Central & Southern African Results

Introduction

On this page I will be posting the AncestryDNA results for people from Central and Southern Africa map-c-s-africawith confirmed ethnic background(s). Unlike for Afro-Diasporans in the Americas these results can therefore be verified with known genealogy. This should be helpful to determine how reliable/predictive the various African AncestryDNA regions might be and also how they should be interpreted.

For other African AncestryDNA results see these pages:

 

 

***Chart 1a (click to enlarge)

CompilCA

***Chart 1b (click to enlarge)

CompilSA

***

In my personal estimation AncestryDNA can report valuable information about your ancestral origins as long as you correctly interpret the data and are also aware of the relevant context and inherent limitations. Still these results might appear to be “off” at first look for those not accustomed to how AncestryDNA or DNA testing in general works. Therefore please keep in mind the following disclaimers (for a more detailed discussion see the AncestryDNA and AncestryDNA Regions pages):

  • Don’t take the country name labeling of the regions too literally. The regional percentages firstmost signal close genetic similarity to the samples taken from the countries after which the regions have been named. Actual origins from neighbouring countries should not be ruled out.
  • Almost all African countries have been colonial creations with borders cutting right through the homelands of ethnic groups. Closely related ethnic groups can often be found on both sides of the border.
  • Most DNA is common in many populations, just at different frequencies. Due to either migrations or shared origins dating back from hundreds or even thousands of years. For Central & Southern Africa in particular the Bantu migrations are a factor of paramount significance.
  • Sometimes (very) ancient admixture rather than any recent lineage is suggested by these AncestryDNA estimates. And in this way some of these regional scores might perhaps best be seen as genetic echoes from a (very) distant past. Beyond family tales, historical knowledge or even ethnic origin traditions.
  • Ethnicity is a construct which evolves across time due to ethnogenesis. Generally speaking therefore ethnic groups do not possess unique DNA markers. Especially in comparison with neighbouring ethnic groups or from within the same wider region. The most common scenario being a genetic gradient which causes ancestral components to gradually fan out. As can be verified from chart 1 & 2.
  • However by closely studying the regional combinations being reported for Central and Southern Africans we can still learn a great deal. Inspite of individual variation group averages do tend to provide more solid ground to make meaningful inferences when specifying someone’s ancestral origins. Also finding out where a specific region is most prominent or rather most subdued holds valuable lessons.

***Chart 2 (click to enlarge) 

Stats (ZA=14)

***

The above statistical data is evidently based on a minimal sample size. Also a restricted set of countries is being covered. Almost all of these countries themselves already harbour a multitude of ethnic groups. It should be obvious that a much greater degree of genetic diversity and individual variation might be expected across Central & Southern Africa and also within the listed countries. Some of this diversity can already be gleaned from the more specified South African data which is mostly representative of samples taken among the Coloureds. Their African breakdown has been scaled to 100% in order to enable an evenhanded comparison (same goes for results from Zimbabwe, Madagascar & Mauritius). The socalled “South-Central Hunter-Gatherer” region (termed “Pygmy/San” in my sheet) is very significant for the Coloureds. But it is likely to be less prominent for Bantu speaking South Africans, even if still very detectable on average, in particular the Xhosa.

Eventhough only preliminary statements should be allowed at this stage i highly suspect that these group averages are otherwise already a reasonably good approximation of the main ancestral components to be found within the Central and Southern African genepool. Atleast according to AncestryDNA’s current reference panel. The group averages i have calculated sofar being very much in line with how the “typical native” scores according to Ancestry’s information: respectively 92% for “Cameroon/Congo  (n=115) and 72% for “Southeastern Bantu” (n=18). Especially the former region having a very robust prediction accuracy.

Judging from the screenshots shown below it appears that indeed either socalled “Cameroon/Congo” and/or “Southeastern Bantu” will be prevalent for countries in this area. Both categories will generally speaking be measuring Bantu origins for Central and Southern Africans. This stands in sharp contrast with the socalled “Central & South African” category on 23andme which only measures usually miniscule Pygmy or Khoi-San affinity:

This 23andme category is actually a pretty straightforward  ancestral cluster based on the distinctive samples selected from both Khoi-San and Pygmy populations. It is the equivalent of the socalled “South-Central Hunter-Gatherers” region on AncestryDNA. Central & Southern Africa is however overwhelmingly populated by Bantu-speaking people! While the original inhabitants, the Pygmy and Khoi-San populations, have been heavily marginalized. Only to be found in remote locations and with very low numbers, probably less than 1% of the total population of this entire area and therefore highly unrepresentative! Many important studies have been published on the genetics of these socalled “Hunter-Gatherers” (to be frank i personally do not agree with the choice of this labeling, but soit..). The links below are just meant as a very limited selection:

Because it is able to distinguish Bantu speaking origins from both Central & Southern Africa AncestryDNA’s analysis (K=9) has a huge advantage above 23andme’s inadequate African regional resolution (K=3). Even when the socalled “Cameroon/Congo” region might also pick up on strictly Bight of Biafran (eastern Nigeria and Cameroon) ancestry. But this will only be relevant for Cameroonians and Nigerians (and their descendants within a recent timeframe of ~500 years). Furthermore Nilo-Saharan and/or Cushitic ancestral connections might be hinted at in which cases the socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region will clearly be mislabeled. But this will only be relevant for a few selected ethnic groups within Central Africa who have either geographical, linguistic or (pre)historical connections with Northeast Africa (mostly restricted to the northern and eastern parts of the Congo (DRC)).

It should be kept in mind that the actual amounts being reported for the socalled “Cameroon/Congo” or “Southeastern Bantu” regional components are firstmost a measurement of the genetic similarity to AncestryDNA’s (limited) samples from either Cameroon & Congo or Namibia, South Africa and Kenya. An attempt is being made to pinpoint your genetic location in between these sample groups. With the regional scores functioning as coordinates if you like. However it will by default only be a rough estimate as more fitting sample groups to compare with may very well be missing. The first map below clearly shows the inevitable genetic overlap, which is actually even greater than shown here by Ancestry.com. All of which to be explained by the shared regional history of the widespread Bantu migrations. Learning about the socalled Bantu Expansion is therefore essential to place these results in their proper context.

