Reconstructing the population history of the largest tribe of India: the Dravidian speaking Gond

Author(s): Chaubey, G., Tamang, R., Pennarun, E., Dubey, P., Rai, N., Upadhyay, R.K., Meena, R.P., Patel, J.R., van Driem, G., Thangaraj, K. and Metspalu, M.
Journal: European Journal of Human Genetics
Issue/Volume: in press
Page(s): in press
Year: 2017


The Gond comprise the largest tribal group of India with a population exceeding 12 million. Linguistically, the Gond belong to the Gondi–Manda subgroup of the South Central branch of the Dravidian language family. Ethnographers, anthropologists and linguists entertain mutually incompatible hypotheses on their origin. Genetic studies of these people have thus far suffered from the low resolution of the genetic data or the limited number of samples. Therefore, to gain a more comprehensive view on ancient ancestry and genetic affinities of the Gond with the neighbouring populations speaking Indo-European, Dravidian and Austroasiatic languages, we have studied four geographically distinct groups of Gond using high-resolution data. All the Gond groups share a common ancestry with a certain degree of isolation and differentiation. Our allele frequency and haplotype-based analyses reveal that the Gond share substantial genetic ancestry with the Indian Austroasiatic (ie, Munda) groups, rather than with the other Dravidian groups to whom they are most closely related linguistically.

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Peoples: Dravidian speakers, Gond, and Manda | Places: India | Topics: Austroasiatic languages, Dravidian languages, and Indo-European languages | DNA Type: