism by photo- 
graphy is that the xanthous negro possesses a red or yellowish red skin, and that 
this as well as the red, brown, or even yellowish hair tends to photograph black, 
1 See Bibl. No. 157. 

^ Dr Crewdson Benington of the Biometric Laboratory has recently been studying the Congo 
skull and tinds it definitely diiFerentiated from the Negro ; see also the remarks cited below of 
Dr Mercier Gamble on the natives of the Portuguese Congo. 
=• See Bibl. No. 449. 


and it is exceedingly difficult by ordinary photography to show the distinction, which 
is so obvious and marked to the actual observer between the black and xanthous 
types'. We have endeavoured to give something of the tint of the xanthous negro 
on Plate CO, the reader should compare it with the normal tint of the negro in 
Plate AA (85) and the tint of the albino negro in Plate BB. On Plate k specimen 
S5 gives the hair of the xanthous negro ; D„, D^, and D, are the wool of albino negroes, 
while the hair of the normal negro is as black as the Fijian hair Aj. Dr G. A. 
Turner gives us the following facts as to xanthism in negroes". The skin is of a 
brown colour, the beard and moustache are also brown. In a few cases he had 
examined the wool on the scalp was black, but that on the pubes was brown. The 
most marked example of this he had seen occurred in a native from the northern 
part of the Nyassa Coast line. The subject of our Plate CC was Jappe a well- 
developed Myambaam of about 25 years of age ; of very light almost white colour. 
His skin has more the healthy colour of a European somewhat sunburnt, not the 
deadly white colour of the pure albino. The iris in this as in other cases was brown. 
The wool on head, slight moustache and beard, and pubic covering were of brown 
colour. There were no signs of eczema on the skin, no nystagmus, but a marked 
squint. The pedigree given in our Fig. 441, is a most interesting and suggestive one. 
I. 1, his paternal grandfather, a normal black, married I. 2, an albino negress, the 
offspring was Jappe's father, a xanthous negro, who married a " white Kaffir" {i.e. as 
Dr Turner reports on special inquiry another albino negress), Jappe resulted from 
this union and he himself marrying a normal black negress has two xanthous children. 
That the offsjjring of albinotic and normal negroes are usually either black or albinotic 
may at once be admitted, but this pedigree seems to show that the dominance of 
black is not always complete, and that there is a relation between albinism and 
xanthism which is not without suggestiveness. 

In Magtimane (Plate HH (105)) we have another case of xanthism provided by 
Dr Turner^ and we have endeavoured to show the distinction between this Mtyopi 
and an ordinary native, although the contrast has been much reduced by reproduc- 
tion. Magumane (No. 30745 W. N. L. A.) came from Changulne in Portuguese East 
Africa ; he was aged about 20. The wool on his head was brown, lighter over the 
forehead ; eyelashes and eyebrows brown ; hair on back light brown ; pubic hairs 
brown, skin rich red, no eczema. Iris dark brown, no nystagmus. Father and 
mother and all brothers and sisters black ; just married himself, at present no 
children. No record of any albino relatives. 

^ Xanthism, as distinguished from albinism, is not peculiar to the negro. We have already 
noted it in Dr Eraser's Tamil oases (Fig. 486). In that instance the photographs also showed no 
distinction, that it was possible without treatment of the original to reproduce in the plate, and 
we had to abandon the idea of illustration. Dr Turner in a letter to K. Pearson (Jan. 11, 1909) 
says that he has tried photographs of xanthous negroes in all lights, but never with any success. 
We have suggested to him tlie use of a colour screen when photographing a black and a xanthous 
negro side by side. 

' By kind permission of the University of Aberdeen Anat. and Anthropol. Society. 

» Letter to C. H. Usher, Nov. 15, 1908. 




A third case of xanthism is provided by Dr Turner' in Sanone (W. N. L. A., 
No. 18,213) a Mtyopi from the Zaralla district, aged about 20. His skin was a 
light rich red colour ; eyebrows and lashes reddish brown, wool on head brown 
taking a light golden (hydroxyl) tint on top of scalp, pubic hairs brown, light brown 
hairs over lumbar regions and buttocks ; eyes brown, no nystagmus or squint. The 
father was a pure black Mtyopi, the mother of the same red colour as Sanone. No 
account of xanthism or albinism in any relatives except the mother. The brothers 
and sisters are all black. Dr Turner remarks that the morals of the Amatyopi are 
peculiar. A man may lend his wife to some man to raise seed for him, and this man 
may have had xanthous or albinotic relatives. This the offspring are not likely to 
know anything about, and thus family history is not worth nmch. The photographs 
sent " do not show up the colour at all well " (Dr Turner) but indicate the absence 
of any mixed blood. 

Besides the xanthous type, the albinotic type and the partially albinotic type of 
which we shall see many examples in the sequel Dr Turner" refers to "another 
peculiar type novi^ in my compound ; he is not a pure albino, but he cannot be called 
a case of xanthism ; he has pure white spots, of no great extent ; but he has large 
areas, covered with what may be described as a vi^hite background on which have 
been implanted numbers of hlach freckles, I will if possible get a photograph of him, 
and will make notes and forward them." 

This type seems comparable with the spotted freckled albinos of Fiji, New 
Guinea and Nyassaland (see our Plates U, X and Y (180)), but the condition in this 
case is associated with partial albinism. 

Frequency of Negro Xanthism. Dr Turner has most kindly sent us the 
following statistics as to the frequency of xanthisml 

Boys examined specially for evidence of Xanthism. 



Xanthous i Albinotic 

White patch on body 

White patch on genitals 







4 V 


1 — 





Delagoa Bay 

South of lat. 22" S. ... 


9 ' 1 










1 - 




Agawa . 


North of lat. 22° S. ... 





11 ' 1 



1 Letter to Professor Raid of Aberdeen, July 19, 1908. - Letter to K. Pearson, Jan. 11, 1909. 

' Letters to C. H. Usher, dated Johanne-sburg, Nov. 22 and 25, 1909. 

■* This boy, besides being an albino, had enlarged mammary glands, though he was apparently 
otherwise normal in his sexual organs. 



Thus out of a total of 7089, 23 showed some colour peculiarities. The one 
albino present was not a perfectly complete case, but he was far too light to be 
classed as xanthous. Albino infants are, however, often killed and albinos are 
unlikely to seek work on the mines, if they can get a chance of existing elsewhere. 
The numbers as Dr Turner remarks are too small to be reliable, but there is some 
evidence of more pigment variation in the southern than in the northern districts, 
and we may seek an explanation possibly in the lessened need of pigment as we 
move further from the equator. At the same time other factors must be taken into 
account, (i) the more southern tribes have been longer and closer in contact with the 
whites and infanticide may therefore be more rare, (ii) the longer journey and the 
less knowledge of the possibilities of rejection or ridicule may well prevent the 
xanthous members of the more northern tribes going to the mines. 

Dr Turner provides the following table of details concerning these xanthous 
cases, which may be profitably compared with our table of albinism in the Philipj^ine 
Islands (p. 70). Tlie first two boys were described before records of normal 
individuals were made and so do not appear in the first table above. 

Dr Turner adds the further remark that the boys showing evidence of xanthism 
have he thinks more often a fully developed beard and moustache than the full negro. 
On the other hand he considers that the pure albino has less hair or wool than the 
normal'. While making the examinations tabled above Dr Turner was struck by 
the number of boys who had light hair, or rather, down, on the temples, though the 
rest of the body was pure black. He accordingly examined a gang of 486 boys for 
this special feature with the following results : 



Light hair on temples 


Central African 












Delaffoa Bav 





While little stress can be laid on the smaller groups, this result appears to 
confirm the previous view that the southern boys show more signs of a lighter 

The fact that one of the first signs of a lighter pigmentation is this fluff" of a less 
dark colour on the temples should be taken in conjunction with the "flare" which is 

^ There is a good deal of evidence to show special hairiness, at any rate in albinos of non-negro races. 
But absence of hair is noted by Mollien and Raffenel in negro albinos: see our py. 126 and 127. 
Dr Stannus finds, however, increased hairiness, see p. 147. 












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so frequent in pielialds and occurs occasionally in cases of leucoderma, and again with 
the white lock or tuft on the temples of some cases of [)artial albinism. 

A second point dealt with specially by Dr Turner and concerning which he 
emphasises the need for suspended judgment is the white patch on the glans penis of 
many natives. He notices as other observers (see our p. 12.3) that the glans of 
the uncircumcised negro is usually of a pink colour, and that of the circumcised is 
black, so that the glans becomes pigmented after the operation. It is possible that 
the white glans may be in some instances a result of treatment at circumcision, for a 
boiling styptic is poured by some operators over the raw parts directly after 
circumcision (see our Chapters on albinism and leucosis of skin for effect of scalding). 
This, however, is not the universal practice. Among the 1214 Agawa and 833 Mahua 
in Dr Turner's first table (p. 116) none had a white glans and the majority were 
circumcised ; but this might only point to different operators having different methods 
of stopping the bleeding. On the other hand 2 out of 2200 Shangaans had white 
genital patches and these boys were uncircumcised. Dr Turner examined (Nov. 25, 
1909) 179 Mahua boys from Mozambique as to this point and found five had a dead 
white coloured glans penis. Three of these five said they were born like that ; a fourth 
said it was because he was newly circumcised, and one, who was uncircumcised and 
had a white internal lining to his foreskin as well as a white glans penis said that the 
white colour came on after a disease called bupa, which a police boy told Dr Turner was 
syphilis. Dr Turner, however, states that the boy showed no evidence of syphilis, and 
he was fairly certain that this boy had never had it. So far the evidence is inconclusive 
and we must suspend judgment until Dr Turner has been able to make further inquiries. 

When we pass to the actual negro albino we shall find that in some respects 
there are marked divergences from the European albino, and close links with the 
albino of other dark-skinned races. While in certain individuals we meet with 
absolutely white hair, the general colour of the hair is yellow as indicated on 
Plate K, Dj, D3, D5. Further, red pupils and red reflex through the iris are not 
universal. The iris is often described as light " yellow," — a tint found by some 
European observers as peculiarly unpleasant ; elsewhere it is said to be blue without 
red reflex, or grey to light brown. How far the absence of the red reflex is due to 
a denser iris and not to presence of pigment will hardly be settled until dissections 
have been made of negro albino eyes. But the evidence points to a considerable 
range of type in the eye of the negro albino. Further, while photophobia, nystag- 
mus and myopia are recoi-ded in many negro cases they do not appear to be so 
general as in the European albino. Lastly with regard to the skin, while eczema, and 
blistering owing to sunburn are frequently noted, and we are often told of the 
"lead-white" or dead-white of the skins of negro albinos, we hear also of pink and 
white, European-like, complexions and of an absence of any special skin tenderness. 
It may be that we are more readily able in a black-skinned race to trace the 
various lesser grades of albinism, or it may be that the albinos of such races actually 
exhibit more graduations. In either case they deserve careful study, because the 
appearance of these xanthous and albinotic types in the dark races, — types for which 


the loss of pigment does not seem seriously to handicap the variant — are not without 
suggestiveness for the evolution of the races of man'. 

' We do not propose to describe at length the amusing discussions abounding in early notices of 
negro albinism (see for example Maupertius, Bibl. No. 58, Demanet, Bibl. No. 71) as to whether Adam 
was black or white in colour. The general view was that as the negro race could produce a blond type 
they must have had white ancestors to whom these mutations were a re\ersion. But while Adam lias 
ceased to have much interest for any branch of science but folk-lore, we have our own modern jjroblem 
of the origin of man by a single or manifold descent. If all existing i-aces have sprung from a single 
primitive type of man or man-like being, was that type of a fair or a dark skin 1 Now we see every 
day mutations in the form of blondism occurring among the dark-skinned races, but never a case of 
a dark-skinned offspring to white parents. In some even recent works reference is made to the birtii 
of a black child to white parents, but in no case where we have really been able to follow up the 
evidence is it deserving of the least credence. The incident of the birth of a black child to white 
parents carries one into many of the byways of literature. The authority given for one case is 
Aristotle. He certainly mentions (see our Fig. 504) a black baby which the white daughter of a white 
woman bore to a white man, but the point of his tale is that the husband of the white woman and 
the father of the white daughter was an Aethiops. The same tale appears to be that of Plutarch 
[De sera nmiiinis vindicta, cap. 21) "and a certain Greek woman having borne a black child, then 
being on her trial for adultery discovered herself as being descended from an Aethiop in the fourth 
generation," i.e. her grandfather was a black. A second tale is due to Albreoht (Ephemeridum Ger- 
maiiicarum nxed. phys. Dec. ll. An. vi. p. 39), who relates that a woman gave birth to a black child 
just after her house had been blown down by gunpowder and she had been made as black as a coal. The 
child only lived a few hours. Now a genuine dark-skinned baby would be red and not black for some 
days after birth, and the medical examination which asserted the blackness of the child is quite 
consistent with its being a direct effect of the gunpowder. A third tale appears in Pare (see Bibl. 
No. 19) who describes how a princess was accused of adultery because she had given birth to a black 
child, and was acquitted on the pleading of Hippocrates of " maternal impression." No such tale can 
be found in the writings of or about Hippocrates. But St Augustine (Quest. 93 in Genes.) does state 
that in the works of Hippocrates it is mentioned that a woman bore a very beautiful child unlike 
herself or the father, and that the medical man freed her from a charge of adultery by pointing 
out that the child resembled a picture in her bed-chamber. Now St Jerome in commenting on the 
same passage of Genesis, i.e. that of Jacob and the rods. Genesis xxx. 32 and 33 (see Liber Hebrai- 
carum Questionum in Genesim, ed. Migne, T. xxni. p. 985) after referring to maternal impression, states 
that Quintilian had freed a matron, charged with adultery, for having given birtli to an Aethiopian, 
on the ground of maternal impression. Erasmus editing Jerome and probably intending to add a 
footnote, falsely inserted into the text St Augustine's tale of Hippocrates. Thus Hippocrates was 
fathered with the black baby tale which Jerome attributes to Quintilian, owing to Pare misreading 
or confusing the "Aethiopem" and the " pulcherrimum puerum." From Pare the tale has persisted 
through a long line of gynaecological writings down to the present day. But even Jerome was wrong, 
Quintilian has nothing to do with the black baby! In the period of Roman decadence, the Roman 
ladies had, or at any rate were accused of having, relations with their slaves, black and other, and the 
Roman satirists make the charge against them of giving birth to black babies (see Juvenal, Satire vi. 
1. 600 ed. Lewis, 1882, Vol. i. p. 96; Martial vi. xxxix. 6 — 7). Hence the attack and defence of 
the woman charged with adultery for giving birth to a black baby became a popular subject for 
declamations, and such an oratorical exercise has been preserved for us in the Declamationes of 
Calpurnius Flaccus often attached to the works of Quintilian (Declamationes majores, Lugd. Bat. 1720, 
p. 794. Natus Aethiops). The tale of Hippocrates and the black baby soon became widespread. 
Gemma, Lib. i. cap. 6 copied Pare (he gives an additional tale about a woman who bore three sons 
at the time of the Epiphany, one being like one of the three kings, black !) ; Schenk, Observat. Medic. 
Lib. 4, Obs. 1, pp. 543 — 4, copied Gemma; Wanley, Wonders of the Little World, 1678, Bk. ii. pp. 
95 — 6 copied Schenk. Fienus, De viribtis imaginationis Tractatus, Ques. xiii. p. Ill, gives the Quintilian 


With regard to the theory (discussed in a later chapter) of albinism as an arrest 
of development it will he of advantage to refer here to the state of pigmentation of 
the negro at birth. The facts we know about it are of peculiar suggestiveness, when 
we remember that "black baby to white parents" legends invariably state that 
the baby has been born black ! The negro baby is born in colour almost like the 
white baby, and the dark colour is not apparent in the skin of the negro embryo. 

Schreber' in 1775 was among the first to note that the just born negro is of a 
reddish colour, " Yet one -sees on those who have brown or black parents evidence of 
brown or black on the nails and genitals ; and they soon become yellow, as white 
babies usually do, and in time, from one to several months, black." 

An early but careful observer, Dr Thomas Winterbottom'", writes in 1803 : "It 
is worthy of observation that negro children are nearly as fair as Europeans at birth 
and do not acquire their colour until several days have elapsed. The eyes of new 
born negro children are also of a light colour and preserve somewhat of a bluish 
tinge for several days after birth. The palms of the hands and the soles of the 
feet are nearly as white as in Europeans and sometimes so through life." 

Camper' in 1782 noted that the negro child at birth was of a reddish colour, 
then first became black around the rim of the nails and the nipples, on the third day 
the genitals become coloured and on the fifth or sixth day the whole body. Camper 
observed this on the male child of a negress born in Amsterdam in a closed room in 
the winter, and not exposed to the sun, the body being closely wrapped in swaddling 

tale, so also L. Caelius Ilhodiginus, Lectionum antiquarum Libri xxx. Lib. xx. cap. 15 and thence a 
flood of minor writers until the tale becomes accepted as a record of a black baby from white parents. 
For scientific purposes all such evidence is worthless. 

Another phase of the subject, the birth of children from whites with a large or small black 
or dark area, sometimes attributed to maternal impression, i.e. from a negro, are just possibly worthy of 
some consideration ; the dark area is most probably an extensive mole. On this point the curious 
reader may be referred to Pechlin's case (Bibl. No. 47, also sometimes cited from Kundniann, Bibl. 
No. 56, as a case of black born to whites! e.g. Schmidt, Bibl. No. 131, p. 30), Meck'ren's case (Bibl. 
No. 37), and in particular for an almost certain "mole" case to Wells' account in 1818 of a "Female 
of the White Race of Mankind, part of whose skin resembles that of a Negro" (Bibl. No. 162); 
Bufibn (see Oeuvres completes, Paris, 1818, T. v. p. 36-5) also gives the case of a girl, Anne Marie 
Heri", showing multiple hairy pigmented moles. A more recent case is described by E. N. M. Ross, 
Brit. Med. Journ., 1909, Vol. i. p. 1416. The above notes only indicate a small portion of the 
material we have sifted with regard to the "black baby from white parents" legend — other instances are 
possibly cases of " Vagabond's Disease" (see Bibl. No. 112, for an early case of this reported in 1789 by 
Loschge, where the hands, feet and face of a tramp were white and the rest of the body black ; a piece of 
the Aethiopic skin of this beggar was possibly in Blumenbach's museum: see Bibl. No. 125, p. 158; 
Loscho-e failed to find any category for this white "darker than many negroes": cf. R. Crocker, 
Diseases of the Skin, 3rd ed. p. 1301. Dr Crocker most kindly classed Loschge's case for us) — but without 
entering further into the matter we conclude that there is no reliable evidence for the birth of a dark- 
skinned child from white parents. If the black had arisen by mutation from the white, we might 
expect an occasional repetition of such an occurrence ; but we do not meet with it, and the origin of 
the white from a dark-skinned ancestor, by a xanthous or semi-albinotic stage seems not only possible, 
but probable. It is in keeping with what we know of light variants in mammals and birds: see 
our chapter on Albinism in Animals. 

> See Bibl. No. 79, p. 9. = See Bibl. No. 136, Vol. i. p. 189. ' See Bibl. No. 94, pp. 43—44. 

K. P. 16 


clothes, yet notwithstanding the coloui' changed as indicated above. He also ex- 
hibited at one of his lectures (p. 43, loc. cit.) the prematurely born child of an 
Angola negress and of an equally black father, which had a perfectly white body to 
prove "dass die Kinder in Mutterleibe nicht schwarz sind wie Strabo dafur hielte'." 

Buffon also knew of the stages in pigment development of the negro baby". 

Berchon' in 1860 confirms these early statements. He remarks that there is 
no more distinctive colour in negro new born children than in white children, and 
at this age one might easily be deceived as to what the colour would become. The 
skin colour is red but not uniform in tint, being darker at the nape of the neck, 
the groins and the perineum. The skin according to him becomes black very rapidly, 
in a few days, — a statement not wholly agreeing with those of other writers. 

Vogt^ in his Vorlesungen iiber den Menschen, 1863, after noting the red colour 
of the new born negro baby remarks that it is mixed with nutty brown, and less 
vivid red than that of the white child ; it varies, however, in different parts of the 
body. It becomes slate-grey and more or less quickly, according to the district, 
changes to the parental colour. In the Sudan the development of the colour is 
usually complete in a year ; in Egypt it is only complete in three years. The hair 
of the negro child is rather chestnut-brown than black, is straight and only lightly 
curled at the end. These points are also vouched for by Pruner Bey, and are of 
importance with regard to the origin of xanthism. 

Darwin {Descent of Man, 2nd ed., pp. 557 and 604) repeats the like statements. 

Falkenstein' (1877) in his discussion on the skin in the tropics has some re- 
marks in the section on Leucopathia upon the new born negro. After mentioning 
the normal want of pigment on the palms and soles of the adult negro, he notices 
that this want of pigment extends to the whole skin in the case of the new born : 
"Das Kind kommt, wie bekannt, mit einem britunlichen Rosa, das es wenig von 
einem Weissen Kinde unterscheiden lassen wiirde, zur Welt, wenn nicht an einzelnen 
wechselnden Stellen sich Pigment abzulagern begonnen hiitte. In einem Falle fand 
sich solches am Nabel, an der Ohrmuschel, Brustwarze und Nagelfalz, wahrend auch 
Stirn, Oberlippe und Riicken ein schmutziges Grau durchschimmern liessen. In 
diesem Falle war auch das Auge nicht blau, wie meist angegeben wird, sondern braun. 
Die Pigmentirung erfolgt sehr schnell und ist in sechs bis acht Wochen voUendet." 

In the first birth Falkenstein saw he thought the mother had given birth to a 
mulatto and was only convinced of his error, when the child in six weeks became a 
perfect negro {Die Loango Expedition, 1873 — 76. Leipzig, 1879. Abth. ii. S. 34 — 5). 

Collignon gives, with the Broca scale tints, an interesting account of three births, 

' Waitz, in 1863, quotes Camper and adds: "Children born in the cold season take a longer time 
in becoming black. The children of the Arabs in the south, even when they liave not intermixed 
with the negroes, but have their colour, exhibit at birth a copper colour ; whilst those of the American 
race are at birth a yellowish-white or reddish-brown colour. Those of the native Australians in the 
environs of Adelaide are immediately after birth of a yellowish-brown, and only become dark at a 
later period" (see Bibl. No. 292, p. 99). These statements need confirmation. 

- See Histoire naturelle de I'homme, Oeuvres completes, Paris, 1818, T. v. p. 285. 

' See Bibl. No. 275, p. 520. ■• See Bibl. No. 290, p. 238. ' See Bibl. No. 350. 


two negro and one Annamite [Bull. Soc. d'Anthrop. Paris, 1895, T. 6, pp. 687—91). 
He notes a foundation of disseminated pigment, pale lilac as in a newly shaven black 
beard ; ears and genitals perceptibly dark. 

It cannot be said that the pigment in the negro baby first deposits itself in 
reo-ions which would countenance our asserting that partial and spotted albinos are 
cases of "arrested development'" of later date than in the case of the complete 
albino. Absence of pigment round navel and nipples and on the genitals and forehead 
are occurrences in partial albinism". 

Lastly we have to thank Dr Henry Strachan' for some very interesting details 
as to pigment in the negro and negro hybrids. He writes : 

" As to the coloui- of the newly born negro; the fact that immediately after birth 
the skin pigmentation is so sUght as to be hardly noticeable is so well known to 
doctors who attend black women in child-birth, that I can hardly understand how 
any belief to the contrary could obtain^ I, after my 26 years study of the negro 
(and his various 'descendants' of differing degree of colour due to crossing with 
the white race) in the West Indies and West Africa can have no doubt on the point. 
The darkening begins immediately after birth, but it takes some days— about a fort- 
night—for blackness to be established, while several more weeks pass before the 
complete full normal degree of blackness of the negro is attained'. This does not 
refer to the skin of the genitals which is always black."..." The skin of negroes is 
darker in exposed regions than in those always covered (I again except the genitals"), 
and 'coloured' people who leave the Tropics and live for some time in— say- 
England, become distinctly fairer than they were before : this is very noticeable 
on their return to their birthplace, where one can contrast theh colour with their 

1 See chapter ou Albinotic Skin. ' See chapter on Partial Albinism. 

' Letter to E. Nettleship dated August 14, 1908. 

' We think the consensus of opinion is distinctly on the side of the absence of marked pigmenta- 
tion in the new born negro. We have only received one opinion to the contrary, or, perhaps, it would be 
more correct to say, one other account of the apparent lightness of negro babies at birth. Dr G. H. 
Pooley writes to E. Nettlesbip, under date Nov. 2, 1906: "I was not present at more than two or three 
confinements but I saw many very young babies. All, even those I saw born, were black. The skin 
being much thinner the pink of the blood vessels is much more clearly seen, and the epidermis being 
smooth does not refract light in the same way that the skin of an old negro does. If a baby is very 
blanched, i.e. like a white baby, at birth, the thinner skin makes it look a dirty ashy grey, but the 
black is there all the time, even in stillborn babes the blackness of the skin is unmistakeable. In 
Goanese, i.e. mixed Portuguese and Asiatic Arians, the babes are a dark terra cotta at birth. The 
colour of a negro baby is more that of black satin hung over a red lamp." Dr A. Brown of Nyassaland 
says that the new born infants are of a pinkish yellow, and could not be mistaken for European infants ; 
the scrotum is always dark. 

= Felkin (Proc. R. S. Edin. Vol. xiii. p. 706, Edin. 1886), says that the Waganda children are 
decidedly lighter at birth, but at about three years of age correspond in colour with their parents. 

6 The negro is phimosed to an extreme degree as a racial peculiarity. The glans -penis beneath 
the phimosed prepuce is red. In the circumcised negro races of the west coast of Africa (Zambas and 
many S. Nigerian tribes) the glacis is as black as the rest of the organ; and blackening soon follows 
surgical circumcision in the uncircumcised races (Krus, etc.) and in West Indian negroes. All negro 
Mohammedans are, of course, circumcised and have black glandes. 



country-men's and their own previous tint. The previous degree of pigmentation 
soon however returns after residence in the Tropics is resumed'." 

" This remark applies especially to coloured people". The interesting point about 
these ' fair^ ' people is that the skin of the genitals — especially the penis and 
scrotum — is extremely pigmented ; the greater the amount of the black strain, the 
greater the degree of blackness in these parts. Since it is the rule in the white 
races that the genital skin is the most pigmented of the body, it is not surprising 
that in 'coloured' people it should be black or very dark brown." 

It is worthy of notice that these parts — nipples and genitals — which attain 
pigmentation earliest and apparently fullest in the negro appear peculiarly liable in 
his case to be pigmentless in those cases of partial negro albinism which will be 
discussed in our chapter on Partial Albinism. 

The above sections will possibly have sufficed to show the reader that the negro 
is not born markedly pigmented but acquires pigmentation, that his pigmentation is 
not equally intense and is liable to be affected by mode of life and possibly climate. 
Further, that there are considerable variations in negro pigmentation as we pass from 
one race to a second, and within a single race individuals may arise with marked 
defects of normal pigment, and yet be far from albinotic. Whether it is possible to 
draw a rigid line between the xanthous and incompletely albinotic negroes, and 
between the incompletely and completely albinotic negroes, and between the partial 
albino and the spotted freckled albino, or between the latter and the complete albino 
yet remains to be seen. There are many cases of a transitional kind, and at present 
we have had no proper investigation of the eyes of "blue" eyed or "light yellow" 
eyed negroes. For pui'poses of rough classification, however, we may divide these 
albinotic negroes into the classes : (i) the xanthous negro, (ii) the complete albino 
with possible subclasses or perhaps separate divisions, (iii) the spotted freckled negro, 
(iv) the yellow eyed white skinned negro and (v) the blue eyed white skinned 
negro with photophobia and nystagmus, but not red pupils. The divisions (iv) 
and (v) may be incomplete albinism as far as the eye is concerned, (vi) The partial 
albino, or piebald negro. This class will be dealt with separately in our chapter on 
Partial Albinism, and will be only briefly referred to under Geographical Distribution. 

' Dr J. Costa informs one of the writers of this monograph that the more cultured and civilised 
the negro the less deep his colour. 

- The word "coloured" is not used in the West Indies in the same sense as in the United 
States. It is only used in relation to persons of mixed "black" and "white" blood, and not to the 
blacks as in the United States. Various degrees of "colour" are recognised in the West Indies 
and Spanish America ; the chief being : Sambo, Mulatto, Quadroon, Octoroon, Mustee, Mustafina, and 
"White by Law." The latter phrase is interesting. It takes us back to the times of slavery, 
when admixture of " black blood," however slight, brought with it not only social but legal dis- 
abilities, and loss of certain privileges enjoyed by the humblest " white." Hence a law was passed 
to benefit those whose infinitesimal amount of " black blood " could only be detected by a knowledge 
of their genealogy. They therefore became "white by law." The term is of course now obsolete 
and known only to the student of the subject. 

' The word "fair" is technically used in the West Indies to indicate persons of mixed blood beyond 
the mulatto, e.g. quadroon, octoroon, etc. 


In reference to these divisions Class (i) has already been described at length. 
We may take our portrait of Jappe (Plate CC) as a type case. Of Class (ii) our plates 
provide good examples. Dr Ward's Zulu albinos with quite white hair, greyish blue 
irides, red pupils, slow lateral nystagmus, photophobia and pink skin without dark 
spots are excellent illustrations (see Figs. 37, 38 and Plate AA (86)). Of Class (iii) 
Dr Stannus' Nyassaland albino Ng'ombe with his spotted skin where exposed to 
sun, light straw-coloured hair, photophobia, nystagmus, but only partial albinism 
of the eyes is a good case (see Fig. 427 and Plate Y (80)). He is, as far as his 
eyes are concerned, a transition to Class (iv), which again is well represented by 
Dr Stannus' albino girl Chesiwandivi (see Fig. 430, Plate Y (70)), who with pink 
skin, light straw-coloured hair, has orange pigment in the iris, and notwithstanding 
nystagmus and photophobia. Dr Mercier Gamble's blue-eyed, pink-skinned, fair- 
curled albino baby, from the Congo (Plate EE (98) and (99)) may serve to illustrate 
Class (v), but many such blue eyed negro albinos will be referred to below. Of Class 
(vi) minor illustrations occur in our Plates H (21), AA (85) and HH (106) and (107) ; 
major illustrations, complete piebalds, in our Plates E, F, and G. 

Geographical Distribution. A. Negro Albinism in Africa. We have already 
referred to albinos among the peoples of Northern Africa, thus to the case 
from Fezzan' (see our p. 47, footnote). Baudoin in his journey to the Belad-el-Djerid 
(Long. 7° to 8° E., Lat. 33"5° — 34° N.) encountered albinos at several places : 1" at 
Ouled-Neil individuals with white skin, blond hair and " red eyes " ; 2° at Souf a 
native with posterior part of his trunk and his shoulders of milk whiteness (? leuco- 
derma) ; 3° at Tahibet negroes with " red eyes " and spotted black and white as a 
regular chequer board. These probably were spotted freckled albinos as in our Plate 
Y (80), Fig. 427. If they were piebalds with red pupils they would have very 
special importance, but the evidence is too slight to justify this view (cf p. 131). 
They were told by their compatriots that if they were in the land of the Christians, 
one would use their skin to extract the poison. On the whole there is a rather 
singular absence of reports as to albinism among the Bei'bers. 

We have cited early evidence of albinism in Abyssinia (see our p. 48) and shall 
return later to Somaliland. 

It is however not till we get to the southern limit of the Berber tribes, to the 
edge where they meet Sudanese negroes, that refei'ences to albinism become frequent. 
We may start therefore on the West Coast at this line and pass downwards. 

(i) Cape Verde Islands. Neveu Lemaire gives a most interesting case of 
hereditary partial albinism from the capital Praya of this archipelago ^ It will be 
found described in our Fig. 513. 

(ii) Senegal and the French Sudani. We find it not always easy to locate the 

' The interest of Rohlf's views is the stress he lays like Sohweinfurth and Burton on the appear- 
ance of blond and albinotic varieties from the crossing of "der weissen Berber Nord-afrikas mit den 
schwarzen Aethiopiern des mittlern Afrika": see Bibl. No. 332 § 154. 

- Bibl. No. 490. J. Atkins {Ahreye de I'Histoire des Voyages, La Harpe T. in. p. 4) is said to have 
seen "yellow negroes" in this district (see Bibl. No. 256, p. 283). We have been unable to verify 
the reference. Cornaz treats them as albinos ; they may have been xanthous negroes or the light section 
of the Foulah race. Atkins does mention a bright j'ellow man on the Gold Coast : see our p. 130. 


places mentioned by early travellers as the map of Africa and its divisions have 
changed much in the last twenty years. We shall therefore content ourselves by 
throwing together such cases as we have been able to find from Senegal, Sene- 
gambia and the French Sudan. 

As early as 1789 Pruneau de Pommegorge' expressed the opinion that there 
was no body or nation of white negroes. The cases that were to be found on the 
coast of Guinea were so few in number, that those who have lived there for long 
only knew of one or two places where this freak of nature was to be found ; thus, 
at Bisseau and in the highlands of Galam, where a very black father and mother 
had had four or five white living children. One was sent from Galam to Senegal 
and was still alive in 1750, employed as a working carpenter. This white negro was 
said to be very hideous ; his skin was white like plaster and very rough, his eyes 
trembled, and his woolly hair was almost reddish. He was extremely stupid, although 
he spoke a little French and worked at his trade. 

MoUien" in his travels on the Senegal and Gambia in 1818 reports that at 
Poukon, a village close to the Sama, a tributary of the Senegal, they brought him 
" a young albiness," to see what effect would be produced by her appearance. " She 
had neither eye-brows nor eyelashes ^ her colour was a chalky white ; her eyes could 
scarcely bear the light of the sun ; her hair and her features resembled those of the 
negroes ; she walked slowly, her whole exterior indicated a state of debility and 
ill-health. I was therefore much surprised to hear that the blacks marry these 
women and that they bear children. I was assured that when united to men of 
their own colour the offspring of this union are as white as themselves^ The sight 
of such a child whom they presented to me, excited in one an emotion of pity which 
the spectators mistook for a feeling of horror. ' If,' said one of them, ' thou be- 
holdest beings of the same race as thyself with disgust, be not astonished that we 
should dislike thy colour.' " 

Mage^ in his travels in the Western Sudan (Senegambia and Niger) published 
in 1868, says that the village of Kouroundingkoto presented him with the spectacle 
of a white negro or albino. It was a child of seven or eight years, very well built ; 
the hair was almost white, but the eyes were not red. His body was of a very pale 
yellow, but he was repulsive to look at, the features of his face which were those of 
a negro passing badly with this sickly white colour. He had a terrified unhappy 
look, precocious wrinkles and the very coarse gi'ain of his skin increased his ugHness. 
"Since then I have often seen albinos some entirely wliite, others spotted white and 
black, and I have always remarked the same thing with regard to their skin and the 
expression of their face. If one adds to this, that they are generally sunburnt, which 
marks them with red and makes their skin peel, one will allow that their appearance 
is far from agreeable." 

Going further inland to Bakel we have Anne Raffenel's'* account of an albino 

1 See Bibl. No. 115. - See Bibl. No. 161, p. 258. 

' See for example the case reported by Raffenel from Kasson and given on our p. 127. 
* This is one of the few cases in which we have found reference to albino mated with albino : see our 
p. 128. "■ See Bibl. No. 309. « See Bibl. No. 240. 


negro in 1846 (see our Fig. 515). He was a Foulah' of Kasson ; he had the colour 
of a European, who had been exposed to the hot sun ; the hair of head and beard 
was red ; the features were negro even to exaggeration ; he had upon his skin and 
especially that of the face, a large number of black spots, mingled with spots of red"; 
the eyes were almost without eyelashes, and what there was of them was very fine 
and of very light colour ; the eyes were greenish, and the white of the eyes more dead 
than with the normal negro. According to Raffenel the albino lives without working, 
and what pleases him he asks for with the certainty that it will not be refused. 
The normal native gives to the albinos in order to win indulgence and favour from 
heaven. God does not wish the albinos to work like other men, the negroes say, 
and therefore He has given them the colour of tlie whites. 

Three further albinos from the Sudan were described by Raffenel a few years 
later (1856)^ The first was a Malinkie youth of about 16, seen at Koghd. His 
hair brown or dark chestnut, was rather curled like that of some blond European 
than woolly as the normal negro ; it had a light reddish tinge. His colour was 
leaden and face slightly wrinkled. Raffenel compares his skin to that of an unripe 
lemon. His eyes were dark brown, and not sensitive to light, nor had they the red 
reflex*. It will, I think, be clear that this negro was really of the xanthous type. 

The second albino was a boy of 10 : "II reunissait tons les caracteres connus de 
I'albmisme." There was photophobia and the eyes showed red i-eflex ; the colour of 
the eyes was difficult to determine, but it appeared brown or slate-grey, the eyelids 
were held half-closed ; the hair was white and woolly, but not rough like that of most 
negro children ; the skin was very white, and the cheeks rosy. His skin presented 
furrows, sores and roughnesses due to the action of the sun. He was also Malinkie. 

The third albino was a female child of 18 to 20 months. It was of Bamboukie 
origin, and of dead white colour ; it had extreme photophobia and only opened its 
eyes furtively ; they were light blue, but they did not appear to have a red reflex like 
those of the boy. 

A fourth albino, a woman, was seen by RaffeneP at Sambougon. She was 
20 to 25 years of age, dressed as a negress with national tattooing on her face and 
breast. The skin was crisp and burnt by the sun without peeling notably ; it was of 
a colour approaching red. Her swollen eyelids were closed on her sunken eyes and 
opened with an appearance of pain. The eye was light brown with a reddish 
reflection. Her hair was red and frizzy ; the features negro ; and she was excessively 


^ Raffenel especially states that this man belonged to the genuine negro branch of the Foulahs. 
Another section of them is very light. Thus Mungo Park describes the Foulahs as chiefly of a tawny 
complexion with soft silky hair, and in an appendix to Park's work Major James RenneU even identifies 
the Leucoaethiopes of Pliny and Ptolemy with the Foulahs (pp. 15 and .'57). 

" He is described by Raffenel as "I'homme pie de Cuvier." 

' See Bibl. No. 259, p. 227. 

* Rafienel speaks as if the eyes must have originally been red, but had now lost their red reflex 
and photophobia, but we think this depends on his theory of progressive change in albinos. 

= See Bibl. No. 259, p. 273. 


It will thus be seen that in the five albinos, reported for that day fairly carefully 
by Raffenel, we have a considerable range of negro albinism comprising our Classes (i) 
to (v). This author also gives us some general account of negro albinism'. Those of 
his men, who had travelled much, reported that it was not rare in the interior of 
Africa, notably among the Foulahs ; further he says that albinos experience remarkable 
changes with age. Thus, when born, negro albinos have very white and sUky hair, 
rosy complexion, skin of a pale white and extreme sensitiveness, which shows itself 
by chaps and boils ; they have inflamed eyelids, red or azure blue pupils and photo- 
phobia. Progressively the following changes take place : the hair preserves a woolly 
look, stiffens, and from white becomes dark brown approaching red ; the complexion 
becomes leaden and the skin yellow, losing its sensitiveness ; the eyes pass to grey, 
dark blue or brown, and their photophobia is much diminished. It would be interest- 
ing to know how far this is due to a change of pigmentation or to increased density 
and opacity of parts. Raffenel apparently gives the changes on the authority of his 
men. He does not refer to the development of spots, which we have good evidence for. 

His men told him of several married albinos and assured him that they had no 
posterity, but this assertion was later denied in a most authentic manner by a 
Mohammedan negro. He assured Raffenel that he had seen an albino woman give 
birth to two children, of whom one was like its mother and the other like its father, 
a negro. Another traveller told Raffenel that in Upper Gambia he had seen a 
negress who brought four children into the world at two births — ^the two first were 
albinos, the two others blacks. Raffenel heard of no marriage of two albinos. The 
word for albino in the Foulah tongue is, he says, danedio"-, a word meaning white 
colour, they are not called by the name of totdako, meaning white man. When albinos 
are free, they " live on charity," i.e. an expression conveying nothing of shame ; it 
means voluntary and spontaneous gifts — " national support." When albinos are born 
slaves, they and their mother have the right to be set free. Born free or slaves, they 
do not work, but enjoy great consideration and many privileges. 

Passing still further into the Western Sudan we find Rene' in his journey to 
Timbuctoo in 1830 reporting a complete albino infant of 18 to 20 months of age. He 
had white frizzy hair, eyelashes and eyebrows the colour of light flax ; forehead, nose, 
cheeks and chin of light carnation red ; the rest of the skin being " tint de lin clair " ; 
the irides were of a light sky blue colour with pupil red as fire ; he had very weak 
sight and marked photophobia ; he had the general features of a Mandingue and 
seemed in good health. The other negroes disliked the colour and looked upon it as 
an illness. " They assured me that children born from a man and woman of this 
kind, that is to say from albino parents, were black'*." 

De Rochebrune * in 1 8 8 1 , speaking of the race Ouolave, says that among them white 
negroes {Pounejh ha) were not objects of repulsion or beggars, and cites " Mambaye 

' loc. cit., pp. 229 — 230. " Cf. the common 18th century word dondo for albino. 

» See Bibl. No. 194. 

■* A statement directly opposed to that made to Mollien from much the same district: see p. 126 above. 
^ See Bibl. No. 370. 


Sambayan," a fine old man, head of a Musulman school, " a la pointe sud de Saint- 
Louis," and a healthy negress, Fatiniata n'Dyaye, tamed for her conquests among the 
blacks of the village of Guet n'Dard. There is no characterisation of either of these 
cases, so that it is not possible to class them. De Rochebrune discusses at some length 
the spotted negroes, and divides them into two classes, which possibly correspond to 
our congenital partial albinism and to leucoderma, although it is not fully clear that 
he distinouishes the latter from various diseased or parasitic conditions of the skin 
which may spot the negro. 

The above evidence is sufficient to show that there exist considerable frequency 
and variety of albinism in the French Sudan. 

(iii) Portuguese Guinea. We have only one recorded case (see our Fig. 282). 
It is that of Brue, who saw a female albino at an island (? Bissio) off Bissao in 1718. 
This case, although there is not the least detail of description, became classic, because 
the woman married to a black had black children, when apparently the writers of the 
time expected them to be mulatto. It was discussed' by La bat (1728), Snelgrave 
(1730), Le Cat (1765), the Abbe Demanet (1767), and Durand" (1802). The fact is 
well recoo-nised at the present time, although the current explanation — dominance of 
the black — is inadequate. 

Another albino of Guinea descent', but we do not know whether of Portuguese, 
English or French Guinea, is the man described by Erasmus Wilson. He was much 
freckled, although not born or living in the Tropics ; he had light-coloured eyes and 
light red woolly hair. 

Lastly, we may mention the famous white negress Genevieve, described by 
Buffi^n and Dicquemare, a full account of whom will be found in our Fig. 278. The 
case is an important one, because instability of pigmentation appeared in other 
members of the stock. 

(iv) British Guinea. Probably the best account of albinism from the Sierra 
Leone district is still that of Dr Thomas Winterbottom made in 1803'. He recog- 
nised the several grades of albinism, and wrote most temperately about it. Thus his 
Waukapong young man (see our Fig. 274) was an example of our Class (iii), the 
youth from the Kroo Coast (see our Fig. 356), a complete albino, and the white 
negress of Damboya (see our Fig. 357), a combination of Classes (ii) and (iii). He 
also cites the case of an albino girl born of mulatto parents (see our Fig. 502). He 
further mentions tAvo white negroes in the Mandingo country Avith white hair, light 
blue irides and photophobia. He writes of albinism generally : " The natives consider 
this as a great deformity, and look upon it as a misfortune to their lamily =. None of 
these people appear to labour under any imbecility of intellect." He reports a case 
which he considers a stage towards albinism ; there is little doubt that the man he 

' See Bibl. Nos. 50, 52, 67 and 71. 

- Voyage au Senegal, Paris, 1802, T. i. p. 122. 

3 See our Fig. 267 and Bibl. No. .306. " See Bibl. No. 136. 

= This is the view of the African negro Olaudah Equiano, who, writing in 1789 of albinos, says 
that " they were universally regarded by myself and the natives in general, as far as related to their 
complexions, as deformed" (see Bibl. No. 110, 1st ed. p. 21). 



examined was a xanthous negro : " A man of mulatto complexion and much freckled, 
tliough born of black parents, who had strong red hair disposed in very small wiry 
curls over his whole head\" He refers to true mulattos with red or copper-coloured 
skins and red hair, similar to the mulatto referred to by Blumenbach", and those 
mentioned by von Gi'oben^ as occurring at Sierra Leone*. In this matter Margrave's 
Brazilian negress has been occasionally quoted, but, we think, his account should 
really lead us to the conclusion that she was a true xanthous negro case^ 
Winterbottom writes of his own mulatto from the Kroo Coast '^ that his hair was pale 
red, such as occurs in England, and disposed in small curls over his head ; his skin 
was very much freckled, his eyes were black and not aflFected by the glare of sunlight. 
There seems little doubt that a rufous mulatto can arise, who is closely like the 
xanthous type of negro. 

Winterbottom sagely criticises Sprengel, Dalin, Troxler, and other writers who 
have written extravagantly of albinism, and whose papers are dealt with elsewhere in 
this monograph. 

Maas, in 1892', reported a white negro from Sierra Leone who gave himself out 
for an "English Gentleman." He had yellow blond woolly hair, blue eyes and some 
nystagmus. The other negroes in the Panopticum at Berlin would have nothing to 
do with him, stating that he was a "cannibal." The same writer described^ the 
" three striped graces," a case of hereditary partial albinism (see our Fig. 509) as 
coming fi^om Sien-a Leone, but this, at any rate as an immediate origin, is 

Albinism, Sir Harry H. Johnston tells us', occurs in Liberia, and we have 
already noted (see p. 114) its appearance on the Ivory Coast. 

John Atkins'", surgeon in the Royal Navy, in 1725 writes of Sesthos, "a place 
where most of our windward slave ships 'stop to buy rice," that they saw at one of the 
towns still further up the river, " a bright yellow-coloured man, and being curious to 
know his original, were informed (if we interpret their signs and language right) that 
he came from a good distance in the country, where were more. Captain Bullfinch, 
^ loc. cit. p. 170. - See Bibl. No. 125. ^ See Guineische Reise-Beschreibung, 1694. 

* See also Schreber, Bibl. No. 79, S. 1-5. 

^ Margrave writes : "Vidi hie africanara foeminam, non nigram, sed ruffa plane cute <fe pilis ac 
capillis ruflfis. Ex qua regione esset, non potui intelligere, nam linguam ejus non intelligebant reliqui 
nigritiae." See Bibl. No. 24, p. 268. Winterbottom mentions also a family in Free Town, apparently 
not mulattos, in which the children had red or copper-colour skins and dirty red or singed colour hair. 
We may note also that Olaudah Equiano, writing in 1789, speaks of having seen when in Africa 
"three negro children who were tawny" (see Bibl. No. 110, p. 21). These were probably also xanthous 
cases. See also Lander's case (see our p. 13-5). 

* Dr E. Zintgrafif, in 1895, presented photographs of two Kroo negro albinos to the Berlin Anthropo- 
logical Society (Zeitschrift fiir Ethnologie, Bd. 27, S. 323): a letter sent by one of our number requesting 
information as to the albino photographs in possession of this Society failed to elicit any answer. 

■' See Bibl. No. 437. ^ See Bibl. No. 462. 

' Letter dated Sept. 27, 1908. In his Liberia, London, 1906, we have found no reference to 

'" A Voyage to Guinea, Brazil and the West Indies, London, 1735, p. 67. See also Astley's New 
General Collection of Voyages, Vol. ii. p. 449, London, 1745. 


Lamb, and others have since told me they had seen several ; Mr Thompson, that he 
saw one at Angola, and another at Madagascar ; a great Rarity, and as perplexing to 
account for as the black colour." 

As Atkins' chapter on Sesthos follows that on the Guinea Coast, the district is 
probably that marked R. Cestos in Liberia of modern maps. The account is too 
indefinite for us to say whether the individuals referred to were xanthous or albinotic. 

(v) Gold Coast and Ashantee. Our earliest notice of collective albinism in 
Ashantee occurs in Bowdich's Mission to Ashantee in 1819. He writes' : " The King 
appeared to have nearly a hundred negroes of different colours through the shades of 
red and pink to white ; they were collected for state, but were generally disgusting 
objects, diseased and emaciated; they always seemed as if goiuo- to shed their 
skins, and their eyes blinked in the light as if it was not their element." 

Some 50 years earlier (1766) Dr James Parsons wrote an account of an albino 
boy brought before the Royal Society. The boy's fiither and mother had been 
brought down from 300 miles inland to the Gold Coast and shipped to Virgmia, 
where they became the property of Colonel Benjamin Chambers. The parents were 
both perfectly black and very young, the mother was about 16 and the father 22 
when the child was born, six or seven weeks after they landed. They had never seen 
a white man until they came to the coast, where Europeans were buying slaves. 
The mother had two children afterwards as black as their parents. No detailed 
description of this boy is given. 

In the same paper Parsons refers to another case or two of negro albinism, e.g. 
our Fig. 287, where a white negro girl was born to black Virginian slaves, and a 
white negro girl exhibited some years before in London. These possibly were drawn 
as so many slaves from the Gold Coast. 

Lastly, we may refer to a recently reported instance of albinism from Akra 
(? Accra on the Gold Coast). Triiger (1902)" gives details of this negress, Amanua, 
aged about 20 (see our Fig. 508). She had a pale white skin with the black-brown 
spots (our Class (iii)) on shoulders, arms and breast, about the size of cherries ; there 
were none on legs or feet ; short curly hair of yellowish white colour, eyes clear blue 
and sensitive to strong light. The account of the eyes is very defective, but a 
paragraph, which has gone the round of the popular science journals', appears to refer 
to the same negress. She is, therein, said to come from Acora (? Accra), near 
Elmina, on the Gold Coast, and her eyes to have the pinkish colour common to 
albinos : " part of the body still retains the colour common to the dark races, so much 
so that she may really be described as a piebald. Her hair is entirely white and the 
skin ivory-hued to an extreme." If this account were correct, we should have a pie- 
bald with albinotic eyes— a hitherto unobserved type of albinism in man', although it 
occurs in the mouse. But we suspect that the piebaldness is only the spotting 
noticed by Trager, and that possibly the red reflex is the only addition the paragraph 

' See Bibl. No. 168. ^ g^g gjy j^^ ^92. 

= New York Sunday World, July 20, 1908. Popular Science Siftings, August 22, 1908, p. 324 

* Cf. our p. 125. 



makes to Trager's account. If the eyes of Amanua showed the red pupil it would 
prove that the skin spotting of Class (iii) is not incompatible with fably complete 
albinism of the eye. 

(vi) Dahomey. Like Ashantee and Loango, the Court of Dahomey has long 
had its associations with albinism. Captain William Snelgrave\ in a visit in 1730 to 
the King of Dahomey's camp, met with a mulatto Portuguese gentleman, who had 
been taken prisoner in the Ardrah war and was still a prisoner. The King had 
endeavoured to attach this man to himself by conferring benefits on him, and had 
given him an albino negress as wife. This woman was as white, says Snelgrave, as 
an English woman, and much whiter than her husband, but not of so lively a colour. 
She had the same woolly hair and features as the blacks. Her husband said she was 
born in a far inland country of black parents, and had never seen a white man, nor 
had she before she saw the King of Dahomey's prisoner, Mr Lambe, who had been 
captured with the Portuguese. 

Much later. Commander Forbes", visiting the Court of King Gezo of Dahomey, 
writes : " On the neutral ground where we stood facing the pavilion roamed an 
ostrich, an emu, several dwarfs, hunchbacks and albinos, besides troops of dogs of 
almost every country and variety." 

Skertchley'', in his book on Dahomey as it is, of 1874, says : " In Whydah there 
ai-e several instances of albinism, their leprous-looking skins, yellow hair and pink 
eyes, combined with their negro features, rendering them anything but comely 
objects to an European. Among the natives they are supposed to be under the 
special protection of the Divinity, just as idiots are among the North American 

Berchon'' (followed by Hovelacque^) says that at Gaboon and Whydah, rarely 
at Senegal, one finds a fairly large number of negro albinos. Their hair is fawn-red 
or sulphur-yellow, often dry and breakable, but sometimes relatively beautiful and of 
notable length. Girard saw two young gilds whose hair was about 25 cm. long. 
Huard saw hereditary albinism in two cases at Whiddah. Generally the skin of 
these individuals is sprinkled with white [black ?] spots, which produce a strange 
efi'ect on the black [white ?] of the rest of the skin, sometimes it is wholly white. 
The intelligence of these albinos does not appear in general lower than that of the 
other blacks in this country, who are far from being badly supplied in this respect. 
Girard knew of an albino minister to a chief of the Boulons in Gaboon. 

Lastly, as early as 1785 Isert" saw at Fida (? Whydah) a white negress whom 
the King of Dahomey had sent to the governor, saying that he too was in a position 
to provide him with a white woman. She was remarkably ugly, four feet in stature, 
with the appearance of a monstrosity. He also saw a partial albino, a negro mth 

' See Bibl. No. 52. Snelgrave and Walckenaer. Also Astley, A New General Collection of Voyages, 
Vol. H. p. 494, London, 1745. 

'■' See James Greenwood, Ov/riosities of Savage Life, London, 1865, Vol. ii. p. 6. 

" See Bibl. No. 331. * See Bibl. No. 275. " See Bibl. No. 423. 

« See Bibl. No. 98. 


hands and feet wholly white ; this occurs sometimes, he says, as the result of a 
sevei'e illness ; in this case the man was born thus (cf. our chapter on Partial 

We are fortunately able to give a full account of a Dahomey negro albino 
provided by Mr N. Bishop Harman. This account is of great value, for we have here, 
for the first time we believe, an ophthalmoscopic examination of a negro albino's eyes 
recorded, and this throws the earliest ray of light on our difficulties with regard to the 
negro albino eye. The man was a patient seen at the West London Hospital (Oct. 13, 
1909), and was a full-blooded negro, one of the members of the Dahomey Village, an 
exhibit at the International Imperial Exhibition (White City), London. He was well 
grown, and a typical specimen of a negro so far as his form was concerned, but in 
colour he was as fair as the fairest of northern whites. His knowledge of English was 
small, and he had no interpreter ; but his answers to inquiries on the colour of his 
family were quite definite. His father and mother were quite black, so also were his 
brothers and sisters. Information further than tliis could not be obtained. The man 
appeared to be about 20 years of age. His condition was excellent. In physical 
features, he had a broad face, high cheekbones, bombe forehead, broad squat nose, 
wide nostrils splayed out on to the cheeks, large prognathous jaws, large mouth with 
thick lips, fine teeth. The skin of the whole body was quite white ; there was no 
mottling ; the skin over the nose and the cheekbones was slightly scorched and 
reddish. On the bridge of the nose were three or four yellowish spots 1 to 2 mm. in 
diameter, they were probably freckles. The skin of his hands was white ; the nails 
were pink. The hair of his head formed a thick mat of fine corkscrew spirals closely 
interwoven. The mat was of uniform thickness, about 4 cm. ; when pulled out the 
hair stretched to some 10 cm., and on release sprang back into place again. The 
spirals of the hair had a radius of 2 mm. The colour of the hair was of the palest 
straw. Under a corneal loupe it looked like fine transparent catgut ; the cut ends 
also were opaque, just like the ends of catgut. In section the hair was flat, about 
0'15 X 0'05 mm. The hair of the brows and lids was as white as that of a white pig. 

Eyes. The man walked with the palpebral fissures nearly closed, and manifested 
intolerance of hght. When the lids were held open constant lateral nystagmus was 
found. The globes were deeply sunken in the head. The corneae were full sized. 
The irides had a smooth yellowish tint ; the tissue was smooth or obscure like to the 
condition seen in a new-born child. No red refle.x could be seen through the iris 
tissue. The pupils had a diameter of 3 mm. ; they reacted to light. Under the 
influence of homatropine they dilated widely. They were black in daylight, but 
glowed of a rather dark red when the lids were held somewhat apart and light 
thrown upon the sclerotic by means of a convex lens ; it was, however, impossible to 
get a sti'ong pencil of light upon his sclerotic owing partly to the spasm of eyelids, 
partly to the eyes being so overhung by the brows. The media of the eyes were 
normal. Refraction of each eye, as ascertained by retinoscopy, showed 14 dioptres of 
myopia horizontal, 17 dioptres vertical. As regards his vision, he was unable to read, 
and little more could be ascertained than his power to avoid obstruction in walking, 


and the recognition of common objects held close to his face. High concave lenses 
held before his eyes elicited signs of pleasure as though he liked them. 

Fundus (seen by incandescent electric glow lamp of the type used constantly 
in the hospital ward). The ground colour was a pale buff tint, and Mr Harman 
says he has seen nothing like it before ; no distinction could be made out between 
the colour of the disc and that of the choroid. The vessels of the choroid were 
strikingly evident. They were much more easily traced than were the retinal vessels. 

Unfortunately the man sailed for Africa two days after his interview with Mr 
Harman, who, however, was able to pi-ocure a specimen of his hair. 

An excellent copy of a photograph was given in La Nature, 37° Annee, p. 384, 
Paris, 1909, with a brief note by V. Forbin, which adds nothing to Mr Harman's 
account, except the statement that the declaration that this negro was of pure 
African race and has no white ancestors, is "naive autant qu'inutile." M. Forbin 
continues: "Le melange des sangs n'a rien a voir avec I'albinisme. Au conti-aire, 
cette affection ne se rencontre jamais parmi les mulatres et les mdtis. Elle n'a jamais 
et^ signal^e aux Antilles, partout oil les descendants d'esclaves ont perdu par des 
croisements la puret^ de leur race." Our investigations show a considerable number of 
albinos born of mulattos and half-breds' (see our Figs. 502 and 622-4), and we have 
even records of albinos from the Antilles (see our pp. 156-7). There is no doubt 
whatever that albinos can arise without any intermixture of white and black blood. 
It would at present, however, be dogmatic to assert, or deny, that albinism is more 
frequent among half-castes or mixed races. We regret that we have not been able to 
procure a photograph of this Dahomey complete albino for reproduction. 

(vii) Nigeria. Dr Henry Strachan" reports albinism in Nigeria, and while 
promising later individual details, gives the following facts, which he feels justified in 
recording from personal knowledge or reliable statements as to albinos there : — 

(1) The sight is weak (from photophobia in varying degree ?). Certainly they 
cannot easily tolerate the strong light of the sun in West Africa. Refraction so far 
not examined in any case. 

(2) Nystagmus not yet noticed. If uncommon or slight it might well, 
Dr Strachan writes, have escaped the amount of attention he has been able so far to 
give to the subject. 

(3) Albinos beget normally pigmented children by normal negro consorts. No 
knowledge of the result of pairing with an albino. 

(4) One interesting case heard of, where an almost albino woman, In whose 
family were several albinos, had a pure albino child by a normal black husband. 

(5) The hair, Avhich is of course woolly, is often red. 

(6) Freckles are common on the exposed skin of albinos. 

It will be seen that these statements are in accordance with what we know of 
albinism in the negro, and serve to indicate that it occurs in Nigeria with its usual 

' There is at present an albino child, offspring of a negress and a European, in Rurrenabaque, 
20 days from La Paz in Bolivia. 

" Letter to E. Nettleship dated August 11, 1908. 


Dr J. Pollard' reports having met with four albinos in Nigeria (1908), and 
we have received a foirly full account with specimen of hair {ova pediculi attached) 
of one of these. 

