Negro (Span, and Ital., from Lat. niger, black), a name properly applied to the races inhabiting the African continent, principally between lat. 10° N. and 20° S., and to their descendants in the old and new world. It does not include the northern Africans (like the Egyptians, Berbers, Abyssinians, Nubians, &c), nor the Hottentots in the south, although in popular language, especially in the older writings, it comprises these and other dark-skinned nations, who are not characterized by the crisp hair of the true negro; in some of the border countries there has been considerable intermixture of negro blood and dialects. The term negro, therefore, is not synonymous with African, and is not a national appellation, but denotes an ideal type distinguished by certain physical characters, such as are seen in the people of tin- coast of Guinea, viz.: black skin, woolly hair, flat nose, thick everted lips, and a prognathous form of the skull. Negroes occupy about one half of Africa, exclu-ding the northern and southern extremities, but including its most fertile portions.

Out of Africa, they arc found in various parts of Asia and its islands, and throughout America and the West Indies, whither they were originally carried chiefly as slaves (see Slavery); they are rare in Europe. They were nearly unknown to the Hebrews and the Homeric Greeks; the Egyptians, however, about 2300 B. G. became acquainted with negroes through the conquests of their rulers, and represented them on their monuments as early as 1G00; for nearly 35 centuries the type has remained unchanged in Egypt. The Greeks first knew them in the 7th century B. G, their Ethiopians being merely any people darker than the Hellenic, like the Arabs, Egyptians, Libyans, or Carthaginians, none of which are negroes. The typical negroes of the Guinea coasts are generally rude and nearly naked savages, of a deep black color and ugly features; in the interior, many of the tribes, like the Fan and others visited since 1855 by Paul Du Chaillu and Winwood Reade, are fierce cannibals, but fine-looking, warlike, ingenious, and skilful in the working of iron. Those on the Slave coast are the most degraded, selling their neighbors to slave dealers.

In the vast regions explored by Livingstone, Barth, Du Chaillu, Burton, Speke, Baker, Sehweinfurth, and other recent travellers, there are many tribes more or less savage, for an account of which the reader is referred to the respective special notices in this work, and chiefly to the narratives of these explorers. The Caffres of South Africa may also be classed among negroes, as well as the line and ferocious races of Mozambique and the E. coast of Africa. - The skin of the negro is soft and silky, dull cherry red in the infant and growing black very soon; it differs from that of the whites principally in the greater amount of pigment cells in the rete Malpighii (the epidermis being uncolored), and in the greater number of cu-taneous glands. The hair, though called wool, does not present the characters of the latter, especially the imbricated projecting scales, and differs hut little from that of the other races except in color and in its curled and twisted form; it is harsh and wiry, and, according to some mieroscopists, more or less flattened grooved longitudinally, lying perpendicularly in the dermis and piercing the cuticle in this direction, the coloring matter being diffused throughout its substance, and in a few instances so imbricated as to be capable of felting like wool.

The skull is long and narrow, with a depressed forehead, prominent occiput and jaws, a facial angle of 70° to 65°, and an internal capacity of about 82 cubic inches; a peculiarity of some negro crania, though by no means constant, is that the sphenoid does not reach the parietal bones, the coronal suture joining the margin of the temporals; the skull is very thick and solid, as would be indicated by the negro's favorite mode of fighting, both sexes butting like rams, and so flat that burdens are easily carried upon it. The stature of the negro is seldom 6 ft., and rarely below 5½; some of their figures are tine, especially the torso, and have been taken by Chantrcy and other sculptors as models; in the female the development is so rapid that it is common to see childhood's natural grace combined with the prominent characteristics of maturity. Seen from behind, the spine usually appears depressed, owing to the greater curvature of the ribs; the nates are more flattened than in other races, and join the thighs almost at a right angle instead of a curve.

