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In this study, we investigate, for the first time from a forensic anthropological perspective, the question of mixed ancestry estimation for modern Filipinos with geographic origins in the Philippines. We derive estimates of continental ancestry using craniometrics from four sources: a new documented collection of current forensic significance from the Manila North Cemetery; the Howells cranial series representing a sample of unclaimed individuals from Manila but said largely to originate from more remote areas, with dates of death before 1940; the Hanihara sample aggregated from various locations and time periods across the Philippines; and the Hanihara series capturing various local indigenous, ethnic groups that are together identified as Philippine Negrito. Parental craniometrics are selected from the Howells dataset and more recently collected samples from Europe and Asia. Using unsupervised clustering, we investigate the algorithmically defined three-cluster, or trihybrid admixture, model to infer continental ancestry for each individual, reporting their relative proportions of Asian, European, and African admixture. We employ similar clustering procedures to identify more complex models, with a larger number of clusters, to explore patterns of affinity between our four Philippine samples and the recently acquired samples from Vietnam, Thailand, China (Hong Kong), Japan, and Korea. These analyses give insight into the relationships between both macro and micro geographic regions, such that, at the country level, we reveal how different population dynamics – whether geo-political, -economic, -historical and/or -social – structure the ancestral makeup of Asian peoples, especially in the degree of European and African admixture. From these ancestry estimates, we find that population of origin explains 38-51% of the variation in each ancestry component and we detect significant differences among the Asian samples in their quantities of ancestry. Filipinos appear considerably admixed, as they appear to carry almost 20% less Asian ancestry than the average quantity (90%) estimated for the other Asian groups. We also reveal substructure within our representation of modern Filipinos, such that differences in the patterns of three-way admixture exist between each of the four Philippine samples, finding that the Manila cemetery sample has the highest level of Asian ancestry and, as we might expect, that the Negrito sample has the greatest quantity of African ancestry. We perform additional analyses that introduce craniometrics from the Howells Australo-Melanesian series in order to more fully investigate their relationship to the Asian samples and to better understand the African contributions common to the Philippine Negritos especially, as well as the other Southeast Asians and the Spanish and Portuguese groups. By mapping the cluster patterns on a global scale, these analyses reveal, with craniometrics just as with genetic loci, patterns of affinity that are informative of the complex history of Southeast Asia, as they are suggestive of the vestiges of migration, trade, and colonialism, as well as more recent periods of isolation, marginalization, and occupation.

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