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Keywords:

  • Cephalometric;
  • Eskimo

Abstract

Past investigations of the Eskimo have indicated that there are marked morphological differences in the craniofacial skeleton of this relatively isolated ethnic group compared to other ethnic and racial groups. This study, using cephalometric radiography, attempted to characterize the craniofacial phenotype of the Eskimo living in the northern Foxe Basin, Northwest Territories, Canada. Age changes were examined on a cross-sectional basis with comparisons being made with a Winnipeg Caucasian group.

This investigation indicates that the Igloolik Eskimo has a phenotype, established early in life, and is distinct from the Winnipeg group. The overall size of the Eskimo craniofacial complex was significantly larger at three years of age and remained larger through the ages studied. Development of the craniofacial region, however, was fairly similar in rate and direction for both populations.

The greatest differences between the Eskimo and Caucasian groups were found in the linear measurements assessing cranial width, facial width, mandibular length, facial height, protrusion of the incisors, chin point development, and nasal morphology. Differences between the two groups in the morphological relationships of the component structures include the angular relationships of the maxilla and nasal bones to the anterior cranial base, the gonial angle of the mandible, and the angle of facial convexity.