The Kimyal tribe inhabiting the highlands of Papua-New Guinea are the smallest people.
If one of their men grows to 1.40 meters or 4 feet 7 inches, he would be considered very, very tall, they have not known to grow taller than 1.45 m or 4 feet 9 inches, beating even African pygmies by about a hand width.
The Europeans in the Images are german Dentist and medicinal Ethnologist Roland Garve, he stands at about 6 feet 2 inches or 1.90m, and his brother Reiner at 5 feet 10 or 1.80m respectively.
Why they are this short is not completely clear up until now, but it seems that it has to do with their diet which consists mostly of sweet potatoes and other plant material.
Animal protein, while not completely absent (they keep pigs), is quite rare, which may contribute to their stature.
Also, it has been found that their height decreases with altitude, the higher up in the mountains they live, the shorter they are, a theory trying to explain this has postulated that due to nutritional shortages, the smallest people of the community have been supposedly chased out of the villages and into the mountains, where they then founded new communities, continuing the circle.
This theory, however, stands on rather shaky legs, it seems reasonable to assume that higher altitudes just provide less food than the lower areas.
All that being the case, the Kimyal are however observed to be growing.
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