Physical Characteristics of Native American Heritage

IndianI am part Cherokee and with that, I try to find out as much as I can about my heritage. I find a lot of it fascinating, to say the least, but there are a few things that I didn’t know, and I thought I would do a laundry list of facts that I found out regarding Native Americans some time ago.

Physical characteristics that I exhibit are noted by a at the end.

  • High cheekbones. 
  • Almond shaped almost oriental looking eyes.
  • Heavy “fat” eyelids where the eyelid appears to have an extra fold.
  • “Shovel” teeth, the teeth have a ledge on the backside. Run your tongue across them; they feel almost like a shovel shape.
  • Large front teeth with a slight or more than slight gap. (Used to have slight gap before teeth crowded from wisdom teeth.)
  • Lack of the Carabelli cusp on the maxillary first molars (a little bump), which is missing in Native Americans.
  • Large heavy earlobes.
  • An inverted breastbone. Often called a Chicken Breast. The bone actually makes an indentation in the chest.
  • Little toes that lie under the next one.
  • A second toe longer than the big toe.
  • A wider space between the big toe and second one.
  • An extra ridge of bone along the outside of the foot.
  • “Lingual nodes,” the two bony nodes that protrude from the jaw bone under the tongue.
  • A pigmentation in the back of the eye on the retina peculiar to Native Americans.

In addition to the listed characteristics, Native Americans also have the following (noted by for me, as well):

  • Higher occurrence of hypoglycemia.
  • Higher occurrence of Type-2 Diabetes.
  • Thyroid conditions Hypo and Hyper are often found in those with Native ;Ancestry.
  • Alcoholism is due to the lack of an enzyme to convert the alcohol in the bloodstream.
  • Oclesia of the Esophagus – the last muscle in the esophagus becomes too strong
    and closes off after just a few bites and the person can not swallow anymore.
  • Heart Disease.
  • Arthritis.
  • Kidney problems, most likely related to the occurrence of diabetes.
  • Native American are harder to match to for blood transfusions and marrow donations due to their antigens being harder to match. This is usually in cases of cancer where this is needed.

So, physical characteristics to a Native Americans is solely not limited to just the traditional dark hair, high cheekbones, nose shape and darker skin that most people associate with them. I had encountered this list on a genealogy website at one point years ago and found it interesting that I found a lot of the characteristics listed. I knew that I was part Cherokee, but it was interesting to find all the little quirks that made me different.

Now if I could do something about the pudgy jowls most Native women end up with as they age, I would be happy.  Can’t fight genetics, unfortunately.

Update 9/17/2016: I will not approve comments that include vulgar language or are attempts at trolling. The imprudent little punk that wanted to make nasty remarks asking whether or not if I knew any other tribes other than Cherokee. Yes, in fact, I do. My best friend growing up was part Blackfoot, and until a few years ago, we assumed our Native Ancestry was actually Iroquois. I do not have a “princess” in our line. That’s utterly ridiculous, and I never once stated that I did.

Additionally, I never said I was an expert or a researcher. If you look at the cited sources below, you will see this is based on two separate publications, one of which is from the NAAH. (Cones Kupwah Snowflower in NAAH #14 July 1996 “Let’s Get Physical”) The article itself was not limited to Cherokee but most native tribes in North America.

If you are not engaged enough to read the comments and reply objectively, then don’t bother commenting.


Sources: Family Tree publication of the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library and The article “Let’s Get Physical” by an NAAH Contributing Editor


About The Author

is a blogger, writer, self-proclaimed geek & nerd, and the gyrl behind Ramblings of a Gyrl. A few cats shy of 'crazy cat lady' status and fully embraces her love of video games, films, cooking, and literature. She is currently writing her first novel for publication.

This article has 129 comments

  1. My son, father and grandfather, have all those physical trait that you describe. I still remember my greatgrandmother and his face and hands all like mine, plus my nails are curved like claws something that she have too, but i’m white.

    • It doesn’t matter if you are white on the outside, lots of Americans have strong native ancestry.

      • Yes DNA and phenotype can be very different. I would like to add the extra bone density in the jaw bone. I had a visit to the dentist and learnt this is another trait.

        • My Great Granny was part Blackfoot she was so strong and such a beautiful woman.. those strong features and truly noticeable? She always wanted us to be proud of who we were through her blood line.. I don’t tell alots of people but I’m really proud of my Great Gran .. RIP

    • Juan Eduardo Gonzalez
      Monday 9 January 2017, 1:12 am

      Same here dude

      • I was raised to believe I was white, too. Back in the late 1800’s and far into the 1900’s, Native people who could passed for white to save their lives. They would say, like my grandparents on both sides, that they were “full blood English” (mother’s side -Susquahannock) or full blood German or Irish. My Father’s father was really Cherokee. They picked whatever the source of their last name was.
        I knew from a young age that I was Native American without anyone telling me. In my twenties, I started asking relatives who might remember and found out the truth.

        • I like your comment I too was told of my Native American Heritage at a young age my grandmother was Cherokee. I was not blessed to know her but my great-grandmother was part Cherokee and she raised me she shared that with me when I was a teenager I am proud of my Native American Heritage very much so.

          • how luck you are my dear. i have never been able to talk to any family members about our heritage. one, my fathers side never did, has or ever will speak of their Native American blood as to them it is still unthinkable to be Native American. I wish my Grandmother were still alive, i believe for me she would have spoke of it so that it would not be lost forever. My Mother’s side is just now, that it is acceptable to be Native American, realizing that they are. One of my great cousins did a search back into the family for many generations and was that one that found the wonderful news, that I had known my entire life, that we indeed were of Inca decent. I find it ironic that my Mom was so caught up in not being Native American and now we finally have proof. you are very Blessed that you’ve been able to talk to your elders and have stories and real life accounts of your heritage. for me, it’s just knowing and believing what my Spirit tells me.

  2. Interesting! I have most of these traits as well.What a fun read to learn these quirks. Add to that physically speaking, very thick skin. I have read that is a common trait, and I have it.

    • That’s one trait I don’t have though, my skin looks almost paper thin and is pretty fair.

    • Cheri Gates Shepherd
      Tuesday 25 October 2016, 7:53 am

      I have all of the named characteristics including severe Arthritis and Hypothyroidism. I had always heard, through vaious distant family members, we had some Native American on my Dad’s side. If I mentioned it to my own family though, I would get the cynical no I doubt it, you are just fantasizing. I finally did my DNA. Ancestry and FTDNA did not show it, but 23 and Me did. I also found it doing my Genealogy. So, I have verification with DNA and my paper trail. I am Narragansett which totally surprised me. I never claimed to be Cherokee as I knew there were none in my family. I did think possibly Oneida or Seneca, because of where a lot of my family originated from. When I began doing my Genealogy, I was surprised at the amount of family I have from Rhode Island and that they are Narragansett.

      • I had my DNA done through Ancestry and found I’m 20% Native American but I don’t know what tribe. My father was supposedly Mayan Indian and Spainard, my mom was English, Irish, Dutch and Cherokee Indian. What I question is how do you determine the “high cheek bone” characteristic? I do have the “shovel” teeth, my dentist told me that years ago, the arthritis, hypothyroidism, longer second toe. I’m thinking of getting my DNA tested by 23 and Me to see if there is a difference. This is really interesting and I hope I can find “my tribe”.

      • Grandmother Wandering Star. My Great Grandmother was Irish red hair green eyes her wagon was attacked on a raid in Indiana.She produced two children my Grandmother Lucas member of the paint clan and E Lucas her brother.Both married outside of the tribe to a Carpenter. My father was a fourth Indian and in the early 60’s on a trip across country we were refused service in several restaurants and motels because they did not serve Indians, Later in my life I drove old route 66 to the end at route 666 this was on my way to Oklahoma to see the rolls and Dawes document. I was refused service by the Zuni tribe they said whites needed to be out of town before sunset. As you can tell I am older and have traced ancestry,tribal rituals and have attended several Pow Wows.ceremonies.. I too have Graves disease and just this last week my sister was diagnosed with the same condition. I am proud to use the Indian name given to me by Rolling Thunder and Pope Rising Sun in the 1980’s and spent several years. After leaving Tantay. I taught at a Navajo reservation second graders English, never good enough at math; although the creator knows I tried.Due to a family emergency I returned to Indiana.
        Would like to hear from others experience and knowledge .I am currently researching and in the process of publishing a novel.My e-mail address is [email protected]

  3. My dear daughter sent your article to me and I found it most interesting, as I have more of those traits than not. Who’d a thought!! I am part Algonquin and proud of it,though I don’t know of their history like you do. Thanks for sharing!

    • I tested with,, http://www.accu-metrics and now awaiting results from

      I tested 17% Algonquin and was so surprised at my results bcz my only Canadian side is my parental grandmother who always said she was French-Canadian but looked Native other than her white skin. Dad however looked full Native but I always thought it was from his middle eastern father.

      Nana was hiding a lot and since I have gone back to school to re-educate myself from the 80’s crap we were taught in school about Indians.

      I have found I can be proud and stand tall knowing I have indigenous ancestry.

      I am interested to hear from others with Algonquin ancestry.
      My email is : [email protected]

  4. My great grandmother was full blood Cherokee, from the Meadows line.. Her daughter, my grandmother was 1/2, and she married a man with some amount of native american blood.. although it is not known what tribe or how much, as he died young.. Their daughter, my mother is 1/4 Cherokee plus whatever she got from her father.. And then there is me, 1/8 Cherokee plus ?… Other native americans have always been able to tell that I have native american blood… Which was strange because I was born with medium brown hair and BLUE eyes… But after reading this article, I understand.. I have almost every one of those physical characteristics.. Very interesting

    • You should be 1/4 and your mom 1/2. πŸ™‚

      • All I know is that I live in the south!! And I’m so upset when I see everybody claiming set!! Sorry but I don’t believe that most white people are of Native American descent!! It creeps me out when I see them displaying Native American figurines it is just wrong!! Sometimes I want to ask them who in the hell told them that lie..oh my God PLEASE STOP IT!! How are you CLAIM N.A and you got a Rebel Flag on your truck?

  5. This has been the biggest mystery in our family.

    Grandmother had straight long white hair, high cheekbones, tanned very well (although she preferred to stay as pale as she could), she even walked like an old Indian woman. I have asked 3 times if she has Native in her. She, unfortunately, took that one to the grave. She would avoid that question and say well a little English and French. Another time she went quiet and just had that far away look in her eyes

    . I have almond shape eyes and so does my daughter. People say I look Native but I cannot tell them I am. I was in an antique store and this man felt my daughter looked Indian 100 percent. She is a mixture of heritage. I cannot say anything. I have no knowledge at all. There is rampant alcoholism in the family as well. I don’t even know where to research this. An unsolved mystery I will never find out. I believe she didn’t want anyone to know in the family.

    • You can order a genetic test on if you have Native DNA, it will show up on there. They are between 80-100 dollars, but honestly for all the work that goes into testing your whole code, it is a bargain! Plus, it will compare your results with other people’s and you can potentially discover relatives!

      • Thank you, Kimberly! I will order one of those kits. I just wish I had some personal mementos from family confirming our heritage. It would have been interesting to hear! All our family last names sound very English or German sounding. Nothing at all sounding Native in any way. Although, I have seen pictures of my grandfather and his siblings. I cannot tell you how much they look Native. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw it. My grandfather would spend a lot of time in nature and always smoked his pipe.

        • My mother would never speak of her ancestry or answer any question regarding what religion she was. She refused to let my sister go to a church that was not my father’s church – it seemed to really bother her.

          There were always whispers in her family of adoptions, but no one would speak of it. Her “Mother” had a reputation for confusing the children’s names (8 girls and 1 boy). What mother could not remember the name of a child she gave birth to and raised?

          The one boy would disappear for a year or longer at a time and no one would hear from him, but they said he was living somewhere back to Oklahoma.

          When my mother died, among her possessions was a necklace depicting the Trail of Tears which confirmed to me what I always suspected. She had thick, jet black hair and her neck would tan so dark with any sun at all. And she did not want any alcohol around or for anyone to drink it.

          When she was in hospice, her youngest sister was unusually affectionate to her – especially for that family who showed no affection. This sister was years younger than her and others told stories of how she “mothered” her when they were both little which is unlikely to occur if they were born into that family.

          I am convinced they were taken away from their Cherokee families and placed in a home far away and sent to a school where they were taught to never admit they were Cherokee – not even to their own husbands and children.

          Many of her sisters also appear to be Cherokee and their family was in Altus, Oklahoma before the dust bowl years when they moved first to Dallas and then to Bakersfield. If anyone else in the family knows the truth, they clearly plan to take it to their graves.

          I had a friend who was 3/4 Souix and he could not believe that “white women” as he called us would want to go to lunch with him. So I guess I understand how people could be brainwashed as children to be ashamed of their heritage or even hide it.

          Often I have been told I look Cherokee – especially since I moved back to Oklahoma – even though I have light brown, thin hair and hazel eyes that appear blue, but have brown around the iris. One sister looks just like me, but has our mother’s jet black hair and a brown triangle in one eye. Her daughter has dark brown eyes even though hers were marked blue at birth, but are clearly the unusual blue with brown similar to mine, but more of it.

          I am sorry my mother lost her family due to the stupidity of government programs and that I lost the opportunity to know my people. I consider them my people even if they don’t know me and even if our paths never cross. The land calls me. The wild edibles grow abundantly here and I belong on the land in this place.

          • Your last paragraph was so beautifully put You seem to be at one with your Creator and His Creation. I too have several stories and several tribes–yes we have all in our past have been persecuted. We have seen babies destroyed and brave men reduced to slaves– we have seen our mothers abused and our fathers left helpless. But to look back at them and see greatness in them this is the greatest triumph there is–It is not the atrocious behavior of the others but the survival acts of our ancestors we are their hope and their life.

          • Another reason for not knowing or hiding Native ancestry is eugenics. Eugenics was a government program that “discouraged” Native Americans from reproducing. The Native population in Vermont was used as a pilot project beginning in the 1930s. Public health nurses went house to house trying to get pregnant Native women to go to hospitals to give birth. When they did,they came home often without a baby(stillbirth) or without a uterus(complications). My Grandmother was sterilized 4 years after my mother was born,after giving birth to my uncle in a hospital. We were not allowed to tell anyone we were Native,we had to say we were French.4 years ago I sat across from my 83 year old parents and asked why. No one should have to hear the heartbreak in their mother’s voice as she recounts the anguish her family went through,all the pain pouring out from deep inside from a 4 year old’s perspective. Tears streaming down her face as she cautions me to protect my daughters and granddaughters from sterilization by not claiming our ancestors. I was born in the 1950s,eugenics was still in full swing. It happened,it can happen again. My grandfather taught us the ways of our ancestors,we were told by our parents they were just games and stories. We are Iroquois,Algoquin and Abenaqui. Oh,by the way,my mother sought out and married my father,another “French”person. My children and I are building on my grandfather’s teachings. Reclaiming our ancestors.

      • It will not tell on Ancestry DNA if you are a woman, only in a man. A woman gets her DNA from her mother. My Native American ancestry comes on my dads side. So don’t depend on it if you’re a woman.

        • This is not true. I administered a test where the girl would’ve been 6 percent or less if your statement was true (only having one full Cherokee ancestor on mother’s side), but indeed she shows 35 percent Native American via the DNA test, so we know the rest is from the father.

        • Everyone gets half their DNA from their mother and half from their father. Autosomal tests show results from both sides. Perhaps you were thinking of haplogroups…..

