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Daniel Buck
nasal morpometrics
Thu Apr 5, 2018 8:49am


Let's look at the bright side, the "medios natos" question is an excuse to brush up on our nasal morphometrics.

At the time we were translating the Expediente, a bi-lingual Bolivian rendered medio ñato as somewhat turned-up. Close enough.

That said, ñato -- a word that is not much used these days -- can mean achatada or chata (snub) or celestial or boton (turned-up) or a combination thereof. Or even smallish or flat or something else (More soon.) Partially because the nose has different aspects; it might depend on which aspect the witness mentioned. And what is he comparing the nose to? Add the qualifier medio, the qualifier Remigio Sanchez used -- as in, medio ñato -- and you are pondering a somewhat snub nose, a somewhat turned up nose, a somewhat small nose, etc. Plus, he's describing two different people at once. It's complicated.

More complicated: there is obviously quite a difference between Wayne Rooney and Carey Mulligan's beaks -- see below -- although both might qualify as ñato. Let's toss in Charlize Theron while we're at it.

Brad Pitt has a nariz chata. Who knew?

To give an idea of how the same type of nose can look different on two different faces, check out the Roman noses on no 4, Tom Cruise & John Lennon:

Or how two different people can describe the same nose somewhat differently, check out Helen Mirren, chata and delgada & puntiaguda:

In fact, if you jump round the nose-type websites, you'll see examples of the same noses being classified differently. It seems not even the classifiers agree.

It's complicated. Add in the fact that you have a Bolivian in an Andean village in 1908 describing two gringos, that is, two men not of his own ethnic tribe, and it gets even more complicated. Remigio Sanchez was not an otolaryngologist analyzing someone's schnozzle under a magnifying glass. He was an Andean villager giving an impression of two guys he saw, foreigners at that. On the whole, he was reasonably observant: "blonds, with medios ñatos, the smaller one somewhat ugly and the larger one, good-looking." Not bad as eyewitnesses go. It would be nice if we could ask him precisely what he meant by medios ñatos, but we can't.

I asked a friend in Argentina to give me an example of someone with a "medio ñato" and he said, President John Kennedy. So there. Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and John Kennedy. And Brad Pitt & Helen Mirren & Wayne Rooney & Carey Mulligan. Best Dan

  • Re: Dumb and DumberChrisV, Thu Apr 5 6:23am
    Brett, I can't believe for years people fell for this garbage of a story. The inquest papers are there for them to read, the descriptions, etc. Anyone with half a brain can see it is not them. Yet... more
    • Re: Dumb and DumberDaniel Buck, Thu Apr 5 10:06am
      Part two: Let's look at the medio ñato question from another angle, etymology and usage of the word ñato. Warning, there's no simple answer. An 1875 dictionary says ñato origin is Quechua, ñanppi,... more
    • nasal morpometrics — Daniel Buck, Thu Apr 5 8:49am
      • Try leaving out the white guys.Pat, Thu Apr 5 9:21am
        In Roger's version he says a Rubio is a light skinned Spaniard. So it could be a spaniard with blue eyes and lighter hair plus a shorter nose than the indian natives. Or andeans. Since Pero did not... more
        • Re: Try leaving out the white guys.Daniel Buck, Thu Apr 5 10:04am
          Pat, The Expediente was compiled November 1908 to March 1909 by the Tupiza district attorney. That's the original, the document we are working off of, the one I am quoting from. There is no mention... more
          • Re: Try leaving out the white guys.Vince Garcia, Thu Apr 5 7:33pm
            Excellent comments. We have the same problem in trying to translate some fine points in Biblical texts. This has led me to wonder if you can comment on the point Christ brought up about the word... more
            • lost & found in translationDaniel Buck, Fri Apr 6 6:07am
              Vince, biblical translations have fueled disputes for hundreds of years, and will for hundreds more. Of course, in that case we trying to understand the word of God (supposedly.) Here we're trying... more
              • Re: lost & found in translationVince Garcia, Fri Apr 6 7:18pm
                Again, good reasoning. And I definitely understand the issue w/regional dialects. (There were like 30 regional dialects of Aramaic so when someone asks a question like, "How would that translate from ... more
                • Re: lost & found in translationDaniel Buck, Sat Apr 7 5:24am
                  Vince, there are three later photos, two from Argentina, ca. 1904, and one from Bolivia, ca. 1908, but the resolution is not great. In the Bolivia photo SK looks like he has thickened around the... more
                  • Re: lost & found in translationVince Garcia, Sat Apr 7 9:08am
                    After I wrote that, I recalled the camp photo which we have talked about before, and which I have remarked--since we're talking about who DOESN'T look like Butch and SD--doesn't look look like them.... more
                    • Re: lost & found in translationDaniel Buck, Sat Apr 7 10:01am
                      Vince, The camp photo? Do you mean the 1908 photo from Bolivia? Yes, the resolution is not great, and it's not a close up, but the pair are dressed in Montana Peak hats, light shirts, vests, etc., as ... more
                  • BallparkChrisV, Sat Apr 7 6:29am
                    The description of the corpses is no where near "in the ballpark" Its not them. Lets regroup and find out what really happened.
              • Re: lost & found in translationChrisV, Fri Apr 6 6:23am
                Dan, I dont normally rate guys, but I think that both Sundance and Butch were both in the category of handsome guys. To judge one a little uglier, to me doesn't make sense if it were the outlaws. You ... more
                • Re: lost & found in translationDaniel Buck, Fri Apr 6 6:41am
                  Chris, it's more important what Remigio Sánchez thought. That said, I don't think it's unreasonable, based on the few photographs we have, to describe Sundance as "bien parecido" and Cassidy as "un... more
                  • Re: lost & found in translationChrisV, Fri Apr 6 6:58am
                    Dan, Actually, its more important to look at the description of the two corpses. If you zoom in on the fw5 photo, you can see his Butch's scar. It must have been quite noticeable. You would think if... more
                    • Re: lost & found in translationDaniel Buck, Fri Apr 6 12:38pm
                      Chris, The mention of a scar on Cassidy's face is from his Wyoming prison record, 1894: "has a small red scar under the left eye." It might have been the result of the pistol-whipping sheriff Bob... more
            • VincePat, Fri Apr 6 6:06am
              Christ wasn't white and blond either or hanked a pug nose.
              • Re: VinceVince Garcia, Fri Apr 6 8:01pm
                You were there and saw what He looked like? Other than supposing He looked something like the guy on the Shroud of Turin, I have mo idea what Jesus looked like or what color His hair or complexion... more
      • Re: nasal morpometricsChrisV, Thu Apr 5 9:16am
        Dan, Thanks for chiming in, however, Im not buying it. The nose is but one description that is dissimilar to the two outlaws. The only thing these two deceased hoodlums had in common with Butch and... more
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