Genes of ‘extinct’ Caribbean islanders found in living people

Jorge Estevez grew up in the Dominican Republic and New York City hearing stories about his native Caribbean ancestors from his mother and grandmother. But when he told his teachers that he is Taino, an indigenous Caribbean, they said that was impossible. “According to Spanish accounts, we went extinct 30 years after [European] contact.”

…“These indigenous communities were written out of history,” says Jada Benn Torres, a genetic anthropologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville who studies the Caribbean’s population history and has worked with native groups on several islands. “They are adamant about their continuous existence, that they’ve always been [on these islands],” she says. “So to see it reflected in the ancient DNA, it’s great.”

Genes of ‘extinct’ Caribbean islanders found in living people | Science | AAAS

cool.

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