        • I think you’re confusing mitochondrial DNA with chromosomal DNA. Indeed, your mitochondrial DNA comes only from your mother, and her mother, and her mother before that, but that is true for both boys and girls. But the chromosomal DNA comes from both the mother and the father, for both boys and girls. And they are testing chromosomal, not mitochondrial. – a pre-med student

      • Thank you Kimberly, I have been interested in looking for more information on my ancestry. It is hard because I come from a poor family and little records were kept. Also, where I live Cherokee were forced to move (Trail of Tears) and so the ones who stayed, married white people, changed their names, and hid in the hills. Some documents would say one person was white, native, or African American at different times in their life, probably what ever they could pass as at the time and avoid racism or land taken away. That is my mom’s side, she is light (her mom light and dad dark). My biological father is olive toned with black hair, but I know nothing about him. I asked my 1/2 sister about our heritage, but must have insulted her because she is darker, like him, and I am lighter. She unfriended me on fb and I have no other contact with his family.

      • HI kim, they can actually tell which tribe? Do they do the tracing of the family tree as well? Thinking of doing this but being that I’m the only of 2 left in my family alive I would need a lot of help to figure it all out so any info that u could give me on this I’d appreciate greatly. I know some of the family secrets but no idea how to do all that plus the dna. I would feel better about life if it could all be done. Also who is best? Ancestry or family tree or 23 and me?

    • Rampant alcoholism also applies to Caucasians. I am a Native woman and no one in my family ever drank.

  6. Both of my grandmothers are Native Americans. I have dark red hair and paler skin, but a lot of other characteristics including hypoglycemia. When I look in the mirror I can see the Blackfoot, Apache, Welsh, German, and Scottish people that came before me and shaped me. Most people ask if I’m English or Irish… except for people who have spent time around Western tribes. They ask me “how much Indian are you” all the time. I’m always surprised because I just think of myself as me.

  7. Interesting read. I’m actually mexican but no one input family knows our genetic/ethnic breakdown. A lot of us Hispanics are genetic mutts mix of indigenous ancestry with European and African. I never really thought much of what I was but I knew I had a big hooked nose. It wasn’t until I got a rhinoplasty recently that I put more thought into my face and it’s so definitely apparent that I ended up with lots of Amerindian genes because I’m practically hairless, I have hooded lazy eyes, slanted forehead , very strong round cheeks, a massive jaw, very sharp almond eyes and short wide feet. I didn’t know what strangers people saw in me that made them compliment me or stare at me when I’m pictures I felt ugly all the time . I’m also bi and rather looks conscious it’s been hard growing up as a lgbt teen and realizing you don’t fit the typical looks portrayed in media , hard to identify with blacks or Caucasians or Asians because Amerindians are rarely portrayed on tv so I felt like a big outlier and was concious of all the things that made me look Amerindian. It wasn’t until my nose job that I truly realized what a unique and striking very sculpted and sharp face I had all because of my Amerindian features and while the new nose is not ugly it was very traumatizing to me after surgery because my nose seemed extremely small and short afterwards and very Polynesian – esque . I did not realize that native noses are very long and sharp with a very high bridge and in order to straighten these out they need to lower the bridge and also bring the tip to the face. I don’t hate my new nose but I did mourn my old nose as I was happy with it except for my profile in pictures . I had a nice native nose, not the fat enormous fleshy but rather the more long elegant and thin with a subtle hump… Oh well. I’m much more accepting of all my other native features now and embrace the unique striking look they impart on me.

  8. My mothers mother always said we had Indian in our blood & I know we have something for sure. My grandmother was born in dinwiddie Va, one of 11 children. She had jet black hair, high cheek bones & she would get so dark that back in her day people thought she was black. her eyes as do all of our eyes slant. From what I understand her grandmother or great grandmother was full-blooded & the father white. We also have English, Irish, & Scottish. I have the high cheeks, eye slant & some of the other in your post but I’m fairer skinned with light colored hazel eyes. My husband has Indian, english, german from his family. They tan dark & have hooded eyes. We have 4 children with all of them having high cheek bones. They all tan dark but 3 of them are fairer skinned & have light blue/gray eye color & their eyes slant. Now only one of my children has the skin that gets very dark & he has pretty brown colored eyes & he is the only one from both sides of the family that has the almond also Asian shaped eyes but most definitely almond shaped. All throughout his schooling everyone who hadn’t seen us thought he was mixed with black/white, black/latino latino/asian etc. I even had one of his teachers ask me if he was mixed. He has 3 children 10, 4, 1 that have his dark coloring & brown eyes with 2 having the slant but 1 having more of the almond/asian eyes. 1 child’s mother is white, 1 mother is black & 1 mother is Egyptian/El Salvadorian. 2 have black curly hair & 1 straight dark brown. beautiful children tho. My daughter’s 1 yr old is fairer skinned with beautiful crystal blue eyes but he to has the slanted eyes, was born with a head of dark brown hair which is now a dirty blonde color. His father was adopted but he knows he has mayalin indian, irish, as well as mexican in his blood but his eyes slant down, he’s fair skinned with freckles, has dark brown/black hair, he’s goatee is reddish/brown, brown eyes & his eyes slant down. I plan on buying the ancestry DNA kit to see what I do have & how much as well as getting one for my son. My grandmother said we have Cherokee & my hubby was told lumbee but now hes hearing Cherokee so we don’t know for sure. My grandmother is still alive at 94 but her mind is going now so I really just don’t know if it’s Cherokee or another & how much.

  9. My great grandfather is full-blooded native american, and so are a few of my cousins, but most people don’t believe me when I claim that I’m more than half. I have dirty blonde hair and green eyes (from my father’s English side), but my actual facial features are clearly native american.
    I have high cheekbones and smaller, slanted eyes, and even though they’re green, they still resemble what was described here.
    I’m also very pale, which is something I think throws a lot of people off.
    I’m still proud to say that I’m part native american, though, and I don’t really care what people think about me not looking the part. πŸ™‚

  10. I to have had similar experiences regarding my appearance. All my life people would randomly stop and stare at me. It wasn’t till later in my life that I was told that I have the features of the Cherokee. I will say to my your not alone

  11. The crazy part guys I’m from thomasvil Georgia Cherokee nation my people are we got all them characteristics everything

  12. I grew up being told that my paternal great-grandmother was full Cherokee & that I look just like her. However; our coloring is dark brown hair w/red highlights (before it turned grey, that is); green hazel eyes that are long w/heavy lids; high cheekbones; straight noses; winged, shovel-shaped incisors w/a space between my two upper front teeth before braces; crooked fingers; & my little toe lies mostly under the toe next to it. Before I did so much damage to my feet, I had a larger space between my great toe and the one next to it, which is longer. I know that some of these traits are Native American. Someone in the family, however, had her DNA tested which reportedly revealed no Native American blood. I don’t know who did the test, how accurate the lab was or anything about either.
    Like a lot of the people who wrote in above, I have had a lot of people ask how much Indian blood am I or they tell me that I should research my family to find the Native Americans in my ancestry. As a child, children @ school called me “squaw”, which I know to be a terrible insult.
    I’m currently taking Multicultural Psychology & have been researching Native American history & life today. It has reminded me of my need to know & learn all that I can about this possible heritage.

    • The DNA test you speak of would need to be done on a male relative if I’m not mistaken.

      • Can a woman take the DNA test?
        Yes, both women and men can use AncestryDNA since we all carry the DNA that is being tested. In fact, men and women are tested in the same way for the same number of markers. Unlike some other DNA tests, which only analyze the Y-chromosome (and can only be taken by a male to look at your direct paternal lineage) or mitochondrial DNA (can be taken by a male or female but only looks at your direct maternal lineage), AncestryDNA looks at a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 locations.

    • My mom was told her father was full Cherokee Indian. She has dark hair and eyes, olive skin, high cheek bones, jaw line n chin. All the health related issues and her Ancestry DNA came back NO NATIVE AMERICAN. I’m so confused! She looks totally Indian ? I don’t get it.

      • Apparently full blooded Cherokee have Jewish dna, and they think they came over in the late 1600s. Some artifacts were found with Hebrew writing.