***Map 1 (click to enlarge)

map-2-regions

Source: Ancestry.com

***Map 2 (click to enlarge)

bantu

***

In the very last section of this page i will discuss the implications these results might have for Afro-Diasporans. Generally speaking when it comes to tracing back the main strains of regional African lineage for Afro-Diasporans in the Americas undoubtedly results from the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Angola will be most relevant, given historical plausibility and cultural retention. Although also Cameroon, Mozambique, Madagascar and directly surrounding countries, such as Zambia, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville and Malawi are not to be overlooked.

I like to thank all these Central and Southern Africans for having tested on AncestryDNA and sharing their results online so that it may benefit other people as well!

The individual results behind these group averages can be viewed via this link:

______________________________________________________________________________

Central African Results

As shown in chart 2 above and also as will be seen in the screenshots below socalled “Cameroon/Congo” is the most characteristical AncestryDNA region appearing for Central Africans. Generally speaking and usually also convincingly so. However this is almost always combined with other regions showing up with smaller amounts. In particular “Southeastern Bantu” and “Nigeria”. It should be kept in mind that neither of these regions are confined to their AncestryDNA labeling. And due to the Bantu migrations originating in eastern Nigeria/Cameroon there will be genetic overlap for these three regions.

I have ranked these Central African results based on the amount of highest to lowest score for “Cameroon/Congo”. Despite the obviously limited number of samples an insightful pattern seems to arise already:

  • As expected “Cameroon/Congo” peaks among Cameroonians & Congolese
  • Next in line are the Zambian and Angolan samples

This suggests a gradual dilution of the socalled “Cameroon/Congo” region when going in a southern and eastern direction. This is only natural given the current constellation of reference populations used by AncestryDNA. However – unlike mentioned by Ancestry.com itself – this region actually also appears in high amounts (>35%) in countries as far east as Kenya and as far south as Zimbabwe and Madagascar!

***

CAMEROON  (Babanki a.k.a. Kedjom, Northwest Region)

***

cam3

***

These results belong to a person who also made an excellent video sharing her results. It can be seen further below in the video section or by following this link. An astonishingly high amount of “Cameroon/Congo” is being reported, practically 100% if you disregard the miniscule trace regions.  A very convincing testimony of how predictive AncestryDNA’s analysis can potentially be. This outcome makes perfect sense given the Northwest Cameroon and more specificly Babanki/Kedjom background of the person behind these results. Eventhough located right next to the Nigerian border it seems people from this area do have a distinct genetic profile when compared with (southern) Nigerians. In fact it appears that the Cameroonian samples being used by Ancestry.com have been selected from among the socalled Grassland Bantu speaking people who live in this same western region of Cameroon. Which also explains the grouping with closely related Bantu speaking samples from the Congo. If you click on the “Cameroon/Congo” region while viewing your Ethnicity Estimates it is stated by Ancestry.com that:

____________________

“Although the Cameroon/Congo region is incredibly diverse, with more than 200 different ethnic groups, our genetic profile for the region is primarily represented by samples from the Cameroon Grasslands, where the largest populations are subgroups of the Bamileke and Bamum peoples”

____________________

An impression may be conveyed that this woman is a perfectly homogeneous “unicorn”. As this outcome does indeed imply that her DNA is a very near exact match to the Cameroonian samples used by Ancestry. Nevertheless this doesn’t take away from the fact that further down the line and when compared with other sets of sample groups she might actually be reported as having mixed origins (within Africa). As already suggested by her various GedMatch and DNALand results which seem to delve more into her ancient ancestral components. It must be pointed out though that these thirdparty tools have inherent flaws and without proper understanding their results can be very confusing or even misleading!

***

CAMEROON (Ngwo, Northwest region)

***

CAM2

***

Another very convincing breakdown of predominant “Cameroon/Congo” but this time combined with some minor yet noticeable “Nigeria”. Not surprising as this result also belongs to a person with a Northwest Cameroon background. This person whose DNA results are being shown above has launched a very laudable company called “Roots to Glory Tours”. Its mission is to:

bridge the gap by guiding, introducing and being a part of the experience of discovery and re-connection for Africans in the Diaspora as they embrace their long lost families.

For more details see their website:

***

CAMEROON  (southern/coastal + 1/4 Igbo)

 ***

CAMR

***

This mostly Cameroonian person (she does have 1 Igbo grandparent from Nigeria) shows a higher “Nigeria” score than many actual Nigerians themselves receive when tested on AncestryDNA. The “Cameroon/Congo” % is still significant as well but less than half as big as the Nigerian amount. Also noteworthy that the Trace Regions are quite minimal, it’s basically a breakdown of only “Nigeria” and “Cameroon/Congo”. Compared with actual Nigerians who often score 3 or 4 regions above trace level. Especially the near absence of any “Benin/Togo” score seems telling. For reference see also this page:

Aside from the partial (yet overall minor) Igbo origins of this person it seems that an explanation for this remarkable outcome can be found in the Cameroonian samples being used by Ancestry.com hailing from the western part of the country while this person’s Cameroonian family is from the coastal & southern area (Buea, Akonolinga).

And apparently her DNA shows more similarity to the Nigerian samples being used by Ancestry.com rather than their Cameroonian ones, which were taken from a distinct part of the country and therefore can only represent a subset of the Cameroonian genepool. It provides a good illustration of how major genetic overlap does often occur between neighbouring countries. Also it teaches a good lesson that the ethnic diversity within any given African country cannot always be fully captured by just one single DNA category.

***

EQUATORIAL GUINEA  (Fang?)

***

EQ1

***

Very interesting breakdown from one of the smallest countries of Africa. Equatorial Guinea is geographically situated between Cameroon and both Congo’s (DRC & RC). The “82% “Cameroon/Congo” score is therefore appropriate and as expected. The 5% socalled “Hunter-Gatherers” amount is also in line with minor yet very detectable Pygmy admixture in the Central African rainforest zone.

I have no absolute certainty about the ethnic background but given that the Fang people are about 85% of the total population of Equatorial Guinea and this person is not from Bioko (Fernando Pó) island it is highly likely. Interestingly the Fang also live in Cameroon and are said to have migrated southwards relatively late in history (19th century). Their early history is somewhat contested but the 5% socalled “Mali” amount seems to be in support of Sahelian or northern Nigerian connections.

The appearance of 8% socalled “Southeastern Bantu” in second place is also intriguing. It goes to show that this region is in fact also being reported for West-Central Africans.  For a second result from Equatorial Guinea (confirmed Fang, but alas no screenshot available) the amount for this region was even higher: 13%!

***

CONGO (DRC)  (Kinshasa?)

