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Palenque de San Basilio in Colombia: genetic data support an oral history of a paternal ancestry in Congo

Ansari-Pour, N; Moñino, Y; Duque, C; Gallego, N; Bedoya, G; Thomas, MG; Bradman, N; (2016) Palenque de San Basilio in Colombia: genetic data support an oral history of a paternal ancestry in Congo. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 283 (1827) , Article 20152980. 10.1098/rspb.2015.2980. Green open access

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Abstract

The Palenque, a black community in rural Colombia, have an oral history of fugitive African slaves founding a free village near Cartagena in the seventeenth century. Recently, linguists have identified some 200 words in regular use that originate in a Kikongo language, with Yombe, mainly spoken in the Congo region, being the most likely source. The non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome (NRY) and mitochondrial DNA were analysed to establish whether there was greater similarity between present-day members of the Palenque and Yombe than between the Palenque and 42 other African groups (for all individuals,n= 2799) from which forced slaves might have been taken. NRY data are consistent with the linguistic evidence that Yombe is the most likely group from which the original male settlers of Palenque came. Mitochondrial DNA data suggested substantial maternal sub-Saharan African ancestry and a strong founder effect but did not associate Palenque with any particular African group. In addition, based on cultural data including inhabitants' claims of linguistic differences, it has been hypothesized that the two districts of the village (Abajo and Arriba) have different origins, with Arriba founded by men originating in Congo and Abajo by those born in Colombia. Although significant genetic structuring distinguished the two from each other, no supporting evidence for this hypothesis was found.

Type: Article
Title: Palenque de San Basilio in Colombia: genetic data support an oral history of a paternal ancestry in Congo
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2980
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.2980
Language: English
Keywords: African diaspora, Atlantic slave trade, Y chromosome, linguistic, mitochondrial DNA
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477231
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