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We analyzed inbreeding using surname isonymy in an indigenous genetic isolate. The subjects were residents of a rural Zapotec-speaking community in the valley of Oaxaca, southern Mexico. The community can be classified as a genetic isolate with an average gene flow of 3% per generation. Surnames were collected for individuals in each household in pedigree form using the culturally traditional patronym-matronym naming. Estimation of inbreeding from surname isonymy is facilitated by the traditional patronym-matronym name assignment among indigenous Mexican populations. A total of 2,149 individuals had valid surname patronymmatronym pairings, including 484 deceased ancestors. Surname isonymy analysis methods were used to estimate total inbreeding and to segregate it into random and nonrandom components. The surname isonymy coefficient computed from 119 isonymous surname pairings (119/2,149) was 0.0554. The estimated inbreeding coefficient from surname isonymy was 0.0138 (0.0554/4). The random and nonrandom components of inbreeding were Fr 0.0221 and Fn 0.0091, respectively. The results suggest that consanguinity is culturally avoided. Nonrandom inbreeding decreased total inbreeding by about 41%. Total estimated inbreeding by surname isonymy was 0.0138, which is similar to inbreeding estimated from a sample of pedigrees, 0.01. Socially prescribed inbreeding avoidance substantially lowered total F through negative nonrandom inbreeding. Even in the situation of genetic isolation and small effective population size (Ne), estimated inbreeding is lower than may have otherwise occurred if inbreeding were only random. However, among the poorest individuals, socially prescribed jural rules for inbreeding avoidance failed to operate. Thus the preponderance of inbreeding appears to occur among the poor, economically disadvantaged in the community.