Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 July 2008
A population–biological study of the Kota of the Nilgiri Hills was undertaken between May 1966 and January 1968. This paper discusses the demographic structure of the tribe and its genetic implications.
The Kota is a small tribe of 1203 individuals distributed in only seven villages; it is an isolated population with a low rate of fertility and a high rate of infant mortality. The Kota is not a random mating population. The rate of consanguineous marriages is high and the coefficient of inbreeding is almost equal to the highest recorded value. Besides cousin marriages, marriage within the village is very much preferred. The admixture rate (0·29%) among the Kota is very low. The effective population size is only 28·87% of the total population. The coefficient of breeding isolation is 1·01, which indicates that genetic drift may produce important differentiation in this population. The data show that selection is acting with moderate intensity in this population.