Berbers, learn their history and the meaning of the flag
Berbers are the most mysterious and ancient people living on Earth. It was the Berbers who created a civilization in North Africa, which was inherited by the ancient Egyptians, and the Berber culture became the ancestor of the culture of the Maghreb countries.
White people of the Maghreb. El Maghrib – “where the sunset is,” was the name given to the countries of Africa to the west of Egypt. For centuries the royal dynasties of the Maghreb were aristocratic Berber dynasties, the Berber lineage of Moroccan kings…
Berbers (from Greek βάρβαροι, Latin barbari – “barbari”) are the name of the indigenous population of North Africa, in the Maghreb countries. According to Berber experts, the different Berber peoples are at least 60% of the population of Morocco, 45% of the population of Tunisia, about 25% of the population of Algeria, they also live in Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and other countries. The total number of Berbers is about 30 million people, 3 million Berbers live in Europe: in France (1.2 million people), Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, USA and Australia.
The name “Berber” is unknown to most of the Berber people themselves, as it was given to them by Europeans by analogy with “barbarians” because of the incomprehensibility of their language. Berber self-name: Amazigh, Amahag, Amazir and even Amazai, which means “free man.
Incorporated in the 7th century by the Arabs, Berbers are Muslims, mainly Sunni Muslims, supporters of Sufism and mystical teachings, but there are Jews and Christians among the Berbers. Berbers have managed for several centuries to resist total Islamization, to preserve their independence and to combine Islamic and Christian traditions with their own cults, distinctive language and culture, which remain almost unchanged today.
Despite the fact that the Berber peoples are far from being a minority in real numbers in the Maghreb countries, they are national minorities and fight for their rights only by peaceful means. In Europe, the international cultural Berber movement Amazigh has been created, which has proclaimed its goal to achieve equal status for the Berber language in the countries inhabited by Berbers as an official language along with Arabic.
Moroccan Berbers are demanding the right to call their children with Berber names and to use Berber toponymy (from the Greek τόπος “place” + ὄνομα “name”) in the Maghreb countries.
Among the many Berber peoples of the Maghreb, the main nationalities can be distinguished:
cross of heaven
1. the Amazahs – live in northern Morocco, on the extreme northwestern coastal strip of the mainland ( Rif, “Rif Pirates”) and the northernmost part of the Atlas Mountains to the province of Tella.
2. The Mashuesh, Masies, Matmata are people who live in large communities, they decide everything together, they value intrinsic warmth of relations and help each other in every possible way.
3. the Shilou, a Berber people, who occupy a part of the great plain along the Oum-er-Rebia and the Tensift, in the south of Morocco.
4. Algerian tribe known as the Kabils, from the Arabic “qaba’il”. Kabylie (Kabylie) locality in North Africa.
5. The Shaouya are a people in Algeria, inhabiting Ores (Ares). The Shawiyas are famous for their “evil eye” and inspire superstitious fear with their secret knowledge, folk medicine, magic, they decorate their faces with distinctive sacred tattoos, combinations of crosses, dots and ovals.
6. The Tuaregs (Tragledites), their self-name Imoshag, Imoshag, are an ancient Berber people living in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso. They live divided by the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert and inhabit the farthest reaches of the desert.
7. The Garamantes (Greek Γαράμαντες) are an ancient Berber people, living since the end of the second millennium B.C. in the Sahara, and first mentioned by Herodotus in 500 B.C. as “a very great people.” The Berbers consisted of a warlike, desperate and bullying Berber tribe, who penetrated the steppes of northern Africa in chariots drawn by four horses. In the eighth century BC, the state of the Garamantes included all of what is now Fezzan, the southern regions of Tripolitania and a large part of Marmarica. In the year 19 BC the state of the Haramantes was conquered and subjugated to the Roman Empire. In the 7th century A.D. the Haramans were subjugated by the Arabs. TThe Tifinag script, also known as “Old Libyan” or Berber-Libyan, was used by the Garamantes and was a dialect of the Berber people..
According to glottochronology, in the 6th millennium BC, in the Nile Valley there was a separation of speakers of the Proto-Berber language from the closely related language of the Proto-Egyptians. From the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC, the Proto-Berber-Libyan language is recorded in Ancient Kingdom texts and Egyptian art as the western neighbors of Egypt. The Proto-Berber-Libyan language split at the end of the 2nd millennium BC, after the defeat of the Sea Peoples, and their Libyan allies from the Egyptians. Some of the Libyan tribes left the borders of Egypt and settled to the west and southwest of Egypt. The Berbers were part of the population of mighty Egypt. There were even several Berber pharaohs in the history of ancient Egypt; the Egyptian pharaohs were known to be white-skinned!
Contemporary Berbers assert they are the direct offspring of the Etruscans and Romans.. All Berber people are Caucasian in appearance, white-skinned, with blue eyes, balding early, they do not look like Arabs or Africans of the Negro race.
Hannibal (247-183 B.C.), one of the greatest military leaders and statesmen of antiquity, had Berber blood. Hannibal was born in Carthage into the family of a military leader Gamilkar, nicknamed Barca – “lightning”, given to him for his swiftness and tactics for fighting against the Roman armies in Sicily. Hannibal’s army, which fought the Romans in Spain and defeated the Romans in several battles in Italy in 218 BC, included a whole cavalry corps of Berber warriors. Hannibal’s warriors hated the Romans fiercely and repeatedly crushed Roman armies, for which the Romans considered them treacherous.
