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Nine-hundred seventy-eight subjects from eight Mongoloid tribes of northeastern India were investigated for the distribution of hemoglobin phenotypes by starch-gel electrophoresis. The sample included 157 Khasi and 24 Bodo from Cherrapunji (Meghalaya), 148 Rengma Naga and 81 Hmar of the Cachar district of Assam, 215 Adi from different subtribes, 216 Nishi, 79 Apatani, and a mixed group of 58 individuals from several other tribes of Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India. The frequency of HBB*E was found to be very low (0.01-0.02) in the Khasi, Naga, and Hmar tribes, whereas it varied from 0.06 to 0.18 among the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. As expected, the Bodo group had a very high frequency of HBB*E (0.38), confirming earlier reports. It appears that the lack of HBB*E in the Austro-Asiatic (Khasi) and Naga-Kuki-Chin groups is probably due to the absence of malarial selection pressure as well as to isolation from their neighbors.