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Northern Thai/Khon Muang People

THAI, NORTHERN/ KHON MUEANG

Northern Thai, Khon Muang People Group

Among the people living in present day northern Thailand, the Khon Mueang, speaking a Tai-Kadai language1 comprise the majority. ‘Khon Mueang’ is the local name commonly applied by the people of northern Thailand to themselves,8, 9 but this word now applies mostly to a social and political category rather than a distinct population, and it is not the ethnic name of any specific group. Nevertheless, the biological ancestry of the Khon Mueang has been variously proposed to originate from local Mon-Khmer-speaking peoples; the Lawa and Mon, assimilated by the Tai rulers; or via direct descent from the Tai-speaking groups who had migrated from southern China.3, 10, 11 Our previous analysis of mtDNA variation in the Khon Mueang and other Tai-speaking groups supported this latter hypothesis: that the Khon Mueang ancestors originated from Tai-speaking groups in south and southeast China, with subsequent admixture with Mon-Khmer populations.7

Admixture, the genetic consequence of mixing between genetically differentiated populations, resulting from geographical, ecological or cultural separation, is common in human evolution. Pioneering research on genetic admixture of human populations was mainly been applied to African-Americans,12, 13, 14, 15 Latin-Americans,16 Europeans17, 18 and East Asians,19, 20, 21 but has been limited in Southeast Asia.

Geography had an important role in the location of Tai settlements. River plains, surrounded by mountain peaks, were chosen because of their high agricultural productivity. Three geographically separated basins; the Chiang Rai Basin in the Kok River valley, the Chiang Mai-Lamphun Basin in the Ping River valley and the Lampang Basin in the Wang River valley, were the most suitable areas, along their migration route from Chiang Rai to Lampang province (Figure 1).4

Microsatellites, also known as short tandem repeats (STRs) have been broadly used for inferring human population history22, 23 and relationships among continental populations24 as well as between geographically contiguous populations.25, 26, 27 In this research work, autosomal STR variation analysis of 10 present-day Khon Mueang villages from the areas of Yuan settlement, as well as 10 other populations, who had an important role in northern Thai history (and, hence, could potentially be parental populations of the Khon Mueang) were performed, to investigate the population affinity of the studied populations and to explore the level of admixture in the Khon Mueang.

CLICK LINK to read the complete NORTHERN THAI PEOPLE PROFILE at original source…. [TAKEN FROM: Genetic affinity and admixture of northern Thai people along their migration route in northern Thailand: evidence from autosomal STR loci ]

Posted by on Nov 26 2010. Filed under Northern Thais. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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