Against blood quantum as a measure of indigeneity

The figure to the right is from a Substack post I wrote last year, Stark Truth About Aryans: a story of India. In it, I posted about the different streams of ancestry that led to the variation in the modern Indian subcontinent. In short, there are three primary threads:

1) Steppe Indo-Aryans who are identical to the Sintashta Culture of the upper Volga ~4,000 and gave rise to the Andronovo Horizon

2) “Ancient Ancestral South Indians,” who have more affinity to the peoples to the east of Eurasia, and are distantly related to a clade of humans that brackets the Negritos of Southeast Asia, the Andamanese, and the people of Australia (this clade diversified between 35 and 45 thousand years ago, so these are not close connections). Though the modern Andamanese are often used as a substitute for AASI, the reality is that they diverged more than 30,000 years earlier and these tribal populations probably derive from modern Burma, rather than India (the Andaman Islands are an extension of the Burmese geological formation).

3) Lastly, there is a component that has been termed by some as “eastern Iranian,” but really defines a little-understood population that represents the easternmost extension of the Zagrosian farmer stock. These eastern people that extended likely into the northwest of the subcontinent are distinctive in that they lack any admixture from Anatolian farmers, which is ubiquitous to the west of Dasht-e-Kavir. Not only do these people not have any Anatolian admixture, but they also have enrichment for Paleo-Siberian ancestry, likely mediated along the pastoralist fringe of Central Asia

The vast majority of subcontinental populations have some thread of ancestry from these three groups. The major difference is proportions. You can see this in an admixture graph I ran a few years ago (yes, I need to update it). In the graph AHG = AASI, while steppe is pretty straightforward. But, the Indus_Periphery group is a mix of “eastern Iranian” and “AASI.” Concretely, I simply picked the highest quality and least AASI samples to capture as much eastern Iranian ancestry as I could. But I would estimate that 10% AASI is still a rational lower-bound (probably not higher than 20%) estimate for my Indus_Periphery construct. This means even the Kalash of Pakistan, who are ~0% AHG in my model, do have AASI ancestry, it’s just mediated through their 70% Indus_Periphery.

In regards to the steppe ancestry, the reality is that it is present across the vast majority of groups. The exceptions are a very few South India tribal and most Munda populations. Groups like Reddys and Nadars will clock in at 5-10% steppe ancestry. This makes sense when you note that Y chromosome R1a1a-Z93 is found in even tribal groups with the exception of the Mundas. There are other details that are curious. Many groups in the Sindh/Gujurat region are very enriched for Indus_Periphery but have very low AHG proportions and less steppe. In contrast, some Gangetic populations have far more steppe than these, but far more AHG.

This brings me to the point of the post: when people say that Dalits or Adivasis are the indigenous people of the subcontinent, I think it does not necessarily have as strong of a human demographic basis as one might think. That is because to a great extent Dalits and almost all Adivasis are made from the same threads as other subcontinental populations, even if the proportions may differ.

Let’s walk it back and understand the ethnogenesis of the subcontinent.

First, it is quite possible that the AASI are not indigenous to the portion of the subcontinent to the north and west of the Thar desert. Their natural ecological locus was likely in the east and the south. Biogeographically the northwest of the subcontinent is somewhat different than the south, center, and east, which resemble Southeast Asia more (albeit at a remove). During the peak of the Last Glacial Maximum, the Thar Desert was drier and larger, serving as a boundary zone between southwest Eurasia and southeast Eurasia.

The ancient DNA from the Swat valley as well as the genetic character of modern Punjabi populations compared to the ancient samples from the IVC make a strong case that AASI ancestry is intrusive to the northwest. By this, I don’t mean that AASI tribes migrated in that direction, rather, as the IVC expanded it clearly mixed with AASI populations to its south and east, and as the IVC was an integrated cultural zone, mixed individuals moved north and west over time.

The Swat transect shows a decrease in IVC proportions between 1000 BC and 0 AD, and increased steppe and AASI ancestry. This is part of what I call the “integration phase” of Indian civilization, as gene flow occurred not just from the northwest with Indo-Aryan expansion, but Indo-Aryan reflux migration must have occurred into the west. These eastern Indo-Aryans mixed extensively with indigenous people in the Gangetic valley, explaining why Brahmin populations in this region have noticeable more steppe ancestry than groups like Sindhis, but also far more AASI ancestry. Indo-Aryan tribes all mixed with IVC people when they arrived in the subcontinent (while there are populations that are ~0 steppe, and others that are ~0 AHG, there are no populations in the subcontinent that are ~0 Indus), but a subset moved east and south fast so that they arrived with a higher steppe fraction when they settled down to mix with indigenous tribes.

Second, even outside of the northwest, it is not entirely clear that the AASI is not a recent early Holocene migration from Southeast Asia. Genetically they are part of the continuum with the indigenous Negrito people of Southeast Asia. I think it is less likely that there was massive Southeast Asia migration during the Holocene, but for most of the Pleistocene, Southeast Asia had many more humans than India because India was far drier.

Finally, outside of exceptional groups like the Munda, whose language and mythology seem derived from the 20-30% of their ancestry than is Austro-Asiatic Southeast Asian (and all-male), almost all subcontinental populations come out of the cultural matrix whereby Indo-Aryans synthesized with indigenous populations (much, but not all of whom, were Dravidian-speaking). The earliest Tamil has a clear Indo-Aryan influence, while the retroflex in Sanskrit is indicative of Indic influence very early on.

Where am I going with this? Genetically a Jat from Haryana is very different from a Dalit from Tamil Nadu. A Jat is 10-20% AASI (aggregating the AHG estimate with the AASH fraction in the Indus_Periphery), and 25-30% steppe. The Dalit is 75% or so AASI (again, aggregate), and only a few percent steppe. This is a massive genetic difference. But culturally it is clear that both come out of an Indian milieu that was shaped in the period between 1500 BC and 500 BC, as the Indus Valley Civilization collapsed, and its remnants were transmuted by Indo-Aryans. The tribes in the north that continued their Indo-Aryan language were clearly transformed, but the Dravidian-speaking polities of the south were also imprinted by the Indo-Aryans. It was reciprocal.

