set of ethnic groups in Austronesia

Negrito is the name for several ethnic groups from South and Southeast Asia. The name is the diminutive form of Negro. Like the term negro, many people consider it to be offensive. Usually, Negritos have a dark skin, curly hair, Asian facial features, and do not grow to be very tall. Traditionally, the term 'Negrito' has been used for the following groups:

An Ati woman, on the Philippines. The Ati are one of the ethnic groups traditionally considered to be 'Negritos'.

The Island Negros, which is part of the Philippines today, was named after the Negritos. Because the term 'Negrito' doesn't allow a precise scientific definition, most scientists (ethnologues) no longer use the term either.

Genetic research found them to be more closely related to non-Negrito local populations than to each other. Many Negrito people share genetic ancestry with East Asians.[1] Their physical and morphological features were found to be local adaptions to tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, rather than a remnant of a shared common ancestor, as suggested previously.[2]


  1. Stoneking, Mark; Delfin, Frederick (2010-02-23). "The Human Genetic History of East Asia: Weaving a Complex Tapestry". Current Biology. 20 (4): R188–R193. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.11.052. ISSN 0960-9822. PMID 20178766. S2CID 18777315.
  2. Zhang, Xiaoming; Liu, Qi; Zhang, Hui; Zhao, Shilei; Huang, Jiahui; Sovannary, Tuot; Bunnath, Long; Aun, Hong Seang; Samnom, Ham; Su, Bing; Chen, Hua (2021-04-27). "The distinct morphological phenotypes of Southeast Asian aborigines are shaped by novel mechanisms for adaptation to tropical rainforests". National Science Review. 9 (3): nwab072. doi:10.1093/nsr/nwab072. ISSN 2095-5138. PMC 8970429. PMID 35371514.