Wednesday, September 28, 2016


The Berbers have occupied North Africa, specifically the Maghreb, since the beginning of recorded history and until the Islamic conquests of the 8th century CE constituted the dominant ethnic group in the Saharan region. Modern Berber speakers and cultural practitioners are a minority in North Africa, though Berber groups are considered the descendants of pre-Arab inhabitants of the region.Berbers


In the seventh century CE, an #Arab army swept across North Africa with the goal of conquest, only to be defeated by a female warrior who led the resistance against their military advances. Commonly referred to as the “#Kahina,” meaning “seer” in Arabic, this brave and defiant woman belonged to a Judaized #Berber tribe in the Aurès Mountains of modern Algeria. Also known by the proper name of #Dihya, she led the Berber resistance against the advancing Arabs, pushing them eastward beyond the borders of modern #Libya.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Moroccan Arts and Culture

Moroccan Arts and Culture

The almost medieval-like hustle and bustle of Morocco is for most travelers a world away from their own cities and towns. The culture and people are usually so completely different from what they know that they often find themselves in situations to which they have no idea how to react. The following brief explanation of Moroccan art and culture is designed to help you get the most out of your stay in this amazing country.


The art of this country is truly special. Many historical examples are on display at the local museums. More modern examples are on display at art galleries and in souks. Beware of cheap imitations though!
There are so many different ways that the people express themselves – in carpets, clothing, jewelry, ceramics, sculpture, painting, carving, and calligraphy. They even hold an international art festival once a year to showcase all their talent. If you ever have the opportunity to visit this country, you should consider buying some of the local artwork. Not only will it provide you with a little memento of your trip, but it will help out the local people who are usually quite poor.


Souks are a way of life in Morocco and you usually wont have to go far to find one. You can often get good bargains here, but remember that most Moroccans will have a lot more experience than you will when it comes to haggling the price so you will seldom find yourself able to get better than that which is offered.
You may find, if you are friendly and courteous enough, that you will soon start to make friends with the locals. If this happens and you are invited to a meal, it is good to keep in mind some of the local customs. For example, you will usually take off your shoes when entering a house. You can follow your host’s example in this regard. Also it is a good idea to take a gift of some sort with. If you are in a home in the city you might take some pastries or some sugar with you. If you are in the county it would be better to buy a live chicken for the household which is likely to not be quite so well off. A home invitation is perhaps the most authentic way to sample Moroccan dishes. Most Moroccan food is eaten with the hands. If you are invited to join someone for a meal, you should always eat with the right hand as the left is supposed to be used for the toilet.
Any plans to visit mosques will usually meet with failure as these are considered to be very holy places that only Muslims are allowed access to. Though this is allowed in other parts of the world, the closest you will likely get to the inside of a mosque in Morocco is if you visit some ruins or disused mosques such as Tin Mal and Smara. Most other monuments are on view to the public for a price and you can also observe certain celebrations such as the Imichal wedding Fair.
When taking photographs of the local people, it would be wisest to ask their permission. Taking a photograph of someone with out their permission – especially in rural areas – can cause offense. This may result in them demanding money from you – even if you only intended to take a scenic shot of something. In contrast, taking photographs of someone you have become friendly with is usually very welcome. Often people with whom you’ve become acquainted will take you to a place where they can get a photograph taken with you for themselves. You should not be unfriendly about this as it usually does not result in you paying for the picture or any further harassment.
Traditionally the men take to the streets and the women are in control of their homes. This means that you will not often find woman in cafés or restaurants. If you are a woman and you strike up a friendship, you will likely be invited to the person’s home or to a hamman (bath) for further association. On the other hand, if you are a man or a man and woman traveling together, you will likely be invited into a café for some tea or a meal.
In general, Moroccan culture can be an exiting and worldly experience. The people are friendly and the place is colorful. Hospitality is really a part of their culture so you can strike up friendships virtually anywhere if you have the right attitude. Usually this results in further association with these dynamic and interesting people and a real taste of Moroccan life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Imazeghn( Berbers for certain)