Both light-skinned northern Indians who like to claim “actually” they are “Iranian” and dark-skinned South Indians who claim to be “indigenous” emerge out of this process, this dynamic. And they share equally within it. India came out of the mixing of many disparate elements which then disaggregated in various ways, but all went through the same sieve.

43 thoughts on “Against blood quantum as a measure of indigeneity”

  1. Is Dravidian likely an AASI language or an Indus language in your opinion? And I have read that the earliest Indo-Europeans were a mix of hunter gatherers from East Europe and Caucusus. So did the proto-Indo-European language derive from the former or the latter?

  2. @ Razib sir
    As someone who is high AASI and proudly owns it, I wanted to ask you something related to the characteristics of AASI. In the US I have always been discriminated against by other Asians (East, SE, South) who have always told me that I am not really “Asian” – the lighter South Asians tell me I am “Dravidian” and disown me while the lighter NE and SE Asians tell me I am “Black” and of the “Indian race” and dont have anything to do with other Asians. This always made me feel alone/hurt and it is hard for me to find common ground with other people, despite my affinity for cultures of the Far east. I also know that there is no “Indian” race so we have to belong to the Asian/Mongoloid race, since we arent Caucasian or anything else.

    Now I know I have a unique appearance and skin color, but when it comes to things like race/identity I have somewhat of a confusion because of these things. When it came time to applying to college/jobs I selected “Asian” on the race box, and while doing so I felt like a fraud, and inadequate, because while I checked Asian, I am not treated like one by my fellow Asians or even by non-Asians like White folks, who mistake me for black (no problems there, but I am not Black racially and appropriating the Black identity feels fraudulent as well). It is obvious to me that I look different primarily because AASI is the largest stream of my ancestry, making me look distinct from other South Asians and other Asians/whites/etc.

    Therefore, I wanted to ask you, is AASI truly “Asian” genetically, as in, it is 100% East Eurasian like NE Asian/SE Asian/native DNA, so being mixed with AASI is like being mixed with these other East Eurasian components? I know Asians have a lot of diversity within themselves with looks/color and the like (there are Chinese ethnic groups with Black skin and East Asian features like the Wa) so I wont be surprised to see that AASI is a part of that diversity. Is it part of the same group as other SE Asians like Indonesians? These SE Asians too cline with Negritos and you mention that Andamanese are a distinct group related to Tibetans, so does AASI share some affinities with Andamanese because of Han-like admixture and SE Asian admixture within Andaman folks? Is this why other Asian groups also show affinities with andaman folks? I just want to know, am I justified in marking “Asian” on race boxes or am I truly not Asian genetically and something else? Were those bullies in school correct when they said “I wasnt really Asian” or does the genetic evidence support my belief that we are indeed bonafide Asians that cluster with other East Eurasians genetically?

  3. Is Dravidian likely an AASI language or an Indus language in your opinion? And I have read that the earliest Indo-Europeans were a mix of hunter gatherers from East Europe and Caucusus. So did the proto-Indo-European language derive from the former or the latter?

    i think Dravidian is ivc

    i would bet indo-european is an EHG language since the y chromosomes seem more EHG (R and Q)

  4. Therefore, I wanted to ask you, is AASI truly “Asian” genetically, as in, it is 100% East Eurasian like NE Asian/SE Asian/native DNA, so being mixed with AASI is like being mixed with these other East Eurasian components?

    i think you put too much emphasis on genetics here, but i will answer you straight: AASI is in a ‘clade’ with east eurasians. there are two subbranches

    1 ) AASI, southeast asian negrito, Australian
    2) northeast asian and siberian

    the megabranches two branches probably split 45-50,000 years ago. and then, the two branches diversified around 45-40,000 years ago.

    i think there is some evidence that AASI might have some nontrivial west eurasian gene flow since it’s on the western boundary, but we need ancient DNA for that.

    fwiw, you call yourself whatever you like in my opinion

    1. @Razib sir
      Thank you for your detailed answer. Just had a few small doubts, please reply if you have time. Apologies for annoying you.

      Are SE Asians (like Indonesians, Cambodians, Vietnam, Malays, etc) part of the same branch of East Eurasian as AASI? What about Native Americans? I read some natives of South America has Australasian affinity

      Despite being on a separate branch of East Eurasian with Australasian folks, since there is no admix from Australasians into AASI, do AASI admix folk cline with other East Eurasian admixed folks like Central Asians and Latins?

      Finally, does “pure AASI” without any West Eurasian admix that it currently has cluster with Modern East Eurasians like NE and SE Asians on global pca plots, away from Andaman and Australasian folks?

      This would tell me how to identify. Thanks so much.

      1. Are SE Asians (like Indonesians, Cambodians, Vietnam, Malays, etc) part of the same branch of East Eurasian as AASI? What about Native Americans? I read some natives of South America has Australasian affinity

        25% or so of their ancestry (confounded by 5-15% recent indian ancestry in mainland SE Asia).

        , do AASI admix folk cline with other East Eurasian admixed folks like Central Asians and Latins?


        Finally, does “pure AASI” without any West Eurasian admix that it currently has cluster with Modern East Eurasians like NE and SE Asians on global pca plots, away from Andaman and Australasian folks?

        closer to andaman

        1. @razib sir
          Thank you for that answer, I was just confused (please excuse my ignorance, sorry again, you dont have to reply if you find it obvious) about the first and last answer – I understand that SE Asians have admix from AASI, but I was more asking about what branch SE Asians exist on, the first branch with AASI and Australasians, or the second branch with NE Asians and Siberians?

          And for the last answer, I understand that AASI is closer to Andaman, but does a ghost/hypothetical “pure AASI” still cluster neatly within the East Eurasian cluster overall with pure NE Asians/SE Asians or is the relative closeness to Andaman enough to pull it further away from this modern East Eurasian cluster? Is this closeness to Onge shared by other SE Asians, and due to ancient AASI and SE Asian admix in Andaman? Do we need more ancient autosomal DNA to settle this conclusively?

          I promise this is my last query regarding this topic, apologies for any redundancy and thank you for bearing with me. It is simply something that can help resolve my decades long identity crisis, among other issues. I appreciate all your answers Razib sir.

