Gestart door Asafu, 17/11/2004 om 21:42:19


Since the beginning of history there have been Berbers in North Africa end they were already well established when the Phoenicians made their first incursions in 1200 BC. Their origins are uncertain but thought to be Euro-Asiatic, The generic name Berbers, was imposed on them by the Arabs meaning those who were not Arabs.

Sanhaja, Masmoda, and Zenata are the three tribes constituting the Berbers.

The Sanhaja, from which sprang the Almoravide dynasty (the founders of Marrakesh) were nomads who in the 11C conquered the desert and much of the region to the south of it for Islam; the Masmouda were quiet farming people who lived in the north and west and in the High and Anti Atlas mountains and it was they who gave rise (from out Tin Mal , S of Marrakesh to the Almohade Dynasty which displaced the Almoravides; the Zenata a sub-group of which the - Beni Marin- swept in from the empty region between the Tafilalet and Algeria to become the great Merinide dynasty, were tough, horse-riding nomads of the cold high plateaux of the interior.

Joined to the Arabs only by Islam, the Berhers have always held themselves proudly separate in all other matters, especially in the rural and mountain areas. There is no standard form of Berber language since each tribal group has always used its own version, and there is no recognized Berber script or literature. Their strongest form of self-expression is music and dancing, which is rhythmic but with little harmony, compelling, loud and often quite intoxicating…