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Southeast Asia Regional DNA Project

One Family Project

The One Family One World Project is a partnership between Living DNA and Eupedia initiated in 2017. The project aims to map the regional genetic variations of the world with a great level of detail and accuracy in order to improve our understanding of both recent and ancient migrations and see how humans are all connected with one another as one big family.

Genetic variations within Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a region with a great ethno-linguistic diversity. Without counting the Papua region of Indonesia, Southeast Asia is home to five of the world's primary language families (Austroasiatic, Austronesian, Hmong–Mien, Sino-Tibetan and Tai–Kadai) and to dozens of linguistic subgroups. In addition there are over 850 Papuan languages divided in over 60 primary language families, i.e. more families than the whole of Eurasia and Africa combined.

Southeast Asia was originally settled by the first wave of Homo sapiens who left Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago and their Y-chromosomal signature still survives at high frequency on many East Indonesian islands (Y-haplogroup C). Other waves of humans colonised the region from South Asia and China during the Paleolithic period. Austronesian languages are thought to have dispersed from southern China via Taiwan with the advent of rice agriculture, starting the colonisation of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago. Nowadays, Southeast Asia comprises over 100 distinct ethnic groups outside Papua. This rich genetic diversity remains to be explored in detail.

Objective & Methodology

This project aims at unravelling the regional genetic differences between the various ethnic groups found in Southeast Asia.

To determine the boundaries between proposed genetic regions we took into account the location of the main modern ethnic groups. As historically people tended to marry much more frequently within the confines of their geographic and linguistic boundaries, larger ethnic groups like the Thai and the Malays were divided by dialects and regions.

The project will attempt to determine whether these various ethnic, linguistic and regional groups are really genetic distinct from one another, and how much admixture took place between the various groups.

Proposed genetic regions of Southeast Asia

Our preliminary research indicates at least 98 areas of Southeast Asia may have distinct genetic differences.

Proposed genetic divisions of Southeast Asia - One Family One World DNA Project

Indochina, Thailand & Myanmar

  • Austroasiatic Tribes
  • Bahnar
  • Bamar
  • Central Kinh
  • Central Thai
  • Chen
  • East Thai
  • Hmong
  • Hoa
  • Jarai
  • Kachin
  • Karen
  • Khmer
  • Khmu
  • Kuy
  • Lahu
  • Lao
  • Mnong
  • Mon
  • Naga
  • North Kinh
  • North Thai
  • Nung
  • Palaung
  • Phu Tai
  • Rade
  • Roglai
  • Shan
  • South Kinh
  • South Thai
  • Stieng
  • Tai
  • Tay
  • Wa
  • Yao


  • Aslian Tribes
  • Borneo Malays
  • Malayo-Polynesian Tribes
  • Peninsular Malays


  • Aceh
  • Balinese
  • Banjar
  • Batak tribes
  • Buginese
  • East Kalimantan Malays
  • East Nusa Tenggara tribes
  • East Timor tribes
  • Gayo
  • Jambi-Musi-Banka Malays
  • Javanese
  • Kalimantan tribes
  • Lampung
  • Madurese
  • Makassar
  • Maluku tribes
  • Mentawai
  • Minangkabau
  • Nias
  • North Sumatra Malays
  • Papuan tribes
  • Rejang
  • Sasak
  • South Sumatra Malays
  • Sumbawa tribes
  • Sundanese
  • Sulawesi tribes
  • West Kalimantan Malays


  • Akeanon
  • Bajau
  • Bikol
  • Bisay
  • Bisaya
  • Bol-Anon
  • Capiznon
  • Cebuano
  • Cuyonon
  • Hamtikanon
  • Hiligaynon
  • Kalinga
  • Kamayo
  • Kampangan
  • Kankanaey
  • Ifugao
  • Ilocano
  • Ivatan
  • Maguindanao
  • Maranao
  • Masbateño
  • Mindanao Cebuano
  • Mindanao Hiligaynon
  • Pangasinan
  • Romblomanon
  • Surigaonon
  • Tagalog
  • Tausug
  • Waray
  • Yakan
  • Zamboangueño

How do I qualify?

The One Family project is open to everyone worldwide and has two parts.

  • 1. To build a genetic family tree of everyone from around the world, regardless of where your family comes from.
  • 2. To build a regional genetic breakdown of ancestry within countries, similar to 'The Peopling of the British Isles project'. This part of the project is looking for people with all four grandparents born within 80km (50mi) of each other inside our project areas of interest.

If you have already tested with Living DNA, all you need to do to join the project is log into your account, click on the Research tab and choose to participate in our global ancestry research project, if you haven't already done it.

If you already tested your DNA with another company (23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, or FTDNA's Family Finder), you can join the project here for free. After submitting the form with your family information, you will receive an email to confirm the creation of your Living DNA account and will be asked to upload your genome there for free.

If you have not yet tested your DNA with one of the above companies, then you will need to order a Living DNA test to take part.

The data provided as part of the project is kept strictly private and confidential under Living DNA’s ISO:27001 certification for information security. Please read Living DNA's Privacy Policy for more information.

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