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Keywords:

  • Discrete traits;
  • Skull;
  • Biological distance;
  • Correlation;
  • Eskimo;
  • Aleut

Abstract

Biological distances (C. A. B. Smith's Measure of Divergence) based on 25 nonmetric skull variants have been compared with distances (Mahalanobis' D2) based on cranial measurements of four Eskimo populations representing the Yupik subdivision of the Eskaleut linguistic stock, and one Aleut population. The ranking of Measures of Divergence (pooled-sex samples ) for ten pairwise comparisons is significantly correlated (pearman's rs) with both the male and female rankings of the F-values of D2. In addition, the nonmetric distances showed stronger concordance than the metric distances with a hierarchy based on linguistic and geographical affinities. These findings indicate that, depending upon the particular battery of variants used, discrete traits provide valid taxonomical information in the study of extinct human populations.