          1. @Gh78
            Bro it seems like you are a Nadar, Do you have your Harappa world results?, Since i have not seen many Nadar results.

    2. > i think there is some evidence that AASI might have some nontrivial west eurasian gene flow since it’s on the western boundary, but we need ancient DNA for that.

      Never heard of this before. Do you know when/where this happened?

  5. Razib,
    Has anyone seen any structure inside the AASI present in the Indians ?
    If they truly covered a vast region from the foothills to the south tip there would be some noticeable structure no ?

  6. not to my knowledge, but what if they expanded rapidly from a small founder group at the end of the last ice age? the main arg against this is the diversity of macrohaplogroup M within the subcontinent.

  7. South Indian Dalits has 75% AASI ancestry?, I thought it’s more like 60-65% AASI, 75% AASI should be for Paniyas and that’s the highest limit for AASI in South Asia afaik.

      1. Yeah, i added their AASI from IVC ancestry too, they were consistently getting somewhere between 60-65% AASI, but correct me if i am wrong if South Indian Dalits are 75% AASI then Paniyas should be more than 80% as they are significantly/noticeably different from Paniyas.

        1. I think it’s based on Dalit group like Pulayas/Pulliyar , they are 75% AASI I think.

          1. @Yadav
            Yeah but Pulayas are mostly present in Kerala not TN though and they are ethnically Mallu as well. Typical Dalits in AP, TN are Mala, Madiga, Pallan, Adi-Dravida etc who all score very similar to each other.
            However, here’s how commercially tested Kerala Pulaya scores like in harappa

            Admix Results (sorted):
            # Population Percent
            1 S-Indian 59.91
            2 Baloch 28.01
            3 Caucasian 2.91
            4 SW-Asian 2.48
            5 Papuan 1.58
            6 NE-Asian 1.53
            7 SE-Asian 1.37
            Finished reading population data. 377 populations found.
            16 components mode.
            Least-squares method.
            Using 1 population approximation:
            1 tamil-nadar_harappa @ 3.410587
            2 hallaki_reich @ 3.767390
            3 singapore-indian-a_sgvp @ 3.780803
            The above Pulaya lady is not significantly different from Non Dalit South Indians (from AP,TN).

        2. I think she is mixed with Nair or something?
          She is probably outlier because most of the Pulayas/Pulliyars are genetically closest to Paniyas in G25.

          And only heavy AASI group closest to Paniyas/Pulayas in TN are Irulas ,but they are tribals..I’m actually not sure which TN Dalit group is 75% AASI..Maybe other groups like Palliyar or Adi Dravider of TN.

          1. @Yadav
            No she is confirmed Pulaya/Dalit (not mixed with anyone) from Kerala, Pulayas in G25 might not be representative for the Pulayas as a whole. Moreover it’s from Metspalu study which can be Mislabeled as well. I think we just need more samples from Pulayas then.

            Adi dravider, Pallan should be quite close to Mala and Madiga from AP.

            Here is a G25 distance to Pallan a Tamil dalit group and are closer to even Vellalars than to Paniyas (who supposedly should have 75% AASI ancestry) so they are quite distinct from Paniyas and even Irula too.

            Distance to: Pallan
            0.01347593 Sakilli
            0.01783865 Madiga
            0.01903563 North_Kannadi
            0.02193888 Mala
            0.02211298 Hakkipikki
            0.02627745 Chamar
            0.02718288 Maratha
            0.02873512 Chenchu
            0.02958367 Relli
            0.03332504 Punjabi_Christian_India
            0.03519367 Dusadh
            0.03526663 Tamils_GBR
            0.03562408 Kurumba
            0.03715808 Yadava
            0.03745637 Piramalai
            0.04030392 Sri_Lankan
            0.04472934 Konkani_Christian
            0.04772680 Telugu_GBR
            0.04910260 Uttar_Pradesh
            0.04929680 Irula
            0.05193342 Bengali_Bangladesh
            0.05287684 Vellalar
            0.05752987 Velamas
            0.05761570 Kamboj_o
            0.05778487 Pulliyar
            0.06059399 Dharkar
            0.06265144 Kadar
            0.06551023 Malayan
            0.06570815 Gupta
            0.06694540 Kol
            0.07243474 Kanjar
            0.07794772 Paniya

            Here is another Tamil Dalit group.
            Distance to: Dalit_Tamil_Nadu
            0.01657700 Mala
            0.01658961 Pallan
            0.01956968 Madiga
            0.02074920 Sakilli
            0.02438298 North_Kannadi
            0.02542726 Hakkipikki
            0.03457243 Chamar
            0.03712301 Maratha
            0.03888590 Relli
            0.04033267 Chenchu
            0.04334921 Punjabi_Christian_India
            0.04456492 Kurumba
            0.04487382 Dusadh
            0.04596853 Tamils_GBR
            0.04652591 Piramalai
            0.04769683 Yadava
            0.04794240 Irula
            0.05101222 Sri_Lankan
            0.05452766 Pulliyar
            0.05514621 Konkani_Christian
            0.05741251 Telugu_GBR
            0.05802390 Uttar_Pradesh
            0.05969435 Kadar
            0.06194142 Malayan
            0.06246967 Vellalar
            0.06375464 Bengali_Bangladesh
            0.06667411 Velamas
            0.06713383 Kamboj_o
            0.06990145 Gupta
            0.07119867 Dharkar
            0.07483055 Paniya
            0.07692020 Kol

        3. Pulayas seems genetically diverse I think because I saw a Pulaya gedmatch result with 70% SI and 19% Baloch in reddit..another one is almost 80% SI.

          And I’m confused which group is 75%
          If Tamil Dalits are 75% AASI so then the most AASI shifted paniyas score how much AASI?

  8. I know this comment doesn’t matter much, so its a token. But I think that paleosiberian in the Iranian source is just extra ANE (and not really paleosiberian) because the ANE in Iran went from northeast to southwest, so eastern Iran (actual source of the Iran-like ancestry IMO) had the maximum amount of ANE in Iran. Using Ganj Dareh as a proxy requires extra ANE input for this reason.