The Amazigh or Imazighen (Berber) and the Phoenician Punics
The Phoenician colonies in North Africa started out as peaceful, trading presence among the Amazigh original inhabitants of the region. These colonies, though initially inhabited by Phoenicians from the eastern Mediterranean, became a mix of the two peoples as they intermarried with the local Amazigh.
The Amazigh, as well as the Punic Phoenicians, who survived the Roman subjugation of the region are credited with preserving the Phoenician language up till the time of Saint Augustine in the 5th century. Further, traces of the Phoenician alphabet are evident in the Tamazight (Berber) alphabet called Tifinagh.
The presence of the Berber in North Africa today is a living proof that the "Arab World" is not made up of 325 million Arabs. In fact, pan-Arabism is an unfounded heresy forced down the throats of people conquered and subjugated beginning with the advent of the Arab conquest in the 7th century. The Amazigh, much like the overwhelming majority of the people of this (Arab) "world," belong to a wide variety of ethnic groups that are different in blood, tradition, language, literature, art and history, and should not be lumped together as a single people.
Who and what are the Amazigh (Berber)?
by an anonymous person nicknamed montecarlo Nov 23 2002
The Amazigh which means "free humans" or "free men" are known to the world as Berbers. In fact, the word Berbers is offensive to these ancient inhabitants of north Africa and the Sahara desert. The name "Berber" is another one of many peccadilloes of the Romans who threw names at people left and right. They, along with the Greeks referred to every people they could not understand with the same unintelligible Berber language whether they were in the East or the West.
The majority of the Moors in medieval "Arabic" Spain were actually Berbers, who had adopted the Arabic Moslem culture and Arabic as their written language. Even today the Berbers are ethnically -- but far from politically -- the dominant part of the populations of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania. Isolated Berber-speaking groups are found all over North Africa, from the Atlantic in the west to Egypt in the east. A colorful nomadic Berber tribe, the Tuaregs, whose male warriors wear blue dresses and indigo-colored veils, still roam the Sahara desert.
Moslem yes, Arab no
It may come as a surprise to hear that the North African Moslem countries Morocco and Algeria are, in an ethnic sense, not Arab nations at all, but Berber nations, speaking a completely different language than Arabic. Politically the Arab minority has dominated these countries for centuries, and has -- without much success, though -- attempted to eradicate the Berber language. This also holds true of the present leaderships in independent Morocco and Algeria, who up to now have tried to establish an Arab identity for their countries. In recent years the North Africa/Tamazgha -- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya -- (= "land of the setting sun" in Arabic, i.e. the western part of North Africa) has experienced an awakening of Berber consciousness. Berber protests have had limited success, but they have at least led to the introduction of formal teaching of Berber in some Moroccan and Algerian schools and universities. The strong Berber desire to establish a national Berber identity appears to be accelerating. In 2001 and 2002 several Berber demonstrations have been held in Morocco and Algeria, calling for official acceptance of Berber identity and state-funded education in the Berber language.
Blood and perception
In terms of "blood", Berbers probably represent as many as 80% of the population in Morocco and Algeria, more than 60% in Tunisia and Libya and 2% in Egypt, altogether some 50 million people. A proper Berber census has never been taken and the above figures are uncertain. Centuries of cultural "Arabization" has persuaded many Berbers, particularly in the cities, to adopt the Arabic language. The number of people perceiving themselves as Berbers is hence much lower, about half of the figure given above. However, the influx of "proper" Arabs from the East into the Berber area, in connection with the Muslim conquest in the 8th century, is estimated at only 200 000. It is thus quite probable that the population of the North Africa/Tamazgha -- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya -- actually consists of native Berber stock. Some 4 million North Africa/Tamazgha -- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya --ians, half of whom perceive themselves as Berbers, now live in Europe, mainly in France.
The Berber language is known as "Berber" to Europeans and as "Shilha" to Arabs, while the Berbers themselves call their language Tamazight (the "gh" in the words Tamazight and Amazigh is pronounced as a sharp "r"). The language has a large number of dialects, due to the wide geographical separation of different Berber-speaking groups.
No unified history
The Berbers have never experienced a unified political identity, which makes a review of the "history of the Berbers" somewhat problematic. There have been many strong Berber-led and Berber-populated kingdoms and cultures - often warring among themselves - existing in parallel in various regions of North Africa and Spain, but never a unified "Berber empire". Nor have these cultures used any written Berber language - there are almost no written records in Berber, except for short inscriptions on a few monuments and buildings. Instead, the Berbers have tended to assimilate the culture and adopt the written language of their conquerors - initially Phoenician, Greek and Latin, later Arabic - while continuing to speak spoken Berber among themselves.
