Thursday, February 05, 2009

Genetic map of Mexico shows mainly indigenous roots

Race can be a touchy subject in Mexico. Some are proud of their indigenous blood, others not so much.

A genetic-molecular study of the Mexican population shows the European component is highest in northern states -- from 38% to 50% -- and lowest in the southeast -- from 9% to 20%.

It was already well known that about 80% of the population of Mexico is mestizo, of mixed race. The mainly male Spanish conquistadores intermarried with indigenous women and enslaved the native population to work in mines and on vast estates, haciendas.

By contrast, the immmigrants who colonized Canada and the U.S. brought their wives and families, and they exterminated or displaced the Indian population to reservations. There was far less intermarriage.

Hector Rangel Villalobos, director of the Institute of Molecular Genetics at the University of Guadalajara, did the study with six other researchers in Mexico and Spain. It provides a quantifiable molecular map of what historians and sociologists have observed using their own techniques.

A summary is in the Feb. 2 edition of La Gaceta on Page 2 of the O2 section.

Census shows native languages surviving
The Mexican census of 2005 shows that 6.7% of the population speaks an indigenous language as their mother tongue.

No comments:

Post a Comment