***

DRC3a

***

Yet again a very convincing breakdown proving that the socalled “Cameroon/Congo” region is able to accurately pinpoint both Cameroonian and Congolese origins. Obviously as long as there is close genetic similarity to the specific samples being used by AncestryDNA. As described on the AncestryDNA Regions page, it seems likely that in addition to Cameroonian reference populations also Bakongo samples from Congo Brazzaville are being utilized by Ancestry.com for this region. The Bakongo (who also live in DRC and northern Angola) are often described as having been among the most numerous Central African captives caught up in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. Besides their genetic inheritance the Bakongo also left many valuable cultural legacies in various parts of the Americas. For more details on their former Kongo kingdom, see also these insightful websites.

I actually have no certainty about the ethnic background behind these test results. But based on the very high similarity to Ancestry’s samples (96%!) i suspect a Bakongo or atleast western Congolese background is very likely. These results belong to a person who also made an excellent video sharing his results. It can be seen further below in the video section or by following this link.

***

CONGO (DRC)  (Songye/Kambelembele)

***

CONGO

***

These results above are from a Congolese person whose family is from the provinces of Kasai-Oriental and Maniema. Geographically situated in the central part of the country, but actual family origins located more to the southeast (see also this map). Ethnic background can be described as Songye and Kambelembele. It is good to keep in mind that the Democractic Republic of Congo (DRC) is an incredibly diverse and HUGE country. Going by territory it is the second largest country of the continent while it also has the fourth largest population within Africa. It is estimated that the DRC is home to over 250 distinct ethnic groups (see wikipedia for more details). Despite shared commonalities it is wise therefore not to generalize😉

Even so, this AncestryDNA breakdown shows an impressive predominance of the socalled Cameroon/Congo region. It is admittedly only an individual result yet it still convincingly corroborates the predictiveness of the socalled “Cameroon/Congo” region. Looking at the remaining Trace Regions any minor recent Nigerian or Ghanaian ancestry would be very unlikely. These scores rather seem to reflect the difficulty of accurately delineating regional origins for a few tiny DNA segments. Remember that Trace Regions include estimates of zero%! Otherwise i suppose they might be seen as a very ancient signal of Bantu speaking migrations originating in eastern Nigeria/Cameroon. Given this person’s southeastern Congolese origins it is interesting that the “Southeastern Bantu” score seems quite subdued. Eventhough it is still present in second place. Also you might have expected a higher “South-Central Hunter Gatherer’s” percentage, as afterall the DRC is home to several Pygmy populations. As always individual variation might have played its part though in this particular outcome. Other Congolese results might very well look differently.

***

CONGO (?)  (Lumbu?)

***

drc2

***

I have no certainty about the exact nationality and ethnic background of the person whose results are shown above. However given his name i highly suspect western Congolese (either DRC or Brazzaville) or perhaps Gabonese origins. Still Zambian origins might also be a possibility. Especially given the higher amount of “Southeastern Bantu” when compared with the Congolese breakdown above. The above trace level score of socalled Hunter-Gatherers (=Pygmy) also seems distinctive. However other Congolese results are needed to establish firmer patterns.

***

ZAMBIA 

***

zamb

***

Very helpful to see this fascinating breakdown from Zambia! It demonstrates that the “Cameroon/Congo” region is also to be found to the south of Congo (DRC). And in fact i have also seen two preview ethnicity estimates already from Zimbabwe which likewise show a predominance of “Cameroon/Congo” combined with a substantial but still minor amount of “Southeastern Bantu”. If you were to go by the info provided by Ancestry.com you might have expected it to be the other way around. However given the known ancestral ties between Congo and Zambia this outcome seems appropriate. Even more so when comparing with the first Congolese result shown above which is from the southeast of DRC, bordering Zambia.

At this stage – with AncestryDNA’s pioneering analysis still being limited in its scope – it is probably too early to reach for any further conclusions. I also do not know the ethnic background for the person whose testresults are being shown. Still it might be worthwhile to speculate about any possible confirmation of connections with the locally well known Luba-Lunda empires. These were located mainly across southern Congo but historically they were also connected with and reaching into both Angola and Zambia (see this map). Especially also through the Kazembe kingdom which was more firmly situated within Zambia. Many oral traditions from Zambian ethnic groups actually specificly refer to origins from these originally southern Congolese empires!  This particular breakdown might therefore be seen as being in support of these traditions or at least not contradicting them. For more references see these insightful links:

***

ZAMBIA (?)

***

ZAMB2

***

Very similar breakdown as the previous Zambian result. Except this time no seemingly West African region being reported. Which makes it likely that the 5% socalled “Nigeria and also the 2% Trace regions for the previous Zambian were merely a misreading.

***

ZAMBIA  (or Angola or Congo?)

***

ZAMB3

***

I have no certainty about the nationality of the person whose results are shown above. Based on the name i am making an assumption it might be for a Zambian person. However any of Zambia’s neighbouring countries or even beyond could also be a possibility. Comparing with the previous two Zambian results the proportions of the two main regions seem quite similar. The Trace regions are however much more diverse and again showing West African regions. Without any further context it would be unwise to make any more assumptions. However the 3% socalled “Hunter-Gatherer’s” amount is quite likely an indication that this person’s origins are connected to the more forested parts of Central Africa rather than its savannah zone.

***

ANGOLA  (Mestiço, southern/central Angola, 5 g.grandparents from Portugal)

***

ang1

***

Angola is probably the biggest source of African origins for Afro-descendants across the Americas (based on the Slave Voyages Database). Therefore already this one single result from Angola holds great relevance for Afro-Diasporans wanting to make more sense out of their own results. Even when in this case it is actually from a person who has recent origins from Portugal as well. Still both of his parents are Angolan-born and the socalled Mestiços (people of racially mixed background) have a very longstanding presence in Angola, dating already from the 1500’s! They might be a small minority within the total Angolan population (about 2%) however their African breakdown should be in line with their fellow Angolans generally speaking. For more details see also:

It seems telling that the “Cameroon/Congo” and “Southeastern Bantu” regions are being reported in almost equal proportions. This might very well also hold true for many other Angolans. Afterall Angola is mentioned by Ancestry.com in both regional descriptions. Also it seems self-evident that a genetic similarity is being detected for both Ancestry’s Congolese Bakongo samples as well as Ancestry’s Namibian samples. The Bakongo are afterall also an important ethnic group located in northern Angola (see maps on this page). While Namibia is located right across the Angolan border to the south.

The socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region is clearly being mislabeled this time, as both Namibia and Angola are in fact Southwestern Bantu! Actually given this person’s partially southern Angolan family locations you might have expected a more pronounced socalled “Southeastern Bantu” score. However it seems not farfetched to assume that many Angolan Mestiços may have been rather mobile across the generations. Given their longstanding history of mainly living in trading cities.

Quite possibly this may have resulted in a fair degree of cosmopolitan origins as well. Including ancestral connections with Brazil, São Tomé & Principe, Cape Verde and even Yorubaland/Benin. Afterall up till the mid 1800’s the socalled Mina Coast (a.k.a. Bight of Benin) was a very significant trading post for the Portuguese. Which could perhaps offer an explanation for the relatively high “Nigeria” score of 6%. On the other hand the previous Zambian results also showed a small “Nigeria” amount of 5%. For both this may quite likely just be signalling a generic patch of ancient migrating Bantu DNA which cannot be properly identified by AncestryDNA right now due to a lacking sample database. The 4% North African score is undoubtedly related to this person’s Portuguese side. I have personally seen about a dozen Portuguese AncestryDNA results. On average it seems they are receiving a socalled “Africa North” score of in between 5-10%.

______________________________________________________________________________

Southern African Results

As shown in chart 2 above and also as will be seen in the screenshots below “Southeastern Bantu” is the most characteristical AncestryDNA region appearing for Southern Africans generally speaking and usually also convincingly so. However this is almost always combined with other main regions showing up and sometimes even with (nearly) equal amounts. In particular “Cameroon/Congo” and “South-Central Hunter-Gatherers”. It should be kept in mind that neither of these regions are confined to their AncestryDNA labeling. There will be genetic overlap for these three regions due to limited sampling, the Bantu migrations, as well as widespread aborption of Pygmy and Khoi-San DNA in Bantu speaking populations and actually also the other way around!

I have ranked these Southern African results based on the amount of highest to lowest score for “Southeastern Bantu”. And despite the obviously limited number of samples an insightful pattern seems to arise already:

  • As expected sofar “Southeastern Bantu” peaks among South Africans
  • Next in line are the Madagascar and Mauritius samples

It should be kept in mind that the socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region is based on a very small number (18) of samples from no less than three countries! Not only from South Africa but also from Namibia and Kenya. Nevertheless a reasonably accurate assignment within the restricted range of 9 African AncestryDNA regions is still being obtained. But due to its very widespread coverage it does mean that actually also Northeast Africans receive high amounts of this region. For them it will undoubtedly almost always be due to genetic similarity with the Kenyan sample subset. But obviously for Southern Africans it will in almost all cases be mostly the result of genetic similarity with the South African and Namibian samples in AncestryDNA’s database.

***

SOUTH AFRICA (Zulu?)

***

ZA4

***

These results belong to a woman of most likely Zulu descent (judging from the family name). Her testresults are also shown in a very insightful video. It can be seen further below in the video section or by following this link. The almost perfect score of 94% for the socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region is striking but not surprising given that Ancestry.com uses South African Bantu samples to determine their estimates. The socalled “South-Central Hunter-Gatherer’s” amount is also substantial and as expected given the absorption of Khoi-San DNA among Bantu populations across Southern Africa. Most likely this ancestral element will be more prominent for the Xhosa and especially the Coloureds from the Cape provinces. The less than 1% “Ivory Coast/Ghana” is almost certainly just noise.

***

SOUTH AFRICA (Xhosa)

***

ZA7

***

These results belong to a Xhosa woman. Her testresults are also shown in an amazing video. It can be seen further below in the video section or by following this link. Based on her relatively light skin complexion she mentions that growing up she was often assumed to be mixed or Coloured. In fact even also by black South Africans! In the USA again people would question her background guessing her to be Hispanic, West Indian or even Asian mixed. However despite her “ambiguous” appearance her testresults convincingly show her to be 100% African! Which goes to demonstrate how phenotypical diversity among native Africans is often underestimated.

Given her Xhosa background it is actually not surprising that appearance-wise she shows much similarity to the Khoi-San people, not only in skintone but also in the characteristical eyeshape (often mistaken for being “Asian”).  Given their close proximity in the Eastern Cape and generations of intermarriage it is known there is a considerable genetic link between the Xhosa and Khoi-San people. For example the late president Nelson Mandela, also Xhosa, was DNA tested for his parental lineages and his mt-DNA turned out to be L0, a Khoi-San marker (see this link for references).  Mandela’s facial features by the way can also be said to have been markedly influenced by his partial Khoi-San origins. This connection is furthermore expressed in the typical Khoi-San click sounds which have been incorporated in the Xhosa language. In a recent DNA study (Petersen et al, 2013) this genetic contribution from the Khoi-San was estimated to have been in between 26-40% for 15 Xhosa individuals.

The reported amount of socalled “South-Central Hunter-Gatherer’s” (13%) was perhaps a bit lower than you might expect. This region afterall serves as a standin for Khoi-San origins (atleast for South Africans). This is most likely because the socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region is incorporating some of the more ancient Khoi-San affiliations. Interestingly the same woman also uploaded her raw data into Ged-Match and received a more substantial estimation of her Khoi-San origins: 25% (on the EthioHelix calculator). This was to be expected as generally speaking the admixture analysis on Ged-Match delves more into ancient ancestral components. It must be pointed out though that this thirdparty tool has inherent flaws of its own and without proper understanding Ged-Match results can be very confusing or even misleading! For example unlike her AncestryDNA breakdown which correctly stated 100% Southern Africa this Xhosa woman is all of a sudden given a “West African” score of 30%! Eventhough on Ged-Match her Oracle estimate  for 1 single population was very accurate (Xhosa), still the 2 population estimate (mixed mode) was very off with ~90% Xhosa being combined with ~10% various very unlikely West African ethnic groups (such as Mandenka and Dogon)!

SOUTH AFRICA (? + 1/8 or 1/16 Portuguese?)

***

za3

***

A very illustrative breakdown for how many South Africans will be described by AncestryDNA, atleast on their African side. A predominant socalled “Southeastern Bantu” score combined with a secondary but still very much present socalled “South-Central Hunter-Gathers” amount. I have no certainty about the ethnic background of this person. But judging from his name a Bantu speaking background is to be expected despite the minor and surprising “Iberian Peninsula” score. Which could very well represent a single distant Portuguese familyline from either Madeira or neighbouring Mozambique or Angola.

