Are Berbers really 40% rh negative?

In the past few years I have been seeing one article again and again that is used to reference a high percentage of rh negative people amongst the Berbers of Morocco:

The Sea Peoples included the following three main tribes:
1) The dark featured, Rh-negative Berbers, originally from Morocco, Algiers and Senegal, who had discovered and populated the Canary and Cape Verde islands, all of the Atlantic islands off Europe, the Basque country and had established reindeer hunting camps in Finnmark in Arctic Norway and leather tanning stations on the southern tip of Sweden and the west coast of Ireland. They controlled all Atlantic traffic and the far western part of the Mediterranean. The Berbers from Morocco likely were the Shekelesh (3) of the Egyptian records, while the people of Britain may have been called the Aqaiwasha. It appears that the people of the Hebrides and Scotland were known to the Egyptians as the Tyrrhenoi(4), the people of Odysseus’ tribe, later known to the Romans as the Picts. Their migration was a simple one and covered an area that was within easy reach of the homeland.

He continues on his page:

The highest percentage is found among some of the tribes still living in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco (40%). The next highest are the Basques, reported in different publications as having 25 and 32%, depending on location. The people of northwest Ireland, the Highland Scots and the western islanders of Norway all have between 16 and 25%, while the Lapps of Norway and Finland have between 5 and 7%. In addition, Cavalli-Sforza reports two small isolated populations of the same tribe, one in Chad and another in Senegal, each with about 25%. On his map, he shows an Rh-negative population in Chad, still living near the formerly enormous Chad lake. Only part of this lake still exists on the spot where the boundaries of Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon meet. These people may originally have been the sailors on Chad lake. Could it be that this is the original location of the Rh-negative population that then moved to Morocco and Algiers to become the Berbers? Or would it be the other way around?

Does it make sense that one tribe “becomes the other” while y-DNA in the original population is predominantly R1b and in the destination population E1b1b?
And the same way how can the Berbers “become the Basques”?
Is it responsible for a university professor to make such speculation and then leave it at that?
Legner has simply copied what Cavalli-Sforza stated or just copied parts of Linguistic Archaeology where Edo Nyland did the same and then assume that the Black Irish were Berbers.
Once again, be reminded that whenever a scientist like Carvalli-Sforza makes statements not backed up as his opinion that the rh negative blood factor is headed for extinction.

There is one basis found for the claim that there are Berber groups extremely high in rh negative blood frequencies. To be specific, it is the Ait Haddidu Berbers of Morocco.

Women of Ait Haddidu tribe use hand-turned gristmill.
Women of Ait Haddidu tribe use hand-turned gristmill.


So what were the results of that particular study?

Blood groups were tested in 256 members of the Ait Haddidu tribe of the Atlas Mountains of southern Morocco. Previous observations of high frequencies of O and N were confirmed but an unusually low frequency of 5.5% Rhesus negative (cde) was found which contrasts with earlier findings. It is concluded that the Ait Haddidu are probably a relict of a Berber stock which had by comparison with other caucasoid populations abnormally high O, N and CDe frequencies. There are indications of 40% negroid admixture. The other systems tested were P1, Lu, K, Fy and Js.


Johnson, R. H.; Kin, Elizabeth W.; Mourant, A. E., 1963: Blood groups of the Ait Haddidu Berbers of Morocco. Human Biol 35(4): 514-523

Conclusion: All claims that Berber groups have unusual high numbers of rh negatives should be disregarded until new studies on a larger scale are being performed.

However: The high amount of blood types O is very interesting and is not to be disregarded as it appears there are certain groups with high rh negative blood frequencies sharing high O frequencies. Potential links are worth examining further.

To be continued …


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