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Anthropometric Evaluation of Foot Shape Dimensions and Patterns for Ancestral Determination of South-East Nigerians

Vidona WB, Anibeze CIP, Esunwoke EA

Anthropometric Evaluation of Foot Shape Dimensions and Patterns for Ancestral Determination of South-East Nigerians

Background: Sex, age, stature, and ancestry are considered the pillars of identity and primary characteristics determined to establish the biological profile of an individual. Forensic podiatry, a novel research area of anthropometry involving identification of human subjects and artifacts such as foot through measurement of the morphological shapes and dimensions of the foot is of great application during calamity and disasters involving large number of human casualties as well as our day to day life. The application of podiatry for identity of individuals peculiar to a unique population when collating census data occasioned in times of controversies gives it a demographic relevance due to the individuality and infinite morphological variation of the human foot. Aims: The aim of the study is to anthropologically evaluate the foot shape dimensions with a view to the determination of ancestry origin of South-east Nigerians. Methods: The research was carried on 1200 adult population comprising of 662 male and 572 female of age range from 18 to 30 year structured according to US Anthropometric reference data and chosen randomly from South-east geopolitical zone of Nigeria in two geographical Ancestral divisions of the – uplander ancestral tribe and the plateau ancestral tribe predominantly across inhabitants of rural communities of the region. Measurements of foot length (FL) and foot breadth (FB) were done, while two parameters were calculated as: Foot Index calculated as Foot breadth / Foot lengthx100; and Foot shape was determined by calculation of foot index as Slender type: FI*FI+SD (X+SD).Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics of mean and standard deviation. Also Anova-test was done to compare the foot size dimensions on the right and left side value. Confidence level was set at 95%, as P-values ?0.005 were considered significant. Results: Result showed ancestral differences to be highly significant (P < 0.005) with Uplander males having higher values than the females. This study observed that foot length, showed positive correlation and significantly predicted ancestry with better accuracy (P<0.005) while foot breadth and toe shape had varied correlations and predicted ancestry but with low accuracy (p>0.005). By this study these parameters have better correlation with ancestry of an individual and can be accurately used in its prediction. Regarding the foot shape, proportion of standard and broad foot was higher among the males of Uplanders; however, the slender foot types were higher among the females of Plateaus which should be considered in shoe industries and forensic investigations. The females had the better prediction for ancestry compared to the males. Conclusion: Conclusively the study showed that foot parameters are morphometrically and morphologically ancestral specific. This study confirms that correlation of the factors and parameters are better in young female Plateaus than Uplanders but better in male Uplanders at all age groups.

Key Words: Anthropometric, Foot dimensions, Foot indices, Foot shape, Foot length, Foot breadth, Toe shape, Foot Index, Ancestry, tribe

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