***

SOUTH AFRICA (Coloured)

Overall the following breakdowns directly below are very diverse and practically spanning almost the entire globe safe the Americas. This is not too surprising as these results belong to South African Coloured persons. Because of their history and geographical location the Afrikaans speaking Coloureds or also Kleurlinge are probably among the most uniquely mixed peoples of the world, both racially and ethnically. See also these articles for more detail:

As expected the predominant region being featured in their African breakdown is socalled “Southeastern Bantu”.  As already mentioned this region is a very wideranging category. It could entail many different types of ethnic ancestry across a great part of Africa. It is important to always seek a proper context therefore (whenever possible). For South African Coloureds we can be pretty much sure that in this case the “Southeastern Bantu” % will be referring to genuinely Southern African ancestry but not per se from the country of South Africa!  AncestryDNA does in fact use samples from the following South African ethnic groups: Pedi, Sotho, Tswana and Zulu (see also this overview).

Still it’s most likely that in general Coloureds will not have significant South African Bantu (Xhosa, Zulu etc.) origins but rather ancestry from Mozambique and Madagascar. As these last two countries were the main sources of African slave labour for the Dutch of the Cape Colony. Interestingly for the first person also a minor yet noticeable amount of “Ivory Coast/Ghana” is reported. And in fact  even when less common, the Dutch also brought over captives from West Africa to their Cape Colony. For more details read these insightful websites:

***

ZA6

***

SOUTH AFRICA (Coloured)

***

za2

***

SOUTH AFRICA (Coloured)

***

ZA8

***

SOUTH AFRICA (Coloured)

***

za

***

Another evenly mixed breakdown of a Coloured person. The socalled “Southeastern Bantu” score is still impressive, representing almost half of the total African portion (18/39). However this time it’s the socalled “Hunter-Gatherer” region which appears as primary African region. For the previous persons it was usually also very much present but only as a secondary region. This is a very interesting outcome because aside from genuine Khoi-San and Pygmy’s no other population will probably get such high “Hunter Gatherer” %’s as the South African Coloureds. This region is actually one of the most straightforward ancestral clusters in the reference panel of AncestryDNA, strictly based on Khoi-San and Pygmy samples. Quotes below are taken from the Ancestry.com website:

____________________

“The Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers region is made up of ancient hunter-gatherer and pastoral groups who, though small in number and physical height, are considered the wellspring of human populations around the world. Increasingly, southern African Khoe-San groups and Central Africa’s Mbuti and Baka (Pygmy) groups are drawing the attention of scholars and researchers for their genetic diversity, ancient origins and unique cultural traditions.”

____________________

This AncestryDNA region of “South Central Hunter-Gatherers” is the more appropriately labelled equivalent of the socalled “Central & Southern African” category on 23andme. The latter category name being a huge misnomer on 23andme’s part because it excludes Bantu speaking people from the area they named it after (for detailed discussion see this page). Most  Afro-descendants will score only very small %’s for it, typically below 5%. And in almost all cases one might assume it will be an ancestral component inherited from Bantu speakers brought over to the Americas who already carried these markers in their own genome. More specifically it will often be an indication of Congolese/Angolan ancestry i suppose. Intriguingly on AncestryDNA many Liberians and Sierra Leoneans also score small but still detectable amounts of “Hunter-Gatherer’s” (see also the West Africa section). In their case it may very well be suggestive of ancient ancestral connections with now extinct populations who were once distantly related to the Central African Pygmies. Which goes to show that interpreting DNA testresults can be tricky at times. But not so for South African Coloureds, for them it seems very clearcut as they are known to have very significant Khoi-San ancestry

***

SOUTH AFRICA (Coloured)

***

ZA5

***

Very basic yet illustrative African breakdown featuring only the expected components in near equal proportions. The 10% socalled “Central Asia” seems a bit out of place. But it most likely associated with the South Asian heritage for this Coloured person.

***

ZIMBABWE  (Shona & 1 English g. grandparent?)

***

ZIM1

***

Highly insightful breakdown of a Zimbabwean. It demonstrates first of all that “Cameroon/Congo” is reported in high amounts also for Southern Africans. In fact i have seen other Zimbabwean results (only summaries though) which showed “Cameroon/Congo” as biggest region and “Southeastern Bantu” only as secondary region. Against what you might expect based on the labeling of these regions. Once again illustrating my oft repeated note of caution that the labeling of ancestral categories should not be taken as gospel. Of course given that both these main regions are associated with Bantu origins the breakdown still ultimately makes sense.

Another fascinating aspect is the European score of 10%  which goes very well with a quite likely great grandparent from England for this person. An expected DNA contribution would be around 12, 5% (due to recombination it will however not be exact). Eventhough 3 European regions are being shown most likely this part of his DNA was inherited solely from one recent ancestor.

***

MADAGASCAR (Toliara province)

***

MALAGASSY

***

Madagascar is increasingly being discovered as a potential place of origin by African Americans who have taken a DNA test (most recently for 2 guests on this Finding Your Roots episode). Even if in almost all cases it will be a much diluted family lineage, Madagascar ancestry still seems to be surprisingly widely dispersed within the African American genepool. A crucial factor facilitating the identification of any possible Madagascar connection is the unique genetic blend of Southeast Asian and Southeast African origins, found throughout this island’s population. Something which can also be verified from the breakdown seen above. Because of a lack of a separate Southeast Asian region (23andme does have one!) it’s actually a combination of “Asia East” and “Polynesia” which serves as a proxy on AncestryDNA to capture this ancestral component (to be confirmed by viewing AncestryDNA results of Filipinos like this one). The inheritance of any Southeast Asian markers (either autosomal or haplogroups) among Madagascar descendants in the Americas is an invaluable help for establishing any ancestral link. The inhabitants of Madagascar, also known as the Malagasy, are however not a homogenously mixed group but rather consisting of many diverse ethnic (sub)groups. Undoubtedly they will therefore show much individual variation themselves in their admixture compositions.

The person above is from the Toliara province which is located on the southwestern coast of the island. And she happens to show more African than Asian ancestry (interestingly also including some minor South Asian). Which means that naturally also the African breakdown should be taken into consideration. Aside from the neglible Trace regions basically it’s showing a combination of “Southeastern Bantu” and “Cameroon/Congo”. Rather than just “Southeastern Bantu” as might have been expected! “Cameroon/Congo” even shows the higher amount of the two. Actually i have already observed such a combination for a Kenyan person (see North & East African AncestryDNA results). It suggests that Bantu speaking origins are not always going to fit in neatly in just one single category.