The description runs : Girl aged about 17 (? Hausa"). Iris light brown ; hair of head 
light ginger colour, of axilla straw -yellow, of arm very pale yellow, white by direct 
vision ; skin of exposed parts slightly reddened from sunburn, with numerous flat, 
black-brown patches on neck, chest, arms and legs (trunk not examined) ; these 
patches are rudely circular, but with indented border and about the diameter of 
a three-penny piece, the hairs growing on them are rather darker than the other 
body hairs ; skin of palms coarse and thick. Continual horizontal nystagmus ; too 
frightened to allow ophthalmoscopic examination. She is her mother's firstborn, and 
all the younger ones (? number) are normal. The mother knows of no other albinos 
in ascendants, but "the history is of coui'se quite unreliable." 

Richard and John Lander^, writing in 1832 of their expedition to the Niger, 
report meeting with an apparently xanthous negress : " We omitted to mention 
in yesterday's journal that to our infinite astonishment we saw a middle-aged woman 
sitting on the roadside, the colour of whose skin was naturally as bright a red as a 
piece of our own scarlet cloth. We were informed that she was in good health ; but 
we were in too great a hurry to ask her any questions or take a nearer view of her 
person ; indeed our guide seemed much disinclined to go within a hundred yards of 
her. She was a most singular looking being." 

Captain Landolphe'', in 1823, gives an account of a curious albino, whom he met 
with near Benin : " Among the negroes, which the phidor of Boby had given me, 
there was one somewhat like an albino. Born in this village he was black, but his 
skin was sprinkled with spots of all colours about the size of a lentil. His hair, 
eyebrows and eyelashes were fair. He had round eyes ; he saw objects perfectly at 
night without being able to distinguish them by day. I employed him in paddling, 
his strength being double that of his comrades." But for the account of the sight, we 
might suppose this to be a case of leucoderma, comparable with Sir Richard Burton's 
(see Plate B), but less advanced. In the sjjotted albino we generally find a ivhite 
ground with black spots, but this hlack ground with coloured spots appears unusual 
in the extreme. With the British occupation of the Hinterland of Nigeria we may 
hope for more detailed accounts of albinism therein'. 

Fernando Po. P. Gussfeldt {Die Loango Expedition, 1873-6, Abtheilung i. 
S. 27, Leipzig, 1879) saw a naked albino boy playing among the black washerwomen 
at Fernando Po. His dirty yellow-white colour and hair of like appearance, together 
with weak and screwed up eyes, gave him the appearance of a leper. 

' Through Mr E. Treacher Collins, August 31, 1908. 

- Through Dr M. C. Corner we learn that albinos are frequent among the Hausa tribes of the 
West Africaia coast. His informant reports that they are cruelly treated and often killed. 

^ See Bibl. No. 198 — a good illustration of the traveller in too much of a hurry to travel profitably. 

* See Bibl. No. 174. 

' It is reported by Lagleyze (see Bibl. No. 552, p. 11) without statement of authority that on the 
island of Parrot, at the mouth of the Calabar river, an albino infant used to be sacrificed to the god of the 
white men, if no European merchant ship had made a visit for some time. 


(viii) Of the Kamenms, as later of German West Africa, we have few data \ 
Probably a study of recent German works on these districts might bring cases to 
light. F. Hulter ( Wander ungen u. Forschungen im Nord-Hinterland von Kamerun, 
Braunschweig, 1902) divides the country into Waldland und Grasland. He writes 
of the former (S. 261): "Die Hautfarbe ist bei den verschiedenen Stiimmen gleich 
wechselnd ; sie spiel tvon Schokoladebraun bis zu einem schmutzigen Gelb (letztere 
Schatteirung selten). Albinos habe ich mehrere gesehen ; der Gesichtsausdruck 
war stets blode ; der ganze Mensch machte einen kretinartigen Eindruck." Speaking 
of the Grasland negroes he says they are in general darker than the Waldland 
negroes : " Albinos sind mir nie zu Gesicht gekommen ; nur einmal sah ich ein Weib 
das hart an der Grenze zu einem solchen stand" (S. 330). There is no detailed 
description, and we cannot say which types of albinos Hulter really met with, or 
whether his scarce " dirty yellow " negroes were really xanthous. Lessner, writing 
of the Rumbi Mountains and their inhabitants {Globus, Bd. 86, S. 277, Braunschweig, 
1904), says that the Bakundu, Baluij, Ngolo and Batanga are Bantus, and are not 
distinguishable in skin-colour from other natives of the " Urwaldzone." Here, as 
elsewhere, one finds individuals lighter, darker and more reddish. " Mehrfach habe 
ich auch Albinos getroffen ; irgend welche besondere Rolle spielen diese nicht im 
Volke, man schien diese zufallige Abnormitat eben nur als solche zu betrachten." 
Lessner gives a picture which is quite good of an " Albinoweib und Ngoloweib mit 
Ziernarben am Leibe " (S. 276). Curt Morgen {Durch Kamerun von Siid nach Nord, 
Leipzig, 1893), a soldier who writes without much scientific insight, saw in Ngilla's 
village — situated between the Sennago and Mbam rivers in the heart of Kamerun — 
and now named Kaiser- Wilhelmsburg several albinos (S. 212). He also refers to 
the light complexions of the ruling FuUah chief's family at Jibati (S. 283), their 
yellow skin, large almond-shaped eyes and fair smooth hair, only curled at the end. 
S. Passarge {Adamaua, Berlin, 1895, S. 426) seems to have seen only dark FuUahs, 
and considers that Morgen's Blondkopfe may have been albinos, but other authors 
(see our p. 127, footnote) speak of relatively fair Fullahs. 

(ix) The French Congo. Here in Loango we have a classic centre of albinism. 
The Gaboon also has provided interesting cases. 

The earliest account we have been able to discover is Battel's (1589 — 1607) ; 
it is reported in Purchas' : "There are sometimes born in this country (but very 
rarely says our author) of negro parents white children as fair as Europeans. These 
are presented always to the King, and are called Dondos. They are educated in 
sorcery, being the King's wizards, who always attend him. Nobody dare offend 
or affront them, and, if they go to market, they may take what they will, for all stand 
in awe of them. The King of Loango has four of them'." 

1 Groben in 1694 {Guineische Reise-Beschreibung, S. 96) writes of a place, " 150 meileu " inland from 
the Cameroon coast, as having a people with frizzy white hair and white eyebrows, blinking and light-shy 
by day, who fight desperately with the negroes by night : see our p. 25. 

" See Bibl. No. 20. Purchas, His Pilgrims, p. 980. 

3 Bastian says that at Quisimbo on the Congo albinos are looked upon as fetiches and allowed to 
steal ; those stolen f lom feel honoured. 


Within less than 100 years Vossius (see onr p. 13 ftn.) asserts that a great part 
of the attendants of the King of Loango consisted of albinos ! 

" Dapper ' gives a more particular account (than Battel) of these white people. 
He observes that at a distance they resemble Europeans, having not only grey eyes, 
but red or yellow hair ; but when nearer viewed their colour is like that of a dead 
corps, and their eyes as it were fixed in their heads. Their sight is but weak and 
dim, turning the eye like such as squint ; but at night they see strongly, especially 
by moonshine. Some are of opinion that these white moors are the eflFect of 
imagination working on a black woman with child on her seeing a white ; in the 
same manner, as history reports, a white woman, by viewing the picture of a black 
moor, brought forth a black child. However it is asserted that these whites of either 
sex are incapable of coition." 

De la Croix'-, writing in 1688, has a chapter 'At the palace of the King of Loango,' 
and speaks of these white negroes as sitting before carpets with skins on their heads. 
They assist the King in his religious services. Their hair is blond, their eyes blue, 
and the body so white that from a distance it might be taken to be that of English 
or Dutch, but on nearer approach it is found to be a corpse-like white, or like 
the skin of a leper. Their eyes appear tired and weak, but are brilliant in the 
moonlight. The negroes regard them as monsters, and do not permit them to 

De la Croix is, however, only a copy of John Ogilby^, who in his Africa of 1670 
writes of the kingdom of Lovango. ' ' There sit also certain white men by the King 
with skins on their heads, and indeed at a dista.nce seem like our Europeans, etc." — 
the rest being like Dapper cited above. Ogilby gives the tale from Voss about the 
Portuguese taking white negroes to work in Brazil, but finding them of no service. 
He then adds apparently on his own responsibility : 

"The King useth them in his religious ceremonies, as in making Mokisies, from 
whence themselves have generally that name among the inhabitants, which in our 
language properly signifies Field-devils \" This passage is copied by De la Croix. 
It is very difiicult to determine how much original observation there really is in the 
accounts given by Battel, Dapper, Vossius, Ogilby and De la Croixl 

An independent witness to albinism in the Congo is Jerome Merolla of Sorrento", 
a Capuchin missionary who visited the "Kongo" in 1682. He saw at Songo some 
strange births including twins, one black and one white", and a white child brought 
forth by a black woman. 

Leighton Wilson^ in 1856, refers to albinos in the kingdom of Loango, which 
he speaks of as Southern Guinea. He states that all dwarfs and albinos born are 
regarded as royal property. That whereas dwarfs are not very common, albinos may 

1 See Bibl. No. 20. ^ See Bibl. No. 41. 

=■ See Bibl. No. 31, p. .508. 

* d'Houdelet says that the negroes give the devil a white skin. 

= See also Le Cat, Bibl. No. 67, p. 101. « See Bibl. No. 36, p. 182. 

' For other cases of this see our Figs. 281, 285'' and 291. » See Bibl. No. 2.58. 

K. p. 18 


be found in almost every community in Southern Guinea. " Everywhere they are 
regarded as somewhat sacred, and their persons are considered inviolable. On no 
condition whatever would a man strike one of them. Generally they are very mild ; 
and I have never heard of their taking advantage of their acknowledged inviolability." 
Wilson describes their skin as nearly a pure white, very tender, and blistering in the 
sun, hair cream colour, eyes grey, and always in motion, sight very imperfect in day- 
light. He had probably complete albinos in mind, and the chief interest in his 
account lies in its confirmation of the sacro-sanct character of the albino in Loango, 
a character which appears to extend right across modern French Africa (see Raffenel's 
statement as to Bakel, p. 127 above). 

Further north than Loango, from the Gaboon, we have several fairly recently 
reported cases of albinism, the best of which are those of Louis Vincent' described in 
our Fig. 275. According to Dr Vincent the albinos (2 ^'s, 2 $'s) would have been 
killed but for missionary intervention, as they are regarded as unlucky. Hitherto 
we have seen the albino as something Sacred (except in the cases of the Hausa 
tribes recorded in our fbn. p. 135), but as we go further south this view appears to 
change. In the case of these albinos the hair was sulphur-yellow, the eyelashes and 
eyebrows slight, but of the same colour, the skin rose colour, but rough and squamous, 
approaching ichthyosis. The eyes had little or no pigment, irides blue with rose tinge, 
pupils ruby I'ed, rotatory nystagmus and photophobia. In fact, Vincent's negro 
albinos were excellent illustrations of complete albinism in the negro ; there is no 
reference to spots or to freckles. Vincent had seen partial albinos among the 
Gaboonese, Pahonins, Boulons and Kroomens, — only a part of the skin being with- 
out pigment. He considered these to be true pied negroes. 

Among the Apingis, De Compiegne' reports in 1875 the meeting with an albino, 
whom he describes merely as "completement blanc et d'une laideur repoussante." This 
white negro claimed to belong to the same race as the white travellers and wished 
to embrace them. He addressed them as follows: "Je suis blanc: oil sont mes 
v^tements ? oil est mon tabac ? oti est mon rhum ? oii sont mes fusils ? Veuillez 
me donner de suite tout cela, afin que je ne differe plus en rien de vous." The 
travellers received with some coolness " ce coilegue en blancheur," and were content 
to give him some leaves of tobacco. He left them heartbroken'. 

Blanchard {La Nature, 1909, 38° Annee, p. 3) refers to an albino negro, aged 
about 40, seen 12 to 15 years earlier at the Lyons Exhibition ; skin uniformly white, 
without spots, sulphur-yellow hair, no account of eyes ; parents and offspring black. 

E. Pechuel-Loesche [Die Loango Expedition, Abtheilung iii. S. 15 — 16, Stutt- 
gart, 1907) gives instances of local changes in pigmentation; in some developing 
young girls, they appear to come and go ; and in the case of one boy patches were 
reported to have come and then sensibly decreased in size ; the other cases of spotted 
negroes he reports may well have been leucoderma of the usual progressive or 

' See Bibl. No. 326. Pictures of Dr Vincent's negro albinos are preserved in the Laboratory of 
Anthropology at the Paris Museum (see Bibl. No. 415). " See Bibl. No. 585. 

" The tale at any rate is ben trovato, but it hardly accords with the essential shyness of most albinos. 


stationary types'. He saw only one albino, a girl, and saw her only from a distance 
while she was bathing ; she was as light as a European. 

(x) Co)tgo Free State. We have already (p. 114) referred to Dybowsky's 
meeting with incompletely albinotic or xanthous Akoas on the Congo. Alexander 
Boyd, in his journey From the Niger to the Nile (Vol. n. pp. 241-2), found the chief 
of the Leti village of Molegbwe in the Belgian Congo "accompanied by his white 
wife who was the fairest woman I ever met... She was quite naked... She was the 
most perfect example of an albino I have ever seen in Africa, and had quite pink 
eyes. Her proportions were rather too heavy to be graceful. We came across several 
cases of albinism in this part of the Congo, invariably women." 

Ludwig Wolff- (1886) has given a long description of the Baluba, a people about 
6° S. of the Equator, and between 20° and 25° long. E. in Belgian Congo. He writes : 
"The skin tints were judged by the Colour Table of the Paris Anthropological 
Society. The Baluba exhibited all shades, from deep Black 48 to Chocolate 30. 
The lighter colourings were more frequently met with in the Eastern tribes, where 
also was the greater number of albinos, whose skin-colour corresponded on the average 
to 23 of the Paris Table. I found the hair of the albinos usually short, frizzy and 
blond. The iris was brown. Nystagmus was always, if in different degrees, present. 
The albinos were nowhere treated badly, as if they were evil spirits or magicians, but 
only considered as curiosities, and by some tribes held of small account. That the 
Baluba contemptuously call them tohka-tohka — pallid folk — did not hinder their chief 
Kalamba Mukenge from having an albinotic spouse among his many wives ; her one 
year old child I found already normally dark in pigmentation. Two clans on the 
Sankuru and Lubi led to me, directly on my arrival, an albinotic child, and a fully 
grown albino girl respectively. I often found partial albinism among the Bakuba 
and the Bakete." 

This extract is of interest as showing that albinos are most frequent among the 
lighter shades of negro— possibly where the Bantu meets the Sudan negro — and 
proving that the brown iris is sometimes accompanied by nystagmus. 

Right in the north-east corner of the Belgian Congo, almost on the Egyptian 
Sudan, we find the district where Schweinfurth has notified the presence of albinism 
among the Monbuttos. We are again among a lighter people, and probably on the 
border of two races, the Berbers and Sudan negroes. The important passages from 
Schweinfurth have already been quoted : see our pp. 14 — 15. 

(xi) Portuguese Congo. Angola. The earliest notice we have come across 
of white negroes from Angola occurs in a London medical jouniaP of 1827 : "There 
were two young men, cousins, a few years ago, in Lisbon, whom we hired as servants, 
more from curiosity than any other motive, and it was not long before we had to 
dismiss both for utter uselessness. They had all the laziness of the negro race, 

' Felkin (Proc. H. S. Edin. Vol. xni. p. 70(5, Edinburgh, 1886) says the natives attribute these 
patches to Kahalongo, syphilis, and say that Europeans must be in a shocking state because they are 
so white. 

2 See Bibl. No. 406, p. 732. ^ gee Bibl. No. 184 and our Fig. 511. 



together with the woolly (though sandy-coloured) hair, flat noses, thick lips, long 
arms, high calves, etc. of the African ; but their complexions were such as we see 
among the natives of the Northern countries of Europe. One was considerably 
flecked and the other deeply marked with smallpox. These lads were natives of 
Angola, and descended from black parents." Unfortunately the writer gives no 
account of the eyes ; what he says of skin and hair is very inadequate. 

Wissmann', in an account (1883) of his African journey, writes: " Ich will 
noch erwahnen, dass es mir aufgefallen ist, dass ich in Westafrika viel Albinos, in 
Centralafrika wenig und in Ostafrika nicht einen einzigen gefunden habe. In 
Westafrika habe ich ausserordentlich viel Albinos, namentlich in der Kolonie Angola, 

We regret not to have found any detailed account of these albinos. In view 
of the many cases reported by Drs Stannus and Turner from East Africa, we doubt 
whether the paucity of albinos in Central and East Africa noted by Wissmann 
corresponds to any real difierence. West Africa has been longer under white 
influence, and there are districts in Africa where till quite recently the albino children 
were exposed or killed. 

Falkenstein", in 1877, refers to an albino he saw at St Paulo de Loanda. The 
case is interesting because he emphasises the points : first, that the hair was not 
white but weiss-hlond ; and secondly, that the skin was not porcelain but rose colour. 
The skin, however, appears to have presented the usual albino characters : it was 
" leicht hypertrophirt und von fellartiger Beschaffenheit." Unfortunately there is not 
a word as to the age or eyes of the individual, except that he sufi"ered from convergent 

The Rev. W. H. Bentley', in his book on pioneering in the Congo (1900), gives 
an account of two albinos he met with at Lemvo : "As we entered the town I was 
told that there were two albino girls there, and as they were just like white girls in 
appearance they would make good wives for missionaries. I was very curious to see 
these curious freaks of nature, but after the shocking idea propounded I could not 
pay any attention to them at all. They were sitting beside a house as we entered, 
but after that I did not see any more of them. Since then several albinos have been 
met. An albino African has a skin like an Englishman, with a tendency to pink ; 
the frizzy hair is white or slightly yellow, and the eyes are pink and more or less 
intolerant of ligiit. They often suffer from some skin disease. The African features, 
hair and dress, seem strangely out of place with a white skin." 

We owe, however, the most complete account of albinism in the northern section 
of Portuguese Congo that we have come across to a series of letters from Dr Mercier 
Gamble^ of the British Missionary Society at Matadi. He writes from San Salvador, 

1 See Bibl. No. 385. " See Bibl. No. 350. 

^ The appearance of strabismus in a number of negro albinos might suggest that the visual conditions 
of albinism are likely to produce strabismus, but we cannot lay any stress on the association till we have 
some measure of negro strabismus in general. 

* See Bibl No. 609. = Letters to K. Pearson, Oct. 16, Nov. 28, 1908 and Jan. 8, 1909. 


and tells lis that tlie albino is treated by other natives with great respect and fear. 
A woman who had given birth to an albino had formerly to enter the Ndembo, a secret 
society, the rites and orgies of which are described in Bentley's Congo Dictionary'. 
From Dr Gamble we have the excellent photographs on Plate EE. In (97) we have 
Nenkondo, the son of a chieftainess of Majena. This family is a very interestino- one 
because besides two complete albinos (see Fig. 544) it contained two "Lukusu's" or 
partial albinos^. In (98) and (99) we have photographs' of negro parents with their 
baby, " a fine, fat, healthy little ' Saxon ' with pink skin, fair curls and light blue 
eyes" (see our Fig. 554). Two further albino negresses reported from Kimpangu 
(see our Fig. 553) may well have been Bentley's "wives for missionaries." Dr Gamble 
briefly refers to two other female albinos and a male albino, besides a pair of " red " 
negroes, who are probably specimens of our Class (i), the xanthous negro ; one of 
these comes from Kensende, where a former chieftainess was an albino. Dr Gamble 
considers that these data show that albinism is not very infrequent in the San Salvador 
district ; the albinos are said to have light blue rather than pink eyes. 

The Bantu of this district are a race much differentiated from the Sudan negro, 
and paleness of the face or skin is by no means rare. A study of the Congo skull, 
made by Dr Crewdson Benington of the Biometric Laboratory, and shortly to be 
published, will emphasise markedly the nature of the differences between these natives 
and the West Coast African negroes. 

(xii) Dominion of South Africa. On the whole we have so little data from 
these colonies that we may class them altogether. The comparative rarity of 
references to albinism from the Cape seems to suggest a lessened frequency there. 
In 1892 Maas' showed at the Berlin Anthropological Society a Tigermenschen, born in 
Cape Town, aged 19, with a comb of white hair, and spots of white, but as the 
change is said to have come on at five years, the case was probably one of leucoderma, 
although the flare and comb rather indicate partial albinism. (Compare our Plates 
A, C, D of Leucoderma with E, F, G, H and I of Partial Albinism, but see, however, 
Plate B for a leucoderma flare.) The parents were normal, and the skin was said 
to be " weicher und zarter " where white than elsewhere. Virchow compared the 
case with that of a young German savant who had also a white comb, but he did not 
emphasise the general distinction between white lock cases, which are usually con- 
genital (see our Figs. 491 and 529), and leucoderma. 

Dr Livingstone", in his Missionarij Travels (1857), writes: "It is remarkable 
that I never saw an albino in crossing Africa, although from accounts pubUshed by the 
Portuguese I was led to expect that they were held in favour as doctors by the 
chiefs. I saw several in the South ; one at Kuruman is a full-grown woman, and a 

1 See Bibl. No. 601. Bentley, in his account of Ndembo, does not refer to albinism. The initiated 
he tells us (p. 881), "assume new names and of course of a complimentary import, implying fair, beautiful, 
light^skinned." The latter, perhaps, have relation to albino-cult. 

* We owe a photograph of Nenlaza, the chieftainess, and her family, to the Rev. G. S. Bowskill. 
' Taken by the Rev. P. R. Lourie. 

* See Bibl. No. 438. s gge Bibl. No. 267. 


man having this pecuhai'ity of skin was met with in the colony. Their bodies are 
always blistered on exposure to the sun, as the skin is more tender than that of 
blacks. The Kuruman woman lived for some time at Kolobeng, and generally had 
on her bosom and shoulders the remains of large blisters. She was most anxious to 
be made black, but nitrate of silver taken internally did not produce its usual effect'. 
During the time I resided at Mabotsa, a woman came to the station with a fine boy, 
an albino. The father had ordered him to be thrown away, but the woman clung to 
her offspring for many years. He was remarkably intelligent for his age. The pupil 
of the eye was pink and the eye itself unsteady in its vision. The wool was yellow 
and the features were those common among the Bechuanas. After I left the place 
tlie woman is said to have got tired of living apart from her husband, who refused to 
have her while she retained the son. She took him out one day and killed him close 
to the village of Mabotsa, and nothing was done to her by the authorities. From 
having met with no albinos in Londa, I suspect they are there also put to death." 

Deformed infants, Dr Livingstone says, are according to custom put to death. 
They are considered tholo and killed. Thus twins are tholo. The fact that albinos^ 
are tholo to some of the Southern blacks may account for their rarity I 

The Rev H. A. Tudor saw an albino male Kaffir at Urntata, Transkei, some ten 
yeai's ago, and thinks he also saw a female, both then fairly young. 

Dr Charles Ward has provided us with three cases of male albinos from Zululand. 
In this instance the hair was white, the skin pink with no dark spots, and the 
irides greyish bhie ; there was lateral nystagmus. (See our Fig. 38, and the very 
characteristic photograph of this white Zulu Plate AA (86).) 

Dr Geo. A. Turner has seen two Zulu albino children, the parents, whom he also 
saw, being both black. He was informed that there were many albinos among the 
Zulus living at certain places on the banks of the Tugula. Dr F. Wallace Mackenzie 
reports an albino Zulu living at a kraal near Fort Haye, just outside Newcastle, Natal. 
He saw him four years ago. He was about 45 years old, had white skin, white hair 
and pink eyes. He tried to examine him more in detail, but he was a very important 
man in his tribe and would not allow of it \ 

' The account in Bull. Soc. Anthrop. Paris, see Bibl. No. 267, is quite incorrect. 

- That an uncanny feeling frequently exists in the negro mind with regard to albinism may be 
illustrated by the statement in Diderot and D'Alembert's Encydopedie (Bibl. No. 66), that some 
inhabitants of Africa consider the albino the product of illicit relations between the negress and a 
gorilla. Unfortunately no authority is given for this legend, which appears and reappears in writings 
on albinism. In Malaysia they were associated, as we have seen (p. 24), with the orang-outang. 

^ Some light maj' also be thrown on this matter by a fact communicated to me by Dr Crewdson 
Benington. He told me that during his practice in South Africa on several occasions negroes brought 
him children with white patches of skin and wished to know whether this was not evidence of the 
unfaithfulness of their wives. These patches must have been congenital or they would not have excited 
suspicion. Further a credible witness tells us that when the Boers marry Kaffir women the children 
exhibit various degrees of blackness, and that some termed "St Helenas " are almost complete whites, 
but with long frizzly hair. 

* Letter to E. Nettleship, dated Wellington N.Z., Nov. 10, 1908. Edouard Foa {Du Cap au Lac 
Nyassa, Paris, 1897) gives (p. 12) the picture of a blond negress from Natal, and (p. 82) he notes the 
appearance of red skins among the black Kaffir Zulus. 


Dr N. M. Macfarlane, Leribe, Basutoland, who has been for 1 6 years in Basuto- 
land, supphes the following notes on albinism : " Albinism is fairly common amongst 
the Basutos. The albino's skin is often scaly and is spotted with freckle-like marks. 
In infancy the skin is quite white. Hair and eyelashes white or yellowish- white ; 
iris greenish ; pujtils sometimes red ; always nystagmus ; photophobia. The Basutos 
like albinos because of their light skin' ; they sometimes dress them so as to imitate 
white people, e.g. an albino, age six months, was brought to the hospital dressed 
in this way. The albino women get man-ied, because they are like white people. 
They are worth more head of cattle than a normal native woman." Dr Macfarlane 
says that there is considerable variation in the depth of colour of the normal Basuto 
skin. He has not seen blue-eyed Basutos, nor does he know of an intermarriage of 
two albinos. Marriages between blood-relations is not customary among the Basutos 
generally. We owe to Dr Macfarlane also the pedigree of an albino Basuto woman 
with two piebald cousins which appears as our Fig. 643. 

From Basutoland we have Captain Fisher's case of the Basuto albino boy 
Illustrated on Plate Z (80). 

N. Bishop Harman tells us (see Fig. 416) that he saw in a Kaifir village near 
Pretoria two female albinotic Kaffir children ; the hair pale yellow colour, and the 
iris a dirty slate colour, turning dusky red in some lights. 

(xiii) Portuguese East Africa and British South Africa'-. Our knowledge of 
albinism in this district is due to Dr Geo. A. Turner, medical officer to the 
Witwatersrand Native Labour Association. We have already (see p. 114) above 
referred to his most valuable letters and report. The immense number of natives 
he has to handle gives him a great familiarity with various types of East African 
negroes. Two of the most typical albino negroes are the Shangaan male of our Plate 
BB (89) and (90) and the Myambaam of our Plate DD (95) and (96). The Shangaan, 
aged 23, had pale yellow wool on head and pubes ; eczema of skin was well marked ; 
there was nystagmus, but the photophobia was not so well marked as other cases 
seen by Dr Turner. He said none of his people were albinos, but his parents were 
not seen. The Myambaam, aged about 20 (No. 5210), is described in our Fig. 518. 
He also was yellow-haired ; there is no remark as to his eyes. 

Dr Turner^ also sends particulars of a Myambaam albino girl, unmarried, about 
18 years of age, whom he saw in one of the kraals. "She was well nourished and 
fairly -well developed. Her skin was rough and harsh, and hung in creases under her 

1 H. E. Mabille ("The Basutos of Basutoland," Trans. Brit, and S. A. Assoc. A. Sci., Vol. in., 1905), 
seems to suggest that certain classes have a great frequency of albinos : " Besides these principal classes 
there were many others, the ba Fakeng (among whom are recruited several of the leading councillors, and 
are remarkable for the number of albinos), the ba Khatla, who used to be cannibals, etc." Dr George A. 
Turner tells us that the Basuto name for albino is Lesofe. 

- We do not know whether "the white Moor" who came on board Vasco da Gama's ship at 
Mozambique was an Arab or an albino negro. See Astley's New General Collection of Voyages, Vol. i. 
p. 252, cf. p. 582, London, 1745. 

' Dr Turner's information is conveyed partly in letters to C. H. Usher and K. Pearson, partly in 
a report on various medical subjects to Prof. Pieid of Aberdeen, who has kindly allowed us to use the 
albino data. 


breasts and other parts of the body. It had the appearance of having lost all its 
elasticity. Besides this she had an eczema which was more or less general ; the wool 
of the head was missing except for a few small patches, and she had intense photo- 
phobia and some nystagmus. I saw this girl's father ; he was a pure-bred native of 
dark-coloured skin. Her mother was not in the kraal at the time of my visit, but 
the people told ine she was the same colour as her husband. The father was an 
intelligent man, and he could give me no account of his father, his father's brothers 
or any of his relatives being white." This Myambaam girl is shown on our Plate A A 
(87) and (88). 

Another case is that of a Mty opi piccaninny of about three years of age. ' ' He was 
a well-nourished active child. His skin was in the same condition as that of the girl 
described above, except that it was filthy dirty. His wool had, as in the case of the 
girl, come out except in a few patches, and he was suffering from intense photo- 
phobia. I saw this child's parents. They were pure natives of the black type. The 
father, an exceptionally intelligent man, could give me no history of any of his 
relatives being albinos." We give the photographs of this child with his mother and 
again with his father : see our Plate Z (81) and (82). Besides these complete albinos, 
Dr Turner has provided us with an interesting series of partial albinos (who will be 
discussed later) from the same districts. We have already described his three 
xanthous cases, Jappe, Magtimane and Sanone (see our pp. 115-6). 

Speaking of albinism generally, Dr Turner says that it is fairly common 
throughout the parts he has traversed. It is apparently frequently met with among 
all Bantu races. " I have seen examples of it in most of the principal tribes of 

British South Africa, excepting the Bushmen, Hottentots and Griquas On the 

East Coast, at any rate, though an albino man seems to get on quite well with the 
other natives, and is not taken any special notice of, yet a man will not sell one of 
his daughters to him ; and, on the other hand, the young men are frightened to take 
an albino girl." 

Dr Turner considers the albino a truly repulsive object. " Besides the unnatural 
dull white colour of the skin, one constantly linds a considerable amount of eczema. 
The want of pigment in the choroid results in the colour of the blood vessels being 
reflected, with the result that the pupil is a peculiar pink colour, and the light not 
being partially absorbed by the pigment, causes photophobia and sometimes 
nystagmus'. The wool of the head is of a dull yellow colour, reminding one some- 
what of the effects of peroxide of hydrogen." 

Mr Arthur McNeillie, who has been resident for six years in Mozambique, states 
(through Sir J. Crichton-Browne) that he has met with ten or a dozen " White 
Kaffirs " or albinos. They have, he says, not white but red hair. 

(xiv) British Central Africa. Our information here is due to Dr Th. Strain, 
Sir Harry H. Johnston, Dr J. B. Davey, and, above all, to Dr H. Stannus, whose 
collection of albinotic data from Nyassaland is of the highest value. 

^ We have cited this passage because Dr Turner, giving no account of the pupils or irides of the 
individual albinos, probably means this statement as to pink pupil to apply to all the complete albinos 
described above. 


From Barotseland we have Dr Th. Strain's' case of an albino " Kaffir boy " (see 
our Fig. 507). Tliis l.)oy was a typical instance of our Class (v). His irides were 
light bluish grey with no reflex, and the pupils black ; the hair was yellowish white ; 
the skin of a whiteness equal to that of a European with no pigmented spots, but 
with freckles on face and neck. This " boy " was the one albino among 4000 
examined. He came from Barotseland in British Central Africa. 

Dr J. B. Davey^ Medical Officer, Nyassaland Administration, has seen two 
albinos, a boy and girl, in seven months almost continual travelling in North 
Nyassa district, during which time Dr Davey examined about 18,000 individuals. 
The proportion of one albino to 9000 normals is by no means a low frequency. 

Case (i). At Kayuni's village, lake shore, N. Nyassa. Parents both of Wankonde 
tribe, said to be unrelated ; mother had two other children by same father, both said 
to be normal, but not seen. Mother normal. The albino was a girl of about 3^ 
years ; liair curly, flaxen colour ; whole body covered with fine downy flaxen hair, no 
freckles ; pretty blue eyes, horizontal nystagmus ; avoids sunlight on account of sun- 
burning and discomfort in eyes ; child well developed. {Seen 15/5/09.) 

Case (ii). At Chikulamayimbi's village, Akamanga country, N. Nyassa. Father 
and mother both of Ahenga tribe, but not related ; no other child. The father is 
dead, and the widow married to deceased husband's brother, by whom she has one 
child, seen and noi-mal. The mother is normal. The albino is a boy about eight 
years old ; hair curly and flaxen ; body freckled and much sunburnt ; greyish yellow 
eyes, horizontal nystagmus, avoids sunlight as much as possible ; goes to a mission 
school, and is intelligent for a native ; rather poor physique. (Seen 2/5/09'.) 

Dr Davey has also seen a native with bluish grey eyes, but otherwise fairly 
normal, except that his skin was rather light for a native ; hair quite normal ; he said 
that his father's and mother's eyes were the usual dark hazel. We might put this 
case down as xanthism but for the remark as to the hair. It is possible that 
incomplete xanthism exists, i.e. xanthism of eyes and skin only, and a thorough 
study of its gradations would be of much interest. (Cf our Fig. 120 and others.) 

Mrs Young' (Mission House, Karonga, Nyassaland) refers to quite a number of 
albinos at the north end of Lake Nyassa, and in particular mentions three albino girls; 
one of these may be the same as Dr Davey's Case (i). Another, younger, girl is 
described by Mrs Young, who has most kindly sent two photographs of mother and 
child, which were got with the greatest difficulty. She is the only albino in the 
family and has no albino relatives ; the mother cannot give any reason for having 
such a child. " I sent a message for the mother to come ; she lived some distance 
away. She came with the child, but the father would have nothing to do with me, 

^ Letter to K. Pearson, September, 1908. 

- Letter to K. Pearson, dated Karonga, North Nyassa, July 2, 1909. 

=> Dr Davey kindly sends photographs of the two cases, which are good considering that the plates 
had got mouldy owing to all his loads getting wet. He states that he had not a very good interpreter 
at his service, and that it is extremely difficult to get facts as to relationships from natives of district. 
The natives seem confused themselves about them, and have not sufficient distinctive names; their 
marriage customs also tend to make relationships obscure. 

* Letter to Dr W. Clark Souter of Sept. 5, 1909. 



and screamed when I went near." The mother spoke another language, and it was 
difficult for Mrs Young to understand her. The child had no dark areas and was of 
pure native breed. She is " a perfect albino ; her skin is just like that of a young 
pig, of a pinkish-white hue, and with the same fair longish downy hair (rather coarse) 
all over the body. She is just what a white child would be if exposed to the weather 
and the sun. Her eyes are a pale blue ; eyelashes, eyebrows and haii^ are almost 
white, tinged with gold ; her eyes are very weak — ^that is to say, she does not care to 
look up." There are two or three other albinos who come to church at this settle- 
ment. One old woman came to the dispensary, but she refused to be photographed. 
" She has a small tuft of white hair in front and about four patches, about the size of 
the palm of one's hand, on her chest and back ; these are bright pink patches^" 

Sir Harry H. Johnston, in his work on British Central Africa (1897), writes: 
" Cases of albinism where the hair is yellowish white, the iris of the eye pink, and " 
the body-skin an unwholesome looking reddish white, are not uncommon, though 
perhaps not quite so common as they are on the West Coast of Africa." 

The same author says that the colour of the natives of B. C. Africa is usually 
dark chocolate, but cases of yellowish brown occur : " Occasionally there are cases of 
positive ' xanthism ' or a state of coloration similar in a much less degree to 
albinism — namely, that whei'ein the colour of the skin and the iris of the eye is 
quite a light yellowish-brown. This type is very much admired by the negroes, 
especially in a woman ; for their general tendency is to admire a lighter rather than 
a darker skin. The wives of chiefs were often pointed out to me for special notice as 
having skin and eyes of this rather disagreeable pale yellow brown. Perhaps it is 
the iris of the eye being of this light yellow colour like that of a lion's eye, which is 
so disagreeable." Except in cases of xanthism Sir H. H. Johnston states that the 
eye is black, brown or very dark hazel. In some individuals the sclerotic is yellow 
and clouded, in others clear and white, the latter condition accompanying the 
more refined type of feature, and the former the reverse. 

It will be seen that British Central Africa is a district in which a considei-able 
range of skin-colour exists among the natives'. We now turn to Dr Hugh S. 
Stannus's very full report, based on a written account and a subsequent talk with 
one of our number. With regard to albinos among the native races of Nyassaland 
there appear to be two fairly distinct types with cases more or less intermediate. 

(i) The first of a skin-colour varying from an almost dead white to pink with a 
little orange added. In these the irides were of a very light slaty blue colour 
(so-called "pink eyes" were never observed, i.e. the pupils were not red'). 

' This piebald is distinct from the piebalds of our Fig. 632. 

^ This is confirmed by Dr A. Brown, who has travelled during three years some thousands of miles in 
Nyassaland, and North East Rhodesia including the uplands. He never saw, however, any other albinos 
except those at Bandawe : see our Fig. 648. 

' Dr Stannus liad no opportunity of examining the fundus with the ophthalmoscope in any case, 
nor could he apply any exact tests of visual acuteness. It is possible that red light might have been 
got through iris and pupil under good examination conditions. Still the point remains that the 
pupils were not obviously red as in so many European cases, and in not a few negro cases, observed 
without special facilities. 


Nystagmus, photophobia and poor vision always present ; but in moderate illumina- 
tion the sight is generally good, though in some in whom photophobia is very marked 
it is considerably diminished. Nystagmus is almost constant, is always lateral and 
rather slower than in many other conditions ; it seems to be related to the amount of 
pigment in the iris and to the photophobia. While the irides are as stated above, 
there is, perhaps commonly, some pattern in orange or brown round the pupil, but 
this varies from case to case. 

The colour of the hair is in this type universally of a light straw colour or dirty 
gold. On the whole the features are not so coarse as in the average native child, the 
lips are thinner and the nose less squat, but there is no suspicion of any mixture with 
European blood'. A large number are hii-sute, quite notably so, the whole body and 
limbs being covered Avith fair half-curved hairs. Dr Stannus lays stress on this ; the 
normal natives have less body hair than the albinos. The point is one of extreme 
interest, because some discredit has been cast on the statements as to albino lanugo 
made bj^ early writers'". 

The skin is delicate and sunburnt, dermatitis, ulcers, etc., are commonly caused, 
and there is reason to think that in consequence there may be some darkening of the 
skin in later Hfe ; scars as a rule are not deeply pigmented, though one of 
Dr Stannus's cases (see Ng'ombe, Fig. 427) must be noticed in this respect. In young 
albino children, if they have been carefully looked after, the skin is remarkable in 
absence of colour. Inasmuch as their natural life is restrained from infancy upwards, 
their intelligence in childhood, Dr Stannus considers, is inferior to that of the average 
child. Many undoubtedly die in infancy and in early childhood, but it is difficult to 
say whether there is a higher mortality among them. 

(ii) The second type made by Dr Stannus appears to be identical with our 
xanthism. The skin-colour which is characteristic of it is pink cafe cm lait, 
associated with irides usually of a hght hazel, without nystagmus. The hair, 
however, in his cases is of the same light straw colour as in the first class. The 
skin becomes oddly indurated, shiny, cracked and Avrinkled, very'markedly so in old 
people. The tendency of these cases seems to be to grow darker gradually through life'. 
The absence of the red or brown hair noted by Dr G. A. Turner in his xanthous 
cases is noteworthy. Unfortunately Sir Harry Johnston makes no statement as to 
the hair-colour in his note on xanthism. Probably this is further evidence of gradation 
in xanthism, and Dr Stannus himself remarks that his classes are not rigid and 
various combinations are met with. 

The natives, Dr Stannus says, have no special word for albino. They are usually 
not liked, but a mother is fond of her albino child. They are not accounted for in 
any special way ; they say they have just been sent by Mlunga — a word which 
embraces unknown powers. Probably they were and are killed from time to time at 
birth. In most of the native tribes of British Nyassaland neither man nor woman is 

1 Cf. Sir Harry Johnston's and Dr J. Costa's remarks (p. 123 ftn. and p. 146) on the association of 
refinement with lesser pigmentation. 

^ Cf. Fig. 265 and see our pp. 17, 117, 126, 127, 145. 

^ Cf. the views expressed by Raffenel, cited on p. 128, 



allowed to marry any blood relation of his or her mother, i.e. a maternal first cousin. 
But they may marry a blood relation of their father, i.e. paternal first cousin. On 
the whole there is reason to believe that cousin marriages are decidedly less frequent 
than in England. Even in prostitution, Dr Stannus believes the same custom holds. 
Divorce is very easily obtained. 

Dr Stannus's cases are, when there was some family history, embodied in our 
Figs. 426 — 428 and 430 — 4.34. These cover 18 cases of albinism of which 10 were 
seen by Dr Stannus. Two other cases are described in the footnote below ; they had 
no family details'. An examination of these cases will show the great variety of 
negro albinism in British Central Africa. 

Case (l) (Fig. 426) represents the inheritance of the xanthous type' — Dr Stannus's 
second category, marked by the peculiar straw-coloured hair and good eyesight. 
Case (4) (Fig. 427), illustrated in our Plate Y (60), is a sample of the "spotted" 
albino, our Class (iii). Cases (6) and (7) (Fig. 428) and Case (2) (see ftn. p. 145) are 
samples of our Class (v), the blue-eyed negro albino, with photophobia and nystagmus, 
but little or no red reflex. They are figured on our Plate Z (84). Chesiwandivi 
Case (3) (Fig. 430) is a case of complete albinism of skin and yellow hair with a 
certain amount of orange pigment in the iris and belongs to our Class (iv), or is a 
transition between Classes (iv) and (v). Her photograph is given on Plate Y (77). 

Another example of this transition condition — i.e. irides light grey-blue at 
periphery, gradually passing to light hazel at pupillary periphery, the pigment in 
the iris itself being orange — is the splendid albino baby of our Plate Y (79). This is 
our Fig. 431 and Dr Stannus's Case (5). Cases (8) and (9), our Fig. 432, are cases of 
incomplete albinism, the skin being yellowish brown and the hair yellowish brown, 
but the eyes normal hazel and sight good. Case (11) (Fig. 433) is another case of 
incomplete albinism, the skin being cafe cm lait, but with normally pigmented spots — 
a " spotted " xanthous negro, the hair was light straw colour and the irides light 
uniform brown, the eyes being however photophobic and having slight nystagmus. 
Case (12) (Fig. 434) would correspond to a typical xanthous case with hair of golden 
brown and light brown eyes, were it not that the eyes suffer again from slight 
photophobia and lateral nystagmus. Case (10) (see footnote below) is an excellent 
illustration of a xanthous negress, the hair being, however, light straw instead of 
tbe red-brown colour. 

Dr Stannus's cases are from the Bantu section of the population. It is impossible 

' Case (2). A boy aged '2\, skin-colour quite white, not pink as colour in cheeks; irides bluish 
hazel, blue peripherally; pigment small in amount showing fibres of iris plainly, no pink about eyes. 
Photophobia and nystagmus very marked causing considerable distress; vision very poor. Hair on 
head very light straw colour, not so curly as usual. All over body and limbs a considerable amount 
of half-curved straw-coloured hair ; this hair does not occur on the bodies of normal children, but is 
common on albinos. 

Case (10). An albino woman, aged about 30, of the darker type of albinism, hair present. This 
native of Nyassaland had skin cafe au lait colour, hair straw colour, irides light brown. The skin 
was hardened and cracked. No nystagmus and slight photophobia. There was no history of albinism 
of any degree in the family. Portrait Plate Y (78). 


to study Dr Stanims's data without being impressed with the various grades of 
albinism to be found in the dark races. There is every variety of skin-colour, 
eveiy degree of optic albinism, and the hair in the negro albino may take all 
degrees of pigmentation from wliite to dark brown. 

As if to complete the generality of type of the albinism in Nyassaland, we have 
the extraordinarily interesting case of partial albinism reported by Dr Emslie from 
Chitimba, where the piebald character has been inherited through three generations. 
See Plate H (21). This case will be found discussed in our chapter on partial albinism. 

(xv) British East Africa and Uganda. For German East Africa' we have no 
data, and for British East Africa only a few isolated notices. Personal inquiries have 
so far produced little harvest. Dr John W. Arthur", writing from Kikuyu, had seen 
no cases of it, and on inquiry of the officials at Nyrobi could hear of no recorded cases. 

Sir Harry H. Johnston' in his book on the Uganda Protectorate refers to two 
distinct types among the Pygmies bordering on Uganda, one being black like the 
ordinary negro, the other of reddish yellow colour with a light coloured downy hair 
(? the albinotic lanugo) over the body. The hair of these light pygmies is wavy not 
tightly curled, and they are inclined to have slight whiskers. The distinction between 
the black and yellow coloured pygmies seems to be the result of individual not tribal 
variations^ In a letter'^ to one of us Sir Harry Johnston kindly refers to the 
illustration on p. 721 of Vol. ii. of his book on Uganda of an albino child, Busoga 
(W. Coast of Victoria Nyanza). The absence of specific allusions to albinism in the 
Uganda Protectorate was merely due to an oversight. " Albinism and xanthism," 
says Sir Harry Johnston, "are relatively common in Uganda as over all negro 
Africa. Xanthism is, perhaps, more remarked on the West Coast. It is a phase 
wherein the iris becomes yellow-brown ; the hair brown or yellow-brown, and the 
skin yellow when [normally] of black or chocolate." 

In C. W. Hobley's Eastern Uganda, An Ethnological Survey (Anthropological 
Institute, Occasional Papers, No. 1, London, 1902) no information as to albinos was 
found. C. T. Wilson and R. W. Felkin ( Uganda and the Egyptian Sudan, London, 
1882) state (Vol. i. p. 149) that albinos are often met with in Uganda, being 
apparently commoner there than among any other tribe Wilson had seen. "They 
are looked upon as curiosities and are kept in the establishment of the king and great 
chiefs. Their hair is straw-coloured, their skin, which is rough and coarse, is of a 
pinkish-white colour and their eyes are very sensitive to light. No clue can be got 

^ K. Weule ( Wissensc/iaftliche Ergebnisse meiner stenographischen Forschungsreise in den Sudosten 
Deutsclh-Ostafrikas, Berlin, 1908) notes (§ 16), the existence of copper skinned, almost Indian types 
among the Wamuera. He cites (S. 87) only one old negro albino, wliose skin he was told had become 
white by using eland fat. Blanchard {La Nature, 38" Annee, 1909, p. 3) saw in a booth at a fair in 
Amiens a female albino, aged about 30, from German East Africa. He describes her in the same terms 
as the male albino from the French Congo : see our p. 138 ftn. 

= Letter to C. H. Usher, dated Feb. 4, 1909. ' Bibl. No. 497, Vol. n. p. 527. 

■* Very full discussion of the skin-colour of the Pygmies will be found in Franz Stuhlmann : 
Mit Emin Pascfia im Uerz von A/'rika, Berlin, 1894, cap. xx. §§ 439 — 446. 

^ Letter to K. Pearson, dated Sept. 27, 1908. 


from the natives about the origin of these monstrosities. The assertion which has 
been made that they are the offspring of bi-others and sisters, all, even Mtesa himself, 
absolutely deny. They say that the parents sometimes have one or two normal 
children, then an albino, and then another normal child ; and they further assert 
that albinos have been known to intermarry and have perfectly normal children." 
The latter point \ if verifiable, would be of great importance, it tallies Avith the 
statements of Lacerta (p. 18), of Hend (p. 125) and of our Figs. 307 and 605. Felkin 
gives much the same account in his " Notes on the Waganda Tribe of Central Africa" 
{Proc. R. S. Edin. Vol. xiii. pp. 699—770, p. 706, Edinburgh 1886). He adds that 
the albinos are irascible, treacherous and suffer from ophthalmia. 

It is safe therefore to assert that albinism occurs on and north of the Equator 
on the East Coast. Possibly it is just as frequent as we have found it, owing to the 
careful observations of Drs Stannus and Turner, on the East Coast south of the 
Equator. Its apparent absence there— relatively to the West Coast — as asserted by 
several writers, rests we believe solely on a paucity of acquaintance with the natives, 
as compared with the familiarity gained dui-ing centuries of trade with the natives of 
the West Coast. 

(xvi) Somaliland. We have no facts as to albinism in Africa, east of Abyssinia, 
but its occurrence among the black, non-negroid Somali would be of interest and 
probably present certain peculiarities. The ethnographic characters of Somali, Galla 
and Harari have been rather fully treated by Paulitschke". He indicates the very 
mixed character of the population and the great variety of skin-colours with a modern 
tendency to admire and accordingly to marry into the lighter shades. He does not 
refer to albinism, but we should anticipate a rich harvest from a consideration of skin- 
colour inheritance in this quarter of Africa. 

(xvii) Madagascar. Before leaving Africa we have to note the occurrence of 
albinism in Madagascar, with some interesting variants. The earliest published 
notice of albinism in Madagascar appears to be due to the Jesuit fathers. 
G. Tachard published in 1687' in an account of a voyage round the Cape some 

^ Lagleyze (Bibl. No. 552, p. 35) writes: "Je n'ai trouve cite aucun cas d'union entre deux albinos 
europeens. Power (Nouvelle-Bretagne), de Rochas (Nouvelle-Caledonie) et Wilson (Afrique centrale) 
citent des cas de mariages entre albinos, oil les enfants etaient tous normaux. Mollien seul raconte avoir 
entendu dire qu'en Senegambie les albinos maries entre eux engendrent des enfants albinos." Lagleyze 
does not cite Rene, and his references are very vague. His bibliography contains no "Power," but a 
" Powel," who is apparently our Powell. We have cited him on p. 75, and he makes no assertion about the 
children of two albino parents. We have read and re-read de Rochas (Bibl. No. 277) without being able 
to discover the passage to which Lagleyze is referring. De Rochas says that albinos are not sterile, and 
their offspring are black and healthy (see our p. 82) ; he does not state that he means this to apply when 
both parents are albinos. The only Wilson in Lagleyze's bibliography is accredited with a work on Western 
Africa in 1856. This must be J. Leighton Wilson (Bibl. No. 258) and on p. 312 he says : "They [albinos] 
are believed, but whether correctly or not, I am not prepared to say, to be incapable of propagation." It 
is hardly likely therefore that he knew cases of albino x albino producing normals. It is very regrettable 
that writers should be cited as giving evidence on a fundamental point like this, and the reader be left 
without any means of verifying what they have really said. 

' Beitrdye zur Ethnographie u. Anlhropoloyie der Somdl, Galla, unci Harari, Leipzig 1886. 

' See Bibl. No. 38. 


particulars as to albinos. He says that having passed the Cape and reached the 
27 degree of latitude, which would bring him to the south of Madagascar, they met 
10 or 12 leagues from the coast a very numerous nation, more civilised than those 
hitherto met with. They had long hair falling on their shoulders, and among them 
were some as white as Europeans, but these used to darken themselves with a 
mixture of grease and the powder of a black stone. " Leurs femmes sont 
naturellement fort blanches ; mais afin de plaire a leurs maris lis se noircissent 
comme eux." 

We have already cited Atkins' statement of ]735 that Thompson had met with 
a xanthous or albinotic individual in Madagascar. A rather more definite account 
appeared 25 years later of a definite albino in L'Histoire de L' Academie Royale des 
Sciences^ for 1760. The report states that M. de la Nux had seen a chacrelat in the 
Isle of Madagascar, who was the son of a father and mother both black and Malagasy ; 
the natives regarded him as a very extraordinary being and as a kind of monstrosity. 
M. de la Nux stated at the same time that there existed in the Isle of Bourbon 
(Reunion to the east of Madagascar) another chacrelat born among the Kaffirs. He 
added that the skin of the chacrelat he had seen was mottled with spots of a dark 
chestnut colour and as varied as those one calls freckles ; this marking much increases 
their deformity. It will be clear that de la Nux had seen albinos of Class (iii), our 
spotted type. 

Bory de St Vincent^ in 1827 cites an interesting case of an albino girl seen in 
Mascareigne {i.e. the Mauritius gi'oup), but purchased in Madagascar, who had 
albino children, one by a white and one by a negro father (see our Fig. 415), 
they had the white skin and hair of their mother, but their eyes were not red 
but very light chestnut. They belonged accordingly to our Class (iv) and are 
comparable with the albinos seen by Dr Stannus on the mainland. 

In 1878 a good deal of discussion' was set going by a paper by Dr A. Corre on a 
case of twin Malagasy albinos, who were seen at Nossi-Bd, a small island off the 
north-western coast of Madagascar. The father was Sakalave and the mother 
Betsimitsara ; see our Fig. 276. Topinard's views do not seem very clearly 
expressed, but Corre's cases — the like of which he himself says " ne sont tres rares 
a Madagascar et dans les iles adjacentes " — seem to be very similar to those seen on 
the mainland by Dr Stannus, which we have grouped as Class (v) with a slight 
approach to Class (iv). They do not appear to be the typical xanthous type, 
because the skin was absolutely white, rosy face and neck, in every way com- 
parable with a northern European's. The hair was pale blond, and the eyes with 
irides of light blue greenish colour, approaching to brown round the pupil, which was 
black. The sight was good ; no nystagmus is recorded. There was no ophthalmoscopic 
examination of the eyes. Until .this has been made, and until cases of such negro 
eyes have been dissected, it is probably impossible to measure accurately the degree of 
albinism of these eyes. The exact grade of the incompleteness of the albinism cannot 

1 See Bibl. No. 59 (1760, p. 17). ' See Bibl. No. 185, T. ii. p. 143. 

' See Bibl. Nos. 356 and 359. 


therefore be stated, and it is hardly profitable to discuss it. All we can say is that 
it is a type of albinism which occurs very frequently among the black races, and is 
of great importance for the evolution of the white races. Corre found like Stannus 
(see our p. 147) the body hairs very abundant and without a suspicion of European 
blood, the features more refined and less negroid than in the average native'. Add 
to this that the individuals appear to have been physically well developed and not at 
all incapacitated, as so often is the case, by their albinism, — " Ces deux sujets, fort 
intelligents, de constitution vigoureuse, n'offrent rien qui rappelat un dtat patho- 
logique quelconque," — and we shall appreciate the possibilities of such a type for 
racial evolution. 

With Madagascar we conclude our survey of African albinism, but before we 
conclude our discussion of the negro albino we have to consider whether this albinism 
has been carried with the negro to the Western World. As a matter of fact the 
attention of Europe was first drawn to albinism by the occurrence of it among the 
slaves transported to America. Does this albinism exhibit the same characters that 
we have noted when it occurs in the original home of the negro ? 

B. Negro Albinism outside Africa. 

(i) North America. The slaves carried to the American plantations provide us 
with some of the earliest instances recorded of albinism and partial albinism in the 
negro. Among recent accounts, however, of the American negro we find little 
reference to xanthism or piebalds. Our fairly wide-spread inquiries among medical 
men in the West Indies and the United States, while leading to the discovery of 
several cases of albinism, and a few of apparent xanthism, have failed to disclose any 
piebald cases. The occurrence of congenital piebalds in Africa at the present day 
does not permit us, however, to place all the piebalds of the early days of slavery 
down to misinterpreted cases of leucoderma. This matter will be more fully dealt 
with later, but is referred to here, because the piebald or partially albinotic negro 
created even more excitement in the early days than the white negro or complete 
albino, and is constantly referred to in the early negro albino literature. 

While the earliest and perhaps most interesting case of slave albino is that of 
Voltaire's "small white animal" brought to Europe in 1734 from Surinam, yet North 
America produced classical cases described by Jefferson' as early as 1787. See our 
Figs. 271, 283 and 284. In these cases the albinism seems to have been complete, 
the hair was white ; the skin cadaverous white, without spots of pigment, although 
there were freckles in at least one case. There was photophobia and nystagmus, but 
no detailed account of irides or pupils is provided. The albinos were well developed 
except for feebleness of sight. A further case of a " pied negro " given by Jefferson 
appears to have been a case of leucoderma which had become stationary. 

Dr Benjamin Rush' writing on the colour of negroes (Philadelphia, 1799) might 
have given us some interesting facts, but he is too busy with a theory that the black 

' Cf. our footnote, p. 147. " See Bibl. No. 102 and for a French translation No. 111. 

= See Bibl. No. 128. 


colour of the negro is due to a modification of leprosy — an inversion of the views of 
Sprengel and others that albinism is a form of leprosy ! This leprosy accordino- to 
him •" sometimes appears with black and white spots all over the body, a picture of 
such a negro in Virginia has been preserved by Mr Peale in his museum'." Perhaps 
the only other point worth quoting is an account given by a mysterious Mr Hawkins 
who travelled in Central Africa, who describes people afflicted with this disease 
(leprosy!) as follows: "They go entirely naked; their skin is white, but has not 
that animated appearance so noticeable in Europeans. It has a dull death-like 
•whitish cast, that conveys an idea of sickness more than of health. Their hair is 
red, or ashes-coloured, yellowish wool, and their eyes are uniformly white, in that part 
by which others ai-e distinguished into black, grey and blue eyes. They are set deep 
in their head and very commonly squint, for as their skin is deprived of the black 
mucous web, the distinguishing characteristic of these Africans, so their eyes are 
destitute of that black matter resembling a pigment, so universally found in people 
of all countries and so useful in preventing the eye from being injured in cases of 
exposure to strong light." Hawkins says that these white people have black parents 
and no apparent cause can be given for their affliction as white people are very seldom 
there and then the children are yellow or mulatto. Some natives put it down to 
women being debauched by large baboons. It is very clear that Hawkins is describing 
albinos and not lepers, and he knows the baboon tradition (see our p. 139, ftn.). He 
has recognised the shades found in albino hair, and even his account of the eyes is 
not wholly out of keeping with the slaty-blue or grey of the albino eye and the 
formless character of the irides". 

Dr James Parsons' in 1765 (see our Fig. 287) gave an admirable story of a baby 
girl illustrating heredity in negro albinism, but unfortunately no details of another 
albino shown before the Royal Society are included in his paper. Two of Parsons's 
cases were ofispring of Vu-ginian slaves'. Admiral Ward's case of the albino girl was 
to have been shown to the Royal Society, but she caught small-pox on the way over 
and was sent back to America. Parsons also tells a tale of Admiral Franklin 
capturing a Spanish ship and bringing her to N. Carolina. Upon it was found a 
picture of a boy (Igirl) beautifully mottled all over with black and white spots. It 
was said to be the portrait of a child born of negro parents on the Spanish Main ; 
several copies were taken of the picture, and Parsons promised to inquire further : see 
our Chapter on Partial Albinism. 

Oliver Goldsmith', in his History of the Earth (1774), states that he had seen 

' The dispersal of the Peale Museum allows of little hope of tracing this picture. For an account of 
the fate of this Museum, see Popular Science Monthly, Vol. Lxxv. pp. 221 et seq. 1909. 

^ In the albino dog's eye in certain lights there appears no formed boundary at all between pupil, 
iris and sclerotica. 

■" See Bibl. No. 68, and also No. 228. 

■* Parsons's cases are (a) Colonel Benjamin Chambers' boy, sold in 1764 to Hill-Clark, shown to the 
Royal Society ; (b) white negro girl shown in London some years before Parsons wrote ; (c) albino girl 
born in Virginia, Admiral "Ward's girl, our Fig. 287. All these cases were of albinos born to normal 
negro parents. " See Bibl. No. 78. 

K. P. 20 


in London at different times two white negroes, and that whereas he had been told 
that such whiteness was due to a disease he found in the last one shown in London 
that the colour was exactly like that of a European, the visage white and ruddy,* and 
the lips of proper redness. There were, however, sufficient marks to convince him 
of the negro descent. The hair was white and woolly ; the iris was yellow, inclining 
to red ; the nose was flat, the lips thick and prominent. It is quite possible that 
Goldsmith's negro was Hill-Clark's Virginian boy (see ftn. p. 153). 

