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Malay race

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Map of the area historically regarded as being inhabited by the Austronesian peoples.

The Malay race is a theoretical race that was first proposed by the German scientist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752–1840). Blumenbach described five races, and classified them by the colour of people's skin. The Malay race was classified as the brown race.[1] Since Blumenbach, many anthropologists have rejected his theory of five races. Most agree that classifying races is more complicated than Blumenbach allowed for. The Malay race is a concept. It has no connection with the ethnic group of Malays.

The term Malay race was often used in the late 19th century and early 20th century to describe the Austronesian peoples.[2]


  1. University of Pennsylvania
  2. Rand McNally’s World Atlas International Edition Chicago:1944 Rand McNally Map: "Races of Mankind" Pages 278–279—On the map, the group called the Malayan race is shown as occupying an area on the map that is roughly the land area inhabited by those people now called Austronesians.