  9. Hey gh78

    You forgot MIA aka Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam. About as South Asian as you get. But like all black girls she had a child from a white guy. Whats new.

    I assume her father was a Protestant Christian with a name like Arulappu Richard Arulpragasam. Mother Hindu with a name like Kali.

    MIA Paper Planes (old)

  10. Kalash definitely do not have 70% IVC, if you look at their qpAdm models they need whopping amounts of CHG, and for that to be satisfied they need some Central Asian Agro group to fulfill that since this component is missing in the SIS2. Rather Central Asian farmers either spread early on into the NW of the subcontinent or arrived in some admixed form with Steppe groups. A Steppe MLBA + SIS2 barely passes on qpAdm for Kalash, they need substantial Central Asian sources. Someone posted this on another blog

    left pops:

    ShahrISokhta_BA2 0.35
    RUS_Srubnaya_MLBA 0.26
    TKM_C_Namazga.SG 0.39

    p-value 0.63

    In fact the model your suggesting is a failure

    AHG-related 0.123
    Indus_ Periphery_West-related 0.599
    Central_ Steppe_ MLBA-related 0.278
    p-value 0.02 (which is a failure)

    Those models from 2018 don’t cut it in 2022

  11. Max is quite right. The Kalash are only 35% IVC-related. They have tons of Bactria-Margiana Civilization-related (very ancient Central Asian) ancestry.

    Also, I have to note that Razib is off the mark on Haryana Jats. They are not 25-30% steppe/prehistoric Eastern European, 10-20% AASI.

    Rather they are a solid 35% steppe/prehistoric Eastern European, and some models can showcase 40%! And their AASI is only somewhere around 15%, usually a bit less in fact (like 13%).

    Anyway, that’s assuming AASI is real. I’m aware of work being done that does away with the idea entirely.

    1. @Walt
      Brother, AASI is very real, perhaps it has a different name in future, maybe some West Eurasian minor component too, but it will never go away. It is what makes us distinctly South Asian, from Kabul to Kerala….
      I am sure we also share AASI with our neighbors in West Asia and SE Asia, after all it is an East Eurasian component. Whether 5% or 10% or 13% AASI, it doesnt matter we are all mixed brother. And I am sure other South Asians in North and Northwest like Pakis and Afganis and Kashmiris have more East and SE Asian admix on top of any AASI that also adds to their East Eurasian admix, so they will be as mixed as many folks further East to them. South Asians are a mixed people, regardless of different looks across subcontinent. Whether it is mixed with AASI or East Asian or Se Asian, we are all mixed with East Eurasian. We must own AASI.

      Also, I read Kalash are ANI, so how can Kalash have more Central Asian ancestry? That would mean they arent ANI.

      1. @Gh78
        Afghans/Pashtuns have AASI levels similar to Egyptians having SSA ancestry. But nowhere Egyptians and Ethiopians are grouped under one group, why would you group a Pashtun and Tamil/Keralite under the same umbrella, If they share AASI ancestry with us they also share the Steppe ancestry with Europeans and Iran_N, Anatolia_N with Middle Easteners as well (which is their majority ancestry), For example Afghans are genetically closer to most Middle Eastern groups and sometimes even Europeans than they are to us/South Indians. We are very very distinct from even Punjabi Biradris as well.

        ANI itself is a construct, It might not be a real population too, Regardless ANI itself was a mix of IVC, BMAC and Steppe (Here BMAC and Steppe can be considered as Central Asian)

        1. What is the genetic composition of BMAC?
          Someone said they’re mostly Iran_N just like IVC but with very minor AASI.

          1. BMAC had significant Anatolian farmer related ancestry or some CHG related ancestry which IVC lacked and they also lacked AASI ancestry as you correctly noted.

        2. @zbcas
          Brother, I dont understand why you are trying to create artificial divisions among fellow South Asians. Of course people in North and West South Asia have lesser AASI than South and East, and the toxic caste system means that the higher castes in each of these areas has even lesser AASI than the general folks in each of these regions. The Punjabi groups you refer have similar AASI levels as Pakistani and Afgani Pathans. Other NW tribes in India have even lesser AASI too like Haryana groups, just with no East Asian, but total West Eurasian admixture is similar to Pathans in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These NW Indian groups also are much closer to West Eurasian Euros and Middle Eastern folks than to us South Indians.

          The Punjab, Pakistan, Kashmir, Afganistan all have groups with similar AASI levels and West Eurasian admixture. This doesnt mean that they arent South Asian. We are all on the same cline brother. The Kalash are among the least AASI, according to Razib sir, along with Jats and other folks from Kashmir and Punjab and Pakistani and Afgani Pashtuns. If you exclude them, you then also exclude fellow NW Indians and Pakistanis from South Asia. So it wouldnt make any sense genetically to say that NW Indians are South Asian, but not Pakistanis and Afganis.

          Also, the Egyptian example no different brother, because Egyptians and other North Africans in Maghreb are all considered as one people, even though they have wildly different levels of Sub Saharan admixture, and if you look at North and South Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Libya etc they vary too much in SSA admixture brother, still they are considered as one group and are also Arabs. There is no way to draw lines around South Asia brother, if you start drawing lines, we will balkanize and break up into hundreds of countries, because anyone could make the case that they are different from other castes, instead of being together in unity, and marrying across caste lines. Our cline is very big brother, and these NW Indians/Pakis/Afganis are all together on one end of the cline, with same West Eurasian admixture, so it is impossible to exclude one group without excluding others. I feel like genetics is a bad idea for South Asia for this reason, people will start saying they arent South Asian using data. But how would we decide who is South Asian and who isnt brother?

