[page number] 490 [end page number]
[page heading] The Original Brown Race and White Civilization [end page heading]
it as red or tow. It is the true blond of the northern Caucasian. Their eyes are hazel, which means they show light brown on a blue ground.
These positive characteristics dispose of the old theory that they are albinoes. The eyes of albinoes are pink, because they have no pigment in the iris or retina, and consequently the blood in the capillaries of the retina shows through. The hair of albinoes is white, because here again all pigment is absent.
One characteristic of the White Indians does immediately suggest the albino. This is the squinting of the eyes. But any American who has traveled our own Western deserts knows how quickly he himself adopts this habit to protect his eyes from the glare of the unclouded sun. And in the tropics, the actinic rays, which provoke the irritation of the eye nerves that causes this habit, are much more intense than they are in Arizona. Even a black-eyed Caucasian finds them distressing, even when he wears a helmet. It is no cause for surprise, then, that the hazel-eyed White Indians, living near the Equator and going about bare-headed, should develop a drooped head and a squint of the eyes to protect them from the sun. When I took my three specimen White Indian children to Canada last summer, they soon got rid of the habit and showed no more evidence of it than do the natives of Canada.
[crosshead within text] VISITORS TO AMERICA [end crosshead]
FOLLOWING the congress of Indian chiefs on my plan to help them form an Indian sactuary, they provided me with three children to bring back to America for scientific study. These are a girl of sixteen and two boys of ten and fourteen. They provided also an adult couple of brown Indians to act as their guardians, an English-speaking San Blas Indian to act as interpreter, and two leading young chiefs. This is the party I brought back with me to Washington. The Ina Paguina himself planned to come, but the Panamanian Government refused him a passport on the ground that his resistance to the "pacification" of the San Blas islands made him legally an outlaw.
Next month I shall have a second article in the WORLD'S WORK. In that I shall describe the language and traditions and music of the San Blas Indians, and the reasons for the two theories the scientists advance to explain their origin. I shall also describe more fully my plan to persuade the American Government to acquire by purchase the territory occupied by the White Indians, the San Blas, the Cunas Bravos, the Mortis, and the Wallas, and to have it set aside as a permanent and inviolate sanctuary for these remnants of the most advanced aborigines of the Western Hemisphere. Their lands are of little industrial value, so that no loss to the economic progress of the world will be entailed by segregating them from exploitation. These Indians, on the other hand, offer the most promising field yet opened up for finding the answers to two of the most fascinating mysteries of science: first, how white men evolved from the primeval brown race, and second, what facts are behind the still undeciphered remains of at least two great white-influenced civilizations that once flourished in our continents, the early Mayan of Central America and the PreIncan of Peru. It behooves us to keep intact these few tribes whose culture marks them as probably the only remaining inheritors of the traditions that can unravel the mystery. If, as now seems possible, we can work out the answer through a study of them, we shall be able largely to write the authentic story of those prehistoric Americans, who wrote hieroglyphics as complex as the Egyptian, who were astronomers of the first order, who built walled cities, practiced mummification, performed delicate surgical operations on the skull, had a systematic science of pharmacy, originated the use of quinine, cocaine, valerian, and a dozen other standard drugs, wrought gold into beautiful ornaments, cut and polished and wore diamonds and other precious stones, and altogether were a people of as high development as were the ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians.
[page heading] WHITE INDIANS with YELLOW HAIR [end page heading]
While he was bargaining with a native chief in the Darien jungle, R. O. Marsh had his first astounded glimpse of a white skinned girl with golden hair, an Indian girl. Half incredulous, yet hopeful, he headed an expedition to confirm the legend of centuries. In the following pages are his photographs.