Hone^ in 1825, wandering round Bartholomew Fair in Smithfield, came across 
a white negro girl ; her skin was the colour of a European's, her features typically 
negro. " Her hair, if it could be called hair, was of a dirtyish flaxen hue ; it hung 
in ropes of a clothy texture the thickness of a quill, and from four to six inches 
in length." Probably science would profit by a study of the booths at fairs even 

In the Histoire de L'Academie Royale des Sciences (1744)- is further an account 
of a negro boy born in America of black negro parents. He was aged 4 to 5 years, 
and had a white skin, white wool, white eyelashes and eyebrows ; the pupil in a 
certain light apj^eared light red ; there was photophobia and nystagmus. 

It will be seen that these early exhibition negroes appear to liave been more 
completely albinotic than the samples now met with in Africa. But some of the 
later ones are not so complete. Thus Erasmus Wilson's case of Alexander Commotius 
Stewart, born in New Providence, had a skin like a dead leaf, large and irregular 
freckles, light-coloured eyes and red woolly hair. 

Of other American writers who have recorded cases of negro albinism we may note 
Marcy (whose case, however, is as early as 1837 : see our Fig. 277), Kneeland (1860 : 
see our Fig. 514), Joseph Jones (1869: see our Figs. 266 and 286), J. S. H. (1884: 
see our Fig. 285"'), and Farabee (1903 : see our Fig. 279) — all of whom have given to 
some extent family histories. Kneeland refers to three albino negresses ; the skin 
white, the hair slightly yellow, and iris and pupil pink — we have clearly samples of 
the complete negro albino, our Class (ii). Marcy 's cases, two female and one male, 
appear to have been complete ; although the eyes were light blue, the pupil was 
encircled with a delicate ring of pink. In J. S. H.'s and Farabee's cases there is no 
adequate description given of the nature of the albinism. Dr Jones' are the only 
cases which are adequately described, and they are well illustrated in the original 
memoir. II. 6 of Fig. 266 is said to have had perfectly white hair when young, 
now (1869) light yellowish brown ; eyes clear brown with dark pupils, but nystagmus 
and photophobia. He is probably to be included in our Class (iv). The albino stock 

^ The Every Day Book and Table Book, Vol. I. London 1826, p. 1189. "The white negro, who was 
rescued from her Black Parents by the bravery of a British Officer — the only white negro girl alive... Six 
curiosities alive ! Only a Penny to see them all alive ! " formed the inscription on the Booth, and the 
showman cried: "The white negro, the greatest curiosity ever seen, the first that has been exhibited since 
the reign of George the Second, look at the head and hair, ladies and gentlemen, and pull it; there's no 
deception it's like ropes of wool." 

= See Bibl. No. 59, p. 13. 


described in our Fig. 286 is of special interest and importance. Some members 
of the stock are undoubtedly complete albinos ; another is xanthous ; others appear 
congenitally spotted, and still others with progressive leucosis (? leucoderma). This 
association of various albinotic conditions is not unnoted elsewhere (see our Figs. 272, 
288 — where the xanthous members were called in the original "mulattoes" — and 
Figs. 441 and 643), but it is of much value. Without Jones's cases we might be led 
to hold that the lesser grades of albinism hardly occurred in the transplanted negro, 
at any rate in North America. We believe that a close study of albinism in the 
American negro, with special reference to the grades of leucosis, would well repay the 
necessary labour. In America there has at present been little done in this field ; 
possibly because xanthous cases have been supposed due to the mixture with 
European blood. 

Various minor cases of negro albinism, possibly due to North American slave 
ancestry, will be found on our Plate XXVIII. 

(ii) South Americari Negroes. Strange as it may seem. South America has 
produced, perhaps, more cases, and certainly more classical cases, of negro albinism 
than North America. Foremost among these is that reported by Fermin from 
Surinam, but discussed by Treytorens, Voltaire and Maupertius (see our Fig. 288). 
This is the case of an albinotic stock producing both albino and xanthous members, 
although the former attracted the more attention in 1734. The albinos appear to 
have been practically complete, red pupils, etc., but the hair was white '•' tirant sur 
le roux. 

Earlier still (1648) we have Margrave's case, cited in almost all later works 
touching on albinism, of the African negress in Brazil, who was not black but red, 
skin and hair and curls red\ Then we have Pere Gumilla's case= of the piebald 
negress, born in 1738, at Cai-tagena, and in this case also, if, as is possible, it be 
identical with that reported to Diderot and D'Alembert (see our Fig. 26.9), there 
were albino siblings of the pied child, indicating grades of albinism in the same stock. 
M. de Pauw reported from the same date, 1738 (see our Fig. 437), but not apparently 
the same family, four albino oft'spring to a negress at Cartagena ; the skin was 
white, without any mixture of red, and the hair of a bright orange yellow. Porte 
provides us with live cases of negro albinos from Brazil. First two brothers, red- 
eyed and photophobic, with white skins spotted or freckled, practically complete 
albinos (see our Fig. 270) ; then an albino, twin with a black negro, white skin with- 
out spots, hair white "tirant sur le roux," eyes of clear blue, some photophobia, but 
no mention of red pupils (see our Fig. 285'') ; and lastly two sisters, skin spotted, 
red eyes, marked photophobia, hair white "tirant vers le roux" (see Fig. 285''). 
Porte's case of twins, one negro and one albino, is exactly paralleled by a case 
of Fermin reported in 1769 to the Berlin Academy of Sciences (see our Fig. 291). 
Of the same date is the report of Castel's case of a completely albinotic boy, born to 
negro parents at Paramaribo (see our Fig. 270). 

' See our footnote, p. 1.30. ^ See our chapter on Partial Albinism. 



Hille' (1842) recorded an interesting case from Guiana of an albino negro, 
between 40 and 50 yeai-s of age, capable bricklayer, average intelligence ; his hair 
woolly and light blond, skin like that of a white European, his cheeks ruddy, which 
is not the case with Europeans who have been born or lived long in the district. 
His eyes light hrown, with heavy woolly eyebi'ows, rotatory nystagmus, photophobia, 
and poor sight. He was derisively called " masra negre " by other negroes, but 
otherwise not persecuted, disliked, avoided or held in honour. He apparently belongs 
to our Class (iv). 

Lastly, we may note Margrave's case of a complete albino negro recorded in our 
Fig. 512. It will be seen from these briefly cited cases that South America has 
produced almost as wide a range of variety in negro albinism as we have found 
in Africa itself 

(iii) West Indian Islands. Like South America these islands present us with 
some of the classical cases of negro albinism. In the first place we must mention 
the famous case of Genevieve, discussed by BufFon and Dicquemare (see our Fig. 278). 
She came from Dominica, where she was boi"n in 1759. The case is of much interest, 
partly because an elder brother appears to have been xanthous, partly because Buffon 
states that her hair was reddish at the terminals, and partly because while she had 
photophobia and nystagmus, neither author repoi'ts redness of the pupils or iris ; the 
iris was grey with a slight tint of orange "towards the crystalline lens." The case 
appears to have been one of our Class (iv). Dicquemare " also describes another albino 
negro girl, Quercana (see our Fig. 292), born of very black parents " in Afi'ica," with 
much the same eyes, except that they had apparently no photophobia, were not 
tTiyopic, but had some occasional nystagmus ; the irides were grey, with a slight 
mixture of thin yellow streaks, the pupil of a much darker grey almost black ; the 
hair with slightly more red than the wool of the sheep. This girl appears like 
Genevieve to have belonged to Class (iv), or at any rate to have been a transition case 
between that and Class (ii). Arthaud, in a rather good paper for his date (l789)^ 
gives several references to white negroes. Artois, in 1783, had seen a white negress 
born to black parents at Cap in Dominica. In Guadeloupe, Valable, in 1770, saw two 
twin white negresses between 18 and 20 years of age, and Gauche, at Port de Paix, 
another white negress. Several other albinos were seen by Deshayes in the south 
of the island, but their sex is not stated'. Arthaud also gives an account of two pied 
negroes : see our chapter on Partial Albinism. 

1 See Bibl. No. 232. 

= See Bibl. No. 83 (T. xxxn. 1788). 

^ See Bibl. No. 108. Arthaud had also an appreciation of the transmission of colour factors through 
the albino. "Le principe colorant, inherent aux molecules organiques d'un albinos, est sans doute 
fortifie par I'adaptation energique du principe colorant, qui n'a subi aucune alteration dans les molecules 
organiques qui proviennent d'un individu noir " (p. 277) — this to account for the fact that negroes and 
albino negresses have black offspring. 

■* Deshayes' account of these white negroes is very good: they only differ from their parents 
in colour, they have the same specific characters, only their constitution is not so robust; but they 
are not as weak and degraded as some have reported. Some are carnation colour with lips vermilion ; 


Carroll du Villanls mentions a spotted individual from Porto Rico, who exhibited 
himself on the boulevards in Paris in company with an albino Jewess'. Gii^lioli, in 
1881', brought to the notice of the Italian Anthropological Society a negro albino 
from St Thomas in the Antilles. Dr Boon', in 1892, exhibited two complete albino 
children, born of negro parents at the Leeward Islands Branch of the British Medical 
Association ; in this case there was albinism in the parental stock (see our Fig. 281). 
Lastly we may note that Masurier painted a young pied negress with delicate rose- 
tinted skin at Martinique in 1782, and that his two paintings of her still exist in the 
galleries of anthropology in the Museum of Natural History at Pari^^ 

In addition to the above published cases we have to report the result of our 
inquiries in the British West Indies. These were chiefly directed to ascertaining 
whether any pied negroes were now in existence, and will be considered in our 
chapter on Partial Albinism. We note first Dr W. G. Heath's interesting cases 
(Figs. 272 and 280) from Montserrat. In the first of these we have apparently 
albinism appearing in a stock also showing xanthous members, with reddish hair 
and grey eyes. In the second case the albino negress had large brown freckly spots 
on her white blistered-looking skin, and reddish white hair. Dr Heath does not 
describe the eyes. Dr Cleaver describes from Trinidad two albinotic children with 
beautifully white complexion, reddish white hair, and blue eyes with nystagmus 
(see our Fig. 273). From the same island Dr R. H. E. Knaggs provides a case of 
albinotic negro father and daughter (see our Fig. 294) ; the skin was dirty white 
and freckled, the eyes pink, the hair sandy coloured. These appear to have been 
complete albinos. 

Finally Dr I. Costa sends two families (see our Figs. 510 and 517) from Jamaica. 
The photograph of one of these cases appears on Plate DD (93) and (94), and his 
light yellow hair had a slight reddish tinge (not reproduced). The father in this 
case, who had albino children by three different wives, was a " light coloured negro " 
without any European blood — possibly of xanthous type. 

It will be seen that in broad lines the albino negro in America and the West 
Indies has not been differentiated by civilised environment from the albino neo-ro of 
Africa. While white-haired pink-eyed negro albinos occur in both hemispheres, yet 
the American negro albino also exhibits the same tendency to yellow or reddish hair 
tones ; the eyes show less frequently or less markedly the pink pupil or red reflex 
of the iris. That the spotting does not seem so frequent as in Africa may be largely 
due to absence of exposure to the sun. We have noted that this spotting does not 
appear to occur in the young negro albinos, nor in the clothed albinos of the Pacific 
(see our pp. 128, 147 and 55—6). Minor spotting or freckling is common to both 
hemispheres. The xanthous negro stocks have also reached America, and there 

their head covered with reddish wool; their sight is not so good and they cannot see as far as the 
ordinary man ; the iris is diversely coloured and the globe of the eye has a peculiar vibration. They 
are not deaf and their intellectual faculties are as good as those of other negroes. The skin of their 
hands and feet is hard to the touch and in youth has the wrinkles of decrepitude. 

' '^ee Bibl. Jfo. 219. '- See Bibl. No. 369. 

= See Bibl. No. 436. * See Bibl. No. 415. 


appears to be the same occurrence of linked xanthism and albinism in negro families. 
In many respects it must be easier to study the characters of negro albinism in 
America and the West Indies than in Africa itself, and we very earnestly hope that 
some attempt will be made to describe ophthalmoscopically, and if opportunity offers 
microscopically, the various types of albino eye desci'ibed as "grey," "blue," "light 
brown or yellow," and presenting little or no marked red reflex. From such eyes — 
often apparently having but little defect of vision — much can possibly be learnt 
bearing upon racial evolution. Another point which deserves special attention in 
future records is the correlation i^eported in several cases of albinotic characters with 
reduced negroid features (nose, lips, smell, etc.) other than pigmentation. If this 
were substantiated in pure blood negro cases, it would again have important bearing 
on racial origins. 

In the whole survey we have come across accounts, more or less complete, of 
213 negro albinos. It is possible that one or two individuals may have been duplicated, 
because it is not easy in the earlier records to be quite sure of locality or individual. 
Of these 108 were male, 83 female, and 22 unsexed. But little weight can be given 
to this sex difference, partly because the males may easily have been more in evidence, 
and partly because exposure of albinos admittedly occurring in Africa, it may not 
have borne equally on both sexes. When we come to attempt any classification we 
find it must be of the roughest possible character. This arises from the fact that so 
many of the early accounts are insufiicient even from the standpoint of skin and hair ; 
and further that many of the modern accounts do not enable us to say whether the 
albinism of the eyes is to be considered complete. Putting xanthous and piebalds in 
one class, and all albinos with definite nystagmus and photophobia in the other, while 
exercising some personal judgment as to doubtful cases, we find, complete albinos 
79 $, 69 ?, 19 o ; incomplete and partial albinos 29 $, 14 $, 3 o. The ratio 3 : 1 of 
complete and incomplete is not widely different from what we have found for the 
white races. 


Norivay, p. 29. A number of new albinotic pedigrees will be found on our plates (see Figs. 634 — 5, 
637 and 650) which have been sent by Dr V. Magnus since this chapter was printed off. 

Germany, p. 32. Dr Meyerhof, of Cairo, tells us that in his hospital practice in Germany he saw 
10 cases of complete albinism in some 20,000 eye-patients. This may be compared with Trettenbacher's 
Russian Statistics (see our p. 31), 4 albinos in 46,000 eye-patients, and Lagleyze's Argentine Statistics, 
27 albinos in about 30,000 eye-patients in private practice, and no case " recollected " in 26 years with 
100,000 patients in hospital practiced Excluding the latter statement as somewhat indefinite, it would 
seem that one albino per 2000 to 3000 eye-patients is a rough ratio of the albinotic frequencj' in a 
selected class, that of eye-patients. Dr Meyerhof also notes that in Hanover he observed nearly 30 cases 
of incomplete albinism (white skin and hair, light blue irides, connected or not with anomalies of re- 
fraction) ; these cases belonged in the most part to the East Friesland race. 

' See Bibl. No. .552, p. 14. 


Kmngsherg. The marriage of an albino in 1821 caused apparently a good deal of popular interest: 
see the pamphlet Ein hochxt sondi'.rhares mid sehr merkwiirdiyes Ereigniss in Ki/niysbery ; nehmlich die 
den 20'"" Mdrz 1821 in der polnischen Kirche vollzogene Trauung eines Nachtrnenschen niit einer 
Kochin. A copy is ])rescrved in the Konigsberg Library. 

England, p. 35. Albinism has been attributed by several writers to Edward the Confessor. Thus we note : 
Freeman, TTorniflwi Conquest, 2nd ed. vol. ii. p. 27, "Eadward was seeminglyan albino " ; Stanley, Memorials of 
Westmiiisler Ahbei/,\\ 13, "We know the Confessor well from the descriptions preserved by his contemporaries. 
His appearance was such that no one could forget. It was almost that of an albino." Freeman and 
Stanley both wrote in 1867^ — 8. The writer in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xvii. p. 8 (1889) 
says that Edward " was doubtless an albino." There is only one contemporary account, all other personal 
descriptions are derived from it, namely the Vita Aeduuardi Regis of the Harleian MS. 526, published by 
Luard in the Rolls Series, 1858. It runs: " Et ut statum sive formam ejusdem non praetereamus, 
hominis persona erat decentissima, discretae proceritatis, capillis et barba canitiae insignis lactea, facie 
plena et cute rosea, nianibns macris et niveis, longis quoque interlucentibus digitis, reliquo corpore toto 
integer et regius homo. Continua gravitate jocundus, humiliatis incedens visibus, gratissimae cum quovis 
aflfabilitatis. Si ratio aliquem suscitaret animi motum, leonini videbatur terroris, iram tamen non prodebat 
jurgiis" (p. 396). The writer probably saw Edward after 60 years of age and when he was approaching 
senility. There is not a word in this description about white hair from birth ; there is not a word about 
pink pupils or nystagmus or the skin in general being white. William of Malmesbury, paraphrasing this 
writer, says, quite without warrant, " toto corpore lacteus." Stanley bases on the phrase " humiliatis 
incedens visibus" a suspicion of photophobia — "his eyes were always fixed on the ground," and the 
" mambus macris et niveis " becomes, by aid of William of Malmesbury, in the D. N. Biog. the general 
statement that " his skin was white." The biographer would almost certainly have referred to the chief 
characteristic of the albino eyes, and it is not easy to realise an albino appearing leonini terroris. On 
the whole it appears to us that the myth has been based upon very slender foundations, and that later 
writers have followed Freeman, who possibly knew little of the pathology of albinism beyond whiteness 
of hair. The miniaturist of the Cambridge manuscript of the French Life of Edward, working perhaps 
150 years after Edward's death, knows nothing of an albino tradition and makes the Confessor a blond 
with golden hair'. 

France, p. 38. Several French cases on our lists escaped notice in the text. Dr L. Dubar, of 
Armentieres, in a letter (dated March 20, 1906) mentions an albino male infant of 6 months, there being 
no other case in the family. Rayer mentions an incompletely albinotic mother and two albino daughters, 
aged respectively 3 and 15 years, natives of Paris (case of Louisa de Brun ; see Bibl. No. 210, p. 935). 
Mortillet knew in 1855 three incomplete albinos in a family living between Amecy and Alby (see Bibl. 
No. 424). Broc states that albinism is not rare in the Departement de la Creuse, where probably no year 
passes without an albino being born (see Bibl. No. 215). Finally, we may note the albino girl, aged 15, 
with pink eyes and very scaly skin, said by Renauldin to be the offspring of a French officer and a negress 
in the Isle of France, i.e. Mauritius (see Bibl. No. 149). 

Switzerland, p. 39. Since this section was written C. H. Usher has made a journey to Switzerland 
to collect data as to albinos. He has succeeded in bringing Cornaz's Chassot-Rey pedigree down to date — 
i.e. adding another three generations (see our Fig. 640), but without finding additional albinos. He has 

also obtained another long Swiss albino pedigree, the de R M pedigree (see our Fig. 641). 

He further heard of an albino family in the valley of Heremence, and of another albino family in the 
Lotschen valley, Valais. So far, we have not procured details of the latter two stocks, but it will be seen 
that our Swiss material is considerably extended. There are, he heard, two albinos in an asylum for the 
blind in Lausanne. 

1 Green (SJiort History of the English People, Vol. i. p. 130, 1894) writes that "there was something shadowlike in the 
thin form, the delicate complexion, the transparent, womanly hands that contrasted with the blue eyes and golden hair of 
his race." Does this mean Edward had blue eyes and golden hair? If so, on what authority is it stated? If the passage 
contrasts Edward with other members of his race, on what authority is he denied blue eyes ? Most anthropologists would 
expect in youth that a delicate complexion "plump and ruddy skin" would be found associated with blue eyes and blond 
hair. This part of the contrast appears very idle. 



Swiss School Pigmentation Survey. Precisely as in the other pigmentation surveys of school 
children, that of Switzerland organised by Kollmann' gives us no satisfactory data as to albinos. The 
method adopted is that of Virchow's Prussian survey and there is the same obscurity (see our p. 32) as 
to what is meant by " Farbe der Augen." Is the apparent colour of the irides stated, and would, if this 
be so, an albino be stated to have "red eyes"? 405,609 children were recorded with the following results 
as far as albinism is concerned ; 


































































Grand Total 52 




Grand Total 35 




Kollmann himself says that " red eyes " denote an absence of pigment and speaks of 35 such cases. 
If this were a true test, there would be 1 albino in Switzerland to 11,000 or 12,000 children. Kollmann 
himself states that it is an interesting observation bearing on the appearance of albinism that the want 
of pigment in the eye can appear as a totally local affection, while the rest of the organism has at its 
disposal, occasionally seen in black hair and dark skin, a fullness of pigment, which under normal 
conditions is to be found in every eye (p. 25). Surely this very fact ought to have caused Kollmann to 
pause ? Incomplete albinism of skin and hair with complete albinism of the eyes occurs, but, as our 
own investigations show, is not as frequent as complete albinism of eyes, hair and skin. Yet not one 
single case of complete alhinisra was brought to light by this Swiss survey of 405,609 children ! In 
no single case were light skin, white hair and red eyes combined ! Under what category have the 18 to 
20 complete albinos we should expect in this population been entered ? We are not at all certain that 
they may not be really contained under the headings " blue eyes, white hair, light skin," and " red eyes, 
blond hair and light skin." Anyhow we consider it unreasonable to class 35 children as albinos, not one 
of whom has white hair, 15 of whom have brown skins, and 16 brown or black hair. On the other hand, 
of 52 children having white hair and light skin, not a single one has albinotic eyes, according to the 
record. It seems exceedingly probable that the blue eyes in the case of 17 of these 52 children were blue 
albinotic irides, and that the " red eyes " of the brunettes among the 35 former children were not 
albinotic, but that the colour represents red brown or brick red tints as found by the recording teacher 
in certain irides, and is not albinotic reflex at all. Be this as it may, it does not seem safe to 
use this material, as some writers have done, to estimate the amount of albinism in Switzerland. 

Persia, p. 49. We have succeeded in discovering an oral tradition as to Tamerlane. Joseph Wolff 
writing of Timur Leng, the " Lame Timur," describes how intimately the Turkomans still speak of him 
and his exploits, as if they were of modern occurrence. Thus a mullah from Bokhara asked Wolff if 
Timiir was much spoken of in England and said that " he was of great stature, of an extraordinary large 

' Die statistischen Erhebiingen iiber die Farbe der Augen, der Haare und der Haut in den Sehulen der Schweiz. Neue 
Denkschri/ten der allgemeinen schwcizerischen Gesellscha/t filr der gesammten Natiini^issenschafteti, Bd. xxvni. 1881, Ziirich, 
1883, S. 1—42. 


head, open forehead, of a beautiful red and white complexion and with long hair, white from his birth like 
Zal the renowned hero of Persian History" (Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara, 1843 — 5, 7th ed. 1852 
p. 243)'. As to Zal the Shahnama, or King's book, composed about 1000 A.D., recounts the birth of Zal 
as well as the characteristics given in the citations on our p. 49. The warrior Sam according to Firdausi's 
sources had a child born to him without a single blemish, excepting that his hair was white : 

His hair was white as goose's wing, 
His cheek was like the rose of spring, 
His form was straight as cypress tree — 
But when the sire was brought to see 
That child with hair so silvery white, 
His heart revolted at the sight. 

No human being of this earth 
Could give to such a monster birth ; 
He must be of the Demon race, 
Though human still in form and face. 
If not a Demon, he, at least, 
Appears a parti-coloured beast. 

His mother called him Zrd, but the people said to Sam that it was an ominous event, and would be pro- 
ductive of nothing but calamity. Sam, owing to these reproaches, exposes the silver haired child on the 
mountain Alberz, whence he is saved miraculously, and restored to the penitent but aged Sam : 

Dost thou believe 
That to have silvery tresses is a crime? 
If so, thy head is covered with white hair ; 
And were not both spontaneous gifts from Heaven"? 

We owe to Professor C. E. Wilson another quotation as to Zal from the Shahnama : 

His eyelashes (are) white, (and his) eyes the colour of pitch ; 
(His) lips (are) like coral, and (his) cheeks like blood. 

The word used for pitch is the Arabic word kir, but if applied to the pupils it is not necessarily final 
with regard to the albinism or incomplete albinism of a man of dark-skinned race. 

China, p. 50. Mr Thos. D. Begg, a missionary, has been 22 years in China. Between 1888 and 1895 
he saw 12 Chinese albinos near Whei-chow in Ngan-whi province, where there are said to be 20 albinos. 
It is a mountainous and poorly populated district. He noted red eyes, yellowish hair and freckles ; he did 
not note nystagmus. Albinos, he says, are looked down upon by the Chinese, who believe they have 
foreign blood in them. Mr Begg thinks that there is no intermixture of r,aces in Wheichow. At 
Shanghai, where he has now his headquarters, there is a typical specimen of female albino two minutes 
from his house. Mr Begg informs us that the Chinese term for albino is iarig ren, i.e. the con- 
temptuous epithet of " foreigner." Dr John Rose (now of Inverness) has spent five years in China, 
principally in the employment of the Transvaal Chamber of Mines Labour Importation Agency. He was 
in Chin Wang Tao, province of Chihli, North China. Some 20,000 Chinese males, ages from 17 to 50, were 
medically examined. They came from the provinces of Chihli, Shantung, Honan and from Manchuria, 
and to a lesser extent from Shansi, Hubeh and Szechuan. In addition to these coolies, Dr Rose has met 
many thousand Chinese ; yet he has never once noted a Chinese albino. He has seen some Chinese with 
red hair and light skins, but he could not say for certain whether their eyes were blue, although he was 
inclined to think they were. He had heard coast natives asking the red haired Chinese in joke " whether 
their mothers had known any missionary," although there were probably no white men within 150 miles 
of their districts. 

Dr A. H. Skinner of Hankow considers that albinos are few in China and conspicuous when they 
occur. Visitors are apt to confuse them with half-castes ; he has noticed one or two among the coolie 
labourers in the streets. There is a report of an albino colony about twenty miles from Hankow. 

Just as this sheet goes to press Dr Souter and C. H. Usher have received from Dr Skinner of 
Hankow some fine photographs of Chinese albinos (see our Plates W. and WW.), and further records 
of Chinese albinos. Dr Skinner most kindly circularised his fellow medical men in China and sends 
the following details : 

1 A Punjabi student spoken to by K. Pearson (Jan. 1910) knew well the legend of Timiir's white hair, and said it 
was given in the Persian Reader used in some of the schools of India. 

* For the above account see The Shah Ndma, by James Atkinson, pp. 71 — 3, London, 1832. 

K. P. 21 


Dr F. F. Tucker of Pangkiachwang, Shantung, has seen eight years' practice in China; in 1909 he 
saw 547 hospital patients. He has never seen albinos in hospital work but two when travelling, and 
heard of a few others, but the information is not definite or exact. The local (?) name for albino is 
pai t'ou loo. An assistant tells him that among the natives it is often considered " that the excessive 
evil of parents causes a child to be dyed in utero "; this is the only explanation given of albinism. 

Dr O. T. Logan, of Changteh, Hunan, has seen 12 years' medical work in China, and saw about 5000 
hospital patients in 1909; he has never seen a case of albinism in the hospital, but he has seen two elsewhere. 

Dr Thomas Gillison of Hankow, Hupeh, has had 27 years of hospital practice in China, and saw, 
perhaps, 3500 patients in 1909. He has seen not more than, perhaps, half-a-dozen albinos since lie has 
been in China. Of localised white patches, cases of leucodernia, he has seen eight or ten in all. 

Dr A. R. C. Father who has been three years in Changsha, Hunan, has seen three albinotic cases in and 
about that city, mostly beggars or hawkers. They had white or hair and always a ruddy complexion. 

Dr E. M. Merrins of the Boone Medical School, AVuchang, says that in that town reputed to have 
about 250,000 inhabitants, there are certainly two cases and possibly a third case' of albinism. The first 
is a young fellow, a pedlar in the streets, who is now in Hanyang". The second, a woman, is an 
undoubted albino (see our Plate W. (160)). She is a beggar" aged about 55. Hair and eyebrows quite 
white and have always been so; complexion ruddy; face so dirty it was hard to determine if freckled. 
She has muco-purulent conjunctivitis, corneal opacities, etc., so that the lids can hardly be opened and her 
condition was such that it was impossible to examine the eyes for points of albinism. She says no 
ancestors or relatives — she has no children — were albinos. 

In Wuchang the name used is pe Veo fah = white head hair. The small commercial dictionary gives 
Hi peh ren, the strange, foreign, rare white man, and on the streets they are sometimes called iang ren 
= foreigners. 

As to the cause it is believed — by how many Dr Merrins does not know — that a person is born an 
albino because the mother ate the flesh of sheep, i.e. inasmuch as the eater partakes of the nature of 
things he eats, one who eats mutton will have light woolly hair, or the children will have such woolly hair. 

Dr Webb Anderson, Falshan, Kwangtung, has seen ten years' hospital practice in China and many 
thousands of patients. He has met only one case of albinism, not seen in hospital work. He gives as the 
Chinese name for albino tin lo = " Heaven's venerable," or kong pak pang = Heaven's white disease. 
These names suggest a respect for albinism, which is certainly not manifest in other Chinese districts. 

Dr G. Duncan Whyte, Swabue near Swatow, Kwangtung, has had six years' practice in China. He 
himself has seen in the street one doubtful case and gives a full account of one case he has heard of. In 
this case the woman, now dead, had tlie body whiter than a European, with no patch of ordinary colour, 
the hair, eyebrows and eyelashes were quite white. The irides were white, but pupils dark and no 
red reflex noted; there was photophobia; the vision must have been fair, for she could repair nets. Her 
mother and maternal grandmother were only children, and husbands "were brought in for them"; the 
husbands, men from other provinces, were thus presumably in no way related. The albino was third in a 
sibship of five; the 1st and 2nd males and the 5th a female died of phthisis. The woman has had two 
children of which the first died one week old, and the second, aged 13, is healthy. No relatives have 
shown any pigment abnormality. 

Dr G. Preston Maxwell, Yung-chun, Fukien, has had ten years' practice, and examined in 1909, 3000 
patients. He has seen three albinos (one adult and two children) in hospital practice and two more 
(one adult and one child) elsewhere. He has heard of four others in the southern half of Fukien^ 

1 Dr Merrins has not been able to see this ease, and from the description lie doubts if it is one of genuine albinism. 

'^ "I have tried hard to get him, but he will not come." 

' "Yesterday the old woman came to the Hospital and raised quite a rumpus. She said that the taking of her 
photograph had made her sick and taken away all her good fortune. ...I had to buy her off, and I shall not be at all 
surprised if we have to pension her for life. So you see where scientific investigation is in danger of landing us ! Seriously 
though it is quite probable that you will not receive many photographs because the fear has not yet departed — I thought 
it had — that photography somehow affects the personality and destiny." 

* He is just leaving for a year's furlough and promises further details when his note-booka are again accessible. 


Dr Samuel Cochran, Huai-yuan, Amlmi, has liad 11 years' pi-actict; in China, and saw in 1909, 2560 
hospital patients. He has never seen cases of albinism in hospital practice, but has met three or four 
casually on the street. The Chinese call them pe.h konf/. 

Dr Cecil F. Davenport, Shanghai, Kiangsu, has had 20 years' hospital practice and seen 20,000 to 
30,000 patients. No albinos have been under treatment, but he has seen two or three cases elsewhere 
and heard of a few others. The Chinese call albinism " white hair " or " sheep white hair." They liken 
it to a sheep's fleece and say it is through eating mutton. 

Dr A. H. Skinner saw on Bund at Hankow, a stout, well-built albino man, aged about 40 and 
apparently a countryman. Queue practically white, face very ruddy and resembling the photograph of 
albino, Plate WW. (161). 

Dr McAll, Hankow, sent, since letter cited below, a beggar albino woman, aged 34, round to 
Dr Skinner's hospital to be photographed, but she fled before the operation could be carried out. Her 
hair was almost white; irides plentifully streaked with bluish white lines on darker ground; eyesight 
much impaired. 

Almost all the above medical men had seen, some fairly frequently, cases of leucoderma. 
Dr D. Liindsborough, with 13 years' practice in Formosa, had seen no case of albinism but a good 
many cases of leucoderma. Dr Whyte sends us a photograph of a case of partial leucosis, possibly 
leucoderma, which is intei-esting ; it was taken by Dr Cousland some years ago. If it does not represent a 
congenital piebald, it will at any rate serve to complete our illustrations of leucoderma in various races 
(see Plate WW. (162)). 

Dr Skinner himself reports a case of albinism in Hankow, a Chinaman, Ning Fuh Tai, aged 36, 
widower, no children. His mother, normal, came originally from Honan, driven thence by poverty; he 
knows nothing of her family. His father, a Hankow man, married at age 27; he had two brothers of 
whom no particulars. The albino himself is fifth in a family of six; the eldest sibling, i, is alive 
and has a son and grandson, the second and third siblings are dead, then follows a sister with four 
normal chidren, the fifth is the albino and the sixth sibling a male. The two brothei's and the sister are 
strong and well. The albinism of Ning Fuh Tai was attributed to some mistake or oversight in regard 
to the burial or care of the tomb of his paternal grandfather. Ning Fuh Tai's skin is fair, there are no 
freckles or pigment spots. Hair: scalp, light brown; eyebrows, almost white and thin; eyelashes, white, 
scanty, lower practically nil from earlier blepharitis; body hair nearly white, plenty in axilla and on 
pubes; for the rest very little or nil. Eyes: neither amblyopic, but both are highly myopic; fixes with his 
L. eye. Vision R. and L.: counts fingers with difficulty about ten feet; conjunctivitis and blepharitis of 
L. lids. Iris : grey-blue, a little rusty pigment in a circle round the pupil, but not quite at the pupillary 
margin; no pigment at the corneal margin; no redness of pupil; marked concomitant internal strabismus 
of R. eye; marked lateral nystagmus, about every second or oftener when excited; no photophobia. 
Examination of fundus not easy on account of nystagmus and myopia; pigment seems to be present in 
normal degree and distribution, except at the temporal side of the discs, where the pigment of choroid 
seemed to be scanty and to be arranged in small circular patches, each rather smaller than the area of the 
disc (see Plate WW. (161) and (164)). At the Roman Catholic Mission Hospital in Hankow, two brothers, 
aged about 30, who had come to bury their mother, were noticed (17/2/10) to have streaky brown hair; 
their eyes were healthy, but the irides in each were of a light green colour; they had one brother at home 
who had black hair. Their complexions were ruddier than is natural with the Chinese. Their mother, 
whose hair had become white, had formerly had brown hair. They denied possible European blood. 
They belong to Mei-iang-dso, a place 400 li (= 133 miles) up the Han river. In Hanyang, in February 
1910 also, a well-marked albino was pas.sed, selling water chestnuts in the street (see Plate WW. (163)). 
No particulars could be obtained, but a snapshot was taken before a crowd collected. He would not 
hang his pigtail to the front ; his eyes were pale and he seemed to have photophobia. Hair of the head 
nearly white; eyebrows pale and scanty. As far as the local mission doctors can learn there is no special 
Chinese word for albinism. In the local Hankow pronunciation the cases of which Dr Skinner sends 
photographs are termed bdh-plh, i.e. white skins. 

Dr Skinner remarks that the number of cases seen in the thi-ee cities, Hankow, Hanyang and 



Wuchang by the missionary and other medical men is very small. They may possibly be overlooked, 
being confused with Eurasians. It will be obvious that the cases reported by Dr Skinner appear to 
belonr' to the less complete form of albinism such as we have already noted in the Philippines. Dr McAll 
in a letter to Dr Skinner (dated Hankow, Dec. 27, 1909) said that he had then never seen a case of genuine 
albinism in China, the nearest case to it being a big coolie who frequented the Concession a few years 
aco and whose hair was a light brown. He remarks that the Chinese of classical times called themselves 
" the black-haired race." Dr Skinner also notes that the Chinaman's hair is usually strong, coarse and 
coal-black, but that there may be shades of dark brown approximating to black of a degree not likely to 
be noticed except by some one making comparisons. At any rate the above report is of considerable 
value as showing the existence of incomplete albinism and possibly xanthism in China. Whether these 
incomplete cases are relatively more common than complete albinism (of which only two or three cases 
have hitherto been put on record: see p. oO), or whether more are allowed to survive childhood it would 
be impossible to say. But we have in China, apparently, as in the Philippines and among the negroes, 
just the same wide range of albino grades, which exist, although less marked, among the white races. 

India, p. 51. John Davy, 1839, speaks of albinos as being frequently seen in Ceylon, and of one in 
particular he writes : "The young albino, 12 years of age, in England and certainly in Norway, would 
not be considered peculiar, for her eyes were light blue, and not particularly weak ; lier hair of the colour 
that usually accompanies such eyes ; and her complexion fresh and rosy. She had considerable pre- 
tensions to beauty, and was not without admirers among her countrymen. It is easy to conceive that an 
accidental variety of this kind might propagate, and that the white race of mankind is sprung from 
such accidental variety. The Indians are of this opinion, and there is a tradition or story amongst them 
in which this origin is assigned to us " (see Bibl. No. 2.37). 

Pyrard de Laval, in 1679, writing of tlie Maldive Islands which lie south-west of Ceylon, says that 
among the native olive-coloured women there are some as white as Europeans ; this probably refers to 
albinism (see Bibl. No. 33). 

Dr Robertson Milne says that during his seven years' experience among the natives of Lower 
Bengal he has seen several albinos ; he mentions a family of albinos, high caste Brahmins in 

Negelein (Die volksthiimliche Bedeutung der weissen Farbe, Zeilschrift fiir Ethiiologie, Bd. xxxin. 
S. 55, Berlin, 1901) considers that the word sita-asita-roga occurring in a San.skrit MS. at BerHn, and 
given in the St Petersburg Sanskrit Dictionary, really denotes albinism, and that accordingly the early 
Indian medical men had already recognised albinism as a definite phenomenon. 

Siam, p. 51. The journal of Mr Peter Williamson Floris tells us that in Siam "in 1605 the Black 
King died without issue and left his dominions to his brother the White King, who was a covetous 
Prince but enjoyed his Kingdoms in peace," Thos. Astley, A New General Collection of Voyages, Vol. i. 
p. 39, London, 1745. This may be compared with the legend of the Black and White Kings of Madura: 
see our p. 65 f tn. Is it possibly a case of albinism ] 

South America, p. 105. An informant home from Rurrenabaque, 20 days journey from La Paz in 
Bolivia, states that he has seen 500 to 1000 natives; they speak takana, have almond-shaped eyes, black 
straight hair, no beard or moustache, and an olive coloured skin lighter than the Japanese. He has not 
come across a native albino. Bollaert' and Wilson reported a red-haired Indian woman at Canelos 
in Ecuador. Kittlitz- mentions fair-haired people in the south of Chile. Blake apparently had found 
red hair attached to a skull from an Indian tomb in Peru. Camargo noted also fair hair among Indian 
remains, while the traditions of various American races refer like tlie Persian legends to fair-haired 
heroes^ Thus Camaxtli, a hero of the Chichimeques-Tolteques, was white and fair-haired''. Still more 
recently (March 14, 1910), Major P. H. Fawcett, in summing up to the Royal Geographical Society 
the results of his three years' experience in Bolivia, referred to the old story (see our pp. 17 — 18) 
1 Journal Anthrop. Society, Vol. vii. p. civ. London, 1869. 

' Denkwiirdijilteiten einer Reise, Bd. i. S. 128. ' Bull. Hoc. d' Anthrop. T. in. pp. 424 — 431 

* Bull. Soc. d'A7ithrop. T. in. p. 214. It is somewhat vaguely asserted on p. 213 that the Lipanis, a tribe of the 
Apaches in Southern Mexico, have white hair. 


of a tribe of white Indians in the remote interior. He stated that lie liiniself liad met half-a-dozon men 
who emphatically declared that they had caught glimpses of white Indians with red hair. The "wild" 
Indians are said to have affirmed the existence of a white race with blue eyes, and given this people 
who travel and hunt by night but hide by day (of. our pp. 22—25) the name of Morcegos or " Bats." 
It IS possible that all the above Indian reports are associated with cases of complete or incomplete 

Xorth Anwrica, p. 107. Mr H. B. Townshead in a letter to E. Nettleship, Dec. 29 1909 states that 
in 1903 he was in the Hopi (or Moqui) pueblos of Arizona. " The Hopi Indians live on seven hill-tops in 
the Painted Desert, and are probably very little mixed in blood with whites. I should say nearly 5 per 
cent, of them were albinos. I have rarely seen any albinos elsewhere among the Red Indians. The Hopi 
are lighter coloured than most of the Indians I know, and their features diflFer to my eye so little from 
Europeans, that I remember long ago suggesting to Tylor the possible starting of a white race not unlike 
ours from such origins. I believe I have seen in the fair, freckled, Irish peasant type some faces very like 
Hopi albinos. Of course there is the difference of the Indian hair in texture." 

Negro Albinism, p. 116. At the kind suggestion of Dr G. A. Turner, Dr G. H. Coke, Medical 
Officer, Government Native Labour Bureau, Germiston, Transvaal, sent to K. Pearson (Letter, February 
17, 1910) the following report on the only cases of partial albinism, abnormal pigmentation and 
xanthism occurring among 5000 South African natives recruited from ter.itory for work on 
mines in the Transvaal. They were ex^unined at the Government Labour Bureau Compound at Driehoek 
during November, 1909. No case of complete albinism was seen. The first two cases may have been 
either congenital or leucodermatous, the third case is reported as congenital and the fourth and fifth are 
clearly cases of xanthism. 

Notes on cases of Xanthism and Abnor7nal Pigmentation in South African Natives. 

(1) A Xosa adult male showed the following white patches: upper part right ear white; an irregular 
white patch on right cheek about size of a penny; left ear white with small spots of black in the white 
area; three small white patches on left cheek, the largest being nearly as large as a haricot bean. 

(2) A Basuto adult male from Basutoland showed (1) a white patch nearly the size of a five-shillina 
piece just below the left clavicle, (2) a small patch about the size of a haricot bean in left axillary line 
just below the crest of the ilium. 

In the above two cases the skin of the patches is not yellow but white and to all appearance 
indistinguishable from that of a white man. 

(3) An adult male Xosa with a well-marked pigmented patch many shades darker tiian the 
remainder of his body, extending from the left nipple outwards and around the left side of the body over 
the left scapula and to within three inches of the spine. The patch forms a band of about eight inches 
wide, and the native states he was born with it. 

(4) A young adult male Xosa, known as an umfaan at this age, with copper-coloured skin instead of 
the usual colour. Irides light brown, no nystagmus; hair very light brown, and curly. States that 
parents were the usual colour; has four sisters one of whom is of a similar colour to himself, the other 
three being black like their parents. 

(5) A copper-coloured male Xosa, but of slightly darker shade than the last. Colour of irides quite 
dark brown-no nystagmus; hair light brown and curly. States that both parents were of the usual 
colour and that there is no history of any light-coloured individuals in his family. 

Blue-eyed Negroes, p. 158. The existence of blue-eyed negroes without other albinotic characters 
seems authenticated. Thus J. H. Patterson writes {In the Grip of the Nyika, London, 1909, p. 285): 
" I noticed, however, that the Rendile were somewhat taller and more .spare in figure than either the 
Masai or the Samburu. Some of them had quite blue eyes which is most unusual in an African." 

Red-haired Negroes, p. 130. Further evidence of red hair among the black races has been 
collected by Andree'. Thus Walker= saw a pure-blooded negro with red hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. 
1 Zeitschrift fur Ethnologic, Bd. x. S. 335-45, 1878. = Journ. Anthrop. Soc. Vol. vi. S. kii.. 1868. 


Munzinger' says that among the Beni-Amer, red, fair and quite light hairs occur. Pechuel-Losche- saw a 
dark-skinned negro with red hair in Kinsembo, another on the Bonny river and a third, a Kroo negro, 
at Cape Palmas. The general relation of albinism to red hair will be discussed later. 

Southern Nigeria, p. 1 34. Dr J. G. Copland reports from Owerri station in the district of Owerri, 
23 miles from Oguta, a town in the eastern province of Southern Nigeria, the following five cases of 
albinism : 

(A) 9 albino, age 20 to 30, frequently seen. Skin light, hair nearly white; constant nystagmus, 
pink pupils, slaty iris, marked photophobia; no recollection of any freckles on trunk or limbs which were 
exposed to sun. From enquiry no other albino known among her relatives. 

(B) c? albino, boy, servant of a chief, 10 miles from Owerri. Description of hair, eyes and skin 
exactly as (A) ; no relation affected. 

(C) $ albino, age over 50, 12 miles from Owerri on road to Oguta; was dressed like a Ju-Ju man 
(i.e. medicine man). All external appearances of albinism, red pupils, nystagmus, photophobia, fair hair 
and skin. 

(D) ? albino, age about 30, seen about eight miles from Owerri; hair nearly white, skin blond; 
constant nystagmus, red pupils, photophobia. Nothing known of history, was sitting among a crowd of 
other natives, but seemed to take no interest in what was going on. 

(E) c? albino, age about 30, at Degama in Degama district. Hair creamy white, thinner and 
shorter than usual, much white hair on body; skin fair, rough, coarse and thick in appearance, smelt 
badly, but not ulcerated; constant nystagmus, iris slaty blue, red pupils, no strabismus, intense photo- 
phobia; seen twice, he was a prisoner and very repulsive. 

Dr Copland thinks he has seen in his year in Nigeria seven other albinos, but does not recollect 
particulars except that all the albinos were similar in having red pupils, blue-grey irides, photophobia, no 
strabismus, hair nearly white or creamy white, fair skin and certainly without marked pigment spotting or 
anything like the spots or freckles of the Fijian or New Guinea albinos. Dr Copland has never seen 
a piebald or apparently the graduated incomplete albinism of some other districts. All the cases were 
among the Ibo race ; the Ibo natives keep to themselves, though there are occasional marriages with 
Yoruba soldiers. Albinos are treated like ordinary natives. The Ju-Ju produces them ; the natives 
attribute to the Ju-Ju anything they cannot otherwise account for. Owerri, Dr Copland's station, is 
about 150 miles from the coast. 

Nyassaland, p. 145. Dr John B. Davey on a visit to this country (June, 1910) not only brought 
specimens of the Nyassa piebalds' hair, but reported a further case of albinism, whicli he came across at 
Nkomo %'illage, headman Mbalasati, in Mai'imba district near Kotakota. The child, a boy, said to be 
four years old, was very freckled, especially on the back of the trunk and the front of the chest; hair 
flaxen, irides muddy-brown centrally with bluish patches at periphery, pupils black, no red reflex 
observed, but Dr Davey had no ophthalnio.scope with him; much photophobia and ophthalmia; nystagmus 
in vertical and horizontal directions; body covered with sparse flaxen down. There was one normal child 
of the same mother about three years old. Both parents normal, but the paternal grandmother had many 
white and a few black hairs, probably only a senile change such as is not very unusual among natives. 
The paternal grandfather and both maternal parents said to be normal, as well as four or five brothers 
and sisters of the father now dead. Specimens of the hair of paternal grandmother and albino and a very 
good photograph of the family (see our Plate VV. (159)) were provided by Dr Davey. 

1 Ostafr. Htudien, S. 336. 2 Globus, Bd. xxxiv. S. 124. 


THE ALBINOTIC SKIN. (Historical and Theoretical.) 

Of the three principal factors on which the superlicial diagnosis of albinism 
depends, the skin has possibly been less studied than either eye or hair. While 
the number of albinotic human eyes which have been dissected, microscopically 
examined and reported on in print could probably be counted on one hand, the 
cases of microscopic skin examination appear to be still fewer. It is possible that 
nothing had been jjublished on the post mortem examination of the skin of the 
human albino between Adler and Mcintosh's paper of 1910 and Buzzi's historic 
paper of 1784'. Buzzi's results, the absence of the rete vmcosum at all the points 
of the skin tested by him, and the absence of the uvea from the eyes, would hardly 
be accepted now, and were probably merely based on the absence of the pigment by 
which he had been accustomed to identify these structures. Other early writers 
contribute little of value to the subject, but they are worth consideration historically 
because they mark the separation of such writers into two schools, which in a certain 
sense have persisted to this day, and the fundamental problems of which are really 
not yet solved. 

The one school looked upon albinism as a disease originating in the new 
individual directly or through the intrauterine influence of the mother. This con- 
ception is very primitive, current among many uncivilised peoples and largely self- 
protective. Nor can we be certain that any distinction was or could be made in early 
days between congenital cases of partial albinism and cases in which pigmentless 
patches were acquired and spread owing to definite disease. It is, indeed, con- 
ceivable that the normal members of a stock, where partial or complete albinism 
is hereditary, may exhibit a suitable field for the invasion of a disease affecting 

' Bibl. No. 95. It should be noted, however, that Buzzi macerated portions of the skin from the 
wrinkles of the abdomen where the " corps muqueux " might be supposed most abundant. Wharton Jones, 
1833 (Bibl. No. 202), did not find the reie mucosum absent but reduced to a very rudimentary condition, 
while the general development of the skin was not less normal. Bowman, 1849 (Bibl. No. 248), found the 
uvea present as Wharton Jones had done, but not differing in structure from that of the normal eye, only 
in absence of pigment. Manz, 1878 (Bibl. No. 357), considers that a defect of structure exists as well as 
a want of pigment. It is possible that the two things are necessarily correlated. In any chance of 
further investigation with modern technique on the albino skin — and any such investigation would be of 
much value — the question of rudimentary structure as (a) an independent factor of albinism, (b) as a 
result of absence of pigment, or (c) as the possible cause of absence of pigment, might well be borne 
in mind. 


pigmentation'. As we find a white lock of hair occurring in stocks where we 
also observe complete albinism in other members, so it is possible to note skin 
patches of white in stocks where complete albinism of the skin may appear". 
Considering the three chief factors, eyes, hair and skin, we know that in many 
cases of reported albinism, there has been improvement in the condition of the 
eyes^ or the hair has become markedly lighter or darker\ Under the circum- 
stances it seems possible that in such cases of " imperfect albinism " the skin 
condition may not be stationary. Indeed there have not been wanting authorities 
who have asserted that environmental conditions, moisture, heat and light, even diet, 
could not only produce albinism, but were serviceable in reducing its intensity, at 
least in cases of imperfect albinism \ The conflict is here between the weakness of 

' lu this matter Dr Joseph Jones' case (see our Fig. 286 and our p. 154) is of special interest; also the 
instances referred to later of hereditary leucoderma. Given a case of leucoderraa and of partial albinism, 
no definitions at present given enable distinction to be made between the two without a knowledge 
of the history of the case. Thus Crocker's definition (see our p. 199) involves "symmetry," which may be 
as marked in partial albinism (see our Chapter VI.), " progressiveness," which demands a knowledge of 
history, and combination of " excess and deficiency," which is not invariable. 

The evidence for change in eyes due to leucoderma is given in our Chapter V. and is very slight, but 
there are many cases of incomplete albinism with normal eyes. Thus we find cases of complete albinism 
of hair and skin only, and in cases of congenital partial albinism like that of the Jewish girl in our 
Plate J. (29) and (30) we find the white patch can, as in leucoderma, affect the neighbourhood of the 
eye, causing white eyelid and eyelash without influencing the pigmentation of the eye itself. 

The loss of hair pigment with leucoderma is well known; we may cite the cases reported by Oliver 
(1821, Diet, de Medecine, T. xvii, Obsn. ccvii, p. 369, also Eble, 1831, Bibl. No. 196); Hutchinson {Loiid. 
Hospl., Clinical Lectures and Reports, 1864, p. 7); New Sydenham Society, Atlas of Skin Diseases, Part I, 
1869, p. 36); Kaposi (1874: see Bibl. No. 333, p. 179); Flatau (1893: see Bibl. 445, S. 774); and others 
referred to in detail in our Chapter on Leucoderma. On the other hand, J. Brown (1824: see Bibl. 183, 
p. 668) reported the case of a negro, whose skin turned white after a surgical operation, but the hair did 
not lose its pigment. Erasmus Wilson (1855, Portraits of Diseases of tlie, Skin, Account of Plate H, 
" Leucopathia or Partial Albinism ") states that the hair on leucotic patches of a patient suflTering from 
leucoderma, did not change, but this was in all probability a case of Addison's disease. 
- See our Figs. 104, 286, 419, 544 and 643. 

•' In the following cases the eye pigmentation was reported to have changed : Doyere (a doubtful 
account, cited by Cornaz, Bibl. No. 256, p. 383), Michaelis (see our Fig. 352), Blumenbach (see our 
Fig. 405), Meyer (see our Fig. 607), Graves (see our p. 6), Wilde (Bibl. No. 285 and our p. 36), Rhode 
of Augustenburg (Bibl. No. 104), Ascherson (Phoebus Bibl. No. 207 and our p. 6), Sybel (Bibl. No. 130, 
p. 56), Rau (Bibl. No. 236, S. 290) and Herzig (Bibl. No. 211). 

■* In the following cases the hair was reported to have grown lighter: two children, 8 and 10, 
mentioned by Rayer (Bibl. No. 179, p. 193), hair blond, grew whiter with age. In the following cases 
the hair was asserted to have become darker: Michaelis, Graves, Ascherson, Wilde (see references in 
previous note), also our Figs. 1, IV. 6 ; 22, V. 18 ; 47, III. 2, 3, 5, 7 ; 82, IV. 2 ; 86, II. 3 ; 96, IV. 4 ; 
97, in. 5; 120, IV. G; 122, IIL 6; 138, IIL 1 ; 142, IIL 2; 198, IIL 2 & 3; 323, IIL 6; 338, L 1 ; 
397, II. 3 ; 445, IV. 3 ; 488, III. 1 & 2 ; 537, II. 3 ; 566, V. 6. The changes here go beyond the yellow 
tinging of the tips of the hair common in albinos, especially in summer ; see Cornaz (Bibl. No. 256, 
p. 376). 

■' On the other hand Sichel, by a course of light and air and of eye training and exercise, did not 
succeed in lessening the chief characteristics of a complete albino child, but did succeed in lessening 
to some extent the inconveniences due to the nystagmus and photophobia. Cornaz (Bibl. No. 256, 
pp. 389 et seq.). 


the structui'e which is characteristic of the albino and the therapeutic effects of hght, 
air and exercise'. It is not always clear whether the authors who assert an environ- 
mental influence on the production of albinism, mean that the influence has been 
exercised on the individual albino or on the parents or forebears of such albino. Thus 
Blandin ascribes albinism to humidity (Bibl. No. 191, p. 454), but the only evidence 
he gives for this statement is that the albino idiot at Bicetre appeared to grow 
healthier when he was removed from a damp to a dry room and given more air 
and exercise. There is no evidence that his essentially albinotic characteristics were 
changed any more than in Sichel's case. Furnari in his Voyage medicale, 1845 (Bibl. 
No. 239, p. 178) states the general medical impression of the first half of the nineteenth 
century on the source of albinism, with the customary want of anything like definite 
proof : 

Comme M. Guyon (Bibl. No. "223, p. 730) nous pensons qu'il faut ranger parmi les principales 
causes de I'albinisme en Afrique, surtout parmi les juifs, I'humidit^, I'insalubrite, le defaut d'air et de 
lumiere : toutes circonstances qui reproduisent assez bien les mauvaises conditions des localites oil 
I'albinisme est le plus frequent. Ainsi quelques auteurs avaient deja remarque que c'est a I'isthme de Darien 
une des contrees de la terre les plus humides qu'on rencontre le plus grand nombre d'albinos. On sait 
d'ailleurs que I'albinisme sevit frequemment sur les animaux mal nourris soustraits a I'influence de la 
lumiere et prives d'exercice; c'est ainsi que Saint-Hilaire a constate que des mamniiferes et surtout des 
singes tenus dans une captivite prolongee, privds d'exercice et nourries d'aliments insuffisants, ou peu en 
harmonie avec leurs besoins, subissaient insensiblement une alteration notable de couleur; on sait meme 
que ce naturalists a provoque I'albinisme chez de jeunes cyprins dores de la chine. Enfin Rocbe, le plus 
ancien de Albinos de Bicetre, a presente des symptdmes beaucoup plus saillants tant qu'il a ete place dans 
une loge sombre et humide; mais depuis qu'on I'a fait coucher dans un endroit sain et aire, qu'on I'a laisse 
circuler au soleil et dans les grandes cours, et un mot qu'on I'a soumis a I'influence d'agents toniques et 
excitants, les caracteres de I'albinisme se sont vivement amendt^s, la constitution s'est fortifiee et il est 
aussi vigoureux que le comporte I'age de cinquante-trois ans qu'il vient de depasser. 

This passage well sums up the ideas current on albinism during the first half of 
last century, and reproduces the stock case of Roche, which is taken from the French 
medical dictionaries, and is not there recorded with the accuracy needful to 
demonstrate a fact, — a general increase of physical health might be quite sufiicient 
to account for everything recorded". 

The conception that damp sunless districts were responsible for albinism 
doubtless received impetus from the reported cases from the forest tribes of Java, 
Ceylon and Amboinal But the direct experimental evidence to which Furnari alludes 
is far from conclusive. Saint Hilaire's results are stated in the Histoire generale (Bibl. 

1 Weakness of structure is probably the source of the correlation between albinotic skin and 
eruptions, scrofula and wounds so often observed in negro and other native albinos, subject to strong 
sun with little or no protection frpm clothes. 

2 See our p. 38. Wilde in 1862 considered that there was as yet no evidence to show increased 
pigmentation followed any special treatment (Bibl. No. 285). Erasmus Wilson in 18.55 believed that he 
had produced eifect on leucodermatous patches, but in this case there had been melanodermatous as well as 
leucodermatous variations in the subject, and the leucosis had previously been retrograde {Portraits of 
Diseases of the Skin, Plate H). It was afterwards recognised that this was probably a case of Addison's 
disease, not leucoderma at all. 

3 See our pp. 16, 22, 24. 

K. P. 22 


No. 203, pp. 298, 318), but they are not final from the standpoint of modern science. 
A somewhat similar set of observations are those due to Aube (Bibl. No. 262), only he 
asserted that the production of albinos in rabbits and other mammals as well as goldfish 
was due to inbreeding, and declared that he could produce albinos at will in the case 
of the domestic rabbit'. The seines of experiments by which Legrain (Bibl. No. 304) 
professed to demonstrate that he had reproduced Aubt^'s results by means of un- 
favourable environment and without the need of inbreeding at all is one of the most 
remarkable forgeries in the history of science. It deserves mention here as Legrain's 
results have been cited to show that special environmental conditions can produce 

While it is very difficult to grasp whether the old writers thought albinism 
was produced by the action of the environment on the individual or on the race, there 
is no doubt that in some instances they directly attributed it to a disease, or to a 
diet which produced disease. In many cases there was undoubted confusion of partial 
albinism with some form of skin disease. Thus Furnari found albinism frequent 
among the Jews of Africa, but as he found " taches de rousseur " in the eyelashes 
and eyelids instead of pure white, he considered the albinism incomplete, and he 
believed it, among the Jews of Algiers and Constantine, to be in the great number 
of cases non-congenital and the result of a scrofulous affection. He does not state 
that he has found it on inquiry to be non-congenital, nor does he give the particulars 
of the skin disease to which he attributes it. Another instance of the doubt whether 
partial albinism or disease is the source of special appearances occurs in the case of 
the so-called "spotted Tartars." The first mention we have found of them occurs in 
P. J. von Strahlenberg's book : Das Nord unci Ostliche Theil von Europa unci Asia, 
Stockholm, 1730. An English translation appeared in 1736 from which we quote": 

I have already alleged of the Tungusians, that they might likewise be called Picti ; and I must add 
here that besides the Tungusian nation in Siberia, there was another Horde, formerly called Piegaga 
or Piestra [i.e. the spotted or speckled Horde]. But these are almost extinct except some few of this 

' Aub^ will not convince the modern reader that his rabbits were of pure breed to start with. He 
states that the offspring of a male and female of the same litter are grey spotted with white or more often 
pale red with spots. Two members of the second litter if interbred give black or black and white rabbits. 
Two members of this litter give blue-slate-grey rabbits and finally two of this fourth generation pure 
albinos. He compares this transition through black to albino with the case of sheep, and says that 
if rams are used with their offspring or sisters, black-brown lambs are often the result, black being 
the intermediate state between natural white and albino white. He does not state that two black lambs 
from the same mother would give an albino sheep, which would be the natural inference from his line of 
argument. Aube states that albino birds occur most frequently in little-migrating species like partridges, 
jackdaws and sparrows. His rabbit-breeding experiments — in default of fuller information — seem to be 
very much what might flow from an original hybridisation followed by Mendelian segregation without 
any need of appeal to the effect of close inbreeding. A repetition on a pure breed of Aube's experiments 
and a series like Legrain's fictitious breedings under favourable and unfavourable environments would 
throw some light even at the present day on albinism. 