Before the Arab invasion in the 7th century, there were 9 Berber-Jewish principalities in northern Africa: Borion, Nafusa, Ores, Ludalib, Al-Qurdan, Shivawa, Talmesan, Wad-Draa, and Tahir. The Judeo-Berber states, centered in Ores in Algeria and headed by the mythical Berber queen Kahina, for a long time repulsed incursions by the troops of the Arab conquistadors..
Among the Berbers there are widespread elements of “popular Islam” – the cult of saints, religious and religious-celebrity associations, brotherhoods going back to the Sufi orders – tariqats.
The Tuaregs are Sunni Muslims. However, the Tuareg Berbers have preserved many pre-Islamic customs such as worship of the mother, the ancestor of the family, the keeper of the ancient language and traditions, polygamy is prohibited with the Tuaregs. Girls from an early age learn to read and write, and men are allowed to be illiterate. Part of the Tuaregs inhabiting the Algerian Sahara and the Ténéré desert roam with herds of camels and goats and raise small ruminants.
The main traditional occupations of all Berber peoples are nomadic and semi-nomadic herding (camels, small and cattle). For a long time Berbers kept communal arable land use (“arsh” – land measure), hoeing farming, growing cereals, barley, millet, wheat, legumes, vegetables and gardening.
The Berbers retained clan-tribal relations, with an elected council of elders, the Imzran, and a chief (Aglid, Amgar) at the head of the tribal association. There are inter-clan alliances (tiwizi) and cooperation in cattle grazing (tauallat). A fortified settlement called tigremt or dshar serves as the tribal group’s hub.
Castes were a part of Tuareg society in the past.. The Tuaregs themselves were thin, fair-skinned, tall warriors who raided neighboring tribes, taking people as slaves, the slaves were dark-skinned and formed the lowest caste in the society.
Hamsa – means “five” – protective amulet in the form of a palm is a symbol of good luck and happiness, came before Islam. The Phoenicians associated it with the “hand Tanit”, wife of Baal or Lord, the moon goddess and patroness of Carthage. And in Cyprus she was associated with Aphrodite.
The ancient Tuareg legends tell of the “ancestral mother” Tin-Hinan, who came to them from Morocco on a white camel with her maid Takamat, and became queen. The most beautiful, young and strong male suitors came to Queen Tin-Hinan, but the queen did to the men as the legendary Amazons did, she killed them in the morning. Queen Tin-Hinan and the maid Takamat gave birth to children, giving rise to a line of higher and lower caste Tuareg, their black and white descendants are still united by the same tribal name today. In 1925, in the area of the ancient fortification of Abalesa in Ahaggar, a rich burial of a woman was found, many Tuaregs believe that it is the tomb of Queen Tin-Hinan.
In the 11th century, the Arab conquerors invaded the territory of the Tuareg Berber tribes in North Africa and they retreated to the west and to the farthest corners of were yet subjected to forced Islamization and Arabization while living in the Sahara desert..
In the Middle Ages, the Tuaregs created several state entities that did not last long – the Sultanate of Agades controlled important transshipment trading points and the city-state of Takeda on the Niger.
In the colonial era, the Tuaregs, despite resistance, were conquered by the French and their lands were included in French West Africa, in the colonies of Niger. The Tuaregs rebelled in 1916-1917, the colonial authorities were able to subdue the Tuareg tribes only by 1923. The French colonial authorities ruled the Tuaregs through clan leaders, taking advantage of the contradictions between clans.
Berbers build houses out of adobe, decorating them with patterned windows.
Berber valleys are called valleys of a thousand fortresses because their houses look more like impregnable fortresses.
Located in southern Tunisia, Matmata is a small Berber settlement. Traditional underground “troglodyte” dwellings are where some of the indigenous Berbers reside..
The population in 2004 was 2116 people. The typical structures of the village are created by digging a large hole in the ground.
Then tunnels are dug in the wall of the large hole, rooms with an arched ceiling, and the walls of the underground house and rooms are whitewashed with lime.
The interior decoration of the rooms of the underground house is very simple and unpretentious, there are all the essentials – beds, closets, sofas, covered with homespun carpets.
The pattern of the woolen carpets is very reminiscent of the pattern of Western Ukrainian carpets.
Although the traditional underground troglodyte houses are very unusual, similar structures are found not only in Tunisia, but also in Libya, in the southwest. In other parts of Jebel Dahar, houses and storerooms have been carved out of rock and earth, and are elevated above the ground.
Contrary to the popular opinion in the literature of the Berbers’ militancy, they are very peaceful and harmless farmers, unlike the militant mercenaries of the Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs. The Berbers have always been ruled by someone, first by the Egyptians, then by the Phoenicians, then by the Romans, the Greeks, the Arabs. Defending their freedom, independence, language, culture and way of life, Berbers learned how to fight.
All Berber nationalities and tribes are united by a common flag, a tricolor, the colors of which represent the sea, mountains and desert. Many famous and illustrious people from different eras are descended from Berbers, for example, the Christian theologian St. Aurelius Augustine, the famous general Hannibal.
A significant diaspora of Berbers lives in France, from which comes a number of famous personalities, such as the French singer Edith Piaf – real name Edith Giovanna Gassion.
The nickname Piaf, colloquially meaning “sparrow”, became the stage name of this truly great artist of the 20th century. For the sake of the lover Piaf converted to Orthodoxy.
The famous Algerian soccer player Zinedine Zidane comes from the Berber Kabyle family.
Zinedine Zidane is a French footballer and coach of Algerian origin, the head coach of the Spanish club Real Madrid. He is considered one of the greatest players in the history of soccer.