          1. @Gh78
            Bro, Southern Pashtuns from Kandahar, Quetta are almost 90% West Eurasian whereas Punjabi Biradris are 80% West Eurasian on average so they are significantly South Asian shifted and no Punjabi Biradris are not closer to most Middle Easteners than to South Indians let alone Europeans they are at most equidistant to South Indians and Iranians.
            Distance to: Khatri
            0.15000651 Iranian_Fars
            0.15219504 Tamils_GBR
            0.24974437 Dutch
            Southern Pashtuns from comparison
            Distance to: Pashtun_Afghanistan_Kandahar
            0.09127391 Iranian_Fars
            0.20582852 Dutch
            0.21528905 Tamils_GBR
            If the above Pashtuns are on a Cline with us then they are also on a Cline with Central Eastern Iranians or Middle Eastern groups or some Central Asians like Tajiks, Pamiris
            But i know some groups like Ror, Haryana Jats are closer to many Caucasus groups than to us, but Punjabi groups not so much.
            If you believe Egyptians, Sudanese, Ethiopians, Libyans are considered to be the same or brothers then you can consider all South Asians to be brothers as well.

            Eastern Iranians from Khorasan, Bandar Abbas and some Western Iranians also have AASI admixture, so they should be considered as brothers as well.

          2. @zbcas
            Brother, you are not making sense, regardless of how relatively close certain South Asians are to West Asians, they are still South Asian overall. Its just that more Northern and Western South Asians will be relatively closer compared to the most Southern folks. But the distance is still very far brother and if you compare these Afgani Pathan samples with other South Asians like Haryani and Punjab/Kashmir groups like Kalash or Jat or others they are much much closer to them than to any Iranian or Middle Eastern. Even the Punjabi sample you posted above is also closer to the Iranian sample brother, just look at numbers. I am sure that Haryani and Kashmiri samples will be even closer to Iran sample just like Pathans, but it doesnt mean anything, closer doesnt mean they are the same thing. After all we live in South Asia brother and share many streams of ancestry with each other that we dont share with Middle Eastern people and Euro people. Persian folks didnt contribute to our genes in any large quantity, so it would make sense that they are far from South Asians. I also looked up where these people cline, and it is very clear that Northern Indian, Pakistani and Afgani folks all cluster on same portion of South Asian cline, very closely with each other and far from Iranian and Middle Eastern folks. You are not going to say that these Haryani and Kashmiri people arent South Asian now are you brother?

            And you are ignoring that Northern Indians, Pakistani and Afgani folks also have people with 10-20% AASI like Razib sir said, or a mix of AASI and East Asian, so they are equally West Eurasian brother. I just read about these Northern groups and some Punjabi folks are 85% West Eurasian, and some Haryani groups and Kashmiri groups are between 85-90% West Eurasian. Also, it seems you forgot to mention most Afgani Pathan folks that are more mixed too, closer to 85% West Eurasian. So West Eurasian ancestry levels are the same range brother. Iranian folks dont share much ancestry with us South Asians apart from much less AASI. We have unique ancestry brother, it why we dont have much recent Middle Eastern ancestry. South Asians are all much closer to each other than we are to folks outside South Asia. This is not surprising, just like West Asians are closer to each other than to us South Asians. Plus we share so much history and culture, religion, geography and genes that unite us brother. We must not create divisions, we need to bond over our common heritage, whether AASI or Steppe or IVC/Central Asian ancestry or East Asian, all things we share with each other in large quantities.

            We are unique brother, and Middle Easterners are our distant cousins, but not same as us. Same with Euros. This is obvious. About the Egyptian example, brother all people from North Africa are considered as one people, as Arab and Maghrebi, and they have a very big difference in Sub Saharan admixture, both in Egypt and in other North African countries, just like South Asia but also share most other ancestry. Ethiopians are not in North Africa, and are not part of this group, but Northern Africans are considered one group/brothers. Eastern and Western Iranians live in Western Asia and dont share much recent ancestry with us South Asians apart from very little AASI brother, so overall they are quite different from us even culturally and historically and are our distant cousins, not our brothers, like Southwest Asia and North Africa are cousins.

  12. @Gh78
    Ok brother, I never implied that Afghans are more closer to most Middle Easteners than to their neighbouring Punjabi/Kashmiri groups, they are equidistant to Khatris and Khorasani Iranians.

    Here is their distance btw,
    Distance to:
    0.06004290 Persian_Khorasan
    0.09054552 Kashmiri_Pakistan
    0.09127391 Iranian_Fars
    0.20582852 Dutch
    0.21528905 Tamils_GBR
    Now Kashmiris,
    Distance to:
    0.12852277 Tamils_GBR
    0.13975256 Persian_Khorasan
    0.17061857 Iranian_Fars
    0.26606147 Dutch

    Kalash are not considered as Punjabi/Kashmiri group, they are their own distinct group and also Haryana Jats are not representative for the whole Haryana and moreover they are an anamoly population just like how how South Indian Brahmins are to the South.

    I never implied that Afghans are not South Asians, some people might consider them to be Central Asian or South-Central Asian though. I personally wouldn’t care about such arbitrary labels.

    If you don’t include Nubians/Sudanese in North Africa then they are considerably less diverse than us South Asians.

    South Asian Cline doesn’t really end at Afghanistan, It pretty much extends to Eastern Iran and Tajikistan and also Eastern Iranians and Tajiks have same genetic components as Afghans btw.

    1. @zbcas

      Brother, you are not understanding the complete picture, if you look at distances you yourself posted, Khatris are closer to Iranian sample than Tamil sample. And I am sure that Tamil sample is not of Tamil Dalits or Pulayars and Paniya, so Khatri will be much closer to Iranian sample than us as well. Same goes for Kashmiri upper caste and tribe folks from Pakistan and India that aren’t included here. Also if you read Razib sirs previous posts on genetic distance, the data shows that Haryani people like Jat folks and other tribes, certain Punjab tribe folks and certain Kashmiri castes from Pakistan and India, including Kalash, all are even much closer to Iranians than to Tamil folks, Dalit or otherwise. I saw the PCA too brother, and upper caste folks and tribes from NW India, Pakistan and Afgani Pathan folks are together in one cluster on West Eurasian end of cline and yet they are all still South Asian like you and I brother. And brother you are posting only one type of Pathan tribe, that is the most West Eurasian among Pathans, from my reading on this blog and elsewhere it is evident that there are many types of Pathan tribes, and most of them are not really different in their genetic East Eurasian admixture and distance to Iranians than other NW South Asians like Haryani and Kashmiri and Punjab upper caste tribes either. These Pathans also have more AASI and East Asian than the sample above. So Pathan tribes are closest to other most west shifted NW Indian and Pakistani folks than West Asians and Pathans are definitely South Asian overall brother.

