Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Brussels (Belgium)

Brussels is a town in the former province of Brabant. Although historically Dutch-speaking, Brussels became more and more French-speaking over the 19th and 20th centuries. Today a majority of inhabitants are native French-speakers, although both languages have official status. Nevertheless, South Brabant around Nivelles - now Walloon Brabant - some kilometres from Brussels' centre, had always been Romance-speaking except for some bordering villages which were frenchified lately. Most Brusselers have roots in Brabant whether Dutch or Romance as attested by the people's surnames.

Diagram of the Belgian Province of Brabant, which was divided into Flemish Brabant (bright yellow), Walloon Brabant (bright red), and the Brussels-Capital Region (orange)

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 :
Light, brachymorphic, developed browridges, high and straight forehead, broad cheekbones, very broad jaw, wide set eyes
~ Borreby

- Type 2 : Light, leptomorphic, leptoprosopic, long nose, dinaromorphism, long and narrow jaw, close-set eyes
~ (Keltic-)Nordic

One can find noticeably darker and somehow stockier variants (larger jaws) which are not uncommon at all in the whole geographic Netherlands :

Extreme "Flemish"-looking individuals :

Once more, this is the infamous "horsy" phenotype so sommon amongst Flemish people and illustrated by Belgian singer Jacques Brel (born in Brussels from West Flemish parents).

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. I am somewhat surprised that some of the photos look very much within Iberian (Spanish mostly) variability. The "Nordic" women all would be within that range, except for their very light eyebrows in two cases. Among the guys there are many, but the "Borreby" guys (except the one in the middle) are clearly so, as are all the "dark Nordic" individuals. I know some "horsy" types here too but it's not really typical and they tend to be non-prognathous anyhow, even if the look is about the same.

    Some of these Brabant phenotypes would be odd looking in Spain but most not at all, specially if we ignore pigmentation. Curious indeed.

  2. For me, the more "nordic" (in a sense of would-be exotic in Iberia but not in Britain or Germany) are (in main picture):

    1, 4 and 7 in second row (though a little unsure about 4); 5 in third row; 4, 5,6,7 and 8 in last row (though in some cases unsure too, for instance the "horsy" woman reminds me of a type common in the area of Leon, though she's also different in some details). All the rest would surely pass unnoticed (in some cases with some tan and darker hair shade).

    However, on review, the 1st woman of first row and the last guy of third row give more an "Italian" vibe rather than specifically Iberian.


I've chosen to let people comment freely on my posts. Nevertheless, you'll lose your time taunting me and calling me a fascist (which I'm really not) : I pray you to read my introduction which will reassure that my intentions genuinely aim at achieving amateurish knowledge. I understand that you may not share my passion for the history of the peopling of the World, just don't let me know as clear conscience gained by bashing a humble documentary work is useless.