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Genetic Perspectives on Indigenous Ancestry in the Caribbean

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Within the contemporary Caribbean, indigenous peoples have been relegated to the ‘margins’ of history making it difficult to appreciate their contributions to the region. Genetic data have ushered in the ability to think about the human experience in innovative manners. For example, proponents and opponents of Caribbean indigenous resurgence movements have utilized genetic data in different manners that either challenge dominant national narratives of erasure or maintain status quo, respectively. Dr. Benn Torres assesses indigenous Caribbean genetic contributions to modern-day populations with a specific focus on three communities in Trinidad, Jamaica, and St. Vincent. While indigenous ancestry varies across islands, these genetic data contextualized with evidence drawn from other arenas such ethnography, history, or archaeology, contributes to the general understanding about indigenous Caribbean communities.

This talk is part of the Biological Anthropology Seminar Series series.

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