        • Full blooded Cherokee were definitely not Jewish! That is a myth put forth by hundreds of early antiquarians in the 1700-1900 centuries. They were trying to link the old world to the lands of ancient America. The Cherokee are descended from the same ancient ancestors of ALL Native Americans from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego. All Native American Nations are more closely related to each other than any other foreign people. The Native People have no ties to other continents and are their own race, period!

          • Angela

            Actually, the prevailing theory has been that our ancestors came over a land bridge from Asia. However, they’ve done some extensive work on mapping DNA and found that 1/3 of the samples tested pointed to West Eurasia instead. They also believe there may be hints of Australo-Melanesian DNA as well. This is not current DNA, but that sequenced from remains in archeological finds over 10,000 years ago or more.

            I agree, Cherokee were not Jewish. Jewish implies religion anyway, not an ethnic or racial group, but I digress.

          • I agree with Angela, “Jewish implies religion” I have been raised all of my life believing that.Today in this new world of “Political Correctiveness” and the “Revision” of everything, it is being put down our throats that Jewish is a race and ethnicity, Bologna!!! Judea was a land of people who practiced Judaism, hence from which we get Jew and Jewish. It is about the same as all of us from the United States, we are called Americans, Yankees, Californian’s, Texan’s, New Yorker’s, Northerner’s, Carpetbaggers, Southerner’s and in this example you cannot see any race or religion. Funny thing, even some Jewish people think they are a race. I am not really a studied person, but I do know of only three race types. Caucasoid, Negroid and Mongoloid. So our American Indian has to have come from one of the groups. I say Asian, as like I have and most Asians do, the Mandibular of the lower jaw. I do not know of any Anthropologist that would proclaim American Indians being indigenous to North America or South America. Some belief is the Land Bridge, coming over in a boat, I could surmise some as castaways or drifters from some sort of excursion, I guess the debate continues, like the chicken and the egg????

          • Actually its the PC police that insist Jewish is a religion. Non PC beliefs are that Jews are both ethnic and religious. Yes there are non-ethnic Jews that practice Judaism. That is an exception, not the rule. The Jews are a tight knit people who are only 2% of the world’s population. They rarely intermarry. Jewish is more an ethnicity. But today’s liberals get all upset because they think you’re another Adolf-you-know-who if you imply that Jews can be an ethnicity. “No its a religion!” they keep saying. Horsepucky.

          • My step-Dad was Jewish, religion and ethnicity (hoped I spelled that correctly) as were his parents. He was my Dad since the age of three and I maintain what was taught, have a Torah and Menorrah, I light “memorial” candles for my deceased Jewish relatives as my Mom taught me, she converted to Judiasm so she and my Dad are buried in the Jewish Cemetery. To honor and celebrate my parents and relatives I wear, as my Mom did, a Star of David. And yes, Jewish people are very tight knit and wonderful, intelligent, insightful people.

          • In response to Meade, I will say, Regarding the PC Police, so be it. I will stand by, that Judaism is a religion because that is where Jewish people’s faith emanates from. Firstly from God and that they were from the Land of Judea. As to ethnicity, has nothing to do with a race. It is more about traits and customs. Jewish being an ethnicity and a faith, hmmmm. I guess I would have to go around correcting people if I head such a thing and say, “Jewish is an ethnicity and their faith may probably be Judaism. You cannot say that Jews are Caucasoid because like Americans and Yankees, it does not define “race. No disrespect to anybody, just a civil discussion and trying to differentiate terms and definitions. Of course new terms arise as we now have the word Messianic Jews, they do not practice Judaism, but are Christians. In my eight decades of life,I learn something new every day.
            Over and out,

          • I never said Judaism wasn’t a religion. Of course it is. Its also an ethnicity. The reason people deny the ethnicity part is because it echoes the past of the Nazis who looked for certain physical characteristics to go along with that. There are people who practice Judaism who are not ethnically Jewish (Madonna, Sammy Davis Jr, etc) These people are usually not regarded as real Jews. To be Jewish your mother must be Jewish. According to Jewish law. Jews intermarried into Europeans during the great migration. However, they still remained within a small enough group to retain their ethnic past. If you look at some Euro Jews you can’t tell they are Jewish much. In others, it is very clear. This is not racism its just a fact. Being Jewish is probably more so an ethnicity than even a religion since so man Jews today are non-practicing of the religion, yet they retain the cultural aspects of their background. Look at Sarah Silverman or Jerry Sienfeld and tell me they aren’t Jewish. They certainly aren’t religious. But they are Jews non the less.

      • Cheri Gates Shepherd
        Tuesday 25 October 2016, 8:00 am

        Try 23 and Me. It shows Native American DNA if it is indeed there. It showed mine where the other two major companies did not! By the time I tested with 23 and Me, I had discovered my paper trail, so I knew I had Native American Ancestry. Their test confirmed what I knew.

    • Apparently full blooded Cherokee have Jewish dna, and they think they came over in the late 1600s. Some artifacts were found with Hebrew writing.

  13. Angela

    My nose is less aquiline in appearance and more wide, which is a Cherokee trait. The hook is less prominent and I feel it more than see it when I run my fingers over my nose. I certainly have a high bridge.

    The biggest issue I have with a lot of people who claim to be Cherokee is that they have zero native characteristics yet want you to believe they are half or more. A former neighbor of mine claimed she was half, yet she had pale freckled skin, red hair, and bright blue eyes. I called her out on it. She stated that there was a secret Cherokee tribe that had blonde hair and blue eyes. She said they looked like white people. I wanted to slap the stupid out of her. Even her own brother said she was full of crap.

    What’s humorous is that we speculated my father’s side was Iroquois. When my father was born in 1949, it was unpopular to put native heritage on your birth certificate. Therefore, it states he is white even though he is anything but. Same with his sisters. It took some time to track down, but surprisingly, our ancestry is Cherokee. I get Cherokee through both of my parents, with my father having significantly more (he’s nearly full-blooded).

    As for myself, I’m mostly Cherokee and Irish with a smidgen of Scotch-Irish and English wiggling its way in there. I think a lot of people gravitate toward the idea of saying they are Cherokee because it’s a dime-a-dozen tribe. In many cases, they try to apply the one drop rule to themselves when they barely have enough to qualify for the most lenient of blood quantum laws. And it may not be Cherokee at all. It’s simply the most recognized and no one bothers to do the research to find out otherwise.

    And don’t get me started on how everyone in their family has a Cherokee princess. *puke*

    • Hi Angela,
      You can read about my own mixed heritage above so I won’t bore you by repeating it. But I have to ask, did your neighbor really tell you there is a secret tribe of Cherokee who are blond & blue-eyed? What a bunch of… I don’t think we’re allowed to say what that is.
      My own research has been more generalized to Native Americans as a race & their culture(s). What have you learned about the Cherokee? My paternal great-grandmother Laura was Cherokee. Unfortunately, I never met her. She died when my dad was about 3 years old. However, my paternal grand mother Grace, spent a lot of time telling us grand-kids about her.
      Do you know anything about the DNA testing? I was told by someone that the family had great-grandma Laura’s body exhumed to collect DNA to test. The results reportedly showed no evidence of American Indian in her. However, that doesn’t explain all of the physical characteristics my dad, brother & I have.
      And I agree w/you about the claims of having a Cherokee princess in the family line. What a hoohee!

    • Angela,

      I must concur with your post regarding the claims of being “part Cherokee.” I truly feel bad for those people who are legitimately Cherokee as their true heritage has been co-opted by so many. My husband is actually 1/2 Oneida, which makes my children 1/4. Even my school-age kids are skeptical when someone claims to be Cherokee.

    • When I read your response this felt like saying this thanks for inspiration I need that

  14. I have mostly everything except I have blue eyes and I don’t have the Indian nose which is weird because both my parents do

  15. You might like to consider the fact that the Vikings made to America so some of the blonde, blue- eyed phenotype might be in the mix a little.

    • Angela

      But not enough for genetic variation. Blonde hair and blue eyes are a recessive trait.

      • Yes but if there were these genes in a person’s ancestors on both sides – then voila. That’s how recessive genes work.

