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International Journal of Morphology

versión On-line ISSN 0717-9502

Int. J. Morphol. v.26 n.4 Temuco dic. 2008

http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022008000400024 

Int. J. Morphol., 26(4):935-940, 2008.

 

Cephalofacial Morphological Characteristics of Albanian Kosova Population

Características Morfológicas Cefalofaciales de la Población Albanesa de Kosovo

 

Agron Rexhepi & Vjollca Meka

Center of Sport Medicine and Recreation, Palace of Youth and Sport, Str. "Luán Haradinaj" nn Prishtina, Kosova, 10020.

Correspondence to:


SUMMARY: Although the human race must be regarded as a unit intellectually and physically, from the anthropologists' viewpoint the particular set of bones most often measured for purposes of racial classification are those of the head. The aim of the present work was to determine some relevant cephalofacial parameters, particularly in relation to sex and to study the distribution of basic head and face types of a Kosova Albanian population. The study sample comprised 754 subjects of both sex (561 male and 193 female) aged 18 to 35 from Kosova. Five basic cephalofacial variables were measured to obtain the head and face indexes. Statistically significant differences between two treated groups, according to sex, were found almost in all measured cephalofacial variables. Such proportional differences did not influence only the Total Facial índex. According to the horizontal cephalic Índex the head of the treated subjects (51.9% males, 46.1% females) mainly belongs to brachiocephalic type; According to the vertical cephalic Índex 48.4% of the treated male entities and 40.4% of the female entities belongs to the type with low hypsicephalic head. According to the transverse cephalic Índex both treated entities mainly (male 66.8% and female 75.1%) belongs to the group with tapeinocephalic type of the head. According to the total facial index the treated male entities are mainly distributed in two types of the face: leptoprosop type (31.2%) and hyperleptoprosop type (31.6%), whereas the female entities are mostly (48.7%) concentrated in hyperleptoprosop facial type.

KEY WORDS: Anthropological; Cephalofacial; Facial index; Cephalic index.


RESUMEN: A pesar que la raza humana debe considerarse como una unidad intelectual y físicamente hablando, desde el punto de vista de los antropólogos, la particular serie de huesos que con mayor frecuencia son medidos para efectos de clasificación racial, son los de la cabeza. El objetivo del presente trabajo fue determinar algunos parámetros cefalofaciales pertinentes, en particular los relacionados con el sexo, para estudiar la distribución básica del tipo de cabeza y cara en una población albanesa de Kosovo. La muestra del estudio fue de 754 sujetos, de ambos sexos (561 varones y 193 mujeres), entre 18 y 35 años, de Kosovo. Cinco variables cefalofaciales básicas fueron medidas para obtener índices de la cabeza y cara. Diferencias estadísticamente significativas entre los dos grupos estudiados, de acuerdo al sexo, se encontraron casi en todas las variables cefalofaciales medidas. Estas diferencias proporcionales no sólo influyen en el índice facial total. Según el índice cefálico horizontal de la cabeza de los sujetos estudiados (51,9% hombres, 46,1% mujeres), principalmente pertenecen al tipo braquiocefálico. De acuerdo con el índice cefálico vertical el 48,4% de los varones estudiados y el 40,4% de las mujeres pertenecen al tipo de cabeza con hipsicefalia baja. Según el índice cefálico transversal ambos grupos de sujetos estudiados (66,8% varones y mujeres 75,1%) presentan principalmente cabeza tapeinocefálica. Según el índice facial total de los varones estudiados se distribuyen principalmente en dos tipos de cara: tipo leptoprosopo (31,2%) y tipo hiperleptoprosopo (31,6%), mientras que la mayoría de las mujeres (48,7%) se concentraron en el tipo facial hiperleptoprosopo.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Antropología; Céfalofacial; índice facial; índice cefálico.


 

INTRODUCTION

Although the human race must be regarded as a unit intellectually and physically, from the anthropologists' viewpoint the particular set of bones most often measured for purposes of ethno-anthropological researches are those of the head. The information collected from measurements of the cephalofacial, respectively craniofacial variables, enables a chronological study of the anthropological status of the nations and helps comparison of the anthropological features of the today's nations and previous nations too (Coon, 1939; Dhima, 1985; Ylli, 1975).

In cephalometric studies among currently methods (photogrametry, ultrasound, computed tomographic, scanning magnetic imaging, optical surface scanning, cephalometry) cephalometry continúes to be the most versatile technique in the investigation of the craniofacial skeleton because of its validity and practicality.

The type of the head and face depend on many factors, such as racial and ethnical affiliation, genetic influence, traditions, nutrition, environment, and climate. The cephalofacial indexes are different for different people. People with a horizontal cephalic index of less than 76 have long, narrow head, and belong to dolichocephalic type of the head. If the cephalic index is more than 80.9, the head appears to be short and broad; those people belong to brachyocephalic type of the head. People with cephalic index between 76 and 80.9 belong to mesocephalic type of the head.

