Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Isonymy and repeated pairs of surnames among the Muslims of Manipur

Isonymy and repeated pairs of surnames among the Muslims of Manipur, India

M. Asghar (a), B. Murry (b), K.N. Saraswathy (b)

a Department of Anthropology, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, India
b Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

in HOMO - Journal of Comparative Human Biology



Surnames have been used for studying population structure in different parts of the globe. The present study is aimed at indirectly estimating the degree of inbreeding from surnames and understanding the influences of the clan-like structure on mate selection among Manipuri Muslims. The proportion of isonymy I was found to be 0.0144. The non-random and random components were −0.0226 and 0.0239, respectively. The total inbreeding coefficient was estimated to be 0.0018. The scores of random pairs (RP) and random repeated pairs (RPr) were 0.026 and 0.010, respectively. The score of RP was higher than the RPr which gives a ratio of 0.38, indicating that Manipuri Muslims have a tendency of acquiring mates from within a given set of surnames while not in favour of isonymy. To conclude, surname/clan is a criterion for mate selection for various reasons among this population.