      You also leave out the most West Eurasian folks from Kashmir, Haryani, Punjab and Pakistan, by calling them anomalies, because including them makes Pathan folks South Asian. Brother, that is just wrong and random and doesn’t make sense, anyone can pick groups and say that it is anomaly, you even say that Tamil Brahmins are anomalies when they are South Asian, after all one can say many South Asian castes and tribes are anomalies, especially upper caste folks in regions, but this is wrong, they are still South Asian brother. It’s just a way to make more West Eurasian folks appear less South Asian than they really are or to demonize high AASI folks like Dalits by calling us outliers. Haryani and Punjab tribe folks are definitely South Asian, just like Pak and Afgani Pathan folks. Kalash are ANI proxies brother, so they are definition of South Asian, and now they use Haryani folks as another ANI proxy too, even on the PCA I read Kalash are cluster right next to these Rors, so Kalash and Haryani/Kashmiri and Punjabi tribes and Afganis, are definitely South Asians. Also brother, genetic distance is relative, you don’t understand this point, being closer doesn’t make you the same group brother, and the overall distances to Iranians are still very far, which makes sense because Iranians and West Asian folks have a very different ancestry than us South Asians overall. There are many posts and comments on this blog that I read too, all talking about these distances and confirming what I said.

      Brother, Afgani people and Pakistani and Bangladeshi people are all clear cut South Asian folks, just look at South Asian maps and organizations and history. We all share deep history and culture and genes, among many other things brother, denying it won’t change anything. From Shiva Ji posts, all north west folks from Afgan to Pak to India overlap in looks as well, so they are truly South Asian brothers. People can come up with any label they want like you say, but facts are always there brother, South Asia is where they fit best. We cannot create artificial divides where no divisions exist. We must promote unity and allow natural process of inter caste marriage to keep occurring to further destroy any artificial distinctions.

      About North Africa brother, I just read to confirm again, Egypt and Maghrebi folks alone have huge range of Sub Saharan admixture, from Egypt to Morocco to Tunisia etc, and once all North Africans like Nubians/Sudanese are included the range is even larger brother, but still these folks are grouped together as Arabs and all Northern Africans even in US are considered as West Eurasian folks. There is no excluding anyone randomly brother. There is much overlap within them in many things too brother. So good example for South Asians. About cline, the whole world is on this cline brother, but the PCAs I saw show clearly that South Asians from NW, starting in Punjab and Haryani to Kashmir and Afgani Pathan folks all share similar cluster positions and axes, but Tajiks are overall different in their cline positions and axes, in some cases by a large amount, partly due to much lower AASI and either much more East Asian or sometimes very low East Eurasian admix overall. They also have much more Steppe sometimes and some other genetic differences, like more West Asian etc. so they are not clear cut South Asians like us, and Iranians are very different in cline position from us South Asians and even most Tajiks due to lot more West Asian, Levant, Anatolian and much lower steppe, etc. They also are closest to other West Asians. So overall, Tajiks seem like transitional folks and Iranians are West Asian folks.

      1. Ok brother, Afghans are South Asians. Coming to why i have only compared Khatris with Non dalit Tamils because Punjab also has Dalits so i thought it would be better if we compare Non dalit population of two regions, Yes Khatris and Tamil Dalits are very different genetically but then again that’s not the average genetic difference between an average Punjabi and an average Tamil since Punjab also has lot’s of Dalit folks. Comparing Dalits of Punjab with Dalits of Tamil Nadu can also give a clearer picture.

        Kashmiris are homogeneous brother, they don’t have structure unlike Punjab and Haryana. Punjab has 30% Dalit population for instance same with Haryana as well.

        1. @Zbcas

          Gh78 sounds a little loco, and has obviously never met Afghan Pashtuns. I know a whole bunch.

          Appearance wise, the ones I know look sorta northern Caucasian, like Chechens. They seem much more Eastern European looking than Iranians. I’m very sure that not all of them look so fair. But the ones I know in real life are basically white people with weird names.

          And culturally, Pashtuns are an Islamic people with affinities with both greater Iran and Central Asia. There is no cultural overlap with inner South Asia. The only Indic people with any shared affinity with Pashtuns are northwestern fringe people like Punjabis, Sindhis, and Kashmiris. And almost all of that overlap comes from Turko-Persian Islamic influence in northern South Asia (Punjabis and Sindhis are much more culturally West Asian and Central Asian than people from Maharashtra or something). Take that away, and the cultural overlap between them and Pashtuns will disappear.

          Genetics is pretty clear too. You posted the numbers yourself. Afghan Pashtuns are very similar to both Khurasani Iranians and Pamiri Tajiks. And Afghan Tajiks with minimal East Asian admix are identical to Afghan Pashtuns. So if Pashtuns are South Asian, so are Tajiks.

          Which is nonsense. You might as well claim Iranians are South Asian too. Hell you might as well claim people in the Caucusus are South Asian too, because of deep affinity between CHG and IVC.

          1. @T789
            Yes Agreed, Modern day Punjabis (Non dalit) of South Asia are kind of like Greek Islanders/Southern Italians of Europe, a peripheral group.

          2. @T789

            Brother, Pashtuns from Afghanistan and Pakistan can have some variation, as in any South Asian group, because they are made of different tribes, but despite this, they cluster with each other/close to each other and are considered homogeneous as a larger group that fits well with other Indo Aryan/NW South Asian populations like this study found:

            The majority of Pakistani Pashtun people are Northeastern Pashtuns and the Yusufzai, which is the largest tribe in Pakistan, who along with Uthmankhel & Tarkalani from Northern KPK, and Afghani Pashtuns from Laghman, Kapisa, Kunar and Nangarhar are much closer to Punjabi biradaris than to western Iranians and are still closer to various north and west Indian upper castes than to North Caucasians. The more western shifted Northern Pashtun from Kunduz and Baghlan migrants, and Kandahar and Kabul groups are a little different but even with them, Punjabi biradaris are closer than west Iranians and of course Chechens. All Pashtuns are closer to Gujarat and UP Brahmins, and NW Brahmins than to Chechens. Also brother, Pashtuns are much closer to Punjabi Biradaris like Khatri, Jatt, Arain, PK Gujjar, Gujjars from KPK/North Pakistan/Indus Basin, and mixed Punjabi Sikh groups, Kamboj, Arora, etc. than to Western Iranians. Keep in mind brother, all of this is without even taking into consideration Ror or Haryana/West UP Jaat pops who are much more closer still to Pashtuns and overlap with them as well. So they are definitely a part of the South Asian cluster/cline.

