Who Are The Berbers Of North Africa

Who Are The Berbers Of North Africa


In June 2019, an Algeria banned protestors
from waving this flag. Stating it was an assault on Algeria’s Arab
identity. Why? Because this is the flag of the Amazigh. The indigenous people that have occupied North
Africa since…well pretty much forever. Fuelled by couscous these famous merchant
nomads once linked the Mediterranean World with Sub-Saharan Africa. Fought against Roman, Arab, and French empires
and now battle for recognition in their own countries. They call themselves Amazigh; we know them
as the Berbers of North Africa. Berbers have a unique culture and language
separate from their Arab neighbours. Their history reaches back thousands of years
before Islam arrived in North Africa. The Berbers inhabit a region now known as
the Maghreb; the Berbers call it Tamazgha. Tamazgha stretches from the Siwa Oasis in
Egypt to the Canary Islands and from the Mediterranean to the Niger and Senegal rivers. This covers a territory that’s over 7 million
km2, meaning if Tamazgha were a unified country it would be the 7th largest on Earth. In the Berber language, Tamazight, Berbers
use the name Amazigh to describe themselves. Which mean Free or Noble Men. The word “Berber” comes from the Greek
word barabaroi, which means barber in ancient Greek. The Berbers were famous throughout the ancient
world for their amazing hairstyles. OW! FINE. That isn’t true. Barabaroi was actually used for people that
didn’t speak Greek. The Berbers had many alternative names in
the past such as “Libyans” “Numidians” or “Moors”. With the arrival of the Arab Muslims in the
seventh century, the word barabaroi took an Arabised form, al barabir or barabira. Europeans learned this from the Arabs and
would refer to them as Barbary. Which soon became Berber. In recent years, Berbers have been trying
to get people to stop referring to them as Berbers, because of the implication. So I’ll attempt to say Amazigh for the rest
of the video and I apologise to them for what I’m about to do to their language. The Amazigh have lived in North Africa since
the dawn of recorded history. A precise date is difficult to grasp. The Amazigh passed down their history orally
and most written records come to us from foreigners. The ancestors of the Amazigh have been in
the neighbourhood for about 12,000 years. Genetic evidence shows that most northwest
Africans, whether they see themselves as Amazigh or Arab, are of Amazigh descent. Early Amazigh likely entered into North Africa
in waves from the Middle-East, East Africa, and across the straits from Iberia. The first written records of the Amazigh living
in the Maghreb come from the Egyptians around the 13th century BC, 3310 years ago. The most notable Amazigh group from this period
are the Meshwesh. Which is a fantastically fun name. Meshwesh….Meshwesh. The Meshwesh would conquer and rule Egypt
as 22nd and 23rd Dynasties. Throughout their history, the Amazigh have
endured the many many conquerors of North Africa. The Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, and Byzantines
all invaded, and each one found themselves hounded by Amazigh. These states could control cities on the coasts
but outside, the Amazigh held power. Because of their ability to withstand the
harsh deserts and mountains, the Amazigh could always retreat, regroup, and later launch
fresh raids on their invaders. The Amazigh strategy seemed to be to simply
wait them out, until their invaders’ empires eventually collapsed. Even creating their own states in between
invasions, like Mauritania and Numidia. The ruins of the Mauretanian capital at Walili,
near modern Fez, are an extraordinary site even today. Christianity appeared in Roman North Africa
during the second and third centuries AD. By the mid-third century, it had grown into
a major religion in the area. The Amazigh became vital members of the new
Church. An Amazigh man now known to us as Saint Augustine,
back then it was just Augustine..it would be weird if they called him Saint. He is now regarded as one of the Four Doctors
of the Church along with these 3 other guys with lovely hats and Augustine is considered
a key figure in developing Medieval and Western philosophy. The Arabs marched into North African history
in the 7th century. Unlike the earlier empires that stayed near
their cities, the Arabs sought to unify everyone in the country under Islam. The Amazigh relationship with the Arabs was
and is complicated. The Amazigh both resisted and assisted the
Arab conquests. Amazigh warriors fought on the side of the
Arabs on their march through North Africa against the Byzantine forces. Once they had conquered North Africa, the
Muslim forces turned to Iberia with Amazigh making up most of the army. The Amazigh warrior, Tariq Ibn Ziyad and his
force of 12,000 mostly Amazigh warriors would take the Visigoth capital of Toledo. This conquest ushered in 700 years of Muslim
rule of Iberia and Tariq would have his name forever etched into the landscape. As the area where he landed was called Jabal
Ṭāriq, the mountain of Tariq, which eventually morph into Gibraltar. On the other hand, Amazigh violently pushed
back against Muslim conquest. Queen Kahina, an Amazigh warrior queen, wiped
