grouping of human beings historically regarded as a biological taxon
The Five Races of Man, an Illustration from 1911. The Negroid is at the bottom left.

Negroid or Congoid is a term that was used to refer to people which lived in Sub-Saharan Africa, or which descended from people living there. It is one of several postulated "races" of human beings. It was one of the three "greater races", the other two were Europoid (or Caucasian), and Mongoloid. Today, the term should no longer be used, as it also has connotations of racism, and links to colonialism and slavery. In a scientific context, the term cannot be used, either. It suggests that people have the same phenotype just because they look very similar. Features such as a wider nose, curly hair, and dark skin were seen as typical for the Negroid race.


Illustration of Negroid, Caucasoid and Mongoloid skulls shown from above (Samuel George Morton, 1839)

In the first half of the 20th century, the traditional subraces of the Negroid race were regarded as being the True Negro, the Forest Negro, the Bantu Negro, the Nilote, the Negrillo (also known as the African Pygmy), the Khoisan (often historically referred to as Hottentot and Bushman), the Negrito (also known as the Asiatic Pygmy), and the Oceanic Negroids (consisting of the Papuan and Melanesian).[1]

By the 1960s, some scholars regarded the Khoisan as a separate race known as the Capoid race, while others continued to regard them as a Negroid subrace.[2] The term "Congoid" was frequently used interchangeably with "Negroid", with the main difference being that Congoid excluded the Capoid taxon.[3]


  1. Ashley, Montagu (1951). An Introduction to Physical Anthropology – Second Edition (PDF). Charles C. Thomas Publisher. pp. 302–312.
  2. Jenkins (M.D.), Trefor (1988). The Peoples of Southern Africa: Studies in Diversity and Disease. Witwatersrand University Press for the Institute for the Study of Man in Africa. p. 6.
  3. Pearson, Roger (1985). Anthropological glossary. R.E. Krieger Pub. Co. p. 38.