The Berbers are the original people of North Africa. They were a people whose lives were intensely intertwined with nature, and had spiritual-religious notions of nature having a universal, all-encompassing soul. Eventually, however, the Berbers were displaced by others and fled from the fertile plains and coast to the mountains to protect their culture, religion and language. The Islamization of the Berbers began in the 7th century.
The name “Berber“ was given by the Romans to anybody who did not speak their language, coming from the word „barbarian“. Since time immemorial, the Berbers have called themselves „Imazighen“, (singular Amazigh), which means “the free people“. Tamazight generally refers to the Berber language and today it is spoken by about 36 million Berbers. An alphabet was developed called Tifinagh in order to transcribe the Berber language.
It was only after the turn of the millennium that Morocco’s Berber culture (one of the oldest in the world, making up 80% of the Moroccan population) was officially recognized as part of the country’s national identity.
Due to the popularity of Berber culture abroad, more and more tourists have been attracted to Morocco and become enchanted by the impressive traditions, culture, architecture and history. This exchange with the tourists helps the traditional (yet also cosmopolitan) Berbers to be more widely recognized and appreciated in their own country.
Their hospitality and kindness is deeply rooted in their culture and immediately tangible in a way that will open your heart.