The head of the Dinaric type of humans (Illyrians) is characterized with a high breadth of the head, a médium length of the neurocranium (often back part is somewhat flattened), the vertical height of the cranium is high, and the face is long and wide. The horizontal cephalic index indicates that their head belongs to brachycephalic type (Coon, 1939; Dhima; Günter, 1927; Mcculloch, 2008; Ylli).

Because the population in the Albanian territories belongs to the Dinaric type of the humans, many anthropologists are interested on morphological type of the Albanians. The first anthropological researches on Albanians were done by Weissbach, on 1868 and Glück L. on 1895-1896 (Glück, 1987).

The aim of the present work was to determine some relevant cephalofacial parameters, particularly in relation to sex, and to study the distribution of basic head and face types of a Kosova Albanian population.

MATERIAL AND METHOD

This research is a part of the project: "Morphological characteristics of Kosova Albanian population" realized by the Institute of Sports Anthropology in Prishtina, Kosova.

In this study, five cephalofacial measurements were done in 754 entities of the Kosova Albanian population (561 male and 193 female), 18-35 years of age, chosen randomly, always respecting the rule that their psycho-physic, dental and soft tissue condition were in normal. So, all pathological cases and cases with body abnormality (deformity) were eliminated from further study and measurements.

Since Prishtina represents a mix of Kosova's Albanian population, all the participants were chosen to be inhabitants of the Prishtina. The measurements were done in the Institute of Sport Anthropology and in the Sport Medicine Centre and Rehabilitation in Prishtina, period 1997-2002, the measurer was Agron Rexhepi.

Following the definitions of Martín & Saller (1957) the measurements were taken by an anthropological cephalometer GMP, with measurement interval of 300 mm and accuracy of 1 mm, and a sliding rule modified for cephalometric and gnathometric measurements. The following variables were measured:

GJATKOK - Máximum head length (glabela-opistocranion, g-op) was measured by spreading caliper. The anterior caliper tip was resting on glabella, whereas the posterior tip slid inferiorly along medial line of occipital un til máximum length was reached.

GJERKOK - Máximum head breadth (eurion-eurion, eu-eu) was measured by spreading caliper, sliding both tips of caliper down lateral sides of parietal bones, forward and back until máximum width was reached.

LARTKOK - Head height (vertex-porion, v-po) was measured on the right and left sides of the head using a double sliding caliper and a level.

LARMOFY - Morphological height of the face (nasion-gnation, n-gn) was meausured by sliding caliper. The ñxed tip of caliper was placed at the subject's gnathion and the moveable end on nasion.

GJERFYT - Máximum facial breadth (bizygomatic, zy-zy) was measured by spreading caliper. First by palpation were located the most lateral point of the zygomatic arch, with the tips of index fingers were placed the caliper tips on the arches with enough pressure to feel the bone, than were moved the caliper back and forth, up and down until scale shown máximum reading.

On the basis of basic measurement data (above variables) were calculated:

HCI - Horizontal cephalic index, respectively the proportion of the máximum breadth of the head in relation to the length of the head was calculated according to the formulae: HCI = (eu-eu / g-op) x 100.

VCI - Vertical cephalic index, respectively the ratio of the máximum height of the head to its máximum length was calculated according to the formulae: VCI = (v-po / g-op) x 100.

TCI - Transverse cephalic index, respectively the proportion of the máximum head height to its máximum breadth was calculated according to the formulae: TCI = (v-po / eu-eu) x 100.

TFI - Total facial index, respectively the relation of the morphological height of the face to its máximum breadth (between zygomatic prominences) was calculated according to the formulae:

TFI = (n-gn / zy-zy) x 100.

The following valúes were applied for distribution of particular craniofacial types (According to Martin-Saller scale):

HCI - Horizontal cephalic index.
VCI - Vertical cephalic index.
TCI - Transverse cephalic index
TFI - Total facial index

The obtained data were analyzed in terms of basic statistical parameters. While the categorization of the treated entities by their cephalofacial features (indexes) were done based on the distribution of their index-values according to respective scale.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The findings of basic statistic parameters (X, Min. and Max. valúes, and SD) for the measured variables in treated subjects (male and female entities), and significance of their differences according to sex, are shown in Table I. The differences between the two groups were submitted to T-test for independent samples (statistical package SPSS 15 for Windows).


Recorded mean valúes for the measured variables, which determine the cephalofacial morphological features, in treated female entities are lower in relation to the mean valúes of these variables in male entities. Statistically significant differences between two treated groups (Table I), according to sex, were found almost in all measured cephalofacial variables. Such proportional differences did not influence only the total facial index.