Unfortunately this rather complicates how the socalled “Southeastern Bantu” scores across the Afro-Diaspora should be interpreted as well. As this individual example demonstrates you cannot assume “Southeastern Bantu” will refer exclusively to Malagasy’s African side. According to Ancestry’s website this socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region can be referring to origins from a VERY large area, streching all the way north up to the Horn of Africa and southwards into South Africa. To the east it indeed includes Madagascar but again according to Ancestry’s own info it might also capture ancestral connections with Angola to the west. Despite the labeling (which should always be assessed critically on any DNA test) i actually think for most Afro-Diasporans it’s also likely to describe South*western* Bantu origins😉, in particular from Angola. Afteral the captives taken from that country far outnumber the ones taken from Madagascar, for practically all the Americas, incl. the USA. For more discussion see also the next section.

Follow these links if you want to learn more about any possible Madagascar connection:

***

MAURITIUS (Creole)

***

Mauritius

***

Mauritius is an island which lies rather remotely in the Indian Ocean but not that far away from Madagascar. It was uninhabited before the arrival of Europeans. Nowadays it’s one of the most ethno-racially diverse countries in the world. A reflection of this globally encompassing heritage can be seen in the results above which show a fusion of African, Asian and European origins. The socalled Pacific Islander regions very likely to be associated rather with both South Asian and Southeast Asian ancestry (by way of Madagascar). I will just comment on the African breakdown which shows a remarkable concentration of “Southeastern Bantu”.

The African origins of the Creole population of Mauritius are fairly well documented and very fascinating. As you may expect from its geographical position most African captives brought over to work on the sugar planations of Mauritius were from Southeastern Africa, and more specifically Mozambique and Madagascar. Even though this person had a minor amount of African it is clearly the “Southeastern Bantu” fraction which is predominant (21/33=63%). Seemingly confirming the predictive accuracy of this region, at least in this particular case. It’s noteworthy that unlike the Madagascar result above “Cameroon/Congo” is not showing up in a significant way. Another remarkable aspect of the African composition is however the 9% “Ivory Coast/Ghana”, which is above trace level. Even with Mauritius being all across the other side of the continent it is still known and documented that also many West African captives were brought to Mauritius by the French, from Ghana and Benin but even from Senegal. This outcome is therefore a corroboration of how even the African side of Mauritians can be quite diverse already within itself!

______________________________________________________________________________

Youtube Videos

***

CAMEROON (Babanki a.k.a. Kedjom, Northwest Region)

***

***

CONGO (DRC)  

***

***

SOUTH AFRICA (Xhosa)

***

***

SOUTH AFRICA (Zulu)

***

***

SOUTH AFRICA (Afrikaner, 2% “Benin/Togo”)

***

***

MADAGASCAR (Merina?)

***

***

RÉUNION (Créole)

***

***

 ______________________________________________________________________________

 

Implications for Afro-Diasporans:

1) Congolese & Angolan ancestry more likely than Cameroonian ancestry?

***(click to enlarge)

cam-congo-descr

***

A very insightful selection of Central & Southern African AncestryDNA results has been shown on this page. Even if still quite limited in number and scope. In particular analyzing results from the Congo as well as Angola will be most relevant when it comes to tracing back the regional African lineage of Afro-Diasporans in the Americas. Followed with some distance by Mozambique. Given that an overwhelming majority of enslaved Central & Southeastern Africans was shipped through and also hailing from these countries. Furthermore the cultural retention from these countries among the Afro-Diaspora is pivotal and undeniable.

Regrettably at this moment i do not have sufficient results available from either Angola, Congo (DRC & Brazzaville) or Mozambique. However the mere circumstance that these results are not yet plentifully represented on this page should not distract from the very high likelyhood that generally speaking Angola & Congo will be the chief source for any socalled “Cameroon/Congo” reported for Afro-Diasporans (at least Trans Atlantic ones). While quite likely Angola and Mozambique will be the chief source for any socalled “Southeastern Bantu”. On the other hand of course also their directly neighbouring countries are bound to have ancestral significance for the Atlantic Afro-Diaspora, even if to a (much) lesser degree. Afterall only a few centuries ago their territories would just have been a continuous part of a borderless hinterland for slave trading routes to the coast. These countries being Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Madagascar. For more background information on these countries see:

Slave trade estimates, combined for all destinations in the Americas

***Map 3 (click to enlarge)

map-slavetrade

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database (2010) (http://www.slavevoyages.org/)

***

Slave trade from 4 Bight of Biafra slave ports located in or near Cameroon compared with 4  slave ports located near the Congo river (a subselection)

***Chart 3 (click to enlarge)

tast-camr-ports

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database (2016) (http://www.slavevoyages.org/)

***

Slave trade from Cameroon compared with other Bight of Biafra slave ports

***Chart 4 (click to enlarge)

Chambers (2002) - Table 3, Estimated Percentage of Igbo captives per slave port (1701-1810)

Source: “Rejoinder – The Significance of Igbo in the Bight of Biafra Slave-Trade- A Rejoinder to Northrup’s Myth Igbo ” (D.B. Chambers, 2002)

***

____________________

“It now appears that from 1751 to 1840, about 62,000 captives left from the Cameroons River and Bimbia for the Americas, with possibly a few hundred more taken to the islands in the Bight. This was between 5 and 6 per cent of the total carried off from the Bight of Biafra in this period and, of course, a much smaller share again of the total traffic.” (Characteristics of captives leaving the Cameroons for the Americas, 1822-37, 2002, p.194)

____________________

It is well advised to remain cautious when exploring any genuine ancestral ties with Cameroon despite the country name labeling being applied by AncestryDNA. Historically speaking it is known that the participation of ethnic groups from Cameroon in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade was relatively quite minimal. According to estimates only about 5% of all the people being carried off from the Bight of Biafra (= eastern Nigeria + Cameroon). Although the true share might be somewhat obscured due to the fact that mainly slave ports nowadays located in eastern Nigeria were being used (such as Calabar). Rather than slave ports located on the Cameroonian coast (such as Bimbia) which was the least frequented part of the Bight of Biafra together with Gabon. Still even for (old) Calabar which is closest to the Cameroon border it is assumed that Igbo captives made up a clear majority and not people of modernday Cameroonian origin. As can be verified from charts 3 & 4 shown above. Furthermore (West-)Central African slave ports all combined are known to have exported even greater numbers than the most frequented ports (incl. Bonny) of Bight of Biafra (chart 3 only showing a subselection) as can be seen in map 3.