A chronology of some historical events in the Berber area:
  • ca 3000 BC - first Egyptian references to the people who are now called Berber
  • ca 1100 BC - Phoenicians establish trade centers
  • ca 800 BC - Carthage is founded
  • 146 BC - Romans destroy Carthage and establish the province Mauritania Tingitana (the origin of the word Moor) in North Africa/Tamazgha -- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya --
  • ca 200 - Berbers become Christians
  • ca 350 - North Africa/Tamazgha -- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya -- becomes a hotbed for "heretic" Christian cults in the Christian Roman Empire
  • ca 400 - St. Augustine
  • 429 - Vandals invade North Africa/Tamazgha -- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya --
  • 533 - Byzantine Empire drives out the Vandals and takes control - religious conflicts between Berber Christian "heretics" and Byzantine church
  • 674-700 - Muslim Arabs drive out the Byzantines and conquer North Africa/Tamazgha -- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya --. Conversion to Islam begins
  • 711-713 - Spain conquered by Moslem Arabs and Berbers. Al-Andalus established in Spain
  • 1085-1258 - Berber Almoravid and Almohad dynasties rule Al-Andalus and North Africa/Tamazgha -- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya --
  • 1492 - Moors driven out of Al-Andalus
  • 1900 - French and Spanish colonial aspirations in North Africa/Tamazgha -- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya --, leading to colonization
  • 1956-1963 - Independence for North Africa/Tamazgha -- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya -- states
-- montecarlo
Tamazight - a language with 38 consonants1
The Berber language, Tamazight, belongs to the African branch of the Afro-Asian language family, along with ancient Egyptian. There are various names for the different Berber dialects (which are different enough to be called languages by some), but Tamazight is seen as the root language. Old Phoenician language is mixed into the the Tamazight and as evident to etymologists.
Tamazight has only 3 vowels - aiu. This parsimony, vowel-wise, is amply compensated by a generous number of consonants - 38 consonants in all. To be able to write all 38 with Latin letters, diacritical marks and letter-pairs (like for example gh, pronounced as one variant of r), are used. Even the $-sign has to be called upon to help symbolize one of the 38 consonants. Learning to correctly pronounce this multitude of consonants, with their sometimes minute differences of pronounciational nuance, is no easy task for a casual European student of Tamazight. English, in comparison, has 21 consonant letters in its alphabet, but reportedly 24 consonant sounds (if you include sounds like voiced and unvoiced "th", "sh", voiced "s", etc.)
In European languages the grammatical information of a word (tense, gender, number, etc) is most often given by "concatenation", i.e. by adding an appropriate word ending to the word: one table, two tables, happen, happened, etc. But that is not how the Berbers do it. The grammatical information in Tamazight is instead conveyed via several changes in the word, e.g. of the vowels in the word, or sometimes by simultaneously adding something to the front as well as to the end of a word. Plural of am$ar (= male elder) becomes im$arn (= male elders), while one corresponding female elder is tam$art and several female elders is tim$arin. (I am not able to explain how the consonant symbol "$" is pronounced, but it reportedly belongs to the class of "fricatives").
The word order is VERB - SUBJECT - OBJECT. "The boy drank water" is thus expressed as "Drank the boy water".
Tifinagh    Tifinagh
As I mentioned earlier, the Berber language has not been written - until fairly recently - except as short inscriptions on monuments. The Berber alphabet that was used for this task in antiquity is called Tifinagh and consists of a number of strange-looking phonetic symbols. It is probably derived from the Phoenician alphabet and has only symbols for consonants. Some Berber activists have tried to augment the consonant symbols with vowel symbols. This modern form of Tifinagh is sometimes heroically used to write Berber, most often only by the activists themselves. Most people who are literate in Berber use the Latin letter system for writing Tamazight.
The name Tifinagh possibly means 'the Phoenician letters', or possibly from the phrase tifin negh, which means 'our invention'.
Editor's note: In fact, in modern Lebanese, tifingeh or tfingé means an ingenious twist or invention.
This further supports the meaning subscribed to the name.
Berber languages such as Tamazight, Tamasheq and Amazigh, which are spoken by about a million or so people in Morocco, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria and Libya.
Neo-Tifinagh alphabet as used in Morocco
Sample text in Tamazight in the Neo-Tifinagh alphabet
Sample text in Tamazight
UN Human Rights in Tamazight
Imdanen, akken ma llan ttlalen d ilelliyen msawan di lḥweṛma d yizerfan-ghur sen tamsakwit d lâquel u yessefk ad-tili tegmatt gar asen.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


