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The Question of Identity: Ethnicity, Language, Religion, and Gender

Islamic Period:  The Concept of Ethnicity

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Berber Warriors During a Ceremonial Show in Agadir, Morocco

Berber Warriors During a Ceremonial Show in Agadir, Morocco

The separation of Berber tribes in Morocco from peasant and city-dwelling Arabs was axiomatic for the French, who needed to divide their North African colonies in order to rule effectively. Berbers were given every encouragement to think of themselves as a separate people. While the postcolonial Moroccan and Algerian states sought to embrace all of their subjects as equal citizens, Berbers continue to speak a language and maintain customs and traditions quite different from those of their Arab neighbors. Here we see a group demonstrating their solidarity and strength in a display of horsemanship at a musim, a festival in honor of a local saint (Marabout).

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