out an invading Arab army delaying their conquest for years. Her eventual fight to the death, and her burning
of Amazigh lands in order to starve the Arabs is a symbol of Amazigh resistance to this
day. Despite this and a number of other rebellions,
the Amazigh would ultimately convert to Islam. The Medieval and now Muslim Amazigh helped
to link the Muslim Middle-East with the now Muslim Spain and opened up trade with Sub-Saharan
Africa. Caravans spilled out of the Amazigh city of
Sijilmasa across the Sahara and returned with gold and slaves intended for Europe and the
Middle-East. These Amazigh caravans would carry Islam to
West Africa. Even under Arabic rule, the Amazigh kept their
own identity and revolts were constant. The Barghwata kingdom was born in one of these
revolts. In 744AD the Amazigh Ibn Tarif declared himself
a Prophet. With a new Amazigh language Quran in hand,
he gathered the Amazigh tribes and annihilated an Arab army, establishing his own kingdom
in modern-day Morocco. This was an unbelievable development. Reciting the Quran in anything other than
Arabic was heretical but Tarif and the Amazigh weren’t going to let a little heresy get
in their way. This Amazigh version of Islam was a fusion
between different sects of Islam, Judaism, and traditional Amazigh beliefs. This incident shows us just how strong the
Amazigh culture was. But as time went on the Arabs and Amazigh
of North Africa settled into their fancy cities, enjoying their culture, and literature, and
philosophy. LIKE A BUNCH OF NERDS! So the Amazigh tribes of the Sahara banded
together and burst onto the scene, conquering everything from Mauritania to the French border
and formed to Almoravid Empire in the 11th century. Then the Almoravids settled into their new
fancy cities, enjoying their culture, and literature, and philosophy. LIKE A BUNCH OF NERDS! So the Amazigh Almohads poured out of the
Atlas Mountains in the 12th century setting up their own empire and conquering even more
than the Almoravids. The blend of Amazigh and Iberian culture led
to such great works as the Giralda in Seville, the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, and the
Hassan Mosque in Rabat. By the fifteenth century, the age of Amazigh
Islamic empires was ending. The unification achieved under the Almoravids
and Almohads faded away and more localised kingdoms replaced them. In 1517 the Ottoman Empire captured Cairo
and then most of North Africa beginning four-hundred-years of Turkish control of the region. In both the Ottoman Empire and still independent
Morrocan Sultanate, Amazigh populations were pushed to the margins of society. They fell from positions of power and their
culture vanished from public view. On June 14, 1830, a 34,000 strong French force
landed on the seashores of Ottoman Algeria, 27 kilometres away from the capital Algiers. As retribution for the Algerian Lord swatting
a French merchant with a flyswatter. By July 5, they had seized Algiers and brought
an end to over 1000 years of Islamic rule in the region. While most of Algeria fell to the French within
months after their 1830 invasion it would take 30 tough years for them to take Kabylia. The mountainous homeland of the Kabyle Amazigh
people. The French brought in a divide and rule policy
for the Amazigh and Arabs. The French saw the Kabyle Amazigh as more
“European” than the Arabs and tried to turn them into some sort of native colonial
partner. They taught them French and funded their schools
more than the rest of the non-French Algerian population. The Kabyle rejected the idea and ironically
went on to hold key positions in the Algerian independence movement. But after winning independence from France,
Algeria and Morocco established Arabic and only Arabic as their official language. A process known as Arabisation was started
as the new states tried to unify under a new Arab only identity. The Amazigh had to study and learn Arabic
in schools while their own languages and cultures were shoved out of public view. Obviously this made things quite awkward,
and tensions between Amazigh groups and the governments in North Africa grew over linguistic
and cultural issues. In 1980 after the Algerian authorities banned
Mouloud Mammeri’s lecture on Amazigh poetry, demonstrations and strikes shook the Kabyle
region. Kicking off the Amazigh Spring. Algerian government forces cracked down on
the Spring but from it, Amazighism was born. With the Kabyle being its fiercest advocates. Amazighism stands in direct opposition to
the attempts of Arabisation in North African countries. It led to the Amazigh World Congress which
created the Amazigh flag and promotes Amazigh culture and interests. The Amazigh flag is made up of blue, green,
and yellow horizontal stripes. Symbolising the Mediterranian Sea, the green
mountains of the region, and the Sahara desert. The symbol in the middle is the letter YAZ,
which is unrelated to the new English letter Yasssssss. It means Free Man. In 2001 tensions escalated further when an
Amazigh student died in police custody. Riots and protests swept the country especially
Kabylia. The state again cracked down, killing 126
people and injuring thousands. This became known as the Black Spring. In the aftermath of the chaos, Algeria made
