My portrait of Siddhartha Gautama, better known as the Buddha, who founded the Buddhist religion in ancient India. Have you ever noticed he is often depicted with tightly coiled hair like that of African and Melanesian people?

Recent genetic research has shown that most people in India are descended from two basic stocks. The first is aboriginal to the subcontinent and is closely related to the dark-skinned “Negrito” people of the Andaman Islands, whereas the second is more closely related to lighter-skinned Europeans and Middle Easterners. This admixture is dated to approximately 4-2,000 years ago, which coincides with the collapse of the indigenous Harappan civilization and the colonization of India by the so-called Aryans from central Eurasia. For my depiction I have chosen to represent the Buddha as coming from the aboriginal, darker-skinned stock of Indian people.


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