Besides the characters already mentioned, may be noticed the projecting upper edge of the orbit; broad retreating chin; great development of lower part of face; small eyes, in which but little of the yellowish white ball is seen; small, thick ears, standing off from the head, with a small lobe and a general stunted look; black iris; very wide zygomatic arches, giving large space for the muscles of the lower jaw; large and transverse opening of the nasal cavity. The pelvis is long and narrow, its average circumference being from 26 to 28 in. instead of 30 to 36 as in the whites; this shape in the female, according to Vrolik and Weber, corresponds to the characteristic shape of the negro head; those writers consider it a type of degradation, as it approaches that of the quadrumana in the more vertical direction of the iliac bones and their less width, in the smaller breadth of sacrum, and in the consequent less extent of the hips. The bones of the leg are bent forward and outward, the tibia and fibula being more convex than in Europeans; the calves are very high; the feet and hands are flatter; the heel bone, instead of being arched, is continued in a straight line with the other bones of the foot, causing it to project more behind; in consequence of the longer lever thus obtained, less muscular force is necessary in the movements of the feet, and the muscles of the calf are consequently less developed; the shoulder blades are shorter and broader; the muscles have shorter bellies and longer tendons, as is very evident in the legs and arms.

Negroes have less nervous sensibility than the whites, and are not subject to nervous affections; they are comparatively insensible to pain, bearing severe surgical operations well; the effects of opium and other narcotics appear rather in the digestive, circulatory, and respiratory functions, than in the cerebral and nervous system; they are little subject to yellow fever, and more to yaws and other cutaneous affections; they are generally very torpid under disease. They seldom have a fetid breath, but transpire much excremen-titious matter by means of the glands of the skin; there is also much oily matter in the skin. The negro nourishes under the fiercest heats and unhealthy dampness of the tropics, withstanding the virulent endemics and epidemics of the country where the white man soon dies; and the race does not diminish, like the aboriginal American, in contact with civilization. The senses are acute; the voice in the males is hoarse and not powerful, and in the females high and shrill. Albinoes are not uncommon among negro races in all countries. Negroes produce with the white and other races a hybrid race, fertile for a few generations; but, unless mixed with the original stock, tending to extermination by disease and sterility.

The offspring of a negro and white is called a mulatto; of a mulatto and white, a quadroon; a greater intermixture of white blood than this can with difficulty be distinguished by the ordinary observer from a dark-skinned white. - The African negroes display considerable ingenuity in the manufacture of weapons, in the working of iron, in the weaving of mats, cloth, and baskets from dyed grasses, in the dressing of skins of animals, in the structure of their huts and household utensils, and in the various implements and objects of use in a barbarous state of society. Their religion consists in the worship of idols and fetiches, representing a supreme power which they all acknowledge; they believe in good and evil spirits, in witchcraft, charms and spells, omens, lucky and unlucky days, etc.; they make fetiches of serpents, elephants' teeth, and many similar objects, and reverence wooden images and sacred things, which they think have received a peculiar power from their divinities to drive away evil spirits, and protect them from danger, disease, and witchcraft.

They make prayers and offerings to their idols, and have sacred songs, festivals, dances, ceremonies, and places; they sacrifice animals and sometimes human victims, especially during obsequies; they have priests and holy men, who are also magicians and doctors. They believe generally in an after life, without any distinct idea of retribution, and some tribes in the transmigration of the human soul into a gorilla, or other beast, bird, reptile, or fish; they have great fear of ghosts and apparitions; they become ready converts to foreign religions, whether Islamism, Catholicism, or Protestantism. Being very fond of music, they have many ingeniously contrived musical instruments, generally of a noisy character; they have a keen sense of the ridiculous, and are of a cheerful disposition; though cruel to their enemies and prisoners, and setting little value on human life, they are naturally kind-hearted, hospitable to strangers, and communicative of their joys and sorrows; the females are remarkably affectionate as mothers and children, and as attendants on the sick, even to foreigners. They are less dirty in their persons and dwellings than most other barbarous races.

They are ready to receive instruction, and to profit by it up to a certain point; quick to perceive the beauty of goodness, they generally appreciate the services of the missionaries in their behalf, and were not their teachings counteracted by the intoxicating drinks brought by traders, they would probably in time, in outward observances if not in reality, merit the name of semi-Christian communities. - For negro languages, see Africa, Languages of, and articles on the more important tribes.