* An Historico-Geographical Description of the North and East parts of Europe and Asia written 
originally in High German by Mr Philip John von Strahlenherg, a Swedish Officer, London, 1736. See 
p. 173. In the original the paragraph is on p. 166. 


kind dispersed here and there....! have seen a man of this kind in Toholsky, whose hair was all shaved 
ort" except about a finger's breadth. He had all over his head spots white as snow and perfectly round of 
the bigness of a Saxon double Grossoh (or about the size of a shilling), which looked wonderfully odd. 
Insomuch that I then thought with myself, if this Tartar was in Europe he might be shown for a sight — 
but the people in Tobolsky made so little wonder at all of it that they only laughed at him. His body 
was likewise spotted and speckled much in the same manner; the white of the skin was soft and smooth, 
but the spots were blackish-brown, and the skin somewhat coarser; however the spots were not so regular 
as on the head. In m}' travels further into Siberia, I saw more of the like people, but speckled in a 
different manner; that is, on their heads, with spots not like those of a tiger, but like a py'balled Horse, 
viz. some long, some oval and others of another figure, and the same upon their bodies. Another I saw 
whose hair was one half of it white as snow, and the other half black. I asked the Tartars whether they 
were born so] Their answer was, some were, others got it by sickness. Such speckled people are 
common on the river Czulim and near the City of Crasnojahr on the river Jenesei among the Kistimian 

The "Spotted Horde " appears on Mercator's, the most ancient map of Siberia. 
S. G. Gmelin admits that Strahlenberg saw spotted individuals, but attributes the 
spots to a certain kind of leprosy which attacks the Kalmucks'. The author of the 
Histoire genealogique des Tartares (p. 4iJ4) denies the truth of Strahlenberg's 
statement because he could not hear of them from persons who had been in those 
parts, and because if they had existed the Czar Peter the First would certainly 
have had some of them at his court (p. 494). Yet John Bell in his Travels from 
St Petersburg in Russia to diverse parts of Asia, 1763, Vol. i. p. 217, on the way 
from St Petersburg to Pekin in February 1720 writes : 

Tlie 20th we arrived at a Russian village called Meletzky-Ostrogue, where we staid a day In the 

neighbourhood of this place we found many huts of these Tzulimm-Tartars, who seem to be a different 
race from all of that name I have yet mentioned. Their complexion indeed is swarthy like that of 
most of the other descendants of the ancient natives of Siberia; but I have seen many of them having 
white spots on their skins from head to foot of various figures and sizes. Many imagine these spots 
natural to the people, but I am rather inclined to believe they proceed from their constant diet of 
fish and other animal food without bread. This of course creates a scorbutick habit of body, which 
often breaks out in infants, and the scars falling off leave that part of the skin as if it had been 
scalded, which never recovers its natural colour. I have however seen several children with these spots 
who seemed healthy. 

Strahlenberg's and Bell's accounts are of interest as showing again the doubt 
between a congenital and a disease origin for white patches. Bell's view that the 
disease origin may be due to a fish diet is of interest from a wider standpoint. Dr 
Thomas Winterbottom, a careful medical observer who spent much time in Africa at 
the end of the eighteenth century'', writes as follows : 

When black people receive any considerable injury to their skin from wounds, burns, etc., the 
cicatrix remains white through life. It is not uncommon to see persons whose skins have undergone 
a change from black to white, the appearance being confined to a small part of the body. Sometimes one 
or both hands and feet are spotted black and white, sometimes they are entirely white. The Bulloms 

' Histoire des Decouvertes faites pour divers savans voyageurs, Berne, 1779. 

- An Account of tlte Native Africans in the Neighbourhood of Sierra Leone to which is added an 
Account of the present State of Medicine among them, London, 1803, 2 vols. 



compare this disease to a caterpillar variegated black and white, which they call umnah, hence they 
name the disease ker'umnah or spotted worm. This change of colour is not produced by any injury done 
to the skin'. The natives appear ignorant of the cause of this curious phenomenon. Some blame 
particular kinds of food as they do in Kra-Kra, while others more prudently confess their ignorance. 
Dr Isert [Bibl. No. 98] saw a negro whose hands and feet were perfectly white, a change which had 
succeeded a severe illness-. Dr Clark of Dominica takes notice of this curious appearance and ascribes it 
to the eating of poisonous fish. "This tish poison," he says, "seldom destroys life entirely except the 
deadly poison of .the yellow-billed sprat, as it is called, which kills very speedily; but those who have 
eaten of other kinds of poisonous fish are frequently reduced to the last extremity by the vomiting.... 
A singular effect of fish poison is to remove the epidermis in patches or spots about the hands and 
feet which continue white in people of colour and of a pale yellow colour in white people for life." 

The nearest approach to anything resembhng the Spotted Tartars is contained in 
the reports of much more recent date of the Central American Pintos. Tylor writing 
in 1861 (see Analuiac, or Mexico and the Mexicans ..., p. 309) says : 

One of the strangest races (or varieties, I cannot say which) are the Pintos of the low lands towards 
the Pacific coast. A short time before we were in the country, General Alvarez had quartered a whole 
regiment of them in the capital; but when we were there they had returned with their commander into 
the iierra caliente, towards Acalpulco. They are called Pintos or painted men, from their faces and bodies 
being marked with great daubs of deep blue, like our British ancestors; but here the decoration is natural 
and cannot be effaced. They have the reputation of being a set of most ferocious savages; and badly 
armed as they are with rickety flint- or match-locks and sabres of hoop iron, they are the terror of the 
other soldiery, especially when the war has to be carried on in the hot pestilential coast-region, their 
native country. 

This is all Tylor says and it is not clear whether he had closely studied these 

Desir^ Charnay in 1887 (see Bibl. No. 413, p. 499) gives a still briefer account : 

In Tehuantepec are met the peculiar people known as "pintos," painted, no misnomer, for they are 
covered with sickly white patches extending sometimes over the whole body. The effect of these patches 
over their swarthy skin is most repulsive, and gives them the ghastly appearance of lepers. 

We have already referred (p. 107) to D'Orbigny's mention in 1839 of "spotted 
men" among the nations "mocetanes, tacanas et yuracares." In a footnote to the 
passage cited he says the Spaniards call them homhres overos "spotted men," and 
states that while Blumenbach refers to pied negroes as exceptional, these "spotted 
men " are universally met with. Professor A. Forel in 1897 (see later our chapter on 
Leucoderma) has also described widespread "vitiligo" among the Columbians, — 

' Dr W. C. Brown tells us that mental troubles, pregnancy, etc., will not infrequently produce 
pigment vagaries, white patches all over the body in the case of Tamils, which pass by various names, as 
chloasma, vitiligo, etc. In Scheube's Tropical Medicine, edited by Cantlie, 1903, there is a good 
photograph of such a Tamil woman (p. 532) taken by Dr Edgar at Ipoh in the State of Perak, and 
described by some error as pinta, which is another disease, supposed to be, and described in the letterpress 
as being confined to the Western Hemisphere. 

- Winterbottora has mistranslated Isert. In Lettre \u. Isert writes (March, 1785): "Je vis aussi 
un Nfegre qui avoit les mains tout-i-fait blanches, et les pieds de meme. Cela leur arrive quelquefois a la 
suite d'une maladie grave; celui-ci etoit ne tel," thus emphasising the congenital character of this case. 


appearing mostly in many small spots. The description corresponds fairly closely 
to those of the Pintos and spotted men. Forel apparently holds it to be congenital, 
thus disagreeing with D'Orbigny and leaving the matter in the state of doubt 
conveyed by Strahlenberg's account of the Spotted Tartars. 

Putting such reports as those we have cited above together, is it much to be 
wondered at that the eighteenth century did not distinguish between acquired white 
patches due to disease and congenital partial albinism, or that it came to class 
albinism as a form of leprosy? Even the notion of a fish diet has been suggested 
as provocative in both cases'! 

That many native races look upon albinism as a skin disease, and possibly a 
contagious one, is scarcely to be wondered at ; they are not capable of diagnosing 
superficial difierences in appearances of hair, eye and skin. The Hindus according to 
Dubois (Bibl. No. 159) spoke of albinos as "lepers by birth"." Some African tribes do 
shun or have shunned albinos as dangerous or contagious (see our pp. 130, 135, 
138, 139 etc.), and others consider albinism as a deformity if not also a disease 
(Winterbottom, Bibl. No. 136; Equiano, Bibl. No. 110, p. 21). It is not, however, 
these native impressions which led to the classification of albinism as a form of 
leprosy. This view arose among the older European scientific writers, although it 
was promptly contradicted by men like Winterbottom living among native Africans 
and in close contact with native albinos. Haller in his Elementa Physiologiae, 
Lausanne, 1763, Vol. iv. p. 492, is ready to accept albinotic races: 

' The idea that humidity could in some way produce albinism has been revived in quite recent times 
by Poesche, 188.3 (Bibl. No. 381). This author in a lengthy memoir endeavours to show that albinism is 
"eine Blutkrankheit, welche vielleicht die Bildung der Blutkorperchen hindert" (p. 147). "Blondheit" 
he considers a modified form of albinism = leucopathia universalis imperfecta. He finds not only the 
cradle, but the raison d'etre of the blond races of man in the swamps of Russia between Baltic and Black 
seas. In short, albinism and to a lesser extent blondism are skin diseases due to a moist climate. Now 
it is true, as we have already pointed out, that albinism is often found associated with skin troubles (see 
our Figs. 20, 48, 73, 180, 231, 280, 348, 3.54, 390, 484, 518, .589 etc., etc.) but these are probably due to 
the weakness of the structure, which is correlated with, if not the source of, the want of pigment. There 
are also many moist districts in the earth, where blond races have not arisen, although some of the 
districts where albinos have been frequently I'eported have humid climates and swampy environments. 

In a paper of 1866 (Bibl. No. 303, p. 364) the anonymous author says that Cornaz considered that 
vegetable food predisposed the mother to the bearing of albinos. We have been unable to rediscover the 
passage. Cornaz in his fundamental memoir of 1855 (Bibl. No. 256, p. 379) speaks of the influence 
of heredity and that of certain localities as being the only factors based on observation. Seller (Bibl. 
No. 201, p. 52) considers that poverty, repeated child-bearing and generally poor nourishment cause 
women to bear albinos. There are recorded cases of delicacy in the mothers of albinos, but it is far 
from being the universal rule. If albinism were due to debilitating causes we should not expect to find 
with considerable frequency (see later) one only of two twins albinotic. If it were due to much child- 
bearing, the youngest children ought chiefly to suffer (see later). 

^ Dubois (writing in 1817) says that albinos in India are looked on universally with horror and their 
parents abandon them at birth. Their colour is supposed to arise from a sort of leprosy, and he himself 
favours this view. That this Indian dislike to the albino is at any rate maintained in some districts 
is evidenced by the tale of the Bkut Baby (albinism of liair) in Flora Annie Steel's The Flower of 
Forgiveness, p. 96 : see Note, Bibl. No. 447, and also our p. 53. 


Integrae etiam gentes nyctalopes sunt, quae rosea sunt choroidea, rosea iride, lucis ergo nulla parte 
suffocata. Ejusmodi sunt Leucaethiopes (l), African! (m), & American! (ii), & Asiatic! (o): toto die enim 
oculi eorum lacrimantur, ut noctu recte videant. Omnino probabile dit ejusmodi esse heliophobas 
cuniculos cum choroidea rubra (p). [References : (l) Bibl. No. 34, (in) Bibl. No. 73 and von Groben, 
see our p. 130, (n) Bibl. Nos. 44, 58, 59, (o) Bibl. Nos. 45, 58, 73, (p) Bibl. No. 55.] 

But he has not 3^et reached the leprosy explanation. Nor can the leprosy- 
conception be attributed to Pauw (1768 — 89) as is done by Jourdan (1818) in the 
article Leucethiopie in the Dictionnaire des Sciences medicales (Bibl. No. 165), for 
Pauw has a wholly different explanation of albinism, and directly contests the rela- 
tionship of albinism and leprosy (Bibl. No. 72 and our p. 176). Jourdan probably 
copied Hensler, who in his book on leprosy, 1790 (Bibl. No. 119, pp. 357 — 362) 
directly attributes to Pauw and Schreber the opinion that "Kakerlaken" are 

Mir ist diese nicht nnwahrscheinlich. Das sie Kranke sind, oder wenn sie anfanglich es auch 
nicht sind, doch nach einer geraumen Weile es werden, ist sclion aiisgemacht. 

He then describes changes which he says begin with white patches on the skin. 
He is probably laying entire stress on cases of leucoderma confused with jiartial 
albinism. There is further little doubt that he was influenced by Blumenbach's 
De generis humani varietate nativa of 1775 (Bibl. No. 125). Blumenbach (p. 84) 
gives a list of writers who had spoken of albinos as having cadaverous or leper-like 
skins. For example, Vossius (Bibl. No. 29) says that the skin was not vivid white 
but cadaverous and almost like that of lepers. The Tranquebar missionaries in 1766 
asserted that the natives called albinism white leprosy (Bibl. No. 70, p. 1283). 
Ludolphus in his Historica Aethiopica, 1681 (Bibl. No. 34, c. 14. 29), writes 
(English translation, 1862): 

True it is there are some Whites among the Ethiopians in other places, but they look like the 
countenances of Dead Men, or as if they had the Leprosie ; which other Authors also testify, but 
write withal, that it proceeds from some Disease in the Body, and therefore other Ethiopians avoid 
being breathed upon or touched by them, as believing them Contagious. 

We do not know that in this description Ludolph is doing much more than 
expounding Tellez's description of the Abyssinians, who said that: 

nonnulli etiam rubicund! sunt: pauci albicantes vel potius pallid! & exsangues; ingrata prorsus albedine 
(Bibl. No. 27)^ 

Yet Blumenbach modifies these descriptions into : 

Leprosos quoque facit albos Aethiopes Joh. Ludolfus, et Guineenses, Isaacus Vossius, 

whereas these authors merely say that albinos' skin looks rather like that of lepers. 
Blumenbach himself had observed a Saxon albino boy with skin from which scales 
were easily rubbed off, and this scaly condition of the skin has been noted by several 
writers as we shall point out later. Such is the material on which the theory of 

' This is practically an exact translation of Tellez: Historia gercd de Ethiopia, 16, p. 29. He has no 
reference to leprosy. 


albinism as a modified form of leprosy was based ! It cannot be said to have a wide 
foundation. And it is marvellous how one author after another writing on albinism 
repeats the old views as established or worthy of consideration. Kurt Sprengler in 
his Handhuch der Pathologie of 1801 writes of albinism (Bibl. No. 134, Bd. in. 
S. 935) : 

Ich setze hinzu class sie eine grosse Aehnlichkeit mit dem weissen Aussatz zu haben scheint wie 
auch schon Hensler gezeigt hat. Unterschiede giebt es freilich noch iuimer, vorziiglich wenn man auf 
deu Augenfehler der Albinos sieht, welcher sich in dem Grade bei dem weissen Aussatz nicht findet. 
Aber denn muss man auch die in Deutschland beobachteten Albinos ganz von den amerikanischen und 
asiatischen absondern, weil sich bei jenem keine Spur von Kachexie aussert 

From this time onwards Hensler, Pauw (see p. 174), Sprengler and sometimes 
Blumenbach are cited as authorities for albinism being a form of leprosy. There 
is no attempt to test this theory by actual examination of albinos. We are not 
told whether the disease is supposed to be developed after birth or in utero, and if 
the latter whether the mother is the source of the ill'. It will be at once obvious 
that any theory of albinism as a leprous disease meets with insuperable difficulties 
when (a) its congenital nature, (b) the fact that it can occur in one of two twins, 
(c) the inheritance from the paternal stock, are considered. 

The real origin of the disease theory of albinism lies in (i) observations which 
show that congenital albinism, even if apparently very nearly perfect in infancy, is 
not invariably stationary, (ii) the readiness with which the albinotic skin, probably 
owing to defective structure, develops skin troubles, and (iii) the confusion of partial 
albinism with leucoderma and with more than one but little understood skin 

Before finally dismissing this early view of albinism as a disease, we may remark 
that albinism has been associated — ^in a manner entirely wanting in scientific exactitude 
— with a second diseased condition, namely cretinism. 

The first reference to a relation between albinism and cretinism that we have 
come across^ occurs in Pauw, the most unscientific of all the historians who have 
professed to deal with the philosophy of history (1768 — 1789, Bibb No. 72). He 
indicates no case in which albinism has been found combined with cretinism, but 
takes his details as to cretinism from a " Memoire de Mr le Comte de Mauffiron, lu i\ 
la Soc. Royale de Sion." We have not been able to see this memou-, and so ascertain 
whether de Maugiron had observed any cases of cretinism associated with albinism. 
Pauw writes : 

1 We put on one side the statement of Jourdan (Bibl. No. 165) that the albinotic condition 
" evidemment morbiiique dans le principe pent en se transmettant de generation en generation cesser de 
presenter les symptomes de I'affection primitive a I'exception d'une faiblesse evidente tant au moral qu'au 
physique." We are aware that stocks which show partial albinism (or even, perhaps, leucoderma, Bibl. 
No. 317, Pedigrees 286, 42.5) can produce perfect albinos. We know of no evidence of leprosy showing 
any relation to albinism. 

- There is a paper by Fodere of 1792 (Bibl. No. 122) which sometimes is cited as associating albinism 
and cretinism. But Fodere goes no further than suggesting a relation between blondism and cretinism. 


On ne sauroit mieux comparer les Blafards quant a leurs facult^s, a leur degeneration, et a leur etat 
qu'aux Cretins qu'on voit en assez grand nombre dans le Valais et principalement a Sion capitale de 
ce pays: ils sont sourds, muets, idiots, presque insensibles aux coups, et portent des goitres prodigieux 
qui leur descendent jusqu'a la ceinture: ils ne sont ni furieux, ni malfaisants, quoiqu'absolument ineptes et 
incapables de penser: et s'abandonnent aux plaisirs des sens de toute espece sans y soup^onner aucun 
crime, aucune indecence. 

A more inappropriate description of the condition and faculties of albinos even 
in 1780 was, we think, impossible. In the literature to that date, we know of no 
reference to deaf-mute albinos, to none with goitre, and to none idiotic or wanting 
in all moral sense, except the over-quoted case of the albino idiot at Bicetre'. Much 
later (1859, Bibl. No. 276) Dahl found two stocks in which albinism occurred in 
some, idiocy and deaf-mutism in other members. In 1871 Wilhelmi-, however, found 
no single case of albinism among the deaf-mutes of the Regierungsbezirk Magdeburg, 
and a search made throughout the asylums of the London County Council for us by 
the kindness of Dr Mott only revealed one albino (Fig. 48) among many thousand 
imbecile and insane. We have, however, found elsewhere deaf-mute albinos. We 
shall consider in another chapter the appearance of defects and disease in alblnotic 
stocks. These data do not, however-, justify any sweeping comparison of albinos and 
cretins, mentally or physically. 

The next stage in welding the link connecting albinism and cretinism was made 
by Troxler in 1833. His paper, purely speculative, rhetorical and without scientific 
observations, asserts that " Leucaethiopy " is the second chief form of cretinism (Bibl. 
No. 200, p. 185 et seq.). The argument is based solely on a confusing analogy 
between "inner" and "outer" light, and the dislike for one involving an absence 
of the other. The mere absence of external pigment, he asserts, is not that which 
difterentiates the albino from the normal human being, as various writers have 
supposed ; it is only an external sign of the general physical and moral defect : 

Der belle Tag blendet sie, darum hat man sie auch Blindlinge genannt ; sie sehen eigentlich gar nicht 
Oder schlecht, wenn das aussere oder innere Licht herrschen soil ; also weder bey Tag noch bey Nacht, 
sondern nur in den zwey Tag und Nacht scheidenden Dammerungen, " entre chien et loup," des Morgens 
uud Abends, wie die das Licht hassenden moralischen Kakerlaken, desen man noch welche in Freyburg 
und Sitten, in Luzern und Chur findet. Wer das Liclit nicht ertragt, hat auch keines in sich. Wie das 
Auge, so der Geist. Imbecillitaet in dem einen, wie in dem andern; die Farbe ist nur das Zeichen davon. 

Notwithstanding the scientific worthlessness of Troxler's paper — which it is 
kindness to suppose that those who adopt his conclusion have not examined — a 
relationship between albinism and cretinism, apparently on no further basis than 
the mere opinions of Troxler or Pauw, has crept into medical literature^ The usual 

' Overquoted because he appears to have been the one albino readily accessible to the French medical 
writers. There are, Dr Mott informs us, several cases of polydactylism in the London asylums. We are 
not, however, justified in inferring that polydactylous individuals belong to the insane class. The 
possibility of some correlation between various defects of development will be considered later. 

- Statistik der Taubstummen...nach der Volkszahlung von 1871. Beilage zur Deutschenklinik, 
Berlin, 1873, S. 75. 

^ It is worth noticing that Winterbottom entirely repudiated this association as far as negro albinos 
are concerned in 1803 (Bibl. No. 136). 


form of statement made is that " Troxler found cretinism often associated with 
albinism in Valais." We are unaware of any single recorded case of an albinotic 
cretin, nor of the association of albinism and cretinism in members of the same 
stock. Such records may exist, but we have failed to come across them. The 
origin of the statement lies in Pauw's inability to find anything more appropriate to 
compare with albinism, and in Troxler's arbitrary action in making albinism one of 
the chief types of cretinism. Thus we see that there is even less basis for the 
cretinism-albinism myth than for the leprosy-albinism association. Both were 
originally based on the statement of writers seeking an analogy to the dead white 
hue of the albino skin — one found it in the "cadaverous or leperlike appearance," the 
other in the " pale, wan and livid " countenance of the cretin. Thus do myths take 
root and persist for generations even in scientific literature ! 

Somewhat less superficial treatment of albinism originated with Meckel, although 
the credit of his theory is usually given to Mansfeld \ In France it met with the 
warm support of I. G. Saint Hilaire. Meckel writing in 1816 (Bibl. No. 158, Bd. ii. 
S. 1 — 3) says of albinism : 

Am gewohnlichsten ist dieser regelwidrige Zustand angeboren, und auf gewisse Familien einge- 
schrankt, ungeachtet haiifig eine oder einige Generationen iibersprungen werden. Gewohnlich, seltne 
Ausnahmen abgerechnet, sind die Individuen klein und schwachlich. Vielleicht kann man ihn als ein 
Stehenbleiben auf einer friiheren normalen Bildungstufe ansehen, indem die weisse Farbe ein allgemeines 
Attribut der im Entstehen begriffenen Organismen ist, und von mehren Beobaohtern die Aehnlichkeit 
der Kakeilakenhaare mit Milchhaaren, so wie audi bey jungea Subjecten ungewohnliche Lange und 
allgemeine Verbreitung derselben liber den ganzen Korper bemerkt wird, und in einem von Siebold 
[Bibl. No. 105] beschriebenen Falle ein Stehenbleiben der Augen auf einer friihern Bildungstufe auch 
durch ihre Form angedeutet war, indem die Pupillarmembran auf beiden nocli sechs Monate nach der 
Geburt persistirte. 

It will be seen at once from this passage that Meckel describes as a Stehenbleiben 
at a normal foetal stage, what Mansfeld terms a Hemmiingsbildung, that further he 
suggests as confirmation of this (a) the pigmentation absence, (b) the lanugo, and 
(c) the retention of the pupillary membrane — precisely the points used later by 
Mansfeld and Saint Hilaire. The one thing needed to round off this explanation of 
albinism is a reason for the Stehenbleiben. This Mansfeld in 1822 professes to 
provide. He defines albinism as : 

eine Hemmungsbilduug, verursacht durch allerlei wahrend der Schwangerschafts-Periode einwirkenden 
psychischen Einflusse [Bibl. jSTo. 173, S. 373]. 

Mansfeld proceeds to account for the various degrees of pigmentation found in 
partial albinism, by remarking tliat the pigmentation in the foetus is progressive and 
the shock which produced the development-check may occur at a time when the eye 
pigment has already begun to be formed. This theory of Mansfeld, if correct, would 
allow us by a careful study of the foetal pigment changes to determine the period of 
the "psychic influence" which has produced a given albino. The occurrence of the 
supposed maternal shock (see p. 178) would we believe be found in most cases 
of complete albinism to post-date the first development of eye pigmentation ! 

^ Meckel was probably following up a suggestion of Osiander (see Bibl. No. 155), " Leucaethiopia 
morbus est cormatus e pigmenti oculorum defectu scilicet universali carbonii foetus inopia ortus." 
K. P. 23 


Mansfeld adds to Siebold's case one of his own, in which he himself saw the 
pupillary membi-ane five weeks after birth. There are other cases in which the 
albino has been said by the parents to have been blind for a few weeks or 
months after birth, but it is far from certain that this was owing to persistent 
pupillary membrane and not due to the chronic weakness of the albinotic eye. 
Even Siebold's case rests on not wholly satisfactory evidence. On the strength 
of this instance and his own observation Mansfeld is hardly justified in saying 
that the membrane is often present in albinos at birth, nor in using it as an 
argument for development-check. Still less are these two cases justification for 
the appearance of the pupillary membrane in a whole series of medical writings 
as a characteristic of the albino ' ! Mansfeld carries his theory further by remarking 
that the greater tendency of the negro to albinism'' depends on the fact that a 
negress who bears albino children is despised, and accordingly having borne one, 
she dreads the recurrence of the catastrophe ; this dread forms the psychical 
influence producing " hereditary albinism " in later children, by which term we 
suppose Mansfeld means several albinos in one sibship. 

In the case of Mansfeld's albino the mother had three epileptic fits in the first 
four weeks of pregnancy, a state of aftairs probably largely responsible for Mansfeld's 
theory of albinism. 

Isidore Geofiroy Saint Hilaire, 1832 (Bibl. No. 208), rendered an undoubted 
service to the study of albinism by his classification of its types (see our p. 8). 
He has added little to Meckel's theory that it is an arrest of foetal development. He 
refers to the fact of pigment coming late in foetal life and points out that negro babies 
are born light coloured, only attaining their dark pigmentation some time after birth. 
He also cites the lanugo on the skin of albinos as comparable with that of new-born 
and unborn infants. 

From what has been cited it will appear that Mansfeld has added to Meckel's 
theory in a manner which admits of more direct criticism. In Mansfeld's adaptation 
of Meckel, the onus of the arrest of development is thrown on the mother, and on her 
state during the foetal life of her albinotic offspring. It seems very diflicult on this 
ground to understand the existence of twins one normal and one albinotic, and yet 
17 cases of such twins occur in our pedigrees. It is not easy to grasp how the 
psychical influence could reach one and not the other. Further it leaves out of 
account all cases in which albinism has manifested itself in the father's, but not in 
the mother's stock. Such cases appear in more than fifty pedigi-ees of our collection. 

Meckel seems to have believed in heredity and not a "psychical influence" as 
the source of the arrested development. In a certain sense his theory must then be 
necessarily true, but it cannot be said to account for anything. If the distinction 
between the normal and the albinotic be assumed to be an absence of pigment, and 
if pigmentation normally begins to appear during foetal life, then albinism is distinctly 

' It has yet to be shown that it is not statistically as frequent in non-albinotic as albinotic births. 
Another isolated case is recorded by Mr Herbert Fisher in our Fig. 86. 
" This tendency has yet, we think, to be demonstrated. 


an arrest of development. Meckel unlike Mansfeld having given no cause for this 
checked development does not expose himself to criticism, but at the same time he 
has explained nothing. His theory merely amounts to asserting that albinism is a 
pre-natal defect, not excess, of development. It is quite consistent with any modern 
theory which asserts that albinism is due to the absence of one or more development 
controlling determinants in either one or both parents. It is little more than the 
statement of an obvious fact, as far as concerns pigmentation. The retention of the 
pupillary membrane is, we have seen, not yet demonstrated. The existence of the 
lanugo in a considerable number of cases has more evidence in its favour. But if the 
fact be that all new-born babes possess it, and the albino alone retains it to adult 
life, the arrest to development whatever its ultimate source takes place not in pre- 
natal but post-natal life. If the arrest to development be identified with its ultimate 
source, then we may have to go beyond the pre-natal stage even to the cell divisions 
in which the parental gametes originated. In either case we reach little solid con- 
tribution to our subject unless we state — as Mansfeld attempted to do — the cause of 
the arrest. 

We have already pointed out serious difficulties in accepting Mansfeld's theory, 
and further criticisms could be brought against it were it worth the labour'. The 
complete albino has no pigment in eyes, hair or skin. The pigmentation of certain 
parts of the eye begins early, therefore the " arrest " must be early, and to complete 
the theory the skin pigmentation must then be absent ; but it is possible to have a 
normal skin and albinotic eyes. Is it to be considered in such a case that the 
"arrest" is partial? Or, how can pre-natal arrest affect the hair, the pigmentation 
of which is largely developed after birth ? We must admit at once " arrests " of 
latent characters. It seems useless to pursue the subject further, and it has only 
been dealt with at the present length, because albinism as an arrest of development 
is even referred to in modern treatises as if it were a suggestion of some importance. 

We have considered the views of one historical school of writers on albinism, 
i.e. that which started with the idea of albinism as a disease, and after much rather 
fruitless discussion as to whether albinism was a cachexia" or not, evolved the theory 
of albinism as an arrest of development in utero. The second school attributed 
albinism to a defect in the parental germ, and in this broad principle its theory 
is more consonant with modern conceptions than that of the first school. But in 
detail its views are wholly untenable and its supporters the reverse of scientific. Its 
history may be briefly indicated here, for it is a remarkable one from the standpoint 
of tbe evolution of scientific ideas. 

Herodotus (Bk. in., Thalia, ci.) speaking of the Indians says that they are of the 
same colour as the Aethiopians and adds : 

1 Cases of albinism of the skin only with normal hair and eyes ought to be frequent, but among 
whites, the only record we can find is the vague one of Phoebus (Bibl. No. 207). 

- We suppose cachexia to signify a vitiated condition of some or all parts of the organism in- 
compatible with good health. The curious reader will find ample information on this view starting from 
the writings of Blumenbach (Bibl. No. 101) onwards. 



The semen that their males emit is not like that of other men, but black like their bodies, which is 
also the case with the Aethiopians. 

Aristotle, De Hist. Animalium, Lib. iii. Cap. xxii. says that the seed of all 
animals is white, and that Herodotus is not to be believed when he writes that 
that of the Aethiopian is of a black colour. It might be considered that a simple 
observation would have settled the problem, but discussion not observation was the 
method of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the works of Herodotus 
and Aristotle were then more familiar than natural phenomena to philosophers'. But 
the idea of Herodotus was seized upon by the eighteenth century writers on albinism. 
The absence of pigmentation in the germinal fluid was the source of albinism. 

Le Cat, 1765 (Bibl. No. 67), an author who for his day seems to have worked 
in a fairly scientific spirit, finds the origin of pigment in two constituents, (i) .some 
volatile substance from the blood, " volatil du sang," and (ii) some nervous fluid, 
animal fluid or spirit, "sue nerveux." The combination of these two bodies formed 
an ink-like substance called by him Aethiops and by Pauw Aethiops animal. Thus 
Le Cat writes (p. 40) : 

Ija couleur des Negres n'a pas une autre origine que cette encre, dont les houpes nerveuses cutanees, 
tres poreuses, imbibent la surpeau qui les couvre. 

The origin of pigmentation in the combination of two unpigmented .substances, 

' This is again well evidenced by the long series of writers on the eye from Aristotle to Plempius. 
This early ophthalmology is of some interest as indicating how far albinism was familiar to these early 
writers, and may be briefly alluded to here. Aristotle, De Hist. Animalium, Lib. i. Cap. x., classes eye- 
colour into fiiXav (7ii(/rum), yAavKo'r (caesium), ;^apo7roy (/ulvum), alyiu-n-ov (caprinum). He states that the 
eye is most variable in man; all other animals except the horse have but one colour. He uses vSaph 
(pale yellow) for sheep, and yXavKov for horses. A similar division is given in his De Generatione 
Animalium, Lib. v. Cap. i. Aristotle further regarded the yXavKov eye as being less lasting and more 
sensitive to light. Galen in his Lib. Art. Med., Cap. 27, deals with the glaucous eye. He makes only 
three eye classes, caesium, 7iigrum and medium, but the latter which includes Aristotle's third and fourth 
classes he subdivides into many groups, phwibei, virides, cinerei, crocei, etc. In this group he also puts 
sanguines. This may refer to the albinotic eye; if so it is the only trace we have found in these early 
writers of an acquaintance with the albinotic eye. S. Fortius {De Coloribus Oculorum, Florence, 1550) 
recognised the association of dark and light skin with dark and light eyes, and also the geographical 
separation of the two types. Fortius is said to have realised that the blue eye denoted want of pigment; 
a cursory examination, however, only revealed the passage : 

Qui igitur aquilonem versus inhabitant cum sint coloris albi, oculos quoque caesios habent ; color enim caesius 
prope album est (p. 37), 

which may be possibly taken to mean that blue is an absence of colour. V. F. Flempius {Ophthalmo- 
graphia, 2nd Edn., 1648) refers to the long discussions on the number of eye-colours, citing numerous 
writers. In Liber iv. Froblema Ivii., p. 170, he discusses: "an caesii oculi noctu sint perspicaciores, 
interdiu bebetiores, nigri contra?" He says that Aristotle and Averrhoes hold this to be so. Flempius 
himself asserts that "caesius oculus non potest interdiu esse acutissimo visu." Froblema Ivii. runs: "Cur 
nonnullorum oculi noctu sunt perspicaces, interdiu bebetiores." In all these cases the proof is ideological 
and not by recorded observation. We have not succeeded in finding any reference to albinism. Still the 
problems of these early ophthalmologists (the word applies accurately !) are closely allied to albinism, and 
■we can conceive no more useful investigation to-day than an inquiry into the relative persistency and 
acuteness of vision of emmetropic light and dark eyes under varying conditions of illumination. 


and the phenomenon of albinism arising from the congenital absence of one of them, 
is a theory whicli has something especially modern about it ! 

It needed but a step further and we find Pauw (Bibl. No. 72) placing the 
Aethiops animal in the germ cells. It is done in language strange to modern 
science, and accompanied by gross errors, but the fundamental idea is better than 
the language in which it is clothed : 

La cause de la degeneration des Blafards, des Kackerlakes et des Dondos, re.side dans la liqueur 
spermatique de leurs parents^ en qui elle s'est corrompue et a perdu par une decomposition quelconque, 
cette substance noiratre, qu'on a nomme Aethiops animal faute de pouvoir lui assigner un terme plus 
propre, ou un noni plus clair. 

It will be seen that Pauw retrogresses on Le Cat, when he places the com- 
bination of the hitter's two substances in the germinal fluid. But his reason for 
this lies in the fact that Le Cat himself had asserted that the colour of the seminal 
matter of negroes is blackish compared to that of white men. Further he was well 
acquainted with the passage in Herodotus, and dismisses Aristotle's denial with the 
remark that possibly the blackness did not appear to him so sensible as Herodotus 
suggests, or perhaps he had wanted the occasion of making an observation. 

Comme le sperme des Negres et des basanes est plus ou moins teint, plus ou moins noiratre, il est par 
la meme plus sujet a s'alterer que celui des autres hommes, en perdant sa couleur propre et naturelle ou en 
prenant une autre par la decomposition de la substance colorante qu'on nomme Aethiops animal, ou par la 
dissipation totale de cet Aethiops. 

On the basis of this colour factor in the germinal fluid Pauw proceeds to account 
for the facts, as he knew them, of albinism in negro and white and the colour of 
human half-breds. The corruption or dissipation of the colour factor in the germinal 
mattei- was the source of albinism and not a pre-natal arrest of development. We can 
dismiss the Le Cat-Pauw theory as absui-d, or interpret it, if we please, in the 
modern terminology of ferments and tyrosins, of determinants and latent colour 
factors. We may smile" when we read the dogmatic statement that " La couleur de 

' Pauw believed that " la semence des deux sexes concourt egalement a I'ouvrage de la generation," 
and cites as evidence the colour facts as to mulattoes and other half-castes. 

^ We have made careful inquiries concerning any possible basis for the statements of Herodotus, 
Le Cat and Pauw. In the first place the seminal fluid of negro and native of India is not to the naked 
eye pigmented. A medical man in the Indian army who has had to deal with a case of spermatorrhoea 
testifies to the absence of pigmentation in the Indian. Another medical man with 18 years' practice 
in India stated at once that there was no pigmentation of the seminal fluid of East Indians. A third 
medical man examined the spermatozoa of Tamils with ^" Zeiss apochromatic and compensation oculars 
4, 8, 12 and 18 and found no trace of pigment. A highly-trained medical man working in Nyassaland 
tells us that he had occasion to remove the semen from the vagina of a native woman, | minute after 
coitus, and it was the same colour as a European's. Further microscopically examined he could detect no 
difierences from the semen of a European, and the spermatozoa were not pigmented. He further gives 
the following bit of folklore from the same district: A small boy having a nocturnal emission goes in the 
morning to one of the old men and shows him the stain on his cloth. If it be dark, the boy will be 
unfertile. This might mean that in infrequent cases the seminal fluid really was dark, but is much more 
likely to be the humorous manner by which folklore expresses the universality of the white appearance. 
Clearly as Herodotus could have made only a naked eye observation and Le Cat little more, there appears 


la matiere seminale dans les Negres n'est pas une hypothese susceptible de doutes ou 
de contradictions ; c'est une verite de fait." But after all it was an advance to 
suggest even that pigmentation sprang from the combination of uncoloured sub- 
stances, and further to realise that the absence of something in the germ cell 
involved the absence of one or both these substances. 

If we accept the view that it is not the pigment itself, certainly not an Aethmps 
animal, which is carried by the germ cells, but some pigment controlling determinant ; 
and that the absence of this determinant is the source of the "arrested development" 
(which may be far from being wholly pre-natal), we reach in a vague way some account 
of the appearance of albinism by the default of this determinant in one or both 
parental germs. Its perfect or imperfect impotence accounts for complete or partial 
albinism, and this impotence may be a racial feature of either parental stock or pro- 
duced by some degenerating influence of the somatic on the germ cells of the 
individual parent. It would be unwise at present to assert that albinism always 
belongs to the stock, for although, as we shall see in the sequel, albinism is un- 
doubtedly associated with certain stocks, we find long pedigrees traced through a 
number of lines, with the occurrence of only a single case of albinism. (See Figs. 
99, 137, 393, 394, 501, 550, 559, 566, 577, 612, 639 and 646.) 

Those who believe in sports and mutations, will possibly look upon these as 
typical cases, but if such sports are not atavistic, this is only another mannej: of 
saying that the somatic cells have in some way modified the normal germ cell of 
the parent. 

If we thus associate albinism with the absence of a factor in the germ cell of the 
parent, we are still a long way from understanding how this absence affects the 
normal metabolism of the individual. Some light may be thrown on the point by 
a consideration of what is known as to the nature and origin of skin pigments in 
man. Anything like a full discussion would not only cairy us beyond our limits but 
require a wider and more practical knowledge of chemical and pathological science 
than we possess. All that we shall attempt will be a sketch of some of the chief 
problems requiring solution, and we must refer those desirous of further information 
to von Fiirth's important paper and full bibliography (1904, Bibl. No. 524) and to 
Meirowsky's monograph (1908). The subject naturally resolves itself into the 
following divisions: (i) the microscopic inquiries into the position and transfer of 
pigment, and (ii) the bio-chemical investigations as to the nature of liielanin pigment. 

These two divisions have been kept singularly distinct and have largely been 
developed by different groups of observers. In neither case can it be said that the 
members of the school have reached final and' absolutely definite results, but much 
has been learnt, and even the negative knowledge gained is not without value as 
circumscribing the field of inquiry and suggesting more limited and special problems 
for further consideration. 

therefore no basis for the dogmatism of Pauw. Indeed, from the modern standpoint, it could not be 
a question of pigmentation of the seminal fluid at all, unless this appearance were produced by pigment- 
bearing spermatozoa. Up to date there is no evidence of the germ cells carrying pigment. 


We shall consider first the microscopic investigations and afterwards deal with 
the bio-chemical work which has run on during tlie same period. 

A. Microscopic Investigation into the Nature of Animal Pigmentation. It 
must be at once admitted that there has been a long series of contradictory and 
somewhat inconclusive researches on this subject. Sweeping generalisations have 
been made as to the locus of origin of superficial pigment before an adequately wide 
basis in observation had been really provided. This locus has been widely asserted 
to be the endoderm ; some have insisted that pigment starts in the ectoderm, while 
yet others consider the origin to be mesodei'raic. The most I'ecent view is that it 
can arise independently in all these layers. The controvei^sies round these opinions 
have been vigorous and considerably infi.uenced the views of dermatologists as to the 
nature of leucoderma, albinism and other forms of leucosis. We can only briefly refer 
to the opinions of various writers here, and in so far as they are suggestive for the 
sources of albinism. Kolliker in 1860 discussed whether the epidermis is capable of 
autogenous pigmentation or draws pigment wholly from the cutis. He found in 
Protopterus annecteus pigment ramifications in the deeper part of the epidermis 
which proceeded from cells in the superficial layer of the cutis, these suggested 
structures migrating from cutis to epidermis'. Such organs had been noticed by 
Sangiovanni as early as 1819 and termed by him cromoforo. They have received the 
name of chromatophores. G. Simon was the first to recognise them in the skin of 
mammals (1851), and then a whole series of investigators observed them in normal 
and pathological states (Addison's disease, etc.) in man, as well as in many other 
forms of life. Kerbert concluded from examination of the development of pigment in 
the embryos of reptiles, that the branched cells of the epidermis are migratory 
" Bindegewebzellen." Riehl dealing with hair supposed the migratory chroma- 
tophores to have ultimately originated in the neighbourhood of the blood-vessels. 

Ehrmann, whose first important work dates from 1885, has in the course of 
twenty years considerably modified or expanded his views, which have been largely 

^ Histologie tiber Rhinocrypt. annecteus, Wilrzhurg. naturwiss. Zeitschrift, Bd. i. S. 13, 1860. 
Much later Kolliker e.xpressed himself in terms very similar to Ehrmann's (Ueber die Entstehung des 
Pigments in den Oberhautgebilden, Zeitschrift fur vnssenschaftliche Zoologie, Bd. XLV. S. 713 — 20, 
Leipzig, 1887). 

His exact words are : 

Was ich bis jetzt gefunden ist Folgendes : In den Haaren und in der Epidermis entsteht das Pigment dadurcii, dass 
pigmentirte Bindegewebzellen, hier aus der Haarpapille und dem Haarbalge, dort aus der Lederhaut zwischen die weichen 
tiefsten Epidermiselemente einwachsen oder einwandern. Hier verasteln sich diesselben rait feinen, zum Theil sehr langen 
Ausliinfem in den Spaltriiuraen zwischen den Zellen und dringen zuletzt auch in das lunere dieser Elemente ein, welche 
dadurch ja wirklichen Pigmentzellen werden. Fast ohne Ausnahme liegen die pigmentirten Bindegewebzellen in den 
tieferen Lagen der Keim- oder Malpighi'schen Schicht und wenn ein Epidermisgebilde in seiner ganzen Lange oder Dioke 
gefarbt ist, so liaben die ausseren Elemente ihren Farbstoii nicht in loco sondern zu der Zeit erhalten, wo sie noch der 
Lederhaut nahe lagen. 

Kolliker examined, among a great variety of material, the skin of the negro and the darker 
pigmented areas of the Caucasian race, the nipple and areola, the scrotum and anus. 

Hier zeigte die Lederhaut ohne Ausnahme, am reichlichsten in der Anusgegend, in der Nahe der Epidermis eine bald 
grossere, bald geringen Zahl von pigmentirten kleinen Bindegewebzellen. Ahnliche Zellen fanden sich auch, aber sehr 
unscheinbar in den tiefsten Lagen der Keimschicht der Epidermis.. ..Das Pigment ist auch hier zum Theil inter- zum Theil 


accepted by dermatologists. In his last stage, the monograph of 1896, Ehrmann 
discards the name chromatophore ; he considers that these cells not only carry the 
pigment, but produce it. They are accordingly chromatohlasts, or when we consider 
the form of pigment which occurs in mammals, melanohlasts. Meirowsky [loc. cit. 
ftn. p. 186), to whose excellent monograph we are much indebted, sums up in part 
Ehrmann's views as follows : 

(1) The production of pigment occurs in special cells, the melanohlasts, which 
are not identical with mesodermal or epidermal cells. 

(2) The melanohlasts are products of the middle germ layer, which in part 
develop further there, grow into the epidermis, and there have an independent cell 

(.3) The material which is converted into melanotic pigment springs from the 
blood and is haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is converted into melanotic pigment by 
the vital processes of the melanohlasts. 

(4) Extra-cellular creation of melanotic pigment is not yet demonstrated. True 
melanotic pigment only occurs in an extra-cellular form by the break-up of pigmented 

(5) The transfer of pigment occurs by aid of protoplasmic flow along protoplasmic 
threads, which connect the melanohlasts with the epithelial cells. For this reason 
this theory is not an Ei^ischleppungstheorie but an Einstromungstheorie. 

(6) Pigment is, at least shortly after its production, a body dissolved in a 
highly fluid colourless substance. 

It will be seen at once that Ehrmann's views, if demonstrated, would have im- 
portant bearing on the albinism of mammals. We have repeatedly drawn attention 
to the fact that albinos can possess a very large amount of diffused pigment. Is this 
or is it not melanotic ? Is albinism to be looked upon as a universal or local absence 
of melanohlasts ? Or is it due to the absence of a ferment necessary for the production 
of the melanotic pigment ? Ehrmann in the case of albinism looks upon the absence 
of pigment in cutis and epidermis, the failure of pigment in choroid and i-etina, as an 
argument for a common origin of pigmentation, and asks why albinos do not occur 
which possess pigment in either epidermis or cutis alone. Considering the immense 
variety of types of albinism we have noted and have still to note, is it absolutely 
certain that such albinos do not occur? Ehrmann's views have been widely accepted by 
dermatologists. If correct, it is clear that the absence of melanohlasts and the absence 
of a ferment off'er very different hypotheses for the explanation of albinotic states \ 

' Ehrmann (Bibl. No. 461, S. 45) writes as follows of albinism: 

Der Albinismus bei Saugethieren ist ein universeller oder localer, aber vollstandiger, Mangel an Melanoblasten. Bei 
Amphibien speciell aber bei Axolotl und Salamandra, die ja Pigmentthiere par excellence sind, fehlen die Melanoblasten nie 
voUstandig, und ihr Albinismus ist auch ein unvollstiiudiger. Am interessantirten ist wohl der zeitweise Albinismus des 
Grottenolras I^Protem anguineus) der nach kurzem Aufentbalt im Lichte dunkel wird, bei dem man sich iiberzeugen kann, 
dass die Melanoblasten im weissen Zustande zwar auch vorhanden jedoch wenig pigmentirt sind, und erst durch Belichtung 
zur Pigmentbildung angeregt werden. 

If the view here expressed be correct, it would seem that in this case at least neither melanoblast nor 
ferment is sufficient to produce the pigment, a tertium quid, the action of light, is needful to set the process 


Unna', who had mnch to do with spreading the views of Ehrmann among 
dermatologists, considered in 1889 that all observers were agreed that pigment did 
not originate in the epidermis, but was transjjorted thither from the cutis ; 
leucopathia of all types was not based on a recession of pigment from above, but 
on a cessation of supplies of newly-formed pigment from below. Unna's chief con- 
tribution to the subject is the suggestion that the pigment granules pass to the 
epithelium by means of the lymph stream. 

Colin", a pupil of Unna's, while accepting the view that pigment passes froni the 
cutis into the epidermis, insisted on two other points: (i) that a whole series of 
different types of cells were capable of taking up pigment, and (ii) that free 
pigment certainly exists outside the cells. This latter statement, which is in 
accordance with one made by Kolliker, but seems opposed to Ehrmann's views, is 
of singular importance for its bearing on the " diffused " pigment of certain cases of 
incomplete albinism and associated states. Thus certain types of red hair, as well as 
certain flaxen and also mouse-coloured hair, appear when microscopically examined to 
have no granular pigment. The hair of native albinos is very frequently golden or red 
and again- without granular pigment. The brown "spectacle marks" on our albino 
Pekinese spaniels contain no granular pigment, and the hair of the coloured dogs with 
albinotic eyes which have been born from these, also contains no granular pigment, 
only diffused pigment. We have found, however, that normal Pekinese with non- 
albinotic eyes but coat-colour identical with that of these albino dogs have also 
no granular pigmentation. It thus appears that the nature of this diffused pigment 
may be of crucial importance for the case of albinism ^ It would be a possibly 
difficult but certainly a valuable investigation to ascertain whether or no it is 
melanotic in character. If it be, then the absence of a ferment is not the funda- 
mental distinction between the albinotic and the non-albinotic. 

Attempts have been made to test the Einstrdmu7igstheorie directly, and the 
most noteworthy of these appeared at first sight to be those of Karg^ He grafted 
a portion of a white man's skin on to a negro, and in ten weeks it had become as 
black as the normal negro skin. He continued this experiment further and grafted 
on to a negro, and then removed at intervals of four, eight and twelve weeks portions 
of white skin. According to his interpretation of his microscopic observations 

' "Die Fortschritte der Haut-Anatomie in den letzten 5 Jahren," Monalshefte fur prakt. Dermatologie, 
Bd. vui. S. 79, 129, 210, 256, 366, Hamburg, 1889. Also Selected Monographs on Dermatology, New 
Sydenham Society, London, 1893, pp. 107 — 118. 

^ "Der augenblickliche Stand der Pigmentfrage," Monatshefte fur prakt. Dermatologie, Bd. xviii. 
S. 353—367, Hamburg, 1894. 

^ The apparent intensity of this diffused pigment in the albino dog varies considerably. At times 
the coat appears quite white, but at other times it takes a marked yellowish tinge, precisely as the 
human albino's hair does. At the present time (July, 1910) the bitch Tong I, which has been running 
about on the open moor for three or four days, has developed almost a yellow head, the bodj' remaining 
white. On the other hand the dog Wee Ling has not coloured under the same process. 

* " Studien uber transplantirte Haut. I. Entwickelung u. Bedeutung des Hautpigments," Archiv fiir 
Anatomie und Physiologie, Jg. 1888, Ariat. Ahtheil., S. 369 — 131, Leipzig, 1888. 

K. p. 24 


there was a gradual penetration of pigment cells into the white skin. He later 
grafted a portion of the negro's skin onto a white man ; it grew pale, and was 
removed and microscopically examined. Karg attributed this change to the 
passage of the Biiidegewebzellen peculiar to the white man into the negro 
epidermis and the removal of the dead pigment by leucocytes, and considered that 
his microscopic observations supported this view. 

Meanwhile a totally different interpretation was placed on the matter by 
Schwalbe in 1893', who asserted that on Karg's own showing it must have been 
fresh skin which grew and not the transplanted skin which changed colour. Schwalbe 
then developed his own view, which he based on the change of winter and summer 
coats in the stoat. He believes that he has demonstrated an autogen development 
of pigment in the epidermis— the activity of the protoplasm of the epithelial cells 
themselves can produce granular pigment without the aid of migratory pigment cells. 
He considered that the epithelial and dermal cells draw their pigment from the same 
source, but are wholly independent. He holds that (i) a pigmentation of the cutis can 
occur with completely unpigmented epidermis and hair, and (ii) a pure epithelial pig- 
mentation can occur without trace of pigment in the underlying mesoderm'. As an 
instance of the former, Schwalbe cites the volar side of the forearm of Cercopithecus 
mena, and of the latter the " Haaranlagen " of the skin on the back of the stoat'. 
Further, Schwalbe rejects the theory of the migratory " Bindegewebzellen " as 
pigment carriers; he considers the cells that have been proclaimed as such are 
merely transformed epithelial cells, and supports this by the consideration that 
they often occur in situations where no trace of pigment can be found in the 
underlying mesoderm. 

Six years before Schwalbe, Retterer in 1887 had asserted that the pigment of 
the epidermis is autochthon and does not originate in the cutis, and a whole series of 
investigators, of whom the most noteworthy are Loeb, Jarisch and Post', have taken 
this view or even asserted that the epidermis and not the cutis is the source of the 
pigmentation. Others have taken the probably more reasonable view that pigment 
cells can be independently developed in both epidermis and cutis. 

A farther portion of Ehrmann's theory, the origin of skin pigment in haemo- 
globin, has been criticised by Kaposi, who draws attention to the fact that the red 
blood corpuscles of albinos possesses as large a content of haemoglobin as those of the 
normally pigmented ; their mesodermal cells are just as active. Haematin is also 
transferred to them and yet the albinos' rete and choroid remain without pigment'. 

» "UeberdenFarbenwechsel wintervfeissenThiere," Morpholoc/ischeArheiten,Bd.n.S.l — 606, Jena, 1893. 

2 The case of an ordinary white dog or horse suggests (i), and of the ordinary blue iris (ii). 

3 Eine Betheiligung von Bindegewebzellen irgend welcher Art an der Pigmentirung des Epithels war 
in unserer Falle mit Sicherheit auszuschliessen, S. -576. 

* For a resume of the views of these authors and references to tlieir papers, see E. Meirowsky, Ueber 
den Ursprung des melanotischen Pigments der Haul und des Auges, Leipzig, 1908, S. 26—4.5. Also 
W. Garstang, The Chromatophores of Animals, Science Progress, Vol. iv. pp. 104—131, London, 1895. 

5 " Ueber Pathogenese der Pigmentierungen und Entfarbungen der Haut," Archiv fUr Dermatologie, 
Bd. XXIII. SS. 191—205, 1891. 


Kaposi concludes that the theory of the origin of all pigment processes in haemoglobin is 
untenable, and that other sources of pigment production than the red blood corpuscles 
exist. Jax-isch and Rabl followed with experimental evidence that pigmentation 
arises in the ectoderm independently of processes in the mesoderm, and Loeb with 
transplantation experiments came to the very opposite conclusion to Karg, namely 
that the newly-formed epidermis pigment is not carried by the chromatophores from 
the cutis, but arises in the epidermis itself Quite recently Wieting and Hamdi' 
have supported the view that pigmentation originates in the epidermis. They have 
considered among other matters the pigment of the eye, and are convinced that all 
pigment is exclusively produced in the retina, and that the choroid has no inde- 
pendent creation of pigment, but is dependent on the retina for its pigmentation I 
Pio-ment is brought to the sclera and the sheath of the optic nerve by way of the 
lymph passages. There is solely an epithelial production of pigment. More con- 
vincing evidence of the independent epithelial origin of pigment has been provided 
by Meirowsky, who has made use of the Finsen rays to produce pigmentation in 
excised portions of skin. The cutis was in these experiments free from pigment- 
bearino- cells or they were extremely infrequent. The skin became after the 
application of the light either light brown or after two hours' exposure in certain 
favourable cases dark brown : 

" Die Tatsache nun der energischen und schnellen Pigmentbildung bei vollkom- 
menem Weo-drucke des Blutes und die Tatsache des ganzlichen Fehlens sogenannter 
Melanoblasten fiihrten uns zu dem Schluss, dass die chemischen Strahlen das Pigment 
aus den Oberhautzellen selbst bilden, dass das Pigment also nicht in die Epidermis 
eingeschleppt ist und zu seiner Entstehung auch nicht des Blutfarbstoffes bedarf" 

{loc. cit. S. 48). 

Further, Meirowsky experimented with the Finsen rays on scarred skin 
which both Ehrmann and Unna have held to be incapable of pigmentation. After 
excision and microscopic examination the cutis showed no sign of pigmentation, the 
epithelium throughout was very darkly pigmented. Neither in the cutis nor epidermis 
did Meirowsky find a single cell which could be called a chromatophore or melanoblast 
in Ehrmann's sense of the word (S. 49). From these and other results Meirowsky 
concludes that, as pigment can be formed in the epidermis independently of the 
existence of branched cells in either epidermis or cutis, the whole migi'atory theory 
and the melanoblast hypothesis collapse. Epidermis and cutis pigment can arise in- 
dependently and the melanoblasts of one and the other are independent structures 

(S. 66—8). 

Meirowsky on much the same grounds as Kaposi, i.e. the inexplicability of 
albinism and leucoderma on the haemoglobin theory, contests the view that the 

1 " XJeber die physiologische u. pathologische Melaninpigmentierung und dem epithelialen Ursprung 
der Melanoblastome," Zieylers Beitrdge, Bd. xlu. S. 23 — 84, 1907. 

= Riecke (" Ueber Formen u. Eotwicklung der Pigmentzellen der Choreoidea," Graefes Archiv fur 
Ophthalmobgie, Bd. 37, S. 62—96, Berlin, 1891), and Meirowsky {loc. cit. S. 97) have both .shown an 
independent production of pigment by the choroid. 

24 2 


pigment of the skin has anything to do with blood-pigments. The pigments of 
both epidermis and cutis are formed " autoclithon in der Zelle selbst aus einem 
Eiweissmolekiil einer farberisch wohl definierbaren Kernsubstanz" {loc. cit. S. 103). 
He concludes by accepting the view discussed later in this chapter that the origin of 
melanotic pigment arises from the inter-action of two enzymes, a tyrosinase and a 
ferment. In this way he would explain the pigmentation produced in his own ex- 
periments by the Finsen rays, i.e. by the breaking up of some albumen molecule 
followed by oxidation by an oxidase (S. 115). 

But even if this theory be accepted its application to leucoderma and albinism 
becomes almost as difficult as on the haemoglobin theory. In the first place, to 
establish it, we ought to show initially that the Finsen rays will produce no pig- 
mentation in either the leucodermatous or the albinotic skin. The peculiar feature, at 
least of albinism of the hair, is not so much the absence of superficial pigment — it may 
occur in a diftused condition — as the total absence or extreme paucity of granular 
pigment'. Again in the case of leucoderma or partial albinism, are we to assume a 
local absence of the ferment ? And if so, why is it that what is plentiful in closely 
adjacent parts of the system has no access to other parts ? Why in leucoderma 
does the pigment, or shall we say the ferment, gradually retreat from certain areas ? 
Again in complete albinos are we or are we not to admit the presence of melanotic 
pigmentation internally- ? Mr C. H. O'Donoghue, who had kindly examined albino 
rabbits, rats and mice for one of us, reported as follows : 

I liave found that the absence of pigment so noticeable in the external appearance of albinos does 
not seem to affect the internal organs. In examining the viscera of albino rabbits I found it impossible 
to discover an)' difference in colour that would enable them to be distinguished from those of normal 
animals. The spleen, liver, bile, kidnej', adrenal body, Peyer's patches and salivary glands are to all 
appearances quite similarly coloured. Two rats and two mice, one of each pair being an albino and the 
other normal, gave similar results on examination and in addition the mesenteries of both normal and 
albino were alike in containing pigment cells whose presence was demonstrated by silver nitrate. 

If the existence of melanotic pigment internally in albinos be confirmed, the 
superficial albinism cannot be due to the total absence of the ferment from their 
system. Again the appearance of diffused pigment in the hair of many albinos under 
favourable circumstances makes it even doubtful whether the ferment is really absent 
superficially. The possibility that leucoderma can be retrogressive' as well as pro- 
gressive suggests at least that the ferment can return, if it is not always in situ. It is 
very hard indeed to reach a satisfactory account of albinism and allied leucoses by 
local absence of a ferment. We are compelled in addition to suppose some physiological 
or structural change which either prevents access of the ferment, or perhaps, and 
more probably, hinders oxidation or storage of pigment if it be developed. Thus as 
far as albinism is concerned modern views on pigmentation do not seem to carry us 
beyond the necessity of assuming a structural difterentiation of some sort. A great 
deal of experimental work on the albinotic skin — with the Finsen rays and in other 

' The remarks of Cohn (see our page 185) should be noted here. 

