Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Zulu / Andean Indians

The Zulu people live in South Africa which is located in the southern hemisphere. The average 
temperature there ranges from 16 to 25º C in winter and during the 
summer months temperatures range from 23 to 33º C (between September and April). January 
is generally Durban’s hottest month, with an average daily temperature of +/- 32ºC. ("South Africa Travels") According to SA Places the average rainfall is  633mm. ("SA Places")    

Living on a continent located in the southern hemisphere exposes the Zulu to more sun and therefore a greater amount of solar radiation. It has been proven that too much exposure to this radiation can cause changes in DNA resulting in skin cancer. That being said a solar radiation is a environmental stress and having skin with increased amounts of melanin is definitely a physical adaptation that works for the Zulu people.

A cultural adaptation of the Zulu people would have to be there clothing or lack thereof. Greater skin exposure allows sweat to evaporate. Also allowing the Zulu to live in an arid climate while maintaining homeostasis.

As for a Race I would have to say they are African (South African to be more accurate).

I would have to say the adaptive form of describing the Zulu is definitively more accurate. While the Zulu make up a good portion of the African population there are other cultures that differ from the Zulu.

. "KWaZulu Natal Weather and Climate." South Africa Travels. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr 2012. <>.

. "South Africa Climate: Monthly Temp & Rainfall Chart ." SA Places. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr 2012. <>.

The Andes mountains are located in Chile. The average of temperature of northern Chile is 64°F, and the southern area has an average temperature of 71°F.  In the summer it usually averages 68°F. In the winter months the the temperature averages to about 52°F.

The rain fall in the summer averages less than 8 in. In the winter it averages less than 4 in. These numbers are from variou biomes in and around the Andes Mountains.(Christian)

An obvious environmental stressor if you are familiar with the Andes mountains is the elevation.

A physiological adaptation to the extreme elevation is an increase in the size of the nostrils. This allows additional air intake allowing sufficient oxygen to be absorbed.

The Andean Indians also adapted to their high elevation culturally. With their severe winters they had learned to  store foods in giant warehouses that lined the Inca highways.

Andean Granary
The race I would say best describes the Andes Indians is Hispanic.

Again I would have to say that the adaptational route of describing a population is more accurate. Although physically the Andean Indians resemble many other populations of the America's they have adapted to a severe environment that others would find uninhabitable.

Christian, C.. "Climate of the Andes." Andes Mountain Range. N.p., 2002. Web. 18 Apr 2012. 

"Andean peoples." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2012. 

Price, Weston. "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.". New York London: Medical Book Department of Harper & Brothers, 1939. Print.


  1. I am very glad I read your post. I was struggling with the Andean people and why they had such distinct facial features. After reading your analysis it seems obvious. Larger nostrils for breathing in the higher altitude. I was reading another classmates post that said that they have larger chests for breathing. Then is their larger mouths for breathing in the high altitude as well? For their race I was struggling between Native American and Hispanic. The other post I read they chose Native American because they weren't European enough to be considered Hispanic. I would have liked to get more of an insight to why you picked Hispanic. I noticed that we have some of the same references for the Andean people. Great job with your post, I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Your post is great! I knew about the larger rib cage for the Andean Indian's better I never thought/found anything on their larger nostrils! Your post was full of information I had not found after hours of researching!

  3. I am slightly confused with the layout of your post, but that may just be the contrast of the blue and your red background. :)

    That having nothing to do with the actual content, I'd like to say that I found your information to be really interesting, and I too did not find anything during my research about their nostrils being a part of the adaptation to their environment. Great job!

  4. Great post! You found many of the details I was unable to locate such as adaptations the Zulu had to make. I found the physical adaptations made by the Zulu to be very interesting, and looking at the comments before have noticed I wasn't alone in finding those you had listed. Their nostril size was news to me, but made complete sense after learning about their climate. Great job!

  5. I like the word "ACCURATE" in your last paragraph, and completely agree with you, race is a good way to classify a culture, but its not as accurate as adaptions they demonstrate; their cultural traditions, environmental adaptions ..etc , are sources to help us classify the population.

  6. Interesting. All the pictures you posted show wide, shallow to the face noses. I guess this is the most effective nose/nostril shape combination to combat high altitude... When I was little, I always thought I had a huge nose, and even today I joke that my nose has been the same size since I was born, and I have just barely grown into it! I am of mixed origin (Italian, Mexican, French Canadian, etc.) so the differences between common nose shape was interesting to read! I found some useful information, such as this, "Evolution has played a role in shaping the nose, which has adapted differently to various cultures to suit the climate of their origin. For example, Europeans have a longer nose to cope with the harsh winters. The larger surface area gives the mucous membrane greater opportunity to warm and moisten the crisp cool air on its way to the lungs." The website is actually describing the pros and cons of plastic surgery, but it was useful and interesting, but seemed somewhat biased.

    Love your choice of pictures, too!

  7. Very good post. Don't be afraid to expand a bit more in future posts, but all necessary information was there. But given your writing style, I wouldn't mind reading a bit more!

    One tiny, not-that-crucial correction: You don't get more sun and solar radiation because you live in the southern hemisphere (though there is contention about the affect of the hole in the atmosphere). You get higher levels of sun and solar radiation when you live closer to the equator. But if you live on the 35' parallel north of the equator, you will get the same radiation as someone living on the 35' parallel south of the equator, all other factors being equal.