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Nilotic refers to a number of indigenous East African peoples originating in northeast Africa in the region of the Nile River. Included are groups such as the Dinka, Kalenjin, Luo, Masai, Nuer, Hima, Turkana and Tutsi. Today, Nilotic peoples are found primarily in Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Chad.

They are often described as gracile in stature -- that is, they are "gracefully slender," with a taller and slimmer stature than the average human. This characteristic is thought to be a climatic adaptation to allow their bodies to shed heat more efficiently. [citation needed]

[edit] Origin

Traditional ethnographic literature states that members of these groups descended from Hamitic or Semitic roots. However, modern genetic research shows that they are remnants of a very archaic African population distantly related to Khoisan. According to Underhill et al. (2000), Sudanese show a very high presence of Y-haplogroup A (42,5%), the oldest human male lineage that diverged from the rest of humankind more than 100 000 years ago. More concretely, their A-subclade (A3b2) is specific to East Africa and shows that the ancestors of Nilotes diverged from the ancestors of Khoisan people a very long time ago. Other Y-lineages show an admixture of Afro-Asiatic (Cushitic) populations (17,5% E3b1), Pygmies (15% B), Bantus, bearers of other E-subclades and Semites (the remaining ca. 25%).

[edit] References

  • B. Campbell, P. Leslie, K. Campbell: Age-related Changes in Testosterone and SHBG among Turkana Males. American Journal of Human Biology, 1/2006, p. 71-82M.
  • A. Little: Human biology of African pastoralists. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, 1989, p. 215-247
  • E. Rębacz: The physique of young males in East Africa from the biosocial point of view. Collegium Antropologicum, 2006, p. 259-264
  • D. F. Roberts, D. R. Bainbridge: Nilotic physique. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 1963, p. 341-370
  • P. A. Underhill et al.: Y chromosome sequence variation and the history of human populations. Nature Genetics, volume 26, November 2000, p. 358-361

See also: Nilotic languagesde:Niloten

es:Nilótico fi:Nilootit he:נילוטים pt:Nilotas ru:Нилоты

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