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Polymorphism of palmar C- and D-line terminations among the Sikligars of Chandigarh.

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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 65199-200 (1984)
Polymorphism of Palmar C- and D-Line Terminations Among the
Sikligars of Chandigarh
R.S. BALGIR
Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, Chandigarh-160014,India
KEY WORDS
Polymorphism, Palmar C- and D-line terminations,
Sikligars, Chandigarh
ABSTRACT
Modal types of palmar C- and D-line terminations of 60 couples of Sikligars from Chandigarh have been evaluated and compared with the
populations from Northwestern India. The distribution of palmar C- and Dline terminations among the Sikligars resembles those of the Rajputs and
Hindu Gujars, suggesting a common population origin, a n infrequent inflow
of genes from the surrounding populations, and their biosocial isolation. Bilateral distribution asymmetry and sexual dimorphism were also observed.
The Sikligars are nonpastoral and nonagricultural nomadic people of India. They are
found in small clusters, leading a gypsy life
in the Northwestern part of India. Historically and traditionally, the Sikligars were
armour suppliers to the rulers of this region
and were experts in making swords, daggers,
shields, and guns. Today they are blacksmiths and produce utensils from scrap iron.
They are the counterparts of the Gypsies
(who call themselves Roma) living in Europe
and other parts of the world G a l , 1962; Sher,
1966; Balgir, 1980a,b; 1982). Among the
tribal communities of India, the Sikligars occupy a unique position because of their distinct culture, profession, and mode of living
(Balgir, 198Oa). They are a n endogamous
community that practices clan exogamy. Although marriage by brother-sister exchange
is the most culturally accepted form, ‘3indalpada”-a form of marriage by service-is also
prevalent (Balgir, 1984a).
In the present study the variability of
modal types of palmar C-and D-line terminations among the Sikligars has been evaluated and compared to other populations in
the region.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The present study was carried out in sector
42 (Sikligar Colony) of Chandigarh. Dermatoglyphic features of 60 unrelated couples
(husbands and wives) of Sikligars were studied. The couples were selected in such a way
that only one member of each line of descent
participated in the study. Clan (Gotras) exog0 1984 ALAN R. LISS, INC
amy is observed for at least two or three
generations, allowing the identification of
common lines of descent. Palmar prints were
taken by the ink-and-pad technique as described by Cummins and Midlo (1961) and
analyses of modal types of C-line and D-line
terminations followed Plato (1970a) and
Cummins and Midlo (1961), respectively.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Bilateral Distribution Asymmetry
The modal types of C-line termination
among the Sikligars show bilateral distribution asymmetry in both sexes (males, P <
0.05; females, P < 0.001). The incidence of
the radial type is consistently high on the
right palm in both sexes (Table 1).The ulnar
type occurs more frequently on the left palm
in both sexes. The proximal type in both
sexes and the absent type in females have
higher incidences on the left palms.
The Sikligars show statistically significant
bimanual variation for D-line terminations
in both males (P < 0.01) and females (P <
0.05). The frequency of D-line terminations
a t position 11is higher on the right palm in
both sexes than at 9 and 7 (Table 2). The
frequency of D-line terminations at 7 is the
lowest on both palms in both sexes.
Received January 13, 1984; revised May 25, 1984; accepted
May 25,1984.
Dr. Balgir’s present address is: Dr. R.S. Balgir, Yo Dr. B.S.
Balgir, 8 Holman Street, Curtin, Canberra, A.C.T. 2605,
Australia.
200
R.S. BALGIR
TABLE I . Bilateral variations of C-line terminations among the Sikligars*
Sex * *
Males
Females
No. of
palms
60
60
120
60
60
120
Radial
Ulnar
Proximal
Absent
Side
(%)
(%I
(%)
(%I
R
L
50.00
33.33
41.67
63.33
30.00
46.67
36.67
53.33
45.00
20.00
26.67
23.33
6.67
13.33
10.00
10.00
26.67
18.33
6.67
0.00
3.33
6.67
16.67
11.67
R
+L
R
L
R
+L
*Bilateral distribution asymmetry: males,
0.001.
