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  • Physical traits

    Hi,
    Whilst I am weighing up the pro's and con's of these ethnicity tests, I thought I'd just ask if there are any "typical" physical traits that someone of a Native American origin might have as opposed to someone of a Caucasian origin?
    I have high cheek bones from my gran, so can't really count them, but is there anything else? (Although that's not to say my Grandpa might not have had them too)
    I read somewhere that there are differences in how the foot is structured, in particular little toes curling under the next toe (which I have)
    I know it's a bit naive to classify what you look like with an ethnic group, but like the teeth, is there anything that is almost unique to this ethnic group?
    Any info would be great.

  • #2
    Physical Anthro

    There is much information on a number of forums related to physical anthropolgy...some good, so not so good.

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    • #3
      Type O blood.

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      • #4
        They share a lot of traits with Asians since that is where they originally came from. Native Americans suffer from a high rate of alcoholism and I found this info on a website:

        "We have identified two genes that protect against heavy drinking, and these are particularly prevalent among Asians," Li says. "We have shown that Native Americans, who have a high rate of alcoholism, do not have these protective genes. The one that is particularly effective is a mutation of the gene for the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase, which plays a major role in metabolizing alcohol. The mutation is found very frequently in Chinese and Japanese populations but is less common among other Asian groups, including Koreans, the Malayo-Polynesian group, and others native to the Pacific Rim. "We've also looked at Euro-Americans, Native Americans, and Eskimos, and they don't have that gene mutation," says Li. Thus, incidentally, the study of genetic mutations and alcoholism links native North-American populations to central Asian ancestors, not to those from China and Japan."

        Kelley

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        • #5
          That's really interesting...my Mother's blood type is O and she can't drink a small glass of wine without nearly falling under the table!
          I can however hold my drink
          Is it true you inheirit your blood type from your father? I'm sure that's what my nurse told me, but I thought type O was quite common?

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          • #6
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_type

            If you will go to that page, you will see a chart that determines what blood type you can have depending on the blood type of your parents. My mom is Type "O" and I am Type "B" - so according to the chart, my father must have been either Type "B" or Type "AB".

            Kelley

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            • #7
              Some things I vaguely remember...

              I heard somewhere that ear wax tended to be dry and crusty for those of Asian/First Nations liniage and more moist and clingy for Europeans. Amount of body hair is also a physical difference. Europeans tend to be able to grow beards more easily than those from Asia or the Americas.

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              • #8
                Hair type, body hair, hair color, eye color etc. can be as varied in NAs as it is in other ethnic groups and whilst many NAs would fit into the "ethnic look" that is associated with them, there are many variations and I believe this is not something that only happened since the emigration to the States of Europeans but pre-dates it. There is a theory that there were a group of people who inhabited the States before the ancestors of today's NAs crossed the Baring Strait.

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                • #9
                  According to the AncestryByDNA website one would need to be, genetically, 30-35% ethnic in order to have the "look" of an ethnicity. In my experience of my family, appearances are a bit "indeterminant" and seem to change over time - my younger brother "looked" quite Native as a boy, with a round face and stiff dark hair and he has less of that look as an adult.

                  Our mother - mt-haplo C - looked Native although she had green eyes and type A blood (User ID 5u5hb on mitosearch). Our AncestryByDNA results pegged her children as 31% NA, and our DNATribes results matched us to two Native Americans of Minnesota samples with scores of 26 and 17.

                  I am a satisfied customer of bio-geographical tests, although I always want to know MORE - I have follow-up inquires pending for all of these DNA results.

                  Tom

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                  • #10
                    Hi,
                    Thanks for all the responses, I really appreciate them.
                    It's so hard to tell whether me and my mother have Native ancestry.
                    When my mother was a child, up until her twenties, she had quite deep set almost "Asian" looking eyes that often look like they were closed in some photos.
                    As she has got older, they have "rounded" more, and they are more obvious.
                    She has thick wavy hair, that was blonde when she was very young, but soon changed to dark brown, but speaking to half siblings, this must be from her mother's side, as some of them were the same.
                    I am not looking for an "Indian Princess" or anything like that, but if it did prove that we were part Native, I would be very proud-just as I am of my other ancestors.
                    It would just help me understand who I am a bit better.
                    I might just bite the bullet and take the AncestrybyDNA test.
                    In the mean time, if anyone has any other traits, I'd love to hear from you!

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                    • #11
                      There weren't and aren't "Indian Princesses", it's a European take on what was probably the daughter of a Chief. I'm not sure if it's true of all NAs but intolerance to diary products is a major problem for many NAs.

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                      • #12
                        Regarding the "Indian Princess" I merely meant that in the context of someone trying to find a connection to brag to others or make false claims. Sorry if it caused offense to anyone.

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                        • #13
                          Burto,

                          Diabetes is also a problem in Native Americans and it has to do with a gene. But regarding the issue of hair, if you've been around alot of Native Americans you'll see alot of thick, wavy or frizzy hair and also alot of premature grey.

                          I would recommend taking the DNA Tribes test because it will point out matches with specific tribes but the Ancestry By DNA test will only reveal a percentage of Native American. That's just my opinion.

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                          • #14
                            Can anyone shed anymore light on this DNATribes test? Is it more reliable than AncestrybyDNA? Does anyone know whether the company are reliable? Their website doesn't really say an awful lot about them!

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                            • #15
                              Burto,

                              The DNAT test is of the 13 CODIS markers (STR's - single tandem repeats) that are employed by law enforcement and forensics for identification purposes - this is REAL SCIENCE.

                              A testee's results - allele numbers - are compared to population databases of CODIS results, and through the magic of statistics, are matched and scored according to a "most likely related" formula.

                              If you take the test you will be matched to actual populations - Tribes, Global, Continental - rather than to "generic" ancestries, as per the DNAPrint ABDNA test (European, East Asian, Native American Sub-Sahrahan). BUT the quality of your matches depends entirely on whether the population in which you are most interested - the population to which you are most likely related - is in DNAT's database. That database currently contains more than 300 distinct populations.

                              I am a satisfied user of the test, and I recommend it because CODIS is an open and growing standard whereas DNAP's test is based on proprietary research - this means that DNAP has to pay for all field research whereas DNAT need only collect CODIS results that have been paid for by public investment in law enforcement/forensics. (Those interested in European ancestries should be aware that Europe has a slightly different standard - more markers - but those additional markers are also researchable online).

                              DNAT has their lab work done by DNA-Fingerprint in Germany - a very reputable and forward-thinking lab. But DNAT's statistical program for matching and scoring is entirely their own product.

                              Unlike DNAPrint's ABDNA 2.5 assay, DNAT's is NOT an admixture test, it cannot give you percentages of ancestries, it is designed to match you, genetically, on a "most likely" basis to specific populations.

                              I haven't anything bad to say about ABDNA - I took that test as well and it is also based on real science. It just seems to me that DNAT's CODIS test is growing and can continue growing in relevance, whereas DNAP's tests have been slower to evolve.

                              I recommend that anyone interested in DNAT's offering read through everything on their site as their test is different from DNAP's. DNAP has been the only biogeographical test on the market, they have been the market standard, and they still "own" the admixture segment. But DNAT offers the possibility to move beyond a generic identification to a specific "tribal" identification.

                              Tom

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