' See Karl Pearson, Note on Internal Albinism, Biometrika, Vol. vu. p. 240, 1910. 
There are other temporary leucoses. 


ways — naturally suggests itself. Indeed, suggestion of lines of further inquiry seems 
at present the chief result to be drawn by the student of albinism from the current 
theories as to pigmentation. 

B. Bio-Chemical Investigations as to the Nature of Animal Figment. We 
now turn more directly to those chemical investigations which have been carried on 
parallel with but largely independent of the microscopical work. The brief account' 
we can give naturally divides itself into the following problems : (i) What is the 
substance responsible for skill pigmentation '^ (ii) What is its source ? (iii) Wiiat is 
its chemical nature ? (iv) Is there a difterence of kind or degree separating normal 
from pathological pigmentation ? 

(i) That the varying shades of skin colour are due to the presence, in greater or 
less amount, of a stable amorphous substance, melanin, is generally allowed ; the only 
exception of importance being the group of cases in which there is a direct deposition 
in the skin of a pigmented substance, either following the prolonged exhibition of 
certain drugs, such as nitrate of silver, or the result of blood destruction in certain 
infectious and acute intoxications. The origin and nature of melanin are, however, 
by no means clear. 

(ii) Most of the earlier workers were of opinion that melanin was a direct 
product of haemoglobin, the observations of Langhans being long thought demon- 
strative. Rosenstadt, however, showed that no identity had been established between 
the pigment formed from breaking-down red corpuscles and natural melanin. 

The more recent and very elaborate studies of Ehrmann, who believed that 
melanin was derived from haemoglobin by the specific activity of mesoblastic cells, 
have also been criticised by Rosenstadt, Schmidt and others, the difficulty of satis- 
factorily identifying the breaking-down blood pigment with melanin being again 
emphasised. Kaposi' pointed to the absence of deeply pigmented dermal, sub- 
jacent to markedly coloured epidermal areas, and to the fact that local circulatory 
conditions in vitiligo are often normal. His remarks as to albinism have already been 
referred to on p. 186. 

The evidence against the " haemoglobinogenous " theory is not indeed merely 

negative. Von Rosow observed skin pigmentation in artificially fertilised fish 

embryos, having completely colourless blood corpuscles, while similar observations 

on the transparent Leptocephali, although not quite concordant, tend in the same 

direction. A like remark applies to Rabl's work on poultry feathers, Fischer's on 

salamander larvae, and to the expeiumental transplantation of skin in guinea-pigs by 

Loeb. On the whole we are justified in saying that transformation of haemoglobin 

into melanin has never been proved, but that in the words of von Fiirth : 

Die metabolische aus farblosen Material erfolgende Bildung der physiologischen Pigmente bei 
Wirbeltieren in hohem Grade wahrscheinlich sei. 

(iii) The chemical nature of melanin has been investigated by various workers, 
von Fiirth reproduces in tabular form the results of several analyses. The elements 

' We largely owe this account to the kindness of Dr M. Greenwood, Jnr. 
' Archiv/iir Dermatologie u. Syph., 1891, S. 191. 



always present occur very approximately in the ratio N:H:C::*1:6:5"7. There 
are however many practical difficulties in the way of an exact analysis, and the above 
ratio is quite without precision. It seems that neither iron nor sulphur is constantly 
found ' (Nencki and Siebers) ; the occasional presence of one or both these elements 
being possibly explicable on the hypothesis that the melanin molecule contains un- 
saturated atom-groups. Melanin is insoluble in water and alcohol, and hardly 
affected by boiling hydrochloric acid (Berdez and Nencki). Melanotic sarcomata, 
when heated with concentrated sulphuric acid, lose their colouring matter which is 
reprecipitated by water. Melanins of different origin react differently with alkalies. 
Spiegler obtained from hairs, by two processes, colourless substances — pigment acids 
which dissolved in ammonia with the formation of a black solution. Indol has been 
shown to be a very constant end product in the analysis of melanin, but the exact 
molecular structure of the latter is still uncertain. 

More recently- von Fiirth and Jerusalem have studied Hippomelanin, a pigment 
obtained from melanotic tumours of the lymph glands of the horse. They give 
(S. 170) the following constitution, remarking, however, that the substances 
obtained cannot claim chemical purity and unity : 






Atomic Constitution 







Q^ H,, Ni 0^ 

Artificial Melanin 





Csa H„ N, 0„ 

They consider their investigations to show that with increasing oxidisation the 
relation of C to N increases, and approaches the relation of artificial melanin, or of 
tyrosin. They suggest that the " nucleus " of the probably very great hippomelanin 
molecule is similar to that of ai'tificial melanin, and that this nucleus becomes more 
apparent as the accessory groups are removed by chemical treatment. As a conclusion 
from their experiments on hippomelanin they consider that no facts have come to 
light irreconcilable with the hypothesis of a fermentative origin for natural melanin. 
They add, however, that they do not consider tyrosin as exclusively the mother- 
substance of natural pigments ("sondern auch andere im Stoffwechsel auftretende 
zyklische Komplexe dabei in Betracht ziehen mochten," S. 171). 

. (iv) The most striking examples of pathological coloration are the peculiar 
disease first studied by Addison and the nielanosarcomata. Virchow, to whom we 
owe the first scientific investigation of pigment tumours, denied that their colouring 
matter was a result of blood extravasations and suggested that we have to deal with 
a not merely local condition, but a general vice of metabolism, a dyscrasia. Subse- 
quently Langhans upheld the view that blood extravasations were responsible for 

^ Sachs, 1812, the albino scientist made a chemical analysis of his own hair (Bibl. No. 151) and 
found it relatively wanting in iron, but the observation needs repeating by modern methods. 

- "Zur Kenntnis der melanotischen Pigmente und der fermentatiren Melaninbildung," Hofmeisters 
Zeitschrift fur die gesatnmte Biochemie, Bd. x. S. 131 — 173; Braunschweig, 1907. 


the pioment, and this theory, or rather modifications of it, were supported by many 
workers. On the other hand Baumgarten, Fuchs, Birch-Hirschfeld, Ribbert and 
others have advanced very powerful arguments against such views. Fuchs justly 
remarked that were blood-colouring matters soaked through the cellular tissues 
ecjually, we should not find, as we do, isolated groups of dee|)ly pigmented cells 
surrounded by unpigmented ones. Further, he pointed out that "the pigment 
derived from the blood corpuscles passes through various colour changes, whereas 
melanin even in young cells is always black'. Ribbert brings weighty evidence 
in support of his belief that melanosarcomatous cells are quite specific, and that 
the pigment is a product of their metabolisml Gouin, who applied various tests 
for blood pigment in a case of melanosarcoma of the cornea, remarks : 

Ou bien que des elements nielaniques peuvent prendre naissance au sein meme du tissu de la cornea. 
Ou bien que du faux pigment h^morragique peut acquerir tous les caracteres melaniques sans qu'il soit 
possible de Ten distinguer par les moyens usuels'. 

A certain number of observers have taken up a position intermediate between 
the two schools. For instance, Oppenheimer and Jooss hold that a proteid combined 
with haematin in the haemoglobin molecule, is the precursor of melanin ; but their 
arguments are not entirely convincing. Just as in the case of normal pigmentation 
the weight of evidence favours the view that sarcomatous melanosis is a resultant of 
specific cellular activity, not a direct transformation of a pre-existing body pigment. 
It may also be remarked that no satisfactory evidence has yet been produced that 
there exists any diflference in kind separating the melanin of normal pigmentation 
from that found in melanosarcomatous cells. 

Although Addison's disease has led to much discussion and a considerable 
literature, yet our knowledge of it is still far from complete. Even the identity 
of Addisonian pigment with normal melanin has not been satisfactorily established, 
although, perhaps, the weight of evidence is in favour of such a conclusion (Virchow, 
yon Recklinghausen, Overbeck, and especially von Kahlden). Von Kahlden in an 
interesting paper points out the close analogy existing between Addisonian pig- 
mentation and that of normal dark or brown races', and more recent work does 
not appear to have invalidated his results. Although we are still much in the 
dark as to the true pathology of Addison's disease, there is strong reason to 
believe that it is due to a state of abnormal metabolism and not to some purely 
local cause. 

Supposing this to be true, an interesting possibility suggests itself. May it not 
be that such conditions as Addison's disease, in which there is an abnormal production 
of skin pigment, are connected with states of abnormally weak pigmentation like 
albinism, in that in one a form of metabolism is abnormally active, in the other 

' The colour changes in blood extravasations have been elaborately studied by Diirch, Virchows 
Archiv, 1892, Bd. cx.xx. S. 29 et seq. 

" "Ueber das Melanosarkom," Zieglers Beitrdge, 1897, S. 471 99. 

' " Un cas de Sarcome pigmente de la Cornee." Ibid., 1898, S. -596. 
■" Virchows Archiv, Bd. cxiv. S. 6.5—113, see especially S. 98 — 100. 


morbidly inactive ? Were this so, an increased knowledge of Addison's disease 
might throw some light on the albinotic state. Of course this is at present a 
pure speculation, not, however, wholly inconsistent with what is already certain^ 

The relation of melanin to tissue change has some importance for albinotic 
studies, and a few notes on this point may be of interest. 

Many observers (Eiselt, Lerch, Finkler, Katsurada, etc.) have found in cases of 
melanosarcoma, melanin or a substance yielding melanin in the urine. This ap- 
pearance seemed to be associated in a few cases (Ganghofner and Przibram) with 
retrogressive changes in the skin tumours. The exact significance of the phenomenon 
is not, however, clear. 

Paul Carnot, 1896 (Bibl. No. 46.0, S. 1009) studied by means of experimental 
injections the method of pigment excretion in normal animals. He employed 
(i) choroidal pigment diluted with aqueous humour, (ii) melanin pigment from 
melanotic tumours in the horse, (iii) cuttlefish ink dissolved in salt water. The 
methods employed were intravenous, intraperitoneal and subcutaneous injections. 
By intravenous injection it appeared that most of the pigment was fixed by the 
liver, spleen and lungs ; and eliminated by the kidneys and intestinal epithelium. 
By subcutaneous and intraperitoneal injections in addition to the above localisation, 
special localisations were observed in the suprarenals and great omentum. For example 
a dog received 40c.c. extract of horse melanin ; after four days the suprarenal capsule 
was completely black. On examination the distribution of the pigment in the latter 
varied. There were zones of complete pigmentation and total absence of cellular 
elements, mixed zones, and zones where the pigment was intracellular and ap- 
parently undergoing decolorisation and destruction. In another case pigmentation 
fixation was weU marked in the great omentum. There was no skin pigmentation. 

L'injection intraveineuse determine une fixation probablement d'ordre m^canique au niveau du foie, 
de la rate, du poumon. L'^limination se fait par le rein (glomerules) et I'intestin. Entin les capsules 
surrenales et probablement les organes lymphoides paraissent fixer et meme decolorer et detruire les 
granules pigmentaires. 

Robert (" Ueber Melanine," Wiener Klinik, Bd. xxvii. 1901, Heft 4) injected 
rabbits and guinea-pigs intravenously and subcutaneously with alkaline solution of 
tumour and sepia melanin and found elimination by means of the urine. He was led to 
the conclusion that all the injected pigment was eliminated in this way, and as a matter 
of fact two animals killed a few days after the injection showed no trace of pigment 
except a little at the site of inoculation. Some of the rabbits he used were albinos, 
and at the beginning of his experiments he held the view that the melanin would 
tend to cure or ameliorate the albinism. 

Ich zweitelte nicht dass nach der intravenosen Einspritzung die albinotische Iris binnen zehn Minuten 
sich dunkel farben und vielleicht das Pigment lange Zeit behalten wiirde. In dieser Hoffnung habe ich 
mich griindlich getaiischt, denn es trat uberhaupt keine merkliche Dunkelfarbung irgendwo ira Auge auf. 
Ja selbst subkonjunktivale Einspritzung des tierschwarzen Losungen fiilirte keine Farbenveranderung des 
Auges herbei. Die Erklarung ist aber darin zu suchen, dass das im Blut kreisende Melanin von den 

' Levi (Bibl. No. 319) has reported partial leucoses accompanying the gain of pigment in 12 cases 
of Addison's disease : see ftn. 3, p. 200. 


sauerstoffarmen Organen des Kaninclieiis, also wohl hauptsachlich von der Leber sehr leicht reduziert 
und dadurcli zu rasch ontfarbt als dass es zu einer Ablagerung in den Pignientzellen des Auges kommen 

Both Caniot's and Robert's experiments seeiu to indicate that the mere presence 
of a melanin is not sufficient to produce a deposit of pigment in the pigment cells ; 
they again suggest that in albinism we have to do with a special type of metabolism. 

A series of not very conclusive experiments by Bidder (Bibl. No. 383, p. 897, 
ISS'J) were undertaken to produce artificial albinism, thus reversing the procedure of 
Robert. Rabbits were injected with 33^ per cent, potassium chloride solution. After 
some superficial abscess formation, they subsequently developed patches of white hair 
at the sites of inoculation. The process appeared very dangerous, in one case causing 
instant death. The author suggests as explanation : 

Dass moglichei- Weise durch den oxydisenden Einfluss des bei der Injection in das Cutisgewebe 
extravasirten Blutes das Chlor aus dem Salz frei wird und nun das Pigment des benachbarten Rete 
Malpighii entfarbt resp. zersttirt. 

It is not clear how far the result was a sequel of the abscess, nor to what extent 
the partial albinism was permanent. 

We may conclude this discussion with some remarks on the artificial 
formation of melanin and the light it seems to throw on natural processes. 
Schmiedeberg obtained from proteids, by the prolonged action of mineral acids, a 
substance having properties similar to those of natural melanin, and yielding indol 
and skatol when heated with potash. The substances isolated by Gmelin from the 
products of pancreatic digestion were of a similar nature. Further the atomic ratios 
in natural and artificial melanin agree fairly well (Hofmeister). Von Fiirth obtained 
a melanin-like body by acting on proteid with nitric acid, and Ducceschi prepared the 
same substance from tyrosin and sodium nitrate. Samuely concluded that the 
proteid molecule must contain several atom groups yielding skatol, pyrol, tyrosin 
and pyridin, and that any one of these groups might originate colouring matters 
resembling melanin. Hopkins and Cole have succeeded in isolating a crystalline 
substance, tryptophan, as a product of pancreatic proteid digestion which may be 
the mother substance of these " proteino-chromes." 

For the production of artificial melanin from proteid oxidising processes are of 
importance. Researches on natural melanin support the view that the same processes 
are important for its production. Bertrand showed that certain plants contained a 
ferment, tyrosinase, which could oxidise tyrosin with the production of a dark 
coloured substance. Von Fiirth and Schneider prepared a similar ferment from 
the body fluid of lepidopterous pupae, which, when added to an aqueous solution 
of tyrosin, precipitated dark flakes of a substance resembling melanin in physical 
characters and percentage composition. A tyrosinase has also been found in the ink 
sac of Sepia (Przibram and Gessard), in melanotic tumours (Gessard), in fly larvae 
(Dewitz), in the blood of Bomhijx mori (Ducceschi). Quite recently tyrosinases 
have been found in the skins of new-born rabbits, rats and guinea-pigs by 

K. p. 25 


Florence M. Durham (Bibl. No. 522), but their presence or absence in the skins 
of albinos does not seem to have been determined. 

The general conclusion to be drawn from these results is that natural pig- 
mentation is intimately associated with the presence of some such ferment as 
tyrosinase, but the series of chemical reactions involved appear to be in need of 
much further investigation. We have given the above results chiefly based on von 
Fiirth's summary with hesitation, and must caution the reader that they merely 
touch the fringe of a wide subject. But their bearing is so all-important for the 
discussion of albinism, and especially for the inheritance of the albinotic character, 
that it appeared impossible to avoid these problems entirely. 

We may sum up their bearing on albinism as follows : 
(i) The presence of melanin is responsible for skin pigmentation. 

(ii) Melanin does not appear to be a direct product of haemoglobin. 

(iii) The supply of a pigment by way of the blood or otherwise has not hitherto 
been successful in increasing existing pigmentation or producing it where it was 

(iv) It seems probable that pigment is created and stored in siti.i, and is due to 
a metabolic process not yet fully understood. 

(v) The possibiUty of abnormal absence and abnormal presence of pigmentation 
being extremes of one normal metabolic process is, perhaps, worthy of consideration. 

(vi) The production of pigment is very probably due to the local action of a 
tyrosinase or ferment on tyrosin. 

(vii) It has been suggested that the cause of albinism is the absence of the 

If this were demonstrated it would be a distinct advance and carry us further 
back in the analysis of the defective metabolism of albinism. It must, however, be 
remembered (i) that the absence of the ferment in the albino must correspond to 
some abnormality in the zygote, and ultimately to some defect in one or both 
gametes. This defect can hardly be an absence of ferment, (ii) The materials for 
development are supplied in utero by the mother who may be (a) herself pigmented 
and (6) produce at the same time pigmented and unpigmented twins. It would 
appear that she is thus able to provide the ferment for one and not for the other 
offspring. The suggestion, which we would make for the consideration of the 
physiologist, is that the ultimate difference between the normally pigmented in- 
dividual and the albino will be found after all to be one of structure. It is easier 
to grasp the influence of a difference of gametic constitution on structure than on 
chemical process. The failure of the normal metabolic process is due, we suggest, to 
differentiated structure in the albino. If there be local absence of ferment, it may 
possibly be that the structure does not permit of its reaching its destination. If it 
should turn out to be there, it is possible that the failure may lie in the cellular 

^ Thus Miss Durham writes (Bibl. No. 522): "Hitherto, material from white or albino animals 
has yielded no results, but the animals obtained were too few for final conclusions to be formed in regard 
to them." 


structure, which is such that pigment cannot be stored in the normal mannei-, even if 

Now although this suggestion is merely tentative there are recorded facts about 
albinism which are not at all out of keeping with such an hypothesis". In the first 
place we may again note that the process of oxidisation appears to produce diffused 
pigment in the hair of albinos, giving the tip of the hair, and often much more a 
yellow and occasionally almost red appearance. The pigment cells are sometimes 
present, but appear to have little or no pigment in them (see our Chapter On the 
Alhinotic Hair). Again if structure were identical, it is ditficult to understand how 
in cases of partial albinism, the ferment should be confined to some portions of the 
skin, and be wanting in others. Indeed when we come to note the varying grades of 
skin pigmentation in native albinos, the graduation of structure seems a very reason- 
able view. It will be remembered that Buzzl (see p. 167) denied the existence of the 
rete mucosum in the skin of his albino woman. It is probable that it existed in a 
defective state. Wharton Jones (Bibl. No. 202) found it in the skin of an albino, 
but in a rudimentary condition. The frequent skin troubles of albinos perhaps point 
to difficulties in excess of what we might anticipate from mere absence of pigment. 
Finally we may quote the very definite view of Manz after a dissection of the 
alhinotic eye, and a consideration of all the evidence available (Bibl. No. 357) : 

If at the present time, we take all the facts into consideration, we shall arrive at the conclusion that 
not the absence of pigment as sucli, but the condition of the structures remaining pigmentless, their texture 
in the widest sense, is the essential pathological characteristic of albinism. 

' Robert's experiments may from this standpoint be of great importance, see p. 192. Carnot's 
might merelj' show that the pigment cells were charged to their full capacity. 

^ An adverse criticism of Blumenbach's view of albinism has been frequently made because in his 
J)e oculis Leucaethiopum . . . (Bibl. No. 101, p. 11) he asserts that the rose colour of the alhinotic eye 
follows from the albino's skin disease. The title of this section of his memoir is : Roseus oculorum color 
non nisi symptoma est singularis morbi cutanei (pp. 11 — 19), and we fancy that most of the critics 
have not got beyond the title, and assumed that Bhimenbach held that some form of disease produced 
the rose hue of the eyes. As a matter of fact Blumenbach attributes the rose colour to the absence of 
pigment, and this absence of pigment is a symptom he thinks of defective membrane structure. Blumenbach 
shows in a broad way, quoting Aristotle and Fortius and general experience (see our p. 180 ftn.), that 
there is a relationship between eye and skin colours both as to intensity and tint. He then indicates 
that this relationship between eye and skin arises fron) a general likeness in the tissues of both. He 
holds that the choroid and uvea and other tissues which he speaks of as the internal membranes 
of the eye were in structure like the " rete malpighianum," and that when this failed to perform its 
function, the storing or development of pigment, the others also failed. He thus attributes alhinotic 
eye and skin to a common source, a defect, which he calls a disease, of the pigment tissues. We think we 
may look upon Blumenbach as a protagonist of the view that albinism is primarily a failure in structure, 
i.e. it is in his language a morbus cutis before it is an absence of pigment. 

The correlation of hair, eye and skin colours is probably not so complete as Blumenbach and otlier 
early writers believed (see Biometrika, Vol. iii. p. 459), who had probably not recognised the existence of 
a black-haired, blue-eyed type or race. On the other hand the intimate association of eye and skin 
is often markedly illustrated in special cases, e.y. that of Regina Jordan quoted by Ernst in 1830 
(Bibl. No. 193, S. 40), who, he asserts, had from birth nut only a parti-coloured iris, but a parti- 
coloured skin. 



Manz reached this view from a very different standpoint to ours. He appears 
to look on albinism as a pathological product, and heredity as at any rate a very 
minor factor. We throw out the suggestion as hypothesis, not as conclusion, that 
albinism is an hereditary defect of structure, and possibly only of superficial tissue 
structure, which interferes with the normal metabolic process by which pigment is 
produced and stored. The absence of pigment is a secondary result of the albinotic 
structure, and not the primary source of the albinotic constitution. The delicacy and 
thinness of the albinotic tissues, their resulting increased vulnerability, and diminished 
resistance to thermal, luminous and mechanical influences are not solely due to 
absence of pigment ; it is suggested that they mark a differentiated tissue 
structure on which the absence of pigment itself depends. There are many ways 
by which this hypothesis can be tested, and such tests will be fruitful even if the 
hypothesis has to be discarded. In considering the facts recorded in the following 
chapter, on the various forms of albinism, partial and incomplete, the theories and 
hypotheses of this chapter will we think be of service to the reader, although all 
purely theoretical discussion will there be omitted. 

If we take the view that albinism is not a disease, nor an arrest of development, 
but its chief, if not sole source is the inheritance of an abnormal tissue structure, we 
shall be able not only to class it with other forms of inheritance of abnormal structure, 
but to test our hypothesis by ascertaining whether its inheritance follows the same 


The Albino Roche, pp. 169, 176. The Musee des families, T. in. p. 81, Paris, 1836, gives a picture, — 
almost the earliest of a European albino, — of this " lapin blanc," and terms him the " cretin albinos de 
Bicetre," thus giving wider currency to the Troxler theory of a link between albinism and cretinism. 

Deaf- Mutism and Albinism, p. 176. We have omitted to mention that Wilhelmi only examined the 
statistics of 578 deaf-mutes. Clearly albinism might well be twenty to thirty times as frequent among 
deaf-mutes as among the normal population without the absence of an albino exciting any surprise. There 
was no investigation of the fundus of these deaf-mutes, but only an examination of census schedules filled 
in by laymen. 



In the previous chapter we have shown some reason for the view that the 
ultimate source of albinism may really be a structural defect, which does not allow 
of the normal storage or development of pigment. Gradations of this structural 
defect would account for the wide range of incompletely albinotic types we have 
learnt to know in our account of the albinos of native races, and in the eyes of 
European albinos. It seems, further, the only explanation which will embrace under 
a common conception complete albinism, incomplete albinism and partial albinism. 
The phenomenon of piebaldism is consistent with a structural difference between 
diflFerent parts of the epidermis ; and any conception of a spotting or piebald factor 
is purely a metaphysical, or rather metaphysiological, conception, which ultimately 
must reduce itself to a question of why certain portions of the skin physio- 
logically admit of pigment and others do not. From this standpoint all grades 
of pigmentation, all changes of pigmentation, and all local absences of pigmentation 
are of peculiar interest to the student of albinism. Above all, it is important to 
indicate any links which may occur between these classes of phenomena. The 
misfortune at present is that so little is known physiologically about skin structure 
in cases where pigmentation fails. Did we know more about senile leucosis, about 
leucoderma, or about piebalds, we should probably know far more about albinism 
itself We propose in this chapter to consider some points as to leucoderma in their 
special relation to albinism. 

Leucoderma. The exact definition and limitation of leucoderma seem somewhat 
unsettled even at the present time, and probably a number of diverse states have 
in the past been classed under this name or that of vitiligo \ We may dismiss at 
once as falling outside our subject that class which has a parasitic origin" and to 
which some of the earlier reported cases may possibly have belonged. A typical 
case of this kind is the ^amto of tropical America, where the spots are directly 
attributed to a fungoid growths It is well known that after a wound, burning 
or injury of some kind the injured skin may lose its pigment, and this is markedly 
the case in the negro. A curious instance of this occurs in the circumcised negro. 
In the uncircumcised negro the ylans is unpigmented and red ; in the circumcised negro 

' Hutchinson in 1863 said that leiicoderma "differs essentially from vitiligo, properly so called, in 
that there is no thickening whatever of the skin on the affected patches." Lond. Hosp. Cliydcal Lectures, 
Vol. I. p. 7, London, 1864. 

- Archives de Parasitologic, n. 1, p. 153, 1898. See also Neveu Leniaire, Bibl. No. 490, p. 191. 

^ See Scheube, Diseases of Warm Countries (trans. Cantlie), 1903, p. 532. 


the wound loses its pigment', but the glans being exposed rapidly gains pigment and 
becomes black'. In the early cases of negroes "going white," to be reported below, 
there often occur references to injuries of some kind as the source of their progressive 
leucosis. Hervieux', in a fairly early paper on partial leucopathia or " albinisme local 
accidentel," invokes Kayer' in favour of the belief that the condition often results 
from mental shock {commotions 7norales). But there are so many cases without 
any history of injury or shock' that such can hardly be an essential feature of 
leucoderma. According to some writers (Hervieux", Barensprung', etc.) the loss 
of pigment is accompanied by neuralgic or other pain, and there is inflammation 
of the affected areas. On the other hand, a number of authors cite cases in which 
the change goes on without the least discomfort of any kind. Hutchinson very 
early (1860) noted that leucoderma was consistent with good health. Of nine cases, 
four males were in good health, one rather delicate, and one youth had remarkably 
retarded development ; one female had uterine disease, another ovarian tumour and 
a third died of renal disease (lac. cit. p. 17). Again, Hansen, 1869', writes about 
a characteristic case in a European boy: "All these patches arose without irritation 
(Jticken) or pain, often unnoted by the boy and his parents. The parts affected 
were never hot [so described by some earlier writers] and they did not scale off. 
During the whole origin and progress of the affection the general health was not 
in the least disturbed." 

This agrees extremely well with the account given by two sufferers to one of 
our own number. In the first not the slightest heat, jiain or discomfort of any kind 
was exhibited by the affected parts. Discomfort only arose after an area was entirely 
deprived of pigment, in which case, when exposed to the sun in outdoor summer 
work even in England, it did not tan, but blistered and cracked, — precisely as occurs 
in the case of albinos". In the other instance"' the leucoderma came on after a visit 

Dr G. A. Turner refers to the ring of pure white skiu at the back of the glans as a result of 
circumcision wounds, and it inust be carefully distinguished from partial albinism of the penis : see 
our Chapter on Partial Albinism. 

See the statement of Dr Henry Strachan on our p. 123. 

See Bibl. No. 242 (name wrongly given in the Bibliography). 

" See Bibl. No. 179, T. n. p. 563. 

° We do not wholly dismiss "shock" as a possible initial source, but only wish to indicate that 
neither shock nor sudden illness seems essential. Thus in only one of the cases known to us has there been 
shock. In this case, which has recently come to our knowledge, the sufferer attributes the onset of the 
leucoderma to the great nerve shock experienced in the Jamaican earthquake of 1907. 
loc. cit., insomnia, severe abdominal and testicular pain. 

' " Schleichende Entziindung der Haut " and loss of hair over the parts affected (see Bibl. No. 257, 
S. 16). This type of " vitiligo " with loss of hair seems akin to what used to be termed Bateman's vitiligo, 
and is possibly a form of urticaria which should be differentiated from leucoderma. 

* See Bibl. No. 319 with a good photograph of leucoderma. 

° Account of III. 11 in our Figure 551. Hutchinson (Lectu7-es on Clinical Surgery, Vol. I. p. 38, 
1879), says " that in hot climates, the blanching of leucoderma is of real detriment to the patient. In our 
own climate it subjects him to no inconvenience." That this is not always true is proved by the above 
case, and by some other cases where field work was followed. 

" Letter to K. Pearson dated 20/11/08. 


to the tropics but without any special sliock ; it remains dormant in England but 
spreiids further on occasional tropical visits, the areas growing larger and fresh ones 
appearing ; the hair originally dark brown has become white nearly all over the body. 
There has been no inliammation and the affected has " never felt the sligfhtest 
inconvenience or pain at any time." Both these cases are those of persons with 
extremely nervous temperaments. It was formerly supposed that leucoderma only 
came on in adult life ', but Greenwood cites the case of a Cree baby of one to two years 
(see our account below). Hutchinson gives the cases of a boy of twelve in whom it 
started at four, and of a lad of 19 who had some patches in infancy, and whose mother 
thought he was born with some"; further Hansen^ and Flatau^ also instance cases 
of children'. The possibility in leucoderma of very early development followed by 
a stationary condition, and the fact that babies only gradually develop skin pigment, 
so that congenital unpigmented areas might not be at once noticed, render it not 
so easy to distinguish partial albinism from stationary leucoderma in young European 
children^ A good deal of stress has been laid by some dermatologists on the 
concentration of pigment at the margins of the leucotic areas. It is by no means 
certain that this is not due to " simultaneous contrast," and it is certainly not a 
marked feature in all cases. 

Crocker defines leucoderma as : " an acquired disease, characterised by the 
presence of symmetrical and progressive white patches with convex borders sur- 
rounded by increased pigmentation"." He considers that it is most common in 
neurotic subjects and that it conies on after severe suffering, from cold, or sunstroke. 
To distinguish it from partial albinism Crocker notes that : " Its symmetry, pro- 
gressiveness, and the combination of excess and deficiency, are characteristic 
features ; in all these points it differs from the congenital white patches which 
are sometimes to be observed, and called partial albinism"." There seems little 
doubt, however, that leucoderma ceases in some cases to be progressive", and that 
in such cases the increased pigmentation at the borders and the progressiveness 
are alike wanting as characteristic features. Further, the symmetry may be by 
no means marked, and the distribution of patches in undoubtedly congenital cases 

1 See Bibl. No. 33, p. 179. 

" New Sydenham, Society Atlas, Plate X and London Hospital Reports, Vol. I. pp. 7 — 15. 

^ See Bibl. No. 319. - See Bibl. No. 445. 

' We have noted also another case " in childhood " and a further case in a child of three years. 

" Barensprung (see Bibl. No. 257, S. 5) writes: "Die Haut des neugeborenen Kindes hat Uberhaupt 
kein Pigment, und daher kann sich ein partieller Pigmentmangel erst spater markiren, wenn die iibrige 
Haut eine dunklere Farbung annimmt." He appears to consider, citing Mansfeld's communications, that 
complete albinism will on this account not be noticed at birth, but only recognised later when the skin 
retains the delicate white of earliest youth. But a baby is not born delicate white and as soon as its eyes 
open the distinction between the blue eye of the noi-mal baby and the pink eye of the albino can be at 
once recognised. In albino puppies the red reflex is noticeable practically on the day the eyes open. 

' See Bibl. No. 499, p. 625. ' Loc. cit. p. 624. 

'I Hutchinson noticed (Cases VII. and VIII.) the cases of a woman, aged 45, where the leucotic patches 
had "been so for years," and of a man aged 60 where they had been so for many years {Clinical Lectures 
and Reports, London Hospital, Vol. i. pp. 14 — 18, 1864). 


does not always differ widely from that occurring in acquired but stationary leucosis. 
In fact, until far moi'e is known of the structural state of the skin in both 
congenital partial albinism and leucoderma' it would be rash to affirm or deny any 
physiological difference between the unpigmented areas in the two cases. It is 
conceivable that in leucoderma we see the structure characteristic of albinism in 
the making. Crocker held that pigmentation in leucoderma could not be recovered, 
although by the wider spread of the patches the contrast may become less max'ked ; 
this he considered to be the source of reported cures". He cites, however, Noilcke 
as stating that in his own case it began at live and that at one point pigment was 
restored \ Evidence in favour of a recovery of pigmentation has been recently given 
in a negro case of leucoderma. Attention was first drawn to this case by Hugo 
Niemeyer^ and it has been followed up till death by Dr Reinhardl The Kaffir, 
William Sechele, was about 40 years of age, when Niemeyer saw him in the presence 
of the missionary. Pastor Sack, at the mission-station at Pretoria. He was extremely 
intelligent and belonged to a Kaffir race, the Knobuluze, who lived in the north of 
the Transvaal until they were scattered by the Zulus. His parents were healthy 
and also his siblings, who as children showed no anomalous pigmentation. He 

' " Lesser had the opportunity of examining an area of partial albinism from the abdomen of a girl 
who died of phthisis and found the skin absolutely normal except for the absence of pigment " (see Bibl. 
No. 457, p. 1181). G. Simon made a microscopic study of the skin of a European woman who died in a 
hospital at Berlin, and whose skin presented at several parts white patches ; the dermis and epidermis had 
a normal structure, only in the depigmented regions, the cells of the rete mucosum of Malpighi were 
totally deprived of the granular pigment which elsewhere filled them (see Bibl. No. 415. Is this really 
Lesser's Case?). Notwithstanding these very definite statements, it seems, especially in view of the 
results of Manz (see BiVjl. No. 357), extremely unlikely that this absence of pigment is not really ac- 
companied bj' some difference of structure in the cells, tissue or nerve system. 

^ There is also a much more marked contrast between the normal skin and leucotic patches when the 
normal skin is tanned by exposure in the summer. 

" Loc. cit. p. 626. Erasmus Wilson (Portraits of Diseases of the Skin, London, 1855) gives a case of 
" Leucopathia or Partial Albinism " in a professional man. There is the original coloured drawing of 
right side — the chromolithograph reverses — in the Royal College of Surgeons Museum, Dermatology, 
Case 18, 136 — 7. It shows nipple and large area of skin external to it much pigmented in irregular 
distribution. The opposite nipple bleached. Three areas of leucosis, (a) on front of shoulder, (b) over 
posterior A of neck, (c) between front of sternomastoid and trachea — all on same side as redundant pig- 
mentation. The lithograph is not a very accurate copy of the drawing. In the description given in the 
work cited above (Plate H) there is obviously some confusion owing to the lithographic reversal. The 
leucosis began at age 17 on tips of fingers, seven years before record of case, and it is stated that some of the 
leucotic patches resumed their normal colour, while the general skin was said to have been growing 
darker for several years. There is little doubt, however, that this was not a case of simple leucoderma, 
but of Addison's disease with associated leucotic patches (see our p. 192, ftn.). This was later recognised 
by Erasmus Wilson himself, Lectures on Dermatology, London, 1878, p. 17, where, after stating that the 
subject died soon after the lithograph was published, he adds : " We may therefore conclude that lie was 
at that time affected with obscure organic disease — possibly that form of disease afterwards described 
by Addison." 

* " Ein Fall von periodischen Pigmentwechsel bei eineni Kaffir," Monatshefte fur praktische Derma- 
tologie, Bd. xii., S. 100—2, Hamburg, 1891. 

= Bibl, No. 472. 


himself had a normal deep brown skhi till 17. Then appeared on one place on his 
back, which formerly had short, woolly, black hair, a small white spot which 
gradually increased and finally covered the whole back. It then affected the entire 
trunk and limbs until, finally, the whole body was of a white colour. At the same 
time a white spot appeared on the left ear, which increased and spread irregularly 
over face and neck so that islands of the original brown-black skin remained and 
gave the face a spotted appearance. But this pigmentation changed so that what 
was first white became black and then turned white ajjain. Isolated small black 
spots on the forehead would increase in size, and finally swallow up the white, or the 
white spots now situated in the black would gradually spread. Thus the colour 
of face and neck was continually changing. The patient could give no definite 
account of the time a particular place took to change from white to black again, 
it was between three and twelve months. His only complaint was that the skin 
of his face was very sensitive to the sun. He declined to strip, so that Niemeyer 
only saw face, neck, forearms, hands and lower part of legs. Pastor Sack confirmed 
the negro's account. According to the man's own story his body remained quite 
white, and it was only the parts exposed to the sun which changed colour. Of his 
state when Niemeyer saw him we learn that his hair was black, that his white 
colouring was not pallid like an albino's but like that of a fair European. There 
were no anomalies of sensibility in the leucotic patches ; on the left cheek on the 
white patches were snow-white short hairs, the chin had a short black beard. 
Forearms and lower part of legs were the colour of Europeans, except that the 
nails showed the colouring peculiar to negroes. There were three small black spots 
on the right wrist. The eye was quite normal ; irides very dark and sclerotic darkly 
pigmented. There was no increase of pigment on the borders of the white spots, 
which Niemeyer states "is the case with vitiligo in Europeans." 

Dr Reinhard's' account which supplements Niemeyer does not differ essentially 
from the above. He tells us that the Kafiir was a schoolmaster in the negro quarter 
of Pretoria, and that not only his parents, but Iiis children were free from any skin 
disease and of " tadelloser Schwarze." He was born black and remained black until 
his 16th year, when white spots began to develop themselves, and he is said to have 
been perfectly white at 25. At 27 first brown and then black spots began to show 
themselves on the body (? exposed parts, see above) and the face, and these enlarged 
themselves till in 1894 he had the appearance recorded in our Plate QQ (143). 
Fourteen days later the pigment had so rapidly developed that his appearance 
was that of Plate QQ (144), and later the face became perfectly black except a small 
place round the mouth. The hair of the head remained black notwithstanding that 
the skin of the head was white. (Dr Reinhard does not refer to the colour of the 
down on the leucotic patches.) There was no thickening or scaling of the skin and 
the margins of the Avhite parts were not darker than elsewhere. In a letter" to 

' We owe the original photographs to the kindness of Dr Reinliard. 

* Owing to a request from K. Pearson to Dr Turner to discover, if possible, what had become of this 

K. p. 26 


Dr G. A. Turner (1909) Dr Reinhard says that he saw this negro for two years after 
the article cited above appeared (1897), and he "observed that sometimes his face 
showed very few and small white spots whilst at other times it was nearly white 
with few black spots. Unfortunately, he refused to be photographed again." The 
negro died of typhoid fever in 1902. 

The case, as Dr Reinhard remarks, is extremely unusual, not only on account 
of the extent of the attack ("ob der Mann jemals wirklich ganz weiss war ist 
allerdings nicht sicher festzustellen, aber immerhin nicht ganz unwahrscheinlich ") 
and the returning pigmentation, but also on account of the scalp hair, which never, 
as in most recorded leucoderma cases, appears to have lost its colour. We should 
not be inclined to lay much stress on the European white of the leucotic patches, 
because such white is reported in many cases of negro albinism. The possibility 
of a syphilitic origin for the changes is probably excluded by two independent 
medical accounts. If we are to consider the case as really one, if a rare type, 
of leucoderma, then we cannot assert that leucoderma differs from albinism by the 
occasional possibility of restored pigmentation, for in rare cases of albinism also, there 
appears to be a development of pigment. The ultimate explanation of albinism must 
account for these cases of varying pigmentation^ as well as for stationaiy absences. 

Further we may note that the relative frequency of leucoderma" and its 
appearance in all climates and races do not form differential characteristics between 
the two complaints. Lastly, we may remark that any effect on the eyes appears 
as rare or possibly as unknown in leucoderma as in partial albinism ^ 

' Piffard (Diseases of the Skin, 1891, p. 97) even asserts, without detailed evidence, that in the 
majority of cases there is a return of pigmentation after the lapse of a few years, and speaks of 
presence and absence of pigment as seasonal and recurrent in cases he has had under observation. 
Beigel (see Bibl. No. 296, p. 15) refers to the case of a medical student who developed a white 
pigmentless area on the scrotum. It entirely disappeared after eighteen months. Beigel apparently 
classes this case with others that ai'e certainly leucodermatous. Lieber (Hecker's Literarische Annalen, 
May 1828, S. 100 — 2) mentions a case in which leucosis was associated with menstruation, the condition 
recurring on each occasion. Camper (Hildebrandt's Lehrhuch der Anatomie, 1789, Bd. ii. S. 354) cites the 
case of a pregnant woman, whose stomach and regions round mammae became black, but face, hands and 
arms white. Le Cat (see Bibl. No. 67, p. 141) refers to a peasant woman the skin of whose abdomen 
became black on pregnancy, but whitened again after parturition; others had the left arm only of a dark 
colour. Bomare {Dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle, Art. Negre) mentions the case of a lady of noble birth 
(also referred to by de Pauw) who when pregnant became brown, and towards the end of pregnane}' as 
black as a negress, but after parturition gradually resumed her natural colour, no trace of the dark colour 
ultimately remaining. Other modern cases of a like kind have been put on record. Thus Erasmus Wilson 
cites (Lectures on Dermatology, 1878, p. 24) the case of a young pregnant woman, Martha Weston, aged IS, 
where the blackness, as deep as a negro's, spread from the areolae over the whole anterior surface of Ijody 
from clavicles to middle of thigh ; it passed away after birth of child. These are e.xaggerated instances 
of what is not so extremely infrequent in pregnancy. They are referred to here as indicating how closely 
change of pigmentation in excess or defect, or possibly partly in one and partly in the other, is associated 
with metabolic changes. It is true that the usual type of leucoderma, as of most cases of albinism, is the 
absolute or at least relative irreversibility of the depigmentation. But when a full explanation comes, we 
shrewdly suspect that it will cover the reversible as well as the irreversible pigment changes. 

' Kaposi states (.see Bibl. No. 333) that leucoderma occurs in 2 per 1000 skin-cases, a frequency in 
the special class, which can hardly place it much in excess of albinism in the general population. 

' Hutchinson ophthalmoscopically examined the eyes of certain leucodermatous cases and found no 


If leucoderma be but albinism in the making, a dynamic rather than static 
leucosis, we should expect to find tliat, like complete and partial albinism, it is 
hereditary. It is difficult to say how far negative evidence is of any value in such 
a case, because the view that it is never hereditary having been once accepted no 
careful inquiries on the subject have probably been made'. Crocker reports a case 
in which for three generations, grandmother, mother and daughter, leucoderma 
occurred". Recently K. Pearson came across an obvious sufferer, who reported that 
her mother, grandfather and other relatives were also leucodermatous. Full details 
are given in our Appendix, Extra Pedigrees. Gould and Pyle'' give a family of three 
children all subjects, they say, of leucoderma. Their figure i-epresents two girls and 
a boy, with decidedly negro features ; all are clothed, neither body nor feet being 
shown. As far as can be seen the patches are fairly symmetrical, and in all three 
there is a broad area of white occupying centre of scalp, forehead, root and possibly 
bridge of nose corresponding to the "flare" of some cases of partial albinism : see our 
Plate XX (165). The eldest sister appears to be 13 or 14, the boy 12 or 13, 
and the younger sister 10 or 11. We believe this to be really a case of congenital 
piebaldism and not hereditary leucoderma. This "Leopard Family" has a strong 
family resemblance to " The Three Graces" : see our Plate W (158) and the Chapter on 
Partial Albinism, p. 249. A case with more detail is that of our Fig. 551 in which five 
siblings are at present affected and it is known to have existed in the family for three 

indication of pigment loss, none of the cases, however, appear to have had leucosis iu the neighbourhood 
of the eyes {Land, ffosp. Reports, Vol. i. pp. 11 and 12). Smester (1879, see Bibl. No. 362) cites a case 
of leucoderma in a negress in which : " La retine commence a se decolorer, et les yeux se ferment trfes 
legferement quand elle regarde I'eclatante lumiere du soleil de son pays " (Haiti). He does not say that 
he used the ophthalmoscope. Beigel in a letter to Virchow (1868, see Bibl. No. 310, S. 482) records the 
case of a pitch-black and hairless horse exhibited at the Crystal Palace, which began to grow white below 
the left eye, and the " Augenhintergrund " became lighter although the pupil remained dark. Crocker 
(1903, see Bibl. No. 4fl9, p. 624) notes a case in which leucoderma was associated with retinitis 
pigmentosa, the patient stating that leucoderma had commenced with defective sight nine years 
pre\'iously ; any causal relationship must of course be accepted with caution. E. Nettleship rejjorts 
a case of leucoderma limited to left side of the body (left half of beard, also many white patches 
on L. mastoid region and L. back of neck, and one small white pencil of hair on L. occiput, large 
white patches on back of L. hand and forearm ; no patches anywhere on R. side) coming on acutely with 
disease of the eye on the same side — detachment of retina. Hutchinson (Case IV) reports a man of 30, an 
engineer, hair jet black and complexion swarthy, almost olive brown, with leucoderma for two or three 
years. He had failing sight in one eye, there was nothing, however, abnormal in the choroidal pigment 
{Clinical Lectures and Reports London Hospital, Vol. i. p. 12, 1864). But this is small demonstration of 
any real eye effect, and comparable with it may be cited the vague report of a piebald or partial albino 
with red pupils, see our p. 131. 

' Hutchinson {Archives, i. p. 378) states that it is "never hereditary," yet in the same place he cites 
a case in which pigment variation occurred in several siblings, white hairs on the head of a leucodermatous 
female and of her brothers and sisters turning dark after infancy. 

■ See Bibl. No. 499, p. 623. Dr Crocker was unable to put us in touch with this interesting case as 
he had lost the name of his informant, the former medical student and member of the family. 

' Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine, 1897, Fig. 293. Dr Gould could give no further information 
as to the post-natal character of the leucosis. 




generations. The reader will find an account of the family under Fig. 551, but 
later information and a slip of the engraver have led to the need for some 
modifications. I. 2 the maternal grandfather and not I. 3 the maternal grand- 
mother was the subject of leucoderma. I. 2 was the eldest of his family, his siblings 
(I. 1) in order were a sister, three brothers, and a sister, neither they nor their 
ofispring are to the knowledge of our informant leucodermatous. The order of birth 
of Generation II. has now been determined. 1st, II. 1 a son died single ; 2nd, 11. 4 
a son with seven children; 3rd, II. 8 a daughter unmarried; 4th, II. 3 a son with 
four children ; 5th, II. 5 ; 6th, II. 7 a daughter with five children ; 7th, II. 2 a 
daughter, not a son, with eight children ; 8th, II. 9 a daughter unmarried. II. 5 
and 9 as reported are the sole leucodermatous members, and none of the offspring 
of the others have the disease. Of the Generation III., III. 4, III. 5, III. 7, III. 9 
and III. 12 are married and have respectively 12, 3, 4, 2 and children; none of 
these children have at present signs of leucoderma, but they are relatively young, 
and the future of the offspring of III. 4 and III. 12 will be awaited with some 
interest. There can be little doubt that this family shows that at any rate the 
constitution which tends to leucoderma is inherited, and probably inherited only 
through affected members. 

Another case of apparently hereditary leucoderma is given by Dr Joseph Jones 
(Bibl. No. 317, p. 693). The pedigree is provided below. I. 1 and I. 2 were native 
Africans. I. 1 had white lips and hands and presented a condition similar to that 


111 1 f 3 1 2 O 3© 




'spotted'' negroes. 

of his daughter, II. 3. This woman, Lemisa Bert, seen in September 1867, had true 
Afi-ican features, and was aged 45. She was born in Tennessee, and was following 
the occupation of a rag picker about Nashville. She had been turning white 
during the last 19 years; the change commenced in small spots, which had pro- 
gressively increased. She complained of some itching of the skin during warm 
weather ; no disease of the skin was detectable with a magnifying glass. She 
had enjoyed good health except for "falling of the womb." The palms of her hands 
were white, there were perfectly white spots on the arms and neck ; on the right 
arm near the axilla a large spot about four inches in the longest and three inches 


in the shortest diameter (see Plate XX (167)). Under the magnifying glass these 
spots exhibited the same appearance as the skin of the white, and the blue veins 
were distinctly seen as in the fairest skin. She had a sister, II. 5, more extensively 
spotted than herself, and some of the spots were of a yelloiv colour. There were 
14 other siblings, II. 6, apparently normal. II. 3 had six children, two at least 
by different fathers, three of them, III. 1, died early, she said of scrofula. Of III. 2 
no information is given, it was presumably normal. III. 3, a young woman of 18, 
had a negro, II. 2, for father, she was spotted like her mother only to a greater 
extent, many of the spots were of a yelloiv colour. III. 4, the youngest child, was 
the offspring of a white man, and was a smart mulatto girl of 11 years. It wUl be 
seen that the tendency to leucoderma has been noted in three successive generations. 
A further case of very great significance, that of our Fig. 286, is also due to 
Dr Joseph Jones : see our p. 259. In this we have a negro with white spots on arms 
and legs which increased with age. Children and grandchildren were also white spotted, 
but one of the grandchildren was xanthous and two of the great-grandchildren were 
complete albinos. There thus appears to have been a family history of leucoderma 
culminating in albinism. The pedigi-ee is of great suggestiveness as indicating that 
pigmentation abnormalities run in definite stocks and are probably interrelated'. 
Thus we have now on record five definite eases in which leucoderma has been ascer- 
tained to be hereditary, three white and two negro families. 

The history of leucoderma — by which we understand the usually painless loss 
of pigmentation from portions of hair and skin' — is a long one. Leviticus, chap, xiii., 
contains much confused information from an early date as to leucosis, but the 
commentators have not found it easy to say which passages refer to partial albinism 
and which to leucoderma. 

Celsus, who is mentioned by Quintilian, wrote eight books of medicine and 
introduced the general term Vitiligo', the derivation of which is uncertain. He 

' The interrelationships between partial albinism, xanthism and complete albinism will be referred to 
later in this monograph. 

" The statements that in some cases the skin, but not the accompanying hair, in others that the hair 
and not the skin has grown white led us to inquire in the cases known to us whether the leucosis of skin 
or of hair iu the same patch was the earlier, as a knowledge of this might explain some of these cases. 
The reply received was that the leucoses of both were simultaiieous. Loss of hair pigment with leucoderma 
is well known and we may cite cases recorded by Flatau, 1893 (Bibl. No. 44.5), Kaposi, 1874 (Bibl. No. .333), 
Hutchinson, 1864 (Bibl. No. 299), Oliver (Bibl. No. 196). On the other hand Brown, 1824, recorded the 
case of a negro, whose skin turned gradually white after a surgical operation, but whose hair did not lose 
its pigment (Bibl. No. 183). 

^ Vitiligo quoque, quamvis per se nullum periculum adfert : tamen k foeda est &, ex male corporis 
habitu fit. Ejus tres species sunt. 'kXtl>o<; vocatur, ubi color albus est, fere subasper & non continuus, ut 
quaedam quasi guttae dispersae esse videantur. Interdum etiani latius, & cum quibusdam intermissionibus 
serpit. McXas colore ab hoc difiert, quia niger est, & umbrae similis, caetera eadem sunt. \(.vK-q (Leuce) 
habet quiddam simile alpho sed magis albida est, & altius descendit ; in eaque albi pili sunt, & lanugini 
similes. Omnia haec serpunt : sed in aliis celerius, in aliis tardius. Alphos <k Melas in quibusdam variis 
temporibus oriuntur & desinunt. Leuce, quem occupavit non facile dimittit. 

Priora curationem non difficillimam recipiunt ; ultimum vix unquam sanescit ; ac si quid ei vitio 
demptum est, tamen non ex toto sanus color redditur. Utrum autem aliquod horum sanabile sit, an non • 


divided it into three types, one of which Leuce has been by some writers identified 
with leucoderma. But the description is almost as vague as that of the types of 
leprosy in Leviticus, and the generic name vitiligo has, especially by German writers, 
been made to cover a wide range of diseases, inflammatory or otherwise, which 
permanently or temporarily involve loss of pigment'. 

A fairly full account of the history of leucoderma in the works of the early 
dermatologists was given by Beigel in his memoir of 1864' and by this memoir, and 
by another four years later' he attracted much attention to the subject. But his 
classification cannot be considered satisfactory ; he divided albinism (absence of 
pigment) into Alhinismus totalis and Alhinismus partialis, the latter included 
not only leucoderma, but congenital partial albinism and apparently incomplete 
albinism. Thus he gives an excellent example, reproduced, in our Plate A, of a 
case of leucoderma in a European, and entitles it Alhinismus partialis; we have 
preserved his title but added the word " progressive," to mark that it is really 
leucoderma. In this case the hair grew white, and unpigmented spots appeared 
at the age of 13 following a severe attack of abdominal typhus. At the age of 
20 gastric fever resulted in a farther progress of the white spots, and this did not 
cease for a year and a half. The curious points are that the hair but not the skin 
of the head lost its pigment' ; the pubic region lost its pigment, and when the pubic 
hair came it had the peculiar flaxen character of albinotic hair. It is obviously 
needful to distinguish such a case from one of congenital partial or from one of 
incomplete albinism. Yet Beigel's fourth case is one of incomplete congenital 
albinism, albinism of the hair only. "It concerns a young Englishman, Mr E., 
who in respect to his hair gives one wholly the impression of an albino. The hair 
of the head is neither snow-white, nor hellblund, but the colour is light yellow-white, 
such as is only met with in the case of Kakerlaken. At the same time the hair 
is extremely fine and flaxlike. This holds also for eyebrows, eyelashes, and hair 
of axillae and pubes. Mr E. has no beard although he is 21 years of age. The 
skin of the whole body is extremely delicate but normally pigmented. Nothing 
abnormal in the fundus was observable with the ophthalmoscope although Mr E. 
is markedly shortsighted. This condition, whereby Mr E. attracts everybody's 
attention, is congenitaP." 

expei-imento facile colligitur. Incidi enim cutis debet, aut acu pungi; si sanguis exit, quod fere sit in 
duobus prioribus, remedio locus est : si humor albidus, saiiavi non potest. Itaque ab hoc quidem absti- 
nendum est. Then follow remedies, chiefly dressings : see Bibl. No. 7. 

1 The writer (Blanchard) on Albinism in the Grande Encyclopedie (see Bibl. No. 415) speaks of 
vitiligo as "I'apparition spontanee, c'est-a-dire sans cause connue, sans le moindre tro\ible local dans la 
sensibilite ou dans la nutrition, de taches albinos qui se montrent en diflKrentes points de la surface du 
corps...." He evidently identifies vitiligo with our leucoderma, and does not recognise the sense in which 
Bateman, Barensprung and others have used the word, i.e. the existence of local trouble during some 
period of the leucosis which appears to diflferentiate their vitiligo from the modern idea of leucoderma. 

- See Bibl. No. 296. ^ See Bibl. No. 310 (Bd. xlui.). 

^ Sometimes the hair remains normally pigmented on the leucodermatous patches : see Kaposi (Bibl. 
No. 333, p. 176 et seq.; also ftn. 2 on the previous page). 

' See Bibl. No. 296, p. 15. 


Beigel, in short, terms all cases, whether congenital or acquired, provided there 
be no externally observable change in the structure of the skin, ■partial albinism. He 
reserves the name vitiligo for those cases in which, besides loss of pigment, there 
is change observable in the structure [e.g. " durch Ablagerung eines plastischen 
Exudats in das Hautgewebe, welches niemals in Eiterung iibergeht und sich 
meistentheils iiber die umgebende Haut erhebt "). While we may approve Beigel's 
attempt to differentiate "vitiligo" from partial albinism, it seems undesirable to 
use one name for three separate types of leucosis, incomplete albinism, partial 
albinism and leucoderma, until we are far better acquainted than at present with 
their interrelationships. 

Beigel attempts to render his classification symmetrical by setting against his 
total and partial albinism, a nigrismus totalis and a nigrismus partialis, both only 
observable in white or semi-white men. He includes under these headings every 
darkening of the skin, from freckles to the complete nigrescence of vagabond's disease, 
and covering special cases like those of Goodwin' and Wells', whether acquired or 
congenital, or affecting the whole or parts of the body. These matters do not concern 
us primarily, but points raised by Beigel deserve further consideration. Namely, he 
insists that pigmentation changes, whether in the direction of leucosis or nigrescence, 
are largely due to modified nerve-action produced by shock, illness', severe chill or 
other nerve upset, and that these pigment alterations have a distribution correlated 
with the nerve system^ Beigel cites a number of cases in which leucosis in one part 

' See Medical and Physical Journal, Vol. xxv. p. 23, London, 1811. Goodwin's Case — which has 
passed from Beigel into the textbooks — appears to have a very slender foundation. This is all: "Miss E. a 
single woman of about 60 years of age, till about 20 years hence, was of a natural fair complexion ; when 
having an illness of some continuance she perceived on her recovery that her complexion had changed to a 
dark hue, which has since gradually increased to that of the darkest native of Africa. Miss E. is in 
general good health, but occasionally complains of rheumatism." Another case of bronzing of the skin 
simulating Addison's disease, but according to the reporter, Dr James Russell, hereditary in the family 
for three generations, will be found in the Medical Times, Vol. I. p. .571, London, 1871. With regard to 
such cases, of which so little detail is given, we may cite the bronzing which occurs in some cases of 
tuberculosis, which was noted as early as 1869 by Jeannin and afterwards by N. G. de Mussy : see also 
P'. W. Andrewes : "Two cases of tuberculosis with an unusual pigmentation of the skin and deposit in 
the suprarenals," Saint Bartholomew Has]). Reports, Vol. .xxvn. pp. 109 — 116, London, 1891. 

- See Bibl. No. 162 and our p. 118 ftn. 

' Oliver (Diet, de medecine, T. xvii. obs. ccvn. p. 369) mentions a case of partial leucosis with 
decoloration of the pubic hair following bronchitis and gonorrhoea in a man of 22. 

* See on this point papers by G. Lenthal Cheatle : "The points of Incidence compared of Cancer, 
Leucoderma and Scleroderma," M-it. Med. Journ., April 29, 1905 and "The Mental Nerve Area and its 
Relation to the Greyness of Hair," Brit. Med. Journ., July 4, 1908. Adamson showed at the Royal Society 
of Medicine (Dennatological Section), Feb. 20, 1908, a girl aged 16 with a large leucodermatous area on left 
chin and neck upon which were three patches of scleroderma; the area corresponded to the distribution of 
the second and third cervical sensory nerves, and in part to that of the third division of the fifth cranial 
(Proc. Roy. Soc. Med., Vol. i. No. 5, 1900). A counterpart of many of these acquired or congenital 
white areas following nerve distribution is to be seen in the rare instances of the whitening of the eye- 
lashes in certain cases of diseases of the eye (Irido-ci/clitis) see Bibl. Nos. 329, 390 and 435, and of the 
whitening of the skin other than in ordinary leucoderma described by Hutchinson as Morphoea 
herpetiformis (A Smaller Atlas of Illustrations of Clinical Surgery, 1895, Plates LXXXIX. and 


has been accompanied by nigrescence in another' ; there seems good evidence for 
asserting that such leucosis or even leucoderma has been found associated with 
Addison's disease^; even freckles occur mostly in those rufous persons who are more 
closely allied than blonds to albinos or even in albinos themselves^; while leucoderma 
itself appears to run in neurotic st^'ains^ and the albino, whether in man or the lower 
animals, appears in the great majority of cases to have a lower nervovis organisation ; 
it is more shy and apprehensive than the normally pigmented individual. Beigel has 
summed up in another memoir" his position with regard to the relations between 
nerve affections and pigment anomalies" : 

" Nervous affections in general like to reflect their existence not only in the 
nerve centre, but also at the other peripheral end. Deviations of the most 
varied kind are therefore to be found extremely often in diseases of the nervous 
system, and epileptics with a healthy normal skin belong undoubtedly to the 
exceptions. Such at least was the case among some hundreds of hospital patients 
whom I afterwards examined ; albinism, nigrism, psoriasis, herpes, severe acne", 
were everyday appearances, and if a special form of skin disease was absent, the 
skin itself was at least rough and of unusual character." 

