Why Do Some Africans Have Light Skin and European Features?

People generally divide Africa into

  • “North Africa”- populated by brown-skinned, wavy-haired “mulattos”/”Semites”
  • “Sub-Saharan”/”Black” Africa- populated by dark-skinned, “nappy”-haired “Negroids

Image result for africa arabia

From that one would assume the following pictures are from “Sub-Saharan Africa”:

Algerian woman of Ouargla, Algeria, 1965Girl from Algeria (Biskra), 1902Young Black Algerian Woman c.1910sWoman from the Oran Province, Algeria, 1906

In fact they are all from Algeria in northern Africa.

Dark-skinned people with tightly-coiled hair are native to ALL of Africa and many other places.


Pale-skinned Hordes Central Asian Hordes (The Emergence of “White” People)

Emergence and Spread of “White” Asians from Steppes

Above:  Scheme of Asiatic migrations from ca. 4000 to 1000 BCE. The magenta area corresponds to the assumed homeland . The red area corresponds to the area  settled up to ca. 2500 BCE; the orange area to 1000 BCE. (wikipedia)

Asiatic Steppe, original homeland of “white people” (hence “Indo-European” i.e. between India and “Europe”)


Pale or “white” North Africans are remnants of Asiatic steppe hordes who have made various incursions into Africa throughout history (Hyksos, Turkic, Germanic, etc.):

The Alans (1st Century BCE onwards):


The Germanics (of whom the Vandals were a branch)

Step 1:  Central Asia to West Asia (“Europe”)
Phase 2:  Western Asia (“Europe”) to Northern Africa

Turkic Ottomans:

The Ottoman Empire was an empire founded in 1299 by Oghuz Turks.

Oghuz Turk homeland (c. 600 BCE), between Caspian and Aral Seas

What Happened to the Central Asians in Africa?

The fate of these Asiatic hordes was to:

  1. remain unmixed as separate ethnicities, or sub-tribes,
  2. to intermarry with the native Africans, or
  3. to become enslaved or trafficked by native Africans

Unmixed Descendants of Asiatic Hordes in North Africa:


Unmixed Native North Africans:


North African Nomads Displaying Mixed Asiatic-African Phenotypical Traits:


Mixed Asiatic-African North Africans, Asiatic Features Dominant:

Asiatic Women in North African Slave Market:


Some of those who intermarried or got enslaved by native north Africans eventually made it across the Sahara to “Sub-Saharan Africa”.  This was in very small numbers of course, but not too small to leave a mark on the phenotype.  This is part of the reason why some “Black” Africans have relatively light skin (golden brown instead of dark brown) and even more rarely have (relatively) straight hair and light eyes:  these are recessive traits from Asiatic ancestors.

Those who would argue that an ancient “white”, “Caucasian” presence in Africa was as an invading master race are delusional.  There were some invasions, but Asiatic movement in Africa was not as some “master race”.  They were either isolated, assimilated, or subdued, and always a minority.

Sub-Saharan African displaying recessive Asiatic phenotypical traits

Relatively light skin:


Relatively light skin and hair color, Hazel eyes


Lank hair, epicanthic fold (eyes), relatively light skin:


Naturally-born child with Asiatic features (Not Albino)


Possible Residual Recessive Asiatic Influence on Phenotype?

Nigerian Women


Fulani (Nomadic group)

The fact that these ‘full-blooded’ Africans resemble African-Americans and other African diasporans who are known to have mixed with Asiatics (known as “Europeans” after settling in western Asia “Europe”) is sufficient testimony to the fact that they may, too, have acquired Asiatic ancestry in Africa.

Africa has never been isolated.  It wasn’t ‘discovered’ by anybody, certainly not “Europeans” who’d just discovered civilization from Moors (who were from Africa).  That’s why the question is so complicated:  many features commonly associated with Asians (western included) and not with Africans actually are African:

caucasian 2

Epicanthic Eye Fold:

Tightly-coiled (“coarse”, “nappy”) hair is usually associated with dark skin, but the ‘nappiest’ hair is found on people with light skin!