  1. Free Tifinagh fonts
  2. L'école d'amazigh - online lessons in Amazigh and the Tifinagh alphabet
  3. Tawalt - a Libyan Berber site in the Tifinagh and Arabic scripts
  4. Berber Language Page
  5. Monde Berbere (Berber World) - information on the Berber people of Morocco in Berber, French and English:
  6. Amazigh World - information about Berber language and culture (in Berber and French)
  7. Kra isallen - Le magazine en ligne de l'association Tamazgha
  8. TIFIN' ART - Calligraphies et peintures (Tifinagh calligraphy)
  1. Omniglot, Tifinagh (republished without permission)

The Stories and Secrets of Morocco’s Rugs

The Stories and Secrets of Morocco’s Rugs

Carpets cover the floor and hang like tapestries from the walls in Ismail’s carpet shop in Marrakech’s Souk de Tapis. There are no price tags and the haggling comes later, over ceremonial mint tea with his father. First it is time for storytelling.
In Morocco every carpet tells a tale. From the monochromatic Beni Ourains to the intricate Zemmour kilims, the country’s weavings are both a narrative art form and a necessity.
The history of Moroccan rugs dates as far back as the Paleolithic Era. Traditionally they were woven by the Berber tribes for their utility, reflecting Morocco’s distinctive climate. The snow-capped, windswept elevations of the Atlas Mountains gave rise to thick, heavy-pile sleeping mats and bed coverings, and the brutal heat of the Sahara inspired light flat-weave shawls. The tribe’s semi-nomadic existence also influenced the size of the pieces as the looms and carpets had to be transportable, meaning there could be no weavings over about 7 feet.
Born of necessity, the design of the Berber weaving soon went beyond purely practical concerns. As Ismail explains, the precise designs and motifs of each rug are a doorway into the past, an evocative symbolic language passed down from generation to generation. Hand woven and knotted by the women of the tribe, each rug can take up to a year to complete. The grace and precision of the spontaneous geometric designs depict everything from femininity to spirituality and male protection, and the interaction of the symbols tell the story of the weaver’s life from one end to the other. 
The rug’s combination of minimalism and handmade detail, their subdued restraint and bold inventiveness, were first heralded in the West by the mid-century modernists. In the 1930s designers and architects such as Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames and Alvar Alto, started incorporating the plush, soft rugs in their interiors as a counterbalance to the austerity of their sleekly designed furniture. Frank Lloyd Wright was even known to travel to Morocco to bring back carpets for his clients, and his house at Falling Water features black and white Beni Ourain carpets in almost every room.
Since then, the sparse back and white designs of the prolific Beni Ourain tribes have become increasingly popular in the West. However, as Ismail unfurled each carpet in the semi-darkness of the souk, our eyes were caught by the weavings of a different Berber tribe: the Azilals.
Much like the Beni Ourain, Azilal rugs are one-of-a-kind pieces, woven from dyed and undyed sheep’s wool. They come from the Tadla-Azilal province in the Atlas Mountains and are produced by the Ait Bouzid, Ait Shokmane, Ait Bou Oulli and Ait Bougmez tribes. Far rarer than the Beni Ourains, they often feature similar natural ivory and ebony diamond lattice designs on a neutral white background, but are distinguished by their abstract highlights.
The hints of henna, indigo, saffron and madder root dyes that make their way into the rug’s motifs and fringes have their own tale to tell. In Berber culture red represents strength and protection, blue wisdom, yellow eternity and green peace. 
It is this combination of magic symbolism and minimalist utility that gives the Berber carpets their unique appeal. Each carpet carries the weaver’s desire to protect the human spirit from negative energy and shield the human body from the elements. Whether we lay them on our floors or hang them on our walls, these story-filled pieces of art become talismans for our everyday lives.

The Rich Mythology and Megalithic Culture of the Ancient Berbers

Tariq ibn Ziyad, Berber Muslim and Umayyad general who led the conquest of Visigothic Hispania in 711. Painting by Theodor Hosemann.

The Rich Mythology and Megalithic Culture of the Ancient Berbers, Lords of the Desert

