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Variations of finger dermatoglyphics among the Esan ethnic group of Edo State, Nigeria

Luke Chukwumah Anyanwu


Patterns in fingers, palms, and soles; a term refers to as ‘dermatoglyphics’, are now been studied for ethno-historic facts and ancestry tracing. However, there is paucity of information on Esan people dermatoglyphics. Hence, this study investigates the variations in finger dermatoglyphics among Esan speaking tribe of Edo State, Nigeria. A total of 500 indigenes were sampled from 3 randomly selected Local Government Areas (LGAs) and the ink method was used to collect finger-prints from both palms. The loop was the most predominant pattern (54.44%) while the whorl and arches represent 30.96% and 14.60% respectively. Overall, the loop fingerprint pattern was highest in all the LGAs. Esan West LGA presented highest in the arches fingerprints (56.44%) as compared to Esan North East LGA (24.38%) and Esan Central LGA (19.18%). The right hand was observed to present higher in the different primary fingerprints but the different was not significant. There was no significant different (p>0.05) in the distribution of the primary fingerprints pattern between the right and left hand in the different LGAs. There was a significant difference (p<0.05) in the distribution of the primary fingerprints between genders. Female represented higher in the arches pattern while male represented higher in the whorl pattern. The loop pattern was male dominant in Esan West and Esan Central LGAs but female dominated in Esan North East LGA. The findings demonstrated gender and LGAs variations of primary fingerprints among the Esan speaking tribe and may suggest different ancestry. This result could play important role for forensic anthropologist in the study area.

Keywords: Dermatoglyphics, Fingerprints, Esan, Edo State, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1737-8176
print ISSN: 1737-7374