Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Randall Skelton

Commitee Members

Meradeth Snow, Corey Ragsdale, Kevin McKelvey


physical anthropology, biodistance, dental anthropology, craniometrics, pacific islands, postmarital residence


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Biological and Physical Anthropology | Multivariate Analysis


Genetic analysis of maternally-inherited mitochondrial DNA and the paternally-inherited Y-chromosome yield contrasting pictures of movement of peoples into the Pacific Islands. A possible explanation for this discrepancy is a matrilocal residency pattern practiced by early Pacific settlers, in which Melanesian men were brought into settler communities to intermarry with local women, yielding a higher intrapopulation variance and lower interpopulation variance exhibited in males compared to females. This research investigates the possibility of sex-differential migration in the Oceanic populations of Easter Island, Fiji, Guam, Mokapu, and New Britain through analysis of biodistance based on dental morphological trait frequencies and craniometric measures while simultaneously comparing the utility of these two different data types, dental non-metrics and continuous cranial measurements, to determine whether these two types of data can be usefully combined or utilized interchangeably to represent underlying genotypic variation. Using Mean Measure of Divergence and Mahalanobis distance, variation for these populations was modelled with Principal Coordinatess Analysis, Generalized Procrustes Analysis, Mantel tests, discriminant analysis, and K-means clustering. Overall, the dental data was not found to be consistently more variable between the sexes and populations than craniometric data, indicating that if craniometric measurements are smoothed out by environmental factors while dental morphology is more canalized, this effect is subtle for this region and these particular samples. Additionally, estimates of possible residence patterns were not in agreement between analyses, indicating that residency was likely only slightly unilocal if not ambilocal, depending on population. However, uneven sample sizes and the small number of populations available for study likely affected the ability to draw out conclusive inferences about the peopling of this vast and complex region.



© Copyright 2016 Brittney A. Eubank