Have Berber Ethiopian origins

Who are the Berbers?

The Name Berber originally derived from the Greek / Roman word for Barbarian or from the name of a (mythical) tribal father ber-borr. In Roman antiquity the expression "barbarian" is used as a name for the Peoples of north africa not used. Most of the People of Morocco have the Berbers. Who are they, where do they come from and where do they live or live? They settle in villages or - increasingly rarely - in tents in the mountains and oases of North Africa Egypt until after Mauritania. The Sahara is also in Berber hands: the proud Tuareg, the last knights of the desert, mostly live in Niger, Mali and Algeria.

Berber people

They are relatives of the Berber nomads from the Southeast Morocco (Sanhadija group). In northern Moroccan Rif Mountains live the freedom-loving Rif-Kabylen (Zenata group). The Schlöh (Masmouda group) are steadfast Mountain farmers and shrewd traders and settle in the western High Atlas and in the Anti-Atlas. Although it has Morocco with about 36% of the total population by far the largest Berber share of all Maghreb states, but ethnically and culturally there is no uniform picture: the influences of foreign conquerors and immigrants are too diverse.


In Tafraoute in the Anti-Atlas some Schlöh look more European than many southern Europeans. In contrast, negroid types in the same tribe are reminiscent of the proximity to black Africa. Ethnologists therefore delimit the Berber groups via their Semito-Hamitic languages, which refer to an origin from the near East Clues. The Moroccan historian Ibn Khaldun claimed in the 14th century a Berber descent "from Canaan, son of Harn, son of Noah!" They lived in the hinterland of Carthage Numidi (Nomads), who were probably identical with the Berber tribe of the Zenate - feared as adversaries, valued as legionaries and gladiators.

Berber culture

The Romans found them more sociable Mauri (Greek: amauros = dark) der Roman province of Mauretaniawhich probably corresponded to the Masmouda Berbers who settled down early. But there had been foreign influences even before the Romans: As early as 5,000 BC. BC probably black Africans from Ethiopia and Ghana migrated through the then still more humid Sahara into the Draa Valley, maybe even before the Berbers. Egyptians (from 3,000 BC), Phoenicians (from 1,200 AD) and Greeks had contacts with Berbers; Jews may have settled since the 6th century. v. In the country. But only the Romans enriched them Berber culture Sustainable: the women's robe brooch, the pin lock on the front doors and the Schlöh word almu for summer pasture are still a reminder of this.

Also the Ksar, the walled village, has its model in Latin Castrum. Roman Christians spread their religion all over North Africa; the Church father Augustine was a converted Zenata Berber. The Germanic vandals left behind blonde hair and blue eyes in the 5th century AD after 100 years of tyranny. Without women, the first came at the end of the 7th century Arab religious fighters who for this reason very often married Berber daughters. Already Sultan Idriss II , the son of Moulay Idriss I, the descendant of the prophets, emerged from a mixed Arab-Berber marriage in the late 8th century.

The Berbers were not yet Arabized, but Islamized, which even the Sanhadija Berbers the Sahara captured. From the 11th to the 15th centuries, Berbers were in power, but they invaded again and again Arab nomad tribes into the fertile plains of the Maghreb. Arabs have occupied it since the 16th century Sultan's throne in the Berber country. The since arab invasion In the 7th century the Berber culture experienced the most serious foreign influence in 1912, when the Arab sultan signed a protectorate treaty through the Northern Morocco under spanish and the great rest of the country below French rule got.

Festivals - celebrations and folklore

Both Berber tribes and in the rural tribes music is closely related to poetry and dance. The folkloric dances are magnificent and sum up the whole life of the tribes in one rhythm. Here is a selection: The Ahouach from the valleys of the High Atlas Mountains. The women form a circle in which the men play the tambourine. The Ahaidous of the Middle Atlas Mountains: women and men form a circle and one after the other set the rhythm by stamping their feet on the ground. The Guedra from southern Morocco: The dancer kneels on the floor and is covered with a black cloth. The rhythm becomes faster, the dancer performs snake movements with her fingers and tries to beguile the audience.

Berber dances

The Tissint from the Tata: Women and men, wrapped in blue indigo robes, lead the Dance of the dagger on. The Gnaouas , which are of African origin: the dancers vie to perform tricks amid pounding rhythms. The Taskiouine of High Atlas Mountains, near Ouarzazate: A Warrior dancewhich is carried out powerfully and very manly. Dressed in a white tunic, their faces heavily made up with powder, the dancers stamp their feet in time and clap their hands violently. The AI Aita comes from the mountains and valleys and accompanies weddings and other celebrations. Fantasia: Impressive, simulated attacks in which armed men on their horses, wrapped in thick clouds of dust, fire their old muzzle-loaders.