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Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Imtiaz Ahmed
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Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Imtiaz Ahmed » 25 Aug 2002 04:21

The issue has political ramifications. In particular, am interested in knowing more about which Indians originated in India.

Please feel free to post links about the topic.

http://www.ipsnews.net/wconference/note26.shtml

http://www.the-week.com/21aug19/life8.htm

http://www.utah.edu/unews/releases/01/may/indiangenetics.html

Imtiaz Ahmed
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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Imtiaz Ahmed » 25 Aug 2002 04:34

This link talks about the Iyers of TN.

http://www.bharatavarsha.com/iyer/iyergenetics.html

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby kautilya » 25 Aug 2002 05:19

Cross posting my posts from other thread

Post 1
__________________________________________________

From a paper published in Current biology Vol 9(24) 1999
Human evolution: The southern route to Asia
Todd R. Disotell
He took 512 genetic samples from all caste levels and did a study

Address: Department of Anthropology, New York University
____________________________
The SUPPOSED Aryan invasion of India 3,000–4,000 years
before present therefore did NOT make a major splash in
the Indian gene pool.
This is especially counter-indicated
by the presence of equal, though very low, frequencies
of the western Eurasian mtDNA types in both
southern and northern India
. Thus, the ‘caucasoid’ features
of south Asians may best be considered ‘pre-caucasoid’

— that is, part of a diverse north or north east
African gene pool that yielded separate origins for
western Eurasian and southern Asian populations over
50,000 years ago.

_________________________________

I have also had an e-mail discussion with disotell about this, and he stands by his results. If anybody is interested in getting a copy of this paper please let me know, and I will send it by e-mail. I cannot post it on a web site because of copyright issues.

Post 2
__________________________________________________

Another paper on genetics study of India
Demographic history of India and mtDNA-sequence diversity”
Mountain, J. L.,Hebert, J. M., Bhattacharyya, S., Underhill, P. A., Ottolenghi, C., Gadgil, M. and Cavalli-Sforza, L. L.
American Journal Human Genetics, 1995, volume 56, pages 979-992
http://hpgl.stanford.edu/publications/AJHG_1995_v56_p979-992.pdf

They studied three Indian groups from South India
a) Brahmins from NW Karnataka
b) SC from NW Karnataka
c) Tribals from Kerela
Some quotes from the paper--- This is in pdf scanned format, and so, can't cut and paste text, and graphics is hard to put in here. So, I will by typing the quotes, and may make some mistakes.

_____________________

The tree infered from sequences for all the Indian samples reveal no clean separation among subpopulation. Asimilar pattern, with no identifiable caste-specific clades, was recently reported by Bamshad et. al(1994) for a study of 40 individuals from four caste groups in Andhra Pradesh, India. Although the Havik and Mukri examined here are among highest and lowest status castes, respectively, sequences from both samples are found scattered throughout the tree......
_____________

It's hard to type it all, but they go on to say that this cannot be explained by simple exogamous marriages, and say ...

__________
This pattern indicates that a recent geneflow is unlikely. The lack of clustring according to caste affiliations is more likely an indication that the separation between mitochondrial DNA lineages predates the separation of populations.
_______________


Post 3
__________________________________________________

About, Bamshad's study that Imtiaz posted, I don't think he says at all when these "supposed european lineages" separated from the europeans. As, the paper from Disotell in my post estalishes, those lineages, separated 50,000 years ago, predating the supposed AIT by 10s of 1000s of years. So, just claiming that the higher caste have higher cascuoid lineages is not enough. As, Disotell paper also establishes, that these european lineages and features are actually pre-causcoid, and have had no relation to current europeans for the last 50,000 years.

Post 4
_________________________________________________
Here's another paper---
Again I will provide this paper to anyone who wants it, but cannot post it online.

Deep common ancestry of Indian and western-Eurasian
mitochondrial DNA lineages
T. Kivisild*, M.J. Bamshad†, K. Kaldma*, M. Metspalu*, E. Metspalu*,
M. Reidla*, S. Laos*, J. Parik*, W.S. Watkins†, M.E. Dixon†, S.S. Papiha‡,
S.S. Mastana§, M.R. Mir¶, V. Ferak¥ and R. Villems*

Current biology Vol 9 No.22


About a fifth of the human gene pool belongs largely
either to Indo-European or Dravidic speaking people
inhabiting the Indian peninsula. The ‘Caucasoid share’
in their gene pool is thought to be related
predominantly to the Indo-European speakers.
A commonly held hypothesis, albeit not the only one,
suggests a massive Indo-Aryan invasion to India some
4,000 years ago [1]. Recent limited analysis of
maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of
Indian populations has been interpreted as supporting
this concept [2,3]. Here, this interpretation is questioned.