The Barbary Coast of North Africa was named after the Berbers, the nomadic people who inhabited the region west of the Nile Valley in north Africa. Called the Amazigh or Imazighen in antiquity (meaning "free humans" or "free men"), they are among the oldest inhabitants of North Africa. Their rich mythology endured for thousands of years, eventually coming to influence the religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians.
 The history of the Berber people in northern Africa is extensive and diverse.  The Berbers are a large group of non-Arabic tribes, related by language and culture, inhabiting areas stretching from Egypt to the Canary Islands as well as regions south of the Sahara such as Niger and Mali.  Archaeologists have traced their origins to the Caspian culture, a North African civilization that dates back more than 10,000 years.  Berber-speaking people have lived in North Africa since the earliest times and are first referenced by the Egyptians in 3,000 BC under the name Temehu.  Phoenician, Greeks and Roman texts also make reference to them.  Since prehistoric times, Berber lands have been a crossroad of peoples from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.  The Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, Spaniards, French, and Italians have invaded and ruled portions of the Berber homeland.  The Berbers have never experienced a unified political identity. There have been many Berber kingdoms and cultures existing alongside one another in various regions of North Africa and Spain, but never a unified "Berber empire".  Throughout the centuries, Berbers have mixed with many ethnic groups, including Arabs, and because of this, they have come to be identified more by linguistics instead race.  Their language is one of the oldest in the world and belongs to the African branch of the Afro-Asian language family, along with ancient Egyptian.
A beautiful young Berber woman of Tunisia, with tattoo and traditional jewelry (early 1900s). Photo by Rudolf Lehnert. 1905.
A beautiful young Berber woman of Tunisia, with tattoo and traditional jewelry (early 1900s). Photo by Rudolf Lehnert. 1905. ( Wikimedia Commons )
Although never formalized beyond local cults, the Berbers had a rich mythology and belief system structured around a pantheon of gods.  Many of their beliefs were developed locally while some were imported or later influenced by contact with other African mythologies, such as the Egyptian religion along with Phoenician mythology, Judaism, Iberian mythology, and the Hellenistic religion during antiquity.  The most recent influence came from Arab mythology, when the Berbers were converted to Islam during the ninth century.  Today, some of the traditional, ancient, pagan Berber beliefs still exist within the culture and tradition, especially in Algeria, where older cults survive to varying extents.
Many prehistoric peoples considered rocks to be holy, including the Berbers.  Second century Latin writer Apuleius, along with Saint Augustine, bishop of the Hippo Regius (ancient name of the modern city of Annaba, in Algeria), both remarked on rock-worship among North Africans.  The Greek historian Herodotus wrote of their sacrifices:
They begin with the ear of the victim, which they cut off and throw over their house: this done, they kill the animal by twisting the neck. They sacrifice to the Sun and Moon, but not to any other god.
The megalithic culture may have been part of a cult of the dead or of star-worship.  The best known rock monument in Northwest Africa is Mzora (or Msoura).  It is composed of a circle of megaliths surrounding a tumulus.  The highest megalith is longer than 5 meters (16 feet).  According to legend, it is the resting place of the mythic Berber king Antaeus.  Another megalithic monument was discovered in 1926, south of Casablanca and was engraved with funerary inscriptions in the Libyco-Berber script known as Tifinagh.
The Cromlech of Msoura or Mzora. Photo by Christophe Chenevier.
The Cromlech of Msoura or Mzora. Photo by Christophe Chenevier. (
The tombs of the early Berbers and their ancestors (the Caspian’s and Ibero-Mauresians) indicate that they believed in the afterlife.  The prehistoric men of the region of northwest Africa buried their bodies in the ground.  Later, they buried the dead in caves, tumuli (burial mounds), and tombs cut into rock.  These tombs evolved from primitive structures to more elaborate ones, such as the pyramidal tombs that spread throughout North Africa.  The best known Berber pyramids are the 19 meter (62 ft) pre-Roman Numidian pyramid of Medracen and the 30-meter (98 ft) ancient Mauritanian pyramid located in modern-day Algeria.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Berbers of Morocco - Marriage and Family

Marriage.In the Rif, unlike the practice in certain other Berber-speaking areas, parallel-cousin marriage with the father's brother's daughter was permitted, although not highly regarded. These marriages accounted for 12 percent of a total of 1,625 marriages recorded between 1953 and 1955 among the AithWaryaghar (3 percent true father's brother's daughter marriages and 9 percent classificatory—that is, not with true father's brother's daughter, but within the lineage). By far the most common form was local-lineage exogamy—marriages between lineages within the same tribalsection—at 54 percent, whereas marriages between spouses of different sections accounted for 22 percent, and marriages with spouses of other tribes (both male and female) amounted again to 12 percent. Polygynous marriages accounted for 11 percent of the total (with each co-wife having her separate dwelling or household), secondary or successive marriages for 5 percent, and 3 percent of marriages terminated in divorce. There was a high rate of widow inheritance (as opposed to levirate) at 5 percent, but sororate, although permitted, accounted for only 0.8 percent. Marriage by exchange of sisters accounted for 2.5 percent, as did two brothers marrying two sisters; 20 percent of all marriages—whether endogamousor exogamous—were between individuals of different generations, even though they may have been of nearly equivalent ages (Hart 1976, 217-229).
Among the Imazighenof south-central Morocco, parallel-cousin marriage with the father's brother's daughter is strongly favored, but among the Ait 'Atta of Usikis on the south-central slopeof the Atlas, it accounted for only 17 percent of 313 marriages recorded between 1961 and 1962 (of which only 3 percent were with true father's brother's daughter and 14 percent were with the classificatory father's brother's daughter, within the lineage). Lineage exogamywithin the section accounted for 42 percent,intersectionalmarriages within the community of Usikis for 39 percent, and extracommunity or extratribal marriages for only 2 percent. Pluralmarriages accounted for 9 percent of the total, secondary or successive ones for 4 percent. Three percent of marriages ended in divorce; the rate of widow inheritance was 3 percent and that of the sororate only 1 percent. Of all marriages, endogamous or exogamous, 10 percent were cross-generational (Hart 1981, 148-151, 251-253).
Bride-wealth or bride-price is heavy in the Rif but minimal in the Imazighen region. Normally only a husband can initiate divorce (except in cases of impotency). Bride-wealth is generally returned in such cases, but children remain with their fathers. Childlessnessis a normal cause for divorce.
Domestic Unit.The nuclear family (Rifian:nubth[lit., "turn"; pl.nubath]; Tharifith:tashat[lit., "hearth"]) of father, mother, and unmarried children constitutes the domestic unit, all of whose members eat together when guests are not present, but—owing to the prevalence of male labor migration to Europe—women are now often de facto heads of rural households.
Inheritance.Land is inherited patrilaterally (see "Land Tenure"). Although the Sharia stipulates that, for purposes of inheritance, one son equals two daughters, with one-eighth subtracted at a man's death for his widow, in areas like the Imazighen region, where customary law prevailed until independence, daughters generally got nothing and tended rather to be inherited by their fathers' brothers, in order to be married off to the latters' sons.
Socialization.Under maternal and grandparental supervision, all Berber communities are characterized by a high degree of sibling caretaking, with elder siblings taking care of younger ones while their mothers do household work. Grandparents and grandchildren are close, but sex segregation begins when boys and girls reach 6 or 7 years of age and start to herd goats. By the time they reach puberty, which traditionally is not long before the age to marry, it is fully ingrained.

