The Human Population in the Alpine Ecosystem: The Example of Bellino, Val Varaita (Province of Cuneo), Piemonte, Italy

DOI: 10.14673/IJA201511004
Published in Int. Journal of Anthropology – Vol. 30 – n.1 – 2015

Key words: Val Varaita (Bellino), mountain communities, demographic and anthropological analyses.

Abstract
The biological characteristics of human communities that have lived in isolation for many generations because of their environment, have always interested anthropologists with  regard to understanding the phenomenon of adaptation. These are the reasons that motivated some researchers from the University of Turin, in the 1970s, to undertake an interesting project aimed at creating a multidisciplinary anthropological reconstruction of human isolated groups living in the mountains. More specifically, they examined the residents of Bellino, a locality in Varaita (Province of Cuneo), Piedmont, in the north of Italy, who were considered appropriate subjects because of their history and geography. The local population at that time was made up of 432 inhabitants and research was conducted on 267 individuals: 140 men and 127 women.
This paper is a review of that research on genetic variability, with demographic and social data, highlighting events that have influenced the social anthropology of past and future generations in Varaita.

Minaldi D., Rabino Massa E.
Department of Life Sciences and
Systems Biology, University of Turin,
Via Accademia Albertina 13, 10123 Turin, Italy.
E-mail: donatella.minaldi@unito.it

Chiarelli B.
International Institute for Humankind Studies, Laboratory of Anthropology& Ethnology, University of Florence, Via del Proconsolo 12, 50122 Florence, Italy.