Skin Color of the Garifuna of Belize

  • Pamela J. Byard
  • Francis C. Lees
  • John H. Relethford


This chapter reviews the results of a survey of skin reflectometry among the Garifuna of Belize conducted in 1976. The survey sought to answer several broad questions about skin color in the Garifuna. The first question concerns the physical distinctiveness of the Garifuna in relation to neighboring groups of African extraction, known locally as Creoles. According to Gonzalez, Garifuna differ little, if any, in appearance from other dark-skinned people in the area, yet “Most non-Caribs who have lived in the area for any length of time insist that they can distinguish Caribs merely by looking at them. Some claim that the Carib is slightly lighter in color …” (Gonzalez, 1969, p. 25). Demonstration of significant differences in pigmentation between Garifuna and Creoles will support this contention of distinctive physical appearance.


Skin Color Stepwise Discriminant Analysis Conversion Formula Admixture Proportion Skin Reflectance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela J. Byard
    • 1
  • Francis C. Lees
    • 2
  • John H. Relethford
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyState University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA

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