RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1868. Queries about expression for anthropological inquiry. Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, Misc. Document No. 86, for 1867: 324.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, OCRed, corrected and edited by John van Wyhe 2002-8. Re-scanned in colour by J. David Archibald 2010. RN2

NOTE: See an introduction by R. B. Freeman.


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[page 324]

QUERIES ABOUT EXPRESSION FOR ANTHROPOLOGICAL INQUIRY.

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BY CHARLES DARWIN, OF DOWN, BROMLEY, KENT, ENGLAND.

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1. Is astonishment expressed by the eyes and mouth being opened wide, and by the eyebrows being raised?

2. Does shame excite a blush when the color of the skin allows it to be visible?

3. When a man is indignant or defiant does he frown, hold his body and head erect, square his shoulders, and clench his fists?

4. When considering deeply on any subject, or trying to understand any puzzle, does he frown or wrinkle the skin beneath the lower eyelids?

5. When in low spirits, are the corners of the mouth depressed, and the inner corner or angle of the eyebrows raised by that muscle which the French call the "grief muscle?"

6. When in good spirits do the eyes sparkle, with the skin around and under them a little wrinkled, and with the corners of the mouth a little drawn back?

7. When a man sneers or snarls at another, is the corner of the upper lip over the canine teeth raised on the side facing the man whom he addresses?

8. Can a dogged or obstinate expression be recognized, which is chiefly shown by the mouth being firmly closed, a lowering brow, and a slight frown?

9. Is contempt expressed by a slight protrusion of the lips and turning up of the nose, with a slight expiration?

10. Is disgust shown by the lower lip being turned down, the upper lip slightly raised, with a sudden expiration something like incipient vomiting?

11. Is extreme fear expressed in the same general manner as with Europeans?

12. Is laughter ever carried to such an extreme as to bring tears into the eyes?

13. When a man wishes to show that he cannot prevent something being done, or cannot himself do something, does he shrug his shoulders, turn inwards his elbows, extend outwards his hands, and open the palms?

14. Do the children, when sulky, pout, or greatly protrude the lips?

15. Can guilty, or sly, or jealous expressions be recognized? though I know not how these can be defined.

16. As a sign to keep silent, is a gentle hiss uttered?

17. Is the head nodded vertically in affirmation and shaken laterally in negation?

Observations on natives who have had little communication with Europeans would be, of course, the most valuable, though those made on any natives would be of much interest.

General remarks on expression are of comparatively little value. A definite description of the countenance under any emotion or frame of mind would possess much more value.

An answer to any single one of the foregoing questions would be gratefully accepted.

Memory is so deceptive on subjects like these that I hope it may not be trusted to.

1 For Darwin's queries about expression, see Freeman and Gautrey 1972 and 1975, and Freeman 1977. See also Expression pp. 15-16 and CUL-DAR53.1.B2. See Correspondence vol. 16.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

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