        I have brown eyes. Both my parents have brown eyes. But they both had blue eyed parents. So my brother had blue eyes. And had children with a blue-eyed woman. So both their children have blue eyes.

        So not a lot in the gene pool – no. But potentially enough when like meets like – genetically.

      • It’s strange because I look very Native American even though my mom is Irish (red hair green eyes) but my dad is Cherokee.His mom is full blooded. My husband is German (blonde hair blue eyes) & both of my daughters look just like him! I never thought I would have children that have crystal blue eyes and soft curly blonde hair.

    • The Vikings only made to Greenland and New Foundland. They did not make it further than that. I doubt that they bred with the Inuit, because they fought constantly, calling them Skraelings. Native Americans have no European DNA Pre-Columbus, and only now due to colonialism.

      • Have you read the Russian anthropologist’s study in which she reports that a 24,000 year old bone was found in southeast Siberia? Genetics are reported to be both European & Native American. The article is pretty scientific in nature, which might make it hard to understand but the gist is that this 24,000 year old bone–the oldest found, to date–shows characteristics common among both Europeans & Native Americans.

    • Angela

      I actually minored in American History in college. I’m well versed in these facts and then some. But yes, white settlers did enough to drive out and/or kill the remaining Natives.

      • Can I send you a photo so you can comment on my features and see if you notice something similar?

  16. I look the part….both parents had strong Native American roots. I was told by my great grandmother that her father survived the March. She lived to be 103. My nose has a high bridge, high cheek bones and my skin and hair are very dark, my feet and teeth are as described…..yet my brother is much lighter and has none of these traits. Also all of us who look Native American were born bow legged and pigeon toed…I am wondering if there is a connection to these disorders.

  17. my children are half chicago, born on the reservation. both born with a mongolian spot. i didnt see that characteristic mentioned.

    • Angela

      That’s because it is also prevalent in Latinos, Asians, and Africans. The list was taken from the source cited at the bottom of the page, which mentioned but did not define it as a trait exclusive to Natives. Their reasoning was that since many other races of darker pigmentation also have the spot, it wasn’t a trait exclusive to Native Americans. Also, Mongolian spots are also associated with metabolic diseases. Ascertaining if the spot is attributed to an inbound error of metabolism or autosomal dominant inheritance is sometimes impossible without further analysis.

      I was born with one. My youngest was born with one, but my oldest was not. Mine faded within a year or two after birth as did my daughter’s.

      Like I said, I posted the list from the cited source.

  18. I have alwasy been told that my maternal Greatgrandmother was 1/2 Native American and the nem on Mom’s side do not have facial hair as far as a beard goes and I don’t have much hair on my legs. Mom said these were my native american traits – I have several others, olive skin, the eye shape, eye lids, brown eyes, high cheek bones, longer toes next to the big toe, Indian nose. Interesting, I have throyid issues and 2 other other auto immune issues. Diabeties runs in my Mother’s family and my Uncle & 1 cousin had it. We believe we are from the Paumaunky tribe (costal Virginia) was the tribe I am linked to. I took the ancestry DNA test and nothing showed as Native American even though we know this to be fact. It came back, a little odd with several catagories showing <1% (Caucaus – West Asia / Finnland-north West Russia/ South Asia/ India) Under 3% (Iberian Peninusla/ Greece/Italian Scandianavi) thinking this must somehow be linked to native American. I have a seen a picture of my Great Grandmother – defenitley native American. My other DNA pointed to my Dad's side (German / Irish – 49 % & 41% respectively) and Mom's Mother's side (Irish and English). My Mom had Hazel eyes with a brown birthmak in the white part of one eye. Bone strait hair extreemly thick like a horses tail – beautiful. She was beautiful. Mine was a dark brown, thin, and curly – thank you Dad. πŸ™‚ I would have loved to have had Mom's hair, since I didn't I am blessed and thankful that I do not have to shave my legs, like her. It was not good to be an Indian or have indian blood in my Mother's day and my Mother's mother's family looked down on my Grandma for her Marriage to an Indian. My Great Grandmother was Mosourri Hibble (however her parents claimed her as white on her birth certificate) Mom didn't tell me of my herritage unitl my late teens but often told me that Indian's were not bad like the movies and TV claimed. The winners in history often paint our history in their favor, and she took me to an indian reservation several times. She instilled in me the love of nature and life.

    • Hi Faith, I have found that most of us who have a Native American heritage seem to be coming up no Native American on those DNA tests. I noted you included “<1% (Caucaus – West Asia / Finnland-north West Russia/ South Asia/ India". For what its worth, a Russian scientist, Federova, discovered a 24,000 year old bone close to the Finland-Russian border. The geneticist who ran a number of tests on it found that the bone had characteristics unique to Native Americans. In addition, they found it to most likely be someone who lived in the Caucaus & northwest Russia to South Asia on to very north of what is now Alaska. Their theory is that the people started in the North by Northwest Russia, near the Finnish border & followed the food supply across western Asia to south Asia then up & across the Bering strait before the land sunk. The research was written up in an article that can be found in a university library; however, it is written for geneticists which makes it really hard for the average person to understand, @ least it was for me.

  19. One of my parents had a distant grandfather who was Cherokee and I have most of these characteristics.

  20. Angela

    This post merely talks about the physical characteristics from a scientific standpoint. I won’t approve comments that are intended to agitate or cause trouble for others by talking about social issues unrelated to it. In addition, I will not tolerate racist or outright attacks on another person.

    This is a warning to recent posters who have taken their submissions a little too far, thus rejecting their comments and deleting them. And before you throw a fit and cry freedom of speech. This is a privately owned website. Therefore, I’m well within my rights to censor the shit out of your ass if you are going out of your way to cause trouble. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. My website, however, is not a springboard for your social justice, PC bullshit or name calling.

    That said, back to our regular programming.

    • You go gyrl! I’m glad to see that you won’t tolerate useless nasty comments meant to agitate and cause trouble. Just wanted to let you know I appreciate your stand.

    • Hi Angela,
      My dad is from the Florida panhandle,and it’s been said that my grandfather was full-blooded Cherokee. I was at work one day,when a Navajo woman stopped at my counter and said that I have strong Cherokee features. I’m 6’1 with wide shoulders,pigeon-toed (bear toed as my family calls it! Lol) flat footed with the long second toe etc..But what this lady said stuck out the most was my deep voice. It’s been compared to a cross between James Earl Jones and Barry White. Thoughts? And blessings to you…

  21. Very interesting to see for the first time in my life a chart on physical features. Although I am 7/8ths of European lineage, I can attest to having most of the features, except the longer second toe,(mine are equal in length to each other), I do not know of anything of a pigmentation of the retina (my eyes are of a light grey color).I do have facial hair, very light, can go a week or more without shaving, I have about twenty or more light hairs on my chest, virtually not able to be seen. Now, I have learned some new things here and did not know they were likened to American Indians, but I do have. (1) Lingual nodes: I have been playing with them with my tongue since I was a child, I kinda thought everybody had them until I read this page. Checked my wife who is 100% European, she does not have them. (2) Oclesia of the esophagus, WOW!!!!! Blew me away, so that is where my problem comes from, my mother has it too. (3) Shovel teeth up front on the top, again, checked my wife, she does not have them, but my mother does. The only recurring comment I have ever got was those Chinese eyes”, my mother has them too. Strange story, was approached at the post office one day 7-8 years ago by a little lady. I was in shorts with flip flops, she asked, ” do you mind if I examine your feet” , I said yes. She says you have a tribal footprint, I thought she was whacked, “me thinking I came from a Sub-Saharan tribe. She then said ” excuse me, and that is an Oriental tribe” then I really thought she was whacked. But after her short examination and asking if I knew my blood heritage it all came to pass, she was right on. She told me of all my European features as well, when I told her that my 6th grandmother back, was from an uppertown clan that lived on the Chickamauga, she said “ah ha, that’s where it comes from. She then thanked me for my time and introduced herself as a professor of antropology. My 6th grandmother was born in 1814 in what is now Hamilton County Tennessee. She and her sister married white brothers and moved on to Arkansas in 1861.They did there best to hide there tribal history, they also took an oath to citizenry, that is why they stayed in Tennessee so long. After the first generation of mixed bloods, they easily assimilated and moved on to Arkansas, Oklahoma and then to Bakersfield Calif. This all around between 1861 and 1938. My family always has spoken of the heritage and so proclaims it’s greatness. I somehow find myself having many native traits that fight with the European ones. At the least, with much blood mixing, I am glad that I live on native soil. So how interesting it is that these features are not watered down with such a dominant influence of the Europeans, but actually stay within us. I asked my son today on just the one characteristic of the “lingual nodes”, he has them too, even though he is 14th generation American, Totally amazing and thank you for posting. G.S

  22. My Dad was adopted at 3 months old, and did not know his heritage in his lifetime. I always believed there was native American bloodlines. My elder sister is very fair, and rebuked My idea of Indian heritage, even though like our Dad, I have always been darker in coloring. She had a DNA test done, and amongst our vast well of white eroupean lines, low and behold, 30%”Asian” (aka Indian) Who of guessed? Oh yeah, ME.