We shall see later that the fuller study of mental cases has in part, but only in 
part, confirmed this somewhat exaggerated statement of Beigel. But the idea in it is 
not without suggestiveness when we come to analyse the correlation between albinism, 
or albinotic stocks, and various types of degeneracy. A further point, to which 
Beigel was among the first to draw attention, is that the very parts of the body 
which in the normal condition are distinguished by a stronger pigmentation — 
e.g. the region round the nij^ple, the scrotum, the orificium ani', etc. — are among 
the first to exhibit pigment-anomalies. This applies not only to partial albinism 
but to leucoderma as well. 

■■ See, for example, Erasmus Wilson's Case, Plate XXXIII. (1 Addison's disease), and Russell 
Reynolds' Case reported by Beigel, Bibl. No. 310. Hebra (Kaposi) states (Bibl. No. 333, Vol. in., 1874, 
p. 179) that the patches of leucoderma often commence in the neighbourhood of a pigment mole (naevus) 
or a brown flat acquired wart. 

^ Levi found albinotic decoloration 12 times in cases of Addison's disease (see Bibl. No. 319 and also 
a case reported by Norman Dalton, Proc. Roy. Soc. Medicine, Vol. i. p. 209, Clinical Section, with reference 
to another case observed by Leech). 

■'' Sir T. M'^Call Anderson, Diseases of (lie Skin, 2nd Edn. p. 32. A discussion of the relation of the 
rufous to the albinotic and of the freckled to the rufous will be given later in this monograph. 

^ See the opinion of Crocker cited on our p. 199, and confirmed in the cases examined for this 
monograph ; see our p. 199 and Fig. .5.5 1. 

= See Bibl. No. 310 (Bd. xliu.). 

^ Leucoderma has been associated with retinitis pigmentosa, with Graves' disease (Dr J. F. Schamberg 
of Philadelphia in a letter of Nov. 28, 1906, reports having observed four or five cases) and alopecia areata 
(Sir T. M'^Call Anderson, Diseases of the Skin, 2nd edn., p. 47), but in this case it seems probably doubtful 
whether the change is true leucoderma. 

' It must be noted that bromide given for epilepsy may produce a number of skin eruptions, especially 
a form of acne. 

* Hutchinson remarks that he has often seen white patches on scrotum, perineum, and the darker 
parts of skin {Clinical Lectures and Reports, Vol. i. p. 7, 1864). 


The preceding account will have shown how gradually congenital partial 
albinism and painless leucoderma became distinguished from residual forms of 
leucosis in which an associated feature was structural change of a sensible kind 
accompanied by suppuration or irritation. It is not quite easy to classify the 
nature of these residual leucoses which the writers of the third quarter of the last 
century spoke of as vitiligo, a term still largely in use outside this country. They 
may, perhaps, be distinguished from albinism and leucoderma by the term 
chrotrepic, which of course must be understood to have reference only to macro- 
scopic changes. We consulted Dr James Galloway, who suggested the above 
name, and he most kindly replied (13/10/09) to our question as to what the 
older writers included under vitiligo as follows : 

" The forms of depigmentation of the skin described by earlier authors, 
preceded by inflammatory changes, pain, itching, etc., were, the majority of them, 
no doubt of syphilitic origin. The superficial syphilides are numerous ; they leave 
various degrees of pigment which very often tend to reform, or rather the colour 
tends to be restored ; structural change of the skin remains. There is also a 
depigmentation closely resembling leucoderma, lasting, it may be for years, without 
apparent desti'uction of the skin, occurring in syphilis, and usually ascribed to this 
disease. There is little doubt that the majority of the cases of ' leucosis ' preceded 
by inflammatory disturbance were really syphilides. No doubt, however, the older 
authors included other inflammatory conditions of the skin of ordinary or specific 
nature, e.g. certain varieties of tuberculosis, in this same category. Of still rarer 
conditions many of the cases of morphoea and scleroderma would have come under 
the same heading. There are still rarer conditions of loss of pigmentation, 
associated with changes of structure, probably in the first instance due to nervous, 
or other interference with the circulation, which are now recognizable, but in days 
gone by would have fallen into the same category of vitiligo." 

There is sadness in the burial of a name which like vitiligo is of classical 
.origin and has survived through the centuries. But the confusion which has grown 
up round the use of the word, prevents us from adopting Beigel's definition of 
the term (see our p. 206). Some dermatological authority may possibly be able in 
the future to revive vitiligo for a diflerentiated category of the chrotrepic class of 
skin changes\ But this will hardly concern the student of albinism. For him 
leucoderma is the essential pathological pigmentation change, wherein he sees 
albinism in the making, at least as regards hair and skin ; and if he could understand 
the metabolism involved in this form of dynamic leucosis, there is little doubt 
that the obscurity of static or congenital leucosis would be largely dispelled. 

We now proceed to show the universality of leucoderma, a feature in which 

^ Sir J. Hutchinson, following Mr Startin, has recently {The Polyclinic, Vol. xn. p. 6.3, 1908) used 
the term vitiligo in association with certain subepidermic ivory white scars — often as big as a three- 
penny bit — which may be left by an eruption which has been inflammatory, but not actually 

K. P. 27 


it differs essentially from various otlier leucotic types of skin diseases which appear 
to be peculiar to certain tropical districts, e.g. pinta'. We shall distinguish 
between partial albinism and leucoderma ; this has not been done by the earlier 
writers Rayer, Simon and Beigel". Although there appears at present no means 
— other than the history of the origin — of distinguishing between stationary leuco- 
derma and congenital partial albinism, still the history of the origin will serve in 
most cases to guide us in classification. The reported cases of leucoderma are now so 
numerous that it would be impossible to give here a complete list, we can only refer 
to certain cases illustrating its nature, or of peculiar interest on historical grounds. 
European Cases. Beigel's German case is figured in our Plate A. Its note- 
worthy features are the whiteness of the hair without whiteness of the scalp skin. 
The symmetry is moderate, but not so great as in some cases. A much more 
symmetrical case is that of Mr S. (see our pp. 198 — 9). Here both cheeks, chin, super- 
ciliary regions, a wedge on the forehead, are leucotic ; there are patches on back of 
both arms below elbows, on both buttocks towards back, on both calves ; also on 
both sides of the trunk, in axillae, on hips and on outer aspect of thighs. Besides 
these places ther-e are symmetrical patches on the lumbar region and on front of 
abdomen both above and below umbilicus. Hansen'' gave a good account (1869) 
of two German cases with an excellent photograph — in origin and development it 
corresponds closely with our experience in the case of the leucodermatous Yorkshire 
family (Fig. 551)— i.e. there was as usual no pain nor inflammation of any kind in 
the course of the leucosis (see p. 198). This difference makes us doubt whether 
the cases observed by Barensprung^ with " schleichende Entziindung der Haut " and 
dropping off of the hairs are to be classed with true leucoderma. Simon ^ describes 
the case of a girl (presumably German) aged 20, with white patches on various 
parts of the body, both sides of the neck, and on the head, the hair of the scalp 
(elsewhere of a fair reddish colour) being white on the affected patches. The 
principal areas on the head were a large one at the back and another large one 
"in the middle line" of the front affecting also the forehead; there were besides 

' Professor A. Forel has given an account of " vitiligo " among the Columbians (see Bibl. No. 473) 
which he directly compares with Reinhard's Pretoria case of leucoderma (see our p. 201). He saw at 
Dibulla, a town at the foot of the Sierra Nevada and between this and Santa Marta, a population of 
liybrids between Negroes, Indians and Spaniards, in which vitiligo was endemic, die meisten Leute daran 
leiden. " Dieselben sehen ganz buntscheckig aus, meistens am ganzen Kbrper, indem die Vitiligo 
unregelmassig vertlieilt ist, meistens in vielen kleinen Flecken. Sie sind nicht schon weiss und schwarz, 
.sondern braun, rbthlich, gelblich und weisslich gefleckt und sehen dadurch ungemein hasslich und 
sonderbar aus." Forel states that this vitiligo {freilich wohl weder acquisirt noch verschwindend) is far 
from a rarity and he recommends the study of it in Santa Marta and Dibulla. It is ditficult to know 
on what grounds he assumed it to be congenital ; if so it is not comparable with Reinhard's case. It 
appears to fall rather into the same category with the "spotted Tartars" and "Pintos" (see our 
pp. 171 — 2). It is of interest, however, as another case of pigment anomaly following racial mixture 
(see Fisher's Case, p. 217). 

= See Bibl. Nos. 179, 282, 296 and .310. ' See Bibl. No. 319. 

' See Bibl. No. 257. = See Bibl. No. 282, Case 29. 


various small bunches of white hair on other parts of tlie head. The white 
patches in this girl were noticed "quite early" in life, but the exact age at their 
commencement is not stated ; they increased gradually in number and size'. 
Simon's Case 25, $ ; Case 26, <?, starting at 17, patient died at 37 ; Case 27, $, 
beginning at 14; Case 28, $, aged 24, beginning on hands and spreading in six 
weeks ; Case 29, ?, case cited above ; Case 30, $, soldier ; Case 32, $, beginning 
after middle life, appear to have been clearly all leucoderma. Of Case 31, a 
Avonian whose whole skin was found to be abnormally brown, almost gipsy colour, 
and scattered over with quite white spots of unusually large size, on the head 
also a white spot covered with white hair — there is not enough information to 
determine whether it was leucoderma or partial albinism. 

As a French case we may note Gaultier's case of Charles Ferron, sometimes 
cited as Pelletan's Case, but we believe first published by Gaultier", under the 
title of "Leucozoona, partielle, accidentelle." 

Sur la variete blanche: "Charles Ferron, cocher de fiacre, ag^ de soixante ans, 
presente sur sa peau plusieurs taches d'un blanc de neige : elles sont disposdes 
assez symetriquement. Elles existent aux deux aines, sont assez larges, s'etendent 
irregulierement et sont reunies I'une a I'autre. Les trois-quarts du penis du cot^ 
adherent et dans tout son contour, le scrotum dans les trois-quarts de sa surface, la 
peau de la jDartie superieure interne des cuisses correspondant au scrotum, une partie 
du cote externe des deux cuisses, la region sacree, lombaire et dorsale sur la Hgne 
mediane, dans une etendue de 'douze pouces de bas en haut, sur trois de largeur, 
ofirent aussi ce meme blanc de neige ; fait qui contraste avec la couleur naturelle 
legerement brunatre, que la peau dans les autres parties a conservee ; les polls 
sont blancs dans les endroits ou la peau est blanche. Sur plusieurs partes voisines 
a celles indiquees, on voit de tres petits points blancs qui entourent les polls ; 
quelqu'uns de ces points sont plus etendus et paraissent en s'arradiant de ces 
petits centres, avoir imprime leur couleur, et forme des taches blanches sur une 
plus grande etendue. Cet homme quoique livre depuis trente-cinq ans aux 
penibles travaus de son etat n'a eprouve que de tres-legeres afiiections : il n'a 
jamais eu d'affection cutanee ; il est fort, vigoureux. La couleur blanche a 
commence a se manifester le printemps, a I'age de quarante-neuf ans, sur le penis ; 
elle s'etendit assez lentement. Le printemps et I'ett^ ont ete les epoques les plus 
favorables a ce developpement, qui a lieu sans prurit ni douleur. On a employ^ 
inutilement des moyens pouF retablir la couleur, et pour arreter les progres de 
I'alteration. Depuis la puberte il a sur le dos du nez une touffe considerable de 
polls. (Nous avons recueillies cette observation dans la salle de chirurgie de I'Hotel- 
Dieu, sous M. Pelletan. M. Alibert nous a fait remarquer un pareil fait dans sa 
clynique a I'hopital de St Louis.) " 

The account is a full and suggestive one from more than one aspect. 

' This may be another case of return of pigment, for Simon records that some of the spots afterwards 
became less conspicuous (? contrast), and "die Flecken verschwanden zum Theil ganz." Cf, our p. 200. 
- See Bibl. No. 147, pp. 76—8. 



Hutchinson gives two English cases of leucoderma beginning in very early 
life' : 

Hutchinson's Case 1. A boy aged 12, with jet-black hair and very dark eyes, 
and with white patches on various parts of the body. " His mother noticed the 
first white patch more than eight years ago. It was very small, the size of a 
sixpence, and on his chest, at a part where a blister had been applied — From 
that time to the present, the white patches have been gradually increasing in 
size and number." There was a rude ("very inexact") symmetry about the 
distribution of the patches. Those on the back were very large, and at first sight 
quite irregular, and on the chest the left nipple was included in one whilst the 
right nipple was on healthy skin. On each upper eyelid was a longitudinal 
patch, and on each thumb a patch nearly corresponding with one on its fellow. 
In front of each wrist, behind both knees and in front of each thigh in the 
femoral regions were nearly symmetrical patches. There were some patches on 
the scalp, one of which grew white hairs. 

Hutchinson's Case 2. A lad aged 19, with arrested sexual development and 
having the make and bearing of a boy of 12. He had large white patches, 
abruptly limited, with convex borders, and placed on the two halves of the body 
with a fair degree of symmetry. Nearly the same parts were afiected as in 
Case 1 (supra). The lower part of his abdomen and his scrotum were entirely 
blanched, excepting two or three small portions of skin which retained their full 
quantity of pigment and contrasted most strongly with the rest. " As regards the 
history of the decolorisation, we are told that he had some patches in infancy, 
indeed his mother thinks he was born with some. They extended in childhood, 
but he does not himself think that they have done so lately." 

Hutchinson also gives a picture of leucoderma in a Portuguese woman and 
says that he has been informed that it is very common among the Portuguese'. 
Hutchinson among at least fifty cases seen by 1870, records leucoderma in a 
German Jew' and in a Russian'. 

Leucoderma in a Gipsy. An interesting case of leucoderma in a gipsy is 
given by Pittard', who states that he has never encountered among the thousands 
of gipsies he has examined any case of albinism, complete or partial, only tliis 
single case of "acquired albinism." She was perfectly healthy^ aged 30, and 
when first seen was engaged in thrashing corn. The depigmentation had reached 
all the body except the greater part of the face ; the depigmented skin was clear, 
rosy white and delicate, showing the veins and comparable with that of the most 
beautiful European women ; it contained some freckles scattered about. The pig- 
mentation was most intense in the skin of cheeks and nose. " Des grandes taches 

1 See Bibl. No. 299. The lad in Case 1 also formed the subject of the illustration of leucoderma in 
the New Sydenham Society's Atlas of Skin Diseases, Plate X. 

■' Loc. cit., Catalogue of N. S. Sac. Atlas, pp. 37 — 8. ' London Hasp. Reports, "Vol. i. p. 10, 1863. 

* Lectures on Clinical Surgery, Vol. I. p. 34, 1879. ' See Bibl. No. 509, p. 317. 

* Pittard gives anthropometric details to show she was not inferior to other members of her tribe. 


brunes partaient de la region temporale proche de I'oeil et du dessous de celui-ci, 
remplissaient les joues et formaient une trainee descendant entre la commissure des 
levres et la region du maxillaire pour s'arreter ;\ quelques centimetres de la limite 
de la figure. Le nez t^tait tout entier fortement pigmente. En dehors de ces 
deux rt^gions des joues et du nez, le pigment qui etait demeure etait moins 
abondamment repandu. II y avait quelques taches a la partie inferieure du front, 
au-dessus des sourcils ; des taches syram^triques k gauche et a droite. C'^tait la 
meme chose entre le nez et la bouche, et au menton. La moiti^ a peu prfes de la 
region situee au-dessous de la bouche presentait des trainees et des taches de 
pigment. Celles-ci etaient plus abondantes inferieurement que superieurement, c'est 
a dire pres des levres. Les parties de la figure devenues blanches dtaient : presque 
tout le front, au-dessus de la ligne ophryaque ; les deux oreilles ; le pourtour de la 
face ; quelques centimetres tout autour du masque. C'est ce pourtour, cette marge 
blanche, autour du masque brun, qui donnait a cette femme I'aspect bizarre qui 
nous avait immediatement frappe. Les cheveux qui etaient abondants, sans etre 
bien longs, etaient restes fortement pigmentes, d'un brun fbnce, presque noir ; et 
cela sur toute leur longeur.... Les yeux etaient egalement pigmentes de couleur 
brune." Elsewhere Pittard says the choroid was unaftected. Unfortunately he 
could not obtain any information as to the locality of onset or the age of onset 
beyond " quand elle etait encore petite." Her companions accounted for her appear- 
ance by saying that she had slept outdoors one night in the full light of the moon, 
her face hidden in her hands ! — The description of the face and hair to some extent 
agrees with that of the leucodermatous Egyptian girl of our Plate D (9) and (10). 
Lencodenna in Egyptians. The earliest mention of an Egyptian case — if we 
put on one side Arabian and Jewish references, which we cannot definitely classify 
— is probably that of Sonnini': "In a number of diseases which I have had occasion 
to prescribe for, I observed a very singular one on the skin of an inhabitant of 
Siout. His complexion, like that of all the other natives of the same southern 
cantons of Egypt, was of a deep brown. But about five or six years before, a 
part of this blackish skin had given place to another perfectly white ; these white 
spots were spreading more and more, so that when I saw this man, his face, 
arms and hands and his whole body, were covered, and, as it were, marbled with 
large flakes of brown and white ; the blackish skin was disappearing gradually, 
and it is to be presumed that his skin will have become as white as milk. He 
did not experience in other respects, any pain or uneasiness." Sonnini states 
that ForskaP has asserted that the spots are never visible round the navel or on 

1 See Bibl. No. 132. 

- Niebuhr in the chapter " Medecine des Arabes " of his Description de I'Arabie, Copenhagen, 1773, 
has (p. 120) a note by Forskal, from which it would appear that behag stands for leucoderma; it is not 
clear whether harras stands for albinism in its complete form — it is used when the whole of the body is 
white. The Arabs say that the affection can be cured, if the hairs on the white patches remain black, 
but it is incurable if they become white. The point is of interest as Beigel, Kaposi, Duhring and others 
have noted that the hair does not always bleach if the skin whitens. Niebuhr (p. 119) saw a leuco- 
dermatous negro at Mocha who had been relieved (? disease checked), but not cured, by sulphur. 


the hands, but that his own observations convince him of the contrary, for the 
man of Siout had these very parts overspread with white spots. This is also the 
case in the photograph of the Arab on Plate D (11), which together with that 
of an Egyptian girl we owe to Dr Sandwith. These record far better than any 
verbal descrijDtion can do the appearance of the affection. In the Egyptian girl', 
Plate D (9) and (10), the leucosis is very extensive on the face, upper part of 
trunk, legs below the knees, arms and hands ; the arms are almost entirely white. 
The parts least affected are the thighs and front of the body. The symmetry 
although not exact is very well marked. No particulars as to age of onset were 
given. The Arab man provides also an interesting illustration of symmetry. 
Here as in most fully described and definite cases of leucoderma the " flare " is 

Leticoderma in a Bengalee. As early as 1818, Duncan^ reported as "A case 
of change of colour from Biown to White in a Native of Bengal," the occurrence 
of leucoderma in an East Indian. His parents were normally dark Mahomedans. 
He left India at the age of ten or eleven, and had resided since in Edinburgh, 
chiefly as a servant, but for nine years as a mason's labourer and with other 
casual employment. During this period he gradually lost his native dark colour 
and became white. He attributed the change partly to climate and partly to the 
lime in the mortar, which occasioned much itching in the skin. The change com- 
menced in the hands and head, and the hair from being black and lank, became 
light gray and somewhat curled. The parts which last retained their colour were 
the breast and back of the neck. The only remains of his original complexion in 
1818 were some irregular patches of a dark purplish colour covering the upper 
parts of the cheeks, and the prominence of the ears, and a lighter patch at the tip 
of the nose (cf. Pittard's Gipsy and Sandwith's Egyptian girl). During the change 
of his colour no sensible alteration was observed in his health, and the complaints 
for which he was admitted to the Edinburgh Infirmary were " so slight that it is 
unnecessary to state them''." 

We have come across no detailed accounts of Chinese, Melanesian or Poly- 
nesian cases of leucoderma, although such cases undoubtedly exist and have 

' Letter to E. Nettleship dated Oct. 2, 1907. 

- In nine cases of leucoderma, which I have come across personally, there has been no "flare." This 
serves at least to indicate that if it really occurs, it is certainly not the rule. K. P. 

" See Bibl. No. 164. 

* Hutchinson (see Bibl. No. 4-5.t) gives a case of unilateral streaks and patches of white in a Hindoo. 
He says that it is a remarkable case of congenital afiection of the skin. He gives no evidence of this fact, 
except the statement that the disease is evidently mapped out during intra-uterine life. He considers 
Ichthyosis herpetiformis the best descriptive name at present (189.5), and says it constitutes "a very 
important piece of evidence as to the possibility of unilateral disturbances of nutrition during foetal 
life." He compares it with Herpes zoster and says the affection is tlie converse as regards colour of what 
are occasionally seen on the white skins of Europeans. The streaks and patches Hutchinson remarks are 
suggestive of nerve distribution (see our ftn. p. 206), but it is impossible to trace their location in 
connection with any known nerves. We have not endeavoured to class this case, but merely refer the 
curious reader to the Smaller Atlas for details. 


probably been descril)ed. Pittai'd refers to a photograph by Dr Fusier exhibited 
in 1878, and mentioned by Topinard (locus?), which represented "des marbrures 
et des ilots de decoloration chez nn Jaune " — probably a Chinaman. But we are 
able to give (Plate WW (162)) the photograph of a Chinese case observed by 
Dr Cousland, and kindly forwarded to us without comment by Dr G. Duncan 
Whyte of Swatou, Kwang-tung. We have no details and assume the case to be 
one of leucoderma, it 7nay quite possibly be one of congenital piebaldism. 

Leucoderma in North American Indians. The earliest fully reported case is 
due to Bissell in 1817'. Samuel Adams, the subject, belonged to the Brothertou 
tribe of North American Indians near Clinton, N.Y. He began to turn white 
at 60, and when seen he was 90 years old, but was remarkably vigorous physically 
and mentally. The skin began to go white soon after an attack of acute 
rheumatism, the first appearance being a small spot near the scrohiculus cordis ; 
soon after spots appeared on difterent parts of body and limbs, gradually increasing 
in size. He was greatly alarmed and visited different mineral springs in the hope 
to remove so odious a colour by ablution in these waters. Finding these measures 
ineffectual and convinced that no danger was to be apprehended fi'om a white 
skin, he relinquished the idea of regaining his colour and, to use his own words, 
" patiently submitted to become like the white men in everything but their dis- 
honesty." The change did not go on uniformly although always in progress ; 
sometimes it advanced rapidly, at other times it was almost stationary, and he 
could not trace it to seasonal or other sources. When seen the original colour 
only remained on the forehead, the forefront of the face and neck, with a few 
patches on the arms. The skin was white, soft and pliable, and not of the dull 
chalky or livid hue generally observable in the albino (see, however, our section on N.A. 
Indian albinos, p. 110) ; it resembled the delicate skin of a European female. Adams 
had noted three differences between the white and normal black (sic) skin, (i) the 
perspiration was somewhat less on the white areas than on the black, (ii) the white 
areas blistered and became very tender, if exposed to the heat of the sun, (iii) they 
bled much when cut or lacerated and healed with difficulty. Bissell could not 
beyond lessened perspiration and cutaneous sensitiveness (which, as far as the sun 
is concerned, the leucodermatous share with the albinotic) find that any single 
function of the system had suffered any derangement in consequence of the skin 
change'. The " pigmentum nigrum " had undergone only the usual senile change 
and the hair had become only moderately gray ; the eye had simply the dim cloudy 
appearance of the eyes of old people and the vision had remained good until 80 
years of age. Adams stated that he had never been afflicted in his life with any 
skin disease but the itch and that but once or twice ; further he said that his 
complexion was much darker than was common among those of his race so that he 

' See Bibl. No. 571. 

- In the case of the Englishman S., noted on p. 210, there has been (i) no observed difference in the 
perspiration of the affected and normal areas, and (ii) cuts produced while shaving heal as readily on the 
affected as on the normal areas. 


"was a very black Indian." No similar cases nor any albinos were found by Bissell 
in this tribe, in neighbouring tribes, or among the Indians of this latitude. 

Hrdlicka, in his Medical Observations among the Indians (see Bibl. No. 567), 
reports that he saw a case of vitiligo in a male Papago aged 55, and four full-blood 
Mohave girls at Fort Mohave School with " lighter but not quite vitiligo-like spots 
on the exposed portions of the otherwise normal-looking skin." It is a pity that 
he has not more closely described these appearances nor defined what he under- 
stands by vitiligo. It is not possible to be confident that we have here further 
instances of leucoderma in the North American Indian. 

Leucoderma in the Negro. Leucoderma was first noticed in the negro ; the 
Ethiopian changing his skin came as a startling fact to the knowledge of the 
slave-owning nations, who based their justification of human slavery largely on a 
permanent difference in colour. More than one would-be negro benefactor proposed 
to achieve by drugs what leucoderma was observed to do slowly and partially, 
and thus remove the bondage of colour'. The negro changing colour appealed as 
much if not more than the white negro to the imagination of the 17th and 
18th centuries. There are for two centuries fairly full accounts of leucodermatous 
negroes, although till at least as late as 1860, no clear distinction was made 
between partial albinism and progressive leucoderma. We have endeavoured to 
differentiate the two classes of cases, although it is just possible that some of 
those we treat as piebalds were really leucodermatous. 

Case I. Byrd's Case", 1698. "An Account of a Negro Boy that is dappel'd 
in several places of his Body with white spots." This account runs as follows : 

There is uow in England, in Possession of Capt. Charles Wager, a Negro-Boy, of about eleven years 
Old, who was born in the upper Parts of Rappahanock River in Virginia. His Father and Mother were 
both perfect Negroes and Servants to Major Taylor, a Gentleman of the Country. This Boy till he 
became Three Years OW, was in all Respects, like Other Black Children, and then without having any 
Distemper, began to have several little White Specks in his Neck and upon his Breast, which with his 
Age, have since been observed to increase very much both in Number and Bigness, so that now from the 
upper part of his Neck (where some of his Wool has already turned white) down to his Knees he is 
everywhere dappel'd with White Spots, some of which are broader than the Palm of a Man's Hand and 
others are smaller in Proportion. The Spots are wonderfully White, at least equal to the Skin of the 
fairest Lady and have Advantage in this, that they are not able to be Tann'd. But they are I think of a 
Paler White, and do not show Flesh and Blood so lively through them as the Skin of White People, but 

1 See for example Rush, Bibl. No. 128. - See Bibl. No. 43. 

^ Onset at a still earlier age is recorded by James Greenwood (in Curiosities of Savage Life, London 
1865, Vol. I. p. 20): "A certain Cree baby was born strong and healthy and to all appearances as like 
other Cree babies as could be desired. In the course of a year or so, however, it began to change colour 
not wholly but in patches, which were of a pinky-white hue. Such a case was without precedent, and 
there was some difficulty as to how it should be treated, especially as the mother of the child was the 
daughter of a strong chief.... The 'Grand Medicine' or priest was finally consulted, and after hearing the 
particulars of the affair, he returned a verdict of death against the little Cree boy, sagely arguino- that a 
child who was neither one thing nor the other in colour, would certainly grow up to be neither one thing 
nor the other in heart ; that such a one would probably be a traitor, or to put it at the mildest, could not 
possibly make either a brave warrior or a trustworthy councillor, and that therefore it would be better to 
put him out of the world at once." 


possibly the reason of that may be, because the Skin of a Negro is much thicker. This Boy never had 
any Sickness but has all along been very sprightly and active and has more Ingenuity too than is common 
to tliat Generation. His Spots grow continually larger and larger and 'tis possible if he lives, he may in 
time become all over White; but his Face, Arms and Legs are perfectly Black. 

This first, we thiuk, recorded case of leucoderma in a negro is of much interest 
as indicating (i) the early age of onset, three years, (ii) that the most exposed 
parts, face and arms, did not start first, (iii) that exactly as in albinism and as in 
European leucodermatous subjects, the skin does not tan, (iv) that the wool on 
the patches turned white, (v) that no shock or illness is suggested as starting 
the attack. 

Case II. Bates Casc\ 17 GO. An account of the Remarkable Alteration of 
Colour in a Negro Woman. In a letter to the Rev. Mr Alexander Williamson of 
Maryland, from Mr James Bate, Surgeon in that Province, communicated by 
Alexander Russel, M.D., F.R.8. Russel says that he has had the information of 
Dr Bate confirmed by two gentlemen now (1759) in England who have seen the 
woman. The case has been cited as that of Mr Barnes' cook. 

Bate says that the negro woman was a cook to Mr Barnes of Virginia and 
a native of the place, 40 years of age, remarkably healthy and originally having 
a skin as dark as any African's. About 15 years ago (i.e. at age 25) the 
membrane near the finger nails became white, her mouth soon became white also, 
and the phenomenon extended gradually all over the body, so that at the present 
time four-fifths of the surface is white, smooth and transparent as in any European ; 
the parts remaining sooty daily losing their blackness. The neck and back along 
the vertebrae maintain their primitive colour most, the limbs, face, head, breast 
and belly are white ; the pudenda and axillae parti-coloured, the skin in these 
parts being covered with white hair, and where dark with black hair. The fair 
parts glow with blushes when she is excited, ashamed, etc. The woman says 
that, excepting about seventeen years ago when she had a child, she has never 
had any complaint of 24 hours' continuance ; she has never suffered from any 
disorder or applied any external applications. She perspires equally freely from the 
white and black parts. This case is one that began fairly late in life (25) and the 
equality of the perspiration from white and black parts is directly opposed to the 
statement of Bissell with regard to his leucodermatous N.A. Indian (see our p. 215). 
The occupation of the woman is also to be borne in mind having regard to some 
later records and the suggestion as to lime in Duncan's Bengalee (see our p. 214). 

Case III. Jefferson's Case", 1787. Jefferson in his Notes on the State of Virgmia, 
refers to a pied negro. He was born black of black parents, but when a boy^ a 
white spot appeared on his chin. " This continued to increase until he became 
a man, by which time it had extended over his chin, lips, one cheek, the under 
jaw and neck on that side. It is of the albino white, without any mixture of red, 

1 See Bibl. No. 63. ' See Bibl. No. 102, p. 120. 

^ The Gazette hebdom. 1860, p. 44, converts this into "in his infancy," and Simon in his Case 21 
modifies to "first year of life." 

K. p. 28 


and has for several years been stationary. He is robust and healthy, and the 
change of colour was not accompanied with any sensible disease either general 
or topical." 

This instance started like Case I in childhood and the stationary character 
is noteworthy, when we have to consider whether other piebalds were, or were 
not, congenital. 

Case IV. Rayer's Case\ This is that of Colonel Filcombe's negro. This negro 
was scalded in several parts of the body in handling a cauldron of sugar. In 
these parts his skin on recovery became white and this whiteness spread little by 
little to other parts, even till it rendered him everywhere as white as the English. 
This white skin was very tender. Cf. Hutchinson's Case (p. 212), where the 
leucosis is said to have begun at the seat of a blister. 

Case V. Fishers Case'-, 1794. Fisher published his account in 1798 ; Dr 
Benjamin Rush had seen Henry Moss, this negro, about 1792, and briefly refers to 
him in a paper published in 1799. Rush says (1792) that he began to change about 
five years before, starting at his finger nails and extending over the greater part of his 
body, the wool also changing. Fisher says the back of neck, breast, arms and legs 
were white in 1794, interspersed with small specks of African colour "not unlike 
the freckles which appear on the skin of a fair woman in summer." He had a 
streak of white about I" broad and elsewhere 2" on his face of perfectly Eui'opean 
complexion. The whole area of black skin left was not a square foot. Fisher saw 
the man again after an interval of a month and found that " the black parts had 
sensibly diminished." So far there is nothing of special interest in this case, but 
if the reader will turn to Fig. 503, he will at once see that the pedigree is a 
remarkable one. The maternal and paternal grandfathers were African negroes, but 
the maternal grandmother was an Irish woman and the paternal grandmother a 
North Amei'ican Indian. There is some evidence for supposing that leucoderma and 
even albinism may occur as a result of pigmentation upset following hybridisation. 

We suspect that the account given in 1819 by Dr J. V. WiesenthaP of a 

' Histoire des Voyages, T. XV. p. 614. Also Rayer, Bibl. No. 179, ll. p. 193, Case v. Pepys tells a tale 
of Darnford, a negro, who scalded his beard with mince-pie, and it came up again all white in that place and 
continued to his dying day {Diary, Oct. 9, 1660). Hammer reports the case of a negro aged 16, who was 
bitten by a dog, and, within the space of 25 days after, his black colouring grew markedly paler, and 
his skin became covered with white spots, which increasing left him at 25 with a body as white as 
that of a European, but speckled with black dots. He married a negress and had normal children 
(see Bibl. No. 415). 

^ See Bibl. Nos. 127 and 128. We are in doubt as to whether the case described by De la 
Rochefoucault Liancourt (Travels through the United States of North America..., Vol. ii. pp. 133 — 4, 
London, 1799, trans, by H. Newman) is also Henry Moss. He saw at Philadelphia a Virginian negro 
who exhibited himself about the country, and, noticing that cases of going white occur among Negroes, 
Mulattoes and Indians, he says that this case is very remarkable on account of its being so extended. He 
says that the neck and shoulders were of the same complexion as the skin of people with red hair, and 
were freckled in the same manner. He further remarks that straight and smooth hair was replacing the 
natui'al wool. The account tallies at some points, but not all, with that of Henry Moss. 

2 See Bibl. No. 163. 


negro he had seen in Baltimore in 1814 also refers to Henry Moss. He entitled his 
paper : Case of a Negro whose skin has become white, and it is interesting to see 
the progress made in 20 years. Henry Moss, if it was he, is still on exhibition 
and he must have got into the habit of saying that the change had taken four or 
five years (Fisher says four years before he saw him, Rush who saw him two years 
earlier says five years and Wiesenthal, who saw him 20 years after Fisher, says 
four years 1). Otherwise Wiesenthal's account is in accordance with and supple- 
mentary to Fisher's and Rush's. Wiesenthal writes that he saw : 

" a negro man whose skin has nearly lost its native colour and become perfectly white. This man is 
nearly 58 years of age. His grandfathers were both native Africans; his paternal grandmother was an 
Indian, the other grandmother a white woman. The original colour of his skin was a dark tawny, as our 
native negroes commonly are. This wonderful change commenced about four years previous to the time I 
saw him, and first appeared at the roots of the finger nails, from whence it extended gradually to about 
the distance of an inch and there stopped. It next began on the neck, and this went on through the 
surface of the body and lower extremities, which are now entirely white except some part of the feet and 
a few slight freckles on the breast. The arms are entirely changed, as are the hands, except a small part 
on the back of them. The face and scalp are entirely white, the hair has undergone some alteration. It 
is grey like that of an old man, and though it still retains an African character, short, curled and strong, 
there are evident appearances of a disposition to become straight, long and soft as in the whites'. The 
altered skin has not the softness, nor appearance of the whites, but is free from any red colour and of a 

deathlike hue The only parts which retain any of the original colour are the back of the hands, and the 

upper surface of the feet." 

We do not reproduce Wiesenthal's statement as to the manner in which the 
change takes place, because he was evidently under the impression that Moss had 
only exhibited himself for a few years, during which the change had been very 
rapid. Nor need we consider his theory of the secretory processes by which the 
loss had arisen. The main points are that he confirms 20 years later the earlier 
accounts, and further that the change to not quite complete whiteness must have 
taken between 20 and 30 years. In the face of this, too much stress must not be 
laid on Fisher's statement that he saw change in a month, unless we have to 
suppose that he saw Moss at a time when the rate of depigmentation much exceeded 
the average. 

Case VI. Dancers Case", 1802. This was that of Charles Fuller, a negro 
between 50 and 60 years of age, born in the West Indies and belonging to the 
Middleton estate in St Thomas in the East. He had a slight fever, and on 
recovery several white spots appeared on his face, which spreading and running 
into each other, his Avhole face became like that of a white man except for three 
or four blotches (Dancer gives an engraving). " The man is in perfect good health, 
having no symptom of any disease except a slight oedema or swelling of the 
ankles, to which he has long been occasionally subject." The same white spots 

« ' There is certainly no diiferentiation of this kind in the hair of negro albinos or piebalds in our 

possession, but it has been asserted in some other records. 

' Case of a negro turning white, communicated by Mr T. Dancer of Kingston, Jamaica. Medical 
and Physical Journal, Yoi. vni. p. 97, London, 1802. 



began to appear on neck, arms and trunk, and in a short time " the Ethiopian 
may become white." He had been for many years a hot-house doctor, i.e. an 
attendant on the sick in a plantation hospital, and had undergone no alteration in 
his habits of life, nor had he been under any mental depression, except that 
produced by his change of colour. " The colour is a healthy ruddy white, not that 
of an Albino, nor does he labour under any defect of vision as all the Albinoes do." 

Case VII. ./. Bi^own's Case\ 1824. This case, of some interest because it 
was fairly carefully watched for nearly six months, is of interest because its origin 
appears fairly definite. Samuel Herd, a negro of Dominica, aged 50, had an 
operation in January 1818, from which he perfectly recovered. Many months 
after (April 1819) he came "for something for his skin," as it was becoming white 
and other negroes laughed at him. After the healing of the operation wound the 
cicatrix remained white, and much about the same time other parts became white 
also, especially the hands and feet. Whitening began on back of hand, gradually 
extending up fore-arm; the same pi'ocess was (April 1819) going on in lower 
extremities ; feet, legs, thighs and hips now almost all white ; some white spots 
on back and shoulder and about half breast is of same colour ; broad white ring 
round penis and a considerable part of the scrotum is affected. June 10, 1819, 
head nearly white and seen shining through dark curly hair ; a large white 
spot has appeared on lower part of abdomen ; half the penis has changed colour ; 
has occasional paroxysms of asthma. September 10, 1819, change less rapid; 
skin acquiring more natural appearance ; on comparison of his hand with that of a 
sunburnt white, it could not be distinguished; perfect health. May 1820, progress 
very obvious ; lower extremities almost a natural white excepting patches of bluish 
tint ; hands and arms entirely white ; skin on shoulders and breast pale ash colour ; 
head completely white ; hair black woolly ; ears, eyelids, and skin round eyes, 
forehead and alae nasi changing fast ; lips bright vermilion colour ; breast, abdomen 
and back, speckled, skin on back which has not changed is black and shining. 
September 22, 1820, continues to change. It is a misfortune that this case was 
not reported later ; it would have been of much value to know whether the hair 
finally became white ; there appear to be other cases in which the hair has not 
changed ; the rate of change seems to have been far quicker than in Case V. It 
is also worthy of note that change began on back of the hand, a place which 
remained after 20 years' progress of the disease the normal colour in Case V.- 

After Brown's paper of 1824, there is little to note until the publication of a 
paper on partial albinism by Th. Simon in 1861'. He records 22 negro cases, but 
he mixes up leucoderma with congenital piebaldism\ Besides the historic cases 

^ See Bibl. No. 183. 

" Brown's paper also refers to the case of a female aged 30 in perfect health, whose change in six 
years was far less rapid than Herd's. She had been seen by Dr Pritchard in Demerara {Notes on the 
We»t Indies, Letter 29). Tlie writer of the paper says that he only knew of six recorded like cases and 
that three of these occurred in childhood. ' See Bibl. No. 282. 

■• Simon notes that beyond doubt Albinismus partialis is not the aetiological factor in all the cases he 
has recorded. 


of leucodertna in negroes, that we have ah-eady discussed above, he mentions five 
cases which are clearly leucoderma and not partial albinism ; Simon seems to have 
taken his particulars from a French journal', the originals being inaccessible to 
him as to us. We give a list of these cases in a footnote'", as it may interest some 
of our American readers to see whether they add anything to the cases we cite 
above and below. 

Case VIII. Sir Richard Burton's Case, 1863. This case is not very fully 
described by Sir Richard Burton himself. A somewhat poor reproduction was 
published by Beigel', who gave the original photographs to Sir Jonathan Hutchinson, 
who presented them to E. Nettleship in 1870 or 1871, and from these our Plate B 
has been prepared. Sir Richard, then Captain, Burton writes*: "In front of a hut 
in Accra sat a strange individual, a piebald man, as he is described in ethnological 
and dermatological works. The greater part of his skin appears to be dirty white, 
the rest is made up of a series of dark coloured spots. A few years ago the man 
was a negro, but was turned gradually into a white man, and when we saw him 
the rate mucosum seemed to be returning again to the normal." 

If we were to trust implicitly Burton's account, the black patches as in 
Reinhard's case had begun to increase, but the evidence is not definite enough. 
The interesting points in the case are the vv^hite flare on the forehead and white 
comb, which as a rule are more noteworthy in congenital cases of partial albinism 
than in leucoderma. 

Case IX. Smesters Case', 1879. This was a negress of Haiti, who was 
occupied as a laundress. She was born of black parents, had black children and 
grandchildren, and remained herself black till between 30 and 35 years of age. 
She then became wholly white except for some small spots on the body. Her 
face became " blanc mat " like the tint of white women who have been a long time, 
or have been born, in the tropics. She had some black spots upon certain j^arts of 
her face. Her hair had begun to grow markedly gray ; her eyelashes and eyebrows 
were almost white. The areola was rose as in white women, who alone show this 
purity". All the spots like {-dots together would not cover more than the size of 

' Albinisme...chez les negres. Newsom and Dowler, Gazette, hebdom. Janv. 1860. 

- Simon's Case 17 = Joseph Daniel, slave in Kentucky, aged 43, born of blaok parents, onset 
at 14, and said to be stationary from 23, i.e. for 20 years. Medical Chirurgical Journal of St Louis, 
1853, No. 1. 

Simon's Case 18 = Newsom- Dowler Case. A Mississippi State negro, onset after a four months' illness 
at 34. Original ? 

Simon's Case 19 = Newsom-Dowler Case. Negro slave, clearly extreme leucoderma. Original? 

Simon's Case 20 = Newsom-Dowler Case. Negro, head and extremities attacked in 18 months, body 
also. Original ? 

Simon's Case 22 = Newsom-Dowler Case. Tom Clinton, negro, 60 years old, who was fully black 
till 46. Original ? 

' See Bibl. No. 310. ' See Bibl. No. 293. ' See Bibl. No. 262. 

" On an areola in a pregnant albino woman remaining delicate pink, Montgomery's second areola not 
being developed: see Bibl. No. 261. 


the hand. The depigmentation had occupied 12 to 15 years; she had had good 
health and was active and intelligent. There was no trace of syphilis. She had 
seven sons and four daughters, of whom one son and four daughters were living ; 
all were black — two strong black daughters were seen — as well as the grand- 
children. Smester says that several were born before she grew white, so presumably 
some were born later. What makes this case noteworthy is the remark of Smester 
already cited on p. 203, that the retina had begun to lose its pigmentation and 
the eyes to be photophobic. Smester makes the remark without any apparent 
hesitation, but it is so unique in leucoderma cases that we are compelled to suspend 
our judgment. The photophobia might possibly have another origin ; it is to be 
noted that eyelashes and skin of face and presumably eyelids were leucotic. 

Case X. Maas Case\ In 1892 Maas showed a " Tigermenschen " to the Berlin 
Anthropological Society. This negro was born in Cape Town and in 1892 was aged 19. 
He had spots of white and a comb of white hair down the centre of his head. It 
was said to have come on when he was five years of age. The skin was softer 
and more delicate where white than elsewhere. The case is very briefly described 
and we should have supposed it to be a case like our partial albinos in Plate BR. 
Virchow compai-ed it with a white comb case in a young German Gelehrte of his 
acquaintance, which was almost certainly congenital. This case, Burton's Case and 
the very doubtful "Leopard Family" of Gould and Pyle (see our p. 20.3) are among 
those which prevent us from dogmatically stating that the flare and comb form of 
leucosis is peculiar to partial albinism". 

Case XI. Reinhard's Case', 1897. We have already referred to this case — 
the negro schoolmaster in the suburb of Pretoria (see our p. 201) — as especially 
remarkable for the manner in which depigmentation was followed by repigmentation. 
(143) and (144), Plate QQ, show a depigmented state of the face and the later 
repigmented stage. 

Case XII. Wards Case*, 1906. This case of leucoderma in a Zulu is best 
described graphically by the photographs on our Plate C (6) and (7). The body 
appears to have been attacked before the head and the symmetry, far from marked, 
is only rudely bilateral. The whitened areas are as usual interspersed with smaller 
ones and often interrupted by islets of still normal skin. It is to be noted that 
the head and neck have so far escaped. The leucosis is much more abundant on 
the front of the trunk than the back. Its duration was not stated. 

Case XIII. Sandidth's Case\ 1905. This case of leucoderma in a Sudanese 
is given on Plate C (8). Both hands have been affected and the symmetry on 
the back is very considerable. 

1 See Bibl. No. 438. 

- Stelwagon gives a picture of leucoderma apparently in a brunette, which shows symmetrical 
bleachin" of the eyelids and neighbourhood, leaving a large nearly median patch of forehead normal. He 
emphasises the neighbourhood of the eyes as a not infrequent site. Cf. also Plate D (9). 

5 See Bibl. No. 472. ■* Letter to E. Nettleship, 1907. 

s Letter to E. Nettleship, Aug. 1, 1905, 


Case XIV. Turner's Case\ 1908. Dr G. A. Turner sends us particulars of 
tliis case, a Shangaan named Mazumbome (No. 28180 W. N. L. A.) aged 25. 
This is of special interest because it marks a unilateral case in the negro, similar 
to Nettleship's English unilateral case (see p. 203 ftn.). He had white hair sprinkled 
over the left side of the head freely, especially over the parietal region ; the right 
side of the head was quite black. Whiskers on the left side of the face were 
quite white, those on the right side black. The beard was white on the left side, 
a few white hairs extended from the left side of the chin just overlapping the 
middle line. There was a small patch of leucoderma over the left eye, and another 
on the left side of the chin. The rest of the body was quite black. The " boy " 
appeared in good health and was well developed. 

Case XV. Maynard's Case", 1910. This is another very interesting case of 
unilateral leucoderma. The negro, aged about 35, belongs to M'suto race. He 
has never suffered from any severe illness, and has been at work with the same 
master, who confirms his story, for 3^ years. Just before Christmas, 1908, the 
leucosis suddenly appeared. He states that he went to bed quite well with no 
discoloration of the skin ; when he got up next morning he had the white spots 
as they now appear (Plate QQ (145) and (146)), and nothing will make him alter 
this statement, which his master corroborates. He was not ill and went to work 
as usual. The condition is said not to have altered from that date, either in 
extent or condition of pigmentation. The leucotic patches are strictly unilateral ; 
in the dorsal view it appears as if some spots were on the right of the middle 
line, but this is not so. The distribution is shown in the two photographs. The 
patches vary considerably in respect to absence of pigmentation, those on the neck, 
face, and over the upper part of the sternum being almost completely devoid of 
pigment, the hair growing in these areas being quite white. From complete 
absence of pigment, the spots show marked gradations, those over the deltoid 
being intermediate in colour between the face spots and the large area over the 
pectoralis major, to the axillary side and above the nipple. These maculae are 
just observable in the photograph. The darker areas appear as if pigment might 
be returning into areas which had once been devoid of colour. This the man 
denies and is positive this difference in shading was present from the first day. 
There is no increase of pigmentation at the edges of the lighter areas'. There 
was no family history of leucoderma. Asked what his relatives said when they 
saw the spots, he replied that they had never seen the condition before, nor had 
they heard of a similar case. Asked what they called it, he said : " We have no 
native name for it." Further cross examination failed to elicit anything fui-ther, 
so that it is very unlikely there was any relative affected or that leucodernaa was 

' Letter to C. H. Usher dated .Johannesburg, Oct. 16, 1908. 

- Letter to K. Pearson dated Pretoria, Jan. 22, 1910. 

' Dr Maynard also obtained the history from the man in his own language through the Native 
Commissioner of the District, and the replies were the same as those he had himself obtained in 
Cape Dutch. 


known in the " boy's " native district. Of his known relatives, father and mother 
are both dead ; his father had brothers and sisters, exact number unknown ; his 
mother three sisters. He himself was second of a family of six, 1st, 3rd and 6th 
females, 4th and 5th males. He has two children, elder boy three years, younger 
a girl two years old. Within the above range of relationship, he is sure no like 
case has occurred. 

It would be impossible to table all the reported modern cases of leucoderma 
in the negro. We have selected the earlier of the above instances because they 
are famous cases, which were not without influence on white feeling with regard 
to the negro. The later cases have been chosen because they suggest in one 
direction or another important points which need clearing up, or because we were 
in possession of good illustrative photographs representing racial varieties. For 
those who may wish to consider the matter further, we may refer to a series of 
nine photographs taken at Lagos by J. H. Jeans, and presented, July 1872, to 
the Royal College of Surgeons, London (Dermatological Section, 139, single mount 
of nine figures entitled : Leucasmus-Achroma). They are described as nine photo- 
graphs of "piebald negroes whose parents were negroes \" 

A point which deserves further study in respect to negro leucoderma is the 
possibility that the skin change in some cases is xanthous and not albinotic, 
i.e. that as we can have an incomplete albinism so we may have an incomplete 
leucoderma. Klinkosch" speaks of negroes becoming not white but yellow through 
disease, and Caldani^ records the case of a negro, a shoemaker in Venice, who 
lost his dark colour as he grew older and ended with having the same colour as 
a white with a mild attack of jaundice. Joseph Jones and others have also noticed 
yellow spots in cases of leucoderma : see our p. 205. It must, however, be admitted 
that these cases are very rare, and it is not certain that they are really to be 
looked upon as an incomplete form of leucoderma. They would undoubtedly be of 

' Figs. 1 and 4. Front and back view of negro, age 40 ; nothing to distinguish from ordinary 
leucoderma. Figs. 2 and 5. Front and back view of another adult negro ; less extensive white patches 
apparently rather more on L. side; resembles ordinary leucoderma except for a large broad "flare" from 
halfway down the forehead back nearly to occiput and about as broad as the eyes are apart. Figs. 3 and 6. 
Front and back view of adult negress; very extensive leucoderma of tiimk and limbs, and around mouth, 
but scalp and upper face entirely unaffected. Figs. 7 and 9. Front and back view of a lower type 
negress than the previous one, with more general but less defined leucoderma. Fig. 8. " A young 
albino negress; the achroma is general and complete; her eyes were brown." With the possible 
exception of Figs. 2 and 5 (and of course Fig. 8), these should be described as leucoderma rather than 
piebald cases. 

- " Multum etiam per morbus mutatur color. Albae sunt cutis cicatrices nigritis, ife post variolas, 
lente demum per flavorem in nigredinem transeunt. Nigritae ex morbis etiam lutei fiunt, qualem his 
Pragae vidimus." JDissertationes Medicae selectiores Pragenses, 1775, Vol. I. p. 325. 

^ " Neque obstare videtur, in temperatis & frigidis etiam, ut contendunt, regionibus, proprium 
Aethiopes servare colorem ; nam primum hoc certum non est ; & sutor de hac gente adhuc Venetiis 
vivit cujus nigrido longo annorum intervallo (puer enini ad has oras appulit) ita sensim imminuta est, 
ut leni ictero laborare videatur." histitutiones Physiologicae et Pathologicae, ed. Eduardus Sandifort, 
1784, Vol. I. p. 171. 


much interest if the}' were studied and verified as leucoderma. This incomplete 
leucoderma might ultimately throw light on the nature of xanthism, as complete 
leucoderma will no douht one day throw Hght on albinism. 

If we sum up the results to be reached from the above cases of leucoderma, 
we are forced to admit that they are rather negative than positive. The onset 
may occur in the earliest years of life, or only after middle age ; the progress of 
the leucosis may be rapid or very slow, it may be intermittent or continuous ; it 
is impossible to say that it usually starts in one or another tract ; sometimes the 
hair appears to be aftected, sometimes not ; the distribution of the patches may 
be symmetrical, but it may not, and quite unilateral cases are known ; it does not 
appear in character or distribution to be different in one race from a second ; 
although in some cases it appears to be started by a burn or a wound', or possibly 
associated with a trade, cooking, laundry, sugar refinery work, mortar-mixing, yet 
this is far from universally the case ; further, when apparently started by a burn or 
wound, the loss of pigment leaves the skin of quite a different character from that 
observable in the cicatrix of a wound. In some cases it seems to follow an illness 
or fever. Again, in other cases the hereditary factor seems to play a part. If a 
specially nervous constitution be markedly correlated with the leucodermatous 
tendency, it must not be forgotten that this association is not inconspicuous in the case 
of albinism itself As far as we know at present — excluding cases of inflammatory 
vitiligo- — there is no differential physiological feature observable between skin or 
hair of leucodermatous and partially albinotic individuals ; and the cases in which 
a pigment loss in the eyes of either has been asserted, rest on equally slender 
evidence. We shall, before the conclusion of the next chapter, discuss whether 
there is any feature of the distribution of the patches which will serve as a criterion 
between leucoderma and partial albinism. 

' Hutchinson records a case where it was stated to have arisen from a blister (see our p. 212), but of 
50 cases seen by 1870, he notes excellent health in many and no origin discoverable. {Neiv Sydenham 
Society^s Atlas Descriptive Catalogue, Part i. pp. 36 — 37.) 



A. Piebalds. 

We have already indicated that we know no physiological difterentiation 
between the elements of skin of a leucodermatous person and an albino ; we shall 
discuss later possibilities of difference in arrangement of leucotic patches. The sole 
guide we have really to distinguish a case of partial albinism from one of leuco- 
derma is the past histoiy'; and in this two points of difficulty arise. The eyes 
being unaffected, and possibly the hair also, the whole matter turns on observation 
of the skin. But the skin is not sufficiently pigmented in the first months of life, 
for partial albinism to be at once and certainly observed in white persons. Further, 
the unpigmented areas will naturally grow in absolute size, but not in necessarily 
7'elative size. Thus questions put without great care to the semi-ignorant', may lead 
to true cases of partial albinism being classed as leucoderma. The spots will not be 
noticeable at birth and will grow in size. Hence it is quite conceivable that some 
cases of leucoderma, stated to have started in earlier years, are really cases of 
partial albinism. On the other hand, there is evidence that leucoderma does in 
some cases start early in life, and that it may become temporarily or even per- 
manently stationary. It is thus possible that some of the pied negroes used for 
exhibition purposes have really been leucodermatous and not albinotic. In the 
cases as they arise, we can only judge on the particular evidence, and we frankly 
confess that we are not convinced of its sufficiency in all the cases we have given 
above as leucodermatous, or in those to follow as albinotic. The importance of 
this qualification is to be borne in mind if any attempt be made on the basis of 
distribution to differentiate albinism and leucoderma by consideration of the above 
cases. For example, we are by no means confident that Gould and Pyle's Case 
(see our p. 203) is not really partial albinism, and some of the early European 
piebalds may possibly be cases of leucoderma. When we commenced this subject 

' Simonot (see Bibl. No. 281) discusses without any finality this very problem of whether an 
observed individual with leucosis is, or is not, a congenital case. The fact that the past history is the 
only clue known at present to distinguish leucoderma and partial albinism is very full of significance. 
We have already noted that Crocker's three diagnostic ciiaracteristics of leucoderma will not in every 
case suffice for differentiation: see our p. 199. 

" For example : When were the spots noticed ? — Between two and three years of age. Did they 
grow in size ? Yes ; would be questions and answers quite insufficient to differentiate leucoderma and 
partial albinism. 


of partial albinism, we had before us the recorded, chiefly negro, cases. It was 
soon obvious that none of these negro cases were of a recent date, and it seemed 
desirable to search for more modern examples of piebaldism. For this purpose, 
circulars and personal letters were sent to medical men in the United States and in 
the West Indies, as to congenital partial albinism. While those who replied had seen 
negro albinos and cases of negro leucoderma, they were, with one exception, agreed 
that they had come across no congenital piebalds'. Notwithstanding this weight 
of evidence, which at least shows that the true pied negro must be very rare at 
the present time, we can hardly in the face of Seligmann's Papuan case, Gilbert 
Smith's English case and the Nyassaland Family, doubt the existence of extensive 
piebalds at the present day. Further, we have evidence of congenital and 
hereditary cases of white patches seen by the medical men of to-day. These may 
range from a small white spot or tiny lock of white hair, to patches covering quite 
a large area of face or body, until it is somewhat difficult to say that the individual 
is not pied. These minor cases, however, are quite distinct from the pied — as 
distinct as a horse with white markings is from a piebald horse. It is convenient 
to have a name for this class of splashed or spotted individuals, and we propose 
to call them sjJOtUngs. The spotling is relatively common, probably nearly as 
frequent as, if not quite as frequent as, the complete albino"; the piebald is rare, 

' Drs George M. Gould and J. F. Shamberg of Philadelphia had never encountered a piebald 
person ; Drs N. Senn and G. Chalmers Da Costa of Chicago had never seen a piebald negro ; 
Dr Rudolph Matas of New Orleans had never seen a true congenital piebald negro. Dr H. Dickson 
Bruns of New Orleans, who sees over 1 000 negroes yearly in his clinic, has nothing but " quite common " 
cases of leucoderma in negroes and mulattoes to report. Dr J. Dyer of New Orleans had only seen 
complete albinos; he writes "I have some photographs of a coloured girl at twelve, in whom the 
general arrangement of the spots of leucoderma would argue long duration, but I did not consider 
the statement of the parent clear enough to be accepted with all credulity" (Letter, Dec. 27, 1907). 
Dr M. H. Post of St Louis also had met with none. Thirty-seven medical men — distributed over 
Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada, Antigua, St Vincent, Bahamas, St Lucia, Montserrat, Dominica, St Kitts, 
San Domingo and Barbadoes — could provide no case of congenital piebalds, although we owe to them 
several of our albino pedigrees, and some of them reported leucoderma. Dr C. A. H. Thurnam of 
Falmouth, Jamaica, could only hear of one case which approached this condition from enquiry among 
those living many years in that part of the island, but efforts to trace the lad or his parents were 
unsuccessful. Our one exception is Dr L. A. Duhring of Philadelphia. He writes in his Practical 
Treatise on Diseases of the Skin, 2nd ed. 1881, p. 399, that pied negroes "are not rare in our Southern 
States." In a letter to E. Nettleship (Nov. 19, 1906), Dr Duhring maintains this view: "Cases of 
piebald negroes as occurring everywhere in the negro race are not very rare, and examples with 
photographs are occasionally published in the medical journals. Some are congenital, others acquired. 
I have observed them from time to time, but have not given the subject special study." Dr H. G. Piffard 
of New York, author of a well-known American Treatise on Diseases of the Skin, 189C, states that 
he has never seen a case of congenital partial albinism; in all the spotted cases of whites and blacks 
he has seen "the condition appeared later or was progressive." (Letter to E. Nettleship, Oct. 28, 1906, 
with a photograph of "Leopard Boy" exhibited at Barnum's Circus.) Further, not one of our African 
correspondents has seen a piebald of the extensive pattern of the old records, though we have evidence 
of many congenital white patches. 

- Our statistics show the complete and incomplete albino in the ratio of 2 to I roughly, but 
lesser phases of leucosis readily escape even a specially directed enquiry. 



far rarer than the complete albino. He is probably rarer than he even appears 
from the older records, because (i) some of the cases recorded by different authors 
are possibly the same — no names being preserved, and (ii) possibly some of them 
were actually leucoderma. We shall deal first with the piebalds under the two 
headings of Coloured Piebalds and White Piebalds, and then with the spotlings 
under the two headings of White Spotlings and Coloured Spotlings. We do not 
assume that there is any essential difference, beyond extent of unpigmented ai'ea, 
between the piebald and the spotling groups, and some few cases are almost 
intermediates. We have already noted that albinotic members of dark skinned 
races often present a number of dark brown spots chiefly on the front and back 
of the trunk. These are referred to by many writers, and we have spoken of such 
albinos as spotted albinos (see our pp. 54 — 7 and our Plates V and Y). These 
maculae appear to arise several years after birth, and probably owing to exposure 
to the sun. Such spots are not lai-ge enough to justify the term pied, and they are 
very distinct in character from what we understand by congenital piebaldness. These 
spotted albinos are also wholly different from our spotling, — the human being with 
leucotic markings. Still it is quite conceivable that some writers have confused the 
spotted albino with the pied individual, and wrongly given the name of piebald to an 
albino proper. Thus RafteneP in 1844 describes an albino, the surface of whose skin 
was covered with symmetrical black spots as I'homme pie de Cuvier, but we suspect 
he was only one of our spotted albinos, and Bandoin's cases of the negroes at 
Tahibet (see our p. 125) tvith red eyes, yet spotted black and white like a chequer 
board, were probably of this class and not pied individuals. An apparently tran- 
sitional case from the piebald to the spotted albino is that of Dr Turner, described 
on our pp. 1 16, 258. 

