Group: Ethiopid


Ancient South Ethiopid subtype, influenced by Nilo Hamitic and possibly Sandawe. Has probably been isolated in a remote region west of Lake Turkana some centuries ago. Only from the 15th century on they started to migrate south deep into Kenya and Tanzania, where they are found today. Typical for Maasai people, sometimes in related tribes, e.g. Samburu, Dorobo, Okiek, and Lotuko.

Physical Traits:

Dark brown skin, kinky or tight-curly hair. Tall, hyperbrachyskelic, ectomorph. Dolichocephalic, chamae- orthocranic. Long, mildly leptorrhine noses that may be straight or convex. Body hair is scant, the lips relatively full. The eyes are narrow and may sometimes appear pseudo-Mongoloid. Mild prognathy possible.


Biasutti (1967) defined the Maasai as an Ethiopid subtype. Lundman (1967) as a very ancient, stabilised Europid-Nilotid blend. Often included in South Ethiopid (Eickstedt, 1943, 1951; Knussmann, 1996) or Nilo Hamitic (Cole, 1965) or regarded a mix of the two (Baker, 1981).

Similar types:

Omotic East Ethiopid
South Nilotid Nilo Hamitic
South Ethiopid Sandawe
Phenotype Search About this page