  23. I have 1 full blooded Cherokee in my ancestry, and she was from the late 1800’s. She married an American and had children. I have been told by many full blooded Cherokee, that it showed up in me. I have dark hair, olive skin, high cheekbones, almond shaped eyes, only green. I have Lupus, no thyroid now, as it went crazy from hypothyroidism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, the sunken in chest bone, the toes description is like mine. I never knew of any of these Cherokee traits other than the facial looks. I had a lady help take care of me after a major leg surgery who was 3/4 Cherokee. So many times, she would tell me, “that is a Cherokee trait”. I not phsycic by no means, but so many times I sense something is going to happen right before it does. Or I will say something, and my mom, whom I live with, will say, “Dawn. I was just thinking about that. That is do scary”. I just tell her I’m sorry. And animals, they all seem to like me. I no longer look much like a Cherokee, because I am on steroids for my Lupus and RA, and have gained alot of weight, mostly in my face. I can”t be in the sun, and have faded, although most people still tell me I am dark. I have always tanned easily. Oh yeah, I too, sometimes can’t get my good to go down past my throat when swallowing, and just have to keep trying to swallow it. I guess the Cherokee showed up in me, and I am very proud of that.

    • Hi, thanks for all the information. It is so incredible. I was wondering is Rheumatoid Arthiritis prevalent to The Cherokees or to all Native Americans? Thanks for sharing

  24. I recently found that I have some native american from my grandfather’s family, even though I still don’t know much about it. Your list was useful! I have the eyes and the nose (which is nice to place since neither fit well with my scottish bloodline, and my eyes were constantly pointed out for being an abnormal shape for a pale red head, haha!) I also have the fat eyelids, the shovel shaped teeth, and the space between my toes. I love looking into this, since I am scottish and scots-irish, and that has always made me view clans and bloodlines as very important and special. I would love to see whatever connections I have to this culture as well. I’m always happy to find more heritage that I can respect, as both scottish and native american women are very much seen as strong characters compared, which I can’t help but respect and want to live up to.
    On the downside the arthritis genes run in me as well :/ But what can you do.
    Thank you ^.^

  25. I am 1/8 Lakota. I had no idea those things inside my mouth had a name or were part of my genetic heritage. I just remembered my dentist thought them odd and it made it nearly impossible for a retainer to sit in my mouth. Interestingly, my grandfather, the last registered Lakota in my family had the swallowing (lack of swallowing) issue. Again, I had no idea it was heritage related.

    • Did you ever get a retainer to fit? I had one & had the same issues. It took a lot of adjustments to get it to work & fit! I didn’t know about the teeth characteristics until, as an adult, a dentist told me I must be part Native American because they are the only one’s with teeth like mine. What a surprise to have an outside of family confirm the stories I had been raised on about my great grandmother being Cherokee.

  26. I am a medium brown skin with average black hair African American and have been recognized by other Native Americans as being Cherokee. I also have a Spirit Guide whose Native American. I have most of the features that were mentioned. I have not taken the DNA test but somehow know that I have a strong Cherokee presence. Other Cherokees sence that I am Cherokee almost right away. Is this common? For others it’s like a knowing. Is this common among Native Americans?
    Am I qaranted that my DNA test will reveal this?

  27. I have heard lots of hits that my family had Native American in the last few generations. I have failed to find my grandmother who claimed Swanger past the close family and the whispers say Shawnee and recent.

    I have every physical trate from the teeth to the breast bone. The extra bones on the outside of my foot etc…. I’m not questioning if I have Native American blood I just wish I could trace it?

  28. Hey thanks for all the information. I’m curious though about the Blackfoot. On my fathers side my grandmother was full Blackfoot my grandfather 1/2 Blackfoot and 1/2 English. My mothers side is dutch, English, and Cherokee. I was always told as a kid that my high cheekbones were Indian but as I read your list there are so many more features that I have. My fathers parents had both past away before I was born and with my parents divorcing when I was 10 I didn’t get to grow up with his side of the family. My curiosity is that, as I read about the Blackfoot tribe they are placed in Canada and Montana. My fathers family grew up and still reside in Wellsville, NY. I am 5 hours east of there. Do you know of any other Blackfoot tribesman who came east? I can only speculate as my father also has past away and I don’t really know his family (he was one of 16 children), that perhaps my grandmother, Erie Evelina, either ran off with my grandfather or was kicked off the reservation because of my grandfather being a half breed. I have always felt a pride to be at least 1/4 native american and would love to attend a pow wow, I feel a little apprehensive though because I am learning that the Blackfoot made enemies out of many other tribes plus the possibility of my grandmother bringing disgrace to the breed…well…I think you get the idea. Do you have any knowledge about the Blackfeet tribesman navigating east?

  29. My Dad thinks we have Cherokee but he passed away and he didn’t know much. All I know is I have a lot of characteristics and his Great Grandmothers name was Jane Davis

  30. This is really interesting to read, my 10 year-old son and I have just gone through the list of traits, as my husband is African American/German/Native American. My son was really excited to discover that the distinctive wide gap between his big toes and second toes, is because he has Native American ancestry. Thank you for this, really interesting!
    Do you happen to know anything about distinctive heels? When my eldest was born (the 10 year-old), he had noticeable heels that jutted out, my midwife (we live in New Zealand) even told me she had never seen heels like that on a baby before and suggested I take him to a doctor! My father-in-law said they’re Cherokee heels. Is this another trait?

    • Humm, interesting! My grandmother is believed to be Indian, she has very light skin, long curly fine hair, big earlobes, diabetes, throat problems, slight beard(sorry granny)?.The huge honker, The eyes,kidney problems, arthritis but doing ancestry I learned that her parents were both mulatto. Back then I’m not sure if mulatto was white/black or Indian/white, or Indian/black. I know that I have the most gorgeous pecan Color, the breastbone,the long pointy nose,the bine on the side of my foot, the gap,the space in toe. Slightly curly hair. I want to do the DNA testing but not sure if it’s in my budget. Are they any places to go to get help finding out who you are? Don’t Indian reservations need people to come home. It’s so sad how Indians were treated back then. That may be why we are listed as mulatto, but have Indian. She was born in 1933 in bladen county NC(whites Creek) so I can imagine how things were back then.

  31. This is a wonderful article, I’ve found more information here then anywhere else so far. I too share some of the characteristics listed, but like you put, “I’m a little white girl” too :-D. I’ve been told I have ancestry somewhere in my line, so it could be true for my family immigrated in from over in Europe, in different places. But I really enjoyed your better in depth of the features, I’ll have to search my line to make sure.

  32. I am both Sioux and Apache. While having my wisdom teeth removed, the dentist asked if I was Native American because they have extra roots in there teeth. All four of my wisdom teeth had extra roots and we’re very hard for the dentist to remove. So apparently that’s a trait too….

