Digital Dermatoglyphics of 107 Bengalis LESLIE Y. MORGAN Colby College, Waterudle, Maine 04901 and Department of Medical Genetics, The Children's Medical Center, 1735 Chapel Street, Dayton, Ohao 45404 K E Y WORDS Dermatoglyphics . Bengalis ABSTRACT I analyzed the finger prints of 59 male and 48 female unrelated Bengalis in a rehabilitation camp of Dacca, Bangladesh. The most common pattern type in the Bengalis was the ulnar loop (53x1, then whorls (40%); arches (5%)and radial loops (2%)were the least common. Radial loops occurred most frequently on the index fingers. I have shown the archlwhorl, whorl/loop, and pattern intensity indices, and I have presented ridge counts by individual digits and by total digital ridge count. Digital dermatoglyphics in the male Bangladeshis were similar to previous findings in male Brahmins of Bengal. However, there were more whorls and arches, fewer loops, and a higher mean total digital ridge count in the female Bangladeshis than in female Brahmins. Bengalis occupy both the Indian district of Bengal and the new country of Bangladesh. The Bengalis of India are primarily Hindu; those of Bangladesh, Muslim. Previous reports on the dermatoglyphics of Bengalis have been confined to the Indian groups (Chattopadhyay and Sharma, '69; Mukherjee and Saha, '70; Sarkar, '70). However, the dermatoglyphics of the Bengalis of Bangladesh, a country with over 83 million people, have never before been investigated. I analyzed the finger prints of 107 Bengalis who were either patients or employees a t the Christian Health Service Center, in the Dattapara Rehabilitation Camp, 15 miles north of Dacca, Bangladesh. This clinic is sponsored and directed by the Bangladesh Mission of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. The study group of 59 males and 48 females represented some of the refugees who migrated back into Bangladesh after the war for independence from Pakistan. The purpose of this study was to investigate the digital dermatoglyphics of the Muslim Bengalis of Bangladesh and to compare the results with previous findings in Hindu Bengalis of India. MATERIALS A N D METHODS After printing all of the fingers with black printer's ink using the rolled print technique, I followed the methods of analysis described AM. J. PHYS. ANTHROP. (1979) 50: 259-262 by Cummins and Midlo ('61). Having classified the patterns as ulnar loop, radial loop, whorl, or arch, I set out the pattern distribution for each finger of each sex and then calculated the frequency of each pattern for the sexes separately and together. I used this information to derive the arch/whorl index (Dankmeijer, '341, t h e whorl/loop index (Furuhata, '271, and the pattern intensity index for the males and for the females. After setting out the ridge counts by individual digits, I calculated the mean total digital ridge count (TDRC) for each sex. RESULTS Tables 1and 2 present the digital dermatoglyphic pattern distribution for males and for females respectively. The most common pattern type in the Bengalis was the ulnar loop (males 55%, females 50%).Whorls occurred on 40% of the male digits and on 41% of the female digits. Arches (males 3%,females 6%) and radial loops (males 2%,females 3%)were the least common pattern types. Radial loops occurred most frequently on the index fingers (males 10112, females 8/13). Female Bengalis showed a frequency of arches twice that of the males, and this difference is reflected in the arch/whorl index (males 8.1, females 15.9). There was a greater ' Correspondence to Leslie Y Morgan, B A , Children's Medlcal Center, 1735 Chapel Street, Dayton, Ohlo 45404 259 260 LESLIE Y. MORGAN TABLE 1 Digital dermatoglyphic pattern distribution i n 59 male Bengalis Left Ulnarloop Radial loop Whorl Arch