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From: mtDNA H Project <>
Subject: [DNA] Genetic heritage and native identity of the SeaconkeWampanoag tribe of Massachusett
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 10:31:28 -0500


Research Article
Genetic heritage and native identity of the Seaconke Wampanoag tribe
of Massachusetts
Sergey I. Zhadanov 1, Matthew C. Dulik 1, Michael Markley 2, George W.
Jennings 2, Jill B. Gaieski 1, George Elias 2, Theodore G. Schurr 1 *,
The Genographic Project Consortium
1Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
2Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe, Seekonk, MA
email: Theodore G. Schurr ()
*Correspondence to Theodore G. Schurr, Department of Anthropology,
University of Pennsylvania, 325 University Museum, 3260 South Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6398

KEYWORDS
Algonquian • Native American • mtDNA • Y-chromosome • Melanesia • New England
ABSTRACT
The name Wampanoag means Eastern People or People of the First
Light in the local dialect of the Algonquian language. Once
extensively populating the coastal lands and neighboring islands of
the eastern United States, the Wampanoag people now consist of two
federally recognized tribes, the Aquinnah and Mashpee, the
state-recognized Seaconke Wampanoag tribe, and a number of bands and
clans in present-day southern Massachusetts. Because of repeated
epidemics and conflicts with English colonists, including King
Philip's War of 1675-76, and subsequent colonial laws forbidding
tribal identification, the Wampanoag population was largely decimated,
decreasing in size from as many as 12,000 individuals in the 16th
century to less than 400, as recorded in 1677. To investigate the
influence of the historical past on its biological ancestry and native
cultural identity, we analyzed genetic variation in the Seaconke
Wampanoag tribe. Our results indicate that the majority of their mtDNA
haplotypes belongs to West Eurasian and African lineages, thus
reflecting the extent of their contacts and interactions with people
of European and African descent. On the paternal side, Y-chromosome
analysis identified a range of Native American, West Eurasian, and
African haplogroups in the population, and also surprisingly revealed
the presence of a paternal lineage that appears at its highest
frequencies in New Guinea and Melanesia. Comparison of the genetic
data with genealogical and historical information allows us to
reconstruct the tribal history of the Seaconke Wampanoag back to at
least the early 18th century. Am J Phys Anthropol 2010. © 2010
Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Received: 9 October 2009; Accepted: 29 December 2009
DIGITAL OBJECT IDENTIFIER (DOI)

10.1002/ajpa.21281 About DOI


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