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The first men and women from the Canary Islands were Berbers
Date:10/21/2009

een the lineages of men and women from the Canary Islands stems from the diverse contributions of parental populations, and, above all, as a result of European colonisation.

During this period, most relationships between men and women were between Iberian men and Guanches women, "due to the better social position of the former [Iberian men] compared to aboriginal males" Fregel explains. In addition to this, there was a higher mortality rate among male aborigines, who were displaced and discriminated against by conquerors. "Not only during the Crown of Castile Conquest in the 15th century, but also thereafter", the scientist affirms.

The researcher adds that in the case of Sub-Saharan lineages, both sexes were discriminated against equally, "and both maternal and paternal lineages have declined to date".

Traces of European colonisation

A previous study of the Y chromosome in the current population of the Canary Islands demonstrated the impact of European colonisation on the male population in the Canary Islands, Fregal points out that "When estimating the proportion of European lineages present in the current population of the Canary Islands, it was found that they represented more than 90%". Nevertheless, mitochondrial DNA studies in the current population demonstrated a notable survival of aboriginal lineages, where European contribution is between 36% and 62%.

Iberian and European contribution to male genetic patrimony in the Canary Islands increased from 63% during the 17th and 18th centuries to 83% in the present day. At the same time, male aboriginal genes decreased from 31% to 17%, and Sub-Saharan genes, from 6% to 1%.

As for women, European contribution is more constant, having moved from 48% to 55%, and aboriginal contribution, from 40% to 42%. The only decline observed in genetic contribution, from 12% to 3% in the last three centuries, has been in the case of Sub-Saharans.

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Contact: SINC
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FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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