Temporal Trends in Marital Structure and Isonymy in S. Paolo Albanese, Italy

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Human Biology, ISSN: 0018-7143, Vol: 62, Issue: 6, Page: 8

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Pettener, Davide
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In the fifteenth century, after the Turkish conquest of the Balkan area, Albanian communities migrated to Southern Italy. I investigated temporal trends in isolation from 1820 to 1982 in one of these communities, the population of S. Paolo Albanese, Basilicata, which still uses the original language and religious rites. Marital structure is characterized by a high average frequency of village endogamy (75.2%). Among the exogamous marriages there is a preference for mates from Italo-Albanian settlements, with higher values in the 1800s. The distribution of marital distances reflects the positive assortative mating by ethnic community. The mean frequency of isonymous marriages was 9.01% from 1820 to 1982. These results indicate that total inbreeding from isonymy is a reliable indicator of isolation, showing temporal trends related to changes in endogamy. Fr accounts for the greater percentage of Ft in relation to the small population size and regularly decreases with time. The breakdown of isolation, as documented by the decrease in population size, endogamy, and inbreeding, is a recent feature (since 1960).