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Uros people of Peru and Bolivia found to have distinctive genetic ancestries

Date:
September 12, 2013
Source:
National Geographic Society
Summary:
New genetic research led by the Genographic Project consortium shows a distinctive ancestry for the Uros populations of Peru and Bolivia that predates the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and may date back to the earliest settlement of the Altiplano, or high plain, of the central Andes some 3,700 years ago. Despite the fact that the Uros today share many lineages with the surrounding Andean populations, they have maintained their own divergent genetic ancestry.

New genetic research led by the Genographic Project consortium shows a distinctive ancestry for the Uros populations of Peru and Bolivia that predates the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and may date back to the earliest settlement of the Altiplano, or high plain, of the central Andes some 3,700 years ago.

Despite the fact that the Uros today share many lineages with the surrounding Andean populations, they have maintained their own divergent genetic ancestry.

The Uros are a self-identified ethnic group, about 2,000 of whom live in Peru, many of them on artificial floating islands on Lake Titicaca. Another 2,600 individuals live beside lakes and rivers of Bolivia. According to some anthropologists, the Uros are descendants of the first settlers of the Altiplano -- the Andean plateau -- yet their origin has been subjected to considerable academic debate.

Those from Peru have long claimed to descend from the ancient Urus (Uruquilla speakers), using their differentiated ethnic identity to assert rights and prerogatives for their use of Titicaca's natural resources. The Uros have historically been the target of discrimination by the pre-Inca, Inca and the Spanish, and this continues today.

Some people have alleged that the Uros disappeared a long time ago and that the new islanders have conjured up an ancient heritage in order to attract tourists and receive special recognition and rights.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Geographic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. José Raul Sandoval, Daniela R. Lacerda, Marilza S. A. Jota, Alberto Salazar-Granara, Pedro Paulo R. Vieira, Oscar Acosta, Cinthia Cuellar, Susana Revollo, Ricardo Fujita, Fabrício R. Santos. The Genetic History of Indigenous Populations of the Peruvian and Bolivian Altiplano: The Legacy of the Uros. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (9): e73006 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073006

Cite This Page:

National Geographic Society. "Uros people of Peru and Bolivia found to have distinctive genetic ancestries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912112845.htm>.
National Geographic Society. (2013, September 12). Uros people of Peru and Bolivia found to have distinctive genetic ancestries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912112845.htm
National Geographic Society. "Uros people of Peru and Bolivia found to have distinctive genetic ancestries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912112845.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

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