We found an extensive deep late Pleistocene genetic
link between contemporary Europeans and Indians,
provided by the mtDNA haplogroup U, which
encompasses roughly a fifth of mtDNA lineages of both
populations. Our estimate for this split is close to the
suggested time for the peopling of Asia and the first
expansion of anatomically modern humans in Eurasia
[4–8] and likely pre-dates their spread to Europe. Only a
small fraction of the ‘Caucasoid-specific’ mtDNA
lineages found in Indian populations can be ascribed to
a relatively recent admixture.

This again supports the Disotell paper

Some more quotes
Nevertheless, we note that the frequency of
these mtDNA haplogroups reveals neither a strong
north–south, nor language-based gradient: they are found
both among Hindi speakers from Uttar Pradesh (6%) and
Dravidians of Andhra Pradesh (4%). Assuming that they are
largely of western-Eurasian origin, we may ask when their
spread in India started.

Thus, we have shown that the overwhelming majority of
the so-called western-Eurasian-specific mtDNA lineages in
Indian populations, estimated here to be carried by more
than a hundred million contemporary Indians, belong in
fact to an Indian-specific variety of haplogroup U of a late
Pleistocene origin. The latter exhibits a direct common
phylogenetic origin with its sister groups found in western
Eurasia (Figure 1), but it should not be interpreted in terms
of a recent admixture of western Caucasoids with Indians
caused by a putative Indo-Aryan invasion 3,000–4,000 years
BP. From the deep time depth of the split between the
predominant Indian and European haplogroup U varieties,
it could be speculated that haplogroup U arose in neither of
the two regions. This split could have already happened in
Africa, for example, in Ethiopia, where haplogroup U was
recently described [21].
Again this is the Bamshad paper referred to
http://216.239.53.100/search? q=cache:SvOiIQF2X30C:statgen.ncsu.edu/dahlia/journclub/genres994.pdf+bamshad+jorde+andhra+pradesh+DNA&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Could not find the actual paper, only a google saved version. This paper actually supports the Kivisild paper ---

West Eurasian admixture in Indian populationsmay have been the result of more than one wave ofimmigration into India. Kivisild et al. (1999) deter-mined the coalescence (50,000 years before present)of the Indian-specific subset of the West Eurasian hap-lotypes (i.e., U2i) and suggested that West-Eurasian admixture may have been much older then purpoted Dravidiian and Indo-European incursions
So, if you read the Bamshad paper carefully, you would see that they refer to the Kivisild paper above and actually support it. Actually Kivisild is one of the author. The only thing you can say in light of above is that
a) the bamshad paper has been misrepresented by the DDM. Also, the Bamshad paper probably implies that higher castes have higher west-european mixture, but, the DDM failed to report that this west-eurasian separation happened 30,000-50,000 years ago, and the difference is very small.

P Smith
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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby P Smith » 25 Aug 2002 05:19

Imtiaz Ahmed>> In particular, am interested in knowing more about which Indians originated in India.

Interesting phraseology.

Anyway, the article being referred to is at http://www.genome.org - search for Bamshad ("Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste Populations". Genome Research, June 2001).

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Atish » 25 Aug 2002 05:32

Guys is discussing the origins and genetics of ethnic groups the right thing to do in today's day and age. I know this is a very complex issue.

Also how do we define origination in India? Does it really matter if my ancestors came as invaders 2000-3000 years ago or are home grown 2000-3000 years ago?

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby kautilya » 25 Aug 2002 05:32

Imtiaz from your Utah link about the Bamshad paper---

Overall, the study indicates that Indian caste populations are likely to be of Asian origin with greater West Eurasian influence on the upper castes than lower castes.
All, this implies is that in historic times(last couple of 1000 years) their has been more interaction among higher castes and "foreigners" then the lower castes. This is no way implies that the common West-Eurasian genetic heritage in most Indians is from recent past. In fact, the Bamshad paper refers to the Kisvild refernce and says that their findings support the Kisvild hypothesis, as seen from my previous post.

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Imtiaz Ahmed » 25 Aug 2002 05:38

Kautilya, your point seems to make sense. "Seems" only because I have not analyzed the data yet. Am still at the collection stage. Thanks for posting the links from the ST thread.