**Sex differences. ,yz = 17 082, P < 0.001
TABLE 2. Bilateral variations of D-line terminations
among the Sikligars*
Sex**
Males
Females
No. of
Dalms
60
60
120
60
60
120
Side
11(%)
9(%)
7(%)
R
L
63.33
33.33
48.33
50.00
30.00
40.00
25.00
45.00
35.00
30.00
50.00
40.00
11.67
21.67
16.67
20.00
20.00
20.00
R
+L
R
L
R
+L
*Bilateral distribution asymmetry: males,
= 6.000; P < 0.05.
0.01; females,
**Sex differences: ~5 = 1.708; P, N.S.
x%
=
10.814; P <
Sex Variations
The polymorphism of C-line termination
shows highly significant sexual dimorphism
among the Sikligars of Chandigarh (P <
0.001). The ulnar type is most frequent in
males, whereas the radial type occurs most
frequently in females among the Sikligars
(Table 1). The frequency of D-line termination a t position 11is higher in males than in
females, but the sex differences are not statistically significant (Table 2).
Population Comparisons
The results of the present study regarding
the frequency distribution, bilateral distribution asymmetry, and sex differences are
identical to those of Plato (1970a,b), Bhanu
and Malhotra (19721, andBalgir (1983,1984b1,
and further support the hypotheses that
each of the modal types of the C - and D-line
terminations have a strong association with
a particular palm. The distribution of modal
types of C - and D-line terminations of Sikligars closely resembles those of Rajputs
(Chattopadhyay and Kushwaha, 1978) and
Hindu Gujjars (Balgir, 1983). This further
supports the argument that all three populations represent fission groups of a common
population that owing to migration, isolation
and occupational patterns, evolved separately (Balgir, 1980a,b; 1982). Similarities in
fingerprint patterns, interdigital and hypothenar patterns, total finger ridge counts,
xz
=
9.186; P < 0.05; females,
xi; = 14.832; P <
“atd” angles (Balgir, 1980b1, and in the distribution of c- and D-line terminations and
other morpho-genetic traits (Balgir, 1982) of
these populations may be explained on the
basis of a common racial substratum, a n infrequent inflow of genes from surrounding
populations, and biosocial isolation from
neighboring communities.
Further studies using other techniques
should be done on Sikligars to gain additional information on their migration from
India and their diversity in different parts of
the world.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The author is grateful to all participants
for their cooperation in this study.
LITERATURE CITED
Balgir, RS (1980a) The Sikligars of Chandigarh. Jeevan
Mehak 2:9-12.
Balgir, RS (1980b) Etude des Dermatoglyphes D’une
Tribu Gitane les de Chandigarh. L’Anthropologie
84:460-465.
Balgir, RS (1982)Etude de quelques traits Morpho-Genetiques chez les Sikligars de Chandigarh. L’ Anthropologie 85313-320.
Balgir, RS (1983)Demogenetic Investigations among the
Hindu and Muslim Gujars-The Two Breeding Isolates of Sub-Himalayan and Himalayan Regions. Doctoral Thesis, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.
Balgir, RS (1984a) A demographic study of Sikligars of
Chandigarh (personal communication).
Balgir, RS (1984b) A dermatoglyphic study of normal
Punjabis. Bull. Mem. SOC.
Anthropol. (Paris) (in press).
Bhanu, BV, and Malhotra, KC (1972) Palmar C-line polymorphism among Gavdas of Goa and Ezhavas of
Kerala. Man in India 52t261-267.
Chattopadhyay, PK, and Kushwaha, KPS (1978) A dermatoglyphic approach to the problem of Rajput origin.
I. Mankind Quart. 18:283-292.
Cummins, H, and Midlo, C (1961) Fingerprints, Palms
and Soles: An Introduction to Dermatoglyphics. New
York: Dover Publications.
Lal, Chaman (1962)Gypsies-The Forgotten Children of
India. Delhi: Publication Division, Government of
India.
Plato, CC (1970a)Polymorphism of the C-line with a new
classification of the C-line Termination. Am. J. Phys.
Anthropol. 33;413-420.
Plato, CC (1970b) Dermatoglyphics and flexion creases
of the Cypriots. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 33:421-428.
Sher, Sher Singh (1966) The Sikligars of Punjab. Delhi:
Sterling Publishers Private Limited.
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sikligars, palmar, polymorphism, terminations, among, chandigarh, line
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