Read more:

Berbers of Morocco - History and Cultural Relations Read more:

The Berbers are the autochthonous inhabitants of North Africa. The sedentary agricultural tribes are largely old and long established, and certain important tribalnames in the Rifmay go back almost to the beginnings of Islam in Morocco in the late eighth century. Berber identification with Islam thus goes back itself to the initial Arab conquests in the late seventh century, barring initial resistance and certain resultantheresies. The sedentary Ishilhayen tribes of the Western Atlas are probably also long established, although there is little Arabic documentation on them prior to the early fifteenth century. The transhumantImazighentribes of Central Morocco are more recent, although the great northwest passage of Imazighen from the Saghro massif across the Atlas in search of grass for their sheep began about 1550 and was still unfinished when the Franco-Spanish protectoratewas established in 1912. Primary resistance to colonial penetration was heaviest in the Berber-speaking areas. In the Rif, it was led by Muhammad bin 'Abd al-Krim al-Khattabi of the AithWaryaghar in a major two-front war—first against Spain in 1921, then against both Spain and France in 1925-1926. In the Atlas, although the French won over to their side the three majorquyad('id), the tribal leaders of the Imtuggan, the Igundafen, and the Iglawn, resistance nonetheless began in 1913 and continued piecemeal, on a tribe-by-tribe basis for the most part, until the Ait 'Atta of the Saghro and the Ait Murghad and Ait Hadiddu of the eastern Central Atlas were "pacified" in 1933, and the Anti-Atlas was fully occupied the following year.
During this period, the French made the mistake of promulgating the "Berber Dahir," or decree of 1930, which placed all Berber tribes in their zone (although not those of the Spanish-held Rif) under the jural aegis of customary-law tribunals. In effect, this subtracted them from the jurisdiction of the Sharia, of Muslim law as enjoinedby the Quran. At Moroccan independence in 1956, the Berber Dahir was rescinded, and normal Muslim law courts underqudat(sing.qadi) were installed in the Berber-speaking areas. Since about 1986, customary law appears to be coming back in small and low-key ways, but not to the extent of resuscitating collective oaths (see "Social Control").

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“بيلماون” طقس أمازيغي قديم حافظ عليه المغاربة من الاندثار

Bilmaouen 1
“بيلماون” طقس أمازيغي قديم حافظ عليه المغاربة من الاندثار

هم ثلة من الشباب والأطفال، يتقمصون دور شخصيات حيوانية أليفة، بهدف ربط الماضي بالحاضر والاحتفاء بطقس قديم يحمل اسم “بيلماون” أو “بوجلود”، حيث يرتدون جلود الماعز أو الأغنام ويطوفون الأزقة والشوارع بالجنوب المغربي، بغية إثارة المارة واستدرار عطفهم.

الاحتفاء بطقس “بوجلود” غالبا ما يرتبط بالأجواء المرافقة لعيد الأضحى، حيث يرتدي الشباب جلود الماعز أو الأغنام، لإخفاء معالم شخصيتهم، موظفين نبرات مختلفة للصوت، وجلد الرأس والقرون لتغطية الوجه، وتقريب أوجه الشبه بينهم والحيوانات التي تستعمل كأضحية العيد.

