DNA study links indigenous Brazilians to Polynesians


Sequences shared by far-away populations stir up a Palaeoamerican mystery.

Indigenous people that lived in southeastern Brazil in the late 1800s shared some genetic sequences with Polynesians, an analysis of their remains shows. The finding offers some support for the possibility that Pacific islanders traded with South America thousands of years ago, but researchers say that the distinctive DNA sequences, or haplogroups, may have entered the genomes of the native Brazilians through the slave trade during the nineteenth century.

Most scientists agree that humans arrived in the Americas between 15,000 and 20,000 years ago, probably via the Bering land bridge linking northeastern Asia with what is now Alaska. But the precise timing and the number of ‘migration waves’ is unclear, owing largely to variations in early Americans’ physical features, says Sérgio Pena, a molecular geneticist at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

One broad group of these Palaeoamericans — the Botocudo people, who lived in inland regions of southeastern Brazil — stands out, having skull shapes that were intermediate between those of other Palaeoamericans and a presumed ancestral population in eastern Asia.    

Written By: Sid Perkins – nature
continue to source article at nature.com


  1. Interesting about the practice of slavery and its role in spreading genes around to different locations in the world. The picture with the article is quite strange though. A nuclear family off on a hunt together. The mom/wife is burdened with a large pack and three small children that have short birth intervals between them, the youngest two look like twins. I doubt this whole scenario.


    Men hunt together

    Men don’t bring “wife” and children on hunts. (I’ve found one exception to this in reading about trad. societies)

    The oldest child in the picture would have been 2 years old at the most when the twins came along. Mom can’t produce enough milk to feed all three, dooming all of the offspring. Probably unusual that she even became pregnant while lactating on demand and carrying the bare minimum of body fat, but if she did then chances are that she’d have no choice but to dispatch the twins (or one of the twins) in the hours after their birth and continue with her already substantial investment in the older child.

    They live in bands not nuclear families. How in the hell would a nuclear style family survive in such an environment? Why would they want to try?

    I hate these revisionist depictions of traditional people.

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