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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Society - Ethnicity: U5a1a & R1b1c*

Society - Ethnicity - Sami: U5a1a

Lapponia / Samiland

The Sámi or Saami are the native inhabitants of northern Scandinavia. The terms Lapp and Lappish are to be avoided. The Sami country, Lapponia or Sápmi, is divided between four states: Finland (Suopma in Sami), Norway (Norga), Sweden (Ruotta) and Russia (Ruossa). There are about 70,000 Sami in Scandinavia. In Norway, between 40,000 and 45,000. Sweden about 17,000, Finland around 5,700 and Russia approx. 2,000. The Sami language (of the Finno-Ugric group) is not just one, but a set of different languages. Some count three distinct languages: East Sami, Central Sami and South Sami, with Central Sami including North Sami, Pite Sami and Lule Sami. In other accounts up to 11 Sami languages are listed. Not all ethnic Sami speak their language. Just 20.000 in Norway, in Finland around 3,000, in Sweden 10,000 and in Russia about 1,000. Most Sami speakers speak North Sami.

The Sami people (also Sámi, Saami, Lapps, sometimes also Laplanders) are an indigenous people of northern Europe inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. Their ancestral lands span across an area the size of Sweden in the Nordic countries. The Sami people are among the largest indigenous groups in Europe. Their languages are the Sami languages, which are classified as Finno-Ugric.

The cultural assimilation over many years of the Sami people in the four countries makes it difficult to estimate the numbers of Sami. However, the population is estimated at about 85,000. The Norwegian state recognizes any Norwegian as Sami if he or she has one great-grandparent whose home language was Sami, but there is not, and has not been, any registration of the home language spoken by Norwegian people. Roughly half of all Sami live in Norway, but many live in Sweden as well. Finland and Russia are also home to smaller groups located in the far north. The Sami in Russia were forced by the Soviet authorities to relocate to a collective called Lovozero/Lujávri, in the central part of the Kola Peninsula.

Traditionally, the Sami had a variety of livelihoods; fishing on the coast and in the inland, trapping animals for fur, sheep herding, etc. The best known livelihood is reindeer herding, but only a small percentage of the Sami have been mainly reindeer herders over the last centuries. Today, many Sami lead modern lives in the cities inside and outside the traditional Sami area, with modern jobs. Some 10% still practice reindeer herding, which for traditional and cultural reasons is reserved for Sami people in some parts of Nordic countries.


Society - Ethnicity - Basque: R1b1c*

The Basques (Basque: Euskaldunak) are an indigenous people who inhabit parts of north-central Spain and southwestern France.

The name Basque derives from Medieval French and ultimately from the ancient tribe of the Vascones, described by Ancient Greek historian Strabo as living south of the western Pyrenees and north of the Ebro River, in modern day Navarre and northern Aragon. This tribal name, of unknown etymology, was extended in late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages to cover all Basque-speaking people on either side of the Pyrenees.

Basques are now mainly found in an area traditionally known as Euskal Herria, located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay.

This article discusses the Basques as an ethnic group or, as some view them, a nation, in contrast to other ethnic groups living in the Basque area. The history of the Basque region as covered here will focus on how that history bears on the Basques as a people.

Recent genetic studies (Stephen Oppenheimer) have confirmed that about 75% of the people of the British Isles have bloodlines that can be traced to inhabitants of the Basque areas of Spain and France based on Y-chromosome and mtDNA analysis. The originators of these genes are thought to have traveled up the Atlantic Coast in the Upper Palaeolithic and the Mesolithic period.

A similar proportion of the remaining, Romance speaking, inhabitants of the whole Iberian peninsula (both Spain and Portugal) share similar percentages of haplogroup R1b to the people of Britain and Ireland as well as very similar mtDNA ancestry.

Genetics

Although they are genetically distinctive in some ways, the Basques are still very typically west European in terms of their Mt-DNA and Y-DNA sequences, and in terms of some other genetic loci. These same sequences are widespread throughout the western half of Europe, especially along the western fringe of the continent. The Saami people of northern Scandinavia show an especially high abundance of a Mt-DNA type found at 11% amongst Basques. Somewhat higher among neighbour Cantabrians,being the isolated Pasiegos with Mt-DNA V haplogroup of wider microsatellite variation than Saami.

It is thought that the Basque Country and neighbouring regions served as a refuge for palaeolithic humans during the last major glaciation when environments further north were too cold and dry for continuous habitation. When climate warmed into the present interglacial, populations would have rapidly spread north along the west European coast. Genetically, in terms of Y-chromosomes and Mt-DNA, inhabitants of Britain and Ireland are closely related to the Basques, reflecting their common origin in this refugial area. Basques, along with Irish, show the highest frequency of the Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup R1b in Western Europe; some 98% of native Basque men have this haplogroup. The Y-chromosome and MtDNA relationship between Basques and people of Ireland and Wales is of equal ratios as to neighbouring areas of Spain, where similar ethnically "Spanish" people now live in close proximity to the Basques, although this genetic relationship is also very strong among Basques and other Spaniards. In fact, as Stephen Oppenheimer has stated in The Origins of the British (2006), although Basques have been more isolated than other Iberians, they are a population representative of south western Europe. As to the genetic relationship among Basques, Iberians and Britons.

By far the majority of male gene types in the derive from Iberia (modern Spain and Portugal), ranging from a low of 59% in Fakenham, Norfolk to highs of 96% in Llangefni, north Wales and 93% Castlerea, Ireland. On average only 30% of gene types in England derive from north-west Europe. Even without dating the earlier waves of north-west European immigration, this invalidates the Anglo-Saxon wipeout theory... ...75-95% of British and Irish (genetic) matches derive from Iberia...Ireland, coastal Wales, and central and west-coast Scotland are almost entirely made up from Iberian founders, while the rest of the non-English parts of the Britain and Ireland have similarly high rates. England has rather lower rates of Iberian types with marked heterogeneity, but no English sample has less than 58% of Iberian samples...

Before the development of modern Genetics based on DNA sequencing, Basques were noted as having the highest global apportion of Rh- blood type (35% phenotypically, 60% genetically). Additionally Basques also have virtually no B blood type (nor the related AB group). These differences are thought to reflect their long history of isolation, along with times when the population size of the Basques was small, allowing gene frequencies to drift over time. The history of isolation reflected in gene frequencies has presumably been key to the Basque people retaining their distinctive language, while more recently arrived Indo-European languages swamped other indigenous languages that were previously spoken in western Europe. In fact, in accordance with other genetic studies, a recent genetic piece of research from 2007 claims: "The Spanish and Basque groups are the furthest away from other continental groups (with more diversity within the same genetic groups) which is consistent with the suggestions that the Iberian peninsula holds the most ancient West European genetic ancestry."

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