some concessions to their Amazigh population. Just one year later Algeria made Tamazight
a national language alongside Arabic. It gained official language status in 2016. Since then the language rights of the Amazigh
have improved slightly. In Morocco, for instance, they prohibited
parents from giving their children Amazigh names until 2014. Tamazight is now an official subject in Moroccan
primary schools. Although it still isn’t taught in all schools
as was promised. So progress is being made but the Amazigh
have to keep pressure on their governments to win these concessions. Now let’s have a look at the culture of
the Amazigh. Popular culture depicts the Amazigh as nomads
yet the bulk of them have been established farmers for thousands of years. The Tuareg, the “veiled blue men of the
Sahara” are some of the only nomadic Amazigh left. Women in Amazigh society have considerably
more freedom than their Arab neighbours and serve as the main artists. For most of history it has been the women
that weaved the magnificent coloured carpets, the women that wore the intricate tattoos
on their faces, and henna tattoos on their hands and feet or the stylised headgear on
their heads. Women are the public symbol of Amazigh identity. In the lands of the Tuareg nomads of the Sahara,
the camps are controlled by women. The women choose their own husbands and can
own property, divorce, lead raids, take part in the tribe’s administration, and do not
wear the veil common in other Muslim societies. In fact in Tuareg culture it is men that wear
the veil. The Amazigh are tribal with each tribe going
under the name of a shared ancestor, whose Ait, or people, they claimed to be. Amazigh society is quite democratic with all
families and tribes being apparently equal and governing themselves. Controlled by codes of honour and a council
of elders, called the jamāʿah. These councils supervise the political, social
and economic issues of the tribe while also dealing with crime and punishment. The Tuareg, however, were historically more
hierarchical, ruling over subjects. They have a monarch known as an Amenokal. The Amazigh languages are a branch of the
Afroasiatic language family. Which include the likes of Arabic, Hebrew,
Ancient Egyptian, and Somali. They use the ancient Tifinagh Amazigh script,
which can be found on rock inscriptions throughout North Africa. The Moroccan and Algerian governments suppressed
Tifinagh until recently. In Libya Gaddafi outright banned it. But in the last few decades, it has seen a
tremendous revival. With more books each year being published
in this ancient writing system. The tifinagh script is now used to teach Tamazight
in Moroccan schools. If you pass through cities like Marrakech,
Taroudant, or Agadir today you will be able to spot shop signs in Tifinagh. The Amazigh language sounds incredible too. Almost like a recording being played backwards,
here’s a brief sample. While the Amazigh language and literature
may look baffling to outsiders we can understand their beautiful arts and crafts that can be
observed in any North African suq or market. The famous Amazigh carpets are made up of
deceivingly simple lines and shapes but they hold complex ideas within them, like my videos….he
said while patting himself on the back. Almost every tribe has its own carpet pattern
that can reveal the history of a tribe or family. The Amazigh have their own calendar which
is fairly intriguing. It’s based on the earliest mention of Amazigh
people in historical records. The founding by Amazigh Pharaoh Sheshonq I
of the 22nd Egyptian dynasty in 958 BC. So the present Amazigh year is 2969. Today there are between 15-50 million Amazigh
in the world, yeah it’s hard to get an official number because the census data just isn’t
really there. About 3 million Amazigh immigrants also live
in Europe, mostly in France and Belgium. The Amazigh are largely Muslim. However, until the 1960s, there was a considerable
Jewish Amazigh minority in Morocco. But emigration to Israel and France have shrunk
the number down to a few hundred. The Amazigh are a living, breathing, dynamic
culture, that has transformed and will continue to transform based on external and internal
pressures. They have constantly lived in multiple worlds. Multi-lingual, multicultural, and crucial
to the culture of North Africa. They have been in a state of resistance or
compromise with one power or another for thousands of years now. Living with the Egyptian Pharaohs, Roman Emperors,
and Arab Caliphs, the Amazigh have outlived them all. Their will to survive and co-exist is inexhaustible. They are an enduring people and their language
and culture seem set to thrive in the years to come. I hope you enjoyed this video. It is my first attempt at a new series about
the peoples of our world. What people would you like me to cover next
and what did you think of the video? Let me know in the comments below. The sources for this video are in the description
along with links to all of my social media and my t-shirt store. If you would like to support the future creation
of these videos you can check out my Patreon, I would like to thank my current Patrons for
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notification bell if you haven’t already, and thank you so much for watching.

