Sunday, June 7, 2009

If a Berber Falls in the Forest...

I know I have not updated you much on the DNA front, but there hasn’t been much to share. I belong to a group at that has been gathering data on us (the artist formerly known as E3b) and doing some sub-clade predictions. All you really need to know is the prediction, which is E1b1b1b2 or M183 and you should also know that the work they are doing is completely voluntary and very super expensive and full of very amazing technology related items. This new name and predicted sub-clade doesn’t change our Berber-ness, it makes us more common Berbers, if there is such a thing among a group of people born in Michigan*. Wikipedia is saying that 80% of the Maghreb** can claim this sub-clade as well, which is substantial in a culture that is pretty much gone. I wonder what Juba would think of that? Well Juba II probably wouldn’t give a shit since he could not find anything wrong with being all kissy-kissy with the Romans. Juba Sr. was pretty serious about his loyalty so he would be really mad.

I just recently finished re-reading chapters one through four of The Berbers. The very first thing they do is beat to death the topic of what it means to be a Berber (or what it means to categorize someone as a Berber or what it means to speak a Berber dialect or what it means when you identify yourself as ohmygodshutup). So the decision seems to be made that there will be no decision or that the definition of a Berber could be one who speaks a Berber language (which as they point out actually defines them as possible variations of the words Tamazight or Imazighen but whatever, they’re the experts). They only touch on the dispute that the Romans (who would have liked to oppress Berbers but were only materially successful because the Berbers suffer some kind of weird self-oppression Xtreme complacency) called us Mazices, which could possibly have at some point translated into the words Free Man. This is only the most exciting discovery (for me anyway) since the results themselves came in. Anyway as much as I would like to get into how popular a past time it was to invade the North African coast I clearly don’t have the time or resources. I’m not sure how to research someone that nobody cares about. There are a few books available aside from my favorite so I’ll let you know what I find as I find it.

Actual DNA non-discovery:

Originally I was going to tell you about the Gonzales’ from El Bierzo, Spain but
towards the end of this entry I began to check and double check my info and I realized that I missed one very important detail about them. I had to take my best paragraph out because of this oversight. I was going to tell you about these Gonzales’ and their kit number 30660/XJYA7 and how close of a match they were and how interesting that is and what it means for blah blah blah. To give you a better idea of distance and DNA within our haplogroup our Freeman matches hover around a distance of 3 at about 22 markers. Back to the important detail that I missed, the Gonzales’ have only tested 12 markers, which is no better than knowing your blood type, no better for DNA anyway. At 12 markers we now have 9 exact matches**** which sounds pretty neat but more common haplogroups (ah-hem R1b or whatever you are calling yourselves now) can have upwards of 100 of those exact matches. So at this point my opinions and the opinions of the psudo-science-mostly-genealogy community part ways. They think these 9 matches we have are totally insignificant. Well, easy for them to say when they have hundreds.

* That is going to be the name of my new quilting group, the Berbers of Michigan.

** I can’t find any other info on this statement aside from The Berbers since no one cares about Berbers except people who study DNA for family history purposes. There is pretty much no data for me to find…online.

***YSearch is a website database sponsored by (I believe) FamilyTreeDNA at which any person with their YDNA results can enter them for all the world to see (and compare).

**** Four Freemans, one Aviles, one Gonzales, one Lujan, one Lovato, one North African Test Group including 112 people from Algeria and one Magann.

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