Tamazgha Celebrates Yennayer 2962

  Let us first mention how some scholars explain the inception of the Amazigh calendar. According to them, the origin of Yennayer refers to the first mention of Amazigh people in historical records: the founding by Amazigh Pharaoh Sheshonq I of the 22nd pharaonic dynasty in 958 BC, followed by the 23rd and 24th Amazigh pharaonic dynasties, over 200 years (958 BC-712 BC) of Amazigh rule in ancient Egypt. According to ancient Egyptian historian Manetho (3rd century BC) and archeological records, Amazigh Pharaonic dynasties brought back stability to Egypt by reunifying it and defending it against foreign invasion from the East.

In summary, Yennayer 2962 that we  will celebrate this year commemorates the first mention of the Amazigh people in history. Significantly, it refers to Imazighen as the contributors to the glorious Egyptian civilization. 13 January corresponds to the end of armed conflict between Imazighen and the Egyptian pharaohs.

Here are some few traditions related to the celebration of Yennayer (on January 13th) in some areas of the large land of Tamazghra as they had been described at the beginning of the twentieth century by some French ethnographers since our ancestors didn’t keep records of their practices and since these traditions are unfortunately in the process of disappearing if nobody act efficiently in order to save them.

The festivities are strictly a family affair involving specific dishes. Couscous with chicken is the predominant dish, which embodies the whole symbolism of the event. Nowadays, the celebration -when it takes place- is limited to a special meal like, usually prepared in a household with elderly members or to a party usually initiated by young active members of Amazigh movements in urban societies where most of Imazighen evolve today.

Yennayer should be an occasion to learn more about the cultural background of our ancestors, and to make every effort to transmit this heritage to the young generation that hardly speaks and cares about its significance.

Celebrating Yennayer could also be a step to affirm a fundamental cultural aspect of Imazighen  and further more an attempt to revise or reappraise the official historiography.

The Agraw.com members accustomed to attend celebrations organized by some Amazigh association in Huceima and Nador and documenting the event.


Roots of Amazigh Assertion of Identity

At the 39th Middle East Studies Association of North America conference in Washington DC, the Amazigh question was tackled by Oxford University’s Michael J. Willis in his presentation “A Berber Spring in Morocco?: Political Dimensions of Berber (Amazigh) Identity in Morocco and Algeria”. He is author of “Islamist Challenge in Algeria” and is currently working on a book called “Comparative Politics in the Maghreb”. While the recent push among the Amazigh for identity and recognition is often painted as the culmination of a long struggle, Willis feels the phenomena has more recent roots. He specifically points to the 1980 “Kabylia Spring” in Algeria, when Amazigh protests led to the cancellation of an election.

The main impetus to the demonstrations was an Algerian effort to make Arabic the sole language for education. A reason for the Amazigh starting to support their identity has roots in France’s “Berber Myth”. The French felt that Amazigh may be more “European” than other North Africans and the population was given more access to French education, with the learning informing them of their own identity.

The natural outgrowth of Amazigh identity moved it to Morocco. The movement likely moved to Morocco later because the Amazigh population tends to be more geographically spread out than in Algeria. Another factor is that the Amazigh had long before infiltrated the military and royalist parties. The Amazigh movement in Morocco seems to be more the concern of educated urbanites and expatriates than the actual population. The people themselves tend to want to see the nation made more democratic as a whole, without any special emphasis paid to them. Factors that could lead to Moroccan Amazigh asserting themselves more are if they start to see themselves as a poor segment of society and if more radical ideas are spread via the Internet.

While Jonathan Wyrtzen of Georgetown University notes the slow destruction of indigenous Maghreb culture to an Arab one over the past 1,000 years, he sees the roots of Amazigh identity in the period 1930 to 1939.

A noted French historian saw Morocco as a place populated by urban Arabs and rural Amazigh. The conclusion led to France issuing the “Berber Decrees”.

The heart of the decrees was a quasi-partition of Morocco into Amazigh and Arabic spheres. The French spread the idea that Amazigh may be subversive, while many Morccans actually saw them as heroes of earlier struggles.

Nationalist Moroccans were disheartened by the splitting of the country, especially by the idea that the Aamzigh may not answer to the sultan. A special Latif prayer was said in mosques throughout the country asking for unity.

While the outbreak of the Second World War ended the momentum of the nationalist movements, the French-manufactured identity split may have set the stage for the Amazigh identity emergence of today.

Source: Magharebia

Morocco launches first Amazigh TV channel

 Almost 2 years ago An Amazigh-language TV channel first proposed three years ago finally hit Moroccan airwaves on January 6th, satisfying a long-awaited demand by a significant percentage of the country’s citizens.

During the first phase of broadcast operations, set to run until March, programmes in Amazigh dialects Tachelhit, Tarifit and Tamazight will air for six hours each day during the week and ten hours on the week-ends.

