To Thomas Bridges1 6 January 1860
Do the Fuegians or Patagonians, or both, nod their heads vertically to express assent, and shake their heads horizontally to express dissent?2
Do they blush? and at what sort of things? Is it chiefly or most commonly in relation to personal appearance, or in relation to women?
Do they express astonishment by widely open eyes, uplifted eyebrows and open mouth?
Do they evince anger or fear by same expression of countenance and actions as we do?
When out of spirits or dejected do they turn down the corners of the mouth?
Do they express contempt by the same gestures as we do, namely, by turning up nose and puffing out their breath or even by spitting?
Do they sneer, which is chiefly shown by turning up the corners of upper lip?
Do they frown when trying to understand anything or considering any difficulty?
Do they ever shrug their shoulders to show that they are incapable of doing or understanding anything?
Any information on the manner of expression of countenance of any emotion in savages would be curious, and I believe is a subject, which has been wholly overlooked.—3
The only satisfactory method to collect information is to make notes at the time.
What ideas of feminine beauty have the Fuegians? do they admire women with strong American cast of countenance, or such as at all approach Europeans in appearance?
Do the Fuegians take any pains in breeding or matching their dogs; or is all left to chance.— The habits of the Fuegian dogs would be worth observing.4
Are the young of the wild Pigs at the Falkland Islands striped lengthways on the back when first born?
What colour are the calves of the wild White cattle with red ears, in the Falkland Islands?5
Down Bromley Kent
Jan. 6th— 1860.
Queries on expression among Fuegians and Patagonians.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2640,” accessed on 30 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2640