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby kautilya » 25 Aug 2002 06:07

psmith thanks,

here's the link to actual Bamshad paper
http://www.genome.org/cgi/content/full/11/6/994
If the Kshatriya and Vysya are excluded from the analysis or included in the middle castes, the genetic distance between the upper caste (Brahmins) and Europeans remains smaller than the distance between the lower castes and Europeans and the distance between upper castes and Asians
This kind of seems contradictory to their claim, because I thought that the Brahmin's were the highest cast in the hierarchy.

West Eurasian admixture in Indian populations may have been the result of more than one wave of immigration into India. Kivisild et al. (1999) determined the coalescence (~50,000 years before present) of the Indian-specific subset of the West Eurasian haplotypes (i.e., U2i) and suggested that West Eurasian admixture may have been much older than the purported Dravidian and Indo-European incursions. Our analysis of Indian mtDNA restriction-site haplotypes that do not belong to the U2i subset of West Eurasian haplotypes (i.e., H, I, J, K, T) is consistent with more recent West Eurasian admixture. It is also possible that haplotypes with an older coalescence were introduced by Dravidians, whereas haplotypes with a more recent coalescence belonged to Indo-Europeans. This hypothesis can be tested by a more detailed comparison to West Eurasian mtDNA haplotypes from Iran, Anatolia, and the Caucasus. Alternatively, the coalescence dates of these haplotypes may predate the entry of West Eurasians populations into India. Regardless of their origin, West Eurasian admixture resulted in rank-related differences in the genetic affinities of castes to Europeans and Asians. Furthermore, the frequency of West Eurasian haplotypes in the founding middle and upper castes may be underestimated because of the upward social mobility of women from lower castes (Bamshad et al. 1998). These women were presumably more likely to introduce proto-Asian mtDNA haplotypes into the middle and upper castes.
hmmmm.... this does seem to imply that the DDM were almost right. There does seem to be a recent west-eurasian admixture to the population, especially higher castes of Vaishyas and Kshatriyas, though that could again be simply because these castes interacted more with "foreigners". I say this because if there was a general west-eurasian admixture, then it would have been especially true for brahmins, as they are considered the highest catses. Though as, they say
comparable studies in caste populations from other regions of India must be completed to test the generality of these results.
The Brahmins being the higher castes in the hierarachy and being the closest to the shudra castes seems to put a question mark on their hypothesis, because Brahmins are considered to be the highest caste. Hierarchy is Brahmi->Kshatriya->Vaishya->Shudra->Outcastes.
And, the other paper from Mountain et. al which tok samples from Karnatka/Kerela population seems to contradict each Bishmad. Also, the Disotell paper which took samples from all over India and is more general also seems to contradict the Bamshad result.

IMHO, the question is still open, and more studies need to be done.

kautilya
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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby kautilya » 25 Aug 2002 06:33

Imtiaz,
From some of your previous posts I am under the impression that you have some good background in economics and statistics. So, could you please check the statistical significance of the Bamshad results. To me this
_____________________
The Mantel correlation between interindividual genetic distances and distances based on social rank was low but highly significant for individuals ranked into upper, middle, and lower groups ---r = 0.08; p < 0.001--- and into eight separate castes ---r = 0.07; p < 0.001---.
_______________________
seems to imply that the differencial though statiticaly significant, was pretty small.

Though as they later say
_____________________________
The 90% confidence limits of Nei's standard distances estimated between upper castes and Europeans ---0.006-0.016-- versus lower castes and Europeans ---0.017-0.037--- do not overlap, indicating statistical significance at the 0.05 level. Significance at 0.05 is not achieved if the Kshatriya and Vysya are excluded.
_______________________________________
their 90% confidence limits do not overlap, if they include Kshatriya and Vaishya, but they still seem to be pretty close to me comapred to the interval range, especially the upper limit on one and lower limit of other. This seems to imply to me that they need to do a lot more study to claim their results to be true for certain.

Also, as far as I can understand the results were not statisticaly significant for brahmins, and the genetic distances in any case were very small.

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby svinayak » 25 Aug 2002 07:40

Peopling of India - IISC research

This is a good site for migration of people in the eurasian continent. this was discussed in the original AIT thread by Kaushal.

Table of contents
Abstract
Introduction
Role of innovations
Genetic affinities
Gene analysis reveals people radiating out of the Middle East and the Orient
Language families reveal ancestries and movements
Language and economy
Archaeolgical evidence
Horse and iron as pointers of heritage
A plausibile scenario
A segmented society
Acknowledgements
References

Kautiliya you may find answers to some of your questions. THis is beyond by comprehension to analyse.

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Rahul Mehta » 25 Aug 2002 19:15

How much does it cost to get a genetic fingerprint and partial/complete DNA-mapping? Where can you get this done?