On the other hand it also seems quite conceivable that the genetic importance of Cameroon in DNA testing for Diasporans has been overstated because of a relative abundance of Cameroonian samples to be matched with (both uniparentally and in autosomal testing such as AncestryDNA). While other samples from especially non-Igbo groups within southeastern Nigeria but also from the Congo and Angola are relatively lacking. I will eventually do a follow-up blogpost on this topic.

We have to keep in mind that samples from two very diverse countries, Cameroon & Congo, have been joined together in one single region named “Cameroon/Congo” on AncestryDNA. By the manner it has been designed this socalled “Cameroon/Congo” region is most unfortunately describing ancestral connections to both Central Africa and the Bight of Biafra hinterland. As we can verify from actual Cameroonian and Congolese results shown on this page, this socalled “Cameroon/Congo” region does indeed have a high prediction accuracy for both countries. However in addition it might also describe (Bantu) origins from other countries such as Angola, Zambia and even Madagascar! In theory therefore any of these places and also a combination of them might qualify as being the ancestral source for a socalled “Cameroon/Congo” score being reported for an Afro-Diasporan.

To complicate things even further also southeastern Nigerians tend to score substantial amounts for this region. Although on average the “Nigeria” region will still be primary for them. For 11 Igbo results in my survey (see this sheet for an overview) i have found a group average of almost 15% “Cameroon/Congo” and a maximum score of 34%. While for 1 single person from Cross River State (possibly Efik) “Cameroon/Congo” was as high as 35%, impressive but again still secondary. This might imply that a substantial degree of Igbo or related southeastern Nigerian ancestry would not only result in “Nigeria” amounts being inherited. But in addition could also have resulted in inherited DNA markers nowadays being described as “Cameroon/Congo” by AncestryDNA. Although given that sofar this region is only secondary for eastern Nigerians i would personally refrain from making such an assumption when the test results of an Afro-Diasporan show “Cameroon/Congo” in first place or with an amount >15%. A Central African explanation than seems to be most plausible. Even when a Cameroonian ancestral option might still also be taken into consideration when other supporting evidence exist (in particular DNA matches). For further reference see also:

Slave trade from  Bight of Biafra versus Slave trade from Central Africa (numbers)

***Chart 5 (click to enlarge)

tast-biafra-vs-wca-nrs

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database (2016) (http://www.slavevoyages.org/) (Hispaniola=Dominican Republic; Saint Domingue=Haiti; Spanish Circum-Carribean is Colombia, Venezuela, Central America & Mexico).

***

Slave trade from  Bight of Biafra versus Slave trade from Central Africa (%)

***Chart 6 (click to enlarge)

tast-biafra-vs-wca-perc

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database (2016) (http://www.slavevoyages.org/) (Hispaniola=Dominican Republic; Saint Domingue=Haiti; Spanish Circum-Carribean is Colombia, Venezuela, Central America & Mexico).

***
Seeking a proper context is always essential when trying to interpret your own personal “Cameroon/Congo” test results. Not only your unique family history will matter in this regard but also your nationality or even your provincial/regional origins within your home country. In order to provide more solid ground to determine the plausibility of various ancestral scenarios i have performed a search in the invaluable Slave Voyages Database. It should be pointed out though that only Trans Atlantic data is being included and not Inter-Colonial data so these charts are not intended to reflect the full picture. Especially English contraband slave trading was very significant for Latin America and to a lesser degree also Haiti. While for the USA especially Domestic Slave Trade from the Upper South looms large. For all countries obviously also Post-Slavery migrations should be taken into consideration (for more disclaimers see this page).

As can be seen in the above screenshots the relative importance of either Bight of Biafra (incl. Cameroon but only to a minor degree) or West Central Africa (mainly Congo & Angola) varies a lot for each particular destination within the Americas. And just to reiterate a credible Cameroon proportion of the total Bight of Biafra numbers has been estimated to be no more than 5%. Taking a less conservative stance this estimate might perhaps be increased to 10-15%  but either way it will only be a minor share. As most historians believe that the Igbo’s formed a majority or atleast a plurality among Bight of Biafra captives. Hence it seems reasonable to assume that a Bight of Biafra connection will be described by AncestryDNA, primarily by reporting a hefty “Nigeria” score and quite likely also some minor “Benin/Togo” in addition to secondary “Cameroon/Congo” amounts.

Reviewing the charts above it seems generally speaking that only for Virginia and Jamaica a good case might be made to suspect an increased probability of genuine origins from Cameroon or southeastern Nigeria based on a socalled “Cameroon/Congo” score. In this light the socalled Moco or Moko people from the Anglo-Carribean Slave registers seem especially research worthy. This was a commonly used ethnic label to refer to captives from the borderlands of Nigeria/Cameroon. Often thought to refer to either the Efik or Ibibio but quite likely also including other ethnic groups. Also Puerto Rico and Cuba show quite balanced Biafra versus Central Africa proportions. And in fact there is also plentiful evidence of southeastern Nigerian (“Carabali”) and even Cameroonian presence in the Hispanic Caribbean.

In sharp contrast with the Virginia data it seems that generally speaking for South Carolina primarily Central African origins will be implied by “Cameroon/Congo”. And this goes even more so for Brazil and other parts of mainland Latin America. Interestingly Bahia does show a slight inclination to Bight of Biafra though compared with Southeast Brazil (Rio & Minas Gerais). The numbers for Haiti might be a bit skewed because a substantial Igbo/Biafran presence has been historically attested in slave registers as well as cultural retention. Still again a Central African interpretation for the socalled “Cameroon/Congo” region also seems unquestionable for Haitians in most cases. The Dominican case perhaps being most undecided because of the large degree of undocumented slave trade. To be sure the Central African documented presence is overwhelming and ubiquitous for practically all parts of the Americas, and in fact also for Jamaica and Virginia. For more details see:

Relative contribution of “Cameroon/Congo” across the Diaspora (sorted) 