Right I 11 111 IV V Total I 11 111 IV V Total 29 1 29 0 24 39 7 0 18 27 0 31 24 0 33 2 24 3 28 4 39 0 14 6 45 1 13 1 168 8 112 7 25 0 34 2 49 0 10 0 157 4 122 2 24 4 0 0 1 TABLE 2 Digital dermatoglyphic pattern distribution in 48 female Bengalis Left Ulnarloop Radial loop Whorl Arch Right I 11 111 IV V Total 1 11 I11 IV V Total 16 20 4 19 5 25 0 17 6 17 0 29 2 35 113 6 106 1 5 18 0 27 3 18 4 18 8 34 1 10 3 17 1 29 41 1 5 128 7 89 6 1 30 1 1 11 1 Mean digital ridge counts i n 59 male Bengalis Digit I I1 I11 IV V DISCUSSION Mean ridge count Standard deviation Mean ridge count Standard deviation 16.8 10.5 13.2 16.0 13.9 5.5 5.6 4.8 5.1 4.2 18.0 11.8 11.3 16.4 13.0 5.9 5.3 6.3 4.4 4.5 = 141.1 S.D. = 38.6 TABLE 4 Mean digital ridge counts i n 48 female Bengalis Right Left I I1 I11 IV V 1 Right Mean total digital ridge count Digit 1 Tables 3 and 4 present ridge counts for individual digits along with the mean TDRC for males and for females respectively. TABLE 3 Left 1 Mean ridge count Standard deviation Mean ridge count Standard deviation 15.7 11.6 12.1 15.8 14.1 6.0 7.0 6.7 6.0 5.0 16.2 11.6 12.4 16.2 12.9 6.6 6.7 5.7 5.1 4.7 Mean total digital ridge count = 138.8 S.D. = 47.6 frequency of ulnar loops in the males than in the females, and this difference is reflected in the whorlfloop index (males 69.4, females 76.8). Males and females showed similar pattern intensity indices (males 13.6, females 13.4). Previous reports on the dermatoglyphics of Bengalis have been confined to the Indian groups (Chattopadhyay and Sharma, '69; Mukherjee and Saha, '70; Sarkar, '70). Two of these studies (Chattopadhyay and Sharma, '69; Mukherjee and Saha, '70) concentrated on the Brahmin caste of the Hindu population. Digital pattern frequencies in the males in the Muslim group were similar to the frequencies reported for Brahmin males. However, there was a higher frequency of whorls in the Muslim females (41%) than in Brahmin females (31% reported by Chattopadhyay and Sharma, '69; 37% reported by Mukherjee and Saha, '70). There was a corresponding lower frequency of loops in the Muslim females (53%)than in Brahmin females (64%reported by Chattopadhyay and Sharma, '69; 59% reported by Mukherjee and Saha, '70). The 6% occurrence of arches in the Muslim females was higher than the 4%reported for Brahmin females by both Chattopadhyay and Sharma ('691, and Mukherjee and Saha ('70). The mean TDRC of the males in the Muslim group was 141.1, which compared with a mean TDRC of 140.6 in Brahmin males (Chattopadhyay and Sharma, '69). However, there was a higher mean TDRC in the Muslim females (138.8) than in Brahmin females DERMATOGLYPHICS OF BENGALIS (125.8 reported by Chattopadhyay and Sharma, '69). This was due in part to higher whorl frequency. In conclusion, the male Bengalis of Bangladesh showed digital pattern frequencies and a mean TDRC which were similar to the findings in male Brahmins in India. However, Bangladeshi females tended to have more whorls and arches, fewer loops, and a higher TDRC. LITERATURE CITED Chattopadhyay, P. K., and P. D. Sharma 1969 Finger der- 261 matoglyphics of Rarhi Brahmins of Bengal. Am. J. Phys. Anthrop., 30: 397-401. Cummins, H., and C . Midlo 1961 Finger Prints, Palms and Soles. An Introduction to Dermatoglyphics. Dover Publications, Inc., New York. Dankmeijer, J. 1934 De Beteekenis van Vingerafdrukken voor het anthropologisch Onderzoek. Dissertation, University of Utrecht, L. E. Bosch & Zoon. Furuhata, T. 1927 The difference of t h e index of finger prints according to race. Jpn. Med. World, 7: 162-164. Mukherjee, D. P., and K. C . Saha 1970 Dermatoglyphics in normal Bengalee population. J. Indian Med. Assoc., 54: 405-411. Sarkar, D. 1970 Dermatoglyphic study among three Bengal castes. Man in India, 49: 80-92.