The Indigenous Berbers of Africa – By Natural Mystics

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Indigenous Berber, the Blue men, with the eponymous blue cloth veil

One of the most misrepresent people in North Africa are the indigenous Berber people. These beautiful women are not shown on mainstream television, movies and rarely in print. These are the descendants of the ancient Berbers that the ancient Romans spoke of and wrote about.

The original indigenous Berbers were the North African ancestors of the present day dark-brown peoples of the Sahara and the Sahel, mainly those called Fulani, Tugareg, Zenagha of Southern Morocco, Kunta and Tebbu of the Sahel countries, as well as other dark-brown arabs now living in Mauretania and throughout the Sahel, including the Trarza of Mauretania and Senegal, the Mogharba as well as dozens of other Sudanese tribes, the Chaamba of Chad and Algeria.” The Westerners have chosen to concentrate on the most recent world of the Arab and Berber-speaking peoples and present it as if it is a world that has always been. “It is like comparing the Aztecs of five hundred years ago with the ethnic mix of America today,” wrote Reynolds. “The story of when North Africa was Moorish and Arabia, the land of Saracens, has yet to be told.”

– Dana Reynolds, Anthropologist

Anthropologist, Dana Reynolds traced the African roots of the original North African peoples through a dozen Greek and Byzantine (neo-Roman writers) from the first to the sixth century A.D. “They describe the Berber population of Northern Africa as dark-skinned [modern Europeans call dark brown skin color, as black-skinned] and woolly-haired.” Among these writers who wrote about the Berbers were Martial, Silius Italicus, Corippus and Procopius.

Saint Augustine was a dark-skinned Berber and many of the later Roman emperors would have trouble getting citizenship in some of today’s European states.

– Professor Mikuláš Lobkowicz, the former rector of the Munich university and current director of the Institute of Central and East European Studies in Eichstätt.

There are those who say that the Berber is part of the African story of Ham, from the land of Ber, the son of biblical figure Ham.

The original inhabitants of Ireland before the Celts invaded were Berber people who stretch all the way from Saharan Africa to Western Ireland. In North Africa they are known as Berbers, the original people before the Arab invasion of North Africa, they were known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as “barbarians,” the Tuaregs of Nigeria, Niger, Chad, etc. are a Berber people.

[Editors note: the Kanuris of North-Eastern Nigeria are known as the Iberi-beris. They are Berbers originally from Fezzan Libya]

In Spain and Portugal they were known as “Iberians,” which is the name of the Peninsula. In Ireland the Berbers are known as “Hibernians.” The Celts and later invaders pushed them back to the West of Ireland, where you most commonly see the “black Irish” with black hair and brown eyes. The most popular recreational organization of Irish Americans is the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH).

Modern Berber family having a traditional meal

The images that are shown in mainstream television, movies and in print are of the lighter skinned people that are also referred as Berber. Modern north Africa has changed a great deal, from waves of invasions such as the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Germanic tribes, Arabs, Turks and the French have led to the amalgamation in the region. The role of literally millions of enslaved Indo-Europeans and concubinage in the creation of admixed populations in cities like Tunis, Tripoli, Fez, Sale and Algiers are well documented. This is the formation of populations in north Africa today. These now lighter skinned people do not call themselves African. In fact, the term “African” is a very demonized term to many, more than likely because of the modern European invasion into Africa, Europeans had to justify their behavior (some still do), and the term African is the object of ridicule and humiliation. The term Berber is now a regional word to apply to these people that now share many common cultural ideas and customs. “

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32 thoughts on “The Indigenous Berbers of Africa – By Natural Mystics”

  1. As said Dana, the Tuaregs might come from Byzantine, because Hausa people call them “Buzayé” the same root as Byzantine: the twoo terms derive from the root “buza”

    1. Tamashek, tuaregs language is called ” Buzanti” by Hausa.
      byzantine and buzanti are I think the same.
      As I said in one of there is one quarter in Agadez called Istanbulawa (people of Istanbul)


    1. This isn’t truth this is absolute bogus! I’m black subsaharan and I do not want to be associated with Berbers they came from Caucasus after the ice age my people never lived in North africa

  3. You are not correct. There is no such thing as a real berber. We come in many shades and features. I am 100% Chaouia. The notion that we are mulatto is a myth to eurocentrics snd afrocentrics. Black skin does not mean african nor a precursor to purity of bloodline. North african genetics have been proven to have very little admixture from middle easterners and europeans. I have even done my ancestry DNA and it proves the fact that no one has truly ever conquered us. As you can see we have the oldest living language today. I keep on seeing a marginalization from afrocentrics denying us our roots and ancestry just because we dont look like how you want us to look. We have been in history since Egyptian dynastic times and known as the Tenehu. We were always depicted a little bit lighter, braids, and tattoos. We are included in the Scene from the tomb of Seti I, Dynasty XIX the races of man.

    “The Egyptians divided the human race into four classes, namely the Egyptians, the A’mu (Semites), the Neh’esu (Nubians) and the Temeh’u (Temehu) in the country Tmh’ (Libyans). ”

    You are denying us our rightful place as indigenous people to africa. We are not arab, we are not european. …s. Africans come in all shapes and colors.

  4. I’m confused, this article is about the dark skinned berbers right? What about the berbers of the rif mountains? I am originally from Al Hoceima, a small town in northern morocco near the mediterranean sea. I am amazigh, more specifically riffian of the ait wayagher tribe. I have been searching the entire internet on articles about my people but i only find info on tuareg, gnawa, chleuh, kabyle etc. I also have no idea where my people originally came from. Are we arab?european?black? I woul love to do a dna test one day but i”m young and broke so i need some info. Please due educate me

  5. This is a very important website I came across when searching for the answer to the question who are the”Buzaye ?” i.e. Nigerien Hausa,Tuareg and Berbers as asked by my 9 and 11 years old sons, one of whom,the latter, lived most of his life in the far Northern Nigerian chief commercial town of Kano, a city very familiar with the Tuareg and Berbers trans- Saharan camel driving merchants and traders who come to trade in Saharan and Sahelian items of commerce such as date and dry milk cheese gums and incense, the other son, 9 years old lives in Jos, the central Nigerian town.
    In Northern Nigeria, the term Buzaye or Buzu is a pejorative term mostly and derogatorily referred to the people of Niger republic particularly in the ethnocentric region of the Hausa speaking people, initially it was used also for people of the present Sokoto, Zamfara and Kewbbi states of modern Nigeria because they all speak a similar variant of the Hausa language spoken in the South Western parts of the Niger republic, in places such as Tamaske, Birnin Konni, Tahoua, Keita, Ilela, Maradi and so on among the Gobirawa Hausa speaking people and other people whose land in Niger republic was given to the French by the British colonial masters and conquerors in exchange for fishing rights in Labrador and New Newfoundland in Canada.However the people from these three states have since assumed the identity of their respective new states and are no longer refereed to as Buzaye (plural of Buzu)
    The word Buzaye is also used to refer to the Tuareg while the lighter skin Berbers are called Arabs as they are found to be too important to be called Buzaye out of the inferiority complex of the other Hausa groups in Northern Nigeria.
    The term assume pejorative connotation because the eaausa immigrants from Niger republic and the cousins from Sokoto emirate were mostly engaged in seasonal menial jobs as water vendors and as load carriers. This gave them lower status among the other Hausa even though most of them speak Hausa language as their first language except for the Djarma or Zabarmawas.
    Another reason for the low status attached to these people is because following the devastating drought of the 1973 in the Sahel region of West Africa and the following famine that claim the lives of their livestock in millions,their only possessions and wealth, most of the the lighter Tuaregs and Berbers moved Southward to many Northern Nigerian region where the dispossessed new immigrants engaged in menial works as security guards in the houses of the rich Nigerians while their wives and kids engaged in a kind of novel form of begging that is persistent and also involves them tugging at the dresses of their potential benefactors and so these conditions and attitude gave them low standing among the darker more negroid Africans. So far this is the identity of the Nigerien ( Hausa people from Niger republic) Hausa and the Tuareg /Berber.
    I also agree that the picture above is not that of the typical Tuareg/Berber.

