Monday, March 1, 2010

Skull Bumps

This topic came up while I sat debating whether I should call the doctor about a bump on my head. It feels like bone - like my skull is just shaped wrong in the one spot.

Like any other hypo, I went online to figure out what the bony bump could be.

The info is taken from a website, see link below:

There are some physiological characteristics which are called ethnic markers, that seem to be passed on through the lines of some Melungeon descendants. There is a bump on the back of the HEAD of SOME descendants, that is located at mid-line, just ABOVE the juncture with the neck. It is about the size and shape of half a golf ball or smaller. This is called an ANATOLIAN BUMP, and indicates ancestry from the Anatolian region of Turkey. If you cannot find the bump, check to see if you, like some descendants, including myself, have a ridge, located at the base of the head where it joins the neck, rather than the Anatolian bump.

This ridge is an enlargement of the base of the skull, which is called a Central Asian Cranial Ridge. My ridge is quite noticeable. It is larger than anyone else's that I have felt, except my father's. I can lay one finger under it and the ridge is as deep as my finger is thick. Other ridges are smaller. To find a ridge, place your hand at the base of your neck where it joins your shoulders, and on the center line of your spine. Run your fingers straight up your neck toward your head. If you have a ridge, it will stop your fingers from going on up and across your head.
http://www.melungeonhealth.org/info.html


It sounds like my golden retriever's occiput. :)

The bump I have is not quite in line with my neck/spine. It's more to the left. I do not know if that still counts as a Anatolian bump (not impossible, as some of my ancestors were from what is now modern day Turkey). <- Hence I will check with my doctor, just to be safe.

Still!

I decided to stash the skull information away where I can find it later. There is a book I'm working on where I have members of a certain race sneaking around on a planet of another race. <- I was just getting tired of having the racial differences being based on skin and hair color. I like the idea of having the races divided based on something different - like the shape of their skulls. Easier to disguise, as long there aren't scalp checks. A golf sized bump on the back of everyone's skull seems to be one of those more likely genes that could get passed around through a planetary system. More likely than having everyone in X planetary system be blond. :L

The other option is the length of their toes. <- Anything foot related grosses me out, so I'm not overeager to go this route. -> But I did read one of those random old wives tales type things where the descendants of royalty can be identified by their feet. Apparently, their second toe is always longer than the rest of the toes.

With the bump - that is something that could be exagerated or artificially created. I'm sure I wasn't the only one fascinated in history class when I read about the Mayans who had the same head binding practices as the Egyptians.


Head flattening, also called head binding, head shaping or head moulding, is the application of pressure or bindings to cranial bones (the human skull) to alter their shapes. Flat shapes, elongated ones (produced by binding between two pieces of wood), rounded ones (binding in cloth) and conical ones are among those chosen. It is typically carried out on an infant, as the skull is most pliable at this time. In a typical case, headbinding begins approximately a month after birth and continues for about six months.

Usually it is a part of a cultural ritual, aimed at creating a skull shape which is aesthetically more pleasing or associated with desirable attributes such as intelligence. For example, in the Nahai-speaking area of Tomman Island and the south south-western Malalukan, a person with a finely elongated head is thought to be more intelligent, of higher status, and closer to the world of the spirits.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_flattening

Fascinating details, eh? And it gets better - according to Wiki, Australian aborigines and then Native Americans were also known to practice the same cradling methods. Also the Huns.

Random add here - Eric van Daniken observed these similarities in ancient peoples, and took it to mean they were all binding their heads to imitate the alien god who visited them and taught them industrial and mechanical mysteries.

Stargate SG1 creators read Eric van Daniken's book. I'm convinced. :]

ETA - Do check this link out for a fascinating detail on the Melungeons. I've never heard of these people until today when I was looking up the Anatolian bump/ridge. Apparently these are a strange group of people who lived in the Tennessee/Virginia/Kentucky mountain areas. There is a mystery as to where these people came from, especially since they spoke an odd language and had a jumbled mixture of physical traits.

They are tall, straight, well- formed people, of a dark copper color ... but wooly heads and other similar appendages of our negro.7

They are of swarthy complexion, with prominent cheek bones, jet black hair, generally straight but at times having a slight tendency to curl, and the men have heavy black beards...Their frames are well built and some of the men are fine specimens of physical manhood. They are seldom fat.8

While some of them are swarthy and have high Indian cheekbones, the mountain whites, too, often display these same characteristics. Also, many of the Melungeons have light hair, blue eyes, and fair skin.9

The color of the skin of a full-blooded, pure Melungeon is a much richer brown than an Indian’s skin. It is not the color of a part Indian and part white, for their skin is lighter. The full-blooded, pure Melungeon had more the color of skin of a person from India and Egypt.10 - Taken from Wiki


They were also known to have a lot of six fingered people among their group, or it was highly hereditary.

Gathered under a tent at a public park, about 150 Melungeons had come from around the country (a show of hands indicated that about 70 percent came from states other than Tennessee) to hear results they hoped would tell them something about their heritage.

Those who were looking for black-and-white answers didn't get them. Jones' rather vague results showed that about 5 percent of the DNA indicated African descent, 5 percent was Native American, and the rest was "Euroasian," a group defined by clumping together Europe, the Middle East and India.

The most surprising finding was evidence of a rare DNA sequence common to a Northern Indian tribe called the Siddis.

The Siddis are descendants of African slaves, sailors and merchants who ended up in India as a result of trade with East Africa, starting in the 12th century and lasting into the 19th. Some of the people were stolen from their homelands and taken as slaves.

They became part of the Indian population known as the "untouchables," and are still marginalized in northwest India.
taken from wired.com

Fascinating stuff.

3 comments:

  1. Yikes! That picture gives me a headache!

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  2. When I was eight, I was sure that a small bump on the back of my ear was evidence that I was a jupitarian. I'd been brainwashed after coming to earth, and didn't remember how to make my antenna stick out of my ears. Turns out it was just cartilage. Still I think there is a clear link between hypochondria and creativity. Hopefully your head lump is nothing serious, and that you're future novels will sparkle with mutant beings.

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  3. @Aubrie - yeah. I was thinking about those poor little munchkins and what they probably felt when they had their head squished into a board. It must have felt like a massive sinus headache all the time. *pats mostly normal shaped skull protectively*

    @Kate - *grins* I love the antenna story. That should be in a book somewhere - but for real. <- I wonder what those antenna would do if you had them. Maybe pick up distant signals, or pick up static-power during lightning storms to enable you to do... something. Shapeshifting or flying. Or maybe they would just let you understand aliens, or maybe hear something from a folded over dimension. *dwells on the possibilities*

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