  33. I’ve recently started my research on my ancestors and my heritage but it’s very difficult since my grandpa isn’t my dad’s real father. But this has helped me so much given that I’m Latina and my mother’s side of the family came from Spain, so crearly I’m part European but from my dad’s side is been always a question. I always thought that there might be some Native American in my blood but like 80% of the characteristics described in the article I’ve found both in my father and me! I will happily share all this information with him since he’s also very lost in the subject but very interested too. Thanks for sharing. (Sorry for the bad spelling, again, Latina, haha)

  34. Hello my name is Bonnie…I am 47…. all my life my mom told me and my 2 sisters that we are cherokee indian….she told us that her dad was full blooded cherokee but I decided to do a ancestry dna test here is the results from there Europe 98%
    Europe West 81%
    Ireland 16% so does this mean my mom lied? does this mean ancestry is right? what does my results mean, I have grown up my whole life thinking I am cherokee….and you see the dna results is it true? someone please tell me what my results mean?

    • Angela

      Most DNA tests only use mitochondrial DNA, which comes from the mother. You need to have her father take a Y-chromosome test to determine what percentage he is, if possible. She may be telling the truth.

      My own percentage is adjusted between my own DNA test, which tested the mitochondrial DNA I inherited from my mother, the test my aunt did on my father’s side to find out her mitochondrial contribution from my grandmother, the percentage we knew my great-grandfather and grandfather were, and so on. I come in just a sliver under half doing simple math.

      The thing you must understand is that most DNA tests look at mitochondrial inheritance unless you are male and they can test the Y-chromosome contribution.

      You can find out more about mitochondrial DNA here:

      • Hi….I cant…he is dead been dead since I was 6 months old…so not a option….so guess Ill never know my true heritage

        • If you used Ancestrydotcom, that’s an autosomal test, which is DNA from both parents/grandparents. So, if you had a full-blooded Native American grandparent, there would definitely be something showing up, from a low percent (if you didn’t inherit much) up to 25%.

    • Hi, Sometimes native American DNA doesn’t show on DNA tests unless you go to someone at the reservation. Hope this helps.

    • If your native american ancestry is too far back in your genetic history, it is difficult to find the native american DNA in you. It doesn’t mean you don’t have native american ancestry, it just means that maybe it is a little too distant in your genetic history. I don’t know if this makes any sense, but if you want to know some more about it, just look it up on Google. You might find something interesting and more specific there πŸ™‚

      • If your mother said her father was full blooded Cherokee that would make her one/half .This would show in your DNA profile as Cherokee. That would make you one/fourth. I would say that you would have to check the family tree because your mothers claim is not supported by the evidence. Consequently,you would need to know where the tribe was located and what clan her father was from and begin tracing from that point.

  35. I have been researching my my family origins for years, my maternal grandmother always told me we had a lot of Indian heritage, particularly Chickasaw, and Choctaw, through my research I have hit a dead end at what is believed to be my gg grand father full blooded Chickasaw Benjamin Bear King Tanner and his wife Tiyo Dancing Wind Choctaw Tanner. I haven’t been able to confirm everything yet but I am working on it and am planning to do DNA to help. I don’t need all of these things to tell me I am part native American I see it in my features and after reading this this article I have more than I realized.i have always been most at peace in nature and frequently speak to my messenger whom I believe to be the hawk as one is always close by at all times.

    • Hi Melanie πŸ™‚ I was born in Marion, SC and Benjamin Tanner is my 4th ggrandfather on my mother’s side. I read somewhere that TiYo was the wife of a Choctaw chief who died before she married Benjamin Tanner and apparently sometime they moved back to Mississippi to claim the land she inherited. I never did find proof that he was Chickasaw but someone mentioned to me that they thought it was a bad rumor from a member of their family who was a drunk, that Benjamin Tanner was white. I would love to know what you found out, as I have seen the Chickasaw reference several times. I also read that their exact gravesite and place of death was never found. Any info you would be willing to share would be appreciated. πŸ™‚

  36. I am the little sister whom wrote this article. Daniel Boone is our 8th great grandfather. We are also related to Stephen father.. etc. I have the shovel teeth, my toes are as she has described. I am a dark redhead that doesn’t burn. I just keep getting darker
    I also am connected to the spirit world. I have seen ghost in Cherokee park and I can make predictictions. Though some are not good. I can look at people and see if the are on their death bed.
    I am also considered a healer and a medicine man
    To top it off I am an extreme high sensitive sensitive
    I am still learning my capabiliyies.
    I can tell the future, and it’s scary!!
    I have had the gift my entire life and just trying to control it. It is a gift, AND IT IS SCARY. I am posting my heritaff on gmail. Me and my sister has this special gift and we feel it our responsibility to share this with every one.
    We believe in GOD, but we also. Elieve other thing out there. As soon as we finish I will post the finding on gmail.
    And yes Daniel Boone was a Lille man with ( red ) hair like me! The history
    Books need to be.changed immedaty sot
    So the children learn the true meaning of the founders of our country. You should also keep a juornal of your drems every night. They will help help guide you throught this process.
    HAPPY REAING AND HAPPY RESEACH. You will be amazed what you come accross ?

  37. I have at least 9 of these characteristics. I’m 1/8 Native American (Cherokee) but I’m SUPER white skin and have blondish hair and blue eyes and i don’t even tan πŸ™ just freckles. My mom and grandmother are able to tan, and my father has black hair and is able to tan (not sure how much Cherokee is in him tho) It’s really hard to feel part of the Cherokee when even tho i have the characteristics, I’m light skin. Like an outsider. I’m kind of afraid to join the tribe as to what they would think of a white person in their midst.

  38. thank you this article was very helpful with my school project

  39. My mom just had her DNA done on ancestry.Com and she found out she is 59% native american. I wish I knew what kinds of native american. Thanks for all the cool info. Being native American is badass.

  40. I read an article that stated if you have an M on the palm of your hands that you have Native American blood line in your families history. Is this true. The reason I ask this is because I happen to have an M on my palms. However, I have yet to find any evidence to support that claim. Do you know of this trait and is connected to a certain tribe or all Native Americans.
    Thank you for you time,
    Sign, AllieBug32

  41. I am thinking of having my DNA tested. My father and younger sister resembled Native Americans quite a bit, and I have a lot of the characteristics (shovel teeth, high cheekbones, heavy eyelids, and so on). I have always felt an affinity for Native Americans and for wolves. My mother was Irish with red hair and green eyes. My father had jet black hair and blue eyes, high cheekbones, crooked fingers, heavy eyelids,darker skin that tanned easily and much more. My paternal great grandmother is a mystery. No one ever spoke of her but did of my other ancestors. They moved from Illinois to Kansas in the 1800’s. All of this leads me to believe that I may have Native American blood in my veins. What do all of you think?

    • More then likely you do. Have a DNA test done with me and 23 or some other test. They start at like $99. But what you wrote sure does sound like you are.

  42. Does it also count if you have inuit genes? Cause all of those traits fit me very well too.

  43. Are Naive Americans also more likely to have wide set eyes? I notice that as well. I have most of those things listed except the shovel teeth. I am Pataomeck and Cherokee ancestry.

  44. […] few years ago, I wrote a post outlining the physical traits of Native Americans. This is an interest of mine since I am part […]

  45. I have most all of the physical traits, dark hair/eyes, mandibular tori and all. When I was a child in the early 60’s, an older man got up and left a movie theater because of my ” kind” being there. Family spoke among themselves of Creek ancestry, and called me the “little throw-back”. My grandfather, mother’s side, born in the late eighteen hundreds, was the only one I remember being more outspoken about being Creek. He called me by his sisters name, who died at 13, because he said I looked just like her. His death certificate says mother’s Maiden name unknown, which I found strange.
    My father’s side, which was more well-to-do, avoided any mention of being “Indian” , but my father’s first cousin, after he had died, revealed that they knew they were Native, but for reasons unmentioned, had chosen not to be identified as such. My father had black hair and darker skin. All I had to go on was hear-say, but after reading the list, I am more sure of at least a percentage. Perhaps, one day, a DNA test will be done. Serious trust in what they may do with the results has made me reluctant. I know that sounds crazy, but it is hard for me to trust the establishment.