Coloured Piebalds. 

The earliest cases of piebalds that we have met with in history are those of 
Ptolemy and Apollonius, although we cannot be certain that they were not 

Case (l). Ptolemy s Case. Lucian" tells us that : " Ptolemy the son of Lagus 
[b.c. 323 — 285] once brought with him to Aegypt from the East, two strange 
things, a bactrian camel perfectly black and a man one half coal-black, and the 
other half snow-whitel After several other shows had been exhibited to the 
Aegyptians in the theatre, he caused the camel and the half white man to be 
produced, and he doubted not that they would be most agreeably surprised at so 
novel a sight. But it fell out just the contrary. Notwithstanding the camel was 
decked all over with gold, and paraded with purple trappings and a bridel inlaid 

> See Bibl. No. 259. ' See Bibl. No. 8. 

' Tooke (Vol. II. p. 624, London, 1820), \ translation we have followed above, does not seem 
to give the true sense of the Greek : kox Slxpui/xov avOpiowov uSs to fxiv T^jxiroixov airov dxpi^ius fji.ekav eivai, to 
B' erepov, « viripfiokrjv keuKov, eVi<n;s hi ixe/jLcpttTixtvov : the latter words might indicate equality of amount 
of colours without bilateral division, such as Tooke's words suggest. 


with precious stones, which probably had belonged to some Darius, Cambyses or 
Cyrus, the crowd were struck at the first sight of him with sucli a panic that they 
suddenly started up, and were on the point of running away. But when the 
black and white man appeared, most of them burst out into violent laughter, and 
the rest were struck with horror, as if they beheld a prodigy of inischievous portent. 
So that Ptolemaeus, on perceiving that there was not much honour to be got 
by them, and that the Aegyptians made little account of objects for their novelty, 
but preferred beauty in forms and proportions far l^efore it, ordered them both to 
be taken back, and he himself set not so much value on his party coloured man 
as he had done before. The camel was so neglected that he shortly after died ; 
the man, however, he made a present of to a flute girl, named Thespis, for playing 
particularly well once while he sat at table." 

Case (2). AjyoUonius of Tyanas Case. In Philostratus'' life of Apollonius 
(circa A.D. 44) we find that the latter met a piebald woman in the Punjab : " Hie in 
mulierculam quoque se incidisse perhibent, a capite vsque ad mammas nigram, a 
mammis vero ad pedes vsque albam totam. Atque se quidam quasi spectro oblato 
fugam arripuisse, ApoUonium vero manum mulierculae porrexisse, quae esset, 
gnarum. Talis nempe Indicae Veneri sacra est, nasciturque Diuae varii coloris 
femina, sicut Apis apud Aegyptios." This dedication of piebalds to the " Indian 
Venus " or the Egyptian Apis, if correct, seems to have escaped record. Neither 
the case of Ptolemy nor that of Apollonius suggests a distribution of patches similar 
to that arising from leucoderma, even if we lay in the latter case no stress on 
the words "born to the goddess"." The case is interesting as it is one of the 
only two Indian piebalds we have heard of, both unfortunately very incompletely 

We now turn to the historical negro cases which first brought partial albinism 
into notice. 

Case (3). GumUla's Case, Maria Sabina. Gumilla", a priest in charge of the 
Jesuit College at "Cartagena of the Indies" {i.e. in Colombia), writing about 1743, 

^ Philostratus, Be Vita ApoUonii Tyanensis, Lib. in. Cap. 3, ed. G. Olearius, Lipsiae, 1719, p. 96. 

^ A cloistered commentator on this passage, who had clearly never heard of piebalds or leucoderma, 
after citing Ctesias (see p. 15) on the "whites" of India, continues that neither Ctesias nor any one else 
has reported a monster like this, and that without doubt she was a work of an. She was a woman 
ex albis, who for the sake of deceiving the populace had blackened her upper parts ! 

^ The second case is referred to in a letter from Dr Owen Berkely Hill to K. Pearson (dated 
Cannanore, Aug. 11, 1909): "I saw a case of partial albinism yesterday in Vellore in a child 
(Mahomedan cJ) aged seven. The eyelashes were white, the hair of the head yellow, but the skin 
was only white in patches. As I was only passing through Vellore, I had no time to approach the 
child cautiously with a view of asking him questions. To have attempted a series of interrogations 
in a hurry would have frightened the child so much that he would probably have become speechless 
with terror." The description given of eyelashes and hair corresponds to that of a complete albino, 
not to that of a leucodermatous child of seven ; the skin would fit the ease of a partial albino, but 
not that of a complete albino, unless the patches as in some of the negro cases, were freckles or due 
to dirt. A knowledge of the state of the eyes would be of interest. We hope for further particulars. 

' See Bibl. No. 60», Edn. 1745. 


states that in the year 1738, when visiting the sick employees from the plantation, 
who were lodged in the adjoining hospital, he found amongst them a married negress, 
who had not recovered from her continement of "some six months before'," whose 
baby, a girl, presented an appearance so extiuordinary that he is afraid his description 
will be charged with exaggeration, although many careful drawings of the child 
were afterwards made. He charged the mother to guard the child carefully from 
curiosity, lest some one should cast the evil eye upon it. That the child was 
patched with black and white at this date is proved, though not stated in so 
many words, by the author's detailed account that its colouring closely resembled 
that of a black and white bitch that the mother had possessed for some time and 
that was with her during her illness ^ Gumilla further states that many of the 
other priests of the College came to "see and wonder at the marvel"; that the 
ladies of the town were impatient for the mother to recover in order that she 
might carry the child to their houses for exhibition, and that when they at length 
saw it, they were fully satisfied, loaded it with ornaments and wished to buy it 
at any cost ; the child, however, as a result of this exhibition began to show signs 
of fever, and the mother and she were sent back to the plantation. The fame of 
this piebald spread throughout the district and Gumilla states that the heads of 
the English factory ("los Cbnsules de la Fatoria Inglesa") sent a very characteristic 
picture of the child to London^ Gumilla wrote about the child, when she was 
five years old, but he states nothing about any brothers and sisters. In an earlier 
part^ of his work, Gumilla tells us that in " la Hacienda de Majutes " two black 
slaves before 1738 were the parents of eight offspring, the negress bearing blacks 
and whites alternately. The whites were of extreme and unpleasant whiteness, 
and hair yellow as saffron, the blacks negro like their parents. The circumstances 
were well known to the inhabitants of Cartagena. The Marquis de Villahermosa 
on resigning his governorship took the first born of these white negroes to the 
Court of Madrid. Don Dionysio de Alcedo y Herrera, President of Quito, and 
afterwards of Panama, took the daughter as a present to his wife^ Now this is 
clearly the family recorded by de Pauw (see our Fig. 437), who does not state 
from where he drew his information, which at some points differs from Gumilla's 

' Gumilla appears to be wrong in the date, 1738 ; for Maria Sabina is said (R. College of Surgeons' 
picture, see Plate SS (151)) to have been born in October, 1736, and could not be about six months old 
in 1738. He wrote his account, however, much later, when the child was five years old. 

" Gumilla himself attributes the piebaldism to maternal impression, and states that the markings 
on this bitch were identical with those on the child ! 

^ This would account for the English inscription on the pictui-e, but is not consistent with the 
picture on the Christian, being a Spanish picture captured on a Spanish ship by Admiral Frankland. 
Possibly the English Factors' picture was sent on the Spanish ship, only to be captured by the English 
and then recaptured by the French. The French translation of Gumilla, on what authority does not 
appear, asserts that the portrait was painted to send to the Court in London. 

* Bibl. 60% Edn. 1745, p. 97. 

'' Gumilla adds that there were actually in Cartagena at that time other negro albinos. Further, 
that negroes fi'om Angola whom he had questioned in Cartagena, assured him that this sort of children 
were born in Angola without surprising the negroes there. 


account, and makes no mention of the normal offspring. Still ftirther difficulty is 
introduced by the article in Diderot and D'Alembert's Encyclopedic, which must 
have been written about 1765 and before de Pauw's work. The following para- 
graph occurs : " A man worthy of credit saw at Cartagena in America a negro and 
negress whose children were white, like those we have just described [i.e. albinos] 
with the exception of one which was white and l)lack, or pied. They belonged 
to the Jesuits, who designed them for the Queen of Spain." See our Fig. 269. It 
is difficult to believe that this is de Pauw's case, for he does not refer to any 
piebald. Again, Gumilla says nothing about his piebald girl being designed for 
the Queen of Spain, nor does he mention any siblings of his piebald, whether 
albinos or negroes. If correct, it is of great interest as extending the number of 
cases in which piebaldism has appeared in the same stock as albinism. Of course 
it is possible that albinos were born later to the parents of Gumilla's piebald — he 
wrote about 1743 — but the notice in the Encyclopedic is isolated and we have no 
further clue'. 

Another step in this history may now be taken. Parsons, writing in 1765, 
states that he had heard from a lady who lived several years in Virginia : " That 
Admiral Franklin had taken a Spanish ship in war time and brought her to 
Carolina, and on searching had found a picture of a boy beautifully mottled all 
over with black and white spots, it was uncertain which was the ground and 
which colour the spots were. Several copies of the picture were taken in Carolina, 
and they said it was the portrait of a child born of negro pai'ents on the Spanish 
main ; the ship was bound for Spain. The lady did not doubt that the Admiral 
still had the picture." Now as far as we are aware there never was an Admiral 
Franklin on the West Indies station at this j^eriod, but there was a Capt. Thomas 
Frankland, afterwards Admiral Sir Thomas Frankland, who was in command of 
the Rose frigate in 1740 and "was sent out to the Bahamas, on which station, 
including the coast of Florida and Carolina, he remained till the summer of 1745. 
During this time he captured several of the enemy's vessels, privateers and guarda- 
costas including one in June 1742. ..and another in December 1744","...the latter 
was the La Conccpcion bound from Cartagena for the Havannah and contained 
much treasure which was therefore probably on the homeward voyage. The prize 
was carried into Charlestown, S. Carolina''. Frankland continued in command 
till the peace of 1748. This range of dates, the port of departure, Cartagena, the 
reference to Carolina and the similarity of the commanders' names, fit well to 
the suggestion that it was a portrait of Gumilla's piebald — possibly designed for 
the Queen of Spain — that is here referred to by Pai-sons, and that it was found 
by Frankland on La Conccpcion. The lady who mistook Frankland for Franklin, 
may have equally well made a slip in the sex of the piebald. What now became 

' It would be interesting to suppose that the Encydopedie piebald is the subject of the Madrid 
picture, but it hardly represents a girl of 21, see our p. 239. 
' See Diet, of Nat. Bibl. Vol. xx. p. 190. 
' R. Beatson, Naval aiid Military Memoirs of Great Britain, London, 1790, Vol. i. p. 266. 


of Frankland's picture? Buffon in 1777' gave an engraving of a young pied negro 
girl, wlio, we can scarcely doubt, was the same as the one described by Gumilla, 
although the dates of birth are not in absolute agreement, and the white patch ou 
the chin appears to be larger in Buffon's plate than in Gumilla's description. 
[Buflfon's plate is reproduced on our Plate F (18).] Buffon received the portrait 
in 1772 from Taverne and according to the inscription the subject was named, 
Maria Sabina, born October 12, 1736, of two negro slaves named Martinianos and 
Padrona' at Matuna, a plantation belonging to the Jesuits of Cartagena in America. 
The portrait, according to Taverne, formerly burgomaster of Dunkerque, had been 
found on board an English ship the Christian from New England to London, 
captured in 1746 by the vessel le Comte de Maurepas of Dunkerque (or in another 
part of the account by the corsair la Royale). Thus the English in their 
turn were probably robbed of the Frankland portrait itself or a copy of it as they 
had robbed the Spaniards. What became of Taverne's portrait is unknown, but in 
the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons is an oil painting of the same child 
with precisely the same descriptive wording beneath as is given in Buffon's work. 
In this portrait (a) the R. forearm and hand are held in front of the chest, exhibiting 
the dorsal surface, (6) the child has a loin-cloth', and (c) the figure is reversed : 
see our Plates F (18) and SS (151). In every other respect the two are identical. 
We lay no stress on the reversal, which may have been a slip of the engraver. 
In the Oeuvres Completes of Buffon, T. v. p. 358, PI. 16, the reversal has been 
again reversed, with the result that this plate is more like the original picture. 
The picture now at the Royal College was bought by Erasmus Wilson, and after- 
wards presented by him to the College \ Wilson could find no history of the picture 
between the time at which he bought it and the date at which Buffon saw the 
picture, for Wilson assumes it to be the same as Buffon's". This does not seem 
certain. Buffon was quite capable of removing the loin-cloth and the marked 
differences in the number and position of the spots between the plates in his 
different editions shows the carelessness in such matters a century ago ; but it 
seems doubtful whether he would have altered the position of arm and hand, and 
we know that a number of copies* were made of the original painting when it reached 
America (see our p. 231). 

It will thus be seen that a number of verbal and pictorial descriptions of 
piebalds all really turn on this one Cartagena case. 

^ See Bibl. No. 81. " Gumilla, himself, does not give the names of mother and father. 

' If this be the original arrangement of the picture, the sex may not have been so clear to the 
lady from Virginia, who reported Admiral Frankland's picture to Parsons. 

* Letter of Prof. Keith, Nov. 3, 1909. 

^ Lectures on Dermatology, ftn., p. 8, "That original picture having lately come into my 
possession, I have the opportunity of exhibiting it here" (Vol. I. p. Ill), Loudon, 1878. 

" We have heard from Mr J. Maitland Anderson, Librarian of St Andrews University, that on 
May 11, 1753, "a picture of a girl, black and white, born of two black slaves at Matuna in America," 
was presented to the University by Sir James Home of Beaciiader. This picture, which cannot now 
be found, was undoubtedly a portrait of the same girl. 


Gumllla's own detailed description of the child was written when she was five 
years old. She was then spotted from head to foot with symmetrically disposed 
white and black patches. The hair of the scalp from vertex to forehead was quite 
white, the whiteness continuing into the skin of the forehead where the patch 
Avidened out as far as the centre of each eyebrow. The white hair formed a 
'^pyramid"; at the centre of the white on the forehead was a black spot. On 
lower lip was the apex of another white triangle which widening as it passed 
down had its base at lower part of neck ; the rest of the face was dark ; breast, 
shoulders, and corresponding part of back black " were like a priest's collar " ; hands 
to above the wrists, and feet to middle of legs black, were as if gloved and booted ; 
a black spot covered each knee ; the rest of the body spotted with white and black. 
The black of the face, hands and feet was described as " light black " spotted with 
jet-black patches, "the priest's collar" was said to be perfectly black. 

If it be thought that Buifon's plate describes a later state of the child than 
Gumilla's account, because it apparently indicates more white on chin, we have to 
notice that it indicates less white in the flare than Gumilla's account. We suspect 
the differences are solely due to a certain amount of freedom in the Jesuit father, 
the painter, and particularly the engraver. There is no doubt that Buffbn's Maria 
Sabina, Frankland's Piebald and Gumilla's girl are one and the same case. 

On the whole — notwithstanding the discrepancy as to date of birth, which 
indicates that GumlUa did not see the girl quite at birth — we consider this case 
as certainly one of congenital piebaldism and not of early leucoderma. 

Case (4). La Mothes Case\ This is the case of a negro boy seen at 
Bordeaux in 1752 and then aged from six to seven years. His general complexion 
was between that of a full black and a mulatto ; he was spotted with pigmentless, 
flesh coloured patches ; one of these, as large as the palm of the hand, occupied 
the front and top of the scalp, the hair on this area being quite white and woolly. 
Belly, thighs and one of the arms marbled ; sometimes the black formed the ground, 
sometimes the white, sometimes the spots were sharply defined, sometimes they 
merged gradually into the surrounding colour. His legs, from the knee which was 
mottled, as far as below the calf were white with some spots. But the whole of 
the lower parts of the feet quite black, like socks. He saw as well by night as 
by day ; the white of the right eye duller (more coloured) than the left. He was 
born in St Lucia of black father and mother ; he had a sister spotted like himself 
who died very young. There is no note of age when the child was first recorded 
as piebald, but as the mother is said to have attributed the condition to the 
impression made on her by unexpectedly meeting a favourite goat similarly marked 
at a moment when she expected to meet her husband, the child may fairly be 
assumed to have been pied at birth. 

The general distribution of the pigmentation is not unlike that of Gumilla's 
case ; the ' ' flare " in both should be noted. 

Case (5). Parsons' Case": Dr Parsons published the following case in 1765. 
1 See Bibl. No. 61. ' See Bibl. No. 68. 

K P 30 


A black man married a white woman ; the first child, born in 1747, a girl, resembled 
the mother in features and was white all over " except the right buttock and thigh 
which were as black as the father." Parsons who was a physician saw the child 
in the spring of 1747, and speaking of the above account says he "found it true 
as my notes specify that I took upon the spot." He does not mention the child's 
exact age when he examined it, but goes on to say that the father, who was away at 
the child's birth, returned home when it was " ten or twelve days " old and " was 
very much disturbed at the appearance of the child, and swore it was not his ; but 

the nurse undressed the infant and showed him the right buttock and thigh, 

which were as black as the father, and reconciled him immediately." There can 
be no doubt that the black area was in this case congenital. It is not, however, 
clear that the case belongs to partial albinism, for we may suppose the skin to 
have been like the mother's which was not albinotic. Whether it was a piebald 
or not, is perhaps another question ; the asymmetry of the colouring might lead 
us to suspect the condition was due to naevus or mole'. Yet the coincidence of four 
such rare occurrences, a negro father, a white mother, a white and not a mulatto 
baby and a mole of these dimensions is very improbable". 

Case (6). John Richardson Primrose Bohey, born 1774. This case was 
described by Blumenbach in 1790^ and by Granger in 1804'. In Granger's The 
New Wonderful Museum and Extraordinary Magazine is an engraving of a young- 
man, "The wonderful Spotted Indian, John Richardson Primrose Bobey," with a 
detailed account to the following effect. He was born July 5, 1774, at Guangaboo, 
in the parish of St John, near Kingston, Jamaica, and his parents were black 
slaves. The mother had had four other children and was so frightened on dis- 
covering that this the youngest had a spotted skin that she refused to suckle him. 
The child was seen and the spotted condition vouched for when " only a few months 

' Compare Wells' Case referred to on our p. 121 ftn. 

^ A point here deserves some notice. The well observed fact of the mulatto colouring of the 
offspring of white and negro, depends practically on cases in which the white is the male and the black 
a female ; there is some reason to believe that when the white is the female, and the black the male, 
a resulting instability of pigmentation may arise. The curious reader wUl find certain illustrations of 
this in our Figs 503 — 506. In Siebold {Journal filr Gehurtshul/e, Bd. vn. S. 2) is recorded the case of a 
Berlin negro, who bj^ a white wife had seven mulatto daughters and four white sons. Prosper Lucus 
{ I'heredite naturelle, T. I. p. 213), who cites the above cases, also refers to a French girl 
who was for five years the perfectly faithful mistress of a pure blooded negro, and had three children 
by him, the first a black negro from tlie girl's point of view, so that she could not decide to go out 
with him ; the second a mulatto, tlie third also male was perfectly white, his hair light red, very 
frizzled, and with negro features recognisable on careful examination. Sucli cases individually may 
appear of small weight, but as a whole, they suggest a case for enquiry with regard to the colour of 
the offspring when the male is black and the female white. A case entitled : " A Piebald Child " is 
reported in a letter by F. J. Reilly to the Medical Times, Yo\. i. p. 143, London, 1872. The wife 
of a milkman came down to find a man of colour stealing milk from a can in the passage. She screamed 
and he fled, to be met by the husband who was coming home and summaril}' chastised. The woman 
later bore a "piebald child," which the mother attributed to fright caused by the negro. The details 
•of the black patches are not very enlightening. 

» See Bibl. No. 118, No. 21, and No. 125. ■• See Bibl. No. 139. 


old " by Mr Blundell, a Liverpool merchant then in Jamaica, and several other 
gentlemen. The child was exhibited for money during his second year and at this 
period a likeness was painted, sent to England and afterwards "deposited in 
St Andrew's College, Glasgow'." When 12 years old the boy was sent from 
Jamaica, where his name appears to have been John Primrose Bobey, to Liverpool ; 
there he was christened and the name Richardson added to his other appellations 
"in honour" of a Liverpool merchant of that name "who was partial to him." In 
1789 (age about 15) he was sent to London and thence to Oxford for inspection 
by Dr Thompson. About this time he was bought by a showman, named G. Clarke, 
who had an exhibition at Exeter Change. Some time after he married an English 
woman "whose brother was painter to the Circus," and the couple set up for 
themselves in the show business. There are no further remarks. 

The above history and the subsequent description were published in 1804; 
the accompanying engraving, which we have reproduced (Plate G (19)), represents 
Bobey as a young man and was taken "by our artist at several sittings." It bears 
no date, but must be taken as representing the man when nearly 30, a year or 
so before the publication of Granger's Museum. Bobey is described as 5 feet 
8 inches high, well proportioned and with features relatively handsome for "an 
original native of America." The parts of the body exposed are the head and face, 
hands, part of chest and epigastrium, lower part of thighs and upper two-thirds 
of the legs ; clothing covers the rest. 

This is undoubtedly the individual described by Blumenbachl Speaking of 
Ethiopians spotted from infancy he describes " an Ethiopian of this kind," whom 
he saw in London, a young man, named G. Richardson, a servant of G. Clarke, 
who had an exhibition at Exeter Change. "The young man was perfectly black 
except in the umbilical and epigastric region of the abdomen, and in the middle 
part of either leg, that is the knees, with the adjoining regions of the thigh and 
the tibia" which were quite white "with scattered black spots"; the hair in the 
middle of the scalp from the vertex to the forehead was white with a tinge of 
yellow and curly like the rest of the hair ; no mention is made of a central streak 
on the forehead which is suggested in Granger's cut. Both the man's parents 
were "perfectly black." Blumenbach gives a picture of the man (see our Plate G 
(20)). It is not, however, a portrait; he had a picture of a negro drawn and the 
white areas marked in upon it. If we can trust the dates suggested above, 
Blumenbach must have seen Bobey when he was about 16, and Granger's pictui'e 

^ Careful search for this portrait has been most kindly made in Glasgow by Professor Cormack 
of Anderson's College Medical School, but without success (April, 1907). 

2 Blumenbach gives no illustration in the 3rd (1795) ed. of the Be Generis kumani Varietate Ndtiva 
from which we extract his account. But he does in his Beitrdge zur Naturgeschichte, 1790. under 
the heading of Gejkckter Neger. There is little doubt that he must have seen Bobey in 1789. 
It is in association with this spotted boy that Blumenbach starts the theory that lighter or darker 
skin pigmentation is due to the lesser or greater quantity of carbon in the rete malpighii ; white patches, 
he says, result from "eine Unthatigkeit oder Stockung in den Hautorganen die zu diesem farbenden 
Pracipitationsprocess nothig sind " — a result not very helpful to-day. 



must have been taken ten years later. Remembering the conditions under which 
they were taken, we must admit tliat there was no increase in the white areas 
in the course of the ten years' interval. It is most unfortunate that the Glasgow 
painting of about 1776 cannot be found, that we might have a longer certainty as 
to the stationary character of the patches. We know that leucoderma can be 
arrested, but on the whole the case appears to be congenital. And for this reason : 
the only ground for questioning the statement that the mother feared to suckle 
her piebald offspring, would be that for exhibition purposes a born piebald was of 
more value than a " negro who had turned white." As a matter of fact the 
interest in the latter type seems to have been far greater. In the state of feeling 
at the time with regard to negro slavery, there was much excitement about those 
cases in which " the negro turned into a white man," and the only ground upon 
which we might feel called upon to doubt Granger's report — -the possible profit 
in a deception of this kind, which emphasised the congenital character — seems 
wholly wanting. It must be remembered that for at least half a century after 
this, it was usual, even in scientific accounts, to group without distinction partially 
albinotic and leucodermatous negroes together. 

Case (7). Le Masurier's Case, 1782. This case has hitherto depended entirely, 
as far as we can discover, on a double picture, certainly painted with remarkable 
skill and now in the Gallery of Anthropology in the Paris Museum. It is entitled : 
Ad vivum accuratissime pingehat in Martinica Le Masurier anno 1782. "In the 
one canvas' a negro child aged some months is seen from the right side and 
showing about three quarters of the back ; in the other we have a front portrait. 
The face and the skin, where white, are of rosy tint ; the head is black but a very 
symmetrical white spot is seen on the chin and descends to the throat, another 
just as regular shows itself upon the forehead and rises on to the scalp. The front 
of the body is white scattered with black spots. The arms, forearms, the thighs 
and the upper part of the legs are also white. The neck, the back, and the buttocks 
are black. One would say that a black veil had been extended over the back, and 
a white veil spotted with black over the front ; one would add that the child 
appeared to have on black shoes and black mittens, the ends of the fingers of the 
hand being white." Cf. our Plate VV. 

It will be seen that the inscription on the picture does not state that the 
child was born in Martinique, but only that Le Masurier painted it there. 

Case (8). Arthaud's Case. Now a case of a piebald negro girl has got into many 
textbooks as Arthaud's Case". As a matter of fact she was seen by Arthaud at Cap 
in May, 1784, and was then 20 months old, he describes her as a Creole of St Lucia 
and belonging to Sieur Vallois, surgeon dentist. A much fuller account was given by 
Dr John Morgan' who brought her before the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia 
also in May, 1784, and describes her as 25 months old, gives her the name of Adelaide, 

' See Bibl. No. 415. The size of the pictures is 8.5 cms. x 65 cms. Plate W (156) is from a 
special photograph taken in Paris for us ; (157) is from La Nature by permission. 

" See Bibl. No. 108. ^ See Bibl. No. 100. For the age discrepancy see our ftn., p. 239. 


and says she belonged to Mons. Le Vallois, "dentist to the King of France at 
Guadaloupe'." We shall follow Morgan's account. "Adelaide is of a clear black 
colour verging to brown except that she has a white spot bearing some resemblance 
to an aigrette, the point of which is at the root of the nose, and it rises into the 
hair above the forehead, of which it occupies about an inch in width from the 
mai'gin of the fontenelle. In this part the colour of the hair is white and curly 
like a negro's and thicker in that part. In the middle of the forehead and on 
the aigrette is a large black spot- ; on the external side, next to the temples, about 
one half of each eyelid, both upper and lower, is black, and the remaining half 
next the nose is white ; the eyes are black and lively ; a little to the left and 
towards the middle of the chin a white spot begins which is long in proportion 
to the breadth, but smaller than that of the forehead ; it stretches under the chin 
to the upjjer part of the throat. Parts of the trunk are the same colour as her 
face, but the loins and thicker parts of the buttocks are of a deeper black. The 
arms from the upper and middle parts are white and interspersed with black spots ; 
there are some similar and more numerous spots about her knees. Upon the large 
black spots there are also many smaller and blacker spots, many of these spots 
divided into rays like a star which can be seen when looked at closely. The hands 
and middle part of the forearms and inferior and middle parts of the legs and 
feet are black, and have a pretty striking resemblance to gloves. The white that 
prevails over the breasts and over the belly, arms and thighs, has a lively appear- 
ance, the skin is soft, smooth and sleek. Adelaide has fine features and few 
negroes have such a beautiful form ; she is cheerful, gay and sportful, is as tall 
as children of her age, but evidently has a delicate temperament, yet enjoys good 
health. Neither hath she eyes, ears, nor any particularity in her features or 
external conformation like what is seen in white negroes, whose skin is altogether 
of a dead white colour, and whose woolly white hair and features resemble those 
of their negro parents." 

Thei'e can be, we think, after this description little doubt that Adelaide was 
the subject of Le Masurier's painting. 

"A certificate which Mons. Le Vallois has with him, legally authenticated by 
Mons. Blin and physicians and surgeons at Grandterre [Guadaloupe], attests that 
Adelaide was born at Gros-Islet in St Lucia, that Bridget, her mother^, is a 
negro of the Ibo nation, and her father, named Raphael, is a negro of the Mina 

As in the case of Maria Sabina, whom Adelaide closely resembled, we are 
thus able to roll three or four records of piebalds, which have been often treated 

' We do not know what became of Adelaide, but it seems probable that Vallois carried her to 
France, and that she was the young pied negress whom the unfortunate Queen had attached to her 
Court at the outbreak of the Revolution ;" see Bibl. No. 147, p. 73. 

■ Cf. our Case (3) of Maria Sabina and particularly Plate SS (151) with Plate W. 

^ Adelaide's mother while pregnant with her " used to delight in lying out at night contemplating 
the stars ! " 


as distinct, into one individual case'. We do not think that any stress should be 
laid on the fact, that Le Masurier painted when several months old the child in 
Martinique, while she had been born in St Lucia, for this is only some 20 miles 
from Martinique, and we very soon find that she is in possession of an inhabitant 
of Guadaloupe, is seen at Cap (St Dominique) by Arthaud, and before she is 
much more than two years old appears at Philadelphia. 

Quite recently Prof R. Blanchard has published an account of Masurier's 
picture of Adelaide of St Lucia, assuming that no accounts had dealt with this 
subjects He has overlooked those of Morgan and Arthaud. But he has made 
an important additional discovery. In the Warren Anatomical Museum of the 
Harvard Medical School, Boston, is a statuette in wax 26 cms. high ; it is the 
oldest object in the collection of the Boston School of Medicine and is dated 
August 15, 1783. There are two documents relating to it; one states' that the 
child represents Magdeleine, born in St Lucia in January, 1783 (? 1782), of negro 
parents (mother a native of St Lucia, father an African slave), and of the same 
colouration as when she was modelled in wax. She was otherwise of sound health ; 
she was exhibited in Martinique and had been bought for "an immense sum" there 
by an unnamed person who proposed to show her in Europe. Meanwhile a 
statuette in wax had been made of her (? in Martinique) by an unknown artist, 
which became the property of Mr Silas C. Brenton, a rich merchant of Boston, 
who taking it home, passed it on to Ebenezer Storer, Professor in the School of 
Medicine. There can be no doubt that Adelaide and Magdeleine are one and the 
same child, and that the unnamed person is the surgeon dentist Vallois. Blanchard 
suggests that Le Masurier made the wax statuette as well as the pictures of this 
piebald. This is quite possible, though it has not been at present demonstrated. 
The identity, however, of the Arthaud, Morgan, Le Masurier and Harvard piebalds 
is a point of considerable interest. Cf our Plates TT and VV. 

Case (9). Le Vallois Pied Mulatto Boy, Jean Pierre. Born 1782 — 3. This 
case is also described by both Arthaud and Morgan \ It possesses some points of 
extraordinary interest, because this boy was born at Grandterre, Guadaloupe, of a 
negro wench Carolina and a white European man. The boy should have been 
mulatto, but he was actually a pied mulatto, and in a certificate from the medical 
men at Grandterre, seen by Morgan, it was declared that the European "father of 
Jean Pierre has white spots (that is of a deeper white than his natural skin) of the 

' The Case of Adelaide has also been cited as an independent piebald case due to Rayer, because 
he was one of the first to describe Le Masurier's picture in the Paris Museum : see Bibl. No. 210. 

"^ "Sur un cas in^dit de n^gresse pie au xvni"' siecle," Zoologische Annahn, T. i. pp. 41 — 6, 1904; 
Encore sur les nfegres pies. " Un cas inedit du debut du xix*^ siecle," Bulletin de la Soc. fran^aise 
dhistoire de la medecine, T. v. pp. 210 — 19, 1906; Nouvelles observations sur les nfegres pies. "Geoffroy 
Saint-Hilaire a Lisbonne," Ibid. T. vi. pp. 111 — 1.35, 1907; and lately "A propos des negres pies," 
La Nature, 38 Annfe, pp. 3—8, 1909. 

' We owe a type-written copy of one document and two excellent photographs of the statuette 
to the authorities of the Museum : see our Plate TT. 

•> See Bibl. Nos. 100 and 108. 


same shape and in the same parts of his body as his son and that the mother' and 
one of the brothers of this boy's European father have like white spots in the same 
parts of the body." See our Fig. 651. We have thus not only the inheritance of 
piebaldism for three generations, but the remarkable fact that piebaldism is a feature 
which can be transmitted even with a colour change. 

Morgan's account of Jean Pierre's colourations runs : " The boy's body is entirely 
of the colour of a mulatto, except that he has fr-om nature a white aigrette in his 
forehead like that of Adelaide. The hair in that part is white mixed with black 
which is not so in Adelaide. The stomach and the legs from two inches above the 
ancles to the middle of the calf are entirely of a beautiful lily white ; there is also 
a white spot on the upper part of the penis. Over the white parts of the legs is a 
light white down, longer and thicker than children usually have." 

Jean Pierre was two years old when seen by Morgan and 19 months old when 
seen by Arthaud'. The latter gives rather fuller particulars of the boy. The tuft of 
white hair mixed with black was on the top of the head a little to right of middle 
line ; another larger tuft was at the middle of the front of hairy scalp, and this 
continued into white band on forehead which passed obliquely down to the left to 
the eyebrow, which was half white ; a white star from below breast to umbilicus and 
other whitish-yellow spots over hypochondrium and below right nipple ; a white band 
with scattei-ed light yellow spots on inner part of arm and upper part of forearm and 
another from olecranon to middle of inner part of forearm ; legs, from two inches 
above ankles to middle of calf, white. Arthaud also notes the white spot on the penis'. 

Case (10). Da Rocha's Pied Gi?-!. In the Faculty of Medicine at Paris, and 
now in the Laboratoire de Parasitologie of that Faculty, there is a picture of a pied 
girl. Removed from its original position owing to structural changes, it was stored 
away, and has only recently been brought to light and restored under the care of 
Professor R. Blanchard*. It is identical with a picture in the Ethnographical 
Museum in Madrid. Both Paris and Madrid pictures have a Portuguese inscription 
stating that they were painted after nature in 1786 by Joaq" M''' da Rocha. 
Blanchard has discovered that a less finished portrait of the same girl — identical 
with the other two for the dimensions of the figure and the position of the spots — 
exists in the Bocage Museum of the Polytechnic School at Lisbon, and was formerly 
in the Musee d'Adjuda there. Da Rocha was a Portuguese painter of some distinc- 
tion, and there is no doubt that the three pictures were Portuguese in origin. At 
Madrid there is an entry in the archives of the Museum, Sept. 22, 1792: Don Jose 

' The mother of this piebald during the time of her pregnancy with II. 2, is said to have been 
"frightened on having some milk spilled upon her." 

^ Arthaud says he saw the children in May, 178i "au Cap," and Morgan's title says they were 
also exhibited to the Society in May 1784, at Philadelpiiia ; they might have travelled so far during May, 
but they could hardly have gained five months of age. Probably Arthaud made a slip as to the month. 

' He takes this occasion (loc. cit. p. 278) to say that " J'ai vu depuis un negre dont la verge etait 
blanche naturellement " — a case often cited in later literature. 

* La Nature, 28" Annee, p. 6. The size of the picture is 157 cms. x 97 cms. We owe the loan of 
our block to the kindness of Professor R. Blanchard. 


Pavon presented a collection of insects from Peru, and the portrait of a pied girl, 
born of negro parents, sent by the Governor of St Dominica. According to 
Blanchard, Da Rocha never left Poi-tugal, and St Dominica belonged at that time 
to Spain ; he suggests that the girl must have been painted in Portugal. But how 
did the girl come to Lisbon and why was the picture sent from St Dominica? 
Blanchard holds that she was sent to Europe by the Governor, who commissioned 
Da Rocha to paint her. If so, did the pictui-e go back to St Dominica, in order 
to be presented six years later to Madrid with a collection of insects from Peru ? 
Blanchard accounts for the fact that no description of this piebald was published, 
although three paintings were made of her, by the suggestion that she died soon 
after arrival by smallpox or some other infectious malady. It is best to say, that at 
present we are wholly ignorant on these points. The piebald in the Paris picture is 
about 14 years of age, the figure is in some respects more like that of a boy than a 
girl. The shoulders and face, except for the flare with the white lock, are black, the 
lower arms from elbow to hand are black, the legs have black "socks"; the rest of 
the body is white with occasional black spots, the most conspicuous of which is a 
large elliptic spot on the left breast. The figure is distinctly a noteworthy contribu- 
tion to the list of early piebalds : see our Plate SS (152). The Madrid picture is in 
a better state of preservation than the Paris picture, and, from the photograph most 
kindly sent us by Professor I. Bolivar of Madrid, is without doubt a really artistic 
work. This picture again emphasises the view that the subject was a boy. 

Case (11). The Negro Girl of St Thomas's Hospital, London. In the Museum 
of St Thomas's Hospital is a plaster cast of a pied negro female baby of which no 
particulars of any kind are, or seem likely to be, forthcoming ; it has been there 
for many years and is not mentioned in any of the catalogues. Three aspects of it 
are given on our Plate E. The cast is about 12 inches long, but obviously is a 
reduced model. In the presence of the flare at the centre of scalp and forehead 
and of the glove-and-stocking-like arrangement of dark skin on the hands and feet, 
this case resembles several of the classical cases above discussed, but the arrangement 
of patches on the body does not agree Avith any published case we have come across. 
The whitening of half the eyebrow without whiteness of adjacent skin, and of 
alternate toes and fingers suggest that the portraiture may be partly made up ; but 
the cast as a whole is so lifelike that one cannot doubt that it is essentially genuine 
and represents some case of a piebald negro infant, which has escaped our search of 
the records, or possibly all record whatever. 

Case (12). Richardson's Spotted Boy. George Alexander Gratton. Born 1808. 
Thus far, with the exception of Parsons' Case (see our p. 233), which is peculiar, and 
possibly not a true piebald, all our cases have borne a certain family resemblance. 
This type is, however, widely deviated from in the present case ; the flare has 
extended all over the top of scalp to the breadth of the forehead ; it has passed down 
over the nose and upper lip and joins on continuously with the chin-patch, the 
cheeks being left black with goggle-like pigment rings round the eyes ; the " gloves " 
have practically disappeared, and the " stockings " are almost gone ; the shoulder and 


thigh patches remain, but the total pigmentation on the body is much less than in 
any of the above type cases. Gratton' was born about June in 1808 in the island of 
St Vincent; his parents were negro slaves of a Mr Alexander and natives of Africa. 
He is said to have been exhibited as a curiosity in St Vincent, but when 1 5 months 
old was shipped to Bristol and consigned for three years to a showman named 
Richardson. A portrait is said to have been painted when he landed at the age of 
17 months and from it an engraving was made, a copy of which is now (1907) in the 
possession of Mr H. W. Badger, the parish clerk of Marlow, Bucks. Our figure 
Plate F (17) is a reproduction of this'. In 1811 his portrait, partially clothed, was 
painted again and this picture (seen by us) now hangs in the vestry of the church at 
Marlow; our figure Plate F (15) is from a photograph of this painting'. It shows, as 
far as the clothing allows comparison, that the distribution and relative size of the 
black areas had not altered. Our photograph does not give the feet well, but on the 
painting itself the outer side of left foot and the right ankle are distinctly visible and 
are pigmented. A third and garbled representation of the boy is given in Chambers' 
Book of Days, Vol. ii. p. 267, published in 1864, and is reproduced on our 
Plate F (16). It cannot be called a portrait at all, for the features are those of an 
adult European, and the white part of the scalp appears to be bald like that of an 
old man. Thus but little value can be attached to the absence of the pigmented 
rings round the eyes and the patches on the cheeks. It will, however, be seen that 
the general arrangement of black and white on the limbs and trunk is approximately 
that of the other two portraits. Chambers does not mention either the date or 
source of his portrait. The boy died at the age of four years and nine months and 
was buried, by his master Richardson, at Marlow ; the inscription on the tombstone 
gives the date of death as Feb. 3, 1813; the register in the church gives April 12 
for the burial and states that the body was brought from Stoke Newington where 
the death had taken place. Richardson, himself a native of Marlow, was buried 
there in 1836, and the engraving and painting passed from him to an ancestor of 
Mr H. W. Badger. 

With this "Spotted Boy" our list of the classical cases of negro piebalds is 
completed. But there is a further case — apparently very little known — which 
closely resembles these^ It is given as Case (13) below. 

Case (13). Charles Darwin's Case. The photograph of this boy was presented 
by Darwin to the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons (Section, Dermatology, 
No. 140). We reproduce this photograph, Plate SS (153). It is a noteworthy modern 
addition to the classical cases aheady described of negro piebaldism. The photograph 

' See Bibl. No. 298. 

^ The legend runs: "Published Nov. 11, 1809, by Richard Gretton Esq. London, and sold by 
D. Orme, 308, Oxford Street." "The Portrait of George Alexander, The Extraordinary Spotted Boy from 
the Caribbee Islands in the West Indies." 

' A coloured copy of this painting will be found at the Royal College of Surgeons {Dermatology, 
No. 138). Examined by E. Nettleship, 19/1/10. 

* The " piebald from Loango " given in Ratzel's History of Mankind, Vol. ii., p. 319, looks as if it were 
merely a case of leucoderma. No details are given. 

K. p. 31 


was sent to Darwin in September, 1877, by Mr E. A. Leng of Alabama. The 
following account is extracted from Erasmus Wilson's Lectures on Dermatology, 
London, 1878, p. 7: "Black and white negro boy, aged six, born of healthy negro 
parents in the southern part of America. He was brought to Liverpool for 
exhibition, but died two weeks after his arrival, of inflammation of the bowels, 
preceded by intermittent fever. He had been healthy and sprightly up to the 
time of this attack. His eyes were blue, and the colour of his skin decided black 
and white, without blending or intermediate tint. His fate reminds us of that of 
Richardson's spotted boy; and is suggestive of a lurking debility of constitution in 
these achromatous examples of the human race." The bulk of the skin and hair 
are in this case white. From the photograph, which shows the back reflected in a 
mirror, we draw the following description. Trunk and limbs white except for 
scattered rounded islands of normal dark colour, which show some tendency to 
grouping on lower abdomen and about knees. Hands and feet up to just above 
ankles mostly pigmented with some white patches. Chin white. A very broad 
"flare" from forehead to about posterior end of parietal; on right forehead it takes 
the eyebrow but not on left. Neck all round, interscapular region of back and entire 
lumbar region and buttocks black'. 

Out of the ten independent and detailed cases of piebaldism we have reported 
above — whose births with one exception lie between 1738 and 1808- — that of Parsons 
may be placed on one side. Of the remaining eight, six are strikingly alike in general 
pigment distribution and even Richardson's " Spotted Boy " and Darwin's Case may 
be looked upon as rather extreme variants of this same type. They have all the 
" flare," the hands and feet are generally pigmented, and a large frontal area on the 
belly is as a rule free of pigment. 

The presence of the flare in these congenital negro cases is remarkable, and we 
shall note it later on in many other certainly congenital cases ; just as frequently 
we note its absence in many typical leucoderma cases. The reader may look at our 
Plates A, C and D. But is it always absent in leucoderma ? We have noted the 
following cases which possess the flare and have been classed as leucoderma by 
the recorders : 

(a) The three siblings with flares (see our p. 203) given by Gould and Pyle. No 
definite evidence of leucoderma is given by the authors and no further information, 
they say, can now be provided. We have several cases of hereditary flares — but this 
may be one of the exceptional cases in which leucoderma started in childhood and was 
hereditary. In the two families, containing twelve cases of hereditary leucoderma 
recorded by one of us, there was no flare running through the afi^ected members. 
We believe the Gould and Pyle children to be really cases of partial albinism. 

(?)) Sir Richai'd Burton's Negro reproduced in our Plate B. He has the dark 
gloves, stockings and epaulettes, the chin patch and the flare. Burton saw him in 
front of a hut at Accra, and says he had once been black. He does not give any 

' A description attached to the photograph speaks of white with some brown patches ; presumably 
this means normal negro pigmentation, as the early account says " decided black." 


details of any conversation with him (see our p. 22) and one cannot be sure on what 
information Burton based his statement as to change of condition, or that he knew of 
the existence of congenital partial albinism. 

(c) Dr Pilfard's Case of a little " coon " exhibited as the " Leopard Boy " in 
connection with Barnum's circus has such a flare. It is given as an illustration of 
leucoderma in Piffard's Diseases of the Skin, 1891, p. 97, and represents a negro 
(mulatto ?) boy. Dr Piffard himself says he has never seen a congenital white patch 
case. The case is somewhat noteworthy because the hair of the " comb '' appears 
rather longer than the rest of the scalp hair. 

((/) A central frontal area on a large scale is seen in the photograph of a 
middle-aged Englishman with leucoderma in Sir J. Hutchinson's collection at the 
Polyclinic in Chenies Street. 

The two last cases are those of well-known skin authorities and are directly 
used to illustrate the character of leucoderma, so presumably there is small doubt 
that the progression of the leucosis had in these cases been marked as its obser- 
vation would be crucial in classifying them. 

(e) Maas' in 1892 exhibited a " Tigermenschen " at the Berlin Anthropological 
Society. He had the white comb and spots of white. He was born at Cape Town 
and aged 19; his parents were normal. The condition was said to have come on 
at five years of age. In this case again the evidence for leucoderma is not as strong 
as we might desire. 

To sum up, we cannot at present use the flare as any certain criterion ; it does 
occur with great frequency among recognised congenital negro piebalds ; there are a 
considerable number of white race piebalds in which it is certainly absent ; there are 
many cases of leucoderma in which it is equally certainly absent; there are some 
cases in which it is apparently present, but we consider its presence would justify the 
inquiry for more definite evidence than is sometimes given for the acquired character 
of the leucosis. There is finally a great range of congenital spotlings in whom the 
flare is the chief leucotic feature. We shall deal with them very shortly. 

"We now pass to the classical cases of congenital piebaldism in the white races. So 
late as 1808 Gaultier' stated that no case of congenital albinism had been observed in 
the white races ; and Bayer' in 1826 could repeat the same statement. This attitude is 
no longer possible, and just as the case noted by Seligmann' in a dark race makes us 
more ready to accept the early negro piebalds, so that of Gilbert Smith' shows that 
the diao-nosis of congenital partial albinism was probably correct in the cases of 
leucosis recorded as such in the course of last century. We must stay, however, to 
note a possibility of differentiation between the negro and white race cases. The 
negro piebald can be such because the light patches are (i) truly albinotic or 
pigmentless areas, or (ii) because the patches are only relatively less . pigmented, 
i.e. appear to approach the skin of a European white. The latter alternative may 
perhaps have been the case of Adelaide the piebald negress mentioned above : p. 237. 
It is possible that a European piebald might arise from two grades of skin colour, 

1 See our p. 222. - See Bibl. No. 147, p. 73. ' See Bibl. No. 179. ' See p. 248. ' See p. 246. 



e.g. the alternation of a dark and fair complexion ; but so far as we are aware the 
recorded cases point to pigmentless or truly albinotic areas, while possibly the negro 
cases all do not. The point, however, might be carefuUy borne in mind, when 
occasion arises for the examination of further white or dark race piebalds. 

Piebalds in the White Races. 

Case (1). Rennes Case, 1831. Rennes published a case' at an early date, 
which has been overlooked by those who denied piebaldism in the white races. It 
concerned a male adult of small stature, feeble constitution and sallow complexion, 
who had patches of white, irregular in size and distribution, on various parts of his 
skin; they were said to have been present from birth; some were eight or ten inches 
in diameter ; the hair on the affected areas was white ; thus the hair on the back of 
the head was white, part of the axilla, and the lower part of the pubes were white, 
the penis and upper part of pubes were dark. The eyes were not affected, but the 
colour of the irides is not mentioned. 

Case (2). Cornaz's Case, 1849. Cornaz' described a piebald man born in the 
Departement of the Ariege in 1814, and aged 35 when seen in 1849. The white 
spots had been present from birth and during his infancy were called "milk-marks, 
though his mother did not attribute them to any special caused" He was one of 
twins, the other, a female, being normal. No albinism was known in family. When 
seen (1849) complexion dark; some white hairs on left side of head; some small tufts 
of white in the otherwise black beard, moustache entirely black ; a white spot on left 
ear and near right ear, one near the nose and several on chin and neck, one on right 
shoulder, and on chest, and a large one on left arm ; penis and scrotum partly white 
and partly pigmented ; some white spots in dorsal region and on lower limbs. On 
some of the white spots the hairs were white, on others black. Irides brown with a 
greenish tinge in lower part. 

Biirensprung' was the first to observe and publish under the name of Alhinismus 
partialis a number of cases which he had convinced himself were congenital'. He 
certainly was the first to recognise the importance of distinguishing between con- 
genital and acquired leucosis. He first drew attention to the fact that the leucosis 
cannot be recognised at birth, but only when later the rest of the skin has acquired 
its permanent darker colouring. 

Case (3). Barensprung' s Case (i), 1848. Seen in this year in the village of 
Hadlin in Oberschlesien : a young man, whose skin was spotted over and over with 
white. The spots had very diverse form and size, and as the rest of the skin was 
much sunburnt, so these unpigmented patches were very conspicuous. Barensprung 
counted forty such spots, distributed without definite rule, the largest of these 

1 Archiv Gen. de Midecine, T. xxvi. p. 371, 1831. "- See Bibl. No. 2.56, p. 320. 

^ It is not stated that the mother was seen, so this information may have come from patient. 
« See Bibl. No. 257. 

° " Ich habe den partiellen Alhinismus bei weissen 6. mal gesehen und glaube, dass er in alien diesen 
Pallen angeboren gewesen sei, obgleich er erst spater bemerkt wurde." 


occupied the lumbar region and extended down over both hams; another was upon 
the pubic region and the growing hairs of the neighbourhood shared the white- 
ness of the skin. Small wholly irregular spots occurred on the stomach, breast, 
neck and the extremities. On the face were only a few light spots, but on the 
forehead sharply defined patches began again and spread to the head, where the 
hair on the large spots was snow-white as in the case of "Kakerlaken." Three or 
four white tufts of hair occurred among the rest, which had a chestnut brown colour. 
These white spots were not diflferentiated from the rest, but Barensprung thought 
the surface somewhat more delicate (" etwas zarter"). The eyes were brown and 
without any photophobia. His mother told Barensprung that she had noticed the 
spots in the first year of the boy's life, but that somewhat later they had become 
more distinguishable (" deutlicher geworden "). Her two other children had nothing 
of the sort. 

Case (4). Barensprung s Case (iv). This case was that of a girl who was 
received at the Charite in Berlin on account of a vaginal blennorrhoea. She had almost 
symmetrical distribution of the white patches. The largest occupied the genital regions 
and stretched from the os coccyx to the mons Veneris, divided by anus and vulva into 
two equal parts. As this region is usually very deeply pigmented, the contrast of the 
sharply defined milk-white appearance to the brown surroundings was very remark- 
able. The labia minora and majora were without any pigment, flesh red, and the hair 
upon them white, while the hair of the mons Veneris was brown, as the skin here was 
no longer without pigment. On the inner side of the thigh were several small white 
spots. The navel was surrounded by a white spot as big as a thaler, both areolae were 
perfectly white ; two almost perfectly symmetrical spots were situated on left and 
right hypochondrium and two similar ones on the buttock. All these spots were 
completely white, sharply defined, but not distinguished in any other way from 
the adjacent skin. They were noticed in early childhood, had neither increased 
in size nor number, but had become more conspicuous as the surrounding skin had 
grown browner. 

Case (5). Barensprung' s Case (v). A girl had a hand-broad belt of white across 
epigastrium and hypochondrium. She had other small and irregular spots on the 
breast, back and thighs. Another case of this sort is also noted by Barensprung. 

Case (6). Lesser's Case. This case is given by Lesser in Ziemssen's Handbook 
of Diseases of the Skin, 1885, p. 447. Its original date is therefore anterior to this 
English translation ; Lesser in his own treatise' discusses the case. The patient was a 
European girl, aged 19, with an asymmetrical lack of pigment. The patch extended 
over right hypogastrium and part of corresponding pubic region, where hair was white. 
The medial boundary being almost straight and nearly at middle line. It had been 
present at birth'-. There was also a patch on right side of neck. Lesser had the 

' Lehrbuch d. Haul- u. Gesehlechtskrankheiten. Zehnte Aufl. Th. I. S. 226, Fig. 15, 1900. 

■ " At birth " must be given rather a loose significance in cases of this kind. While pigment is 
found as early as the fourth and fifth week in the eyes, e.g. in retina, and again in the hair in the 
fifth month of the human foetus, the dermo-epithelial pigment is only formed after birth : see Unna and 
Besiner, Bibl. Nos. 457 and 489. 


opportunity of examining the white skin of such an area from the abdomen of a girl 
who died of phthisis (probably the above case) and found the skin in every respect 
normal except for the absence of pigment '. 

The above six cases" will be sufficient to indicate that piebaldism actually occurs 
in the white races. We shall consider certain minor white patches later under the 
section on Spotlings. We purpose to add here some account of partial albinism in a 
European boy, which coming under our own eyes convinced us of the certain occur- 
rence of this condition, and we shall then pass to modern cases of partial albinism in 
dark races. 

Case (7). Dr Gilbert Smith's Case of unilateral white area, with evidence of 
concentration of pigment on a neighbouring part of the skin. Naevus in a brother. 
In May, 1908, Dr Gilbert Smith of Hindhead was kind enough to let one of 
us examine and obtain photographs of the case illustrated in Plate J (27) and (28). 
The subject, a well-grown and very intelligent lad with dark, straight hair, 
dark irides, and decidedly brunette skin, was 17 years old when the photographs 
were taken. On the right side of the body the skin over a large area from the 
umbilicus in front almost to the middle line behind is quite white and contrasts 
strongly with the colour of the rest of the body. This white half- belt has an average 
diameter about five times that of the umbilical circle, the projections or "headlands" 
of one border being generally compensated by " inlets " on the opposite side, but where 
the white descends for a short distance into the groin the width is greater. The 
white area is unbroken over the front and side but behind in the lumbar region it is 
interrupted by tracts of normal skin, the white parts forming islands of various sizes 
the shape and direction of which often follow the horizontal folds of the skin. The 
boundary between white and pigmented skin is well, even sharply, defined and 
presents numerous larger and smaller curves nearly all of which are convex towards 
the pigmented skin. No difference can be detected either by touch or sight between 
the white and the normal skin except the difference of colour ; in level, texture and 
apparent structure they are alike. At one point about the centre of the white region 
is a small, round, intensely pigmented spot like a small pigment mole. No moles on 
any other part of the body. The pigmentation is not perceptibly more intense along 
the borders of the white area than on the general surface ; but it is important to note 
that the skin on the same side (the right) below and a little external to the nipple is 
considerably more pigmented than the general surface, although there is no such 
increased pigmentation of the corresponding region on the left side. This excess 

* This case has been often cited as proof of no structural differentiation in the albinotic skin. 
As comment we may state (i) that to any one familiar with the extreme difficulties of the microscopic 
analysis of tissue-cells, it is not easy to prove an absence of differentiation in structure, (ii) that the case 
was phthisical, and although the congenital nature of the leucosis is asserted, it would be of value to 
have a modern confirmation in a non-phthisical case; see our ftn., p. 207, for references as to pigment 
anomalies in cases of phthisis. 

^ The case given by Hebra — " Ein Fall von symmetrischem partiellem congenitalem Defect der 
Cutis" (Bibl. No. 379, Bd. ii. S. 85 — 93) — of a female child born with two reddish yellow hairless 
patches on the sides of the head, is not, we think, demonstrably a case of partial albinism. The child 
died in three days, before pigment conditions were definitely developed. 


of diffuse pigmentation in the right infra-mammary region although quite striking in 
the living subject and fairly well shown in the original photograph is only visible in 
the half-tone reproduction as a faint mottling that might readily be taken for an effect 
of shadow'. Evidently we are, in this case, not dealing with mere regional absence of 
pigment but, at least to some extent, with irregularity of distribution on the affected 
half of the body. This lad is the first-born of three and was born, after instrumental 
labour, at full term, when his mother was 39 ; she believes the white mark to have 
been present at birth, but the point cannot be absolutely settled for she herself was ill 
for some time after the confinement and neither her then medical attendant nor the 
nurse can give positive information. The lad himself cannot remember the patch ever 
being different from what it is now and says it is not increasing, and Dr Gilbert 
Smith, who first saw the place several years ago, does not think it has changed. 
Tested for sensibility the white area in front of trunk and corresponding normally 
pigmented skin were found to have no perceptible difference. The second born child, 
also male, aged 14, with dark hair, eyes and skin, has a large round, perfectly flat, 
capillary naevus ("a tomato") over the middle part of the sacrum ; it is nearly central, 
encroaching almost exactly equally to right and left of median line ; it forms an 
irregular oval about 2" horizontal by 1-5" vertical diameter. The lower boundary 
is a continuous convex curve, the upper boundary slightly concave with three 
"peninsulae" and one separate small "island." No other congenital marks. The 
third and last born, also male, aged 11, with dark hair, has no marks anywhere. The 
mother is a native of Suffolk, the thirteenth in a sibship of fourteen ; she married at 
37 and had her first child at 39 ; her hair and skin are dark. The father, a swarthy 
black-haired, brown-eyed man, was born at St Austell, Cornwall, and is a mechanic ; 
he is one of ten siblings. There is no consanguinity of parents or grandparents 
and no albinism has ever been heard of on either side ; the siblings of the father and 
mother have not many offspring. Since attention was drawn to the marks on his 
two sons — say, for a year past — the father has noticed that the skin of his own penis is 
partially white. On examination (Jan. 1910) it was found that the dorsum and sides 
are white — or very much whiter than the neighbouring skin — from the root of the 
penis to the prepuce at about the line corresponding to the corona glandis. No 
hairs grow on the white part ; the pubic hairs are black. The border of the white 
on the dorsum of prepuce is convex towards the pigmented area and well-defined ; 
at the sides and root no definite edge can be made out to the white area. The 
father stated that he had no white patches on his limbs and on examination of 
the trunk, back and front, no white patches were found. The son is an undoubted 
white piebald, and it is of much interest to find this piebaldism associated with pigment 
vascular anomalies in both father and brother. Darwin's Case" and Gilbert Smith's 
Case suffice to demonstrate that piebaldism is not merely a product of the inferior 
diagnosis of a less scientific age. But we have other important modern cases to 

' The thin vertical dark line on the white area in Plate J (27) is from a flaw in the negative. 
» See p. 241. 


Seligmann's Piebald Papuan Boy. This is a striking case of piebaldism, which 
owing to the kindness of Dr Seligmann and Administrator Murray we can iUustrate by 
photographs taken at an interval of nine years (see Plate I (23) — (26)). In these 
photographs we see that spots have actually grown larger, but just larger as the boy 
himself has grown larger'. There can be no doubt of the congenital character of this 
case. Seligmann saw this boy when in New Guinea (1898) with the Cambridge Anthro- 
pological Expedition. Our Plate I (23) is from a photograph taken by Mr A. C English, 
Government Agent of the Rigo district, in the summer of 1898, when the child was 
three to four years old". Mr English knew the parents and had known the child from 
its birth and assured Dr Seligmann that it had always been piebald ; he had never 
seen a child like it, nor could Dr Seligmann hear of any other cases. In the presence 
of the central white band or " flare " on the forehead and the retention of pigment on 
the feet and lower part of the legs ("stockings") the case resembles several of the 
earlier ones ; but the upper extremities are entu-ely dark and there are but few small 
patches of either colour. There was no history of albinism or of any unusual skin 
condition to be found in the child's relatives. The three later photographs (1907) we 
owe to the kindness of Administrator Murray. They show in a pronounced manner the 
growth of the leucotic patches, and even of the pigment "islands," with age in a nine 
years' interval. The case, like Dr Gilbert Smith's, indicates that genuine piebalds 
can still be discovered, if careful search be made for them. These instances in a white 
European and a dark Papuan are of peculiar interest for they provide illustration 
of laiye leucotic areas on the trunk, which are a convenient, if not wholly scientific 
criterion of genuine piebaldism. We turn now to certain modern cases of congenital 
leucosis in negroes which are more or less on the borderland between the genuine 
piebald and the spotling. 