The Tamazight channel features “discussions of politics, economics, sport and religion, alongside evening entertainment programmes aimed at children and young people,” station manager Mohamed Mamad said last Wednesday at a Rabat press conference held to announce the long-awaited launch.Tamazight will strengthen our national identity, and will allow many Moroccans living in remote regions to feel that they’re part of a rich and diverse Morocco,” said bank clerk Hassan Agourram.

Still this TV8 amazigh is not what we expect as imazighn, we do nt see tamazight movies there are very good short movies or long movies made y imazighn. All what we see is some old series translated in tamazight.We hope 2012 brings more for  programs and movies and documents on  tamazight language

5 000 years ago, Imazighen


5 000 years ago, Imazighen

The name of the Libyans is registred in the oldest documents of – Egyptian historie , towards 3.000 before J.C, perhaps even before this date and the Libyans, today Imazighen, have an old history of more than five thousand years Téhénou, Lybian, Imazighen The country of the Libyans was called Tehenou among Egyptians. This designation is a little arbitrary, we only know about the T-h-n-w consonants; because the Egyptians did not wrote the vowels (like Touareg today). Only one “Libyan” could be named Teheni and several other Teheniou (in Egyptian: T-h-n-y-w). We employ the name Libyans to indicate all the Berber or Imazighen of -antiquity which were near -Egypte. There was also a particular tribe: The Libou whose -appellation had been generalized by the Greeks of Cyrénaïque so that we in general speak today about the Libyans without reference to tribe. It would be more correct calling the Berber ones by their name, namely Amazigh in the singular and Imazighen in the plural, witch mean the “free people” or the “noble ones”, because the name of Barbari relates in the -Antiquity with the people which spoke neither Greek, nor Latin. Also people which had a high civilization, like the Egyptians, Babyloniens or Perses were of Barbari to the eyes of the Romans. Here is four documents: The pallet of king Scorpion The first document mentioning Libya is a pallet fragment of schist from king “Scorpion”, one of the predecessors of king Menés who reigned little before 3.000 before J.C. The surface is divided into four horizontal bands whose first line is filled with oxen, the second with a row donkeys and the third with sheep. The fourth band is filled with a row of trees and a hieroglyphic group composed of the sign meaning “foreign ground” in which one planted a curved stick, arms of the Libyans. The whole is read Tehenou “ground of the Libyans”. It s the oldest known document to date in Egyptian writing. The name of the king that one can translate NR, “fish” and MR., “chisel” is written in a serekh, ancestor of the cartouche. The whole represents, after Georg MOLLER, the spoils brought back by king “Scorpion” from a victorious forwarding against the country of Tehenou where there were oxen, donkeys, sheep and trees. The ivory cylinder of -Hiéraconpolis The small ivory cylinder bears the name of king Narmer, known by his famous schist pallet preserved at the Museum of Cairo. Our document coming from -Hiéraconpolis, l-ancian Nekhen, 85 km in the south of Louxor, comprise three lines of bearded prisoners that the king terrace. The group in the middle, a curious mixture of symbolic writing system and hieroglyphic is perfectly readable: “the god Horus is alive. King Narmer, protected by the goddess “Vulture” from -Elkab city conquered the country of Tehenou and kills the prisoners ” The pallet of king Narmer This votive pallet in black schist is preserved at the Museum of Cairo, finely worked, it has a 64 cm height. Two lines horizontrales divide the surface of the back into three unequal parts. All in top we see two heads of the goddess Hathor with horns and ears of cow, goddess of the sky. In the middle, a diagrammatic drawing of the royal palate in which is writen the name of the king. A “silure” is read nar and a “chisel” means sea, which gives Narmer. The part in the middle shows the king, standing, carrying the crown of High-Egypt, embanking an enemy with a bludgeon, it is a perforated stone ball through which one passed a stick. The short clothing, maintained by only one strap and a belt with frangues of which an animal tail hangs, leaves most of its body naked. Behind him, a servant carries his sandals. In front of the king, the Horus god in the form of a falcon brings to him prisoners of the country of papyrus: the Delta. All in bottom we see two enemies escaping, designated by two hiéroglyphes difficult to interpret. The recto of the pallet is divided into four bands. One sees all in top the heads of the Hathor goddess with the palate of the king. Below, the king who carries the red crown of Low Egypt, between two servants, preceded by four men carrying of symbols posed on long stems, in front of 10 enemies whose cutted head is placed between their legs. In the medium, two panthers whose exaggeratedly long necks intertwines to form in the middle a round hollow where the make-up was ground. All in bottom, a bull, probably the king, destroyed an enemy fortress with blows of horns. This pallet enables us to specify l-importance of the king. Work is of an extreme smoothness, astonishing for the time. The long interlaced necks