***Chart 7 (click to enlarge)

diasp-comp-br12

***

The above chart 7 is displaying the current findings of my ongoing cross-Diaspora survey of AncestryDNA results (see this page for a full overview). We can verify that sofar the socalled “Cameroon/Congo” region is most prevalent among Brazilians and Haitians. Which is in line with expectations as Brazil and Haiti had a greater share of slave trade with Central Africa than the other countries being mentioned in the overview (see this page). The other “Cameroon/Congo” proportions are usually also closely related to the documented share of Central Africa in Slave Trade for each nationality. Even more so when combined with the “Southeastern Bantu” scores. For example for the USA, “Cameroon/Congo” and “Southeastern Bantu” combined would be 26,5% (20% + 6,5%). Which corresponds very nicely with an estimated share of Central Africa in the slave trade to the US of about 25% (see this chart). Eventhough due to limited samplesize this data is preliminary it is still also cross-sectional because it was collected from various parts of the Diaspora and also at random. Overall contributing to the robustness of the data. Therefore based on these findings i am inclined to say that indeed on average “Cameroon/Congo” will be more likely to signal Central African (incl. Congo & Angola) origins rather than Biafran (southeast Nigeria & Cameroon) ones. Although again context is everything and combined with additional supporting evidence a Biafran or even a strictly Cameroonian connection could still be feasible in many cases.

***

2) Southwestern Bantu ancestry much more likely than Southeastern Bantu ancestry

***Map 4 (click to enlarge)

***Chart 8 (click to enlarge)

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

hgdp

***

I will eventually provide a follow up to this section. I will then focus in greater detail on the implications for Afro-Diasporans looking into possible interpretations for their socalled “Southeastern Bantu” scores. Right now I will however already point out the following. Unless guided by wishful thinking or delusional ideology it is advisable to be very mindful of “false positives”That is DNA results which on first sight seem to suggest East African origins to some degree. But on closer and more critical inspection they actually are referring to much widerranging origins, including Central & Southern Africa. Usually this occurs because of ambigious phrasing or inadequate sampling by DNA companies but it is also caused by incorrect interpretation and having insufficient knowledge about the relevant context as well as inherent limitations of DNA testing. Furthermore the widespread Bantu migrations across this greater part of Africa also tend to complicate things genetically speaking.

Various and at times mutually exclusive ancestral scenarios will be implied by AncestryDNA results. All depending on your own family history and especially the population history of the ethnic group you belong to. The socalled “Southeastern Bantu” regional score being reported for a Kenyan or a South African will trace back to an entirely different set of ancestors than for let’s say a Jamaican. Afterall also Southwestern Bantu origins, especially from Angola, might be referred to by this socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region. As can be seen in the map above and also the fact that this region is most likely based on Bantu speaking samples from not only Kenya and South Africa but also Namibia, which is a neighbouring country for Angola! This can be verified from the overview of the HGDP database (chart 8) which according to Ancestry’s own information was utilized for their reference panel (see AncestryDNA Regions for sources).

In order to improve the interpretation of the socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region it is indeed 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 South Africans a genetic similarity to the South African samples will apply just as 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 used by AncestryDNA. Namibia being a neighbouring country to Angola, which together with the Congo has been a significant region of provenance for practically all Afro-Diasporans in the Americas. See  charts 9-11 below.

While Southeast Africa, in particular Mozambique, did indeed function as a source for Trans-Atlantic Slave trade as well, the numbers involved are much more reduced. And for East African countries further up north (the socalled “Swahili Coast”) barely any documented evidence seems to exist1. Proportionally speaking Southeast Africa represents less than 5% of the total slave trade for practically all of the Americas, safe for Brazil (still less than 10%). While for the USA it was even less than 2%. The proportional share of Central Africa in Trans Atlantic Slave Trade is estimated to have been 8 up to 15 times greater than for Southeast Africa! As can be seen in the following charts taken from the Slavevoyages Database.

***Chart 9 (click to enlarge)

TAST - all - percentagesa

Source: Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database 2016 (http://www.slavevoyages.org)

***Chart 10 (click to enlarge)

tast-wca-vs-sea-nrs

Source: Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database 2016 (http://www.slavevoyages.org)

***Chart 11 (click to enlarge)

tast-wca-vs-sea-perc

Source: Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database 2016 (http://www.slavevoyages.org)

***

Another strong indication of southwestern rather than southeastern Bantu origins being prevalent for Diasporans (in the Americas)  has been established during my ongoing survey of AncestryDNA results among Afro-descended nationalities (see this page for a full overview). In which sofar socalled “Southeastern Bantu” reaches its highest group average among  Brazilians followed by the Mexicans. Both countries having an undeniably well attested historical connection with Angola! Also for other Latin Americans rather elevated group averages are arising. For American Americans the “Southeast Bantu” region is showing up more pronounced than for Jamaicans on average. Which is in line with general slave trade statistics. And again it’s very likely referring to more than just strictly Southeast African origins. Mozambican and Madagascar ancestry remain theoretical possibilities but more remotely so based on slave trade statistics (see charts above). When combined with additional evidence the Madagascar options may be made more plausible though.

As Angola doesn’t have its own separate region yet on AncestryDNA (despite probably being the greatest souce of African slaves to the Americas as a whole) it is very likely that most of Angolan ancestry will be described by socalled “Southeastern Bantu” in combination with “Cameroon/Congo”. Undoubtedly given that only 18 samples were used by AncestryDNA there is much room for improving the socalled “Southeastern Bantu” category.  Obviously adding samples from Mozambique and Angola will provide a much better picture.

Relative contribution of “Southeastern Bantu” across the Diaspora (sorted) 

***Chart 12 (click to enlarge)

diaspora-comp-seb-br-n12

***

It is good to keep all of the above in mind as the DNA testing science is still in full development and personal DNA-test results will be imperfect and preliminary. Any outcomes seemingly suggestive of non-conventional African ancestry among Afro-Diasporans should therefore be evaluated critically in order to rule out any false positives. See below claims of Kenyan ancestry by an African American politician and how they were received by Kenyans. Rather similarly to the claims of Zulu ancestry by Oprah Winfrey:

***

***

***.

___________________________________________________________________________

Notes

  1. Based on the records available in the standard reference database of the Slave Voyages website this East African share in Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade might be less than 0.1% (=6324/6709327). Comparing the total number (6,324) of disembarked captives for Kilwa, Zanzibar and Mombasa, all Swahili ports to the north of Mozambique, with the total number of disembarked captives from Southeast Africa (308,775, overwhelmingly from Mozambican ports with main destination being Brazil) and all of Africa (6,709,327). Naturally all of this is according to what has been documented and excluding voyages with unknown itineraries.

***(click to enlarge)

TAST (Swahili ports, numbers, destinations specified)