Research team: J-M. Dugoujon, S. Mazières, G. Larrouy
The main objective of this project is to better understand the dynamics and genetic history of population settlement in French Guiana. It is part to the Interdisciplinary CNRS Program ‘Amazon-Analysis: modelling and engineering Amazonian systems’ (coordinator: J-M. Dugoujon). Specifically we: (i) examine the genetic diversity and structure of five extant Amerindian populations: the Palikur, Emerillon, Kaliña, Wayampi and Wayana, and one northern Brazilian population: the Apalai. Ancient DNA (preliminary study) from bone remains from a littoral zone (pre-colombian period) is also studied; (ii) aim for a better understanding of the origins of the Noir Marron (Aluku, Ndyuka, Saramaka and Paramaka groups) and their relationship with the neighbouring Amerindian populations using molecular genetic markers (uniparental and autosomal) and one viral marker (HTLV-I) which has low genetic variability making it an ideal marker for determining migrations of infected populations. For some groups, we have genealogies through five to six generations that reveal matrimonial strategies, clan structures, group structure and their genetic differentiation. Our goal is to expand our research by studying new groups in the Brazilian Amazonia and surrounds (lowland Bolivia).
The Guiana region is settled by groups belonging to different linguistic branches (Tupi, Carib, Arawak). Samples taken by our team and stored in our biological bank are from all the ethnic groups from the French Guianas. The Noir Marron or the ‘Bushi-Nengué’ originated from several regions and populations of the ‘slave coast’ along the Gulf of Benin. In French Guiana the majority of Noir Marron populations originate from the Surinam plantations and are located along the Maroni River.