is of mesopotamic origin. Libyans of the country of Tehenou The following document is much more recent. It dates from the reign of king Sahourê, second king of the fifth dynasty (2442-2430 before J.C). A copy of the relief is in the funerary temple d-un another king, Phiops II, from the sixth dynasty (2221-2157 before J-C). It is a relief carried out carefully in the best tradition of Egyptian art. It includes eight superimposed bands. In top, the Seshat goddess, mistress of writing, note the number of the prisoners and the cattle which the king had brought back of the country of Tehenou. The remainders of scenery from the first band had to show the king embanking the Libyan head, traditional scene. Its close relations spoke to Sahourê (nonvisible) and implre its leniency. The following bands show us the captured cattle: more than 123 400 oxen, 223 400 asses, 32 413 caprine and 243 688 sheep. Other Libyan tribes At side of the Libyans of Tehenou whom we know through Egyptian representations, there was also Temehou, with which they should not be confused. The first representation that we had of this tribe comes from the tomb of king Sethos Ier in the Valley of the Kings (1303-1290 before J-C.) they were fair-haired, had the blue eyes and the clear skin, they carried a long coat, open on the front, and with ostrich feathers in the hair. Thereafter the names of the tribes multiply. In the Ramesside time we meet Libou or Libyans, Meshwesh or Mâ, Qeheq mentioned under Ramses II and Ramses III as well as Isebeten. This last name corresponds to that of Isebeten, old tribe from Hoggar which was unaware of the metals use and still lived in stone age when the current ancestors of Touareg penetrated in the country. A fraction of Isebeten joined to Dag Ghali, a Targui tribe which still have hunting rights in the Hoggar. Old Isebeten were also hunters. Then there were Baqal, Qeyqesh, Mehesoun, perhaps Massules of the Romans, and Païat of the copt texts. Hérodote (towards 450 before J-C.) gives us a whole list of Libyan tribes living west -Egypte. Rise of Lybian in ancient -Egypte The Libyans enter —Egypte historie like enemies, like invaders. This is perhaps not exact with regard to the province of Fayoum which seems always Libyan before being integrated into the kingdom of -Egypte under Sésostris II (towards 1897-1878 before J.C). To strike the country of Tehenou was an act whose several kings glorified themselves. Indeed, the Libyans of the small oases could not measure themselves with the Egyptians, by far higher in number. If Sahourê brings back a rich booty from the country of Tehenou, it s- certainly from Fayoum, oasis in which was a lake, today Birkat Qâroun, which still had the name: shet Temeh “lake of Libyans” under the 12th dynasty(HOLSCHER 1937: p. 49). If the Libyans were often overcome during their first contacts with the Egyptians, their courage had to impress the latter, because one finds them starting from the New Empire like soldiers in the Egyptian army and even as officers. Mes en Mâ “master of the Meshwesh” was the title for high row officer. Thereafter the Libyans reach even the kingdom. Two of the 30 dynasties were of Libyan origin, the 22e and 23e (946-720 before J-C.) and their kings was called Sheshenq, Osorkon and Takeloth (comp. the name of T-K-L-HT in a numidic inscription). With considering the examined documents, we note that Imazighen or Berber historie begins even with the threshold of Egyptian -historie, towards 3 000 before J.C, and not tardily with the Greeks or the Romans and even less with the Arabs. In these documents, it s always about the country of Tehenou, Libya in the direction of the Greek historians, witch means the countries located west of -Egypte. The inhabitants was the Teheniou in Egyptian or hatiou-â N Tehenou, “princes of Libye”. This last denomination points out the proper name of the nation, Imazighen which also means the free men or the noble ones. Marie Boudarène after Werner Vycichl / Translated by Sifaks U Rave source: kabyles.com

Posted by Tamazight at 2:13 PM 0 comments

Sunday, January 1, 2012Discrimination of Amazigh Music in Studio 2M

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Discrimination of Amazigh Music in Studio 2M

2M, a Moroccan channel, remains a racist channel. Even if the decision makers always say that Tamazight will have its full rights in the media, the facts are proving the opposite. Abdellah BOUZANDAG, the singer of Tafsut Band was recently a victim of this discrimination by 2M channel. In a competition program called Studio 2M, the participation of Bouzandag was not accepted in the 3 stage of the competition in Agadir (South of Morocco) just because he sings in his mother tongue Tamazight. Moreover, the application form to be filled by participants indicates that the candidate has just two choices not more: Arab Songs and Occidental songs, they excluded Amazigh music even if more than the half of the population speak Tamazight. Tafsut is a band created in 2004 by some Amazigh activists in Agadir (Morocco) since then TAFSUT participated in many festivals and concerts transmitting its noble messages of peace freedom, justice, human rights.
 NB: This incident goes back to 2007 and still remains the same issue wuth this tv and still nowadays all amazigh singers were  not invited to participate in saturdays shows..

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