Friday, May 18, 2012

Blue Eyed African Boy From Sierra Leone

I came across this picture of a boy from a remote village in Sierra Leone, West Africa. What really grabbed my attention, beyond his fantastic little smile, was the photographer, April Conway's, notation that the chief of the village said that the little boy was both deaf and mute. This combination is called deaf-mutism, where "profound or total deafness going back to early childhood, without special training, inevitably leads to the absence of oral language development". In deafness, dark pigment, and blue eyes, the lad is presenting strong symptoms of type II Waardenberg syndrome, along with the arguable broadness of his nasal bridge. If we could see under the hat, it might reveal evidence of a tuft of gray hair in the center of the forehead - also a symptom of Waardenberg's.



James C. Collier

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5 comments:

Roger Poladopoulos said...

As a Deaf man, the lack of oral language isn't necessarily a disability. That's why we have signed languages, our method of communicating. I'm fascinated by both his winning smile AND his blue eyes, which are products of a recessive gene. He's quite handsome and from his expression, I imagine very personable.

AprilinSalone said...

Roger - I'm the photographer for the photograph. He was really really personable. I'm glad that somebody could diagnose him - I've been wondering myself what would cause that combination of traits. He could hear certain sounds and could make noises but not words. I'm glad people enjoy the photograph!

preta4 said...

Despite his 'condition', is it not possible for a 'dark-skinned' or black person to be 'born with' "blue eyes"? I ask this question because we had a young black woman in our church, who was born with 'light green eyes' so why can't it just 'sorta' be a natural thing that happens, say once in a blue moon??

James C. Collier said...

@preta4, if you search on some of my earlier posts on the subject, you will see the observation you seek. In this case, the photographer made a point of the boy's deaf-mutism, a symptom which I chose not to ignore.

Tammy said...

omg He looks like male, black Cameron Diaz