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The term Proto-Australoid was first used by Roland Burrage Dixon in his 1923 book Racial History of Man. The Proto-Australoids were an ancient hunter-gatherer people descended from the first major wave of anatomically modern humans to leave Africa around 50,000 years ago. Characterised by gracile body types, they are thought to have had dark skin colour, approaching black, and wavy or curly black hair. They had long heads (dolichocephalic) and broad, flat noses, like the inhabitants of modern-day Oceania and parts of Africa.


The proto-Australoids are thought to have begun their exodus out of Africa roughly 100,000 years ago. Also known as Austrics, they are people with wavy hair, spread over parts of India, Burma and the islands of Southeast Asia. Their existence in the Indus Valley Civilization has been suggested.[1] They cultivated rice and vegetables, and made sugar from sugarcane.

They are thought to have used a simple form of watercraft to cross the narrow span of water between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. From there it is hypothesized that they followed a coastal route through South Asia into Southeast Asia. Some individuals made a short oceanic voyage into Australia (50-60 thousand years ago), giving rise to the Australian Aborigines. Others continued their coastal migration north into East Asia.

Proponents of a proto-Australoid population wave theorize that remnants of this early founding population may be found today in various parts of the subcontinent, in Southeast Asia, and in Oceania. Some[who?] have proposed connections to the Ainu of Japan.

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