            North Caucasians are very distant to Pashtuns brother. Almost as much as the Gujarati general population is from Pashtuns. Some Southern/Central Pashtuns are equidistant to Chechens when compared to some UP Brahmins, but much closer to Punjabi biradris and Haryani tribes than to any Chechen, North Caucasian etc. Also Kohistani, Kalash, Kho Chitralis etc cluster with South Asians and are NW South Asian too brother. And phenotypes that are Chechen like are found in many folks across NW South Asia, even among the unstructured Kashmiri Dards that are Pandits, like Shivaji posted on this blog brother, they look positively Ukrainian and Slavic or Chechen and North Caucasian in many cases, Blonde hair too. So Pashtuns with light skin and Chechen like looks is still part of the NW South Asian looks brother, they are like other folks in NW South Asia.
            Here are the distances of all the major Pashtuns tribes with their fellow NW South Asian folks and with West Asians and Central Asians brother:

            You can see brother that nearly all Pashtun tribes, both Afgani and Paki, are closer to Punjabi Biradris than to Iranians or West Asians. And this is without including the most West Eurasian Haryani and Dardic populations like the Ror, Jaat, Kho, Chitrali, and other such folks in India and Pakistan. If we include them, then they would be even much closer to these Pashtun tribes in Fst Distances, than Pashtuns are to any Iranians or West Asians, or even Central Asian Pamiris. Therefore Pashtuns are definitely South Asian brother. Also, you will notice that Ishkashimi Tajiks show up as a relatively closer match for Pashtuns from North Afghanistan and Kandahar than to Punjabi Birdaris. This is because Ishkashimi Tajiks are the most South Asian shifted of the Tajiks, and cluster with other NW South Asians brother, as mentioned in the studies I linked to above brother. So their closeness is expected, and again indicates that Pashtuns, certain South Asian shifted Tajiks and Haryanis, Punjabi biradris and many Dardic populations are all NW South Asians. I have discussed more about these South Asian Tajiks below, who are different from other Tajiks.

            When researchers analyzed Afgani people brother, they grouped them according to this scheme: 1) Pashtun, Tajik, North India, West India. 2- Hazara, Uzbek 3- Caucasus: Avar, Darginian, Lezgi. 4- Caucasus: Circassian, Abkhazian, 5- Iran: East Azerbaijan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Sistan and Baluchistan. 6- Belarus, West Russia. 7- Middle East and Europe: Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria. You can see brother, that they grouped Pashtuns with South Asians, not with West Asians or Caucasus folks or Europeans. And the Tajiks in this cluster were the most South Asian shifted Tajiks like Ishkashimis, so it makes sense that they are part of the South Asian cluster brother. They also found that Afgani Pashtun and Hazara folks in Afghanistan and Pakistan show affinity to their ethnic groups across borders and that the Afghan Tajiks, depending on their location, show equal distance to Central Asia and to Iran/Caucasus/West Russia, again proving the fact that Tajiks as a whole are a transitional population between South Asians and West Asians, or South Asians and Turkic groups in Central Asia. Brother, the MDS analysis of the Afgani population showed that Afgani Pashtun and certain Tajik folks are closer to North and West Indians than to Afganis like Hazara and Uzbek folks:

            Furthermore, Barrier analysis showed that Barrier IV splits the Afghan populations separating the Hazara and Uzbek from the Pashtun, Tajik and the NW Indian populations, creating groups of populations that have less variation within these groups:

            So brother Pashtuns are definitely South Asian again, along with certain Tajiks that are closer to Pashtuns and NW Indians than to Iranians. In this sense, these particular Tajiks are NW South Asians as well, just like Pashtuns and Punjabi Biradris, Haryanis, Dardic groups, and others. Also brother, MDS and Barrier analysis found: “a significant affinity between Pashtun, Tajik, North Indian, and West Indian populations, creating an Afghan-Indian population structure that excludes the Hazaras, Uzbeks, and the South Indian Dravidian speakers. In addition, gene flow to Afghanistan from India marked by Indian lineages, L-M20, H-M69, and R2a-M124, also seems to mostly involve Pashtuns and Tajiks. This genetic affinity and gene flow suggests interactions that could have existed since at least the establishment of the region’s first civilizations at the Indus Valley and the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex.” As you can see brother, there is a lot of shared ancestry between Pashtuns, Punjabi Biradris, Dards, Haryanis, certain Tajiks, and even certain West Indians and NW Brahmins, and this close relationship has existed since the time of the Indus Valley and BMAC civilizations, both civilizations from which NW South Asians have different amounts of ancestry, varying by group.

            Brother you should know that the majority of Y-chromosome lineages in Afgani Pashtuns and many Tajik folks, which is (R1a1a-M17), has the highest observed diversity among populations of the Indus Valley and is found at equally high rates among Punjabi folks like the Kamboj and other Biradris, and also among Rors, Jaats, and other tribes in NW India and Pakistan at high frequencies too. Also brother, a previous study on Pakistan that included ethnic groups also present in Afghanistan like Pashtuns, Hazara, etc. showed that Y-chromosome variation was structured by geography and with the exception of Hazara and Turkic folks, all other ethnic groups in Pakistan/Afghanistan were shown to have similar Y-chromosome diversity and they clustered with South Asians:

            Tajik is simply a linguistic affiliation brother, so genetics among Tajiks as a group is much greater than among Pashtuns, so they don’t cluster together brother. Also, Pashtuns cluster together to each other and to other NW South Asians than to Iranians, and Pashtuns are also closer to NW South Asians than the most Western Shifted Tajiks. Some Tajiks are heavily shifted/much closer to Western and Eastern Iranians, than to Pashtuns, some much closer to Uzbeks and Turkic/Mongoloid Central Asians, while some are much closer to West Eurasian Pamiris, and some are much closer to certain Pashtuns than to West Asians and Pamiris. But overall, Tajiks and are a Central Asian bridge population that form the connection between South Asia and West Asia on one axis, and South Asia and Turkic Central Asia on the other axis.