-Rahul Mehta

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Harry Van » 25 Aug 2002 20:15

This is a very dangerous exercise.Last time this was done , you know what happened.

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Harry Van » 25 Aug 2002 20:34

When India had a caste based society for the past 6000 years , what was the system in operation in the West ? Communism ?

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby JE Menon » 25 Aug 2002 22:39

Harryvandeusan that last question of yours is a gem.

Psmith, where the hell have you been dude? Welcome back.

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Imtiaz Ahmed » 26 Aug 2002 00:29

Kautilya, please give me some time to go over the articles and respond to your questions. For the record, though I have training in statistical theory, am not a statistician or an empiricist. Regarding economics, my formal rigorous training is only in microeconomics, applied game theory, industrial organization, and some financial economics. For a living, I teach and construct economic models (theoretical) and leave the testing to others. Am a consumer of empirical research, but not a prolific one being content to rely on (for my theoretical models) well established facts, albeit stylized. Hence the pace at which I proceed to understand the empirical pieces posted in this thread will likely be slow. I am content to let this thread proceed slowly because I do not have the time that may be required to tend to it should I desire a faster pace. But please feel free to post away at your own pace.

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Sunil » 26 Aug 2002 01:08

Hey hey hey Psmith,

there is a man I haven't seen in a while. welcome back!!

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Anirban » 26 Aug 2002 15:44


Harry Van
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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Harry Van » 26 Aug 2002 18:48

Thanks JE Menon.

The four fold division has been existing for sometime until Karl Marx came up with his Das Kapital , new system of arrangement of wealth.It is not Hinduism whihc created caste as people have been fooled into believing.This is teh most natural system.Let the Europeans show us one example of a commoner inheriting the property of barons and nobles.Or a commoner becoming a king.
In fact Edward the Eight if I am not clear abdicated the throne to marry a commoner.Now many believe that Diana , The Princess Of Wales was killed by the royalty itself as she courted a commoner.

Whereas we have had plenty of instances of commoners becoming kings like Shivaji and Hemu and even Harihara and Bukka founding teh Vijayanagar empire.

As regards dalits slaves have been used by all civilizations from time immemorial.Greeks and Romans used slaves and even during teh medieval period slavery was there.Karl Marx observed this and was partly inspired this to propound Das Kapital.I don't think in Europe everyone went about hugging and kissing the slaves.In fact till recently Eugenics has been practiced and marraiges between Blacks and Whites subtly prohibited.As for racism in the USA everybody knows the facts.

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby AJames » 27 Aug 2002 02:31

The sample size seems pretty small given the huge diversity in India. Which village or town or region these samples were collected will probably have a great influence on the outcome.

I remember seeing a documentary where a genetic marker in the Y chromosome found in Jewish rabbis (as opposed to Jewish men in general) was found in a black African population who claimed to be decended from King Soloman. The genes were traced to a village on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia which had a small Jewish community several hundred years which was driven out after Islam arrived. If you don't take a wide and representative genetic sampling, you could on the basis of this study equally well conclude that black African men are descended from upper class Jewish ancestors, whereas black African women are descended from indigenous African stock.

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Narayan_L » 27 Aug 2002 05:11

NS Rajaram on the Bamshad Study:

http://members.tripod.com/naimisha/new_page_6.htm

Prabir Purkayastha delivers the "imperialist" response:

http://www.delhiscienceforum.org/science17.html

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby saint » 27 Aug 2002 05:39

Was not that King Manu to be blamed for calling a brahmin or any caste by birth.

Heard it was, {and it should be returned} on the basis of how one is qualified to the job.

Perhaps Manu, did'nt had much time to attend screening resumes [what else was he doing then? how many wifes he had?]...

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Harry Van » 27 Aug 2002 12:53

Was not that King Manu to be blamed for calling a brahmin or any caste by birth.

Heard it was, {and it should be returned} on the basis of how one is qualified to the job.

Perhaps Manu, did'nt had much time to attend screening resumes [what else was he doing then? how many wifes he had?]...


The point is give me an example in Europe where the father shoved aside all his sons(heirs) and gifted the land to a common villager.

As regards the fact that only birth decides who is to become brahmins , are u thinking it is a priveileged thing to be a Brahmin ? Which caste are you originally from ?

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Re: Genealogy of Castes and Tribes

Postby Harry Van » 27 Aug 2002 13:32

Lower castes and Dalits should get over the fact that they have been ruled by upper castes for 5000 years.Hindus would do well to get over the fact that they have been ruled by muslims for 1000 years.We should join together and work for our collective welfare and not fall for the strategies of outsiders.


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