  6. woww, very interesting article, i have learned so much. What got me here was because i was doing some research, i will soon explain my situation, im a 30 years old woman from Niger, i have always believed to be Hausa because that s the language that both my parents spoke, my grand parents and almost everyone back in the village too, i got maried to a beriberi (he speaks only hausa too) and we have 2 daughters now. My 1st daughter has a strong fulani features (a little lighter than us, tall, fulani s facial characteristic, long but kinky hair…) and my 2 nd daughter on the other hand is very dark like her dad (people think he is from senegal but he is from Niger too) she looks more like an asian with her small eyes (my sister keeps saying she is a black japanese because i love japanse food lol) and she has very silky curly hair!! (we all have dry kinky hair). If she didnt look so much like her dad i would have say they switch my daughter at the hospital lool. All that got me curious to learn deeper about our ancestors. So last december we all went to Niger (we live in the USA) and it was their first time. I went to my village and that s when i learned for the first time that from my mother side im fulani and from my father side im beriberi (i was speechless and excited and the same time because i have always been fascinated by these ethnic groups). I was told that my mom s grand father was pure fulani and came from Daura (Nigeria). He was white skin, more like red skin (looking like an arab) so i ve been wondering since if they were “white fulanis” and were they came from. I even saw some of his kids and they were light reddish skin too but i was told he was lighter than that. I have tried looking for white fulani all over the internet and couldnt really find anything. Can you pease help me? Thanks

    1. Your history is very interesting ! People need to know more about theirs ancestors, speaking a specific language does not mean it’s your ethnicity.
      In North Africa, many speak arab but aren’t arab ethnically speaking. The same is for many Fulanis in Senegal

  7. First of all the word Berber did not exist during the time of Carthage and Numidia, the two great kingdoms of North Africa. So there was no such people as Berber. The question now becomes who existed in North Africa during and even prior to the rise of Carthage and Numidia. We know Carthage, as it became known as, was an outpost of the Phoenicians. But the Phoenicians were not the indigenous people of North Africa as they hail from what is today Lebanon. It is a fact that Hannibal was black as was much of Carthage. But since Phoenicians established Carthage there was surely some migration of Phoenicians to that region as they established small colonies. This was prior to Roman colonization. What must be understood is that there is a difference between colonization and migration. The Phoenicians never migrated to north Africa in large numbers, no records exist of such a migration. Nor did native Romans migrate in large numbers later. Who did migrate in large numbers were the Arabs during their eventual conquest of North Africa which occurred 700 yrs after the fall of Carthage and Numidia and 250 yrs or so after the fall of Rome. So if we go further back, prior to Phoenicia’s establishment of what would become Carthage, what if any empire or kingdom exist because we know it was populated already. Well obviously we have Punt, which is allegedly modern day Libya would also become known as Libyans. Then there is of course Egypt. But further to the east and prior to Phoenicians establishing anything in north-central Africa, who existed. Academia simply call them Berbers but again, that word did not exist so it’s misleading to use the nomenclature of North Africans today with that of North Africans prior to 800 BC or even during the Phoenician period as they are much more genetically diverse now that during antiquity. Were the people literate and had a recognizable form of civilization prior to the Phoenicians arrival. Exactly when did the Phoenicians arrive and who exactly were the Phoenicians. The Pheonicians spoke a form of Canaanite language as their land was once the land of the Canaanites. Now who were they? Based on the fact that the Greeks and Romans referred to the entire of North Africa as Maurantania which means land of the black, and could not possibly been a reference to the light tan colored sand of North Africa, it could only have been a reference to it’s people. So without even considering the racial makeup or color of the Phoenicians, North Africa was clearly occupied predominately by black skinned people if the Greeks and later the Romans would annex these lands and reference them as black. What we do know is that no of the people of ancient middle-east, and all of north African was Caucasian. Surely the skin tones varied is complexion but the extremity of that various did not go as far as the typical Caucasian skin tone until the arrival of the Greeks and later the Romans. The indigenous Egyptians for instance were Dark and light brown, but only lightened up with the amalgamation of Greek and Roman blood, despite invasions by some slightly lighter complexed people of the near east such as the Hyksos and later Persians , who themselves were not white. But those invasions did not last long enough to amalgamate the Egyptian population that would occur during Greek and Romans domination. For instance, the Sumerians referred to themselves as the Igigi’s (The Black-Headed Ones) and Sumeria is located in what is today Iraq. The Elamites of what is today southern Iran were all dark. One must understand that the traditional western stereo-typical phenotype of black people is a socio-cultural paradigm. African then and now come in all variations of brown skin colors, hair textures and facial features. Ancient Egyptians are often described as non-black because of the rudimentary images that depict them as lighter brown. However, 1000’s of busts and statues show them painted as dark black and with features that resemble a wide range of modern day Africans. Does this mean they were not black…. of course not. Caucasians come in a multitude of facial features, moderate variation of hair textures and colors, eye color, etc. What would one not reasonable deduce that Africans also come in a variety of physical traits but are nonetheless black Africans.

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