            Tajiks are Central Asians between Iranians and Pashtuns, and Iranians are shifted toward West Asia, and Pashtuns are South Asian. Heratis and Aimaqs are different from mainstream Tajiks of the Northeast. Tajik Shia/Qizilbash have a strong Iranian shift and are thus closest to Tajiks in West Afghanistan. Tajik Panjshir have a clear genetic pull towards Dards and Nuristanis and NW South Asians and other Pashtuns. Tajik North Afghanistan have a clear Turkic shift to their genetics, are much closer to Uzbeks of North Afghanistan than to other Tajiks. Tajik Kabul cluster closely to adjacent Pashtuns, Tajiks of surrounding regions, and Kamboj who descend from ancient inhabitants of eastern Afghanistan. Tajik Herat have a West Asian genetic shift and are closest toNE-Iranians, as well as the Qizilbash are the closest populations. Tajik from Ishkashim is more close to a Pashtun from Kandahar then to a Iranian. Here are all the distances:

            Only the Yaghnobi Tajiks of Afghanistan, along with some Western Farsiwan, certain Qizilbash, and Herati Tajiks/isolated mountain Tajiks are closer to Southern and Eastern Iranians than to NW South Asians. The other Tajiks are equidistant to these West Eurasian Tajiks and Pashtuns, or closer to certain Pashtun groups due to mixing with them, because Pashtuns are part of the NW South Asian cline, just on the most West Eurasian end of it, along with NW Pakistanis/Indians. The Baloch/Brahui/Makrani are on a smooth cline/cluster with Iranians and are much closer to Iranians in the South/East, and even overlap with Iranians/other Balochis and Makranis in Iran, unlike even the vast majority of even the most West Eurasian Tajiks. Some rare Tribal/Upper Caste Sindhi samples in Pak/India overlap with certain Baloch samples.

            So in reality, the South Asian cline ends with Pashtuns. The most West Eurasian Tajiks are in-between South Asia and West Asia, and form the West Central Asian cluster, and Baloch/Brahui/Makranis/Minority groups like Irani and Pakistani Parsi and some Herati Farsiwan are what connect this West Central Asian cluster (to be distinguished from the heavily East Eurasian Central Asian cluster) to Iranians.
            This means Tajiks are best described as Central Asians, and Balochi/Brahui/Makrani are best described as West Asians with some South Asian shift, and Pashtuns are best described as NW South Asians. The Baloch/Brahui/Makrani are on a smooth cline/cluster with Iranians and are much closer to Iranians in the South/East, and even overlap with Iranians/other Balochis and Makranis in Iran, unlike even the vast majority of even the most West Eurasian Tajiks. Some rare Tribal/Upper Caste Sindhi samples in Pak/India can overlap with certain South Asian shifted Baloch samples too brother.

          3. @zbcas

            Brother, NW South Asians including Pashtuns, Punjabi biradris, Haryani Biradris, certain South Asian shifted Tajiks and Dards are all South Asian brother. All the evidence is crystal clear and posted here. You even agreed with me and the evidence above. They are not different or peripheral brother. lt all depends on what group you compare to, there are lots of peripheral groups all throughout South Asia but they are still South Asian Brother. At the end of the day we all cluster closer to and with each other than with non-South Asians and we also share much more in common than we do with people outside of South Asia. Some groups have zero steppe, some very little ivc, some lots of steppe, some very little BMAC, some lots of BMAC, some lots of AASI, some very little aasi and some lots of East or SE Asian or very little E/SE Asian etc. But despite these differences, we all share the same streams of ancestry, and components, only differ in proportions of this ancestry, and we all are still South Asians brother. Its just like the Northern African example brother. Dont make divisions where they dont exist. We must stay united brother, we are all South Asians.

  13. Brother according to Jaydeep sir, this is what he said about NW South Asians:

    Rors, Jats, Kalash, Pashtun, Pathan, Tajik & Pamiri have broadly similar levels of Iran_N (15 to 30 %), Steppe_EMBA (49 to 67 %) & Onge (15 to 25 %) as per the qpAdm modelling in table S11. Fst distances also indicate that they are quite closely related. For example, the Fst distance between Rors and Pamiris (0.0069), Pashtuns (0.0057) & Tajiks (0.0058) is similar to Fst distances of Rors with neighbouring groups like Kamboj (0.0088), Gujjar (0.0064), Khatri (0.0056), Brahmins (0.0052) & Kshatriyas (0.0062).

    So you can see clearly brother, Pashtuns are NW South Asians.

    Also brother, even culturally, Pashtuns are much closer to South Asia due to large numbers of them following Deobandi Islam which is from South Asia and due to being Sunni, unlike Iranians who are Shia. Even many Tajiks follow Ismailism and Shiaism. Also Pashtun dynasties and empires were historically always connected to South Asia, and Afghanistan was ruled by Hindu, Buddhist and Sun worshipping (associated with Hinduism) kings and dynasties that were also South Asian, before the invasions of Turks and Arabs that forcibly introduced Islam to the Afgani people:

    Even before that, the Maurya, Gupta empires ruled in Afghanistan, of course brother, there are deep connections between Afganis and other South Asians going back all the way to the Indus Valley, BMAC and the Vedic period, the Kamboja kingdom, the Gandhara kingdom etc. the connections are deep and endless. So South Asians are much much closer to India and are firmly South Asian historically, genetically and culturally brother.

    Ror and Kalash are proxies for ANI, remember brother so they are definitely South Asians for sure.

    In fact brother, there are far more Pashtuns living even in Pakistan than in Afghanistan, both historically and modern times brother:

    Another PCA that shows that Pashtuns are South Asian and cluster with/closest to other NW South Asians, and not Central Asians brother:

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