Monday, January 3, 2011

Gingerism redux

If one is a red head in England, one is called a ginger. As ginger hair is a sign of being possibly Celtic (Scots have the highest incidence of redhair-12%) some groups there think it appropriate to launch such Facebook pages as "Kick a Ginger" and have greeting cards saying Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones. Ginger is an anagram of a very offensive mainly American epithet.
Another group that historically was linked to having red hair was the Ashkenazi Jews. During the Spanish Inquisition, redheads were automatically assumed to be Jewish. Did the Ashkenazim acquire red hair from other peoples? Maybe, but presumably there are Hebrew redheads; Esau and King David both were described as having red hair in the Bible. In art, Judas is often portrayed as having red hair but as he is usually associated with evil, it could be another sign of gingerism. Not all artists treated red heads as evil. The beautiful women in Titian's paintings had red hair, thus Titian being another name for red haired. Red heads during the Middle Ages were sometimes regarded as witches or vampires and treated accordingly.
Naomi used to hate when coaches from other teams would shout Get the Red Head though as I pointed out to her, this would be better than You got the Big Girl, which I have heard also.
So Ms. Naomi acquired one allele from the Scottish side; one from the Ashkenazim. In strong light, there are bits of red flickers in Ms. Maya's hair though the gene frequency for red hair is really low among African-Americans and Native-Americans which contribute to her father's ethnicity.

I went out in the cold but thankfully dry air this morning trying to recover from various holiday excesses. My cold is disappearing but still I think it has slowed me down.

1 comment:

Nae said...

so because i am a red head, it could possibly be why i didn't feel contractions through to 7 cm? and even if i got pain meds it wouldn't do anything? (from your last blog)... next time when you don't think i'm in pain, just remember i am a red head. :)

(that is so strange...)


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