The Origin of Bengali Race

What is Race?

A category of people who have been singled out as inferior or superior, often on the basis of real or alleged physical characteristics.

What is Race?

Some people views race as:

       Skin color: The Caucasian race

       Religion: The Jewish race

       Nationality: The British race

       Entire human species: The human race


Racial Classification

  • Caucasoid (White) stock from Southwest Asia & Europe sources.
  • Negroid (Black) stock from African sources.
  • Mongoloid (Oriental/ Amerindian) stock which arose in East Asia.
  • Australoid (Australian Aborigine and Papuan) stock of Southeast Asia origins.
Caucasoid (White), Negroid (Black), Australoid (Australian Aborigine and Papuan)


Mongoloid (Oriental/ Amerindian)

Negrito

The book “Early Indians: The story of our ancestors and where we came from” written by Tony Joseph considers that the modern humans (homo sapiens) first made their way from Africa into the Indian subcontinent some 65,000 years ago.

  • It is thus perceived that African origin Negrito tribe came here as original settlers.
  • Few people of Negrito tribe are still considered existing in the places like down Sunderban, Andaman, Nicobar, etc.

Austro-Asiatic people

In the dispersal process the groups of the people who went to South-East Asia are known as Austro-Asiatic people.

  • They developed languages which are known Austric Language.
  • They came Bengal Basin in 10000-12000 years ago.
  • These people came from the east in to the area of Bangladesh several thousand years ago.
  • They have introduced rice cultivation in our area.
Austroasiatic/Austric people

Mongoloid

Mongoloid people

  • Mongoloid also entered the territories of Bangladesh from the East.
  • They spread mainly into the uplands and hilly areas.
  • They are closely related to Burmese and Thai.
  • They came here several thousand years ago.
  • Skin color: Yellow or yellowish brown.
  • Hair: Straight. The body and facial hair is scanty/nominal.
  • Face: Broad and flat with prominent cheek bones.

Dravidian

Dravidian People

  • People who came 8000-10000 years ago from the Southern and western parts of South-Asia  and they are known as Dravidians.
  • Physically diverse people speaking different languages, known as Dravidian family of languages.
  • Dravidian language speakers were mostly a Caucasoid people.
  • Generally darker than the different peoples to the East and West of South-Asia.
  • Developed Indus Valley Civilization.
  • Made their own city and became ruler.

Aryans

Aryan People

  • The latest arrivals were a people well known as the Aryans.
  • Spoke a language of the Indo-European family of languages.
  • Came with books: The Veda.
  • Came into South Asia around 1200 B.C. and flourished in the area now known as Haryana ‘Land of Aryans’.
  • Over the centuries they mixed with the Dravidians and settled in the relatively drier parts of the Ganges Valley.
  • This mixed population of Aryo-Dravidians moved into the Bengal Basin sometimes after 600 B.C.
  • They laid the foundations of urbanization in our country.

Others

  • Later other immigrants-Arabs, Turks and Pathans also came to this land. 
  • These people too added their physical stock to the melting pot, so that today we have in Bangladesh a great variety of physical features.


Why Bangladesh has been the focus of immigration since those times till recently?

First, the zeal to conquer and occupy a new region, and The second was to do business in the wealthy and prosperous Bengal and Third was environmental.

       The cultivation of wet-rice (as opposed to hill-rice).

       Large amount of fish stocks. 

       The commercial opportunities of this land.

       Her Natural resources etc.

Indigenous people

       Within the polity of Bangladesh there are also some groups of people, known as tribal people, who retain their distinct cultural entities and have not merged into the mainstream of Bangla- Speaking group.

       Most of these groups (often called tribes)are mainly of Mongoloid origin.

       They speak languages of the Tibeto-Burman family of language. Ex: Koch, Polia, Mande (Garo), Hajong, Tipra, Chakma, Mru, Tanchanga, Marma, Rakhine and other smaller groups.

       Some groups do not speak Tibeto-Burman family of language. Austric Mone-Khamer group: Khasia; Dravidian group: Saontal and Oraon.


All this groups contributed to the present-day composition of the heterogeneous group known as Bengalis.

Concluding Remarks

The Bengali ancestry, therefore, includes:

       The Austric-speakers

       The Mongoloids,

       The Dravidians,

       The Aryans,

       The Arabs and the Turks and Pathans.

 

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