100 thoughts on “Who Are The Berbers Of North Africa

  1. A true Saharan nomad would subscribe, like and share the video with everyone along his trade route! It's the only way to keep Cogito culture alive. Enjoy some more videos here.

    What Is Hinduism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlBEEuYIWwY
    How Potatoes Saved The World: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1L6P_kMNzY

  2. Hahahahahahaha the “Cables” from “Cablia” 😂 it’s kah-BEE-lia c’mon. Other than that, great video, I enjoyed! Subscribed

  3. thank you im Kabyle and there were some things that i knew before but this video gave me even more information about our history really im so thankful

  4. I'm a Moroccan Amazigh.
    The amazigh language and culture are well preserved even though there were attempts to end it by Arabs, but they didn't succeed in destroying our Amazigh identity, and now it's even getting revived and developed way stronger than before.

  5. 5:19 Dehiya is her real name. "El kahina =Priestess" is a name given by the Arabs, Because it was fighting Arab enemies, trying to conquer the Amazigh land
    She was surprised by her courage because in ancient Arab culture They bury women while they are alive!
    So Thank you for the good episode bro … Greetings to you from the Moroccan amazigh ⵣ🇲🇦ⵣ

  6. i am amazigh from morocco my city agadir and the arab people want to destroy us destroy my culture i'm sad 🙁 : (

  7. The worst and most inaccurate video ever, full of fucking disgusting agendas and dishonest portrayals,
    Wish the viewers good luck in finding the truth.

  8. Bunch of crap first city in north Africa was biled by the Phoenicians +the Sahara amazigh? What's that ?their names is twarqe not amazigh

  9. i know many berbers and when talking european or arabic they call themselves berbers.
    i dont think its insulting for them. some are even proud to be called barbarians because they (like arabs) see it as a compliment

  10. Thank you for your time discovering our cultures amazigh and going deeper to show the facts to the world and explaining everything, ayouznk agma♥️✌🏻

  11. Colonisation is over so stop teaching us our history…and it is for this reason that we are protesting..against the occidental hegemony and falsification of our diversed and rich history that we are proud of…as for the flag you are very far from the truth but I won’t explain it to you coz it is none of your business

  12. i'm an american born person of nigerian 🇳🇬 paternity and ghanaian 🇬🇭 maternity, with some amazigh 🇲🇦 (berber) ancestry.

  13. C'est magnifique cette vidéo que le monde entier savent lidentiter des amazighe et la civilisation des amazighe Afrique du nord enfin le réveille nous a fait réveillée dieu merci protège nous protège notre cher pays notre peuple vive thamazhra

  14. You forgot when Spain attacked Morocco in Rif with 20 000 or more Spanish soldiers. But the imazighen (amazigh/riff people) were with 3000 soldiers and they slaughtered them one by one. The Morrocan imazighen won. Our leader was Mohammed Abdelkrim El Khattabi.