وظاهرة “بوجلود” معروفة أكثر بضواحي مدن تيزنيت والدشيرة وإنزكان (جنوبي المغرب)، حيث عمل شبابها على إدخال جملة من التحسينات على الظاهرة، بشكل أخرجها عن البساطة التي كانت معروفة بها في السابق، بحسب جامع بندير، الباحث في الثقافة والتراث المغربي.

من جهته، قال أحمد صابر، العميد السابق لكلية الآداب والعلوم الإنسانية بجامعة “ابن زهر” بمدينة أغادير، للأناضول إن “مدينة إنزكان تمكنت من إحياء تراث ثمين والمحافظة عليه من الاندثار، بالنظر إلى أصوله العريقة والوثائق التاريخية المتواجدة في العديد من البلدان الإفريقية”.

أما أحمد أوبلوش، الباحث في التراث المغربي، فقال للأناضول إن “ظاهرة بوجلود يمكن اعتبارها مظهرا من مظاهر رفض الواقع السياسي المعيش، حيث تتم السخرية من جميع الشخصيات والمؤسسات والأحداث السياسية كشكل من أشكال رفض هذا الواقع، في تجلياته السياسية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية”.

وأضاف أن “طقس بيلماون يعبر بمثابة طقس اجتماعي يتم من خلاله إعادة تمتين علاقات التضامن والتآزر الاجتماعي، بين فئات المجتمع المختلفة”.

وأشار إلى أن تلك الظاهرة تعتبر علاجا وقائيا لبعض الأمراض الاجتماعية، التي يتم بواسطتها فضح ممارسات من قبيل التحرش الجنسي، والخيانة الزوجية، والمثلية الجنسية، والسرقة وغيرها (عن طريق مشاهد تمثيلية في الشوارع ينتقد فيها لابسو الجلود تلك الظواهر).

أما بعض القبائل الأمازيغية بالمنطقة، فتعتبر ذلك الطقس “لحظة للمصالحة مع الذات والجماعة وعملية تنفيس عن كل الطابوهات والخطايا الاجتماعية”، بحسب أوبلوش.

وقال إن “القراءات المفسرة لطقوس بوجلود، تختلف بين القراءة الأنثروبيولوجية والدينية والثقافية والاجتماعية والسياسية لطقس مملوء بالايحاءات وبالتكثيف الرمزي وبمدلولات سوسيولوجية وسيكولوجية وإثنوغرافية ضاربة في أعماق التاريخ، وتعد أصول تلك الظاهرة ضاربة في القدم، وتمارس في منطقة شمال إفريقيا، قبل دخول الإسلام في القرن السابع الميلادي”.

وأضاف أنه “يمكن اعتبار ذلك الطقس، من طقوس العبور من حالة الطبيعة إلى حالة الثقافة، أو انشدادا عابرا للزمن لجذرنا الطبيعي، وانسلاخا من مظاهرالحداثة والانخداع بمجتمعات العنف والاستهلاك”٠

وبخصوص تفسيره لبعض الطقوس المرافقة للظاهرة، من قبل طقس الدم والقربان، قال أوبلوس إن “الطقس المذكور يشير إلى أضحية العيد، فيما يعني لباس جلد الخروف القربان المقدم للتطهير عن دنس الحياة المادية والسفر عبر تاريخ البشرية الموشوم بالصراع بين قوى الخير والشر”.

وفي الوقت الذي قد يعتبر البعض طقس “بوجلود” مظهرا من مظاهر التعبد وتقديس الحيوانات، أو الخوف من قوى خارقة قد تتخفى في جلد وقرون الماعز، اعتبر الباحث أوبلوش أن “حضور الطقس الديني في أذهان البعض، من قبيل حضور قربان المعز في الكثير من الطقوس الدينية، وخاصة في الاضرحة والمزارات، وفي الطقوس غير الدينية مثل الشعوذة، وحضرة كناوة، وطقوس جلب المطر والخصوبة والأولاد”.

