Monday, April 19, 2010

Upper Wallis : Wallis (Switzerland)

The Romans called the area Vallis Poenina (Upper Rhône Valley). The Walser settled the upper part of the Wallis about 1000 years ago, coming from the Bernese Oberland. Because of linguistic differences among the Walser dialects, it is supposed that there were two independent immigration routes. From the upper Wallis, they began to spread south, west and east between the 12th and 13th centuries, which is known as the Walser migrations.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion, brachymorphic, little and concave nose, square-faced, broad forehead, wide-set eyes, large jaw
~ Alpinoid/Subnordid

This type seems to be quite widespread in the whole Alps, more particularly in German-speaking areas and in the French Rhône valley (Dauphiné, Lyonnais, ...), not so much on the Italian side of the Alps. One can find more leptomorphic and somehow darker individuals.

Dinaromorphic individuals are more specifically Swiss/Austrian-looking (see Austria) and could fall under the next category.

- Type 2 :
Light complexion (from blonde to chestnut hair, light eyes, ...), leptomorphic, narrow "horsy" face, straight or convex nose, high cheekbones, close-set eyes
~ Nordid

This type is quite Germanic-looking whatever that means : it reminds us of many Dutch and German subtypes (more particularly "horsy" Flemish phenotypes). Notice the specific nose shape.

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. The general panel does give me more a "French" than a "German" vibe, though there are exceptions, specially some of the blond individuals. Some individuals even tend to Basque (B4, D4) or Iberian (A7) typology.

    C2, your second "Nordic" individual is identical to my youngest brother, smile included. But having my family N. Spanish and N. Italian blood ("Aryan" certified, Hitler dixit - my aunt was born in fascist Italy and got such a "certificate") I can't use him as proxy for anything other than a vague "northern southern Europe" background, whatever that means.

    However, knowing the actual cranial structure of my brother I'd rather classify him (and hence also C2) as some sort of blond Med or subnordid.

    In this sense, I think that your "Nordic" category only seems to have three "truly Nordic" individuals. And, of them, the first one, is of a type I'd rather associate with the Baltic area, rather than the North Sea area: more "Russian" than "British", more "German" than "Norwegian". A continental type in other words.

    The first guy of second row however looks to me quite archetypally Nordic indeed. But the last one of the same row I'd guess as Jewish (Ashkenazi) instead, specially for the nose.

    I'm giving them a BI of 3-4 (not counting my bro's clone), could push it up to 6 maybe.

    Anyhow, I'm really hallucinating about these "clones". However static pics can be very misleading: certain Portuguese politician who looked almost identical as my father (except more tanned) in one pic was very different in others.

  2. Indeed, a French vibe, more precisely an Arpitanian vibe. When I make morphotype comparisons, it'll be clear that somehow, there is an average Alpine phenotype in France and Switzerland (that doesn't reach Italy).

    See some Arpitanian samples :


    Monts du Lyonnais

  3. Well, comparing with these two examples, these are somewhat more "nordic" (in the diffuse sense of blondish, Germanic-looking).

    "When I make morphotype comparisons"...

    Looking forward to that moment. :)

    "... that doesn't reach Italy".

    True. There's a quite clear barrier at the Alps. It may be crossed in some border areas but Italians look generally quite different from French, Germans and even Balcanic peoples. It's odd that no (or rather too few and too low density) Italian-specific genetic markers have been found so far because there's clear appearance specificity in that peninsula.


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.