  15. As an Algerian, I feel like one of the reasons most of us don't identify as Amazigh (Even though it's in our DNA) is because the Amazigh were deeply involved in Christianity and they tried to fight the Muslim Arabs.

    Idk if this made sense but it's my opinion.
    PS: I respect all Amazighs, my best friend in fact is Kabyl.

  16. Well as an amazigh i can tell you that all northern african are amazighs or berbers we don’t reject our identity we accept it and add our arab/muslim identity to it, there is no competition between the two we just wont sacrifice our religion for our culture

  17. وصلنا لمسقي هاذا لي كان خاصكم بغيين تردوها دولة بسيف يا و الله ما تكون

  18. No problem with berbers . Huge problems with berberists who are trying to impose their ethnicity to the whole north africa . We are arabs . You want us to respect you then start by respecting us. We are also proud of our ethnicity .

  19. Many north Africans think themselves Arabs just because they speak Arabic while in fact they don't speak Arabic but they study it, and many of them don't differentiate between being an Arab and being an Arab speaker. Fanatics to "arabisation" pretend that they're Arabs because they think that if they rejected their Arabic identity they're not Muslims anymore, because according to them one has to be an Arab to be a Muslim!!!!
    The funny part in all this is that those who are against the Berber identity of north Africa they claim that they are Arabs because they are of Phoenician descent while in the actual fact the Phoenicians themselves are not Arabs but another Semitic ethnicity.
    Thanks God the north African culture still exists to deny the Arabic identity of north Africa.

  20. The Best Video about the amazigh people and this so short. I send it to everyone who dont understand that I'm not Arab or even france morrocan until now. It was to complicated to teach them, cuz its to big. I hope they can understand now. 😁

  21. I’m from Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 and can trace the white side of my family back to the Canary Islands and I wondered why North African popped up on my dna test

  22. I must say that You did not do a good research, poor research, you barely spoke about Tunisia, that had and Till have the most influence i all the maghreb region. but thanks for your effort.

  23. 5:16 Queen Kahina's actual name is " Dihya " , Arabs referred to her as Al Kahina ( which means The Witch in Arabic ) they thought all her powers come from black magic as she whooped their troops ass numerous times before she was betrayed later on

  24. Thank you for this amazing Video, I hate when people call me arab, I'm not, I learned Arabic just like French and English at school, it doesn't mean I'm French or English or US!
    Greetings from a Berber (Kabyle) from Algeria 💝🥰♓

  25. The berbers are fair skin ppl they dont have a darker complexion also they have one of the highest percentage of rh- blood

  26. Arabs and Amazigh are not each other's enemies, it is the hungry, greedy men in high status of power who should be seen as the enemy and we should unite to overtake them and stop their oppression.

  27. Much love and respect for documenting our lives Cogito, I really appreciate this.
    We come from a deep struggle and conquest for freedom and truth, as all humans on this earth.

    Love to everyone

  28. @ – Cogito – Good video but the only issue with it is that you trying to white wash the amazigh race with your images just like the white supremeciats been trying to do to Egypt. The amazigh originate from East Africa and share a lot of cultural links with sub-saharan ethno groups such as the Dogon tribe who originate from East Africa present day Sudan. Look at the tuareg who are one of the biggest amazigh tribe they are black as they do not have European admixture as the lybians, algwrians and Tunisians. The moors you were depicting are the fake light skin Arabs the moors themselves were especially the almohad and almorovid groups. The word moor is an old European word for Africans or any dark skin person regardless were there might be from. The word Senegal comes zenaga the zenaga people are an amazigh tribe today they can be found in Senegal, western Sahara, Mauritania and to a lesser extent Morocco.

  29. My great great grandfather on my dad's side is Amazigh. He was a slave on board a German merchant fleet, my great great grandmother's clan attacked this fleet when it trespassed onto our ocean and when they found the dark skinned boy, they spared him and adopted him because of his exceptional tracking skills and his and because he could speak English, French, German, and Spanish. He founded our current bloodline.

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