Africans have been moving around the globe- and around Africa- forever.  People have been moving into Africa forever.  The place with the most diverse genotype will have the most diverse phenotype as well.  “Non-African” features could have come from another part of Africa just as easily as a place outside it.


19 thoughts on “Why Do Some Africans Have Light Skin and European Features?

  1. It’s true that there are many Asiatic groups who were taken to/ invaded Africa, especially north, but that doesn’t mean lighter skin or narrower nose = Asiatic ancestry. Africa is and always has been the origin of humanity, so all human phenotypes are of African origin. Look at the Khoikhoi & San; they’re some of the most unmixed peoples in the world yet see how light-skinned they are! And Somalis, the vast majority of them have no ethnic admixture whatsoever.

    • The San are also believed to be Malay/ Indonesian in origin. Not recently but thousands of years ago.They are the original inhabitants of Southern Africa ,there before Sub-saharan Blacks ie Bantus arrived there. Ie San Bushmen were resident before the Zulus set foot in that part of Africa.

  2. May be. Iraqw people of Northern Tanzania claims they originate from Mesopotamia and their features is as well as The horn of Africa. The same to Ethiopias and Somalis

  3. I don’t think so where the weather
    Is hot people are black and where
    Weather is cold people become white.
    Simple as that. That’s why all cold countries on the map have white people. It’s could evolution so that your body can handle the weather.
    WE ARE ALL THE SAME. Just look at the map and work it out for yourself.

    • So, if i live in siberia long enough i will turn white? Or if i give birth there, my children or descendants will one day be white, even if they never intermarry? Then why are black americans still black?

      • They are still Black as modern medicine keeps them alive in the way Northern parts of the USA. Over many tens of generations though,without modern medicine ,there would be very few Blacks left in Northern USA.

        • I live in the Bahamas…..
          There is a lot of mixed people here….they don’t acknowledge it,but one family can have blondes…red heads…and some with kinky hair,dark skin…..same parents….

          No one suggested miscegenation….that’s the word no one likes to hear…it happened,is happening will continue to happen…..

          Black people come in many beautiful shades….from black to brown,to well burnt..

          Bottom line we are one people…..we all have red blood….it’s what’s inside that counts…no the exterior…

  4. This is really interesting, I love learning about ancestory, I am a White British person but have darker skin than some North Africans and dark eyes and dark hair, people would ask me where I came from as a kid as they had a typical Anglo Saxon or Viking look, and I stood out with my olive skin,almost black eyes and dark hair but my features are typical Celt with thin lips and a small nose. We’ve traced our family to the 18th century and it’s mixed Celtic and Saxon, my aunt told me the colouring was Ancient Briton but ever since I was interested in ancestory, people also asume because my colouring is Meidteranean looking that I will love heat and yet I cannot stand heat and thrive on the cold, the climate of north Eastern Scotland and England really.

    • Your aunt could be right. Original brits were thought to have similar colour to yourself. Then celts came in.notĺ all celts were blonde and blue eyed. Then romans were there for four hundred years. So you could be called a “black irish”. welsh are also known to have black hair etc. So ,even though you may look like a greek or italian , remember they were the first aryan ,white people .nordics are just an albino -like version of your original european colouring.

    • Addendum:

      True! Classic “Black Irish “colouring as the Britons were part Roman as well as Celtic and even Mediterannean again before the Celts arrived. The Saxons ,Norse and Normans onky added a veneer to the existing British race. Check the mythology! Brithon was a Greek who settled Britain and came to be the father of the British race. This was what was believed two thousand years ago before the Romans or Saxons set foot in Britain!

  5. This page contains so many wrong claims that it is a disgrace. They even post pictures of Aborigines as African children to perpetuate their nonsense. The most ridiculous attempt is to take the shrivelled head of a mummy and point out its “thin lips” as racial features. The internet has so many good things to offer but a severe downside is that ignorant people can spread every nonsense they like.

  6. how could someone write an article about something without research!! North Africans are not a mixture of black and white we are a separate haplogroup E1b1b1b. yes there are many black North Africans yes there are many white descendants and a lot of mixed families but the dominant race is the Berber one which is very distinctive.

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