• Brazilian Indians;
  • Genetic distance;
  • Blood groups;
  • Linguistic and genetic differences


A total of 562 individuals living in four villages of two Brazilian Indian tribes (Cayapo and Krahó) was studied in relation to blood groups ABO, MNSs, P, Rh, Lewis, Duffy, Kidd and Diego; haptoglobin, Gc, acid phosphatase and phosphoglucomutase types. These results were compared with those obtained previously among the Xavante, and the inhabitants of three other Cayapo villages, all of whom speak Ge languages; the ranges in gene frequencies observed in a representative series of South American Indians from all over the continent were also compiled. The Ge Indians are characterized by low frequencies ofRz, medium frequencies ofR1,R2, R0, orr,Jka andPGM11, and high frequencies ofGc2 andACPA when compared with other South American tribes. Genetic distance analyses based on six loci indicate that the intratribal variability observed among Cayapo is of the same order of magnitude as those obtained among the Xavante and Krahó, being much less pronounced than those observed among the Yanomama and Makiritare. The intertribal differences within this linguistic group are much less pronounced than those encountered among tribes that speak more differentiated languages.