According to the mean valúes of the measured head morphological variables of the male tested entities (Table I), our results of the head length (188.79) and the head width (157.71) are similar with the results of Gavrilovic"(1969) (188.61; 156.7) and Coon (186.18; 157.78), whereas our result of the head height (121.52) is similar with the results of Pittard (121.4) and Tildesley (121.40) (Gavrilovic'; Coon, 1950; Pittard, 1916).

In Tables II, III, IV and V are presented the categorization and distribution of the valúes for the cephalofacial indexes of the treated entities (HCI, VCI, TCI, TFI), according to respective scale.

The categorization of the head with regard to the horizontal cephalic index (Table II) shows that the majority of the treated population (male entities 51,9% and female entities 46.1%) belonged to the group with short head (brachiocephalic type).


According to the Table I, the horizontal cephalic index counted in treated entities shows that the treated male entities with mean valué of the HCI=83.59 (variations 61.7-100.5), as well and the females with HCI=84.79 (variation 73.7-94.1) belonged to the group of people with brachiocephalic type of the head. Similar results of the HCI were found in studies of Pittard, Haberlandt & Lebzelter (1919), Glück, Drontcrilov (1921), Coon (1950), Gavrilovic", Ylli, Dhima, Behluli (1987).

According to the percentage (%) of the male tested entities which were characterized with a long head (Dolichocephalic type), our result (2.3%) is closer with result (2.7%) of the author Drontcrilov. According to Haberlandt & Lebzelter 5% of the Albanians are characterized with dolichocephalic type of the head, whereas according to Pittard 9%.

The categorization of the head with regard to the vertical cephalic index (Table III) shows that the majority of the treated population (male 48.3% and female entities 40.4%) belonged to the group with low hypsicephalic type of the head.


Table I shows that the treated male entities with mean valué of the vertical cephalic index VCI=64.41 (variations 52.74-76), and the females with VCI=63.72 (variation 53.85-76.57) belonged to the group of people with low hypsicephalic type of the head. Distribution of the treated male and female entities by their transverse cephalic index valúes was similar (Table IV). Both treated entities were mainly concentrated in the group with tapeinocephalic type of the head (male=66.8%, female=75.1%).


Table I shows mean valúes with variation for both treated entities regarding to the transverse cephalic index. Based in data of the Table I, the males with mean valué of the TCI=77.14 (variation 63.64-93.97) and the females with TCI=75.22 (variation 63.13-92.86) were characterized with tapeinocephalic type of the head.

Distribution of the treated entities based on the total facial index valúes is shown in Table V. According to this table the treated male entities are mainly distributed in two morphological types of the face: leptoprosop (31.2%) and hyperleptoprosop type (31.6%). The female entities are mostly (48.7%) concentrated in hyperleptoprosop facial type.


Based on the mean valué of the total facial índex (Table I) the treated male entities with TFI=90.38 (variation 74.31-115.6) belonged to the leptoprosop facial type, and the females with TFI=90.27 (variation 77.6-109.01) belonged to hyperleptoprosop facial type.

Table VI shows the comparison of some Balkan populations according to their horizontal cephalic index.

According to the table VI, Albanians have higher valúes of the HCI with regards to the other Balkan people. A lot of anthropologists' investigations say that approximately 80% of the Albanian people (in our research 76.9%, Table II) have a brachycephalic and hyperbrachycephalic type of the head (Behluli; Dhima; Gavrilovkf; Glück; Mcculoch; Ylli). After the Albanians, aligning of the other populations according to the size of the horizontal cephalic index looks like this: Tartars, Romans, Turks, Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians, etc. (Ylli).


Based on analysis of the results and discussion of this research, the following conclusions can be made: According to sex, the two treated groups show statistically significant differences in mean valúes of all measured cephalofacial variables, excepting the total facial index.

Statistically significant differences between treated entities (males and females), with regard to morphological head features, expressed sexual dimorphism.

According to the indexes of the head in entities of both sexes predominated, brachyocephalic, Low hypsicephalic and tapeinocephalic type of the head.

According to the total facial index, male entities are characterized with leptoprosop and hyperleptoprosop type of the face, while females with hyperleptoprosop type.

The morphologic types of the current population could not be easy separated, because among the different types interfere types with intermediate features (Behluli; Coon; Dhima; Ylli). But, in general the morphological features of the head from this research, match with the results of the other authors, who found similarities between the morphologic features of the dinaric type (Illyrians) and Albanian population (Behluli; Coon, 1950, 1939; Drontcllov; Dhima; Glück; Günter; Haberland & Lebzelter; Mcculoch; Tidlesley; Ylli).

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Correspondence to: Agron Rexhepi
Str." Sali Butka" Nr. 31 ID, 10020, Prístina, KOSOVA. Phone: +377 44 110 855. Email: agronmrexhepi@gmail.com

Received: 17-06-2008, Accepted: 22-09-2008.