Last Updated on March 6, 2021 by Bob De Generio
Unlike all races, Native Americans do have facial hair. The reason for not having facial hairs on old paintings and photos of Native Americans was that they did not desire it because they did not have thick hairs. They had sparse hair that made them opt for plucking the facial hairs with metal tweezers or shells.
It is believed that Native Americans migrated around 13,000-16,500 years ago to America across the Beringian land bridge which connected Russia to Alaska. It does not necessitate the similarity of Asians to Native Americans culturally. However, they share common ancestors with those who came through modern East Asia, such as Japan and China.
The beard patterns were similar to East Asians and Native Americans. It was because of the shared ancient ancestry in common. It is also believed that the identical patterns of facial hairs can be traced to that of the Native American and East Asians’ genetic history.
|S. No.||Names Used By Native Americans||Meaning|
|1||Senpauqi||Men with facial hair|
|2||Belpauqi||Men with hairs on the lip|
|3||Island of Bearded Men||Santa Cruz Island|
Reasons For Hairless Native Americans.
In almost all the pictures, Native Americans used to appear without facial hair.
The reasons for that were the following:
1. Native Americans were able to grow facial hairs or beards like the big beards of Europeans.
2. Facial hairs were certainly seen as unmanly in many cultures.
There were not even eyebrows seen in the old pictures of Native Americans. Europeans who had a full and long beard didn’t look good in many cultures. However, until the reservation period, men were without facial hair. It was a well-liked tradition in the parts of now called Canada and the United States.
They had a different colored beard like brown, black, blonde, and ginger-colored. While some of the tribes of Native Americans had a grey colored beard as they grew old. The most common color of facial hairs of Native Americans was brown.
Plucking Off The Facial Hairs:
Most of the Native Americans, who are in the old photos, are descended from Siberia’s people. These people came around 40,000 years ago from Asia. They grew beards only on the chin. However, the description of Native Americans by the Europeans shows that they used to pluck their beards or facial hair with wooden or shelled tweezers.
Until the late 1800s, men did not shave till razors were discovered. Before this, they use to pluck the facial hair with pinches made of bones or shells. Metal pinches bought by Europeans were considered status symbols or prized objects.
The old photos of Native Americans are predicted to be taken a few centuries after their connection with the Europeans, after which they had access to razors made of metal.
For a refined look, men use to pluck the entire facial and body hair. Men with facial hair were considered brutal, ugly, or beastly. However, some natives have problems growing out facial hair due to genetic reasons. It can also be due to lifestyle or diet.
As instanced by the people in the Kiowa tribe, white people are named as the Senpauqi, men with facial hair, or the Belpauqi, men with hairs on the lip. These words were not considered as compliments.
Can A Native American Grow Facial Hair?
A full-blooded Native American is not able to grow facial hair due to genetic factors. If a Native American is seen with a beard, it is because of having European blood with genes for facial hairs. It is a common racial or physical trait among Native Americans to have very little facial or body hair.
Most cultures could not grow facial hair until they intermixed with other cultures through intermarriages. The structure of the faces of the Native Americans was more significant because of not having facial hair. Their high cheekbone is the most noticed feature of the face until today.
Many populations of Native Americans did not like to grow facial hair. If they did, they tend to relatively soft and light. A lot of mustaches and beards were not seen on Naive Americans. Moreover, there was disliking of facial hair among cross-culture. They would shave or pluck their facial hair as they did not want them.
Hence, Native Americans are without facial or body hair naturally, like most Asians.
Reasons For Having No Facial Hairs On Vintage Photos Of Native Americans.
The reason for not having facial hair in Native Americans’ vintage photos was that they were familiar with a stereotype. In the west, war bonnets were taken by the photographers to hand it over to the Native Americans when their photos were clicked to fit into a certain stereotype. In those days, the photos were used for postcards.
Hence, there was no clear picture of how things were during that time. You can find a few images of Native Americans with facial hair. It was because they did not fit into preconceived notions of the white people.
How were Native Americans With Facial Hair Seen?
Being an outshoot of Asians, most of the Native Americans grew a sparse beard. These men were seen as beastly or ugly. So, they use to pluck them when grown. These people tease women of Native Americans who were with bearded Europeans who were called dog-faced men (not the heroic dog men).
Besides, these people use to trade with shore groups to get bivalve shells that were so closely tightened that they could pull out the hairs. They had very little facial hair, which they use to tweeze as soon as they grew.
Native Americans With Beards:
Some of the Native Americans did have beards, specifically in the West Coast Natives, California. Spanish people saw bearded Indians in the Santa Barbara Channel Island when they entered the coast to Alta-California. This was during the 1500s period when no Europeans had discovered the area.
Spanish people were the first to see the Native Americans. As Chumash’s people were heavily bearded, Spaniards use to call Santa Cruz Island the “Island of Bearded Men.” Bearded Indians were found from Alaska till the Tierra Del Fuego, where some of them have more facial hairs in contrast to others.
However, some of them preferred to remove facial hair and be beardless. They often had a sparse beard and a little hair on the body. Semitic people were likely to have more hairs on the body and had the highest hairless and baldness rate due to androgens and genetics.
Native American And Hair Genetics.
Several myths are surrounding the genetics of facial hair of Native Americans. Some men use to grow a thick and full beard, while others grew a sparse and thin beard or no facial hair. This depends on the significant element of genetics that plays a vital role in determining facial hair growth. If the lineage members of the family have no facial or body hair, it is unlikely to have hair growth.
Many people have a belief that Native Americans have no beards, but it is not correct. They could grow facial hair. However, the quantity of hairs differs across groups.
The factors affecting the genetics of facial hair of Native Americans are the following:
Ancestry and Genetics of Facial Hair.
The ancestry of Native Americans was similar to Asians. Both races could not grow thick hairs on their bodies and faces.
The tradition was to pluck out the sparse hairs from their faces. According to some New England reports, as a part of the culture, Native Americans use to prefer shaving their hair off as they could not grow thick facial hair, they opted to pluck them off for clean faces.
Current Hair Genetics Of Native Americans.
The current trend of Native Americans is that, if you find them without facial hair, it is due to the choice of style. Besides, it is not necessary that they cannot grow their facial hair. Genetics plays a vital role in hair growth, but some natives prefer not having facial hair.
All the factors above concluded that Native Americans do not grow their facial hair. Not all of them face problems in growing facial hair. It is observed that Native Americans can grow facial hair in the current trend, though it can be sparse. This is attributed to the fact of mixed cultures through intermarriages or interracial marriages.
Q1. Do Native Americans Have Facial Hairs?
Ans: Unlike all races, Native Americans do have facial hair. The reason for not having facial hairs on old paintings and photos of Native Americans was because they did not desire it. After all, they did not have thick hairs.
Q2. How Were Native Americans With Facial Hair Seen?
Ans: Being an outshoot of Asians, most of the Native Americans grew a sparse beard. These men were seen as beastly or ugly. So, they used to pluck them when grown.
Q3. Can A Native American Grow Facial Hair?
Ans: A full-blooded Native American is not able to grow facial hair due to genetic factors. If a Native American is found with a beard, it is because of having European blood with genes for facial hairs.
Q4. What Is The Role Of Genetics For Facial Hair And Growth Of Beard?
Ans: Genetics plays a vital role in determining the growth of a beard. If the paternal ancestors have no facial hair growth, it will be followed in the generations.