  46. A lot of those are a bear to deal with; for instance Arthritis, heart disease, diabetes. Being 63, I empathize with you on those traits.
    And I wonder if there is a north and South American gradient on some of the traits you mentioned?

    • Angela

      I’ve wondered that myself, actually. Ideally, you’d best talk to anyone of Latin American decent since they would most likely share traits withnative ancestry from South American groups.

  47. I am Susquehannock and Cherokee. Both are related to the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois. My email name is Susquehannock for “water” ?

  48. My DNA says I’m 47% – 51% Lipan Apache, I also have Spaniard/W European ancestry … even though I am very “white” with light colored eyes and hair, some of my siblings have the characteristics that you mention. I have some, like the teeth and toes.
    All my siblings and cousins and all the offspring on my Native side, have Salmon Patch “Angel Kisses like” markings to our foreheads between our eyes, some to areas around the eyelids and nose in variation of intensity, and we all have a little darker “spots” to the nape of our necks in or above the hairline that do not fade at all. that is 100% of all of us. I know my father had them and am told that his siblings and their mother (my paternal grandmother) also had them.
    I was wondering if you know of this? Or is it just our family? There were two babies born this week … more than 2,000 miles apart and both 6 generations to my grandmother (with the 2nd generation being my father and his sister) … and guess what? They both have the markings.

  49. Interesting stuff. I am currently doing a family tree project. So far, I have not found any evidence of Native American ancestry, I am not aware of any family lore of this nature (though there are a few branches of the family tree where I’ve hit a dead end).
    There is one intriguing trait: the genetic tendency toward crooked little fingers runs pretty strongly in the family, and we don’t know where it came from.
    Soon I am going to get a genetic test through 23andme and see if there is any discernible native ancestry.

  50. I have a small amount of Native American in me.. from what I have been told its of Creek, Choctaw, Cherokee, Sioux, Cheyenne.. my daughers father was half Cherokee and half Italian. I have a lot of the charactistics listed.. and she has more. She wants the DNA test to find out approximatly how much she has in her. Its extremly important to her to know and honor her Ancestery. But its odd to me that I have more than 10 things listed, and I always considered my link to be small.

  51. Wow, I didn’t know of the quirks and I wish I had known of this a long time ago then I could really look at my ancestry. Thank you for pointing the way

  52. I’ve been told that my family has Native American ancestry from somewhere on my father’s side, and I’ve been told by members of my family that one physical trait that comes from that genealogy is the presence of straight eyelashes rather than curved eyelashes. After surface-level research, I’ve found that this is a trait found in most Asian cultures, but nothing on its relation to Native American physiology. Has anyone here heard of the “straight eyelash” trait, or is this possibly something about which my family is misinformed?

  53. I descended from the TsimShiam First Nations Wolf Clan in Terrace, BC through my Great Grandfather.

  54. Wow that is incredible! I am only part Cherokee and was googling “native American moles and freckles” because I have a lot which is how I found you. I have a couple bigger moles (not huge) on my back and one on neck. Freckles are mostly like freckles but some are just slightly raised and darker brown, many of them on my arms, all different sizes. It really is very interesting that nearly every single physical characteristic you listed, I also share. I had to smile about the feet/toes because you nailed it. From the toes overlapping each other (mine are very rounded and curl a little, along with my nails) to the larger space and longer second toe. I barely have a pinky nail it’s so small and weird :)… My brothers and I all have a birthmark right under the beginning of our hairlines on the back of our heads, which may or may not be related to heritage?
    High cheekbones, heavy eyelids, deep set eyes, almond shaped, almost Asian looking, big front teeth with a gap when I was younger, shovel teeth, big earlobes and very interestingly I have dark brownish specks of pigmentation in my green/brown eyes. And most unfortunately, kidney problems, which is probably just due to excessive amounts of sugar and soda! Also, my brothers cannot grow facial hair well. Just little patches of it. I’m like dude, please shave that off haha! Anyways, very cool that you posted this info about yourself. Never imagined I could have so many physical characteristics in common with others who are only part Cherokee like myself! Btw, my ancestors walked Trail of Tears to Oklahoma and eventually made their way back to the Carolinas. I’m kind of upset my dad and his family didn’t share any of this with me growing up and don’t seem interested or curious about learning more.


  55. You just described Little Richard

  56. A lot of people here are part Cherokee, huh? Too bad it’s a lie (but that’s ok, because they actually believe in it), native american ancestry is the easiest one to track.

  57. Very interesting info and comments. My mother, now 79 from Mc Dowell county, WV, has always told us of some of our heritage while growing up . When she gets new information from her older sisters , she will share it with one of us grown kids. I am part Cherokee Indian from my mothers side. The stories are all quite true , as everyone living tells the same thing told to them by someone different who is now deceased. We are Hatfield people and Cherokee from WV, Kentucky area. My great, great, great grandfather married his young house maid, a Cherokee woman, after his wife died and had children with her also. My father was Scotch/Irish and my mothers father has some German, Swiss, and English blood also. So we are quite a mixture. My family ancestry is no lie. I and my children have many of these particular physical characteristics that are described here . I have a red haired child and a dark brown hair child. I have a brother with red hair and another with black hair/ olive skin. So very interesting.

  58. I only have 1% native American but I have noticeable traits of that, then I have 2% Asian central and east, and 1% Pacific Islander

  59. As I read your post Ramblgyrl, it’s sad to say that so many are as the “punk” you wrote about. I myself knew I was Native American even though my Mom insisted we weren’t. I knew my Grandmother, Father’s Mom, Mama Maria, was at least half if not full Native American. however, as someone else wrote, back in time you had to lie to stay alive if you were. The funny part is that my Mom is very fair and green eyed as are all her siblings. Most having green or blue eye looking German. Her Mom, Lorenza, had violet eyes. Anyway, we recently found out that on my Mom’s side, her heritage is in fact Native American. Inca to be exact. As Native American, we all know that even though we are from different parts of this hemisphere we are all of the same blood. My family’s from Colombia but in my heart I know that the same blood that runs thru your vines runs thru mine. As children we instinctively knew what we are even if we were told we were not, as another writer wrote. I was Blessed when I was around the age of 10 when the Hopi came to the school I was attending at the time. They visited our school twice and both times I was picked from over 500 children to go up on stage with the Hopi to learn some of their dances and signing. After that experience I knew that I knew deep inside I was Native American. I’ve been asked since in my late teens if I had Native American blood and always replied YES, to my Mom’s shaking her head. Now she says nothing that it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that at least on her side I actually am. I am usually tall for Colombian, 5’9″ and have green hazel eyes with very pronounced cheek bones and small hands and feet for my height. I have what my Father called cinnamon colored skin. I feel such a connection with both North and South Native American music, if you listen to it as much as I do you can hear just how similar they really are. I am an Empath Healer and work with GrandMother Moon, GrandFather Sun, Cousin Wind, which speaks to me if I sit still and listen, and Great Mystery or Father Sky. I absolutely LOVE my heritage and want to know more but it’s so hard because records in my homeland were kept by the church you were baptized in so that my Fathers birth records were lost in a fire many many years ago. I have no clue where my Grandmother Maria’s family or Grandfather Arturo, came from but believe they were also descendants of the Inca. Thanks for listening and giving us a place to come together as one as it should be. It doesn’t matter if you’re Eskimo thru to Inca, we are all ONE!!! Together we are strong, divided as this country wants us to be we are weak. It was proven when we came together as a Nation for the pipeline. Stay strong my brothers and sisters, times are changing. Together we can make a difference for our Children and Grandchildren!!!!

  60. Hi I am trying to find out if there are any legitimate tests to determine heritage I am told my grandfather was Cherokee and my mothers grandfather was black foot. My traits are completely mixed. I can fit into any nationality.I would like to know so that I can share with my family. Thank you