يذكر أن المدن المجاورة لمحافظة أغادير بالجنوب الغربي للمغرب تحتضن كل سنة فعاليات كرنفال “بيلماون بودماون” الأمازيغي (الجلود والأقنعة) التراثي، ويقام  لمدة أسبوع بعد عيد الأضحى من كل سنة، وذلك وسط دعوات بحماية هذا التراث من الاندثار والعادات الدخيلة.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

The history of Tamazight Litterature in Morocco

 The history of  Tamazight  Litterature in Morocco

- May lose in a crisis term, the floor, between the words (Amazigi) and (Berber), perhaps the first is the closest to the hearts of stakeholders of the population that the black continent. where to remind them of belonging to the black continent, matrilineal themselves to the father of the first inhabitants of North Africa "Amazigh" or free men, and the second is more the kind of anger raised in them, and revert to the word (barber) fired by the Romans, and the word is derived from the ancient Greeks, which they give to those who did not speak Greek (Barbaros) launched by the Romans to all foreign outlaws obedience to the Roman empire and military influence, the number of Amazigh about five and twenty million people divided into north African countries, and constituted 45% of the population of Morocco, 23% of the population of Algeria, 10% of the Libyans, 5% of the population in Tunisia, and one in Egypt about 10000 Amazigia in the oasis of Siwa. and on the origins of the Tamazight many disagree lot of the view that the Tamazight Africa altogether, Some of them were believed convergence of features Tamazight and ethnic "Ndali" in terms of similarity in expression and form, and no link between these two possibilities of the act of continued mobility for Amazigh and German colonialism them, the Islamic conquest of the region in the year 647 AD at the hands (Tariq ibn Ziyad), Amazigh converted to Islam and Tekabloh and merged with the teachings but the Arabic language Zalk unacceptable for them. Tamazight language problems and codification ... Tamazight language is the language of the family and Commissioner Kalmassereh old Arab, and stoop of the old language Jamahiriya, which was used widely in the old North Africa, Amazigh alphabet consists of a single stripe, and the 30th named crafts Tamazight (trades Tifinagh) However, the Tamazight language not known codification, There have also been a variety of dialects view of the wide geographical spread and overlap with other languages prevalent Kalarabih and French, This also affected the process of codification, where some have sought to codify italic Tifinagh, and others codifies literally Arab because of the growing number of users to deflect Arab and crafts that is used by the Arab Amazigh in the first codification, which helped to close the Amazigh, the Arabs and Muslims, while another group prefers the use of Roman script in the codification of the Tamazight pointing out that that Roman script could merge to keep pace with the differences in the pronunciation of the language of other trades to create new leads new votes ... Literature Tamazight in Morocco during the twentieth century ... Since Morocco is the largest countries in terms of the existence of the Amazigh, so I selected the focal point in the literature review of the evolution of the Tamazight, the literature Tamazight in the offing is not much different from the rest of the oral literature of the national composition known human groups and ethnic language, relied on the popular sayings and folklore singing Almnizom stories and the popular Champions Amazigh first and did not know how to codify which helped to loss and the loss of many, many of the cultural monuments of literary Amazigh first, However, and with the beginning of the seventies of the 20th century, started the codification and started literature Tamazight in Morocco in the form of written literature easy circulation across the country. shined in the meantime many, many of the names in the skies of poetry and theater, most notably "Mohamed Mstaoui" poet and researcher in the Moroccan Amazigh culture, and who expressed the issues and the crisis over the map Amazigh language Arab and African soil good, mixing between the easy rhythm of the oral and Codification and dispassionate way and the old speed talk, He has published many of the registers the first Cabinet (restrictions) in the year 1976 and which is one of the first recorded in the registers of poetry and the Office of the Tamazight (laughter and tears) in the year 1979, (disco) in 1988 and then Diwan (Waves) in 1998, and of the same land Isadh Voice "good as Belkacem", "Ibrahim Akhyat" and "Mohammed Shafiq," also spread poetic singing at the hands of two "Osmán" and "Azenzarn" and in the early 1980s suffered from the inertia of the Amazigh literature seriously until Tamazight theater began to emerge strongly and perhaps the experience of "net insurer" is a landmark in literature, Tamazight, also sent Amazigh poetry again by the "Almahgoubi Ahardhan" and "Ahmed Al-Zayani" and "protracted Azaiko" that the latter who managed the mixing of old and modern language and profound global conscience beyond the African map, the story began to emerge on the surface of the Amazigh literature in the 1990s of the 20th century, shone in the skies of a large group of men of letters such as "Mohamed Abhari" version (to be or not to be) and the novel (the shadows of memory) for "Abu Kassim Avolai" and Mohammed Akonas poet and novelist with not (and the dream increase), "wrote Vacocmah Alorbachi" poetry Tamazight free from the mold and necessary poetic Tamazight, The name "Omar Boumzog" in the late 1990s, was the poet and novelist, writer and playwright Perhaps novel (ship Noah) and deception (gravedigger), (Iskafi) months from the clerks, as well as the theatrical version prevails (Rabia and Bouzayen) and theater (Taslet and Romeo), and can we talk Amazigh poetry scene and did not approach the poet "Doctor Bolaouali" the Cabinet (the sun of freedom 0 |