AncestryDNA results from East & North Africa

I have created a new page featuring the AncestryDNA results for persons from East Africa as well as North Africa. I will create new sections for West Africa and also Central/Southern Africa shortly. Despite the minimal number of results i have collected sofar i also provide some statistical data, background information and relevant context.

Follow this link to view the page:

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Implications for Afro-Diasporans

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HGDP database incl. Namibian samples (“Bantu S.W.”= Southwestern Bantu)

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Source: Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP)

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In order to improve the interpretation of the socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region it is crucial to be aware that this region is based on HGDP samples from Kenya (unspecified Bantu), South Africa (Pedi, Sotho, Tswana and Zulu) and Namibia (Herero, Ovambo). Obviously for East Africans a genetic similarity to the Kenyan samples will apply. However for Afro-Diasporans in the Americas any socalled “Southeastern Bantu” score will in most cases be the result of genetic similarity to the Namibian samples. Namibia being a neighbouring country to Angola, which has been a significant region of provenance for practically all Afro-Diasporans in the Americas. I will eventually do a more detailed follow-up blog on the implications for Afro-Diasporans.

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2 gedachten over “AncestryDNA results from East & North Africa

  1. This is so insightful, great analysis! Hidden in the background of so-called “Bantu” seems to harbor an East or Northeast African origins: That these results possibly hint to historical migrations of this group (proto “Bantu”) from the North and not necessarily from the conventional starting point of Nigeria/Cameroon. That latter may be an aftermath of said migration, just one of the pit stops prior to moving South from the Western point. There seems to have been an Eastern point of departure moving South too.

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    • Thanks so much for your comment, truly appreciate it! There is still a lot to be uncovered when it concerns ancient migrations across the African continent. I find it all very fascinating. Even when it might be confusing i guess when people are expecting their DNA results to reflect only recent lineage. However – even when obviously interrelated – genetics will never be a carbon copy of a traditional family tree format whereby a person can describe themselves as being 1/4 ethnicity A, 1/4 ethnicity B and 1/2 ethnicity C. Simply due to the fact that each of these ethnic groups A, B and C might very well have overlapping or even identical DNA because of shared origins from a very distant (proto-ethnic) past. And of course also recombination comes into play.

      The wideranging geographical spread of the socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region is intriguing indeed. However the patterns we are seeing now are bound to be distorted because AncestryDNA is using three different groups of Bantu speaking peoples from Kenya, South Africa and also Namibia (which is actually Southwestern Bantu!). Furthermore there is currently an absence of Nilotic or Cushitic speaking sample groups in the reference panel used by AncestryDNA. For Northeast Africans it is obviously genetic similarity to the Kenyan samples which is causing them to receive socalled Southeastern Bantu scores. This can be considered a valid outcome given the restrictions of AncestryDNA’s analysis. However the labeling will be a huge misnomer for them. For people from Angola as well as Afro-Diasporans with Angolan origins it will be rather the genetic similarity with the Namibian samples which will result into socalled “Southeastern Bantu” scores, and again this will be a misnomer as in fact Angola and Namibia are located on the west coast 😉

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