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NCJ Number: 222143 Find in a Library
Title: Identifying Southwest Hispanics Using Nonmetric Traits and the Cultural Profile
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:53  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:29-33
Author(s): Walter H. Birkby Ph.D.; Todd W. Fenton Ph.D.; Bruce E. Anderson Ph.D.
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper describes the set of skeletal nonmetric traits used in assessing Southwest Hispanic ancestry at the Pima County (Arizona) Office of the Medical Examiner (PCOME), and it describes PCOME's method for establishing the "cultural profile" of individuals in these cases.
Abstract: The term "Southwest Hispanic ancestry" is used to regionally differentiate individuals with Amerindian and European admixture from Hispanics from other regions. Individuals of Southwest Hispanic ancestry display the impact of European (predominantly Spanish) gene flow on the Native-American gene pool (encompassing a number of Indian groups from Mexico, Central America, and Southwest United States). It is expected that individuals of Southwest Hispanic ancestry will display different morphological traits than "Hispanics" in the Southeast United States and the Caribbean, where a much larger African genetic component is observed. PCOME has found the following set of nonmetric traits to be effective for classifying individuals of Southwest Hispanic ancestry: shoveled anterior teeth, anterior malar projection, short posterior occipital shelf, less elaborate nasal sill (tending toward dull), oval window visualization between zero and partial, enamel extensions on molars, nasal overgrowth, wide frontal process of the zygomatic, and platymeria of the subtrochanteric region of the femur and a sharp medial crest. PCOME's methods for distinguishing the undocumented immigrants who have died crossing the border from individuals who are legally in the United States are based on geographic context, personal effects, condition of the teeth, stature, and cultural accoutrements. This is called the "cultural profile," which is essential in identifying individuals as foreign nationals who have died while trying to cross the border illegally. 26 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Cross-cultural comparisons; Cultural influences; Death investigations; Immigration offenses; Investigative techniques; Mexico; United States of America; Victim identification
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