Neveu Lemaires Case. This was described in 1901 and a full account will 
be found in our Pedigree Appendix, Fig. 513. This case is of singular interest. The 
father was a pied negro and he had three pied sons. The father and eldest son 
are not fuUy described, the third son might pass for a spotling, but the second son, to 
judge by the description, was certainly a genuine piebald, for besides the "flare," 
which he shared with his relatives, and the smaller white spots, he had a large square 
white area extending almost from nipples to navel. No photographs appear to have 
been taken. 

ITie Three Striped Graces (" Les trois graces tigrees "), Mary, Rose and Fanny 
Anderson. Rather meagre accounts of these piebalds have been given by Maas (1896) 

' Hutchinson (" Some Additional Cases of Leucoderma," Clinical Lectures and Reports, London 
Hospital, Vol. I. pp. 14 — 18, 1864), gives as Case V. a lad of 19, with fair symmetry of leucotic patches, 
black hair, dark eyes. The mother thought he had some patches "at birth." They extended in 
childhood, and the boy himself thought they had not done so lately. This may very well be a case 
of leucoderma (see our p. 226, ftn.-), but the descriptions of mother and son are just what we should 
expect in a case of congenital piebaldism ; the increase in size of the white patches, and the check to this 
increase with adult age. 

- We owe the loan of the negative for reproduction to Dr Seligmann. He has kindly supplemented 
some of his published notes of this case (Bibl. No. 496, p. 803) by further written information. 


and Baudouin (1905) : see our Pedigree Appendix, Fig. 509. They gave gymnastic 
performances in the music halls of Berlin and Paris. The details of leucotic dis- 
tribution are not given, they have the " flare " extending into a comb, and they are 
said to have many white spots and streaks on their skin. A photograph of three 
piebald negresses has recently been published in the British Medical Journal (June, 
1910, p. 1480) by Sir Jonathan Hutchinson and we are able by his kindness to 
reproduce it here (see our Plate VV (158)). He obtained the photograph from 
Professor Neisser. It shows three negresses with "flare" and "comb"; two have 
white areas on the chin, the third on the nose. No other parts of the skin in two 
cases are bare except the right hand of one and the left hand of a second, both so far 
as visible black ; but both arms and hands of the third negress are visible, showing 
the hands black, but the arms white up to the shoulder except for "islands" of pigment. 
There can be little doubt that, although neither Professor Neisser of Breslau nor 
Sir Jonathan IJutchinson was able to obtain any particulars, this photograph really 
represents the Three Striped Graces of our Fig. 509. The fact that the three sisters 
are piebald, although they had normal siblings, seems to indicate that we have again 
a case of hereditary piebaldism. We are in the absence of any definite knowledge of 
the trunk leucosis unable to state whether these sisters should be classed as piebalds 
or spotlings. The arms of one of the sisters certainly suggest the former class as 
being most appropriate. The following points should be noted : (i) the masculine 
appearance and different dress of the centre figure, (ii) the fact that these Three 
Graces performed remarkable acrobatic feats, (iii) the boy of the " Leopard Family " 
(Plate XX (165)) has an acrobatic dress, (iv) the attitude of the arms is identical with 
that of the centre figure in Plate VV (158), (v) the leucotic patches visible appear 
to be of much the same shape and size in the figures of the two groups. We think 
therefore that there is some close connection between these two sibships, and doubt 
the leucodermatous character of Gould and Pyle's "Leopard Family." 

The Nyassaland Piebalds. Our first knowledge of this case came through 
Dr Emslie, as shown by the photograph he sent us reproduced Plate H (21). We 
then owe further particulars to Dr Davey ; next a very complete family account with 
additional photographs Plate PR (147)— (150) reached us from Dr Stannus to whom 
we are indebted for so much data bearing on African albinism. Finally (June, 1910) 
Dr Davey on a visit to England brought us specimens of the piebald hair, from the 
normal and leucotic portions of the scalp'. The whole case is one of extraordinary 
interest and the bearings of it will be discussed after a consideration of the data. 
Some account is given under Pedigree Fig. 632 of this case but further data 
have since come to hand. We shall follow in the main Dr Stannus's account. 
The pedigree on p. 250 should replace that on Plate LIL, Fig. 632, which it ex- 

' These specimens will be discussed in our chapter on the Albinotic Hair. Meanwhile we may 
note that the normal wool from the scalp is packed with granules, but the light wool is truly albinotic, 
i.e.. absolutely without granular pigmentation. In other words, these, and doubtless the bulk of other 
dark-skinned piebalds, are true partial albinos. 

K. P. 32 



tends and modifies. The following key identifies individuals who appear in both 
pedigrees : 

Fig. 632'"« (Text, below) III. 2 IV. 2 IV. 4 V. 1, 2, and 3 III. 1 IV. 3 

Fig. 632 (Plate LII.) 

I. 1 

II. 2 

II. 3 

III. 1 

I. 2 

II. 1 

III. 2 (centre figure of Plate H (21)) is Nyatombosia of the clan Achilwa, her 
husband being III. 1, Wakadodo Nyerenda, who is a normal, and of the average colour. 
III. 2 states that her mother, II. 2, and maternal grandmother, I. 2, wei-e afiected in 
the same way as herself; her uncles, II. 3, and her aunts, II. 4, were not affected, and 
of her great uncles and aunts, I. 3, she knows nothing. Her first child, IV. 1, a female. 

Fig. 632 bis. Pedigree of Florence Bay Piebalds, Nyassaland 

I 1 

I i6 2^ ^' 



I ^ I 



■d) 4(p 


was normal and is dead ; her second, IV. 2, a son, Sanloe (negro on left of Plate 
H (21)), has the flare; her third, a son, Chisuro, IV. 4 (negro on right on Plate H 
(21)), has the flare; her fourth, a son, Mayerheri, IV. 5 (Plate RR (148) and (150)), 
has the flare ; her fifth, a son, Matthew, is normal. Sanloe married IV. 3, Mlasumivi, 
a normal negress (Plate RR (147) and (150)), and has by her three children at 
present: V. 1, Lucy, V. 2, Thomas, and V. 3, Chisianji (see Plate RR (150), (149). 
(147) with (150), respectively), all these children are piebalds, and have flare and 
comb in a more or less marked manner'. 

The description of Chisuro (presumably not Mayerheri ?) provided by Dr Emslie 
was as follows (see Appendix, Fig. 632) : " woolly black hair of the ordinary negro 
type except fropi crown to front, where there is a strip or ' comb ' two inches broad of 

' Even Lucy has the comb although it does not appear in a very marked manner on the photograph 
(Plate RR (150)). 



yellow white. The eyebrows are normal, the eyelashes yellow white. The iris very 
light brown which is common enough. There is no nystagmus and vision is good. 
The patches are congenital, and it is said have not altered their contour, but 
increased with growth. The white marking is down the median plane, missing the 
face and beginning again on the chest...." 

Of Nyatombosia (see Fig. (i), below) Dr Stannus writes : " white patch on 
epigastrium feels hardened and ? ©edematous ; it is covered with white hair. On 
arms markings which were originally white are now a reddish brown colour and skin 
appears thickened ; on legs the marking is very patchy and irregular, the skin here 
seems noi-mal and not hairy ; irides dark brown, aged 50." 

Of Mayerheri, aged 14, Dr Stannus writes: "white hair on scalp [presumably 
the comb, see Fig. (ii), p. 252], semi-curved white hairs on middle third of each shin ; 
over shins patchy pink-white skin (? result of scarring). He has not altered in any 
way since birth ; he is not hairy, axillary and pubic hairs normal ; irides dark 

Lucy, aged five years, is the least markedly piebald ; she is shown in Fig. (iii), 
p. 252 ; the white patch on right shin is covered with white hairs. 

Thomas, aged four years, is shown in Fig. (iv), p. 252, and Chisianji, aged one-and- 
a-half years, in Fig, (v), p. 252 ; on the white areas of the knees of the latter are 

Arrangement of Leucotic Patches on Nyassaland Piebalds from sketches of Dr Stannus. 
The shaded areas represent the leucotic parts. 

Fig. (i) Nyatombosia, aged 50 years. 




Fig. (ii) Mayerheri, aged 14 years. 

Fig. (iii) Lucy, aged 5 years. 

Fig. (iv) Thomas, aged 4 years. 

Fig. (v) Chisianji, aged 1^ years. 


some light and dark brown spots ro to |- inch diameter (faintly observable on 
Plate RR. (147)) ; there are light golden hairs on the white patches. 

We have no detailed account of Sanloe. 

Dr Stannus remarks in general that the albinotic patches occur in the median line 
affecting the anterior half of scalp with attached hair, and encroaching on forehead to 
root of nose; there is a patch in epigastric region, and irregular broad garter patches 
on thighs, knees or legs. This applies to the five cases seen by him and is said to be 
true of the four members not seen. Albinotic patches of skin are covered with white 
or pale straw-coloured, semi-curved hair, elsewhere there is no hair on skin. The 
irides ai"e dark brown in every case (? cf. Dr Emslie's account of Chisuro) ; vision good, 
no photophobia or nystagmus — -but there was no ophthalmoscopic examination. 
Although full details are not given in every case, we have enough to show that this 
piebald family is marked by (i) the flare and comb, (ii) the epigastric patch (?Lucy), 
and (iii) the shin or garter patches. These may be accompanied by less definite 
patches on thighs and arms, or on the back of thighs, legs or arms, but these latter 
patches are by no means so universal or definitely localised. 

This pedigree alone, if we had not come across heredity in other cases ^ would 
sufiice to prove that piebaldism can be markedly hereditary and that this heredity 
largely extends to the position of the patches. The pedigree shows that piebaldism 
in man cannot be considered as "recessive," for this would involve the assumption that 
I. 1, II. 1, III. 1 and IV. 3 all had latent piebaldism — a very improbable assumption. 
If we assume it to be dominant, 1. 2 and III. 2 must be taken to be hybrids {DR) for 
they have had some normal offspring. Further IV. 2 should be a hybrid {DR) because 
he had a recessive father. III. 1, and as he has a recessive wife, IV. 3, his children 
ought to be half piebald and half normal. At present he has three children, all 
piebald. The odds against this are at present 7 to 1, and the nature of further 
offspring will be awaited with interest. 

A further important point about this Nyassaland family is the epigastric patch ; 
but for this we should have found it convenient to class them as spotlings. With it 
they approach the transitional cases from spotlings to piebalds, although even in the 
case of Nyatombosia it is doubtful whether we can describe this patch as a large area 
of the trunk. In not a single case is any part of the back of the trunk affected. 

B. Spotlings. 

We have already defined the spotling as an individual with white markings, 
which do not extend to extensive areas on the trunk. The beginning of such trunk 
areas is almost invariably the epigastric patch, and it is in such cases that the 
distinction between the piebald and the spotling becomes indefinite. If the reader 
will examine our plates of genuine piebalds — Plate E (12), Plate J (28), Plate SS 
(153), Plate TT (154), Plate UU (157)— he will see that when the back of the trunk 
is given it is not leucotic. And this holds even for those cases where we have no such 

' See Figs. 491, 509, 513, 529, 643 and pp. 248, 249, 254—5. 


photographs but only descriptions of the patches (see pp. 251 — 2, Figs, (i) — (v)). Even 
when, as in Plate J (28), we see the leucotic area from the back, we might describe 
its centre as epigastric and the patch on the groin as an extension of this. The belly 
and breast are invariably the most marked parts (see especially Plates E, F, G, SS, 
TT and UU). This can hardly be said to be true of leucoderma (see Plates A, C, D, 
and less markedly, B and QQ). The genuine piebald as distinct from the spotling, 
or again from non-congenital leucosis, is a case of lighter pigmentation on the anterior 
side of the trunk. Now in this respect it is noteworthy that many mammals — as an 
illustration take the ordinary mouse — have, even if whole-coloured, a belly lighter 
than the rest of the coat, and most piebald animals start with an extension of the 
epigastric leucosis. It is quite possible that the human piebalds are intensified 
representations of a light-bellied quadruped, and that we have to deal with a case 
of palaeogenetic inheritance. Although the "flare" and the "stockings" and the 
"garters" are often in the human piebald associated with the epigastric leucosis, the 
latter, as in Gilbert Smith's Case, can occur independently, and it seems to us that the 
ultimate origin of the two states may be as independent as they frequently are in 
domestic animals. A horse with blaze and white stockings is not usually termed 
a piebald, and this convenience of use may after all have a corresponding genetic 
significance. Of course the leucosis of the trunk and the extremities is combined 
in many cases, and the extension of the patches on the extremities may be such that, 
as in the case of some horses, it would be diSicult to deny the name piebald. Tran- 
sitional cases are represented in mankind by the Nyassaland family (see our p. 249). 
On the other hand, if a mere flare or blaze suflices to warrant the use of the word 
piebald, where is the limit to be set? Shall we term an individual with a white 
frontal lock, or a white patch on the nipple, scrotum, or penis, a piebald ? It seems 
convenient to have a differentiated class and we have adopted that of spotling. It 
is from this standpoint to be borne in mind, that usually, although not invariably, 
the flare or white lock is inherited and does not appear as an epigastric patch in the 
next generation. This remark applies also to the stockings and white blaze of horses. 
On the other hand, the epigastric patch, as in the Nyassaland family, is also strongly 
persistent. At the same time, as Gilbert Smith's Case shows, this rule is not universal 
and the spotling in one generation may be the father of a true piebald in the next. 
We can in the present state of our knowledge lay down no rigid rule, but, as in the 
case of mice, so we anticipate that in the case of man, piebaldism will be found not 
to be a unit character, but that the extent of the leucosis is hereditary. 

White Spotlings. 

Bishop- Har man's Family of Spotlings. These points are exceedingly well 
illustrated in the remarkable family described by N. Bishop- Harman'. This case is 
very fully described in our Appendix, Fig. 529, and Plate XLV. An excellent 
photograph is given on Plate H (22). This family is marked by a leucotic patch 

' See Trans. Ophthalmoloyical Society, Vol. xxxix. Fasc. (i). 


which occupies the middle of the front of the scalp where it takes the form of a 
conspicuous tuft or lock of perfectly white hair ; in some the whiteness extends well 
on to the forehead, and in one reaches almost to the root of the nose. In some 
members there is a single white patch on a distant part of the body. This family of 
spotlings has been followed for six generations. Of those of whom it has been possible 
to ascertain whether body patches exist, one is said to have had a white patch on 
each knee (the "garters"), another a triangular white patch on the abdomen, a third 
a patch round the navel, a fourth a white patch of skin over sacrum, a fifth a strip 
of white skin over the middle line in the lumbar furrow, and in the case of a sixth 
the lanugo on each calf is whiter than elsewhere (cf Figs, (i), (ii) and (iv), pp. 251 — 2 
of the Nyassaland piebalds. This family brings out essentially (i) the marked 
heredity of "piebaldism" even in its less intense spotling forms; (ii) the persistence 
of the " flare " and the tendency of minor spots to appear in the localities where we 
find them in completer piebalds, but with far less persistency. 

Another white lock family with persistence for six generations is that of Rizzoli'. 
This is again the case of a white lock on the forehead. Unfortunately we have not 
the detail provided by Bishop-Harman and we do not know whether body patches 
occurred. The occurrence of a deaf-mute in this family is of some suggestiveness, and 
its name, Bianconcini, may possibly indicate that the white lock has been handed 
down from quite mediaeval times. 

One of the noteworthy points illustrated by both Bishop-Harman and Rizzoli's 
pedigrees is that this partial albinism — as distinct from complete albinism — must on 
the Mendelian hypothesis be treated as dominant and not recessive. Further it 
descends equally through male and female afiected. 

But it would not be justifiable to extend these conclusions to all cases of 
spotting. In Fig. 638 (Plate LIII. and Appendix, p. 110) is the jaedigree of a well- 
known family with an occipital white lock, which appears to descend only through 
the females and occur only in the malesl In this case, as well as in those of a 

' See Appendix, Fig. 491 and Plate XLIII. A case of a family, all the members of which had the 
crown lock white is referred to by Bourke as occurring among the Cheyeunes — American Indians — 
unfortunately without any detail : see Bibl. No. 606. 

= A less reliable family history of white lock appearing apparently only in females ("One of my 
ancestors was born with a white lock on the left side of the head. That white lock appeared again 
on the head of one of my sisters, and I only learned within the last month that it has done so on the head 
of a grandniece of mine — always on the left side where the cocked hat soldiers wore it") was given 
in the British Health Revieiv, Jan. 1910, p. 40. We have tried — in vain — to get in touch with the 
writer. A further case was hinted at by Hodgkin {Lancet, Dec. 6, 1862, p. 619): "In a certain noble 
family, every member had a lock of hair of a lighter colour than the rest on the top of the head." 
Cases of a white lock, or a more extensive area of white hair on scalp, which have been classed as 
poliosis circumscripta are too numerous for even a list of recorded cases to be made here. Attention 
may be drawn to some few principally of historical interest. Cassan notes a girl of 15 with lock of 
white hair on forehead in midst of ordinary brown hair — ? appeared gradually — but the cause said 
to be hereditary in family (Bibl. No. 181, p. 75). Eble mentions a silk-merchant in Verona, who 
with his two sons had half white and half black hair on the head. He mentions further the following 
cases, a man, described by Vogel, with white hair on one side and brown on the other; another with 
a white tuft on one side of the head ; a girl of eight years with one side of the head straight black haii-, 


white-locked (frontal shilling patch) father and son known to one of us, the skin 
under the patch showed no sign of pigment differentiation. 

Two remarkable cases of spotlings have been recently recorded by C. H. Usher 
and N. Bishop-Harman respectively, and deserve notice here. 

Usher's Case. In this case, a girl (Appendix, Fig. 562, Plate XLVIIL, photo- 
graph Plate 1 1 (109)) we have a pedigree of marked blondism. In the last generation 
the brother of this girl is described as having light brown hair, blue irides and fundus 
indistinguishable from that of an albino. There is, however, no nystagmus. In the 
girl herself all the left eyelashes (upper and lower) are white, together with two tufts 
of hair on L. side of scalp (parietal and occipital regions), and two or three small spots 
of skin on the L. forehead and one on R. forehead ; irides blue and fundi not 
specially light, and no difference between R. and L. ; parents say that in infancy the 
eyes looked red in certain directions. The white eyelashes and tufts of hair were 
noticed about three days after birth. Child born at full time, labour normal, no 
instruments ; now aged three years, and normal in every respect except the white 
hairs. No alteration of texture of the white spots of skin. Many members of 
the pedigree (five genei'ations) fair, and one (father's father's mother) was called 
" the Circassian " because especially fair, but none appear to have been definitely 
albinotic. The case is of special interest as marking an apparent relation between 
blondism and partial albinism \ 

Bishop-Harman s Case. The Jewish girP in this case belongs to a group where 
congenital whiteness of the skin is strictly limited to one side or when bilateral is 

and the other Hght curly hair ; lastly he knew a case where each hair was half white half brown 
(Bibl. No. 196). Bartholin also knew a boy with a half white, half black head of hair, and Paulinus 
records the case of a woman who from puberty had white pubic hairs (Bibl. No. 40). Devay records 
a boy of twelve, son of first cousins, who had a mixture of black and white hair (une chevelure panachee) 
(Bibl. No. 284, p. 31). Cornaz records two cases of white locks from birth (Bibl. No. 256, p. 326). 
Virchow mentions a German " Gelehrter " with a white " comb " (Bibl. No. 437), and Blanchard a 
well-known Paris surgeon with a white lock on the forehead (Bibl. No. 415). There is also an 
English case in which the name of the family appears to have been taken, like that of the Bianconcini, 
from the hereditary anomaly, but particulars are not so far procurable. K. Pearson reports 
two children, a brother and sister, an Oxford undergraduate and the wife of a well-known professor in 
whose case it was hereditary, all with white locks. In many of these cases, however, the congenital, still 
less the hereditary character, has not been demonstrated. Injuries, illnesses and shocks have been known 
to produce white hair, but the light which such artificial leucosis would throw on true albinism might be 
quite as intense as that of true congenital cases. Cassan reports a case of complete change of hair colour, 
accompanied by an eruption on scalp, forehead and chest, in the case of a female aged 33, agitated 
by having to give evidence at a trial ; when the eruption subsided the hair remained white (Bibl. No. 181, 
p. 75). Bonnet gives an account of the apothecary Escaillon, a man of strong constitution, aged 45 — 50, 
who was accused in the time of the French Revolution, and although not guilty was compelled to fly. 
He fell, apparently dead, on the ship he was flying on, and his brown complexion and black hair became 
permanently white (Annates de la Soc. de medecine prat, de Montpellie.r, T. xxii. p. 109). 

' See Bibl. No. 549. Lebert cited by Cornaz (Bibl. No. 256, p. 327) had also noted cases. 
Von Ammon (Zeitschri/t fur Ophthalmologie, T. ni. S. 515, Dresden, 1833), has noted white eyelashes 
in black races. Whether such cases were in early days distinguished from the eflfects of irido-cyclitis, etc. 
is not clear : see Bibl. Nos. 329, 390 and 435. 

' See Bibl. No. 548. 


regularly symmetrical and corresponds in distribution to the territory of a cutaneous 
nerve or nerves. These cases are distinguishable clinically from morphoea or linear 
atrophy by the absence of any change of texture in the affected skin and by the 
altei'ation having been present from birth. To similar unilateral or bilaterally 
symmetrical cases as occurring in leucoderma, we have already referred (see pp. 203 ftn., 
223 and cf Case (7), p. 246). Bishop-Harman has kindly given us photographs from 
which the illustrations Plate J (29) and (30) have been reproduced and supplemented 
his published account with further particulars. The subject was a Jewish girl of 
dusky brunette complexion. The area affected corresponded to the distribution of 
parts of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd divisions of the left 5th cranial nerve and of the 2nd 
and 3rd cervical nerves. There are tufts of white hair at each of the places where 
the patch reaches the scalp, but the whiteness does not extend into the scalp skin ; 
the median boundary on chin and neck is somewhat in shadow on the photographs 
but is in reality quite sharply defined; the whole of the eyebrow and all the eye- 
lashes are white, except a small pencil at outer canthus, to which point the normally 
coloured skin just reaches' ; there are several small normally pigmented islets on the 
forehead. The white areas have exactly the same texture and sensibility as the skin 
in general. The teeth and mucous membrane of cheek and tongue show no deviation 
from the normal. The child was examined all over and no patches found on any 
other parts of the body. None of the other members of the family had any markings. 
The ophthalmoscopic appearance and colour of iris (brown) were the same in 
both eyes. Had there been any trunk patches, the largeness of the facial 
leucotic areas would have justified this case being classed as piebald. It is a 
borderland case between spotling and piebalds 

It would not be to our present purpose to form a list of the very numerous 
cases in which congenital white patches other than those associated with white locks, 
flare or epigastric patch have been noticed in Europeans. Phoebus, a fairly eai-ly 
(1834) medical writer on albinism, had himself such a congenital spot on his ankle'. 
Barensprung reports a male case in which from the earliest youth there had been a 
want of pigment limited to the back of both hands'. He also records' the case of a 
man with a small patch (as big as a thaler) on the right shoulder, and a still smaller 
one on the left, but the only other patches were on the head and were accompanied by 
locks of snow-white hair. Hutchinson and other dermatologists refer to cases with 
smaller leucotic patches, occurring very often on the more deeply pigmented parts of 

1 Dr T. Snowball has kindly sent us details of the case of a policeman, G. S., aged 38, with 
white eyelashes, the central 4 of the left upper lid, the rest black ; except for four definitely white 
hairs in the centre, the left lower lid is black. White hairs are found in the left eyebrow and the 
left half of the moustache (four hairs). The white hairs appeared, according to the patient, suddenly, 
•2i years before Dr Snowball's record. The case sounds like one of leucoderma. One sibling, a sister, 
has a tuft of white hair on the right side of her head, said to have appeared after an attack of measles 
when she was four or five years old. The patient has four living and one dead sibling, but neither 
patient, nor his sister, knows of any other pigmentation abnormalitj' in the members of their 
family. Whether leucoderma or not, the case illustrates that acquired leucosis may tend to run in 

a family. 

2 See Bibl. No. 207, p. 126. ' See Bibl. No. 257, Case (ii). 
' See Bibl. No. 257, Case (iii). 

K. P. ^^ 


the skin as on nipple or scrotum'. We shall see other definite cases of this type 
when we deal with negro spotlings. Our own albinotic pedigrees exhibit a number of 
instances of spotlings among European as well as among the dark races. Thus 
a girl, III. 7 in Pedigree, Fig. 104, seems to have the beginnings of an epigastric 
patch ; isolated white locks or other characteristics of partial albinism will be 
found in the members of a considerable nimiber of stocks producing albinos : see 
Fig. 51 (III. 6, a tuft of nearly white hair on right temple); Fig. 106 (III. 4, a 
white lock father with four albinotic daughters); Fig. 234 (the mother, I. 2, of 
five albino offspring, had a congenital white patch of hair); Fig. 191 (the father 
of an albinotic boy, and two of the father's brothers had white eyebrows); Fig. 256 
(II. 4, with white hair but noi'mal eyes, having an albino nephew and niece); Fig. 257 
(II. 12a, originally white hair, eyebrows and lashes always white, had three albinotic 
grand-children); Fig. 364 (maternal uncle with white lock, nephew, IX. 8, with hair 
without granular pigmentation, but also with albinos on paternal side) ; Fig. 409 (albino, 
IV. 2, with partially albinotic mother) ; Fig. 484 (congenital white lock, IV. 4, and 
three other partial albinos in a stock with three complete albinos, see our Plate N (41) 
and (43)) ; Fig. 543 (white forelock in III. 2, the sister of one and the niece of a second 
albino). These cases, emphasised as they are by a number of similar cases in the dark- 
skinned races, seem to indicate that partial albinism, relatively rare as it is, appears to 
be less rare in stocks with completely albinotic members than among normal stocks. 

We have seen that some appreciation of the frequency of pigment anomalies may 
be obtained from Dr G. A. Turner's data, who found between 0'37o and 0'47^ among 
7089 negi'oes (see our p. 116). At the same time no light locks are included in Dr Turner's 
table, but he found among 486 negroes (see our p. 117) 4*9% with light down on the 
temples — this possibly indicating the beginning of a "comb." A maximum limit 
to the occurrence of pigment anomalies has been most kindly provided for us by 
Dr D. W. Hunter. He has examined for such anomalies 388 male and 217 female 
imbeciles at the Royal Albert Asylum, Lancaster. Of these 14 males and 4 females 
exhibited pigment anomalies, or ^'0° j ^ — there being a considerably greater number of 
males than females ; it is possible, of course, that a more complete inspection of the 
boys has been luade than in the case of the girls". We speak of these numbers 
as a maximum limit {i.e. in the case of the boys) because we have reason to believe 
(see our Chapter on the Relation of Albinism to other Defects) that all anomalies, and 
especially anomalies of pigmentation, are more frequent with imbeciles than with the 
general population. Dr Hunter most kindly accompanied the most marked cases by 
photographs. The anomalies are as frequently in excess as in defect. They may be 
classed as (i) excess of pigment, or large moles, (ii) leucotic areas, (iii) white locks, and 
(iv) abnormally light pigmentation. 

A. Excess of Pigmenf. Case (l). C. S. P., ^. Aged 22. Pigment spots on left 

' Cf. cases described on our pp. 208, ftn. \ 258 et seq. and in our chapter dealing with the relation of 
albinism to other defects. 

^ The girls were examined by two very competent nurses, who knew what to look for and did their 
work very thoroughly. 

^ Forty-two other cases showed slighter pigment spots, irregular pigmentation (only two possibly 
leucotic), or specially emphasised pigmentation — all among boys. 


side and back, fairly numerous and in diameter from a few millimetres to two or three 
centimetres. It is probable that the pigmented areas in this case are due to scratchino-. 

Case (2). T. A. P., ^. Aged 37. Has three hairy moles on left side of face, one 
over left frontal eminence, one over the eyebrow and one on the front of the eai-. One 
similar mole on right lower jaw. There is an extensive biown area of skin, commencino- 
behind at the middle of the back, and in front below the umbilicus ; and extending 
downwards in front and behind nearly to the knees. This surface is mostly covered 
with fine hairs, but these are not evenly distributed. Over the left arm there is 
a raised surface from 2 to 3 inches diameter, somewhat resembling in character a fatty 
tumour; there is a similar but smaller tumour over the left buttock. The rio-ht 
buttock is markedly smaller than the left and projects more when he stoops. The 
boy has a peculiar animal-Hke odour, probably due to the brown surface above 
described. There are a good many hairy moles scattered over the body generally. 

Case (3). R. W. V., $. Aged 22. Large heart-shaped pigmented area in centre 
of back between shoulder-blades, running up over the left shoulder and also joined in 
the median plane to a darker area on the neck. 

Case (4). Jp. A., $. Aged 19. Five or more pigment spots, an inch or so in 
diameter, situated about over crest of left ilium, and small naevus on back. 

Case (5). Jn. A., $. Aged 17. Ten or more deeply pigmented spots in lumbar 
and sacral regions, more on left side than right ; one over left scapula and one over 
front of left shoulder joint. The largest of these probably 4" x 3", and others an 
inch or more in length. Two similar spots above navel. The case is of interest, for 
recently the boy developed scarlet fever, and there were several small areas on the 
chest in which no rash appeared, indicating some anomaly of cutaneous circulation. 

Case (6). W. S. B., 3^. Aged 21. Large pigment spot over lower angle of left 
scapula, about 3" diameter. There is also irregular pigmentation on the left side 
of the abdomen. 

B. Leucotic Areas. Case (7). H. A., ^. Aged 20. A large leucotic area irregular 
in outline about 5 4" x 5" in left epigastric region, extending exactly to the median line, 
and generally rectangular in shape. From this abdominal area a second patch, oval in 
outline, about 2" x 1", extends round left side. In the leucotic areas are several small 
patches of pigment varying in size, as a rule about \" in diameter. The rest of the body 
deepens in pigment and becomes very dark as we approach the leucotic areas. The 
leucosis is not a matter of contrast with the general over-pigmented condition of the 
abdomen. The hair is fair, but not abnormally so, the eyes are a blue grey with 
a little pigment round pupillary margin'. 

Case (8). H. E. B., $. Aged 22. Irregular pigmentation of the abdomen, with 
dark areas and a leucotic patch on right of scrotum. 

Case (9). B. H. E., $. Aged 42. Moral imbecile. Widely extended leucodermic 
patches over trunk, neck, arms and legs. 

Case (10). M. E. J., ?. Aged 18. Has a leucotic patch on left side of neck. 

' This case for extent of patch is ahiiost comparable with Dr Gilbert Smith's case : see our p. 246 
and Plate J (27) and (28). 



It is difficult to photograph, but shows up much better after a meal owing to the 
flushing of the skin. 

C. White Locks. Case (U). T. H. H., $. Aged 19. Several white patches 
of hair on both sides of a head of fairly dark ash brown hair. Microscopically 
examined, the normal hair has a decided number of granules' (y) and pale brown 
diffused pigment ; the white hair has no diffused pigment and no granules, i.e. is 
entirely devoid of pigment. 

Case (12). E. C, ?. Aged 8. Mongolian imbecile. Long white tress springs 
from over upper part of right frontal bone and falls over right side of face. The 
normal dark hair has plenty of granules (8) and brown diffused pigment ; the white 
hair has no diffused pigment and is without granules, i.e. has no pigment of any kind. 

Case (13). C. C. D., $. Aged 10. Has a wedge-shaped "comb" of white 
hair. This "comb" is hereditary: see Extra Pedigrees, in Appendix A. Micro- 
scopically examined the dark hair shows very plentiful granules (e) and brown 
diffused pigment ; the white hair shows vacuoles, no diffused pigment and no 

Case (14). R. G., ^. Aged 20. Doubtful Mongolian imbecile. Has patch of light 
coloured hair about an inch in diameter on crown of head. The darker hair has very 
plentiful granules (e) and yellow brown diffused pigment. The lightest hair has no 
diffused pigment and no granules, but there are very few such hairs in the light patch. 
Between the dark hair and the lightest is a shade which has very pale diffused 
pigment, and plenty of granules (8). Dr Hunter writes : " Within jarobably the last 
two or three months, certainly within the last six, this patch of lighter coloured hair 
was quite white, and I was rather surjjrised the other day when going to look for it to 
find that it had become almost as dark as the surrounding hair." There is no doubt 
of the completely albinotic condition of a part of the sample of hair sent, and it would 
seem possible that the extent of this patch of albinism varies. 

Case (15). T. A., ^. Aged 16. A patch of light coloured hair about 1" in 
diameter on crown of head. The rest of hair is a dark brown. Microscopically the 
dark hair has plenty of granules (8) and light brown diffused pigment ; the light 
hair has a slight diffused pigment and some granules {/3). It is thus not completely 
albinotic as in the previous cases. 

We now note three special cases : 

Case (16). C. A., $. Aged 8. This boy has the fairest hair of the 432 patients 
at present in the institution. Macroscopically it is the palest silver or ash brown, and, 
notwithstanding, it is said to have darkened during the last year. Microscopically 
examined there is a very slight diffused pigment, and a very few faintly marked 
granules (a). The boy's hair would therefore in many cases have been passed as 
clinically albinotic, if the eyes had been albinotic (see our Chapter on the Albinotic 

Case (17). N. D., $. Age ?. The fairest hair of all the girl patients, 238 in 
number. Macroscopically the hair has far more colour than that of Case (16). Micro- 

'■ See Chapter on the Albinotic Hair for the scale of granular pigmentation (a, yS, y, B, e, Q used. 


scopically examined the hairs are found to be of two kinds. One kind, the darker, have 
a p;ile yellow diffused pigment, but a decided number of minute granules ; the other, 
the lighter kind, have no diffused pigment and no granules whatever, but vacuoles. It 
is thus truly albinotic. This case corresponds accordingly to those which are recorded 
in our Chapter on the Albinotic Hair in which there is an actual mixture of completely 
albinotic with non-albinotic individual hairs. 

Case (18). L. G., ?. Age 1. A spinning idiots Eyes bright blue, no specks of 
pigment to be discovered. Ophthalmoscopic examination impossible owing to extreme 
restlessness, and violence if restrained. Examined by the nurse in the dormitory along- 
side all the other girls, and reported by the nurse as having by far the fairest skin — 
there being " no comparison." She is in good health and not anaemic. The sample of 
hail' sent was a dull dark brown but streaked with bright lighter patches. Micro- 
scopically some hairs are lighter than others ; the dai-ker contained very minute 
but numerous pigment granules, the lighter shades had similar granules but not 
So numerous. It would appear that this may be a case of incomplete albinism. 

Dr Hunter kindly examined the books of the Royal Albert Asylum for several 
years with regard to the pigmentation of inmates. In the case of 1959 males, two 
approached the albinotic condition, and nine were classed as being remarkably fair ; 
in the case of 1077 females none were classed as albinotic but four as having remarkable 
fairness. Of the two males who approached the albinotic condition, one is merely de- 
scribed as "almost an albino, hair nearly white " with no further information, the other 
as a " partial albino." The information given is : " Fundus glare visible ; nystagmus ; 
eyelashes almost white. The patient seemed all right up to 8 years of age, and 
then gradually became demented. Died 3 years after admission, hydrocephalus, atrophy 
of brain ; lungs, however, widely affected with tubercle." It will be seen that one 
albino per 1500 imbeciles is much in excess of the general rate of albinism, and if we 
add in pigment anomalies in 3"0°/^ of cases it seems probable that there is a real 
relation between imbecility and abnormal pigmentation'-. This will be discussed later 
in the present work. Meanwhile it seems not unreasonable to suppose that cases of 
white locks or white patches do not occur in the general population with such 
frequency as we find them in an imbecile population. The values for the latter are 
probably a maximum limit to their occurrence generally, and this is consistent with 
Dr Turner's number, O'i"/^. Actually Dr Hunter's data provide "spotlings" in 
about 1'3°/ of cases. 


Spotlings in the Dark Skinned Races. 

We will start with the Negro for whom our records provide more ample data 
than for other dark races. We have already noted that in spotlings the leucosis not 
infrequently selects the normally darker areas of the skin. Thus Dr G. A. Turner 
of Johannesburg reports^ that he saw on the 12/1/08 a Myambaam (W. N. L. A. 

' Cf. Biometrika, Vol. vn. p. 247. 

- One imbecile in the Royal Albert Asj'lum has two albino siblings. 

» Letter to C. H. Usher, Nov. 15, 1908. 


No. 31,022) with a dead white patch about the size of a shilHng round each of his 
nipples; there were no leucotic patches elsewhere at all. He had also paid special 
attention to leucoses in association with the genitals of natives, and is "sure they 
are more prevalent over these parts than others." Thus for example a Mytopi boy 
(No. 31,161) had the inferior half of his scrotum quite white, and also the corona of his 
penis, the rest of his body was quite black, but these parts were dead white. An 
illustration of another KaflBr boy with leucotic penis is given on our Plate A A (85). 
This photograph is also due to Dr Turner. We owe to Dr Turner a further case of 
leucotic glans penis in a South African circumcised native (see our pp. 119 and 
123 ftn.). In this case the specimen was placed at our disposal and has been micro- 
scopically examined by Dr W. Bulloch'. A more complete spotling is Dr Turner's 
Mytopi, (W. N. L. A. No. 29,660), who has a white glans penis and also white 
leucotic areas over both legs (see our Plate HH (106) and (107)). This boy assured 
Dr Turner that he was born with these patches, and Dr Turner remarks that the 
"statement is probably true, but of course one can never be sure of anything a 
native tells you in such matters." The patches are very similar to those we have 
already noticed in the Nyassaland piebalds, and there seems no reason to doubt 
their congenital character; they are not such as one is familiar with in leuco- 

Arthaud, as early as 1789, reported' the case of a negro with a white penis, and 
Isert saw in 1785^ at " Fida" on the coast of Guinea, a negro with white hands and 
white feet (tout-a-fait blanches), who, he states, was born so, and differed in this 
respect from a dwarf leucotic negress, who had become white as the result of a severe 
illness. Another good illustration of a spotling is that of the Bantu Alfonso Mvelele 
reported by Dr Mercier Gamble\ He had a white scrotum and both hands were 
patched with white, e.g. the backs of some of the fingers were white. His face was 
pale, but Dr Gamble says that this paleness is by no means rare in the Bantus 
of the Congo. This man by a normal negress had two completely albinotic children 
(see our Fig. 544 and Plate EE (97)). His wife, howevex', must have had albinism 
latent in her stock for, by a second husband, she had a son with a white tuft of hair 
on a white patch of skin. This pedigree well illustrates the links between complete 
and partial albinism. 

Further instances of the dependence of these two classes of albinism are to be 
found in our pedigrees: Fig. 269 (a partial albino associated with completely albinotic 
siblings); Fig. 643 (two negro piebalds with a full cousin a complete albino); Fig. 427 

' See the Appendix to this Chapter, pp. 265-6. 

^ Another singular piebakl is referred to by Dr Turner in a letter to K. Pearson (Jan. 11, 1909). 
" I have another peculiar type now in my compound, he is not a pure albino, but he cannot be called 
a case of xanthism ; he has pure white spots of no great extent, but he has large areas, covered with 
what may be described as a white background, on which have been implanted numbers of black freckles." 
Further details and photographs are not yet to hand. 

3 See Bibl. No. 108, p. 278 and our p. 239, ftn. 

" See Bibl No. 98, p. 199. 

'" Letter to K. Pearson, Jan. 8, 1909. 


(a case in which pigment', other than freckles, seems to have developed in an 
albinotic negro whose eyes were always pigniented, there being two albinos in the 
stock). Other instances in dark races of albinism of various grades being associated 
will be found in the Philippine pedigrees, Figs. 613 — 627. In Fig. 419 we have 
from Celebes six albinos associated in a stock, with a child having a pigmentless 
spot on the head, and a man with white patches on the hands. Of even greater 
interest is the Hindoo family, Fig. 128, with two complete albinos and a maternal 
uncle with dark hair but white body, which Dr Pearse considers is probably leuco- 
de7ina. A parallel to this case exists in Dr Seligmann's Papuan family. Fig. 425, 
which contains a woman who had originally a very light skin, and is described 
as having developed very marked leucoderma from the age of 15 onward. 

Now the above cases and those we have cited for the white races (p, 257) would 
not be sufficient by themselves to demonstrate definitely a link between complete 
albinism, partial albinism, and leucoderma ; but they emphasise the great importance 
of keeping a very full record of all cases of leucosis, and seeking carefully for leucotic 
patches in albinotic stocks. It is not a mere suggestion thrown out at random, but 
one with a certain weight of evidence behind it which demands attention, when we 
say that it seems possible that the stocks which have latent albinism are the stocks 
which are likely to produce partial albinos, and that such stocks with a tendency to 
pigment-upset will very probably be more susceptible to leucoderma. From this stand- 
point we nmst notice what has been referred to as the quite unique family described by 
Dr Joseph Jones: see our Fig. 286. This stock combines cases of complete albinism 
with those of congenital spotlings or piebalds, of progressive leucosis or leucoderma, 
and of apparent xanthism. If we accept its evidence — and Dr Jones writes with 
caution and appears to have observed carefully — we must conclude that a family can 
have a constitutional tendency to pigment -upset, which can take any one of the 
above-mentioned forms. This is only unique in that our other pedigrees solely show 
albinism linked with xanthism, or albinism linked with the pied condition, or 
albinism linked with leucoderma, and not a combination of aU these conditions in 
one stock. The account given by Dr Jones is abstracted in our Fig. 286. The 
negress, I. 1, with white spots on arms and legs which increased with age, had 
progressive leucosis, which could hardly fail to be leucoderma ; her six daughters 
had apparently congenital white patches, but the seventh first developed them when 
40 years of age. She (II. 4) married twice, and by the first marriage had a daughter 
(III. 2) with a few white patches on arms and thighs ; this daughter married a normal 
negro and had two sons, of whom the description is such that both as to eyes, hair 
and skin, they were undoubtedly complete albinos. The second marriage of II. 4 
produced a son, also a spotling, and he had a light brown or xanthous offspring. 

On account of the great importance of this case we have reproduced Dr Jones' 
illustration of the Avoman, IV. 2, with her albino child : see Plate XX (168). A com- 
parison of this with (167) on the same plate, Dr Jones' picture of the "spotted 

' This case is comparable possibly with the Hindoo brothers in Fig. 129, one of whom is described as 
completely albinotic and the other as having certain pigment patches. 


negress," Lemisa Bert (see our p. 204), shows conclusively that he knew perfectly well 
the difference between complete albinism and partial leucosis. The original print of 
Margaret Aikins (IV. 2) and her albino son is not very good and shows whitish 
patches on forehead and hands of mother, which are, however, due to reflection of light 
from the glossy skin. Dr Jones writes of Margaret Aikins that she was a ' ' stout 
hearty negro woman, with glossy skin and hair, cheerful countenance and kind dis- 
position. Features more regular and nose somewhat more prominent than usual 
with negroes. The photograph presents a good likeness of this woman with her 
albino child in her arms. Age 26. She has a few perfectly white spots on the 
arms, and says that similar spots exist upon the thighs. The contrast between 
the dark skin and the milk white spots is very striking. The white spots are 
irregular in shape, and about three-tenths of an inch in diameter." 

Now while Dr Jones' pedigree is unique in its range of combinations it is not 
unique in its several details. In Fig. 272, Dr Heath provides us with a pedigree in 
which xanthism appears associated with complete albinism and possibly incomplete 
albinism — a negro with red hair and grey eyes. Fig. 278 shows that the historically 
famous albino negress, Geneviere, had apparently a xanthous brother, or one born 
white, who darkened with age. Fig. 288 gives Dr Fermin's case — one also of 
much historic interest — in which two completely albinotic negro siblings had two 
abnormally light mulatto coloured brethren. Fig. 643 links complete albinism 
with piebaldism. Finally, to confirm these classical cases we have the recent 
pedigree (Fig. 441) of Jappe due to Dr G. A. Turner, showing the intimate 
association of xanthism and albinism (see our p. 115). 

When we consider the relative rareness of complete albinism, of the spotted or 
splashed condition and of xanthism, their relatively frequent coincidence in the same 
stock suggests that these abnormal pigment conditions are not wholly independent, 
and that as a working hypothesis it is reasonable to suppose that complete albinism, 
partial albinism, incomplete albinism and xanthism, all static forms of leucosis, are 
phases of the same process and are probably linked with leucoderma and possibly 
other forms of dynamic leucosis\ By " linked " we suggest that they mark the 
complete, incomplete, local or progressive failure of the same metabolic process, 
which may never start at all, never start in certain ai'eas, or be imperfectly started, 
and again being started may fail to maintain itself; further that every variety of 

' Statistically we may note the following points. We inquired for all forms of congenital leucosis, — 
complete, incomplete and partial albinism. A summary made shortly before we closed the plates of pedigrees, 
gave 528 completely albinotic sibships and 279 incompletely or partially albinotic sibships. Thus sibships 
with complete albinism were about twice as frequent as the imperfect forms. Thus, if the two categories 
were independent, we should expect their coincidence in one sibship to be less frequent than the appearance 
of an albino family in the general population. Yet of 528 albino sibships extracted from the first plates 
printed oif, 144 contained also imperfect albinos, or 25 "/„ of sibships with complete albinism showed also 
incomplete or partial albinism. Out of 600 pedigrees 75 °/^ contained complete albinism only, 11 °/ 
incomplete and partial albinism only, and 14 "/„ combined the two, or about 16 °j^ of albinotic pedigrees 
show incomplete forms of albinism on this wider series. These results seem wholly incompatible with the 
complete independence of the two conditions. 


this failure may individually or collectively be associated with certain stocks, which 
may either show hereditary failure of one phase, of several, or exceptionally of all 
phases of pigment metabolism. In albinism as in many other defects we find 
equivalence or interchangeability of heredity. It is from this standpoint that we have 
considered it desirable to deal at length in this monograph with both leucoderma 
and piebaldism, for we are fairly confident that not only a thorough knowledge 
of the source and distribution of these will throw light on albinism, but that an 
actual understanding of the metabolic defect which is the origin of albinism would 
in its turn account for both leucoderma and piebaldism. We can only hope that 
our labour in collecting published and unpublished material in these directions 
will lead to a fuller recognition of the important points with regard to them which 
urgently need, from the standpoints of pathology, physiology and genetics, further 

' In this chapter we have confined our attention cliiefly to partial albinism of skin and hair ; partial 
albinism of the eyes will be dealt with in the following chapter. Some remarkable cases of partial 
pigmentation— not incomplete pigmentation — of the hair may be noted here. Foremost among these 
attention may be drawn to Dr Heron's deaf mute albino, discussed in our Appendix, Fig. 649. His 
skin is completely albinotic ; this is well brought out in the original of our photograph, Plate 00 (137), 
where the whiteness of the boy's skin is markedly contrasted with that of the other boys in the group. 
In our reproduction much of this, but not the albinotic characterisation, is lost. His hair is completely 
albinotic with the exception of a black tuft on the back of the head (see Plate 00 (138)) and a few 
smaller tufts, some consisting of only two or three black hairs. The albinotic hair is, when micro- 
scopically examined, absolutely devoid of pigment, but the black hair abounds in granular pigmentation. 
Similar cases of isolated dark hairs containing granular pigment have been found in other cases of 
apparently complete albinism : see for example our Fig. 41. Allied to these instances are those in 
which isolated pigment patches occur in the fundus, iris or skin of albinotic individuals : see our p. 6 ftn. 
Such cases are of extraordinary importance as indicating how difficult it is to regard albinism as 
the general absence of a ferment, and not as a complete or local structural differentiation which 
prevents the possibility of some normal metabolic process. 


Report by W. Bulloch, M.D., on the Penis and Scrotum of a South African Native 
with white glans penis, although circumcised. The specimen was given to the 
authors by Dr George A. Turner of Johannesburg, April 6, 1909'. 

The organs are those of an adult male aud comprise the scrotum and penis. Both are almost of 
a black colour. The prepuce had been circumcised. It was apparent that the glans penis both on 
its upper as well as its lower surface was piebald, i.e. there were Ijlack spots on a relatively colourless back- 
ground. On examining the dorsal surface more closely four such spots were evident. The first began at 
the corona glandis over a base measuring six millimetres. From this the dark area was continued towards 
the median line gradually tapering to an apex six mm. from the base. Immediately at the apex 
the pigmented area opens into a diamond shape which projects backwards again touching the corona while 
it is continued towards the opening of the urethra : see Plate /u. The extreme length of the diamond- 

' On the blackening of the glans penis of the negro after circumcision see the remarks of Dr Turner, 
p. 119, and of Dr Strachan, ftn. p. 123 of this monograph, also S. G. Shattock, "Pigmentation of the glans 
penis in the negro after circumcision," Trans. Path. Soc. London, Vol. xun. pp. 99 — 103, London, 1892. 
For a case of congenital leucosis of the penis of a negro : see Plate AA (45). 

K. P. 34 


shaped area was 9 mm., its width being 5 mm. The second black spot was rounded in shape, sharply 
circumscribed and occupied the left upper and outer quadrant of the glans right up to the corona. The 
third spot, about 4 mm. in diameter, was more or less circular and occupied the tip of the penis down almost 
to the opening to the urethra. On the right side of the dorsal surface of the glans and lying just in front 
of a line equidistant between the corona glandis and the urethral opening was the fourth spot which was 
continued round the side of the glans and appeared as a larger area on the under surface of this part. In 
addition, the lower surface of the glans presented two other deeply pigmented areas, the one corresponding 
to the region of the fraenum and continued forward about half way to the urethral opening. The other 
pigmented area lay lateral to this and was both wider and longer. The lower surface of the glans presented 
therefore three pigmented areas of which one was median, the other two lateral. The lateral areas, unlike 
the median, were not continued up to the corona glandis but stopped a few millimetres in front of it, leaving 
in this way an unstained area. In comparison with the black penis and scrotum the condition of the glans 
presented a striking appearance. Dr G. A. Turner, who obtained the specimen, writes to the effect that 
during life the unpigmented areas of the glans were white, but that after it was preserved in formalin a 
change of colour took place, associated with darkening. Even after being many months in formalin the 
contrast between the black spots and the clear area was instantly apparent. An excessive strength 
of formalin had been used so that the organs were over hardened and wei-e found very difficult to cut, 
especially when embedded in paraffin. For this reason the majority of the sections were cut by the gum 
method. They were obtained, however, sufficiently thin for use with a jV oil immersion lens. A disturbing 
factor was also encountered in a brownish deposit which occurred in the deeper parts of the sections from 
the prolonged use of the high concentration of formalin. With the help of Verocay's method, however, this 
was largely, if not completely, eliminated. Sections were made chiefly of the tip of the glans and involving 
the circular area on the dorsum and the spot in the region of the fraenum glandis. A large number 
of sections were examined, some being unstained, others stained with neutral red, or a very weak 
haematoxylin solution. It may be said at once tliat the prolonged examination of a large number of 
sections negatives the supposition that there is any evidence of acquired disease. Everything points to the 
conclusion that it is a congenital defect. The whole surface is covered with stratified epithelium, the cells 
of which show no pathological alteration with the exception that in certain areas they are either not 
pigmented at all or not to the same extent as in the other parts. With a low power it is at once apparent 
that the demarcation of pigmented from unpigmented areas is not so sharp as one would be led to believe 
from the macroscopic examination, the pigmented areas passing gradually into the unpigmented. Even 
after an unpigmented area has been reached we find here and there single cells or groups of cells which 
show a certain amount of pigment. In the pigmented areas it is found that it is mainly the basal layer of 
the epithelium that is laden with the colouring matter which is of a sepia brown colour. In some places 
the whole of the protoplasm of the cell is filled with the granules. In other places the pigment accumula- 
tion appears to ha\^e taken place mainly round the nuclei. In the deepest pigmented parts pigment 
granules are also met with in several of the outer layers of the epithelial cells (see Plate /x). In the cutis 
opposite the pigmented parts are large numbers of branched chromatophores (raelanoblasts) deeply 
pigmented with coarse granules. In some places it can be clearly seen that these chromatophores are in 
actual contact with the basal cells of the epithelium. In the unpigmented areas some of the cells contain 
granules, but always in less amount than in the pigmented. In examining the unpigmented areas from side 
to side parts are reached where, even with a J^ oil immersion lens, it is impossible to find a single pigment 
granule. A careful search has also shown that corresponding with tiie unpigmented areas there is a great 
diminution or total absence of chromatophores in the cutis. 

Tiie origin of pigment in the skin has been the subject of extended inquiry, especially by Ehrmann, 
Riehl, Aeby, Karg, Koelliker and others (see Chapter IV of this monograph, pp. 183—194), and they have 
formed the opinion tliat the pigment in the epithelial cells is carried there by special connective tissue 
cells (chromatophores) which wander up to or actually in between the epithelial cells to supply the pigment. 
The non-pigmented areas with defective chromatophore accumulation in our specimen might be taken to 
favour this view. But as it has been indicated in dealing with tliis subject, this is to interpret an 
association as a certain causation, and later writers have brought strong evidence to show that pigment 
can be produced without the transfer by aid of chromatophores. 


3 5002 03401 8668 

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X. A First Study of the Influence of Parental Alcoholism on the Physique 

and Intelligence of the Ofl'spring. By Ethel M. Elderton, Galton Research Scholar, assisted by 
Karl Pearson, F.R.S. Issued. Price 4s. net. 

XI. The Treasury of Human Inheritance (Pedigrees of physical, psychical and pathological 

Characters in Man). Part IV. (Cleft Palate, Hare-Lip, Deaf-Mutism, and Congenital Cataract.) 
Issued. Price 10s. net. 

XII. The Treasury of Human Inheritance (Pedigrees of physical, psychical, and pathological 

Characters in Man). Parts V and VI. (Haemophilia.) Issued. Price 15s. net. 

XIII. A Second Study of the Influence of Parental Alcoholism on the Physique 

and Intelligence of the Offspring. By Karl Pearson, F.R.S., and Ethel M. Elderton. Issued. Price is. net. 

XIV. A Preliminary Study of Extreme Alcohohsm in Adults. By Amy Barrington 

and Karl Pearson, F.R.S., assisted by David Heron, D.Sc. Issued. Price is. net. 

Lecture Series. 
I. The Scope and Importance to the State of the Science of National Eugenics. 

By Karl Pearson, F.U.S. Iss^wd. Price Is. net. 

II. The Groundwork of Eugenics. By Karl Pearson, F.R.S. Issued. Price 1». net. 

III. The Relative Strength of Nurture and Nature. By Ethel M. Elderton. 

Price Is. net. 

IV. On the Marriage of First Cousins. By Ethel M. Eldeeton. Nearly ready. 

V. The Problem of Practical Eugenics. By Karl Pearson, F.R.S. Issued. 

VI. Nature and Nurture. The Problem of the Future. By Karl Pearson, F.R.S. Issued. 

Price Is. net. 

Problems of the Day and the Fray. No. I. Supplement to the Memoir : A First 
Study of the Influence of Parental Alcoholism on the Physique and Intelligence of the Oflspring. A Reply 
to the Cambridge Economists. Issued. Price Is. net. 




These memoirs will be issued at short intervals. 

Biometric Series. 

I. Mathematical Contributions to the Theory of Evolution. — XIII. On the Theory of Contingency 
and its Kelation to Association and Normal Correlation. By Karl Pearson, F.R.S. Itsued. 
Price is. net. 

II. Mathematical Contributions to the Theory of Evolution. — XIV. On the Theory of Skew 

Correlation and Non-linear Regression. By Karl Pearson, F.R.S. Iseued. Price 5». net. 

III. Mathematical Contributions to the Theory of Evolution. — XV. On the Mathematical Theory 

of Random Migration. By Karl Pearson, F.R.S., with the assistance of John Blakeman, 
M.Sc. Issued. Price 5s. net. j/ ^ 

IV. Mathematical Contributions to the Theory of Evolution. — XVI. On Further Methods of 

Measuring Correlation. By Karl Pearson, F.R.S. Issued. Price 4«. net. 

V. Mathematical Contributions to the Theory of Evolution. — XVII. On Homotyposis in the 

Animal Kingdom. By Ernest Waeren, D.Sc, Alice Leb, D.Sc, Edna Lka-Smith, 
Marion Radford, and Karl Pearson, F.R.S. Shortly. 

VI. A Monograph on Albinism in Man. By Karl Pearson, E. Nettleship, and C. H. Usher. 

With upwards of one hundred plates. Text, Part I and Atlas, Part I containing 52 plates. 
Issued to Subscribers only. Price 35s. net. 

Studies in National Deterioration. 

I. On the Relation of Fertility in Man to Social Status, and on the changes in this Relation 
that have taken place in the last 50 years. By David Heron, M.A. Issued. Price 3«. net. 

II. A First Study of the Statistics of Pulmonary Tuberculosis : Inheritance. By Karl Pearson, 

F.R.S. Issued. Price 3s. net. 

III. A Second Study of the Statistics of Pulmonary Tuberculosis : Marital Infection. By the late 

E. G. Pope. Edited and revised by Karl Pearson, F.R.S. with an Appendix on Assertive 
Mating from Data reduced by Ethel M. Elderton. Issued. Price 3s. net 

IV. The Health of the School-Child in relation to its Mental Characters. By Karl Pearson, F.R.S. 


V. On the Inheritance of the Diatheses of Phthisis and Insanity. A Statistical Study based 

upon the Family History of 1500 Criminals. By Charles Goring, M.D., B.Sc. Issued. 
Price 3». net. 

VI. A Third Study of the Statistics of Pulmonary Tuberculosis : The Mortality of the Tuberculous and 

Sanatorium Treatment. By W. Palin Elderton, F.I.A and S. J. Perry, A.I.A. Issued. 
Price 3s. net. 

Technical Series. 

I. On the Theory of Stresses in Crane and Coupling Hooks, with Experimental Comparison with 

Existing Theory. By E. S. Andrews, B.Sc, with some assistance from Karl Pearson, 

F.R.S. 1904. ito, with 13 diagrams. Price 3s. >i«<. 
II. On some Disregarded Points in the Stability of Masonry Dams. By L. W. Atcherley, with 

some assistance from Karl Pearson, F.R.S. 1904. 4to, with 1 figure in the text and 

3 plates. Price 3s. Gd. net. 

III. On the Graphics of Metal Arches, with special reference to the relative strength of two-pivoted, 

three-pivoted, and built-in Metal Arches. By L. W. Atcherley and Karl Pearson, F. R.S. 
1905. 4to, with 3 plates. Price 5». net. 

IV. On Torsional Vibrations in Shafting. By BIarl Pearson, F.R.S. 1905. "With 13 tables and 

plates. Price lis. net. 

V. An Experimental Study of the Stresses in Masonry Dams. By Karl Pearson, F.R.S., and 

A. F. Campbell Pollard, assisted by C. W. Wheen and L. F. Richardson. 1907. 4to, 
with 9 figures in the text and 11 plates. Price 7s. net. 

VI. On a Practical Theory of Elliptic and Pseudo-Elliptic Arches, with special reference to the 

Ideal Masonry Arch. By Karl Pearson, F.R.S., W. D. Reynolds, B.Sc. (Eng.) and 
W. F. Stanton, B.Sc. (Eug.). 1909. 4to, with 6 plates. Price 4s. net.