From George Gibbs 31 March 1867
Smithsonian Institution | Washington.
Mch 31. 1867
Charles Darwin, Esq.
Professor Baird has shown me your circular, “Queries about expression”.1 After twelve years residence among the Indians of the North West Coast of America, I find to my surprise, that I can only answer one of them positively—2 The Indians of Puget’s Sound, a branch of the Sélish family, whose color is of a rather light shade of sienna (even where of unmixed blood,) certainly do blush from shame or anger, and the darkening of the skin is palpable.3 As to the other points I will not pretend to answer until I can observe with the certainty you desire.
One point however, not touched upon you, I will mention, and that is that they frequently, if not always, indicate direction by throwing the head back and protruding the chin, instead of with the finger.
A peculiarity which, though hardly coming under your apparent limits, is noticeable, that in designating the height of a human being, as a child, the hand is held edgewise; in the case of an animal, flatwise as we hold it.4
Very respectfully | Your obt servt | George Gibbs
Finds that after 12 years among north-western Indians he can answer positively only one of CD’s queries about expression. They do blush from shame or anger.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5479,” accessed on 27 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5479